Miller Dings Oaks on Senate Floor, to Roars of Laughter

By William F. Zorzi

Heavy is the head that wears the crown.

Just ask Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D-Calvert), who volunteered as much Wednesday, after a particularly punishing three-hour floor session.

From the rostrum, Miller thanked the committees for working hard into the night before, in order to move legislation to the floor.

“You know, I gotta fill in for you guys tonight,” he said. “There are like three or four events [where] people need you to stop by. Like Morgan University. I was there last night. Nobody was there, ‘cause the committees were working hard. You know.”

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Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr.

Pointing to individual senators, he joked, “You know, you weren’t there, you weren’t there.”

Continuing, Miller said, “I mean, I was there carrying on for the two committees.”

“I was there,” came a voice from the back of the Senate chamber.

Sen. Nathaniel T. Oaks, the West Baltimore Democrat, piped up.

“You got there late, Senator,” Miller said.

Laughter broke out all over.

“But I was there,” Oaks said. “I was there before it was over.”

“I know, I know,” Miller said, above the laughs. “You weren’t in committee. You weren’t there, either. I mean, whatever.”

“Wooooooooo,” erupted collectively from senators, coupled with roars of laughter.

“All right, that’s enough,” Miller said, laughing himself.

The reason for the grins was Miller had stripped Oaks of his committee assignment last month at the recommendation of the Joint Committee on Legislative Ethics because Oaks is currently under indictment in a federal public corruption case.

“Anything else for the good of the order?” Miller asked.

No response.

And with that, after a quorum call, the Senate of Maryland adjourned until 10 a.m. Thursday.

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