Sheila Dixon’s Own Goal In Baltimore Mayor’s Race

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There’s been a back and forth exchange of accusatory and angry emails between Sheila Dixon and Catherine Pugh in Baltimore, leading to a truly remarkable ending. Let’s start from earlier in the week.

There’s a PAC called Clean Slate Baltimore that is opposed to Dixon. They’ve put out two videos and a walk piece.

“Forgive, Don’t Forget”

“Sheila Dixon Christmas Card”

And a mugshot to match:

  
  
Just this week, a new version of the mugshot appeared around the City, juxtaposing Dixon’s “record” with that of Catherine Pugh, Dixon’s main rival per the most recent polls and fundraising reports.

  
Dixon was very angry with the most recent flier. How angry? So much so that she sent out a press release calling on Catherine Pugh to denounce the negative advertising of Clean Slate Baltimore – with links to the Grinch video! See bolded link below. I’ve teen out a number of other links that were in the email just for the sake of clarity.

Sheila Dixon Calls On Catherine Pugh to Denounce Ugly Campaign Tactics by Clean Slate Baltimore

Baltimore, Md – Today Sheila Dixon made the following statement in response to a flier by the Clean Slate Baltimore SuperPAC featuring a fake mug shot of the former mayor while promoting Catherine Pugh:

“The tactics from Clean Slate Baltimore are downright ugly, and I’ve had enough,” said Dixon. “This is funded by out-of-state interests. They’ve gone as far as to make a fake mug shot of me, which they pay people to distribute at candidate forums. This kind of campaigning has no place in this important election. Catherine Pugh should join other Clean Slate-endorsed candidates in denouncing this group.”

Clean Slate Baltimore has been distributing anti-Dixon material since last December, when it released a cartoon ad depicting Sheila Dixon as the Grinch<http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/baltimore-city/2016-mayor-race/bal-clean-slate-baltimore-pac-creates-anti-sheila-dixon-christmas-ad-20151218-story.html>. Earlier this month, Baltimore candidates who were endorsed by Clean Slate said they were surprised by the endorsements, stating the group was “slinging mud” and “I don’t think it’s a good group to be endorsed by.” Clean Slate Baltimore is a SuperPAC that is funded by an out-of-state labor organization and run by former operatives for Governor Martin O’Malley.

The flier in question states it is paid for by Clean Slate Baltimore, but the group has not yet updated its committee information to reflect the pro-Pugh spending on the MDCRIS.

Jason Curtis, a community leader in Mt. Vernon and a Sheila Dixon supporter said, “This flyer is disgusting. Sadly this is the kind of bogus material we’ve come to expect from Clean Slate Baltimore, and unless Catherine Pugh tells them to stop, we can only expect their tactics to get even uglier. Catherine Pugh should do the right thing and tell this outside group run by O’Malley staffers to stop trying to tell people in Baltimore how to vote in this election.”

While Clean Slate Baltimore SuperPAC continues to distribute discredited campaign material, Sheila Dixon stood yesterday with 30 Baltimore community leaders who praised the mayor for her leadership in Baltimore City.
Dixon says that whatever Clean Slate or other groups may do to sling mud at her, she will always stand tall with the people of Baltimore. “We’ve been through hard times – and we always come out on the other side, stronger and together. I love Baltimore and I will never stop fighting for this city.”

Why in the world would Sheila Dixon send around a press release pointing her supporters to a negative ad about her? It’s a total own goal, as soccer fans like to say. Sort of like this one:

Oh, and for the record, Catherine Pugh issued a statement about negative campaigning (which includes Dixon’s attacks on Pugh as well):

“Catherine Pugh denounces in the strongest terms possible Clean Slate and the tactics used by the group to attack the former mayor as ugly and distateful. Senator Pugh is running for mayor to bring integrity, transparency and accountability to City Hall and is excited to discuss how to move Baltimore forward. The Pugh campaign joins with other candidates who believe mud-slinging and personal attacks have no place in this election.

Senator Pugh has heard from people across the city about the false and offensive mailings attacking her integrity sent out by Dixon this past weekend and believes that this introduction of negative campaigning has polluted the process and this election. We are calling on all campaigns to refrain from these distractions and spend the remainder of this race focused on the issues that are important to the people of Baltimore. Voters deserve an election built around ideas, innovations and solutions not one that seeks to further divide our city.”

Not a shining moment for Sheila Dixon.

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