Baltimore Mayor Allegedly Bought Game Systems With Gift Cards Meant for Needy

Apparently the corrupt Baltimore politics portrayed in the HBO series The Wire wasn’t all that far from the truth.

State prosecutors charged today that Mayor Sheila Dixon (D) cashed in Best Buy gift cards donated for needy families for her personal use. Among Dixon’s alleged purchases were a PlayStation 2, an Xbox 360 and a PSP. It’s unknown whether she is a gamer herself or if the systems were given to others.

Dixon also faces charges of perjury and misconduct in office.

Via: Baltimore Sun

Thanks to: GP reader Dan Pittore

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  1. robbway says:

    You should see the news here in Baltimore.  Her lawyers are really bad at making public statements.  She should get new counsel.  Apparently, she used the gift cards and charged the rest to her personal credit card.  That is proof, IMHO, that she did this.

    Oh yeah, the kids don’t run around the streets at night, they ride street-illegal dirt bikes on roads.

  2. face777 says:

    Other people would though, and then THAT money would go on cigarettes and booze – thats the sort of thing the benefits whores in the UK do.


    There was an artcle on the 27th December of how an ‘underpriveleged’ (hah!) bitch spent the entirity of her benefits AND extra money she had been given to ‘cope with the cold season and treat her children’.  They were found with hypothermia and had been given dolls which cost less than 50pence from the charity shop.  Still had the sodding labels on, while she, was at the pub.


    Stereotypes DO exist for a reason.  And thes governments do not help by fostering the attitude of ‘oh, don’t worry – we’ll provide free housing and money for your own pleasure, just become a vegetable’

  3. Krono says:

    Personally I’d bet on no they wouldn’t.

    Best Buy doesn’t sell Cigarettes or booze, and I’m fairly sure liquor stores don’t barter for gift cards.


  4. Neeneko says:

    This is actually one of the reasons for the uptake of gaming in poor areas.

    The social servies are screwed, public space has been slurped up by developers (so anything you want to do out, even hanging out, costs money) or is too dangerous, often even schools are not safe.  Activities you can do at home end up being your best bet.  These are generally not people with a huge number of options open to them.

    Though a low end computer would probalby be even better, give them a chance to develop some marketable skills.

  5. Neeneko says:

    Most politicians and CEOs are sociopaths. 

    Normal people do not accumulate that much wealth and power.

    I’m actually completely serious.  There was some research a while back looking at various powerful people, the vast majority of them were functional sociopaths.

  6. Sukasa says:

    Maybe its just me, but I would think it would be much better for "poor" people to have their kids at home playing an xbox/ps2 then the kid going out and joining a gang and killing someone.  Hey, opinions vary though!  Sure, food and clothing are more important, but I guess "entertainment" has its uses as well. Maybe this mayor thought  "Hey these "poor" people dont need to go to Best Buy and use these, so I will "

  7. TK n Happy Ness says:

    Who wants to bet that if any homeless person got a gift card that way, they’d go spend it on either cigarettes or booze?

    When Jack Thompson runs his mouth, does anyone really care what he has to say anymore?

  8. Bigman-K says:

    Huh, didn’t know Best Buy sold those, only thought they solely sold electronics. Haven’t been to one in years though.

     "No law means no law" – Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black on the First Amendment

  9. Bigman-K says:

    I think the real question that needs to be asked is why people are donating BEST BUY gift cards to charities in the first place? Poor people need food, clothing and medicine not electronics items.

     "No law means no law" – Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black on the First Amendment

  10. HungryHungryHomer says:

    Man, talk about low. What kind of an unfeeling, amoral ##### could do this and look at herself in the mirror?

  11. DarkSaber says:

    Yes, how dare he express his opinion, in much the same fashion you are!


    I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

  12. MrKlorox says:

    Lol what a prick. Do you speak to people like that in real life? Since you’re still able to flame people in forums, I’m guessing you’re the type of coward that only speaks up online to people who cannot reach through their monitors and strangle you personally. Weakling.

  13. Hitodama says:

    AC is not a luxury! I live in southern Alabama where it can get into the 90-100+s with high humidity. I’ve hardly used my heater at all this year, infact I’ve been using my AC during the winter. It doesn’t snow here, it doesn’t go below freezing for more than a night.

  14. Flamespeak says:


    South Carolina and Gerogia genertate triple digit tempertures that are typically accompanied with 90-100% humidity. We do tend to have people die as a result of the heat, even when sitting at home, with a fan on them. It gets too hot to survive given the way that houses have been constructed since AC became the norm.  You ever wonder why old houses and buildings (like 1940’s and back) have high ceilings?  It is to control the heat. The heat would rise and wind would blow in through windows (or be assisted by fans) and out again in a mild form of air conditioning.

