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What on Earth Is Sheila Dixon Thinking?!

13 Written by: | Thursday, Mar 28, 2013 10:30am

dixon

Blast the theme song to Jaws. Former Mayor Sheila Dixon is back, sort of.

“This is the year I’m going to decide,” Dixon said recently of her (scary) wish to run for political office after the 2009 criminal conviction that forced her out. “I’m not going to hide the fact that I enjoyed what I was doing my 27 years in public office.”

Of course, she enjoyed herself! She stole gift cards donated by developers meant to go to the poor; she lied to her constituents; she gave the mayoral office an embarrassingly bad name; after her conviction, she showed little remorse; and as she endured her easy-breezy probation period, she collected an annual pension of $83,000.

And yet the ever-entitled Dixon–who has now officially completed said probation, according to a Baltimore Sun story by Jean Marbella–plans to participate in a high-profile speaker series for Associated Black Charities on April 16. Many consider this move to be ambitious Dixon’s water-testing ritual number one: Can I come back?

Former Legg Mason CEO Mark Fetting and Chief Judge of the Maryland Court of Appeals Robert M. Bell, also presiding that night. With Dixon on hand, what a wild crew!

Dixon is not accepting payment for the performance, and ABC has not encouraged her to discuss her legal trouble, at least not formally. But anything could happen during the Q&A.

“Knowing Mayor Dixon the way I do, she’s a very frank person. She will probably address it,” said ABC spokesman Anthony McCarthy, also in The Sun. McCarthy also served as spokesman for Dixon for a couple of years when she was in City Hall. “But the purpose for us in this series is to focus on the positive contributions that are being made by this group of speakers. I’m not sure what purposes would be served by us bringing it into the discussion.”

McCarthy may not be sure, but I am. When a public official errs as egregiously as Dixon, and remains as verbally unrepentant as she has, citizens ought to write her off. If she tries to come back, her answers better be as surprising and purifying as an actual Second Coming. But Dixon’s no Christ figure.

Sure, Dixon knows we’re ticked; she says we shouldn’t read too much into her participation in the speaker series, but I don’t trust her – nor does the buzz about town agree. I think she’s early-testing her voters. And I think she’ll eventually get around to saying she’s very sorry, which would serve as our first signal she wants back in, according to UMBC Public Policy Department Chair Donald F. Norris.

“It would say to the outside world that a corrupt elected official can spend a little time away and get reelected,” Norris said to Marbella. “That’s not an image Baltimore wants, or that any city needs.”

I’m with Norris. For me, Dixon’s blown it. I don’t want to see her name on campaign posters and billboards ever again. She can walk on water for all I care. Next.

What do you say?

Leave a Reply

  • cnc

    I agree and think this says it all: “’Knowing Mayor Dixon the way I do…,’said ABC spokesman Anthony McCarthy … [who]also served as spokesman for Dixon for a couple of years when she was in City Hall.” She has a friend at ABC who got her the gig.

  • David B

    I honestly don’t care about Sheila Dixon. She has a right to present herself in the marketplace of ideas, and everyone else has the right to accept or reject her.

    I’d love it if this standard of virtue were applied to the really egregious politicians whose decisions have created far more destruction in the world, although I suppose one has to start somewhere.

  • tartlet

    If Dixon is delusional and myopic enough to test the mayoral waters — and she has frequently demonstrated both qualities in the past — then she will find the temperature forbiddingly chilly. While recent history brims with convicted politicians returning triumphantly to elected office (look no further than D.C.’s Marion Barry), the environment in Baltimore has shifted dramatically since Dixon’s ouster. Not forgetting the fact that no politician has been required to overcome the albatross of having been sent packing for, gulp, stealing gift cards intended for the city’s poorest residents.

  • planetmom

    I say “Marion Barry”

  • Debra Rubino

    Mayor Dixon may have made a mistake, but this is supposedly the country of second chances. Have YOU never made a mistake? She was a wonderful mayor and really cared about the people of the city. You could feel it everytime she spoke about her city and the people she served. She always seemed to want to serve people in Baltimore–didn’t have aspirations to go on to a higher office. She was clearly interested in social justice and making everyone here prosper. I’m sorry that so many others are so jaded they can’t see another side.

    • Rick Green

      I’ve never stolen money meant for poor people. I’ve never pled guilty to a crime. And I’ve certainly never suggested I should be elected to public office, with more money to steal, after pleading guilty to that crime (stealing, I think it was.) No one plans to burn her house down or force her out of town, but she should recognize what a piece of crap she was and keep her head down for the next 60 years.

  • Carolyn Wright

    Someone beat me to the Marion Berry response ….

  • BMore Honest

    I don’t care about her either, but I’m sure as hell not voting for her. And I guess I’ll be crossing Associated Black Charities off the list if they’re part of her racket.

  • Michael G

    Just another example of who she is… Unrepentant.
    Of course she is aware there is still opportunity available.
    Typical.

  • Millicent

    Hard-hitting, and no punches pulled — great article by Betsy!

    • Rick Green

      And I really don’t like the comparison between her and Marion Barry. Barry was a civil rights hero, one of the organizers or first presidents of SNCC, (back when it didn’t even hint at violence, quite when it did) and lots of other good stuff. When people say he served the community, they mean it. When Dixon says it, she means she had jobs or elective office where for some “serving the community” is just a slogan and the real goal is to get ahead.

      Any crimes Barry were committed were self-destructive. He didn’t steal from DC and he didn’t steal from the poor people in DC. He did manipulate the police so they weren’t around when he bought drugs, and that was bad, but they could be somewhere else doing their job.

      His last, I think, arrest in 1990 by the FBI was one half step shy of entrapment, getting an old girl friend of his to offer to sell him drugs. (Probably implied she’d party with him if he bought them.) Without his previous history of drugs, it would have been legal entrapment and frankly, I think it should still be.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marion_Barry

      Dixon has none of these excuses and none of his merits. The fact that she sold out for so little (that we know about), compared to the 100′s of thousands that others steal doesn’t change the fact that that she sold out for money.

      • Rick Green

        “one of the organizers or first presidents of SNCC, (back when it didn’t even hint at violence, quite when it did)”

        Ooops. Quit when it did.



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