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The Nose

Right Hand, Meet Left Hand

Posted 4/10/2002

The curious nature of political animals also brings Mayor Martin O'Malley to the Nose's mind. At a March 27 Board of Estimates meeting, the mayor--hackles raised at the American Civil Liberties Union over a federal-court ruling that the city must pay $1.1 million of the legal fees the ACLU accrued during its years-long battle with the city over public-housing discrimination--blasted the civil-liberties group as a bunch of "elitist, liberal arrogant lawyers" whom Hizzoner suggested should lose sleep over taking the city's money. Only a week or so earlier, O'Malley apparently had a more benign opinion of the organization, whose praises he sang in a March 19 letter to Dwight Sullivan, managing attorney of the ACLU's Baltimore office. "It is with your help, and that of other business and community leaders, that we have achieved such astounding success over past years," the letter cooed.Why so nice? Well, the letter was from Friends of Martin O'Malley, the mayor's campaign organization, asking Sullivan to chip in $250 or $1,000 for tickets to a fund-raiser. O'Malley might think of the ACLU's legal fees as blood money, but when it comes to priming the pump for his possible gubernatorial run, evidently he's not above asking a bunch of "elitist, liberal arrogant lawyers" to send some action his way.

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