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MoCo Teachers Line Up With Navarro

Montgomery County School Board President Nancy Navarro has secured the endorsement of the county's teachers' union in her bid to succeed the late Council member Marilyn Praisner in District 4.

Bonnie Cullison, president of the Montgomery County Education Association, said this afternoon that the group voted overwhelmingly last night to recommend Navarro in next month's special election and would produce its "Apple Ballot" for the contest.

"We see her as someone who really understands the issues of Montgomery County right now, the way it is changing demographically," Cullison said.

Navarro's experience on the school board, Cullison added, "gives her insight into how we meet the needs of our broader community."

In addition to Navarro, the union considered Praisner's widower, Don Praisner, civic activist Steve Kanstoroom, marketing analyst Mark Fennel and federal government consultant Pat Ryan.

Navarro's website also lists endorsements from the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America and SEIU Local 500.

The District 4 primary contest is scheduled for April 15; the general election will be held May 13.

By Ann Marimow  |  March 6, 2008; 3:44 PM ET
Categories:  Ann Marimow  
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Nancy Navarro promised to fund the school administration's budget even if the county has to exceed the charter property tax limit and give us a property tax increase on top of sales, computer, income, car and corporate taxes.

The first question on the teacher's questionnaire was: l. As a member of the County Council, what would be your view of honoring negotiated agreements,. especially in tight fiscal times? The union wants a 30% increase ----17.5% over 3 years PLUS 3.5% annual step increases. Navarro told them she would give it to them.

The second question was: 2. What is your view of the current local tax structure? What, if any changes would wou advocate?

The third question was: 3. Would you support a tax increase, if necessary to fund the school budget and the negotiated agreements? If so in what way would you increase taxes? Obviously, Navarro answered that she would increase taxes. She would cause hundreds of foreclosures as a result.

Why doesn't the Post do a little digging and publish Navarro's answers verbatim?

Mark Fennel is committed to sticking to the charter property tax limit, not exceeding it as Don Praisner and Nancy Navarro are. Vote for Mark Fennel for Council and Property Tax Relief. SAVE OUR HOMES!

Posted by: Robin Ficker Broker Robin Realty | March 6, 2008 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Didn't the candidate that MCEA endorsed in the recent Feb. 12 election come in 3rd, almost 4th?

Posted by: bronze medal winner | March 6, 2008 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Look at the front page of Foreclosures are at an all-time high according to the Mortgage Bankers Association, which should know. 1.22% of Maryland loans are in foreclosure. Yet, Don Praisner and Nancy Navarro have agreed to increase property taxes to fund union contracts. Praisner and Navarro are the Foreclosure King and Queen!

Posted by: Foreclosures at all-time High | March 6, 2008 5:34 PM | Report abuse

Foreclosures and Ficker - This article states nothing about Praisner or any other candidate taking a position on tax increases to fund a teacher's contract.

You are making serious statements here regarding a very important policy issue. Where exactly did you get information that Don Praisner would favor raising my taxes to fund a teachers' contract? I have seen nothing published anywhere to support this.

Posted by: Taxpaying District 4 Homeowner | March 6, 2008 9:16 PM | Report abuse

Taxpayer District Homeowner: Why don't you read the answers Don Praisner gave MCEA to questions l. and 3. which he is going to publish hereunder?

Posted by: Robin Ficker, Broker Robin Realty | March 7, 2008 1:15 AM | Report abuse

Here is yet another politician using the school board as a stepping stone to further their career. What about the children of Montgomery County? Why not honor your commitment and complete your term on the school board?

Posted by: Wonderboy | March 7, 2008 2:12 AM | Report abuse

We have a very serious affordability problem in this county. Senior citizens are being driven out of their homes, it's ever more difficult for the middle class to make ends meet. To compound our problems, the median income has declined; that is, the wealthy are leaving the county in droves, shrinking our tax base. The first question the Union asked me, not the teachers, but the Union, a collective bargaining unit - let's be clear, is how would I raise additional revenue, I assume for 8% plus salary increases. I thought of my 72 year old mother living out her days in her home in Kensington, the single mom, law abiding immigrants and the struggling Middle Class trying to hold on. I balanced them againt an endorsement from a special interest and the choice was clear. I looked at them and said, Under no circumstances will I vote to override the Charter Amendment limiting property tax collection, to protect families from unfair tax increases.

