(BALTIMORE – March 13, 2020) – I think a lot of times, would-be politicians and the mainstream media take the Black vote for granted. I know that is especially true in Baltimore, a 9-to-1 Democratic city with a majority Black population. I also think that they generally think that we, Black people, are slow. Regardless, I can think of 51,716 reasons why that is hardly so.
In the 2016 Baltimore City Primary Election, political action committees, like that headed by Alex Sanchez, bombarded the Sheila Dixon campaign for Mayor of Baltimore with a battery of vicious commercials designed to tear at her base. Some of these commercials violated Federal Election Laws because they went unreported or they were reported late.
Additionally, as we have seen finally revealed during the sentencing of Catherine Elizabeth Pugh, the Democratic establishment turned a blind eye to Pugh’s character. As it was revealed, she had been hustling the community for her entire tenure in elected office. For instance, it came out that she was on the University of Maryland Medical System board for 18 years when the limit is only two 5-year terms. That means for 8 years, not a single board member raised any questions.
It should also be noted that Pugh used proceeds from her “Healthy Holly” book to help fund her mayoral campaign. And she bamboozled otherwise reputable African Americans in the Greater Metropolitan Area into buying these books.
Why? Because Pugh knew that she could not in her wildest dreams ever beat Sheila in Baltimore. Period. Not yesterday. Not today. Not ever.
So, she cheated, and not one Democrat in Maryland said a word. They didn’t say a word when it was revealed by WBAL TV11’s Jayne Miller as she revealed that Pugh was receiving campaign donation checks from bogus addresses in Little Italy in 2016, nor did they say anything about Gary Brown’s illegal $18,000 donation (3 $6,000 checks in his momma’s name, his brother’s name, and his step-father’s name), even though his indictment right after Pugh’s election for these deeds cost him a delegate’s seat that then went to Nick Mosby. Mosby, I am reminded, jumped out of the 2016 Mayor’s race to support Pugh, too.
On top of all of this, one cannot forget the 2,000 chicken boxes given to Pugh campaign workers who were solely engaged for their vote, and not the $50 promised them for a day’s work. Nor can one forget the riot that ensued outside her Walbrook Junction campaign office on Election Day.
And one certainly cannot forget the bungled election that dark time when there were 1,800 voting irregularities in Baltimore City compared to 200 in the 23 other Maryland jurisdictions combined. Oh, and did I forget the missing thumb drives from voting precincts, the letter to ex-offenders stating that they couldn’t vote, and the bags of votes that were stuffed in a corner at the Board of Elections warehouse off of Franklintown Road that weren’t even counted at all?
Despite all of this chicanery, Maryland’s beloved Democratic leadership, including the late Congressman Elijah Cummings, didn’t say a word. Now, we see that someway, somehow – Pugh had hoodwinked a lot of people into thinking she was the one. What we found in the end is that Pugh was a selfish person who only cared about herself. Her character was most evident in her resignation via text and her video apology once again usurping Elijah Cummings to somehow deflect from her horrible choices. Hell, I wouldn’t even call it an apology. Plus, she seemed to smirk at the camera on the way out the courthouse as if it meant nothing to her. And then, and then, and then – just to drag it out that much more, this chick asks for a delay in going to prison. Can you believe it?
And so, here we are on the verge of the 2020 Baltimore City Primary Election with Early Voting kicking-off on April 16th. Clearly, our city is at a precipice and could easily tilt south. After all, it is nearing the 5-year mark since the Freddie Gray Unrest and, as a resident of Sandtown, I can assure you that very few resources have come to Sandtown since then. Despite all of these non-profits that pimp these kinds of situations for their own personal benefit, Sandtown and Penn-North can only boast a rebuilt CVS Pharmacy and a renovated Western District Police Station. Oh, and former Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake helped Al Wylie open up a new funeral home in Harlem Park.
Consider the imagery for a moment. The only thing new in Historic West Baltimore since Freddie Gray is a drug store, a renovated police station, and a funeral home.
With the Coronavirus situation, there is no telling how this election will go down. Yet, one thing is for sure. Sheila Dixon ain’t no chump! Despite all that has been thrown at her, this woman has the tenacity of a heavyweight champion, and if anybody can persevere all of the political shenanigans amidst us, including this unforeseen pandemic, it is Sheila Dixon.
I’ve seen the three polls that have been released stating that Dixon is leading the race. Ummm, … we knew that she was ahead as soon as she signed her name on the dotted line. So, that was nothing new.
We also know that of the given field of candidates, none of them can go to City Hall on Day 1 and begin driving this city toward a brighter day except her. She knows how to get things done, and Lord knows, we sure could use someone at the wheel who can get us out of this mess. And lastly, she has the heart of the people. Don’t believe me?
Then consider this, in the 2016 General Election, this woman was so loved that 51,716 voters wrote-in Sheila Dixon’s name – even though it didn’t appear on the ballot. Her 51,716 votes was more than Pugh actually got in the Primary (48,665).
Show me one of these 2020 mayoral candidates who can garner that level of love and support from Baltmore voters and I’ll change my opinion. Meanwhile, I pray this woman’s strength such that not even the Coronavirus can stop what I and others believe is already predestined to happen. #DixonForBaltimore