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).
What We're Following See More »
"The Senate health committee will hold two hearings early next month on how the nation’s individual health insurance marketplaces can be stabilized, as party leaders grasp for a fresh path following the collapse of the Republican effort to repeal and replace much of former President Barack Obama’s health care law. GOP and Democratic leaders are exploring whether they can craft a bipartisan but limited bill aimed at curbing rising premiums for people who buy their own insurance. In many markets, consumers are seeing steeply rising premiums and fewer insurers willing to sell policies."
"The U.S. Navy announced a pause in its global operations and patrols and has begun a broad investigation after the destroyer USS John S. McCain collided with a merchant vessel, leaving 10 sailors missing, the second such incident in as many months."
"U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell predicted Congress will raise the country’s debt limit in time to prevent an unprecedented default." Speaking at a Kentucky event, Mnuchin said, “Everybody understands, this is not a Republican issue, this is not a Democrat issue. We need to be able to pay our debts.” McConnell echoed him, saying there's "zero chance" the ceiling doesn't get raised.