« Currie’s campaign treasurer accused of theft | Main | Cummings remembers Ron Walters, political strategist and U Md. institute head »

September 10, 2010

Cardin says he didn't endorse Almond in council race

U.S. Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin is refuting a claim made in a campaign flier that he has endorsed Baltimore County Council District 2 candidate Vicki Almond.

A statement released by Cardin’s office Friday afternoon says that he endorsed the four candidates for the Maryland General Assembly who are listed and shown on the flier with Almond in a group photograph of the “11th District Team,” but as to the open seat in the 2nd council district, "I have not endorsed a candidate.”

Cardin could not be reached for further comment.

Asked on Friday evening why Cardin would feel the need to issue such a statement, Almond said “I don’t know. I have the deepest respect for him. Maybe there’s some pressure, I don’t know.”

Almond said she did not speak with Cardin personally about an endorsement, which was handled by other members of the 11th District team, which includes state Senator Bobby Zirkin and Delegates Dan K. Morhaim, Dana Stein and Jon S. Cardin, who is the senator's nephew. All four are Democratic incumbents.

Zirkin stood by the accuracy of the flier. He provided an e-mail dated Aug. 29 and headed “quote from b.c.” sent by Del. Jon Cardin to Zirkin, Stein and others, that included the Sen. Cardin quote used in the flier: “The 11th district team has done an excellent job representing the community. I am proud to be their constituent.”

Two of Almond’s five rivals for the Democratic nomination in the district that includes Reisterstown, Pikesville, Ruxton and parts of Owings Mills said that if Sen. Cardin didn’t really endorse Almond, the flier is misleading.

Candidate Sherrie Becker, executive director of the Pikesville Chamber of Commerce, said she considered the flier "very deceptive...I think this demonstrates the importance of this race to the incumbents."

Alan P. Zukerberg of Pikesville, a lawyer and community activist running for the seat, said the flier appears to be a "misrepresentation...I think they should have known better."
Cardin is listed as making the endorsement along with four other community leaders:

Congressman Elijah Cummings, Baltimore County Executive James T. Smith, the Rev. Dr. Frank M. Reid III and former state delegate Arthur Alperstein. The flier includes quotes from each man praising the team.

Zirkin said the five candidates have been working together since the spring. Almond, a longtime community activist from Reisterstown, had served for four years as Zirkin’s chief of staff and also has managed Stein’s campaign.

Zirkin said Sen. Cardin gave the quote to his nephew, who then conveyed it to members of the team. Given the fact that Sen. Cardin and his nephew talked frequently about the team, he said it would be “preposterous” to suggest that Sen. Cardin didn’t know that the group included Almond when he approved the quote used in the flier.

Zirkin said the quote from Cardin “was given with full knowledge of what it was being used for. Vicki is a major teammate of the 11th District team. To suggest anything else is simply untrue.”

An ad for the 11th District team in this week's “Baltimore Jewish Times” includes mention only of the endorsements from Smith and Alperstein. Zirkin said Cardin's name was not used because "Jon (Cardin) said Ben's people did not want to put Ben's quote in the Jewish Times." He said the ad focused on Smith and Alperstein because they were well known in the district and would be most effective in that publication.

The four legislators — none of whom faces a tough race for their own seat this year — put their endorsement and their financial support behind Almond months ago. The four have contributed $115,800 to a slate that includes Almond, who has raised nearly $83,000 on her own, the most of the five Democrats in the primary race.

Posted by David Nitkin at 9:16 PM | | Comments (22)


So let's figure out what happened here. First of all, Senator Cardin lives in District 11 where it is almost impossible to go a mile without a sign listing the District 11 Team including Vicki Almond. Senator Cardin sends an e-mail quote to the team - so proof is in writing - no deception or misrepresentation. The team uses the quote. Some supporter of another Council candidate who also supports Senator Cardin complains to the Senator. So in an amazing display of cowardice - Senator Cardin throws the District 11 Team and his own nephew under the bus. No wonder our Federal government is such a mess with leaders like Senator Cardin!

