What was billed to be a showdown of ideas, vision and who has the wherewithal among the nine candidates running for County Executive seeking to lead the people of Prince George’s County, turned a one- woman and five men show Saturday.
Five Candidates for Democratic party and one Republican candidate Jerry J Mathis were assembled in the Upper Marlboro Municipal building at School lane adjacent to Prince George’s County School system Headquarters at Sasscer to slug it out in a battle of ideas to aid the electorates there make an informed choice as to who will be their best bet in this year’s June 26th, primary elections.
The establishment candidate, Angela Alsobrooks, who was tipped to give her main contenders, Donna Edwards, Senator C. Antony Muse, Sam Bogley, Billy Bridges, Lewis S. Johnson, Michael E. Kennedy, Paul Monteiro, Tommie Thompson of the Democratic party a knife-edge competition, failed to show up for the debate.
According to the organizers of the event, Candidate Alsobrooks was unable to make it due to a scheduling conflict as she had another event during the time of the forum. Reform Sasscer movement secretariat later established that event was a fundraiser.
Corporations which have contributed a lot of cash to Angela Alsobrooks don’t give their money away for nothing. There is an understanding (rarely made explicit) that large campaign donations buy political access and favorable consideration in policy development and legislation. Why else would a corporation, which is bound by law to pursue profits, make these donations?
Although Angela Alsobrooks has been given an equal opportunity as the other candidates in the race, she has failed to demonstrate her preparedness to lead the people in Prince George’s County as a leader who can fight corruption heads on without developers tied to various schemes in the county. Michelle Knox who was the moderator of the event later stated, “We were going to address these allegations during the candidate forum in the Town of Upper Marlboro but she didn’t attend.” Another concerned citizen Mr. Sean Michael Wilson stated the following on facebook…. “IT MAKES SENSE FOR #Alsobought to accept so much money from Developers, majority of her adult career she had worked under Jack Johnson. (13 years with Jack Johnson who was arrested for accepting bribes and kickbacks from developers) 1). Assistant State’s Attorney when Jack was States Attorney 1997-2002 2.) Education Liaison to Jack Johnson 2002-2004 3.) Was appointed by Jack Johnson Executive Director of the Revenue Authority 2004-2010″
Throughout the one hour and sixteen minutes Constituency Debate, which was broadcasted live on Facebook and channel 19 for all to see (See below), the six candidates present addressed a number of issues ranging from undue influence to public corruption and how schools should be governed. At this point, the candidate with most money could not live up to the expectation of, at least, the crowd that gathered at the Town of Upper Marlboro hall to listen to their messages. Other three candidates who failed to show up led by Angela Alsobrooks were Sam Bogley, Lewis S. Johnson and Michael E. Kennedy.
Apart from Donna Edwards, Senator C. Antony Muse, Paul Monteiro, Billy Bridges, Tommie Thompson, the other four candidates have not adequately been abreast of issues affecting the constituency especially the schools, every time they show up, they appear not to have a well thought out plan for the people and have not properly addressed questions on education, health, housing among others in the past.
(See video of the debate below and slide show)
More to come!