State Delegate Jon Cardin arranged for police -- actual police, not the male strippers regular nobodies would have to hire -- to board his friend's boat in Inner Harbor, pretend to search for contraband and act like they were going to cuff Cardin's girlfriend before he interrupted with his proposal. He even had a police helicopter fly over to help sell the staged raid. Maybe not the height of romance, but it beats flashing "Will you marry me?" across the scoreboard at an Orioles game, right ladies?
Well, word got out, because Cardin bragged about how clever he is, and many people -- taxpaying people -- weren't amused. Controversy brewed. Cardin paid -- and apologized over and over.
Anthony Guglielmi, of the Baltimore Police Department, said the Aug. 7 performance cost $300 based on chopper fuel and 15 minutes of the participating officers' pay. Last week, Cardin reimbursed the department for that amount. He also made a donation to the department's mounted police unit.
In an e-mail Wednesday, he said the donation was for $1,000, the Associated Press reported.
So he's up to $1,300 in proposal and image repair fees. Because two months' salary and simply saying the words "Will you marry me?" -- like "I love you" -- just doesn't suffice anymore. At least the nephew of U.S. Sen. Ben Cardin is making a name for himself.
A Baltimore Community Foundation spokeswoman confirmed Cardin's donation, but declined to reveal the amount.
An internal police investigation is ongoing, the AP reported, so this likely won't be the last word on this blunder. Can't wait to find out who the friend who owned the boat is.