The Marc Steiner Show

08/29/07 Mayoral Forum

I complained here about the lackluster spirit surrounding the mayoral debate and how disappointed I was in it.  I had been looking forward to the excitement surrounding the elections since the Senate and Congressional races wrapped up.  I love elections; I think they are so much fun.  All the civic enthusiasm, watching people get excited and angry–it’s fun for me.  I’m a dork, I guess.  I had been disappointed with how ho-hum it was all shaping up to be.

But last night restored my faith!  We held our mayoral forum at the Enoch Pratt Free Library.  In attendance were Sheila Dixon, Andrey Bundley, Robert Kaufman, Mike Schaefer, Jill Carter, and Keiffer Mitchell.  The crowd was intense and very involved.  I heard a lot of “Tell it!” and “Yes you did!” and “No you didn’t!”  We had to stop and ask people to be quiet several times.  There was quite the peanut gallery in the back of the auditorium, where I was standing.  Emotions were running high.  Of course I had to tsk-tsk some people for talking over the candidates but I was also thrilled that people were inspired! 

I hope you’ll listen to the forum today, which we are rebroadcasting from 12-2 pm on the show.  And then come here and let us know what you think!

Poll: If the primary were today, who would you vote for?


Written by Marc Steiner

Marc Steiner

The Marc Steiner Show airs Monday thru Friday from 10AM to Noon on WEAA 88.9 FM. The show covers the topics that matter, engaging real voices, from Charm City to Cairo and beyond. Call us at 410.319.8888 or email us to participate live in the show, or share your comments on our site! Aren’t in Baltimore but want to listen? Stream the show live.


  1. I actually attended the forum last night hoping to get more of an understanding about the plans from the front-runners. I am a single African American female parent raising a young son on my own. I have been in Baltimore for 3 yrs and I do not believe I will stay if Sheila Dixon is elected as Mayor.

    I am not sure what city she is currently running but I live in Baltimore, MD where we are averaging at least one murder a day and we have a school system that is the 3rd worst in the nation. I can strongly admit that unless there is a drastic change in BCPSS, that my child will never attend school in the city.

    I fear for my safety at times & fear for my son’s future if he has to grown up this city. I don’t want him to be scouted out by gang members nor do I want anyone to generally categorize him because he is young a young African American male.

    What bothers me about the current Mayor & all of her ads against Mitchell are that she is holding Mitchell accountable for a vote in 2001. Baltimore was a different city in 2001 nor was it on pace to average over 300 murders a yr. I respect any official that will vote against a pay raise for one group if it means that another group will lose out.

    Therefore, I will cast my vote on Sept. 11 for Councilman Keiffer J. Mitchell, Jr.

    It’s nice to have a cleaner & greener city but where the city is today, CRIME & SAFETY SHOULD BE EVERYONE’S NUMBER ONE PRIORITY

  2. Wow! I admit that I had not yet given much thought to the mayor’s race. I assumed we would be stuck with the same old “nothing ever really changes or really gets better” politicians. Listening to this debate, Jill Carter just won my heart and my vote. She was dynamic throughout. But her “leadership with love for the people and the will to do what’s right” line (I think that’s what she said) gave me chills. I’ve been waiting for a leader that could move my spirit and motivate me to action. She’s it.

  3. GO Keiffer Go, I have not been too impressed or excited about our candiates. After watching Monday’s debate & listeninng now, I believe Councilman Keiffer J, Mitchell,Jr. is the real deal. Crisis’ call for drastic measures & he appears to be the only candidate with a real plan to turn the city around.

  4. I’m listening to the re-broadcast and I’m not sure if I heard a response by Sheila Dixon correctly. When answering a question about boarded up properties, she began by saying, “the queen will give the facts”. If I heard her correctly, I believe that her hubris disqualifies her for the position of mayor, but I unfortunately too many find that attitude attractive. As I was writing this, she also spoke of KIPP Academy and the success of the students there. Sheila has not now, or ever had anything to do with the success of the students at that one school. Moreover, she needs to be reminded that there are about 200 more city schools out there that need the attention of the mayor. Sadly, it seems that she has the most effective political machine and that she will win the primary.

    Jill Carter seems to be the most balanced, humble, and compassionate of the candidates. She has my vote.

  5. After last night’s forum sponsored by the League of Women Voters, it is quite obvious to me and many others that this city is starving for the leadership and vision of both Bundley and Carter (what a team they would make). Intelligent, integrity, courage, commitment, vision and beholding to only the voters – this is what Baltimore desperately needs. If you witnessed the MPTV and/or last night’s forums, how can you attempt to deceive your very own ears, eyes and heart by considering any other candidate than these two. Dr. Bundley and Del. Carter, if you are reading these comments, please work out a solution between the two of you to support one or the other during this election. If you do, there is no doubt in my mind, and that of many many others, that you will win hands down. You are so refreshing. We truly need leaders of your caliber at the helm. May God bless you and the city of Baltimore.