Mark D. Fennel
Republican Candidate for County Council, Special Election

Posted by: VoteFennel4CountyCouncil | March 7, 2008 6:09 AM | Report abuse

The reason Ike Leggett supports Don Praisner is that Leggett's budget, which he issues later this month, exceeds the charter property tax limit. 76 year old Praisner is for exceeding the property tax limit too, just as his wife voted from FY03-05. Praisner told the teachers he would exceed it. He reads Maryland Moment. He knows how to write in and say why he is in favor of property tax increases. Come on Praisner, write in. Montgomery County's business isn't conducted in secret smoke-filled rooms.

Posted by: Praisner is for property tax increases. | March 7, 2008 8:16 AM | Report abuse

Nancy Navarro is bad news for Montgomery County. She made a commitment to increase the teachers' salaries to get their support at a time when we cannot afford such increases and she is pro development.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 7, 2008 9:58 AM | Report abuse

The reason Don Praisner won't answer questions or make his positions public is because he is bossed and told what to say and has his comments written for him because they fear he might make a mistake. He does not intend to represent the public.

Posted by: Bosses or the Public? | March 7, 2008 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Nancy Navarro (and the teachers' union) abandoned special needs students last year, giving Jerry Weast exactly what he wanted in his roll-back of special education services. She will NEVER get my vote, nor, I suspect, that of many special education families. Our kids represent 13% of MCPS students, and we vote.

Posted by: Special Kids | March 7, 2008 10:19 AM | Report abuse

We all know Nancy Navarro has completely sold out to the teachers union. I wish her the same success as Alies Muskin, the most recent endorsee by Bonnie Cullison and her gang (Muskin finished third out of five). My hope is that, when Don Praisner wins the seat, he will feel free to reverse the ridiculous pay raises that Weast and Navarro "negotiated" last year with the Cullison gang. We've got to keep the fox (Navarro) out of the hen house.

Posted by: Concerned Citizen | March 7, 2008 11:07 AM | Report abuse

I hope voters will do their homework again and send a message to Navarro just like they did with Muskin. On her website Navarro is trying to identify herself with Marylin Praisner although she can only reverse not build on some of Praisner's positive accomplishments.

The first salary that needs to be cut is that of Superintendent Jerry Weast.

Posted by: county resident and taxpayer | March 7, 2008 4:53 PM | Report abuse

"76 year old Praisner" - age is irrelevant - cheap shot.

"...because he is bossed and told what to say and has his comments written for him because they fear he might make a mistake" - Exactly who are "they"? If you are going to make such a statement, back it up.

"Taxpayer District Homeowner: Why don't you read the answers Don Praisner gave MCEA to questions l. and 3. which he is going to publish hereunder?" - Hereunder where? Nothing is published, yet somehow you have privileged access to this? Did "they" give it to you?

Disparaging age comments, empty allegations, unsubstantiated claims. Is this the best you can do? Lame !!!

Posted by: Taxpaying District 4 Homeowner | March 7, 2008 5:26 PM | Report abuse

When a Constitutional Amendment came before the voters of Maryland to extend the retirement age for Judges to 75, the voters defeated it.

Ike Leggett, who supported loser Al Wynn and two losing candidates in the Gaithersburg City elections is bossing Praisner, writing his material for him. Come to the candidate forum on March 19 at the Aspen Hill Library at 7 p.m. and you will see that Praisner is not qualified for this job in any way, shape or form. Without Leggett and some council members yanking him into the race, he would never have run. He is a yes, Mister Leggett, man. Leggett has his say, however, he can't be a member of the council at the same time.

Praisner told the teachers' union he would fund their contract. Ask to see his teachers' union questionnaire answers.

Posted by: Bosses or the Publc? | March 8, 2008 4:17 AM | Report abuse

OK - once again - no substance and just smoke from Bosses or the Public:

"When a Constitutional Amendment came before the voters of Maryland to extend the retirement age for Judges to 75, the voters defeated it." This is an apples to oranges comparison. Supreme Court justices (highest judicial seat in the country in case you hadn't noticed) are appointed for life as per the wisdom of our Founding Fathers. Aren't our fathers more experienced and wiser than we are? Some 73 year olds are in poor health, others exercise, play golf, and run successful businesses. As long as someone is qualified, age is certainly no disqualifier for a Montgomery County Council seat.