That whole "11th District Team" is slimy -- especially Zirkin (AKA the guy who had a crisis of conscience and couldn't bring himself to vote for MOM's tax increase during the special session in '07 after he had no problem voting it out of committee when his nay vote might have mattered) -- and I'd vote against Almond just because she's been such an integral part of it, regardless of the semantics used to explain Cardin's (non)endorsement.

Holly cow,

Not only did Bobby Zirkin use Senator Cardin quote falsely , he goes on to insult The U S Senator as beign "preposterous' that he didn't know what he was doing. The he goes on to say that the ad in the Jewish Times exludedd Senator Cardin and Congressman Cummings and left County Execuitve Jim Smith in because he felt Smith would be more "effective in an ad aimed at the Jewish Community" than Ben Cardin!!!! Yikes!!!!!!!

Too bad, this tangle hurts Vicki Almond who is an amazing candidate and tremendous person! Additionally, she is BY FAR the most qualified person running for Baltimore County Council District 2. Thumbs up for Vicki!

Wow. A comment from Mel Mintz - a paid staffer on Sherrie Becker's campaign. Hmmmm. Doesn't Ben Cardin pull this junk every election. He gives a quote and then says no one can use it. Vicki Almond is a great candidate. She helped me when I needed it. Mel Mintz should crawl back under the rock he came from.

Hey mel mintz - Didn't Zirkin say that the ad wasn't used because the nephew said Senator Cardin wanted it pulled from the j.t.? Did you just lie on the blog? Are you on the payroll of another candidate? Weren't you the same Mel Mintz that got crushed by Dutch and then ran for Delegate and got crushed and so on. A little bitter, are we, Mel Mintz? Get a life.

Maybe senator cardin didn't think Vicki was part of the "11th district team" because she's running for the 2nd District council seat ....

Anyone who lives in the district and is paying attention, as I assume Senator Cardin is, knows who is on the "11th District Team" this year-- the team clearly includes Vicki Almond! To back away from a quote is cowardly. Actually pathetic. That guy's lost my vote whenever he runs again-- he is the slimy one!

Hey Dc - the District 11 Team is a registered slate that includes Vicki Almond. Senator Cardin, as an experienced politician, would know that fact. As for Mel Mintz, here is a guy promoting bigotry in this council race so just understand the source before you read his posts.

Business as usual for the career politicians who will stop at nothing.

To pikeswill. You caught me My salary just got doubled. Let me explain the math for you 2 times $0 is .....$0 All I am is an ardent supproter of the far away most qualified candidate n the race. Sherrie Becker

Countylife Re; Bigotry. You caught me as well. I am proud to have been awarded by the Baltmore County Branch of the NAACP. I was the only candidate who spoke up agianst acts of racial and releigious terrorism. I was the candidate endorsed by thflack ministers in 1994 conty execuyitve rae

As far as crawling from under a rock. I don;'t hide behind some made up silly e mail name ...You know who I am. When was the last time any of you put your you lnow what on the liene to serve the public .

I would not be surprised if many of you are Bobby's Z's kids. I turst your checks clear

If the District 11 Team includes Vicki Almond, then why did the District 11 Team endorse Vicki? That doesn't make sense.

"The District 11 Team of Senator Bobby Zirkin, Delegate Jon Cardin, Delegate Dan Morhaim, and Delegate Dana Stein has officially endorsed Vicki Almond for the Baltimore County Council. The Team believes that Vicki is the best candidate to lead the 2nd District and has pledged its full support for her candidacy."

