Jeepers, that kid must've been thirsty

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January 14, 2007|By LAURA VOZZELLA

What's stronger: The nation's new Democratic leadership or the primal pull of tongue to metal?

No contest in Little Italy. Nancy Pelosi came back recently to celebrate her rise from rowhouse to the House. With her were current and former mayors of Baltimore, one of them Maryland's governor-elect. Two U.S. senators. The House majority leader. A bunch of U.S. reps. And one little boy who couldn't care less about Democratic comebacks or firsts for Womankind.

He turned his back on the whole lot to pursue something really interesting: licking raindrops off the metal barricade between the bigwigs and the crowd. He licked and licked and licked, while just steps away, the new speaker held forth on her humble roots. It went on as long as Associated Press reporter Alex Dominguez rolled tape - going on two minutes.

The boy, in a red, white and blue rugby shirt, was on the Pelosi side of the barricade, so presumably he's a relative. Probably a grandson, said family members, who promised they'd look at the video and let me know for sure. I never heard back.

The video was posted Friday at the (Easton) Star Democrat's Web site, www.stardem.com. Click on AP video. It's marked "raw video" and titled "Kid gets licks in on Pelosi."

Of `the' he sings

Maryland's U.S. Senate race is long over, but the Wig Man controversy is not dead yet. Daniel "The Wig Man" Vovak tells me he received a notice in the mail recently that the state's second-highest court will take up his appeal in May. He is suing over how his name appeared on the ballot in September's Republican primary.

Vovak lost the primary to Michael Steele - not because the lieutenant governor had big-time White House backing. Not because Vovak campaigned in a Colonial-style wig. No, Vovak surely lost because state elections officials insisted on listing him on the ballot as "Daniel `Wig Man' Vovak," instead of "Daniel `The Wig Man' Vovak."

Candidates can be identified by nicknames on the ballot if they sign an affidavit swearing that that's how they're generally known. But state election officials wouldn't let Vovak use the word "the." They thought that made it sound too much like an official title.

Election officials also maintained that Vovak sued them in the wrong venue. Never one to think small, the Rockville ghostwriter, who has also run for the presidency and for the U.S. Senate in Illinois, first filed in the U.S. Supreme Court.

Even though it's too late for the Senate race, Vovak figures he's due "massive punitive damages." He's also savoring the possibility that "a pro se Wig Man" could defeat Maryland election gurus. And he hopes the issue is settled - in his favor - before he runs for office again.

"I will be in front of a judge in May in Maryland, wearing my wig again, arguing that `the' is a valid nickname in the state of Maryland," Vovak said. "It's for the future."

Connect the dots

Declaring that "Blue is the New Red," next month's Vanity Fair runs a two-page collage of all 34 House freshmen. John Sarbanes appears with a nametag around his neck and a glazed, first-day-of-school look on his face. Who can blame him? The pictures were taken, the magazine said, at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, where the members were taking "crash courses on subjects like the budget, terrorism, and the environment." ... Who's marching in this week's inaugural parade? Police honor guards, firefighters, high school bands, a Native American group, a Chinese-American contingent and an Italian unit. No Irish step dancers for a governor-elect who bleeds green? "I don't know. All I know is the Italians will be represented," said Thomas Iacoboni, who has been lining up paisans for the parade. He sent out this message to the 1,000 people on his Italian e-mail list last week: "We need more Italians to march with us at the Governor's parade." ... This will not be a corporate casual parade, at least not in the unit Iacaboni is lining up. "Men should wear a coat and tie or a suit," his e-mail said. "Ladies please dress in business attire. A sash with Italian colors will be provided."

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