  6. Jill Carter talks a good game, but she is not a consensus builder. Ms. Carter alienates people including other elected officials. She may have some good ideas and approaches on how to govern, but it takes the support of others to get things done. She does not have the support of other elected officials – at the state level or city level of government.

    Dr. Andrey Bundley has good intentions. Dr. Bundley approaches are not realistic, most of his approaches to govern are based on theories. His idea of reaching out to “O.G.s” (Original Gangstas) and their chain of command is not realistic.

    I appreciate Sheila Dixon’s understanding of government and how it operates. Ms. Dixon unfortunately doesn’t understand the seriousness of the situation. There really is a crisis in Baltimore. People in Baltimore are concerned about their safety and quality of life (e.g.: education of their children).

    After attending the candidates forum last night, I am convinced that Keiffer Mitchell is the only candidate that has a realistic plan to address the crime/homicide problem and the problems with the BCPSS.

    Keiffer Mitchell is a consensus builder. Keiffer Mitchell’s approaches to govern are realistic. Keiffer Mitchell understands that there is a crisis in Baltimore with regard to crime and education.

    Keiffer Mitchell is honest and trustworthy (e.g.: he discovered the indiscretions with his campaign finances, acknowledged the situation, amended the situation, and moved forward.)

    Keiffer Mitchell is the kind of leader that Baltimore needs.

  7. Having first watched the televised forum and then listening to todays radiocast, my level of support towards the Mayoral incumbant was significantly challenged. I viewed Delagate Jill Carter as suppling superior answers while amassing far greater insight and understanding on many issues. I only wish there would be additional debates prior to Sept. 11th. I also take issue with the Sunpapers poll results from 2 months ago. Sure would be interested in seeing an update to those numbers.

  8. Frank, I must say I do understand what you see in Bundley & Carter but I have listed to both over the years and I truly BELIVE in their passions but at the end of the day, I also know that politics will always play a part in reducing crime, improving our school system, land development, & etc. Therefore, Keiffer Mitchell who has been a Teacher in the past, a family man, and currently a politician will be the best suited to gain control over our city again. I truly wish that passion alone will get the job done but in today’s day & age, we need a leader that will understand the process & will strategically gain control of our city.

  9. Having first watched the televised forum and then listening to todays radiocast, my level of support towards the Mayoral incumbant was significantly challenged. I viewed Delagate Jill Carter as supplying superior answers while amassing far greater insight and understanding on many issues. I only wish there would be additional debates prior to Sept. 11th. I also take issue with the Sunpapers poll results from 2 months ago. Sure would be interested in seeing an update to those numbers.

  10. The second “Frank” is, I believe Doni G., bmorenews. His comments are the same on his blog. He seems threatened by Delegate Carter and jealous of Dr. Bundley. He seems to support all status quo politicians insincere about the desire for progress.

    Jill Carter has character and vision. The tv debate was unfair and did not give her equal time even though she is an elected official just like Mitchell and Dixon. Marc Steiner’s debate was GREAT! Marc was very, very balanced and more than fair to everyone. This is why Jill Carter shined. When there is a level playing field, she will always be in the lead. She is passionate about helping all people and making life better. People that are pushing Keiffer over Sheila Dixon are doing the equivalent of pusing red tops over black tops. One is no better than the other, and both are dealy.

  11. Its obvious Nicole must be a Carter supporter. Im not sure how much you have been paying attention or what events you have attended where Donni G has been but unfortunately, he would not say those nice gestures about Keiffer Mitchell, he is 100% a Dixon supporter.

  12. Nicole:

    I am not Doni Glover. I ride around on four wheels (a car) not two wheels (a bicycle) unlike Doni Glover.

    I don’t believe Doni Glover is a Mitchell supporter. Judging from Mr. Glover’s website (, he is a Dixon supporter. The advertisements/links are an indicator.

    I am not threatened or jealous of Ms. Carter and Dr. Bundley. I have respect for both of them. My statements are not disrespectful of them.

    People of character and visionaries do not always make good statesmen or stateswomen.

    – Frank

  13. I am a Carter supporter no doubt. That doesn’t negate the truth of what I’ve stated. I am proud to be a Carter supporter because I believe she is the best candidate and the she is the mayor Baltimore needs.

