Dixon’s High-Quality Lifestyle An Eye Opener!
Ever watch the program, the lives of the rich and famous?
Well, recently we’ve been treated to our own homegrown version, except it’s called the lives of the elected elite and politically connected. In case you haven’t guessed, I am talking about the recent revelations about Mayor Sheila Dixon’s lifestyle as revealed in court documents filed by the state prosecutor.
Oh, sure, I’ve often perused the campaign records of various elected officials and seen the hundreds of thousands of dollars of tribute being pumped into their coffers by their developer and company benefactors. But it’s only when an investigation of one of these officials becomes pubic through court documents does someone like myself get to see what this can mean in the real world.
Details of shopping junkets, fur coats, $500 pairs of shoes, gift exchanges, which Dixon did not disclose, was shocking — even to someone as cynical as I am.
After all, Baltimore property owners pay some of the highest taxes in the country, and even with its $3 billion budget, the Mayor and city legislators are always asking the state for more, more and more money to run Baltimore!
And what is even more shocking is the attitude of Dixon and other elected officials when confronted with hard questions about these seemingly conflicts of interest. “It’s a witch hunt,” they cry.
Dixon lashed out at the press last week and once again accused reporters, who can barely afford to fill their gas tanks, of treating her unfairly. How dare they question her? Why won’t they just let the Mayor do her job? And of course, as always, the ugly, overused race card is stuck in all of our faces: “They’re singling her out because she is black and a woman!”
Yet, the truth is, we all got a peek though the window of Baltimore politics and saw what we saw.
It is a life where no one has to meet a real budget or produce a product. If they spend too much, they just raise taxes. They are chauffeured about in SUVs — the price of gas is no problem. They buy only the best, eat and stay at world class restaurants and hotels — while many of the unemployed I know shop at the local Thrift Shop and think it’s a big deal if they can take their families out to eat at a fast-food joint once a week.
The only tragedy of this whole Dixon melodrama would be that when all is said and done, nothing really changes, and the elite will continue to live their lives of privilege, while the rest of us pick up the tab!