Category Archives: Baltimore City

Putting a Face on the Victims of Gun Violence

Two teenagers, Najee Thomas and Michael Mayfield, were shot this past week in Baltimore. Najee was 14 and Michael was 17. According to reports, “Michael was passionate about the Junior ROTC, band and the Inner Harbor Project. He played for the Edmondson High School baseball team.” Najee worked at a smoothie stand in Camden Yards and dreamed of being a lawyer.

I’m sure all reading this join me in expressing deepest condolences to their families.

Michael MayfieldMichael Mayfield

Mayfield was a student at Edmondson High school. He was a member of JROTC, a standout baseball player and a youth leader with the Inner Harbor Project.

Read More at: http://foxbaltimore.com/news/features/top-stories/stories/17yearold-high-school-standout-killed-27235.shtml?wap=0&app_data=%7B%22pi%22%3A%2243793_1397834796_1577214203%22%2C%22pt%22%3A%22twitter%22%7D#.U1co1ce1bZg

Mayfield was a student at Edmondson High school. He was a member of JROTC, a standout baseball player and a youth leader with the Inner Harbor Project.

Read More at: http://foxbaltimore.com/news/features/top-stories/stories/17yearold-high-school-standout-killed-27235.shtml?wap=0&app_data=%7B%22pi%22%3A%2243793_1397834796_1577214203%22%2C%22pt%22%3A%22twitter%22%7D#.U1co1ce1bZg

Mayfield was a student at Edmondson High school. He was a member of JROTC, a standout baseball player and a youth leader with the Inner Harbor Project.

Read More at: http://foxbaltimore.com/news/features/top-stories/stories/17yearold-high-school-standout-killed-27235.shtml?wap=0&app_data=%7B%22pi%22%3A%2243793_1397834796_1577214203%22%2C%22pt%22%3A%22twitter%22%7D#.U1co1ce1bZg

Mayfield was a student at Edmondson High school. He was a member of JROTC, a standout baseball player and a youth leader with the Inner Harbor Project.

Read More at: http://foxbaltimore.com/news/features/top-stories/stories/17yearold-high-school-standout-killed-27235.shtml?wap=0&app_data=%7B%22pi%22%3A%2243793_1397834796_1577214203%22%2C%22pt%22%3A%22twitter%22%7D#.U1co1ce1bZg

Mayfield was a student at Edmondson High school. He was a member of JROTC, a standout baseball player and a youth leader with the Inner Harbor Project.

Read More at: http://foxbaltimore.com/news/features/top-stories/stories/17yearold-high-school-standout-killed-27235.shtml?wap=0&app_data=%7B%22pi%22%3A%2243793_1397834796_1577214203%22%2C%22pt%22%3A%22twitter%22%7D#.U1co1ce1bZg

Najee Thomas

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Baltimore City State’s Attorney Race Rating

greggbernsteinBaltimore City State’s Attorney Gregg Bernstein

Gregg Bernstein pulled off the impossible in 2010. Bernstein, a wealthy white Jewish lawyer toppled an African-American State’s Attorney in a heavily African-American city–though less so than in the recent past–known for its racially charged politics.

His odds are much better this time around. He faces Marilyn Mosby, wife of rising star City Councilman Nick Mosby, in the primary and independent Russell Neaverdon in the general election. Mosby and Neaverdon are both African American.

The demographics of Baltimore City mean that Bernstein will have to run hard. With $350,000 in his account as of January 1st, he will have the resources to do so. He will also be aided by a team of sharp advisers, including Ann Beegle and SKDKnickerbocker.

Mosby will be competitive with $100,000 in her account,. Still, given his substantial cash advantage and formidable organization, Bernstein is favored in the primary. In heavily Democratic Baltimore it will be exceedingly difficult for Neaverdon to break through.

Primary Rating: Likely Bernstein
General Election Rating: Safe Bernstein

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Julius Henson will Run from Jail

I haven’t yet had time to profile this year’s legislative elections Baltimore City D45 but had to pass along this News of the Surreal. Julius Henson will be running for the Maryland Senate against incumbent Sen. Nathaniel McFadden from jail.

Henson is a former political consultant who was convicted of election fraud for doing robocalls to African-American voters telling them to stay home and not to worry about the election. He was working for former Republican Gov. Bob Ehrlich in a transparent attempt to suppress the black and heavily Democratic black vote.