  14. Sorry, Frank, your comments did sound a great deal like Doni. He, too, seemed willing to absolve Keiffer of responsiblilty for the $56,000 his campaign could not account for as having been spent on the campaign. I also likely had blinders on because I see no difference between Mitchell and Dixon in terms of their track records and followership. My statements were made in haste. I believe them to be true with respect to Doni. I’ve seen Jill Carter builsd a huge consensus amongst constituents, voters, and volunteers. In fact, she has an unbelievable appeal to both young blacks and older whites. I don’t know what you mean about her not being a “consensus builder”. It’s probably more that she’s a true leader, and politicians have found it threatening. But, we know from the past that the group we have at city hall will follow anyone for a few minor appeasements. We don’t need a consensus builder for mayor. We need a leader that will do what is right. O’Malley had a consensus. Look at the results of that–disaster!

  15. To the second Frank…Believe me, I truly understand politics and how the support of other elected officials can help, but here is what you are missing. The status quo of politics, especially in Baltimore, needs drastic reform and it must begin somewhere, why not here. The ONLY reason it is so difficult to crack is funding, the funding spent by the bought politicians to mis-inform citizens who fail to do their own research. Here’s the sad part. You only have to research as far as their web sites. I’m not talking about researching voting records or campaign contributions and spending.

    You mentioned keiffer’s realistic plan…come on! Don’t take this wrong, I know Keiffer and I think he is a great guy and I like him, but this is serious stuff. Hiring 400 additional police officers with a 15% raise is not a realistic plan. At 55K per new officer (benefits, equipment, etc.) that’s $22mil. A 15% raise for 3000 officers at an average of $7500 per officer is $22.5mil. Let us not forget that the fire department has some sort of pay parity with police, the exact percentage I do not know. The figures above are computed at the low end and do not include other indirect costs. Fill the vacancies first, then you restructure and deploy the officers strategically throughout the districts while getting back to basics. You see, the police department has never corrected the mistakes of Commissioner Clark and the over-stuffed OCD unit. Keiffer has the cart before the horse. Let’s move on.

    Now, forget the money. A true detailed crime plan does not deal strickly and only with crime. In addition to the many facets of a plan unique only to a police department, the plan must contain components that involve other areas of government, the community and yes, even the OG’s. Believe me, I know about crime fighting plans. I’ve heard the candidates, have seen their distasteful, misleading, inaccurate ads and been to all of their web sites. Dr. Bundley is the only one who has presented a complete, multifaceted and integrated strategy for the entire city. Del. Carter speaks truth and continues to shed light into all of the dark creepy corners in the basement of city government. The incumbents have had their chances to demonstrate their worth to the citizens, they have failed, now it’s time to step asside, back and out.

  16. I have learned a lot interviewing the candidates and managing the debates. We do have some very real clear choices in the mayor’s and the President’s race. I appreciate all the comments becuase clearly our work with the candiadates has provoked some thinking. That is how is should work.

    We are going back for a second round reinterviewing the candidates one at a time. We will put on Harris, Rawlings-Blake and Sarbanes the Thursday before the election and Bundly, Carter, Dixon and Mitchell on the day before the election.

    There is a lot at stake here. We have to get our hands around crime, violence, poverty and housing. If not the city will be in real trouble. I am idealistic enough to believe we can actually change things. So, I am curious to hear more from you all about who think has the answers and why. Who would be most effective in these positions.

    You all have already started all that but I am excited by the conversation you are creating.

    It is funny when Sheila Dixon, caller herself the queen, I thought she was trying to loosen up to get into the easy flow that the other candidates had shown.

    There are clear differences here. Keiffer wants to put a clamp down on the street, stop the violence, bring on more police and shut down this madness. The police love what he saying.

    Jill and Andre are taking an approach that is more nuanced in its appeal to work with gangs and communities. Dixon is defending her position saying let me get a handle on it, I will fix it.

    My sense is that Dixon has the upper hand but this is anybody’s election. Politically it will be determined by turnout. Are folks excited enought to vote? The candidate that pulls you out, turns you on the most will win.

    I think in this forum candidates ideas really had a chance to shine.

    Blog on, my friends ..


  17. I am wholeheartedly supporting Keiffer Mitchell on September 11th. He is the candidate that has proved to be most worthy of my vote. I agree with Daniel, I am without a doubt moving to Harford County if Sheila Dixon is elected as mayor. I’ve been driving around there looking at houses every weekend. I was born and raised in Baltimore, and I would love to continue living here. I have a nice house and I hate to give it up. But the crime rate and the poor school system has not been addressed at all by Ms. Dixon. She evades questions at the debates, she is not articulate, and she does not take responsibility for anything that is going on in Baltimore. I need a leader, not an O’Malley follower. Mitchell has my vote!