    The way houses are made with low ceilings, the heat just stays right on you now and it literally slowly cooks people’s organs. Not just old people, but children and the like can die from the weather in this area. This Summer wasn’t bad though, in fact it was pretty darn mild. Further proof of Global warming being a total lie.

  15. Neeneko says:

    The also sell stoves, fridges, vacuums…. lots of small kitchen appliances etc.

    And depending on where you live, A/C is NOT a luxury.  A city in a warm climate (but built for a cold one) becomes basicly unlivable without A/C given how dense they have become.  Lots of east coast cities are like that.

  16. Sukasa says:

    On an interesting note, if the US restricted our immigration policy, our birth rate would likely be similar to Japan and Europe.  Course poor people have more kids.  What else is there for them to do but have sex?  It doesn’t help of course that in poor and generally more religious regions, a "large" family is encouraged and that birth control, etc is usually not available to the poor(and not encouraged by those in religious power). 

  17. ZippyDSMlee says:

    If you are not sick or very old you can make do with fans, but frankly in some aeras its pushing it.

    Either you take care of the lesser populations as best you can as a socity ot you let them fend for themselfs and let them build shanty towns from from public view….


    Gore,Violence,Sexauilty,Fear,Emotion these are but modes
    of transportation of story and thought, to take them from
    society and you create a society of children and nannys.

  18. DeepThorn says:

    I have to go with the saying that they still don’t need AC unless they are elderly.  Most apartments, even in the slums, have fridges that come with them, and rentable houses, and low incoming housing projects. Many have AC and heating too, but maybe not most.

    Though I would agree that many needy people have disorders, most people do not, and claim they do.  Some needy people have such bad disorders that they will waste the help they do get, so they do not get any, but since they have not done anything to harm themselves or others, other than weird stuff like raw meat dies or other extremes. They are not bad enough YET to be forced into treatment.  Instead when they do get bad enough, they have a 40%-80% chance of dieing depending on their disorder.

    All in all, people take advantage of the system in place because it is too easy to do, and the punishments for doing so are not harsh enough.  For the minority of people who actually need the help, it sucks.  Though I know there are a few people in here that would agree with survival of the fittest, there is a stark reality that statistics show that the poorer people are, the more kids they have, and the smarter people are, the fewer kids they have.  (Hence Japan [avg 1.3 per woman = almost half generational deterioration] and Africa [avg 4.3 per woman = more than double the generational growth]…)

    Projects put Japans population of people under the age of 15 to 8.6 million by 2050, in 1950 they had 35.4 million, today 13.5 million.  Africa is suppose to almost triple in population by 2050, with keeping about a 70% AIDS rate.

    Nido Web Flash Tutorials AS2 and AS3 Tutorials for anyone interested.
    How to set Xbox 360 Parental Controls

  19. nighstalker160 says:

    Really AC is a luxury item? You spend a summer in Baltimore when it hits 95-100 degrees with 70% humidity and tell me AC is a "luxury."

    Or how about a Fridge. Guess the poor can survive on rotten vegetables and rancid meat? After all they’re only the poor right.

    Guess what, not every low-income person is lazy or degenerate.

    The vast majority of them have mental disorders (hardly their fault).

  20. Harry Miste says:

    Raise a family on low income for a few years and I’ll give your opinion some merit.

    XBOX LIVE GamerTag: Harry Miste | Steam ID: Harry Miste | PSN ID: HMiste | EYE. HAVE. YOU.

  21. elal says:

    And also something that shouldn’t be taken by politicians like this, if people so choose to donate best buy giftcards to the poor… 

  22. ZippyDSMlee says:

    If you are old or sick AC is much needed.

    Shearing/Downloading will never be a mainstream market.

    Gore,Violence,Sexauilty,Fear,Emotion these are but modes
    of transportation of story and thought, to take them from
    society and you create a society of children and nannys

  23. Derovius says:

     Heaters maybe, but the remainder are luxery items. Something that low income people should not be given, but earn.

  24. Zero Beat says:

    The gift cards could have been used for heaters, air conditioners, dishwashers, etc.  Though not necessary for survival, those appliances sure make it a whole lot easier.


    "That’s not ironic. That’s justice."

  25. Derovius says:

     No, I’m just as big a prick to stupid people here in real life. Thankfully, I don’t associate with enough stupid people to get prickish that often. The internet however, oh boy, has a high stupid density, I find you people everywhere.

  26. Neeneko says:

    Mostly likey she was thinking "i’ve been doing this for years.  that PS2 I got xyz is kinda old now, I should get them a xbox360′

  27. JC says:

    PS2 still has the best bang for your buck. $100 for access to play tons of games that are great, and fun to play.

