Saturday, March 26, 2005


You have to love Maryland. Not only do we have crabs, we have a crabby Gov, Bobby Ehrlich. (A friend of mine rates his totalitarian tendencies by how far up his sideburns go. At the moment, they are near the top of his ear. He hasn’t got much room to go.) Bob is involved in a scandal. From the State that brought you Spiro Agnew and Marvin Mandel, we now have BobbyGate. I will try and recapitulate this juicy tale, if I can.

First of all, we had a dramatic show and tell by Martin O’Malley, the mayor of Baltimore on 10 February:
“For months now "it" has hovered in the shadows of Baltimore politics, emerging occasionally on partisan radio shows or in questioning calls from constituents, a frustratingly persistent annoyance for supporters of Mayor Martin O'Malley and his staff.

Until yesterday morning, when the mayor, standing in front of City Hall before rows of reporters and some of those staff, finally denounced "it," the longstanding rumors that he had been unfaithful to his wife………..

The news had broken that a campaign operative of Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. resigned his state job yesterday after admitting he had posted the rumors about O'Malley's marriage on a conservative Web site.”
This guy is named Joseph Steffen and , though denied by our Gov, was a close ally (see picture above). His major job was to slice out state employees who didn’t buss the behind of the Gov:
“A month and a half ago, one of Gov. Robert Ehrlich’s employees, nominally appointed to be the spokesman for the Maryland Insurance Administration, resigned after the discovery that he had been propagating rumors about the state of the marriage of Mayor Martin O’Malley, the front-runner in the race to unseat Ehrlich in the 2006 election. Joseph Steffen, who claimed that no lesser a personage than the governor himself dubbed him the “Prince Of Darkness,” moved seamlessly through the offices of state government, leaving behind a trail of pink slips.

Steffen was one of Ehrlich’s original political hires, having worked for the governor back when Ehrlich was one of the bright-eyed boys of Newt Gingrich’s so-called “Republican revolution” in 1994, when the GOP took control of the House of Representatives back from the Democrats for the first time in 40 years. This would make Steffen one of a very small number of people who know Ehrlich well, and vice versa. That Steffen e-mailed the governor’s wife for advice and counsel should he get into trouble is not that hard to conceive.”
This guy Steffen is reminiscent of the unsavory types that Richard Nixon employed to do his nasty work (and who wound up in jail). (Unfortunately, they are like vampires and seem to be able to come back from the dead, c.f. G. Gordon Liddy who is now a right wing code talker.)

The plot thickens and thickens. Now we have a nurse who was, at one time, the executive planning director at the Department of Human Resources, who who was fired in June, probably because she rocked the boat, coming forward with unsavory eMail’s from this slimy guy.
Lane wrote the governor that she would release more damaging messages between her and Steffen - the first few were the "tip of the iceberg," she said - if the governor and his staff did not stop trying to implicate her in how the Steffen story wound up in The Washington Post and later in other news outlets. She said she was the subject of a "whisper campaign."

Ehrlich doesn’t cut himself any breaks. He stonewalls and accuses people, like Lane, of blackmail. Just like Richard Nixon. I wonder if the Republicans are against stem cell research because they have already cloned Tricky Dick?

Molly Ivins frequently talks about the politics in Texas. I know that Tom Delay is from Texas, but I think that we have all the fixin’s for a big broughaha right here in Bay City.

Stay Tuned.

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