Law­mak­ers score with pop-ups, TMI

The Washington Times Daily - - Metro -

Virginia leg­is­la­tors took time from wrap­ping up the peo­ple’s busi­ness on Fri­day, the penul­ti­mate day of the 2012 Gen­eral Assem­bly ses­sion, to par­tic­i­pate in the an­nual “Sen­si­tiv­ity Cau­cus Awards Day,” fa­cil­i­tated by Del­e­gates Terry G. Kil­gore, Scott Re­pub­li­can, and R. Steven Lan­des, Au­gusta Re­pub­li­can.

Del­e­gate Joseph D. “Fightin’ Joe” Mor­ris­sey, Hen­rico Demo­crat, won the “pop-up” award for ris­ing to speak more than 50 times on bills dur­ing the ses­sion.

“Your num­ber has been re­tired. You’re in the hall of fame,” Mr. Kil­gore re­as­sured him. “There is hope for the rest of us.”

Mr. Mor­ris­sey, though, then turned the ta­bles, an­nounc­ing that he would present the first an­nual “TMI award,” prompt­ing an “uh-oh” from House Speaker Wil­liam J. How­ell, Stafford Re­pub­li­can.

The award, not sur­pris­ingly, went to Del­e­gate David B. Albo, Fair­fax Re­pub­li­can, whose tale of how ro­manc­ing his wife went awry when he flipped his tele­vi­sion from the Washington Red­skins chan­nel to a de­bate about con­tro­ver­sial abor­tion leg­is­la­tion al­most in­stantly went vi­ral.

Mr. Albo was pre­sented with a poster fea­tur­ing his face su­per­im­posed on the fig­ure of a Red­skins player wear­ing No. 21.

“What’s re­ally nice about that is it’s got his IQ on the jer­sey, too,” quipped Mr. How­ell be­fore quickly adding, “I was just kid­ding about that.”

An­swer­ing pray­ers

Many peo­ple have long con­sid­ered Mary­land Se­nate Pres­i­dent Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. to be the state’s most pow­er­ful law­maker, but no one knew he was this pow­er­ful.

Dur­ing Se­nate pro­ceed­ings last week, the Prince Ge­orge’s Demo­crat told mem­bers that Sen. Delores G. Kel­ley had taken a mi­nor fall that morn­ing and was not ex­pected to join them that day in An­napo­lis.

“She’s go­ing to miss the ses­sion to­day, but we’ll re­mem­ber her in our pray­ers,” Mr. Miller said.

Ap­par­ently, Mr. Miller has a di­rect line to the man up­stairs — and we don’t mean Gov. Martin O’mal­ley whose of­fice is on the sec­ond floor of the State House — be­cause within min­utes Ms. Kel­ley, Bal­ti­more County Demo­crat, strolled into the cham­ber and took her seat to the ap­plause and sur­prise of Se­nate mem­bers.

The sur­prise soon turned to laugh­ter through­out the cham­ber.

“I was just telling peo­ple to pray for you, and like Lazarus here she comes,” Mr. Miller said. “Pray­ers work!”

No word on whether Mr. O’mal­ley has asked the Se­nate pres­i­dent to put in a good word for his off­shore-wind bill or ail­ing gas-tax pro­posal.

Walk it off

The D.C. Coun­cil is try­ing to be healthy these days.

Lo­cal stu­dents brought city law­mak­ers a nu­tri­tious morn­ing meal to tout the city’s top-rated school break­fast pro­gram, and now coun­cil Chair­man Kwame R. Brown said fit­ness op­tions may ex­pand at the John A. Wil­son Build­ing.

Ahead of Tues­day’s leg­isla­tive meet­ing, Mr. Brown said un­used space in the build­ing will soon be oc­cu­pied by two do­nated, used tread­mills for use by city em­ploy­ees. Ex­er­cise is im­por­tant, af­ter all, but the chair­man — cog­nizant of the lo­cal me­dia’s abil­ity to stretch a good yarn, es­pe­cially when it comes to spend­ing dur­ing a chal­leng­ing bud­get sea­son — wanted to make sure ev­ery­one un­der­stood the mod­est of­fer­ing.”not a su­per gym, not a Gold’s Gym,” Mr. Brown said. “We’re talk­ing about two tread­mills in a room — a tread­mill room.”

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