  18. I think Jill Carter is the best candidate for Mayor. The biggest criticism of her from these comments is that “she is not a concensus builder.” I think the conmentator is referring to her negative comments about some of the more popular politicians. I think this shows that Jill Carter speaks her mind. She is not beholden to anyone. She owes no one. She will do the right thing for the people of Baltimore. I think people have underestimated her ability to win this election. She is way ahead on the abc2news poll. She will make a terrific Mayor.

  19. Lisa # 1, Newsflash: All Keiffer Mitchell and Sheila Dixon did for the past 7-8 years is follow O’Malley. They both approved of every single thing he did. In 12 years on the council, Keiffer caims he took one stand–1 stand in 12 years! He says he opposed a hotel being built with city financing. First of all, not a big deal to vote against 1 thing in 12 years but do nothing proactively to stop it. Second, one stand in 12 years is pretty sad.

    I don’t dislike Keiffer Mitchell. I just think he shoud have kept his council seat and continued to be a follower and a rubber stamp of a good mayor. As to his honesty, I’m not too sure. I have repeatedy heard him covet phrases, ideas, and concepts put forth by other candidates. Without crediting the source, Keiffer claims the words, ideas, and plans of others for his own. That doesn’t seem very honest or smack of good character to me.

    Now that I’ve laid the foundation, I am voting for Jill P. Carter for mayor. She looks the part. She speaks like a mayor. She has good character and is very prinicipled. She has not waited until now to show judgment and leadership. But, she has pushed for the right policies on public education, public safety, and BGE the entire time she’s been a public servant. If we want bold change in Baltimore, we have to elect a bold leader. We have a rea chance for change on September 11. I pray we don’t blow it.

  20. To Lindsay

    I was on the fence between Keiffer Mitchell & Mayor Sheila Dixon. I’m 100% going with Mitchell. I have researched bills he has sponsored as well as attended Council meetings way before O’Malley decided to run for Mayor. In my observation, Mitchell has never been the rubber stamp; he has always stood on his ground and will stand behind any vote he has ever cast.

    Mitchell did not just vote against the hotel, he was the only Councilmember who spoke out against it even before a vote was ever cast. He has continuously voted against raises for himself & other elected officials because at t he end of the day, we the taxpayers would be paying for it.

    He has fought to regain control over our failing schools & tried to establish accountability by ending the city state partnership. He was responsible for having the water fountains in our city school shut down, tested, & repaired due to the led in the water. He also got $3 mill. worth of computers & technology to BCPSS

    He has been the only member on the Council and Mayor’s office to move his office on a monthly basis to random drug & crime areas in his district so, that he could bring the city services direct to the communities affected by these activities. Jill Carter did not start sleeping on corners until she chose to run for Mayor. Keiffer Mitchell has been taking his corners back for over 7 years.

    The Baltimore City Fire Dept, Police Dept, Sheriffs & Attorney General, have all endorsed him. These are our 1st responders to all the crime activity in the city & they all believe that Mitchell is the only candidate to regain control over our cities.

    I say, let his record speak for itself. There is a department in City hall called legislative references. You can call or go there in person & look up his record over the past 12 years. He hasn’t only made noise when the cameras are watching; he is constantly working to change this city for the better.

  21. Ruday,

    You are sadly mistaken and extremely misinformed. It is clear to me that you did NOT do the research you claim to have done because if you had you would know the truth. What you have just written about Mitchell’s record versus Carter’s record could not be further from the truth. Jill Carter is the only activist elected official we have had in the city or the state. Not only has she advocated for education as a legislator, she has actually gone to court using her skills as a lawyer to bring about better academic results and bring equity to the schools. Mitchell, on the other hand, has done NOTHING. I will disclose that I was an intern in Delegate Carter’s office during the 2004 legislative session. I saw her commitment to many of these issues first hand. If Marc Steiner permits, I will provide links to these points—something I am certain that you cannot do because they are not honestly a part of Mitchell’s record. It truly bothers me that you would attempt to take issues that Delegate Carter has championed and credit your candidate with her hard work. It’s dishonest and just wrong.

    Carter led fight for education funding

    Carter is only candidate right on education

    Carter goes to court for education

    Carter lead fight to end city-state partnership and adequately fund schools

    Carter led effort to get lead oout of school drinking water

    Proactive against crime, Carter is doing a lot more than sitting on a corner during daylight hrs

    Finally, I direct you to Jill Carter’s website which reveals her plans and platforms

    There is NO comparison between the 5 years of stellar commitment and advocacy of Jill Carter’s public sevice and the long, long, decades of nothing and failure of Councilman Mitchell and former councilwoman and current mayor, Sheila Dixon. I am sure they are good people. They are simply not leaders or advocates. Carter has a record on which she can be proud. Their records are records of failure and shame.

