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Monday, August 08, 2005

Commentary: Rushern Baker

(Posted August 8, 2005)
Over the weekend, I received an e-mail purporting to be from the "Friends of Rushern Baker. When I attempted to answer it, my reply to the sender was rejected.
There is no way that I can support Rushern Baker for any elected office. He has clearly demonstrated his contempt for the voters and their wishes, and has also shown that he does not have real or innovative solutions to the problems facing us. His undemocratic school "reform" legislation had no more positive effect than rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic and has actually delayed any real reform of education in Prince George's County.

Since the "Friends of Rushern Baker," are not accepting replies from the recipients of their e-mail, I post here my reply, followed by their message.

From: Diane C. Russell
To: Rushern Baker
Date: Aug 6, 2005 12:30 PM
Subject: Re: Rushern Baker is making it happen

I agree that Prince George's County desparetly needs new leadership.

And at one time in the past, I thought Rushern Baker showed some promise.

But then he showed his contempt for the voters by sponsoring anti-Democratic legislation to take the right to vote away from his constituents. At the same time, he sponsored a new tax, deliberately violating at least the spirit, if not the letter, of anti-tax laws enacted directly by the people.

As a result of his anti-Democratic legislation, we have yet another dysfuctional school board. A school board that spends millions on a luxury gym while letting schools rot for lack of essential matainenance, and that hired a corrupt school chief and refused for months to take action when he broke the board's ethics rules. A board that--thanks to Rushern Baker--is out of control and totally unaccountable to the people.

The failure of the Baker-sponsored anti-Democratic school board leaves me with absolutely no confidence in any "solutions" Mr. Baker may have for other problems, and no reason to trust that he actually gives a damn what the people think.

At the time this anti-Democratic legislation was pending, I wrote to every member of the Prince George's County delegation, including then Del. Baker. I told them that I cound NEVER support for ANY elected office, any Delegate or Senator who acted to take away my right to vote.
Del. Baker then made his choice. He chose my perpetual opposition and showed that he is unfit for elective office.

I don't see how you can support such a person.

From: Rushern Baker
To: dcrussell@gmail.com
Date: Aug 5, 2005 9:58 PM
Subject: Rushern Baker is making it happen


Rushern is working hard everyday in all parts of Prince George's County speaking with our residents.

As usual, he is getting a tremendous amount of support from concerned citizens to seek the office of County Executive.

Crime, education and jobs continue to be at the forefront of most residents concerns.

Rushern is committed to staying on point with these core issues that most effect our lives.

What the opposition doesn't want you to know are the facts, things aren't getting better, they're getting worse.

Things can and will get better, but not unless all of us step up. With that in mind, give us a call and tell us of activities in your community, host a meet and greet, or walk your community with Rushern and other supporters.

Rushern needs as many venues as possible to educate the people on the real deal in Prince George's County and what he intends to do about it.

Contact us at: (301) 459-4711 or email us at Info@RushernBaker.com

Let's bring it!

Chris Lawson
Campaign Chair
Friends of Rushern Baker


  1. So, if not Baker and not Johnson...then who is going to get your vote? I would sure like to see other candidates emerge. From whatever party.

  2. I can not disagree more with your assessment of Rushern Baker.

    How much longer must we tolerate the institutional mediocrity of Jack Johnson's administration? Jack has done nothing on behalf of Prince George's school children. The past three years he has avoided advocating for our children or our teachers.

    To write that Rushern Baker delayed real reform is ridiculous. That statement acknowledges the fact that the school board was in dire need of reform. At the time Baker was in the State Assembly, the school board at the time was universally considered to be so ineffective that the only option was a state-takeover. The Board was fighting with a Superintendent who was fighting with the teachers and our children were pawns in that soap opera.

    The fact that the appointed school board, the CEO (Mr. Hornsby), the teachers and the County Executive failed to take advantage of a fresh start has nothing to do with Rushern Baker, who is not now a public official.

    I pray for Rushern's success in the upcoming Democratic Primary. Baker's leadership for our County will help the newly elected school board return our school system to operational normalcy and his relationships with our legislators in Annapolis will help bring money to our school system.

    Your blame is wrongly placed and your commentary is ill-conceived. None of yout rhetoric benefits our children.

  3. There are several things wrong with your statement posted about Rushern Baker.

    First of all, you do not understand the history of his decision to replace the elected school board with an appointed one. The appointed school board's term ends this year, and will be replaced in 2006 by an elected board. This process, in effect, wiped the slate clean. Baker's decision never meant to take power away from voters, it was intended to end, with one motion, the influence of people who were more interested in personal gain than the welfare of the school system. The previous school board, elected by Prince George's citizens, was hopeless. Did you know that they used County credit cards to pay for personal furniture, boats, and vacations? How can you say that people who abuse their position are good for the county's schools? You will be able to elect a new school board next November, and ideally you will vote for people with the children's best interests in mind.

    The other mistakes you made in your statement invalidate your claims entirely. How is anyone to take you seriously when you are upset about a reply message being returned to you? Newsletters never come from an account that accepts replies, and this one even gave you an email address to reply to at the bottom of the statement. Why didn't you send your answer to the email address provided? Also, I would suggest that you use spell check when sending anything out. When a word is misspelled in the first sentence, it is difficult to take the author seriously.

    Whatever differences you have with Rushern Baker, please take the time to examine the problems more closely. You will find, I am sure, a man who is much more able to run Prince George's County than the current administrator. In the end, this county needs someone who will address problems head on and who will make the tough decisions. Baker has already shown that he is the candidate for the job.

  4. Rushern Baker is a man of Morals and great integrity. He wants to do what is right for this County. Jacks lack of leadership and racism is almost criminal itself. We as a people can not go forward with the leadership we have in place. Rushern has evolved and is the man to lead us forward. I will not post my name due to I am a county employee and Jack would seek revenge on my free speech

  5. I am distressed to hear that the School Board issue is costing Rushern Baker a vote in this election. Personally, I cannot see how this controversial attempt at reform outweighs Jack Johnson's cronyism, neglect, corruption and mismanagement of 'Gorgeous Prince Georges'. Rushern is not afraid of new ideas and has demonstrated his leadership and willingness to take a controversial stand. Some may not like it, but that is what leaders do. Anaylze situations and make tough decisions. In twelve years as an elected official in Prince Georges County Jack Johnson has visited a lot of barbecues and fish fries. He has given a lot of talk, and not much more. You can't talk a county into a respectable status. This county is better than JJ's political friendships. This county is not bankrupted of new ideas and leadership; The Jack Johnson Machine is.