Military authorities will not allow Del. Anthony G. Brown (D-Prince George's), an Army reservist serving in Iraq, to give a videotaped address to the Maryland House of Delegates on Monday, according to W. Minor Carter, an Annapolis lawyer-lobbyist who has been in touch with Brown.
Brown recorded the speech in Baghdad last month after obtaining clearances from military authorities. The address, given in honor of George Washington, is part of the House's recognition of the Presidents' Day holiday.
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Carter said Brown recently learned that military authorities had ruled that the speech would violate a Defense Department directive issued last year that bars elected officials serving on active duty from engaging in certain political activities.
Brown was traveling in Jordan yesterday and could not be reached for comment.
Carter said the content of the speech was largely historical and based in part on a biography of Washington.
Defense Department Directive 1344, signed by Deputy Defense Secretary Paul D. Wolfowitz, says that members of the military on active duty shall not "exercise the functions of a civil office," which the directive says includes serving as an elected official in a state.