"Ike Leggett, who supported loser Al Wynn and two losing candidates in the Gaithersburg City elections is bossing Praisner, writing his material for him." Again, pure conjecture. This might be your opinion but if you are going to state it as fact, you need to put your money where your mouth is and back it up. Otherwise, your credibility is ZERO.

"Without Leggett and some council members yanking him into the race, he would never have run." Praisner is an adult. Candidates here in America declare candidacy for public office of their own free will. Leggett and other Council members did not hold a gun to his head or hold his pets hostage to "yank him into the race". Praisner does not NEED to run for office to earn a living or because he is beholden to anyone. Neither does any other candidate. This is not some third world country where puppet leaders are forced to run in rigged elections. This man just lost his wife a few short weeks ago. For those who don't seem to grasp the concept, that is a DEVASTATING event. He should be commended for having the strength of character to run for her seat and expose himself to ridiculous and unfounded criticism like I am reading here.

"Praisner told the teachers' union he would fund their contract." This statement does not mean that he favors a tax increase big enough to force struggling families and retirees out of their lifelong homes to cover it. The predatory teachers' union has chosen to endorse the candidate who is willing to abandon the Board seat she committed to the voters she would serve in to advance her political career. Teachers' union story over, cards on the table, case closed.

Let's stick to the facts here. Much is at stake for the East County in this special election. We are electing ONE Council member, not a County Executive, not a king.

Posted by: Taxpaying District 4 Homeowner | March 8, 2008 9:33 AM | Report abuse

While Don Praisner could completely bomb at the upcoming candidates forum, it really won't matter. Nancy Navarro has alienated just about every school activist in her home area of Montgomery County that I don't know a single person who will be voting for her. I smell another loss for MCEA. And in two years, I hope we have another credible candidate to run for the seat.

Posted by: District 4 Parent | March 8, 2008 12:13 PM | Report abuse

If his name were Don Jones, this 76 year old would not be running. He is simply trying to piggyback on his wife's electability as are Leggett and some of the council members. They are trying to trade his wife's electability for his reliability. And it won't work.

He told the teachers union he would fund their contract, but they didn't endorse him. The budget simply can't be balanced with that contract funded. There have to be property tax increases to fund the contract and even the Leggett-council poll shows only 7% of the voters want that. And the Leggett-council poll was taken before the special session tax increase party and the tanking of the stock market since January.

Praisner won't show up at the Aspen Hill library on March 19 because he will have to answer questions where his response isn't scripted for him and because he knows that Montgomery Countians won't vote for a legacy. Ask Mark Shriver about that.

Out of the approximately 200,000 persons living in District 4, there are probably 90,000 more qualified than Don Praisner for this seat. And most of the rest are children.

Posted by: Just because he name is Praisner | March 8, 2008 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Has anyone reading this forum ever watched a school board meeting? I've watched many and I've never seen Nancy Navarro add anything worthwhile to any school board discussion. At every meeting, she simply sits there, says very little, but smiles and grins a lot. Even the young student board member participates more and makes more meaningful comments that Mrs. Navarro.

Equally disappointing is Mrs. Navarro's responsiveness to constituents. Our PTA leadership has told the members that Mrs. Navarro rarely responds to their emails, letters, and phone messages. As for responding to regular constituents -- you might get a form letter, but even that is hit-or-miss.

It will be a sad, sad day for Montgomery County if Mrs. Navarro wins a position on the County Council.

Posted by: Nancy adds nothing | March 8, 2008 8:20 PM | Report abuse

These comments are ridiculous. Between Ficker, and the other nasty hacks commenting here -- these attacks need to stop.

Nancy and Don are both good people, regardless of who you are backing or whether you disagree with them on a particular issue.

Sheesh, if you have a problem with them, take it to the ballot box.

Posted by: Ridiculous | March 8, 2008 10:07 PM | Report abuse

In her 2006 interview Nancy Navarro stated "The Board must always strive to be accessible, available, and willing to listen. " I have been trying to get an answer from her to my inquiry for a long time without any success. Does she realize that Council members in general have to communicate with their constituents?

