Buzz Over Brown's Shot at U.S. Cabinet Post No Surprise to O'Malley
Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley yesterday acknowledged speculation that Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown (D) is under consideration for a Cabinet post in the Obama administration, saying the former Prince George's delegate has been "a tremendous partner to me in guiding our state forward."
Brown's name has surfaced in several news reports as a possible secretary of veterans affairs, including an account Friday in the Navy Times. That publication said Brown's name was "hotly circulating" among advisers to President-elect Barack Obama.
"Given his talents, his military service, and his abilities, it is natural that people would speculate about the possibility of the Lieutenant Governor being Secretary of Veterans Affairs in the Obama Administration," O'Malley (D) said in a statement issued yesterday morning.
Brown, 47, is a colonel in the Army Reserve and an Iraq war veteran. He was a classmate of Obama's at Harvard Law School but was an early supporter of the presidential bid of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.).
Brown is already playing a role in Obama's transition as co-chairman of a group reviewing the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Other names reportedly under consideration for the secretary's job are former Sen. Max Cleland (D-Ga.), 67, a former head of Veterans Affairs in the Carter administration and Vietnam veteran who lost both legs and an arm in that war, and Tammy Duckworth, 41, an Iraq war veteran who lost both legs when her helicopter was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade. Duckworth is director of the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs.
Brown and a spokesman have deflected questions about his prospects as secretary in recent days, saying he is focused on his work as lieutenant governor and for the Obama transition.
-- John Wagner
Teachers Group Fires Off String of Funding Ads
With a session of budget cuts looming in the Maryland General Assembly, the state's leading teachers lobby sought last week to fire a preemptive strike through a blitz of television and Web ads.
In messages targeted at lawmakers, the Maryland State Teachers Association argued that the state "can't turn the clock back" on education funding.