Monday, May 11, 2009

Melvin Perkins' law

Ace of Spades seems upset about this new Maryland law, extending hate crimes legislation to protect homeless people. It reminds me of Maryland's most famous homeless person.
In the 1970s, my house was part of the Maryland sixth congressional district. Our congressman, Democrat Goodloe Byron, died of a heart attack a month before the election. Who was the Republican opposing him? A homeless guy named Melvin Perkins.
Somehow, Perkins was the only person to put his name on the Republican side. Don't think anybody realized who he was until Byron died. The Democrats put Byron's wife Beverly on the ballot and she went on to serve 14 years in Congress. Not before Perkins got the bum's rush from Congress when he protested the election result.
Nowadays, would Maryland have to seat Perkins to avoid a hate crime?

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