Posted by: Anonymous | March 8, 2008 10:50 PM | Report abuse

Please allow me to sum up since my comment on Thursday. These blogs are nifty because they quickly bring out the different points of view.

l. Property tax relief. Ike Leggett's budget is going to exceed the charter property tax limit even though that CPI-linked limit is higher this year because of increased gasoline prices. Only one candidate--Mark Fennel has pledged to stick to that limit. He even told the MCEA union that. Fennel is a long time employee of Citizens Against Government Waste, a background that is entirely lacking on the council. And when our 2008 ballot question requiring 9 council votes to exceed the charter property tax limit passes, Fennel will ensure property tax fairness.
Navarro and Praisner would fund the proposed 30% raises of the administration---17% over three years PLUS 3.5% step increases. In light of all the recent computer, sales, income, car and corporate tax increases as well as the Warren Buffett statement that we are in a recession, we simply cannot exceed the property tax limit without forcing hundreds more into foreclosure, mostly minorities, and without pricing thousands, including my kids, out of the county housing market.

2. Latino connection. Anybody who has been door-to-door in this district knows that there is a huge Latino presence in the 4th District. Nancy Navarro has that connection. But so does Mark Fennel because his wife is a bi-lingual Central American Immigrant. Don Praisner does not have that connection.

3. Senior connection. 76 year old Don Praisner has that, but so does Mark Fennel because Mark's mom still is a single-family homeowner in the county. Nancy Navarro has not evidenced a senior connection that I know of. Fennel and Navarro seem to have way more energy than Praisner.

4. Support of Education. Nancy Navarro makes her mark here. But only Mark Fennel graduated from Montgomery County schools, as well as Vassar College. And Fennel has a 6 month old son who will be attend public schools in the future. Praisner has said he would fund the school budget.

5. Rate of development. Praisner and Fennel tend to be slow growth. Navarro tends to be more developer oriented.

All in all, it looks like Fennel is the winner to me, but come to the Aspen Hill Library on March 19 to see for yourself. Isn't this election system much better than allowing a handful of elite party people to pick the winner as is the case with vacancies in the legislature? See you on the 19th!

Posted by: Robin Ficker, Broker Robin Realty | March 9, 2008 8:28 AM | Report abuse

Once again, Mr. Ficker is posting incorrect information. I guess he thinks it's OK to make stuff up if you don't like the real facts if it makes your candidate look good.

Don praisner graduated from Blair HS and attended Montgomery College. Mr. Ficker incorrectly states that Mr. Fennel is the only candidate to graduate from Montgomery County Schools. Blair HS has always been a Montgomery County school.

Get it straight please Robin.

Posted by: At least keep your facts straight | March 9, 2008 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Correction accepted, especially because I graduated from Montgomery Blair too. We probably had some of the same teachers. Why didn't Don write in himself to say that?

Posted by: Robin Ficker, Broker Robin Realty | March 9, 2008 1:53 PM | Report abuse

I get a good chuckle reading Robin Ficker's banter in the comments section of nearly every article dealing with MoCo government. Mr. Ficker is extremely out of touch with what the vast majority of MoCo citizens stand for. Why else is he most famous for being the ridiculously boorish person at Washington Bullets games in the old Cap Center as opposed to being famous for winning elections and supporting various referendum? Because his referendum never pass, nor does he win elections here in MoCo. Keep those referendum coming Mr. Ficker...I love seeing your work defeated each and every time!

Posted by: Amused MoCo Citizen | March 9, 2008 4:38 PM | Report abuse

Amused MoCo Citizen: Why don't you write in you own name as I do?

You will have a chance to vote on one of our referenda in November. It will require that there are nine council votes to exceed the charter property tax limit instead of only seven. That it why it is so important to elect Mark Fennel to the county council. Because then he will be able to stop the property tax increases that Mr. Leggett and Mr. Praisner want to give us for the next three years. You think that most of the Montgomery County voters want property tax increases in the present environment? I don't.

I know that you and your friends on the county council are going to put out another mailing which tells the voters untruthfully that 911 service will be cut off, libraries will close and police officers and teachers will be fired if property taxes can't be increased, just like you did before the last property tax question on the ballot. Your statements will be just as untrue this year as they were then. If these property tax increases make you happy, send the county a extra check, don't penalize those who are living on the edge and those who want to buy a home. SAVE OUR HOMES!

Posted by: Robin Ficker, Broker Robin Realty | March 9, 2008 6:43 PM | Report abuse

"But so does Mark Fennel because his wife is a bi-lingual Central American Immigrant. Don Praisner does not have that connection." written by Robin Ficker

To that... I say, it's ok for Mark Fennel to ride on the bi-lingual abilities of his WIFE, but for Don Praisner, it's not acceptable that he supported, discussed, reviewed and LIVED his wife's many, many years of experience on various prominent Mont Co boards/council and not have experience for the benefit of constituents?