  28. zel says:

    PS2s? what the hell was she thinking? 🙂


    I am a signature virus, please copy and paste me into your signature to help me propagate.

  29. Neeneko says:

    According to the article, these were charitible donations from private citizens, not goverment handouts.

  30. ZippyDSMlee says:

    Sorry thats to old anythign more than 3 years old is bad!! toss it all away and buy new crap, join us the mass disposable  market zombies…mmmmmm bbwwaaiinnsss…..


    Thankfully I am a zombie of a diffrent color…


    Gore,Violence,Sexauilty,Fear,Emotion these are but modes
    of transportation of story and thought, to take them from
    society and you create a society of children and nannys.

  31. Haggard says:

    I completely agree, only new things are allowed to be good.

    The Beatles, Rush, and Pink Floyd? See, I would like them but they’re just a bit too old. So I’m listening to My Chemical Romance and Katy freakin’ Perry instead.

  32. zel says:

    and old… 😛 we’re talking about abuse of money and you’re going to be frugal?  well i guess at least that can be a defense.


    I am a signature virus, please copy and paste me into your signature to help me propagate.

  33. DeepThorn says:

    I think giving 2 times the cash equivalent would suffice as a replacement for the cards.  What the hell needy person needs to be wasting time with electronics when they need to find a JOB to not be needy anymore in the first place.  If anything I almost have to support these actions because they were Best Buy gift cards for the needy. 

    Yes, they could be used for the kids, but with our luck, the people will just turn around and try to sue the game industry for creating an ‘addictive’ game that is rated M for a child that is 8 years old.  All in all, I can not totally smash her for her acts because of the fact there isn’t much that needy could buy with them anyways that would help their situation, especially that cash couldn’t do anyways.  Who the hell is giving out Best Buy gift cards to begin with?  These people need outfits, food, and the ability to pay bills, not electronics.  They can get a damn job, and quit being needy to get those types of things.

    Being in a family that would have qualified as needy at one point in time, and never collected on it, this just goes beyond logic to me to rationalize the need of electronic store gift cards.  That is like buying a homeless African child a copy of GTA.  How is the child going to play it without 1 electricity, 2 a game console, and 3 a TV.  Granted, it would be useful for the people to have a TV, but there are some at Goodwill stacked up that work, even though most of them would need the converter box.  Still, not an absolute need, and I would still say raw cash, clothing, and help with bills to help encourage to get a job to be more important.  (I kind of rationalize it like, why are people in prison playing video games?  They are in jail, and it should be a punishment.  Would you send your child to his room in trouble and still let him keep his game console in there?  We need to discourage illegal acts, and stuff like that just encourages homeless people to do illegal stuff just to have a home and food.)

    On topic though again, if she didn’t put at least the equal amount of cash in there, then that is 100% wrong, but if she donated money to replace it so that it could be more helpful to the needy, then I have to encourage it.  Still, the theft is wrong, but it could work out.  Even if she bought those for the needy, TVs with an antenna to get the news would be more helpful than game consoles. (And having someone who is soon to be part of the family living off of the government right now that has a $40,000 2009 car, and everything paid for her, and the family wants her to go away other than the person marrying her, that its a mutual feeling in the family against people who live off of the government when it isn’t needed, and those who are need to be honestly looking for a job…  Also had a co-worker at one point in time that worked for as long as she had to to get herself fired to get unemployment, and played that game for 30+ years…  sickens me…  perfectly capable people just refusing to work…)

    Nido Web Flash Tutorials AS2 and AS3 Tutorials for anyone interested.
    How to set Xbox 360 Parental Controls

  34. Derovius says:

     Yeah, thanks for that. No one was thinking that until you said something. You’re officially a hero of the internet, Lewis.

  35. Derovius says:

     I don’t know what fucking BestBuy you shop at woman, but they don’t sell coats. As for food, stale coca cola and fridos aren’t something you feed a low income family on.

  36. Alevan says:

    … and this is why no one ever wants to donate things anymore. Geez, that is just so wrong. People donated them for those who can’t even afford to buy coats or food. She takes it and buys it for stupid systems? Isn’t she the "Mayor of the Year?" Ugh. I hate stories like this.

    Amy Levandoski

  37. Chaltab says:

    Is there ANY shame left at all among today’s politicians? I mean, serioulsy! Using charity money for the poor to buy game consoles? How do people like this get voted into office?

  38. Wolvenmoon says:

    How about some damn air conditioners/heaters, best buy sells some of those.

    Home appliances even

    What the hell was going through her head? This isn’t china. I wish this kind of thing were a federal crime (Pinch me if it is) so she would never be able to hold a political office ever again.

  39. hayabusa75 says:

    Just read the article, sounds like she and Blagojevich had the same pre-game meal.

    "There is no sin except stupidity." – Oscar Wilde

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