Off the radio and into the arena


December 04, 2005|By LAURA VOZZELLA

Anthony McCarthy has been around politicians for more than a decade as a reporter, spokesman and radio host. Now he wants to be one.

Go figure.

"I've learned a lot, and now I really want to put it into practice," says McCarthy, who just left his weekly news roundup show on WYPR-FM (88.1) so he can run for the House of Delegates.

McCarthy plans to run as a Democrat in the 44th District, currently represented by Ruth Kirk, Jeffrey Paige and Keith Haynes. He made an unsuccessful bid for the same seat in 1998.

McCarthy plans to formally enter the race in early January, but says he's leaving the station now to avoid potential conflicts of interest.

The 37-year-old Mount Vernon resident has worked in various roles - reporter, editor, publisher - at the Afro-American, Baltimore Times and Gay Life newspapers. He has been a radio host at WYPR and WEAA-FM. He remains associate pastor of Mount Vernon's interdenominational Unity Fellowship Church.

He has also worked for several prominent politicians. He edited Mayor Kurt Schmoke's monthly publication, Baltimore Progress. He was U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings' communications director. And he was chief of staff and spokesman for City Council President Sheila Dixon.

McCarthy isn't the only local media personality to make the leap into politics. Andy Barth, late of WMAR, announces his run for Congress tomorrow.

Who's next? Ed Norris?

Something for all tastes

They've decked the halls at the governor's mansion, just in time for the holiday open house from 1 to 4 this afternoon.

Out front, there's a giant, multicolored moving light display, a pair of white-light-adorned polar bears and a giant inflatable snowman.

The historic district and a certain Arbutus-bashing columnist shouldn't get their petticoats in a wad. The Ehrlichs also put traditional wreaths on the mansion windows and parked an old-fashioned sleigh on the lawn.

Mr. Mayor, swing your crowbar

Some lawbreakers swipe things - like cars, cash, even aluminum light poles. Others leave things behind - like pay telephones.

Illegal pay phones have been making a bit of a comeback in Baltimore. City workers recently found 76 of them scattered around town and are in the process of ripping them out.

The city removed more than 500 of them between 1999 and 2000 in a sweep meant to defeat the drug dealers and prostitutes who use the phones for business.

That effort kicked off with a flourish. In the middle of a hearing about the problem in May 1999, then-Councilman Martin O'Malley prodded Public Works officials to leave the council chamber and cut one particular phone down.

Local lore (along with your local paper) sometimes has it that O'Malley swung the crowbar himself. But the news story from that day describes DPW workers doing the deed, albeit with O'Malley at their side.

As mayor, O'Malley often says the best part of his job is operating pieces of heavy equipment for photo ops. Here's another chance to invoke executive privilege.

Right vote, wrong vote, both votes

The press release e-mailed far and wide the other day mixed a little praise for U.S. Rep. Wayne Gilchrest with a little pressure.

"Rep. Gilchrest cast the right vote on the budget," read the headline. "But how will he vote on tax breaks for the rich?"

The follow up - sent three minutes later with "please disregard" in the subject line - took back the pat on the back.

"Gilchrest DID NOT vote the right way," it said. "We still urge him to vote NO on the tax cuts next week."

You can't blame the groups that jointly sent out the release - Americans United to Protect Social Security and the Emergency Campaign for America's Priorities - for being confused about Gilchrest's vote last month on the GOP-sponsored budget bill.

The Kennedyville Republican initially cast his vote against it. But he was only playing a joke on party leaders, who were counting on his vote. Once he got a rise out of them, he switched his vote to yes.

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