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Pr. Geo.'s candidate Rushern Baker pledges to disclose donors early

Rushern L. Baker III, a Democratic candidate for county executive in Prince George's, pledged Tuesday to voluntarily disclose all his campaign donors every 60 days, and challenged other candidates to do the same.

Baker has been facing questions from a rival over the source of $206,000 that came to his campaign via a slate--a group of candidates that raises money collectively. A slate formed in January, County 1 Now, transferred the money to Baker's campaign account, but it was not required to disclose its donors in the last campaign finance report that month. The next report is not due until August.

The list of the slate's donors did not accompany the announcement, made in an e-mail in which Baker pledged support for a bill proposed by Baker supporter Del. Justin Ross (D-Prince George's). The bill would require local and state candidates to disclose donors more often than currently required. Del. Gerron S. Levi (D-Prince George's), also running for executive, has also filed a bill to require increased disclosure by slates.

Both bills had hearings today in the General Assembly.

UPDATE: Del. Gerron S. Levi (D-Prince George's) says she will not respond to Baker's challenge to disclose all campaign donors every 60 days until Baker makes the "good faith gesture" of disclosing all of the donors to the slate County 1 Now.

"Before they demand more of us, do their part," Levi said. "Before you issue a challenge, complete the challenge. ...Until I see good faith on their part, I'm not going to respond to the challenge."

A call for comment to the Baker campaign was not immediately returned.

Baker's full announcement is below:

Team Baker today announced support for HR 1504, legislation in the House of Delegates that reforms campaign finance contributions, transfers, and reporting requirements.

Rushern Baker, Candidate for Prince Georges County Executive says "I have always supported disclosure of campaign finance information and I believe the citizens of Prince George's County deserve full disclosure. Every sixty days I will release the names of donors to my campaign as required by HR 1504. I will continue to release this information every sixty days and I challenge other candidates for County Executive in Prince George's County and Slates to do the same.''

Baker will also appear on the News Channel 8 program "News Talk" with Bruce DePuyt at 4pm today for a discussion of today's announcement and other campaign related news.

Team Baker 2010 will hold a formal public announcement of his candidacy at the Iverson Mall in Hillcrest Heights Maryland on Wednesday at 9am.

By Jonathan Mummolo  |  March 16, 2010; 1:29 PM ET
Categories:  2010 Elections , Jonathan Mummolo  
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Now THAT'S the Rushern Baker I voted for! We need that same type of transparency and leadership in Upper Marlboro!

Posted by: PGDEM | March 16, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Rushern for taking this step. Of all the candidates in this race, I have always felt that Rushern Baker is the most honest and trustworthy. Rushern's leadership is exactly what this county needs right now. He will put the interests of the people in front of the interests of the few and the connected.

Posted by: jackowitzm | March 16, 2010 2:33 PM | Report abuse

Business interests give to elected officials? Hardly news. As someone with kids in the school system can the Post please cover what the candidates will do for the school system?

Posted by: Mom2-3 | March 16, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

why are you all so starry eyed over Bakers "voluntary" disclosure of his donors? He isn't doing it cause he wants to, he's doing it cause of all the media buzz. And the real question is, what do these fat cat donors want of Baker in return for their largesse? I'm sure it has nothing to do with their desire to curry favor with the PG government so if Baker wins, he will reward them with lucrative contracts and cushy, no work jobs.

Posted by: VikingRider | March 16, 2010 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Once again Rushern demonstrates why he is a principled leader worthy of being the next County Executive. Putting people first ahead of politics as usual is the key to revitalize the county.

Posted by: voteforbaker | March 16, 2010 5:56 PM | Report abuse

Rushern is a decent man, but deeply in debt and therefore long beholden to the monied class. Wayne Curry, the man who never saw a bulldozer he didn't like, is The Man Behind.

Posted by: Towards_Light | March 16, 2010 6:16 PM | Report abuse

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