Roy Carraher, Republican candidate for mayor, said today it's not his fault he was a no-show at his own fund-raiser Saturday night and promised to hold another one.
The fund-raiser apparently will honor the $100 tickets some people bought for a Saturday night party at Tiffany East that never came off, angering some supporters.
"He done burnt a lot of people," said James Clark, a carpenter who paid $30 for his ticket in a bar.
Tickets for the fund-raiser floated around Highlandtown at all kinds of prices, including nothing.
But Carraher didn't show up -- and there was no party.
The girl from Essex with the corkscrew curls in her hair pretty much summed up how everybody felt about Carraher: "He should have had the decency to show up and explain hisself."
Today, in a telephone call, Carraher did explain himself. He said Tiffany East asked for a deposit Friday afternoon, but did not tell him what size deposit they wanted. Jim Baker, Tiffany East manager, said Carraher never signed a contract or followed through on preliminary conversations about the party.
Carraher said he didn't have time to get the word out the party was off.
So when Clark knocked at the door of Tiffany East, a popular catering hall on Lombard Street in East Baltimore, at just about 8 p.m. Saturday, the door was locked and the people inside were cleaning up after a wedding.
"There's nothing for Roy here tonight," an employee said. "He didn't have no contract. No nothing. The guy didn't put no money down."
Donald Schwartz and his wife Eileen waited in their pickup truck on Lombard Street. Schwartz said he donated a full $100 each for his tickets. He's a tow truck operator and he's known Carraher for a while.
"I guess I'm out $200," he said. "This is a bad strike against him, I guess, if you're supporting him. He didn't have a snowball's chance in hell, anyway."
Not a bad analysis: Carraher is pretty much a fringe candidate in a minority party. He's a rough-hewn, plain-talking, cocky kind of a guy who says he just recently wised-up after being a Democrat all his life.
"Ninety percent of your public officials are committing fraud," he said during a phone conversation last week. "They're taking out money and they're not giving anything back. All I want to do is help put back what I got."
Joe A. Scalia, one of Carraher's opponents for the Republican mayoral nomination, did show up at Tiffany's Saturday. He took the opportunity to score a few political points.
"Now you know why it's so hard to be a Republican in this city," he said. He's an earnest young guy who grew up in Little Italy. He's got a law degree and economics degree and a job with the Maryland National Bank.
"This is why I'm running," said Scalia, who announced his candidacy in front of the city morgue. "We're trying to rebuild this party. We have to stop nominating perennial candidates and quacks."
At Tiffany East Saturday, about two dozen people eventually came by, mostly Democrats, a few from Baltimore County.
Stuart Koehler, who works in a grocery store, walked up with his tie in his hip pocket and two tickets in his hand. "I got them for $50 each," he said. "I bought 'em off a guy at the Neon. He said it's a good time. I said what the hell. I figured me and my girlfriend's coming. I guess that went."