Frank Kratovil for Senate 2012

Sherrie Becker would be a disaster. Take a look at downtown Pikesville. That's her claim to fame?? What a joke. And her campaign is being run by Mel Mintz?? Didn't Dutch take care of that Bozo? So Ben Cardin gives a quote to his nephew for use by his team, and then gets some heat, and backs off. Profile in courage. I don't know who I am voting for but it sure isn't Sherrie Becker. Her campaign staff came to my door and told me that only someone of the jewish faith (I am jewish) should hold that seat. What a disgraceful thing to say. Maybe Ted Levin, Vicki Almond - - not sure yet -- - anyone but that disgrace Sherrie Becker.

Yes, let's set the record straight.
Becker's mailers say she won't respond to developers, but she lists Stuart Greenebaum as a "humanitarian" when everyone knows he's the biggest developer in the region. At least two of her mailers have been paid for by the "Maryland Realtors PAC". Talk about being bought by special interests! Becker ought to shut up about the campaigns of others and clean up her own.

I decided to take a closer look at the endorsements. Sen. Cardin endorsed the "11th" district state legislators. They endorse/support a number of candidates that Sen. Cardin did not, including Almond, Kamenetz, Del. Lafferty. So what? Anybody can endorse anyone they want. There's nothing here to suggest that Sen. Cardin or the 11th District legislators did anything wrong. This is a dead non-issue. Can we move on, please?

The time is NOW for the voters of Baltimore County to wake up and do their homework. We have an opportunity to restore the county council to a more balanced entity whereby the interests of the public are considered wisely. "All they can do is find out who is bankrolling the candidates seeking to represent them" is good advice but the voters can and should do much more than checking the campaign finance section of as suggested.

In District 2, you can note where the campaign signs are placed and get a good idea which developer or special interest is backing which candidate for county council and county executive. Some developers financed candidates with $1000 a head fundraisers in their homes as much as two years ago so it is wise to look at finance records over time. Note where the candidate is currently employed such as a law firm with whom a developer uses heavily for land use matters or consider which candidates have a more subtle conflict of interest which could be of considerable consequence. Ask yourself what the "Team" approach is really about. Perhaps it is a means to secure support for a particular issue of substantial public interest. Consider who may engage and pay the bills for the attorney in private solo practice.

Check out community associations and umbrella community organizations as they have a good memory when it comes to a candidate's record of balancing the needs of the community and special interests. Note the candidates who have regularly been a committed vocal advocate for the interests of the public versus the candidate who lists their previously unknown accomplishments in an advert arriving in your mailbox just before the primary. Visit the candidates’ websites and before the general election, take the time to attend a forum or debate to hear what is said or perhaps not said. Be open minded to vote across party lines if that’s what it takes to elect the best candidate.

The voter has an opportunity to shape the future of Baltimore County and their vote should be cast with confidence in knowing that their selected candidate is qualified, committed, independent, and balanced in their approach to county affairs.

Alan Zukerberg is the candidate we need on the county council NOW.

~Sharon L. Rosen

I think everyone should check out Albert M. Harris, a BUSINESSMAN, NOT ANOTHER POLITICIAN who is running for 2nd district County Councilman. Check out his qualifications - You will then see who is the BEST candidate!

Please vote for Sherrie Becker. She is Jewish. She will bring kashrut to the 2nd Disctrict. She goes to synagogue on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. She is Jewish. She knows Torah. She is Jewish. She observes the Sabbath and keeps it holy. Did I say she is Jewish? She will be the first Jewish woman representing the 2nd Council(wo)manic District. Her lights are on automatic from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday. She does not mix milk and meat. She is Jewish. Please vote for the Jew. We need her to keep "our community" together. She loves all synagogues equally. Loves Park Heights Avenue, loves it. Great for "our neighborhood" She will turn plowshares into pruning hooks. She is Jewish. She will be our everlasting light. She really admires Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Don't forget Esau. And she's somewhat forward thinking, so Leah and Rebecca are high on her list also. She is Jewish. We need her. She will assure no County Council meetings are held on any Jewish holidays because she is jewish and will need to cook for her family before holidays. So, tomorrow, Monday night, "Eruv Primary Election Day" think hard about who you want in that 2nd district seat: Someone who knows how to make a matzoh ball or someone who has to learn to do so. The 2nd district seat should not be a training ground for the uninitiated. Elect someones who is married to a circumsized male (at eight days old). You must not forget "our neighborhood" We need her. She is Jewish, She is Jewish. She is Jewish. Halleluhah!!!!
Baruch Hashem!!