Who are you supporting, Robin? With "support" like that, thank goodness you're not supporting Don Praisner!!! You are a liability to any candidate whom you support!

Don Praisner is a highly intelligent, capable, compassionate and integrity-rich man who wishes to fulfill the needs of his District and honor the memory of his late wife and all that she hoped to accomplish in this current term. The memorial service for Marilyn Praisner was thoroughly packed with praise for Marilyn, commending her incredible committment to detail, budget, thorough research and plain ol' doing the right thing. It was standing room only - a sign of immense respect for her as a friend, politician, councilwoman, colleague and neighbor. Why would Don Praisner want to fulfill her term in office with any other agenda, tact or result?

To readers, I add, there is no guessing game or hidden agenda with Don Praisner. He may be quieter than Marilyn, but his ethics, abilities, judgement, talent and dedication will be identical. Don't let a loudmouth like Robin Ficker smear the name of a man worth admiring and supporting.

Posted by: Robin Ficker disgusts me | March 10, 2008 9:20 AM | Report abuse

This is for Ridiculous (March 8, 10:07 pm) - So you think that involved school parents and local PTA leaders who cannot get Nancy Navarro, their district BOE representative, to return their calls, emails and letters on pressing school-related issues are just a bunch of nasty hacks? Excuse us for taking this important election a bit more seriously than you are. We simply cannot elect someone because they are "good people". We need to get someone on the council from District 4 who is interested in being fully engaged with the community. It has been my experience (and, apparently, the experience of many others) that Nancy Navarro hasn't taken any efforts to connect with the school leaders in her own district during her BOE tenure. And she wants a promotion to the County Council?

Posted by: Ridiculous Not | March 10, 2008 9:30 AM | Report abuse

If for no other reason, the March 19 candidate forum will be fascinating because, for the first time in her political career, Nancy Navarro will have to answer questions and demonstrate knowledge of issues that are important to Montgomery County citizens.

It would not surprise me in the least if Navarro has a sudden "family emergency" or "illness" that prevents her from attending the candidate forum.

Posted by: No-show Navarro? | March 10, 2008 1:47 PM | Report abuse

The Praisner campaign apparently wants to make this County Council race a contest between Marilyn Praisner, who voted to increase the piggyback income tax 20%, the largest tax increase in county history, and who voted three times from
FY03-05 to override the county property tax limit and yours truly, who has put about twenty, including one in 2008, questions on the ballot to limit tax increases and spending in Montgomery County. And here the budget has gone fromj $2 billion in FY 98, to $3 billion in FY 04 to $4.2 billion now.

And interestingly the Praisner campaign choses to do this at Don Praisner's direction and control using personal attacks from people who are afrais to use their names rather that Don doing so in his own name.

Won't work.

Mark Fennel has four times the energy of Don Praisner. Mark Fennel is an independednt thinker. Don Praisner is under Ike Leggett's thumb. Mark Fennel will not exceed the charter property tax limit. Don Praisner has already promised to exceed the limit. Mark Fennel will prevent foreclosures. Don Praisner is the foreclosure champion and the "Unaffordable Housing Kid." Don Praisner has already said he is interested in this seat as a stop-gap guy. Mark Fennel has a six month son who will be growing up here.

The choice is clear: The past of long ago or the future. Sticks and stones will break my bones, but names will never hurt me, Don Praisner and orderlies.

Posted by: Robin Ficker Broker Robin Realty | March 10, 2008 1:52 PM | Report abuse

Jeez,Robin. You write

"Correction accepted, especially because I graduated from Montgomery Blair too. We probably had some of the same teachers." OK, so you made up some BS about somebody and wrote it on a blog and you got caught again. You probably learned at Blair that the First Ammendment protects BS too. Your credibility is approaching zero. If you had something substantive to say you wouldn't have to create such works of fiction.

"....I know that you and your friends on the county council are going to put out another mailing which tells the voters untruthfully that 911 service will be cut off, libraries will close and police officers and teachers will be fired if property taxes can't be increased....".

