EXCLUSIVE: Warnock TV Ad Buys

I mentioned earlier that David Warnock has an ad “on TV.” Which is true. What was not clear, at least to me, was the extent of Warnock’s TV buy.

It’s big. Really, really big.

There are four major television stations in Baltimore. WMAR (ABC Channel 2), WBAL (NBC Channel 11), WJZ (CBS Channel 13), and WBFF (Fox Channel 45). Warnock has ad buys already in place with WJZ and WBFF for $197,200 and $175,100, respectively. The ad buys run from yesterday, January 18, through February 21. FCC records also show that Warnock has been in contact with WBAL and I can’t imagine he’s going to shun WMAR either.

$372,300, for two stations covering one month. That’s a lot of ads. My guess is that there’s a lot more to come after February 21.

More Charm City Numbers

And some of them are really, really big numbers. The Sun has a rundown of some of the data unofficially trickling out.

The big headline is in the mayoral race. Mayoral candidate David Warnock has loaned his campaign $950,000, but what shouldn’t be lost is that he also raised $360,000, a strong number in and of itself.

District 14 incumbent Mary Pat Clarke, facing three challengers, raised $50,000.

The Sun also reported on the numbers for Brian Hammock, which I reported last night, noting some additional contributions behind the ones I saw.

Hammock’s money includes a $3,000 transfer from state Sen. Joan Carter Conway, a Baltimore Democrat; a $3,000 contribution from developer Mark Sapperstein; a $2,000 contribution from former Gov. Martin O’Malley’s “O’ Say Can You See” federal political action committee; and a $1,000 contribution from lobbyist Sean Malone, among others. Henry challenged Conway unsuccessfully for state Senate in 2014.

That last sentence is key. Joan Carter Conway is someone with a long, long memory. You don’t challenge her without the awareness cthat she is unlikely to forgive or to forget. I am sure that she is bound and determined to pay Bill Henry back for his 2014 challenge, with a healthy dollop of interest on top. If I was a betting man, I’d put my money on Hammock.

Changing Of The Guard In Baltimore?

While much of the focus has rightly gone to the presidential, senatorial and congressional races happening in Maryland this year, the biggest changes coming in 2016 may well be on the Baltimore scene. There’s an open seat race for mayor, several council members are running for mayor, some are retiring, and virtually every city council seat is being contested in the Democratic primary. The Sun has just posted a rundown of the contested races coming up this spring.

The Baltimore City Council – a body some hope will help bring change to a beleaguered city – is likely to experience significant turnover in next year’s election.

Already, four of the council’s 15 members have said they will not seek re-election, while several others are considering stepping down or face formidable challengers. The result could be a younger council that analysts say might feel an urgency to address the persistent problems, including Baltimore’s entrenched poverty, lead poisoning, housing segregation and drugs, which drew international attention after Freddie Gray’s death in police custody.

“We’re going to see the most turnover we’ve seen in years,” said Catalina Byrd, a Baltimore-based political consultant. “This is going to be a historic year for the council.”

There’s a host of interesting candidates running, but I want to exercise my personal prerogative to highlight the District 13 race. Shannon Sneed lost to incumbent Warren Branch in the primary in 2011 by 43 votes, then ran a spirited write in campaign in the general election and only lost by 225 votes. The Sun writes

Sneed, 35, a former broadcast journalist who works as a volunteer recruiter for a nonprofit, has been knocking on doors in the district and attending community events to spread the word about her campaign.

“My neighbors have my phone number. I will be present,” Sneed said. “We need a voice for people to advocate for us, for good jobs that have benefits and pensions.”

I’m hosting a fundraiser for her here at my house next Saturday, January 9. She’s the real deal. I’ll have more on the event this week, but if you’re looking to support a strong candidate who will be an advocate for change, Shannon Sneed is as good as it gets.

To my Baltimore readers: I need to know more about the goings on in your fair city. Shoot me an email and let me know the whispers and rumors.

Anti-Dixon Ad In Baltimore

A new ad is out in the Baltimore mayoral race. I spent some time trying to track down the people behind it, and it got so interesting I think I need a separate post for that. The group behind it is Clean Slate Baltimore, a federally registered PAC with a PO box for an address.

Here’s the video. My opinion is that while it’s a negative ad, it’s one of the cutest and sweetest negative ads you’ll ever see. It’s also high quality and almost assuredly didn’t come cheap. I very much doubt we’ve heard the last of Clean Slate.

Dixon Leads For Baltimore Mayor

Sunday is apparently poll day at the Sun. Another new poll shows former mayor Sheila Dixon with a sizable lead in the mayoral primary race.

Dixon 24
Pugh 13
Stokes 11
Mosby 10
Embry 7
Warnock 5

Former Mayor Sheila Dixon is the clear early front-runner in a crowded field to become Baltimore’s next mayor, a new poll for The Baltimore Sun and the University of Baltimore shows.

Dixon, who was favored by nearly a quarter of the respondents, leads the Democratic primary race by 11 points over her closest rival, state Sen. Catherine E. Pugh.

City Councilmen Carl Stokes and Nick J. Mosby are close behind in third and fourth place, trailed by lawyer Elizabeth Embry and businessman David L. Warnock.

“Sheila Dixon has almost a 2-to-1 lead, and not only that, but her support is the firmest by far,” said Steve Raabe, president of OpinionWorks, the Annapolis-based firm that conducted the poll. Dixon has a wide lead among older voters and African-Americans, the poll shows.

But many Democrats have not made up their minds about how to vote in the April 26 primary, the poll shows, with more than a quarter of respondents undecided. For decades, the contest among the city’s Democrats, who outnumber Republicans by a 10-1 margin, has decided the mayor’s race.

Warnock Running For Mayor

While we rightly focus on the outcome of today’s municipal elections in Rockville, Gaithersburg, Takoma Park and elsewhere around the state, there is now another candidate for Baltimore mayor in the primary next April.

David L. Warnock, the Baltimore venture capitalist and philanthropist, is entering the mayor’s race — arguing that his business background and political inexperience are positives for a city in desperate need of job growth and a fresh start.

“We are going to have another uprising if we can’t figure out how to create jobs and economic opportunity for the people who are the least fortunate among us,” said Warnock, a partner in one of Baltimore’s largest private equity firms whose charitable work includes helping ex-offenders.
“I’m the one guy that’s been in the business of creating jobs over the last 15 or 20 years. I really think that can distinguish me.”
Warnock, 57, said in an interview with The Baltimore Sun that he plans to formally file to run for mayor Tuesday. He will join a crowded field seeking to replace Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, who is not seeking re-election.
With his wealth and business connections, Warnock’s entrance could put pressure on the field to ramp up fundraising efforts. He also represents an outsider among politicians.

There are four top-tier candidates already in the race: former mayor Sheila Dixon, councilmen Nick Mosby and Carl Stokes, and state senator Catherine Pugh. Whether Warnock will make it five remains to be seen, but his resume and deep pockets certainly make him an intriguing candidate right from the start.