Thursday, February 10, 2011

Maryland Democrat a Tea Party member for one day, then resigns

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Del. Curt Anderson, leader of the all-Democrat Baltimore delegation, abruptly resigned from the new House tea party caucus this morning, a day after he made news by becoming the vice chairman of the otherwise Republican group.

Fellow city delegates lashed out at Anderson in an emergency delegation meeting this morning, telling him he had "embarrassed" and "hurt" them. Anderson will remain chairman of the delegation, though several colleagues warned they wanted him out in the long run.

Anderson said he was stunned by the reaction -- from constituents and fellow lawmakers alike -- to his short-lived time in the tea party, a caucus he said he joined because of a shared interest with its conservative members in reducing the size of government and avoiding taxes.

"It's almost like I joined the Ku Klux Klan," he said. He said he told tea party chairman Del. Mike Smigiel, an Eastern Shore Republican, this morning that he was resigning.