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Former mayor of Baltimore holds shindig for donors behind closed doors

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MEGAN SHERMAN, TRNN: Campaign cash, tax breaks, and development: the basic recipe for how elections are financed in Baltimore were all in the mix at the Inner Harbor East Mariott Hotel Monday evening, as current frontrunner and former mayor Sheila Dixon held a closed-door fundraiser amid the trappings of wealth and privilege. The Real News tried to witness he event housed in the property owned by developer John Paterakis, but we were told the media was not allowed in. The Inner Harbor landmark was financed by a tax break known as a PILOT, Payment In Lieu of Taxes. PILOTs allow projects not to pay any property taxes for years, gradually raising the rates over a decade, or sometimes longer. Eventually, Dixon emerged from the gathering and gave us a quick comment on the nature of the event. [First of all] what this event here tonight is about, and I guess why [inaud.], or–. SHEILA DIXON: Well, you know, all of us are doing fundraising to help us in winning the campaign. And this is just another fundraiser that people are hosting for me. I have a lot of grassroots support throughout this campaign. And you know, there are people in the business community that support me, and realize that I was doing a great job, and want to be supportive. And you know, we have a lot of fundraisers going on between now and April 26. This is just one fundraiser amongst many. SHERMAN: And then what type of folk are coming to this event tonight? DIXON: There are a number of businesspeople who are coming to this event who support the city, who are engaged and involved, have an investment in the city. And they want to hear, you know, my position on a number of challenges that we face in the city, and where the city’s going to go moving forward, and what great opportunities are going to be available and hear my vision and my ideas. SHERMAN: This is Megan Sherman and Stephen Janis reporting with the Real News Network.


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