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The Nose

Julius the Seizer

Posted 5/7/2003

Just when the Nose thought it was safe to contemplate a long, lazy summer, our windshield wiper jolted us back to cold reality. There, under the rubber was--say it's not so!--campaign literature. Specifically, it was the smiling mug of one Andrey Bundley, who wants to be our next mayor. Yes, the city's primary election is this coming September. If you thought it was in 2004, think again. As it stands now, the general election will be in November 2004, but the primary (which in overwhelmingly Democratic Baltimore City essentially is the election) is but four months hence. A teensy-weensy--and overlooked--change in state election law has turned the referendum we voters approved in 1999 (designed to align city elections with presidential elections) into a train wreck. Only state legislators can rescue us from 14 months of lame-duckdom, and there's no evidence at present that they intend to do so.And so, Bundley was on our windshield, and the Nose begrudgingly donned the campaign hat to find out who this early bird bidding to beat Mayor Martin O'Malley is. Turns out, he's the principal at West Baltimore's Walbrook High School, and he's never held elected office. By all evidence, a decent and competent man, but a political neophyte to say the least. We've since seen Bundley signage along the Martin Luther King Junior Boulevard and Perring Parkway medians. This aggressive (and illegal) campaign approach has one man's fingerprints all over it. And sure enough, on the Tuesday, April 29, edition of WEAA's One to One With Anthony McCarthy program, all was revealed. Campaign consultant Julius Henson was the guest. And Bundley is a Henson candidate.

Ah, JH--Baltimore's own pugnacious political operative and campaign street fighter-for-hire. The H-man's tactics are legendary. If the name doesn't immediately ring a bell, he's the guy who called then-gubernatorial candidate Robert Ehrlich a Nazi last fall (while Henson had his nose in the Kathleen Kennedy Townsend campaign tent). His 1999 assembling of a bunch of rowdies to shout down Del. Howard "Pete" Rawlings' public endorsement of O'Malley's mayoral candidacy is another high-water mark. So now he's bringing his blitzkrieg electioneering methods to the earnest Dr. Bundley, who doesn't have O'Malley's brimming war chest. Bundley, who is African-American, does have a catchy slogan: "It's our thing--Do the right thing." (Hmmm . . . a thinly veiled call for blacks to assert their majority status in Baltimore?)

"Come August, the race for mayor will not be a coronation," Henson says in summing up the looming battle.

We've since learned that erstwhile city councilman Carl Stokes is once again vying for the city's Big Chair. (Hoping voters will have forgotten about the fudged résumé he trotted out during his last mayoral run--the one that said he graduated from Loyola College, when in fact he went there all of two years.) And everybody's fave wacko liberal, A. Robert Kaufman, is likely to jump into the mix as well.

Of course, Henson likes to toss his hat into as many politico rings as will have him (which is to say, anyone who'll bring the Benjamins.) The talk show revealed that another candidate Henson might be helping this summer is Warren Brown. Yes, that Warren Brown--the lawyer who ran for city state's attorney in the last go 'round until Henson (working for opponent Lisa Stancil) went public with a host of his professional improprieties and personal foibles (most notably, Brown's having fathered out-of-wedlock twins by his ex-wife's niece). Brown dropped out of that race but might be eyeballing a City Council seat this time. And now, perhaps, with Henson in his corner, dishing dirt on the other guys.

"If the dollars work out, we'll come to terms," Henson says of his potential Brown backing.

So, no, it won't be lazy summer here at Nose HQ. But at least it won't be boring.

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