Wandering Eye: Heather Mizeur slams the campaign cycle, an East Baltimore torture house, and the football mind of F. Scott Fitzgerald

The governor's race has been pretty disappointing to follow, with "false statements and distortions" coming from both Lieut. Gov. Anthony G. Brown and Republican candidate Larry Hogan. And we're not the only ones who feel frustrated: Today, The Sun published an op-ed from state Del. Heather Mizeur, a progressive who focused on forward-thinking ideas and policies in her failed bid for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination. Her op-ed provides some harsh criticism of Brown and his campaign, with her writing, "This campaign cycle has been an epic disaster." She says that she met with Brown after the primary and discussed some of her policy ideas that he could embrace in his campaign, but "Weeks after delivering [a policy] memo [to Brown's campaign], I received word that the campaign 'was taking a different approach.' I was told they had no interest in promoting new policies but were instead locked on a strategy to just draw contrasts with their opponent. That is campaign doublespeak for settling to run negative attack ads rather than to promote a positive vision." But despite her frustration, she urges progressive voters to vote for Brown, rather than write in her name as a form of protest. "There is too much at stake," she writes. "Our time will come at some future election." (Anna Walsh)


Justin Fenton's chilling story about an alleged "torture house" at 1307 E. Madison St. near Johns Hopkins’ East Baltimore medical complex has an interesting twist: One of the three men charged in a Howard County attempted-burglary case that led police to the house, Jabbar Mickles, was scheduled to be sentenced last November pursuant to a guilty plea he tendered in August 2013 to federal money-laundering conspiracy charges that were filed in March 2012, when he was released pending trial. The docket in Mickle's federal case does not include any entries that explain why the scheduled November 2013 hearing did not take place. The money-laundering charges involve a scheme in which Mickles and co-conspirator Darien Jackson, who also pleaded guilty, laundered at least $590,000 in drug proceeds through a New York company, 166 Bruckner Blvd. LLC, between 2007 and 2009. Police investigating a man reportedly abducted in Pigtown on Oct. 14 were led to the Howard County attempted burglary and then to the Madison Street house, Fenton’s article explains, where they found a kidnapped man suffering from traumatic injuries, said to be caused by a bat and a handgun, and evidence of prior violence. (Van Smith)


F. Scott Fitzgerald: great American novelist, legendary drinker, and football innovator? An essay by Kevin Helliker in the Wall Street Journal makes the case that Fitzgerald may have been the inspiration behind a football strategy that is now commonplace in today's game: using separate teams for offense and defense (it used to be that the best 11 players would play on both sides of the ball). A little background: Though Fitzgerald never finished his education at Princeton University and was cut from the school's football team— to his great dismay —on the first day of tryouts, the writer remained an ardent supporter of the Tigers. According to a 1956 interview with Fritz Crisler, who coached Princeton from 1932-1937, Fitzgerald would call to talk football "between 12 midnight and six a.m. of the night before our games—not just sometimes, but practically every eve of every home game." And the author of "The Great Gatsby" knew his stuff. "Sometimes he had a play or a new strategy he wanted me to use," said Crisler. "Some of the ideas Scott used to suggest to me over the phone were reasonable—and some were fantastic." Including "a scheme for a whole new offense. Something that involved a two-platoon system." Crisler later departed for the University of Michigan, where he instituted a groundbreaking two-platoon system and changed the game forever. Alas, the interviewer did not ask if Crisler got the idea directly from the author. Worth noting: Crisler's time at Princeton lines up almost exactly with Fitzgerald's time in Baltimore. (Brandon Weigel)

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