TGR: How Baltimore Media, Establishment Politicians Failed Baltimore in 2016 Citywide Election

By Doni Glover, Publisher
Unapologetically Black: Doni Glover Autobiography
The Doni Glover Show on WOLB 1010 AM (Thurs. 11a-12p)

(BALTIMORE – December 17, 2019) – Did Baltimore media fail the community in the 2016 citywide election by not doing a thorough background check, consequently giving Catherine Pugh a free pass to City Hall? Should Pugh have even been allowed to be mayor?

As early as February 2016, questions were raised by the Sun about illegal campaign donations to the Pugh camp in February 2016 surrounding two blocks in Little Italy. Somehow, though, there was no follow up and the story died.

In January 2017, Gary Brown was indicted for making $18,000 in illegal campaign contributions to the mayoral campaign chest of Catherine Elizabeth Pugh. Immediately following, the case was closed and business went on as usual.

Given the top-notch investigative journalists in Baltimore, not one answered the question that loomed in the air: Where did Brown get the money?

After Pugh’s recent indictment, it finally came out where at least $800,000 came from: sales of the “Healthy Holly” book. I am reminded that sales of the children’s book goes back years. I am also reminded that Pugh was a volunteer board member of the University of Maryland Medical System for 18 years when the term-limit is two 5-year terms (10 years). Yet, Pugh’s taxes and her UMMS tenure was not once questioned by investigative journalists in Baltimore who are often portrayed as the best of the best.

To the Baltimore Sun’s credit, one journalist there informed me that a Freedom of Information request was made of the Attorney General’s Office for more information on the illegal donations by Brown, but that request was denied. This means that state officials ignored the 800-pound gorilla in the room.

Pugh, who was a state Senator prior to becoming Mayor of Baltimore, had a lot of support out of Annapolis. Isn’t it interesting that no one in Annapolis raised any questions about her finances or her UMMS affiliation prior to the election?

It seems as though both the media and the Annapolis politicians turned a blind eye and failed to put Pugh under any scrutiny at all. And when questions were raised, they were swiftly dismissed.

As the 2016 election ensued, Pugh’s camp became known for imploring some dirty political methods, such as giving some 2,000 campaign workers – mostly Black people – promises of a job on Election Day, a chicken box, and a ride to the polls to vote during Early Voting. Incidentally, while Pugh got more votes that Dixon during Early Voting, Dixon interestingly won more votes than Pugh on Election Day 2016. Quite honestly, that alone should have raised flags because typically, the winner of Early Voting tends to win on Election Day as well.

While Pugh’s camp denies any wrongdoing, this strategy backfired on Election Day in Walbrook Junction at her West Baltimore field office when well over 1,000 people showed up looking for jobs. Most we turned away. A riot then ensued.

For me, the worst part of it all was that after Pugh and her cohorts in the Democratic establishment stole the election, she never returned to that same West Baltimore community to offer any kind of amends. I thought that was cruddy.

Well, three years later, it has become very clear that the failure of both the media and the Democratic establishment has helped put Baltimore in its current quagmire.

Prayerfully, a lesson has been learned by all – especially by the people who have to live here. Do not believe everything you see and hear in the media for it clearly has biases and flaws; and if you do not agree with one of their reports, write them and express your dismay. Further, be careful of those politicians you think you can blindly trust; instead, look at their track records, call them, visit them, engage them. Find out who your elected officials are and get to know them for yourself.

Also, use common sense. What officials in the City of Baltimore and the State of Maryland failed to address in a 2016 citywide election that was de-certified because of more than 1,800 voting irregularities, the Feds come along this year and use that same information to indict Pugh. The authorities were obviously aware of Pugh as early as 2016, but failed to do anything about it. Quite honestly, she should have never been Mayor.

A lot of people think that voting is enough. It is not. People have to get involved in the process, volunteer for campaigns, be a part of the community meetings, and a host of other activities that demonstrate a given community has a voice and will make it heard. That is what many of us forget. We have to be a part of the process of holding everyone accountable – from the media to the politicians to ourselves.

Baltimore didn’t get broken overnight, however, there are some fundamental things we all can do to help get this city back on track. It could be as simple as sweeping one’s front. We might be surprised how quickly something so simple can be a useful tool to helping make Baltimore, once again, the Greatest City in America!  At the same time, we cannot allow the media and local politicians alone shape our political ideology because that is extremely dangerous.

WE TOLD YOU SO consistently raised questions and presented all of the above facts, but not everyone got the memo. Had more listened, Baltimore might very well not be in the leaderless condition it is in today – plagued with uneven development, rampant crime, and a disaster-ridden state of under-education.