MoCo County Executive Doug Duncan has closed ranks around his pro-highway buddies; just about all of the local politicians that aren’t “neutral” are supporting his bid for the Democratic gubenatorial nomination.
This time, most Montgomery Democrats are supporting Duncan, but there is a noticeable divide on the County Council.
Although no Democratic council member has publicly endorsed O’Malley, three are neutral, which says a lot about their relationship with the county executive.
And, perhaps not surprisingly, the split on the council has its roots in the 2002 election.
The five council members backing Duncan — at-large members Steven A. Silverma n , Nancy Floreen , George L. Leventhal and Michael L. Subin and district member Michael Knapp (Upcounty) — were all members of his End Gridlock slate in 2002.
Duncan spent several hundred thousand dollars to help elect the slate, whose members all support the proposed intercounty connector highway.
The three Democratic council members who oppose the project– Council President Tom Pere z (Silver Spring) and district members Phil Andrews (Gaithersburg) and Marilyn Praisner (Eastern County) — are neutral in the 2006 race.
Since the 2002 vote, those three have generally advocated a more restrained policy on growth and development than the positions taken by Duncan and the End Gridlock team.
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Lorrie Heasley, of Woodland, Wash., was asked to leave her flight from Los Angeles to Portland, Ore., Tuesday for wearing a T-shirt with pictures of President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and a phrase similar to the popular film title “Meet the Fockers.”
A spokesman for Southwest Airlines said that the airline used “common sense” when they escorted Heasley from the plane in Reno, Nevada, during a stopover between Los Angeles and Portland, Ore. The airline felt that the T-shirt was offensive, the spokeswoman said, adding that the incident is about “decency.”
But Heasley was outraged;
I have cousins in Iraq and other relatives going to war. Here we are trying to free another country and I have to get off an airplane in midflight over a T-shirt. That’s not freedom.
A Southwest spokeswoman claimed that the airline’s contract with the Federal Aviation Administration contains rules that say the airline will deny boarding to any customer whose conduct is offensive, abusive, disorderly or violent or for clothing that is “lewd, obscene, or patently offensive.” However, FAA spokesman Donn Walker said that no federal rules exist on the subject.
Heasley is threatening to sue Southwest to reimburse her and her husband for the last leg of their trip and pay for her gasoline, a $68 rental car from Avis and a $70 hotel bill.
Local Traffic Clogs Md., Va. Interstates Far From D.C.
Funny how they (WaPo) refuse — just refuse — to mention dedicated mass transit lanes as the one method that can be used to reduce the number of people affected by the traffic jams. This wouldn’t have anything to do with all of the money that developers give them, would it?
Transportation experts said no amount of road construction will fix the problem. [emphasis added by me] “It’s a fairly common phenomenon in rapidly suburbanizing areas,” said Hani S. Mahmassani, director of the Maryland Transportation Initiative at the University of Maryland. He said the only real solution is that the “areas really need to try to control growth.”
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Selina Jarvis, the chair of the social studies department at Currituck County High School in North Carolina, assigned her senior civics and economics class to take photographs to illustrate their rights in the Bill of Rights.
One student took a photo of George Bush out of a magazine and tacked the picture to a wall with a red thumb tack through his head. Then he made a thumb’s down sign with his own hand next to the President’s picture, and he had a photo taken of that, and he pasted it on a poster.
When he had the film developed at the Kitty Hawk Wal-Mart, an employee in that Wal-Mart photo department called the Kitty Hawk police on the student. And the Kitty Hawk police turned the matter over to the Secret Service.
On Tuesday, September 20, the Secret Service came to Currituck High. Jarvis relates;
At 1:35, the student came to me and told me that the Secret Service had taken his poster. I didn’t believe him at first. But they had come into my room when I wasn’t there and had taken his poster, which was in a stack with all the others. [The student] was nervous, he was scared, and his parents were out of town on business.
Halfway through my afternoon class, the assistant principal got me out of class and took me to the office conference room. Two men from the Secret Service were there. They asked me what I knew about the student. I told them he was a great kid, that he was in the homecoming court, and that he’d never been in any trouble.
They asked me, didn’t I think that it was suspicious. I said no, it was a Bill of Rights project!
At the end of the meeting, they told her the incident “would be interpreted by the U.S. attorney, who would decide whether the student could be indicted,” she says.
The Secret Service did not persue the case any further. Nonetheless, it’s more than a little disconcerting that a picture of George Bush and a hand can get you a visit from the Feds.
I have to admit that when I wrote the blurb for this post, I first wrote “Secret Police” instead of “Secret Service,” and it took me a minute to realize my mistake. Freudian slip, I guess.