Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon’s (D) “political future” will be “in the hands of a jury” 11/9, “when her trial on theft charges begins.” Dixon is “accused of asking wealthy developer pals to donate gift cards worth thousands of dollars, saying they would be given to poor families — then using them” for “personal shopping sprees” and “knickknacks at Target.”
Dixon “faces a separate trial later on perjury charges stemming from accusations that she didn’t report gifts” from her ex-boyfriend, “a real estate developer who received tax breaks from the city.” Dixon has said she won’t resign, but “a plea deal is not an option,” and “under state law, she can’t remain in office if convicted of any felony or misdemeanor related to her official duties” (Nuckols, AP, 11/7).
Jury selection begins 11/9, and it is “perhaps” the most important part of the trial, in which “race and politics will play critical roles, outside observers say.” Dixon’s defense team “will want jurors who like their mayor and the work she has done,” and “would be wise to select jurors from her political base of older black women,” while the “white Republican” prosecutor is “apt to favor those who will dispassionately review the evidence” (Bykowicz, Baltimore Sun, 11/9).
Pictures May Be Worth More Problems
Ex-KY state Rep./‘03 KY GOV candidate Steve Nunn (R), “facing a murder charge in the shooting” death of his ex-fiancee, “has been indicted” on “six counts of wanton endangerment” for allegedly firing “a gun near six police officers” before his arrest (Estep, Lexington Herald-Leader, 11/7).
Police are also “tracking” Nunn’s “digital footprints,” specifically “looking to see whether Nunn kept” a “naked” photo of his ex-fiancee “on his cell phone, as witnesses have alleged,” in possible violation of “a domestic violence order against him.” According to another search warrant, police “are also checking for child pornography on Nunn’s computers” (Honeycutt-Spears/Alessi, Lexington Herald-Leader, 11/8).
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Nigel Farage, who led the Brexit effort in the United Kingdom, appeared at a Trump rally in Mississippi yesterday. Farage told the 15,000-strong crowd: "Remember, anything is possible if enough decent people are prepared to stand up against the establishment."
Perhaps Donald Trump can take a plebiscite to solve this whole messy immigration thing. At a Fox News town hall with Sean Hannity last night, Trump essentially admitted he's "stumped," turning to the audience and asking: “Can we go through a process or do you think they have to get out? Tell me, I mean, I don’t know, you tell me.”
Donald Trump "nearly quintupled the monthly rent his presidential campaign pays for its headquarters at Trump Tower to $169,758 in July, when he was raising funds from donors, compared with March, when he was self-funding his campaign." A campaign spokesman "said the increased office space was needed to accommodate an anticipated increase in employees," but the campaign's paid staff has actually dipped by about 25 since March. The campaign has also paid his golf courses and restaurants about $260,000 since mid-May.
Donald Trump probably isn't taking seriously John Oliver's suggestion that he quit the race. But he has canceled or rescheduled rallies amid questions over his stance on immigration. Trump rescheduled a speech on the topic that he was set to give later this week. Plus, he's also nixed planned rallies in Oregon and Las Vegas this month.
Donald Trump's Fox News brain trust keeps growing. After it was revealed that former Fox chief Roger Ailes is informally advising Trump on debate preparation, host Sean Hannity admitted over the weekend that he's also advising Trump on "strategy and messaging." He told the New York Times: “I’m not hiding the fact that I want Donald Trump to be the next president of the United States. I never claimed to be a journalist.”