Young mulls run for old Senate seat

Capital Notebook

March 14, 2006

Larry Young, who was expelled from the state Senate in 1998 for ethics violations, seems to be gearing up for a run for his former job representing District 44.

Young, 55, was recently feted at a $30 a ticket fundraiser at a friend's home in Baltimore. Young said in an interview yesterday that his friends and colleagues have at least four or five similar events planned for him. They have also been circulating a petition to collect signatures to persuade him to run.

"I'm really interested," said Young, a Democrat. "I asked them to put together some petitions to see if the public wanted me, and they have something called `Run, L.Y., Run,' and they put it together and got about 5,800 names."

Young said he will decide in late June whether he'll make a go of it and will evaluate his fundraising potential in particular. He said personal health issues, as well as those of family members, also will be factors.

If Young decides to run, he'll undoubtedly have to revisit the charges that led to his expulsion from the Senate. Among other matters, an investigation by The Sun found that he ran several corporations out of his district office. A number of those groups received money from health care companies that did business with the state.

Young was charged with nine counts of bribery and extortion in late 1998 but was acquitted of all criminal charges related to his actions in office. He now hosts The Larry Young Morning Show on WOLB 1010 AM.

"I've woken up some mornings and said `Do I really want to give this up?' " he said of his radio gig.

Sen. Verna L. Jones, a Democrat, represents District 44.

Jennifer Skalka

Lt. Gov. Steele honored at several fundraisers

Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele continues to get help for his U.S. Senate bid from people in high places.

The Washington Times first reported that Steele, a Republican, was scheduled to be honored last night at a reception hosted by former Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie and his wife. Sens. John W. Warner and George Allen, both of Virginia, and Marvin Bush, President Bush's brother, and his wife were also expected to attend.

In addition, Mallory Factor, chairman of the Free Enterprise Fund and a major GOP fundraiser, hosted an event in New York last week.

A Steele campaign spokeswoman would not say how much money was raised.

Jennifer Skalka

Middleton wants task force to examine worker protections

With a special committee's inquiry into the Ehrlich administration's firing practices temporarily stalled because of a dispute over access to records, the Senate chairman of the committee wants to create a task force to see whether the state needs to overhaul its personnel system to provide more protection to employees.

Sen. Thomas M. Middleton, a Charles County Democrat, also is asking the General Assembly to restrict the role of the governor's staff in deciding which workers in state agencies will be hired and fired.

Those were among bills introduced last week by Middleton as a result of the work of the Special Committee on State Employees Rights and Protections. The committee, which began hearings in August, has not yet issued a report or made any decisions. It was set up to look into allegations made by some Democrats that state employees who did not hold political jobs in state government were fired to make way for replacements loyal to the administration of Republican Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.

While Democrats say the governor has the right to fill key management positions with his own people, they have questioned the extent of the firings and the way they were handled, with some workers complaining they were dismissed without notice and without cause and were escorted from their offices by armed guards. Republicans have criticized the inquiry as a political witch hunt designed to embarrass the Ehrlich administration, saying the complaints have come from disgruntled former employees.

Associated Press

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