Clearly, a “vile” and “corrupt” individual as one of my informants (not his opponent or anyone who works for him) described him to me. His apparent unending willingness to “play the race card loud and long” only adds to his lack of charm.

A Baltimore City judge has now convicted Henson of violating his probation by running for office. But Henson, who will no doubt revel in his notoriety while cooling his heels for four months in jail, has nonetheless decided not to drop his Senate bid. Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in Birmingham Jail he is not.

Fortunately, the entire Baltimore establishment has lined up behind longtime incumbent Sen. McFadden who should win if only because he is not corrupt. Meanwhile, more fodder for those who would mock politics as a honorable endeavor.

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Henry Takes on Conway in D43

D43New

District 43 is the first African-American-majority district (63% black) in this series previewing the upcoming 2014 elections. Like District 46, District 43 survived redistricting with relatively little change despite the need to reconfigure Baltimore City’s districts due to its usual decennial loss of representation. District 43 remains roughly the same area between N. Charles and Harford Rd.

Sen. Joan Carter Conway served on the City Council for two years before being appointed to the Senate in 1997, when incumbent Sen. John Pica chose to retire. In 2010, Conway easily turned back challenger Hector Torres who ran to her left and won 30% of the primary vote.

This year, she faces a challenge from Baltimore City Councilman Bill Henry (D 4). Sen. Conway along  with slate mate Del. Maggie McIntosh have supported Henry’s opponents in his previous City Council races, so alliances are already drawn.

Councilman Henry was an early, vocal, and valuable ally for marriage equality who testified repeatedly for the bill. Sen. Conway came to support it later in 2011, but she stuck firmly with the pro side in votes on the issue from that point onward.

Probably more salient for the election in terms of issues is a likely clash over liquor regulation–an issue cited by Henry is his announcement. Conway’s late husband was a city liquor board inspector. Her past opposition to allowing Marylanders to have wine shipped to their homes is indicative of her close ties to the liquor lobby.

Conway received some bad press in the wake of her involvement in a dispute at a property action. The man who owned the property prior to its sale at the public auction accused her of assault and posted this cellphone video:

However, the video did not substantiate his case well, at least to this viewer. Sen. Conway and two other people were walking away from the camera when he followed them. At one point, Conway appears to put her hand on the camera lens but it’s not clear from the video that she did anything to the camera. In another moment, you can see Conway trying to dissuade her companion from escalating the argument. You watch and draw your own conclusions.

Regardless of a bout of negative media attention and though he would otherwise be a promising challenger and senator, Henry’s lack of campaign funds severely hinders his campaign. He has only $8K in his campaign account compared to Conway’s $106K–a nice amount in a district where “walking around” money is said to remain a valuable resource. And Conway will have the strong support of all three incumbent delegates who will form a united slate for reelection.

The elections for delegate are quiet. Incumbents Del. Curt Anderson, Maggie McIntosh, and Mary Washington are all seeking reelection. Their one filed opponent, Timothy Vance, has not filed a campaign report. He describes himself on Facebook as a “regular citizen of Baltimore” and will remain so after the election.

Del. McIntosh is the senior pol in this district. She was first elected to the House in 1992 and served as U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski’s campaign manager and state director in the previous four years. A former House Majority Leader, she has chaired the Environmental Matters Committee since 2003 and is close to Speaker Michael Busch. McIntosh is seen as one of the most likely–possibly the most likely–to succeed him but many less senior delegates are also restless after ten years of a largely unchanged leadership.

Del. Anderson served in the House from 1983-95. In 1994, he ran for the Maryland Senate but lost with 44% to incumbent Pica.  Anderson rejoined the House in 2003. Del. Washington first ran for the House in 2006. Though she lost, she came in a respectable fourth in the primary and easily won the nomination for the open seat in 2010 on a slate with the other incumbents.

While McIntosh has $77K in her campaign account, her colleagues have little–just $5K for Anderson and less than $1K for Washington. But Vance did not even file a report and has no record of even having a campaign account.

No Republicans have filed for any of the legislative seats.

UPDATE: I mistook Mary Washington’s account for that of another candidate. Del. Washington has $50K cash on hand, which renders her a well-funded candidate.

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