At this point, it's all just leftovers


September 06, 2006|By LAURA VOZZELLA

After John Giannetti performed the Heimlich maneuver on Jim Rosapepe, we all wondered if the bitter political rivals would lose their lust for each other's jugular. Not to worry.

"I SAVED HIS LIFE, and this is the thanks I get!" reads a Giannetti flier, which shows the state senator splattered with mud. "A few months ago, while my opponent was having dinner with lobbyists, I had to perform the Heimlich maneuver to rescue him from choking on lobster. Even if he isn't grateful, he still shouldn't attack me this way."

The flier goes on to detail several of Rosapepe's alleged political attacks. Among the more colorful: "Jim has outrageously compared my Leadership Academy to Michael Jackson's Neverland Ranch."

Really? Rosapepe said he never said any such thing. It was Del. Barbara Frush, he pointed out, who told The Gazette: "I'm not sure any politician should be inviting high school children to a pajama party." (The academy was going to have an "overnight orientation," the paper said.)

But back to the lobster-and-lobbyist part. Giannetti choked over dinner with Del. Sheila Hixson and Timothy Maloney, a former delegate who works as a lawyer. Neither is lobbyist. As for the lobster, most news reports at the time said Rosapepe choked on a piece of unspecified fish from his seafood fra diavolo. In an interview with the Laurel Leader, however, Giannetti said he thought it was a piece of chicken.

Evidently, Giannetti decided lobster - one ingredient in Maria's Sicilian Ristorante and Cafe's fra diavolo, server Dax Jensen assured me - packed more political punch.

Rosapepe said it was some sort of seafood, but couldn't confirm or deny if it was lobster.

"I didn't do the DNA on it," he said. "Reliving one's meals is not one of the greatest ways to spend time. I prefer to move on to the next meal."

Prissy but masculine? Odd combination

Just after he aired an ad saying, "I never meant to offend anyone," William Donald Schaefer described Janet Owens this way to NewsChannel 8 and The Washington Post:

"That little prissy miss," who wears "long dresses, looks like Mother Hubbard - it's sort of like she was a man."

No one expected to Schaefer to hold his tongue, but this is news for one of two reasons:

A) Maryland's most practiced political insulter seems to be losing his touch, calling his Democratic rival both "prissy" and "a man."

Or B) Mother Hubbard has been outed as a cross-dresser.

Schaefer's campaign declined to elaborate.

Owens issued a statement calling the comment "coarse and insulting."

Insulting to Owens - and Mother Hubbard. There goes the poor dog vote.

The Wig Man insists on his dignity

Blame the White House fundraising machine all you want. But if Daniel Vovak doesn't succeed in beating Michael Steele in Tuesday's primary, the real reason will be the missing "the."

An Anne Arundel County Circuit Court judge dismissed Vovak's lawsuit yesterday. That means his name will appear on the ballot as "Daniel `Wig Man' Vovak," not "Daniel `The Wig Man' Vovak," as the Republican U.S. Senate hopeful had wanted.

State elections officials allow candidates to be identified by nicknames if they sign an affidavit swearing that that's how they're generally known. They didn't blink at identifying Vovak, who campaigns in a white Colonial-style periwig, as "Wig Man."

But elections officials said the word "the" made the nickname sound too much like an official title. They also complained that Vovak sued in the wrong court.

Vovak said he will probably appeal.

"I believe `Wig Man' sounds flip," he said.

Connect the dots

Charlestown, the Catonsville retirement community, takes the early-bird special to a new level Friday: "Las Vegas Night with Sinatra" begins at 2 p.m. ... Allan Lichtman hitches his wagon to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton on billboards. "Two Winners. Allan Lichtman U.S. Senate 2006. Hillary Clinton 2008." Clinton hasn't endorsed the American University professor. ... Lichtman does have one big-name Democrat in his corner: George McGovern. The former presidential candidate will play master of ceremonies tonight at a special, fundraising performance of The Capitol Steps in North Bethesda. Will the political satirists have their way with Lichtman's debate-night dramatics?

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