Former State Del. Rushern Baker, candidate for Prince George’s County Executive has released his proposed plan for ethics reform in the county.
Baker’s “Raising Our Standards Ethics Initiative” was put in place to mitigate the political corruption that has marred the tenures of some of the county’s elected officials.
“I’m going to move this government to the highest of Ethical Standards with Comprehensive Ethics Reform,” Baker said in a statement. “The county’s image has been blighted because of unethical contracting allegations and abuses; we can’t create jobs and grow our economy when politicians can’t see past their personal self interests.”
Some of the proposed measures include prohibiting county credit cards for elected officials, opening an office of the Inspector General to investigate possible waste, creating a more transparent government website where residents can view county contracts and full disclosure of lobbying interest.
The initiative is a part of Baker’s pledge to clean up county-wide politics. According to James Adams, Baker’s communication director, it’s time to take personal entitlement out of Prince George's politics.
“[Baker] has signed the pledge and has urged other candidates for county-wide office to sign,” Adams said. “The pledge is designed to put the people of Prince George’s County ahead of personal politics.”
So far, Angela Alsobrooks; candidate for state’s attorney, Rafael Hylton; candidate for sheriff, Mel Franklin; candidate for the District 9 county council seat, Derrick L. Davis; candidate for the District 6 county council seat and Mary A. Lehman; candidate for the District 1 county council seat have all signed the pledge.
None of Baker’s competitors in the county executive race have signed the pledge yet.