Mfume Defends Himself Against Allegations

From Friday’s Baltimore Sun.

Kweisi Mfume denied Thursday that he was forced to resign as president of the NAACP amid allegations of nepotism and sexual harassment, saying someone is trying to derail his campaign for U.S. Senate.

Speaking in Clinton at a rally of African-American Democrats Thursday night, the former congressman insisted the claims are “unproven and unsubstantiated allegations levied against me by some person or people trying to disrupt my campaign.”
Mfume’s remarks — which he said would be the last on the topic — come six weeks into his nascent Senate campaign, and five months after a much-publicized NAACP resignation speech.

While Mfume thinks this will be the last time he talks about this topic, I am pretty sure darn sure The Baltimore Sun and Washington Post, who obviously want Cardin to be the nominee in order to guarantee this seat stays Democratic, will make damn sure this is NOT the last time Mfume talks about this topic. In addition, another article from tomorrow’s Baltimore Sun reports that even fellow Democrats believe the allegations will be damaging to Mfume.

Allegations that Kweisi Mfume promoted women at the NAACP based on personal relationships with them could harm his fledgling campaign for Senate, political experts and several allies said Thursday.

“I think it is damaging,” said Del. Curt Anderson, a Baltimore Democrat and longtime supporter of the former Baltimore congressman. “Any time you are unfair or show favoritism, that is a general knock against a person’s ability to do a good job as an elected official.
“This is a guy who claims to have come up from the streets, straightened himself out and stayed on the straight and narrow ever since,” said Matthew Crenson, a political science professor at the Johns Hopkins University. “But it now seems, at least in the eyes of voters, he really hasn’t changed that much at all, if we believe these charges.”

Many Baltimore voters are likely aware of Mfume’s history, but the allegations could serve as a harsh and off-putting introduction to residents of suburban counties who may be reluctant to support a left-leaning politician who as a student in the 1970s helped take over a Baltimore community college building and replaced the U.S. flag with a black-power banner, Crenson and others said.

“Some would speculate that it would detract from the congressman’s crossover appeal,” said Herbert C. Smith, a political science professor at McDaniel College in Westminster.

This second article also suggests Mfume rough treatment at the outset of this campaign makes it more likely other high-profile Democrats will jump in the race.

Mfume’s possible weakness makes it more likely that Rep. Chris Van Hollen, a Montgomery County Democrat known as an aggressive campaigner, will enter the contest.

Van Hollen “stands to gain the most if Kweisi is not in the race, or if he is weakened in the race,” said Rushern Baker, a former Democrat delegate from Prince George’s and a likely candidate for county executive there next year. “Van Hollen is the natural person to take a significant amount of votes in Prince George’s County.”

There was no additional articles on the Washington Post website tonight over this issue. Interesting to see if theyfollow up in tomorrow’s paper.

Posted by Dave at 11:16 pm
Filed under: MD - 2006 Senate Race | Comments (2)

2 Responses to “Mfume Defends Himself Against Allegations”

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