  22. Lindsay’s right Ruday…you simply cannot compare the two. I am very familiar with the Mitchell family, but never heard of Keiffer until 2001 and you mean to tell me that he was a council member for 5 years prior to 2001. And when I really think about it, the only reason I discovered him is because I went to work for the city. Yeah, he’s taken a stand for quite a long time. On the other hand, Del. Carter has been bringing injustices to light for citizens and children from day one. She has done more in her five years than Dixon and Mitchell in their city hall hiatus combined.

    As for the support of the police and fire department, one would be nuts not to support a candidate who wants to give you a 15% raise for doing less by hiring 400 ADDITIONAL officers. Let’s see, less work, more money…hummm, should we endorse him? Wwwwellll I don’t know. OK, we’ll endorse him…at least we don’t have to vote for him, cause we don’t live in the city. Who cares if things never get better in that hell hole, we’re getting paid!

    The bottom line is. the only ones supporting Dixon or Mitchell are:

    1. Family,
    2. Dear friends,
    3. Don’t have a clue, or
    4. Getting paid

    Which category do you fall into?

  23. Lindsey and others might be surprised to learn that Jill Carter has been working for the people of Baltimore since at least the early 1990’s. While she was in law school at night and working during the day, she still found time to volunteer to register people to vote. She has been involved in the community for years, working for the NAACP, Legal Aid and the Public Defender’s Office. Thus, her dedication to issues affecting the citizens of the City began long before she sought political office. She was genuinely moved to run for office by her belief that she could make others lives better. Jill’s passion to improve the educational system was no doubt inspired by her mother, a teacher in the Head Start program for over 30 years. She has a wonderful family and support system, and will not be in the news for the ethical problems that have plagued Mitchell and Dixon. Walter P. Carter would be proud of his daughter.

  24. Ladies and Gentlemen:

    Come on now. Let’s have a civil discussion. No need for trading insults.

    The following links contain descriptions and photos of consistent events that Mr. Mitchell has hosted as a Councilmanic representative for the 11th District just last year alone:

    The information on the aforementioned links shows that Rudy is not attempting “to take issues that Delegate Carter has championed and (trying to) credit (her) candidate with (Ms. Carter’s) hard work” as Lindsay mentioned. Rudy is not being “dishonest and …wrong.” Rudy appears to be right. Mr. Mitchell does not hold a press conference every time he goes to a street corner with the intention of deterring crime activity and reclaiming the area.

    – 2nd Frank

  25. I m with you frank #2 & Rudy. Mitchell is the best candiate for the job. No one is saying that Jill Carter nor Aundrey Bundley are not a eaders. They are just not fit enough to be Mayor of the city. Since Carter has so many supporters on this site, Im sure she will do fine when she runs for re-election of her Delegate seat.

    anyway, good luck to all the candiates. To Frank #2 & Rudy, I wouldnt even further acknowledge these other entries, no one cares about who will come in 3rd or 4th place anyway.

    Mitchell has my vote

  26. Help me out here. Your links show that Councilman Mitchell hosted some community meetings. This is hardly “doing” anything to effect policy changes to reform education, public safety, or BGE, or any other improvement in the city. No offense, but honestly, there is a big difference between Jill pushing major legislation in the state house, championing people’s causes in the courts, legislature, and streets, and keiffer hosting some community meetings. I want, and the city needs, a leader not a meeting host.

    Jill Carter should have all of our votes because she actually fights for us.

  27. I just pray that the winner honestly (for once in this city) does right by all of the people in this town, mainly our children and not just the campaign donors.

    Peace and God bless you all.

  28. Frank2,no offense, but links to show Councilman Mitchell held some community meetings over the past year, (when he’s been in office for 12, and true he may have sponsored some useless resolutions over those long years), PALES in comparison to Del. Jill Carter’s activism, leadership, and advocacy on policy reform legislation and even court rulings that would fix major problems in public education and public safety, predatory lending, and BGE.

    An old spiritual says, “Let the Work I’ve Done Speak for Me”

    That’s what Jill Carter can say when she asks for our vote for mayor. She’s done the work of a leader. She didn’t just sit around calling meetings that produced no real change.

    We don’t need a meeting host, or an event planner at City Hall. We need a leader.

    Anyone and everyone that feels as I do, that real change for the better is possible with a real leader who will take action to make it happen, there is only one choice…
    Vote Jill P. Carter for Mayor Sept. 11.

Leave a Reply