Local news blogging: Tale of two cities, mayor corruption vs. mayor runoff

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Mark Tuesday as a historical day for politics in Baltimore and Atlanta. In both cities, current and future mayors take center stage.

Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon was found guilty of embezzlement after receiving a jury’s convicted on one of five counts.  Dixon avoided conviction on two felony counts but still may lose her mayor position, as the Baltimore Sun reports.

In Atlanta, voters will choose a new mayor Tuesday in a runoff election called because neither candidate could net 50 percent of the general election vote necessary to win the seat in November.  Mary Norwood led November’s general election with 46 percent of the vote against runoff challenger Kasim Reed’s 36 percent. Since then however, Reed has bridged gaps in the polls and earned wide array of endorsements. Only an estimated 30 percent of registered Atlanta voters turned out for the Nov. 3 general election.

The New York Times writes about the widely publicized racial undertones in the election:

“A victory for Ms. Norwood, now an at-large city councilwoman, would give Atlanta its first white mayor in 35 years. But the contest has become more about effectiveness than race, with Mr. Reed, a lawyer and former state legislator, excoriating Ms. Norwood for failing to serve as chairwoman of a single committee or take the lead on any new laws in her eight years on the Council.”

Bloggers in Maryland and Georgia offer comment:

MARYLAND
The Hedgehog Report: Baltimore Mayor Convicted.

“Remember earlier in the year when Barack Obama uninvited Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon from The White House?”

“Now we know why.”

Carroll Standard: Maryland governor issues lame statement on Dixon conviction.

“Martin O’Malley should be calling for Baltimore’s disgrace, Sheila Dixon to immediately resign to save the city and state the embarrassment of watching her lie insolently while on the public dole until her term ends or a prison term starts. Instead, Marty tells Baltimore residents to stay focused on other things, like all that other stuff he screwed up or ignored whilst he was mayor.”

Carroll Standard: Micro-blogging captures day of verdict.

GEORGIA

Blog for Democracy: Early Election Day turnout data.

Creative Loafing: CL’s election night coverage.

“This is it, folks. This is for all the marbles. Tonight’s election results will determine who pwns City Hall for the next four years.

“And we’ll be there. Oh, yes, CL’s team of crack-addled political reporters will be out and about, covering the parties, the candidates, the supporters, the weird-looking guy at the back of the room who only showed up for the free hors d’oeuvres. You’ll feel as if you are there as we post observations, take photos, shoot video and analyze on the fly.”

Going Through the Motions: Get off your ass and vote, Atlanta.

“I want to emphasize the importance of every single voter in the City of Atlanta turning out tomorrow to cast a ballot. First, let’s dispel a few myths about runoff elections…”

Blog for Democracy: So, who’s it going to be?

“This much we know: Atlanta voters will make a historic decision in Tuesday’s runoff election for mayor. The question remains: which way is history going to tilt?

“Mary Norwood, the front runner in the Nov. 3 election with 46 percent of the vote, would be the first white mayor of Atlanta in four decades if she holds on to her lead in the runoff. Former state legislator Kasim Reed, who finished behind Norwood on Nov. 3 but has moved up to a near deadlock in the latest polls, would continue the city’s tradition of black mayors.”

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Anthony Bowe

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