- The Washington Times - Sunday, July 13, 2003

• Now there are five

Attorney Anton J.S. Keating has dropped out of the Democratic mayoral primary in Baltimore, cutting the number of challengers to Mayor Martin J. O’Malley to five.

Mr. Keating, 59, said Tuesday that he failed to generate enough interest to warrant a campaign.

“I’ve been unable to light any fires under anybody,” said Mr. Keating, who lost a bid last year for state’s attorney. “It made no sense to waste my summer.”

The remaining challengers to Mr. O’Malley are Andrey Bundley, 42, principal of the city’s Walbrook High Uniform Services Academy; Marvin Ray Jones, 55; A. Robert Kaufman, 72, a socialist activist; Charles U. Smith, 53, a one-time candidate for Congress; and Dominque Stevenson, 38, co-director of a social justice center.

Last month, Carl Stokes, a former City Council and school board member, declined to run for mayor, opting to run for the council presidency. State Sen. Joan Carter Conway, State’s Attorney Patricia C. Jessamy and city Comptroller Joan Pratt also decided against mayoral bids.

The primary is Sept. 9.

• Open up

The Virginia House of Delegates’ most vocal author of open-government legislation asked Attorney General Jerry W. Kilgore and House Speaker William J. Howell to make the legislature’s daily partisan strategy briefings public.

Delegate Clifton A. “Chip” Woodrum, Roanoke Democrat, on Wednesday sent letters challenging the leaders to have the Democratic and Republican caucus meetings opened.

Mr. Woodrum’s letter came a day after Mr. Kilgore and Mr. Howell denounced plans to hold the first gathering of a new legislative panel established to reform Virginia’s tax laws behind closed doors Thursday.

The meeting at the Executive Mansion with Gov. Mark Warner was opened to the public after protests from news organizations, open-government and civil liberties advocates and elected officials, particularly Mr. Howell and Mr. Kilgore.

“How better to show that you do trust the people by deed as well as by word [than] by publicly declaring your support for open caucuses and supporting an amendment to the House Rules to require it?” Mr. Woodrum asked in his letter to Mr. Howell.

• Democrats’ new man

Maryland’s Democratic Party has hired Josh White as its new executive director.

Mr. White is a political consultant and former aide to Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr.

He worked for Mr. Miller as a campaign aide and later as a field representative for a national campaign committee chaired by the senator that is the subject of FBI probes in Maryland and Wisconsin.

• Let them in

Virginia shouldn’t put the Capitol off limits to tourists making unscheduled visits when the nation raises its terrorism alert from Code Yellow to Code Orange, Delegate H. Morgan Griffith said last week.

Other lawmakers, however, differed with Mr. Griffith, saying that legislators aren’t security experts and ought not be casually countermanding safeguards put in place by people who are.

Mr. Griffith, Salem Republican and a persistent critic of many of the restrictions placed on access to the Capitol and other key state government buildings since the September 11 terrorist attacks, complained that Memorial Day vacationers who wanted to tour the Capitol found it locked.

“I don’t think we can allow terrorists to shut down the seat of government,” Mr. Griffith said.

Sen. Malfourd W. “Bo” Trumbo said the safety of lawmakers and of the legislative and gubernatorial staffs who work in the Capitol and General Assembly Building all year had to be weighed against the unfettered access people had to the Capitol just two years ago.

“The concern I have is we’re placing ourselves in the position of being experts on this,” said Mr. Trumbo, Botetourt County Republican.

• New to school board

The D.C. Council has approved Carrie Thornhill and Robin Martin as new members of the Board of Education. They were appointed in January by Mayor Anthony A. Williams to fill the posts vacated by Charles Lawrence and Roger Wilkins.

Mr. Lawrence, a law professor at Georgetown University, said he was upset with Mr. Williams’ “deliberate” evasiveness regarding his renomination. After several failed attempts to meet with the mayor, Mr. Lawrence concluded he was not a candidate for reappointment.

Mr. Wilkins, a professor at George Mason University, removed himself from contention to protest the treatment Mr. Lawrence received.

Mrs. Thornhill is vice president for youth investment and community outreach for D.C. Agenda, a nonprofit civic organization that supports community leadership and development in the District..

She has a long history in developing public-private partnerships in the city for education. And she has been an activist for community change in the District for more than 40 years.

Mr. Martin, 54, is vice chairman of the Smithsonian’s Museum of Natural History and chairman emeritus of the Corcoran Gallery of Art.

He also serves as a trustee of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y. He has been a member of the Federal City Council and of the Commission of the Smithsonian’s Museum of African Art.

Staff writer Brian DeBose and the Associated Press contributed to this column.

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