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Inventing the Purple Line


It could go down as an Al Gore moment.

During a gubernatorial candidates's forum today, Montgomery County Executive Douglas M. Duncan apparently got a little carried away in talking about his support for the Purple Line, a proposed light rail link between Bethesda and New Carrollton.

"I'm the guy who coined the phrase 'Purple Line," Duncan said told the Greater Washington Board of Trade, which also heard today from Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley, Duncan's Democratic rival.

A Nexis-Lexis search yielded a 1994 reference to the term, attributing it to Metro's chief architect at the time.

Last night, Duncan spokeswoman Jody Couser acknowledged that Duncan "misspoke."

"Doug has been the leading advocate for the Purple Line, pushing to bring it from the conceptual stage to a real project with actual funding," she said.

Yesterday's forum was far from perfect for O'Malley: Duncan openly questioned the mayor's support for the intercounty connector and O'Malley was vague about other transportation priorites for Montgomery County.

Duncan, coincidentally, is scheduled to appear with Gore today at a film festival in Silver Spring.

Among the many things for which the former vice president is remembered is a 1999 interview in which he claimed: "During my service in the United States Congress, I took the initiative in creating the Internet."

By John Wagner  |  June 15, 2006; 6:11 AM ET
Categories:  Governor  
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