…is a dangerous trend.
Mr. Rushern Baker – (Pictured above at the center) has been running around.
County Executive Mr. Rushern Baker’s regime mobilized some county residents and other loyalist recently in Prince George’s county in a bid to plug the hole that his administration disunity has created. Among the main items on the agenda was the desperate bid to save HB1107 “skunk,” law.
Several months ago, in this blog, we suggested that the local Government led by Mr. Rushern Baker needs to reach out to the Opposition in dialogue about the many things that afflict us today. Every so often, you meet people who greet you with the question, “Where is this county going?” An honest answer is that nobody seems to know where the county is going under Mr.Rushern Baker. Graft, terrorism, general insecurity, a bloated public wage bill, poverty, road carnage, homelessness, mutual racial animosity, nepotism, professional misconduct, religious hypocrisy, political intransigence, malfeasance – such is the state of our life in Prince George’s county in Maryland. We are experimenting with HB1107 “skunk,”. The exercise to take over the school system began with suspicion. There is hate and suspicion within the county Board of Education. The new county CEO Dr. Kevin Maxwell and Board Chairman Segun C. Eubanks, who is his brother in law understand that their sole role is to get rich by impeaching everybody and anybody who exposes their illegal situation. County Executive Mr. Rushern Baker believes that he is a “small president” if not “small god.” Members of the general assembly understand that it is their duty to clip everybody’s wings – take away illegal power, titles and all. The publicity about relocating the FBI Headquarters in Prince George’s County territory is not a genuine endeavor because of the conspiracies and fraud involved. Every keen observer knows it.
We have lost all sense of purpose, balance and direction. Our political leaders’ appetite for lavish living at the citizens’ expense is at an all time high. Citizens, too. Everywhere people want humongous pay perks. There is not the slightest care about the source of the perks and the sense of service. Litigation is the order of the day. Pay off attorneys and judges has become the new normal. Even over matters that could be amicably resolved through alternative avenues. Unbridled rage drives the county psyche. Road rage, profligate drunkenness, robbery in broad daylight, domestic violence; police running amok, basically people killing those they ought to be protecting – such is the order of our troubled and uncertain existence in Prince George’s County. Don’t we need to dialogue to get to the bottom of the triggers and drivers of this hopelessness?
People in a lurch such as ours talk with each other. If they don’t talk, they will well end up fighting. The fighting can either be in court or in the legislature etc.. Then, maybe after fighting, they could see the need to talk. Dialogue, however, cannot be on any one individual’s terms. Nor can it be on the conditions of any one group, or ill-tempered whims and angry public ultimatums. Dialogue is conducted on platforms of mutual trust and respect, wherever our differences may be. No one should lay the stage for dialogue by threatening the other side with unspecified consequences or by retaliating. Conversely, no one should reject a request for dialogue, just because they are in Government or the head of local Government etc.
In this regard, no leader can arrogate himself to the position of the all-knowing all-powerful deliverer who will single-handedly lift the people of Prince George’s County and place them into a special status. County Executive Rushern Baker regime must work with all persons across the board if he was to deliver the promises to different and divergent populations and he must stop playing “small god”. Judging from his track record, he needs to do a lot of work if he was to survive the vote of no confidence.
Much as the state Governor is genuinely keen on Rushern Baker administration regime maintaining a united front, it would be better to let the process run its course and not be drawn into the machinations of county mandarins inadvertently out to spoil his legacy.
Maryland State Governor himself has said his Cabinet secretaries must account for their actions. It thus sets a bad precedent when he appears to be creating political protégés within Prince George’s County.
There is no doubt that the Cabinet secretaries like Dr. Lillian Lowery and County Executives like Mr. Rushern Baker operate under unique conditions that their predecessors did not have to deal with under the old Constitution in this ancient old land, but the best way to test the law is to allow it space to work. The American Constitution on issues concerning Integrity applies to all public servants and State officers.
It is more than possible that the attacks against the County Executive Mr. Rushern Baker for Prince George’s County are prompted by genuine political considerations and infringement of the law.
On this note, if the state Governor does not give the Prince George’s county Executive, Dr. Lillian Lowery and Dr. Charlene Dukes a chance to defend themselves, he will forever remain with the stain that the “county Executive, State Superintendent, State Board of Education President survived” an impeachment attempt because the state’s top most CEO intervened.
