No objections raised as Judge O'Malley appears before Md. Senate panel
The Maryland Senate panel charged with evaluating the fitness of the governor's nominees tends to treat most who come before it pretty gently. On Monday, it made no exception for the governor's wife.
Members of the Executive Nominations Committee had nothing but kind words for Catherine Curran O'Malley as she appeared for consideration to a second 10-year term as a district court judge in Baltimore.
Sen. Dolores G. Kelley (D-Baltimore County), the panel's chairwoman, noted that the committee "might be concerned" about the first lady's nomination by her husband, Gov. Martin O'Malley (D), if not for the fact that a previous governor, Parris N. Glendening (D), first successfully put her name forward for the job 10 years ago.
"I look forward to you going forward on the bench," Kelley said.
Sen. Nathaniel J. McFadden (D-Baltimore), who represents the area where the O'Malleys lived in Baltimore before moving to Annapolis, formally introduced the first lady to the committee, saying hers was "a wonderful appointment because of her expertise."
No one offered a dissenting opinion.
Still, the nomination has generated some controversy. On Saturday, Alex X. Mooney, the Maryland Republican Party chairman, cited it as a part of an alleged pattern of nepotism under O'Malley. Mooney's swipe was prompted by the election of Peter O'Malley, the governor's brother and a well-established political operative, as chairman of the Maryland Democratic Party.
In brief remarks to the Senate committee Monday, Judge O'Malley made mention of the controversy and reminded the panel of her appointment 10 years ago by Glendening.
"This is really not a nepotism sort of appointment at all," she said.
The full Senate is expected to approve her nomination later this week.
| March 7, 2011; 6:49 PM ET
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