Yet, school construction continues, Fire/Rescue is replacing old ambulances at $125K per unit and old pumpers at nearly $500K per unit, Strathmore Hall has no For Sale sign out front and is being utilized, the Lake Needwood Dam is being fixed, and the dog catcher has not been laid off. The County maintains a AAA bond rating. From the sound of your writing, you'd think the County was one vote away from receivership and a Control Board like DC had.

As much as we all hate tax increases of ANY kind and what unions have done to our economy and business climate, your proposed solution is to back a candidate for Council who has never held so much as a PTA Recording Secretary position, much less been responsible for negotiating a complex, multi-billion-dollar public sector budget. The George Leventhals of the world would publicly eat Mr. Fennel alive within a month and render him without influence on the Council, which does a major disservice to District 4 and all of us who live here. The focus would shift completely to Takoma Park, upcounty, and Potomac. That's not a solution, that's a much bigger problem for District 4 than even a property tax increase would present.


.....What Ficker statement will have to be corrected next?

Posted by: Another correction to accept | March 10, 2008 2:21 PM | Report abuse

........if her name was Hillary Rodham Jones, she would not be running either....

Posted by: Just Because Her Name is Clinton | March 10, 2008 2:23 PM | Report abuse

George Leventhal on endorsing Don Praisner in the Gazette of March 5, 2008, "I have not endorsed. . . There is often a backlash when elected officials get too bossy."

Posted by: Levanthal won't endorse Praisner | March 10, 2008 3:06 PM | Report abuse

When elected to the Montgomery County Council, my steadfast belief in conservative principles will be translated into regulatory and legislative change. The constituents of District 4 will be well represented.

Mark D. Fennel

Posted by: VoteFennel4CountyCouncil | March 10, 2008 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Fennel,

With all due respect, your lack of the most fundamental of experience as a seasoned parent, much less the parent of a school-age child, and that of the workings and needs of a public school, a school board or an entire county are not impressive. Having a six month old child does not expose one to the needs of a diverse community of learners, parents, special needs students, not to mention community/county services, parks, utilities, public safety, etc. Your hopes for the future for your child do not outweigh the experience of one who has raised several through the school system. I'm glad Mr. Ficker thinks you have so much energy; you'll need it when that six month old starts walking!

Posted by: Realistic MC Parent of Three | March 10, 2008 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Mark Fennel has lived in the county for 42 years and graduated from out public schools. He is the future, not the past. His child is a symbol of Mark's hope for the future. More of the same will not be enough in these troubled economic times.

Posted by: 42 years is enough | March 10, 2008 4:08 PM | Report abuse

I have 42 years on the planet (including growing up in Montomery County), too. I don't think I'd ever consider the first 50% worthy of experience for the County Council.

Posted by: Realistic MC Parent of Three | March 10, 2008 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Mark Fennel writes: "When elected to the Montgomery County Council, my steadfast belief in conservative principles will be translated into regulatory and legislative change. The constituents of District 4 will be well represented."

Mark - if the vacant County Council seat was being filled the way a regular job is filled, your resume wouldn't even get you a screening interview. Your enthusiasm is commendable, but you should probably start with a nice Homeowners' Association position first to see if you can really cut it when the going gets tough.

Haven't heard from John McKinnis here yet....he's got several kids and has proven he can run an organization well.

Posted by: No rookie is qualified to represent District 4 | March 10, 2008 5:53 PM | Report abuse

The only two people who have made comments in their own name here are Mark Fennel and Robin Ficker. I suspect the rest are either Don Praisner or county employees getting involved in partisan politics on county time. Post check the URLs.

Posted by: Only 2 | March 10, 2008 7:50 PM | Report abuse

Ficker is making frequent posts under his own COMPANY name to advertise his realty brokerage for free.

Fennel is posting under his own name because WaPo blogs are free advertising and they get his name out there better than word of mouth at the daycare. I guess that's why he spends his days writing here since even Google can't find a campaign website for him.

Anybody else using their real name here risks having false smear statements made about them by Ficker like he does with the candidates running for office.

Posted by: Posting Names | March 10, 2008 9:55 PM | Report abuse

Nancy Navarro is the best that could happen to Montgomery County. she will be the next County Council. We will elect her becuase we represent the new Montgomery County. African Americans, Asian Americans, Latinos and progressive anglo will make a different.

Nancy is progressive. Will focus in smart growth in our district and fight for good education and affordable housing.