No one doubts that if given a fair hearing, County Executive Mr. Rushern Baker, Dr. Lillian Lowery, Dr. Charlene Dukes, are fearless fighters, are more than capable of stating their cases effectively to defend their actions.
The impeachment is a political process and neutering it mid stream will do them more harm than good since the accusations brought against Mr. Rushern Baker’s regime and the Maryland State Board of Education bring neither honour nor dignity to their offices. Mr. Baker in particular needs to record his achievements and his thoughts for the future. It’s not only for his own good but for the good of Prince George’s County.
The case against Prince George’s County and any other motion to be brought by the Prince George’s County Council and others in the near future should be allowed to proceed through the laid down channels. Should the cases lack merit, County Executive Rushern Baker will be vindicated and emerge stronger. Forcing litigants to abandon cases or Motions that are publicized and in the public domain will give the impression that the State Governor, and indeed Rushern Baker Regime, does not care about accountability. Public servants with the ear of the Maryland State Governor will operate with impunity in the confidence, misplaced or otherwise, that he will shield them.
We should not be dragged back to the days when leaders in Prince George’s County had to toe the county administration line or be punished. The old principle of collective responsibility that enabled leaders to hide behind each other and cover one another’s mistakes should not be allowed to creep back in and destroy the democratic gains Prince George’s county have made over the many years.
Sycophancy of the kind displayed by County Executive Mr. Rushern Baker and his ilk is the fertilizer for corruption, nepotism, professional misconduct, malfeasance and dictatorships. Allegiance to a corrupt Rushern Baker regime as Head of County must never be the reason one holds a Cabinet office within the state or the County Executive office.
Government is about leaders listening to the citizens and working with them. It begins with talking with the people in opposition or different views and persuasions. On this note, Rushern Baker, Dr. Lillian lowery, Dr. Charlene Dukes and others are innocent unless proved guilty. All persons in Rushern Baker administration whether Republicans, independents or Democrats in Prince George’s county must respect divergent views that member legislators, county citizens and others have on issues. This is what underpins the vibrancy of a working democracy.
The writer is a publishing editor, special consultant and advisor on public relations and media relations to the Reform Sasscer Movement for Prince George’s County.
Good Governance and Human Rights
What is good governance?
There is no single and exhaustive definition of “good governance,” nor is there a delimitation of its scope, that commands universal acceptance. The term is used with great flexibility; this is an advantage, but also a source of some difficulty at the operational level. Depending on the context and the overriding objective sought, good governance has been said at various times to encompass: full respect of human rights, the rule of law, effective participation, multi-actor partnerships, political pluralism, transparent and accountable processes and institutions, an efficient and effective public sector, legitimacy, access to knowledge, information and education, political empowerment of people, equity, sustainability, and attitudes and values that foster responsibility, solidarity and tolerance.
However, there is a significant degree of consensus that good governance relates to political and institutional processes and outcomes that are deemed necessary to achieve the goals of development. It has been said that good governance is the process whereby public institutions conduct public affairs, manage public resources and guarantee the realization of human rights in a manner essentially free of abuse and corruption, and with due regard for the rule of law. The true test of “good” governance is the degree to which it delivers on the promise of human rights: civil, cultural, economic, political and social rights. The key question is: are the institutions of governance effectively guaranteeing the right to health, adequate housing, sufficient food, quality education, fair justice and personal security?
Key attributes of good governance
The concept of good governance has been clarified by the work of the former Commission on Human Rights. In its resolution 2000/64, the Commission identified the key attributes of good governance:
•responsiveness (to the needs of the people)
By linking good governance to sustainable human development, emphasizing principles such as accountability, participation and the enjoyment of human rights, and rejecting prescriptive approaches to development assistance, the resolution stands as an implicit endorsement of the rights-based approach to development.
Resolution 2000/64 expressly linked good governance to an enabling environment conducive to the enjoyment of human rights and “prompting growth and sustainable human development.” In underscoring the importance of development cooperation for securing good governance in countries in need of external support, the resolution recognized the value of partnership approaches to development cooperation and the inappropriateness of prescriptive approaches.