View of the Dem primary

A GOP

September 14, 2007|By LAURA VOZZELLA

Bob Ehrlich isn't a big fan of Democrats or Baltimore, but there he was Tuesday night, doing commentary for Fox 45 on the city's Democratic primary.

Why did the station go with the ex-Gov?

"Other stations have used former politicians as their election night analysts, Governor Schaefer, Kweisi Mfume," said Fox news director Scott Livingston. "We certainly weren't breaking new ground here. ... You have the typical rhetoric on election night. Here is someone who can offer a unique analysis. That makes good television."

Not to mention good politics, since Ehrlich's nemesis, Martin O'Malley, backed the night's two big winners: Mayor Sheila Dixon and City Council President Stephanie Rawlings-Blake.

I'm told Ehrlich wished both women good luck tackling all the problems that others -- he didn't name names; that's "not class" -- had failed to solve.

More Ehrlich TV could be on the way

Even before Ehrlich's Fox 45 appearance, Maryland Dems have been annoyed, alarmed even, by the Republican ex-Gov's still-high profile -- hosting a regular radio show, keeping his campaign office open, signing autographs at the state fair.

And now this: word that Ehrlich has been talking with WMAR-TV about a regular gig on that station.

No one at the station or in Ehrlich's office would confirm it, but I have it on good authority that they've talked on and off for months. I'm told no deal has been struck and there hasn't been much talk about it for the past month or so, but it's still a possibility.

Ehrlich spokesman Henry Fawell said: "There's a high demand for him."

O'Malley spokesman Rick Abbruzzese said: "No comment."

departedwebsites.com

Just as thesunlies.com folded up its tent after the governor's race last year, truthaboutdixon.com seems to have packed it in.

The Web site, which alternately regurgitated Sun stories about Mayor Dixon's alleged misdoings, and railed against the paper's purported pro-Dixon bias, hasn't been updated since Tuesday's primary election.

None of Dixon's rivals ever admitted to being behind the site, which carried this mock disclosure: "Paid for and created by Baltimore citizens who fear four years of Dixon."

Maybe the site could keep going as a watchdog, a la omalleywatch.com. But why bother with that, unless there's somebody out there who is already bent on running against Dixon four years from now?

Bob Kaufman, how 'bout it?

Friend of the candidate's brother

Another surprising Primary Day appearance: Bruce Bereano worked the polls in East Baltimore for City Council candidate Warren Branch, who, at last count, beat incumbent Vernon Crider by 48 votes. The Annapolis lobbyist said he's a good friend of Branch's brother, Del. Talmadge Branch.

"I've always believed, I don't say this conceitedly, you work a poll properly, you can get votes," Bereano said. "You see someone parking their car half a block away, you walk over to them so you get there first. So you walk with them and get some good quality time before they hit the phalanx."

Did anybody at that East Baltimore elementary know who Bereano was? (He was in the news more than a decade ago for a mail fraud conviction and remains one of Annapolis' best-known lobbyists.)

"Nobody," Bereano said with a laugh, "which is fine with me."

Twice blessed

During grand-opening ceremonies the other day for the new world headquarters of Catholic Relief Services (in the former Stewart's department store on Howard Street), Cardinal William Keeler led employees and guests in a prayer and blessed the building by sprinkling holy water.

Touring the building after the formal ceremonies, Keeler paused in a chapel on the third floor and sprinkled it with holy water, too, as if for extra measure.

The Sun's Ed Gunts asked whether the chapel needed a separate blessing before it could be placed in use. His Eminence explained that his earlier action would have been enough.

"I blessed the whole building" the first time, Keeler said. So even without the extra blessing, he said, the chapel was "good to go."

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