It' is nice that everyone uses this as a forum to critique candidates.

I'd like to offer my opinion.

County Council positions are for the people who are well accustomed to leadership, enterprise and innovation.

It is very scary that certain candidates lack advanced education and experience in eadership roles. It is even scarier that incumbents are endorsing these prospective council members.

I urge everyone so strongly consider the qualified candidates.

Sherrie Becker--a strong business leader, community activist and involved citizen.

Timmy Ruppersberger--an accomplished attorney with interests in businesses as well as education.

Vicki Almond is unqualified.

Bobby ZIrkin wants expand his sphere of influence. Bobby cannot enumerate what Vicki's strenghs are.

Vicki's replacement was a 23-year-old who left Bobby for a better opportunity. Vicki is in her 60s.

PTA member does not = councilman. I know that more than three of the candidates have played active roles in PTA.

We want a leader. We want someone who has INTELLIGENCE. Please, please, please research and do your due diligence.

It will be very scary if someone without leadership experience assumes the role of a leader. There is much to be done in this district. The fate of the district hangs in the balance.

Hey Mel,
You were such a great councilman that you got spanked when you ran for Executive. Okay. It's a tougher race. So then you ran for Delegate got spanked again. You are a joke. Your claim to fame is that you are the perenial loser in elections in Pikesville. And stop asking Kamenetz and Bartenfelder for a job. They won't give it to you guessed're a joke.

Timmy Ruppersburger is the most qualified candidate. She has the experience, qualifications and energy needed for the job. She is not a career politition, which I find very refreshing.

Post a comment

All comments must be approved by the blog author. Please do not resubmit comments if they do not immediately appear. You are not required to use your full name when posting, but you should use a real e-mail address. Comments may be republished in print, but we will not publish your e-mail address. Our full Terms of Service are available here.

Verification (needed to reduce spam):


Headlines from The Baltimore Sun
About the bloggers
Annie Linskey covers state politics and government for The Baltimore Sun. Previously, as a City Hall reporter, she wrote about the corruption trial of Mayor Sheila Dixon and kept a close eye on city spending. Originally from Connecticut, Annie has also lived in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, where she reported on war crimes tribunals and landmines. She lives in Canton.

John Fritze has covered politics and government at the local, state and federal levels for more than a decade and is now The Baltimore Sun’s Washington correspondent. He previously wrote about Congress for USA TODAY, where he led coverage of the health care overhaul debate and the 2010 election. A native of Albany, N.Y., he currently lives in Montgomery County.

Julie Scharper covers City Hall and Baltimore politics. A native of Baltimore County, she graduated from The Johns Hopkins University in 2001 and spent two years teaching in Honduras before joining The Baltimore Sun. She has followed the Amish community of Nickel Mines, Pa., in the year after a schoolhouse massacre, reported on courts and crime in Anne Arundel County, and chronicled the unique personalities and places of Baltimore City and its surrounding counties.
Most Recent Comments
Sign up for FREE local news alerts
Get free Sun alerts sent to your mobile phone.*
Get free Baltimore Sun mobile alerts
Sign up for local news text alerts

Returning user? Update preferences.
Sign up for more Sun text alerts
*Standard message and data rates apply. Click here for Frequently Asked Questions.
  • Breaking News newsletter
When a big news event breaks, we'll e-mail you the basics with links to up-to-date details.
Sign up

Blog updates
Recent updates to news blogs
 Subscribe to this feed
Charm City Current
Stay connected