Monday, November 22, 2010

Flintstone's Folly

So, while the 2010 elections are over, the political silly season continues.

In the weeks since the gubernatorial campaign ended, I have had conversations with people who worked to varying degrees on Team Ehrlich’s effort. They shared their insights on how the campaign functioned – or failed to function. And, they shared various comments and criticisms they heard some of the campaign’s senior leaders make about my blogging activities as well as me personally.

Among my favorite morsels: That I had “changed my name,” implying some sinister attempt at deception or concealment of my past on my part.

For the record, this is absolutely false. I have never made any attempt to change my name. What I did do, however, is change the suffix of my name, for reasons I will now explain.

My grandfather was named Richard Joseph Cross (1893 – 1961).

His son, my father, was named Richard Joseph Cross, Jr. (1922 –1996).

When I was born, my parents named me Richard Joseph Cross, Jr. Because my grandfather had passed away, my father assumed the “senior” and “junior” titles unofficially passed to him and me, respectively. But, as far as our birth certificates were concerned, we were both named “Richard Joseph Cross, Jr.”

When I graduated from high school, I decided I wanted to use “Richard Joseph Cross, III” on my diploma and in my daily life. It was, after all, my correct name. And, using it preserved the possibility of a “Richard Joseph Cross, IV” one day.

But, my driver’s license still said “Jr.” because that's what my birth certificate said when I obtained my license. This became a source of irritation to me. For example, as my bank account was under “III,” on at least two occasions bank tellers would not give me access to my own bank funds because of the Jr./III disparity.

So, I decided to have the suffix of my name legally changed from “Jr.” to “III” once and for all.

I was unable to do this administratively, so my parents hired a lawyer - ironically, Norman Stone III, son of state Senator Norman Stone, Jr. - who filed the proper paperwork with the Circuit Court of Baltimore County. On July 5th, 1995, the court approved the change. I presented the court order to the proper authorities, and they went into my original birth certificate and literally crossed out “Jr.” and typed in “III” next to it. I then used the amended birth certificate to have all my records – including my bank account, my driver’s license, and my passport – brought current.

Further, I should mention that, while all this was going on, I was serving as press secretary to then-Congressman Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr. I explained it to Steve Kreseski, Ehrlich’s Chief of Staff, who recognized it as the non-issue it was.

So, sorry to bore you with so many details about my family tree. I just felt like I needed to get the facts out there, as it appears that this has been the focus of a whispering campaign intended to portray this as something it was not.

Chalk it up to faulty Flintstone forensics, I guess.

Now that the campaign is over, I hope certain people will cease researching their critics and focus on more constructive activities. Like brushing up their resumes.

By the way…guys, I’m good at that kind of thing. I do it for people all the time. Let me know if you need my help.


  1. I guess those on leave of absenses from their jobs have nothing better to do. Especially those who are not licensed to practice law in Maryland.

  2. Maybe they'll start a whispering campaign about how I was born with a double hernia. Or, that I never learned how to ride a bike. Or that I don't like blue jeans. Sinister stuff all.