Precious is gone, long live Precious II

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July 19, 2006|By LAURA VOZZELLA

Reports of Precious the Skateboarding Dog's death were, as it turns out, only slightly exaggerated. This correction ran in The Sun June 7: "Because of incorrect information provided to The Sun, an article about Charles Village in Sunday's Maryland section reported that Precious the Skateboarding Dog had recently gone 'to the great skateboard in the sky.' Precious is still alive."

The Sun regretted that error until July 5, when the veteran of 1,100 parades and political rallies, two David Letterman shows and a Ladder 49 cameo really did die. (Actually, The Sun regretted it until early this week, when a reporter returning from vacation belatedly found news of the death on her voice mail.)

Precious was 147 in dog years. (That's 21 to you and me.) The mixed breed died the day after ill health forced her to bow out of all four parades she usually did on the Fourth. She left 23 outfits, 18 pairs of sunglasses, one tiara, an Army hat and a heartbroken owner, Baltimore County political activist Don Crockett. She was buried in a spot befitting a dog who worked for a string of Maryland political candidates over two decades, from then-Rep.Robert Ehrlich to his rival in the governor's race four years ago, Kathleen Kennedy Townsend: under a peach tree on Baltimore County Councilman Joe Bartenfelder's pasture.

"In 20 years, my dog only got booed one time, and that was when she walked with Kathleen, the Dundalk parade with Kathleen," Crockett said. "I looked and her and said, 'Presh, I don't know about this.' But they didn't throw nothing." Criticized in some quarters for shifting political loyalties, Crockett has a new puppy, Precious II. She's working for Martin O'Malley. Says Crockett: "New dog, new governor."

Connect the dots

A letter to the editor in the East County Times says Baltimore County Councilman Vincent Gardina made an obscene gesture to sign - wavers for state Senate candidate Craig Borne as he passed by in his car - a county car with political bumper stickers on it. True? Gardina says he never made the gesture. He admits to having one sticker on the car, for himself. (The letter alleged both Gardina and Martin O'Malley stickers.)

Gardina said he has removed the sticker. ... Ehrlich's new TV ad features a newspaper headline from Jan. 20, 2005: "Ehrlich Plan ...Record Increase for Public Education." The article was written by The Sun's David Nitkin. Does this mean the ban is off? ... Martin O'Malley ran into a once and, maybe, future police chief at a Police Athletic League center in Northeast Baltimore yesterday. The mayor was asked to autograph the wall beneath his picture, The Sun's Doug Donovan reports. After doing so, he looked up and saw that the picture showed him with Kevin Clark, the fired police chief who is suing to get his job back and had a victory recently with the state's second-highest court. "Clark," O'Malley observed, running his

A Democrat working for - wait for it - Democrats

Michael Steele's Senate campaign is raising issues about a new Web site, www.TheReal-Steele.com. It shows a picture of the lieutenant governor waving with President Bush above the words: "The photo Steele forgot to post." The campaign points out that the site, paid for by the state Democratic Party,was designed by the same who guy did work for Senate candidate Ben Cardin. The political Web man in question? Ranald Stearns of the Chicago firm ArticulatedMan. Arthur Harris, a spokesman for the Maryland Democratic Party, says there was "no ethical problem" with using the same vendor, though they did not realize they had done so. "There is absolutely no collusion," he said. "They made a sales call to us over the winter. ...He's a mainstream Democratic Web vendor,who has 20, 30 clients. And he does a great job."But Steele campaign spokesman Doug Heyecalls it proof that Cardin and the state party arein cahoots: "It appears to be coordination withthe state party. They are clearly doing this at theexpense of other [Democratic] candidates who are serious about their election."

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