Daily "Recent Prince George's County News" updates were suspended in early March 2016. They were compiled primarily from retweets of news headlines. Those retweets continue, but in unformatted and unarchived form at PG-Politics-Briefs. To follow such headlines on a current basis, follow @pgpolitics on Twitter.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Is Rushern Baker really serious about cleaning up the county's image?

Much of the rhetoric in Rushern Baker's campaign for county executive focused on cleaning up the county's scandal-ridden image.

Baker's "Pledge for Prince George's County," signed by Baker, new council members Mary Lehman (D-1) and Mel Franklin (D-9), and new States Attorney Angela Alsobrooks, promised
We Pledge comprehensive ethics reform for all elected officials representing Prince George’s County including every agency head, board member, and appointee; we will not tolerate personal use of your tax dollars.
Baker's 30 day plan, published in the Post's Election Guide, included a number of promises.  I first reported on the lack of implementation of Baker's plan on January 14, about a week after the end of his first 30 days in office.  While a few of the promised actions required action by the Maryland General Assembly, many could be carried out by Baker unilaterally or with the approve of the county council.  Since mid-January Baker has done little other than to convene a task force to give himself some excuse for delaying any action.

The Gazette has reported:
In a statement after Johnson's plea, County Executive Rushern Baker III (D) said the county is working to "restore this community's trust."

"As unfortunate as the incidents of the past were, we are restoring our reputation as a pre-eminent jurisdiction," Baker wrote in a statement.
But what has Mr. Backer actually done to restore the community's trust?  He's talked a lot, and the press seems to have swallowed his party line, but let's look at the record.

Where's Baker's promised Executive Order banning credit cards for elected officials? (30 day plan).

Where's Baker's promised Executive Order prohibiting gifts, meals and beverages for county officials? (30 day plan)

Where's Baker's promised Executive Order and plan for transparent government online? (30 day plan) As I reported earlier, his administration actually took data offline and would not answer questions about it.

Where's Baker's promised Inspector General (30 day plan)

Very little of his 30 day and 100 day plans have actually been implemented even though we're now at about day 160.

And, why has Baker appointed Mark Magaw as Chief of Police?
  • Magaw apparently dies NOT live in the county
  • Magaw never publicly justified or tried to explain his role in the supervision of the officers who setup Mayor Calvo, violating his civil rights, judging him guilty without basic investigation or trial and murdering his dogs
  • Shootings and killing by police officers appear to be up compared to the tenure of Magaw's immediate predecessor, who was fired by Baker
  • Magaw returned to regular duty numerous officers accused of brutality or corruption.
Despite his rhetoric, it's hard to point to any real Baker accomplishments in cleaning up the county, improving accountability, or cleaning house. Judging from his schedule and news reports he seems to spend much of his time talking about making things better, but doesn't have much to show in the way of results. When will he stop talking and start acting?


  1. How upset are PGC residents with this news? I'm upset but would appreciate a good government organization or a group of advocates to come up with a plan to address Baker's shortcomings thus far. I can sign on to that, participate, etc.

  2. Toon bad no one at the Post will read this. And if they did, that would be the end of it. The Post editorial board thinks Baker is "off to a good start". Somebody better start checking the bras at the post

  3. Too busy trying to cover tracks?

  4. Unfortunately, as Susie suggested there are few "groups of citizens who can afford, on their own time, to hold politicians accountable." Believe me, I know. If each of us would call the county executive's office, and ask 10 friends to call, and so on, things might start to happen. Call (301) 952-4131. Without tremendous public pressure, nothing will happen; even with it, once they are elected, somehow they forget who put them there. Rushern had $116 million for developers; nothing for police, fire, schools - where did that surplus go. Call the above number and ask!!!!