Posted by: Mark | March 10, 2008 10:28 PM | Report abuse

That's just fine that Nancy Navarro will represent the "African Americans, Asian Americans, Latinos and progressive anglo". What about the rest of the population, who just happens to provide most of the tax base? Should we move to Howard County?

Posted by: Not Mark | March 13, 2008 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Truth be told, Nancy cares about only two groups of people in the colorful rainbow that make up our very diverse district. I think we all know who those two groups happen to be. To suggest otherwise is to simply ignore the words and actions of this very racially divisive person. We need to pick a true leader who can balance the interests of all of the ethnic groups in our district. While I don't know too much about the other candidates, I know enough about Navarro to know she would not be a unifying force for District 4.

Posted by: Let's Be Clear | March 14, 2008 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Nancy Navarro has sold her soul to the Devil (the Union's) and will continue to do so. She doesn't represent African Americans or Latinos in Montgomery County. She only represents herself and her own need to be further her political career. I ask everyone to do a little research. Nancy was not original elected to the school board but appointed to continue in a vacant seat and then ran as an incumbent for that seat. If she had to run in a full out campaign as a community advocate she might not be where she is today. Her record really tells you were she stands, under her tenure as president of the School Board the minority SAT scores, the minority drop-out rates and number of minority students that fail to meet the Maryland requirements to graduate is higher than ever before. How can she say that she is an advocate for the African Americans or Latinos in Montgomery County with this record? Nancy like her partner in Jerry Weist would lead you to believe that they have done more for minority than anyone that has become before them but that is far from the truth. With the current budget crisis that a county face, Mrs. Navarro has said that she will support the union contracts no matter what. The MCPS Unions under the current contracts negotiated by MCPS not the County Council that has to fund the MCPS Budget is schedule for approximately an 8.5% overall increase is salaries for its members ( By all means the teachers deserve it but when you do not have the funds, something has to give). How can you advocate this when we all must take some pain associated with this budget crisis? Is this being fiscal responsible? Nancy Navarro would like the tax payers to pay the whole bill through increase taxes.

By the way anyone that would listen to Mr. Ficker needs to do there homework because I believe that there has been several instance by the court where Mr. Ficker has been found guilty by the court that he has not run his law firm in a proper manner or to properly represent his clients (see Robertshaw vs MD)

Additionally, The Maryland Court of Appeals ruled 7-0 against Mr. Ficker on three complaints from clients who said he had failed to properly represent them in criminal cases. Judge Dale R. Cathell, was quoted in saying that said he would have disbarred Mr.Ficker, saying his neglect of his clients was too extensive to warrant a lesser penalty.

The Washington Post reported on an instance were Mr. Ficker was suspended from practicing law and the article stated that a hearing judge found that Mr. Ficker exhibited incompetence, lack of diligence, failure to communicate with his client, and committed conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice," among other types of malfeasance, so how can anyone of us responsible citizens of Montgomery county give this man the time of day.

Posted by: Someone Needs to be for Education | March 17, 2008 12:19 AM | Report abuse

I agree that Navarro is in the hip pocket of the Union and I hope that comes back to bite her like it did Alies Muskin (Muskin finished in 3rd place out of 5 candidates). I only hope the voters of District 4 are smart enough to see the complete conflict of interest represented by the union endorsement.

Think about this. Navarro says she will represent the interests of all District 4 residents. The only way I can judge whether this is a pre-meditated lie is to look at whether she represented the interests of all children (which she promised to do during the campaign) during her time on the BOE. The record will show that most all of her commentary and focus was about "children of color" and what the system must do for them. What about my kids? Because they are children of non-color and because they are doing relatively well, do they not deserve any of Navarro's time or attention regarding what the system could do to help them achieve at an even higher level? I'm so sick of the new form of racism that has crept into the mainstream of MoCo politics through the likes of Navarro and so many others. Let's elect leaders who are about advancing the cause of ALL people, not just select classes or races of people. Say no to Navarro and all of the chumps like her!!!

Posted by: Let's Be Clear | March 18, 2008 9:10 AM | Report abuse

From the Attorney Grievance Commission, MARYLAND ATTORNEYS DISCIPLINARY ACTIONS FY 2007:

FICKER, Robin K.A.. - Suspended indefinitely for lack of competence, lack of diligence, failure to communicate, conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice and failure to place an unearned fee in a trust account.

No wonder he's trying to sell real estate now!

Posted by: So How's Business Robin? | March 20, 2008 8:10 PM | Report abuse

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