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Baker unveils jobs plan in Pr. George's

Jonathan Mummolo

Updated, 1:23 p.m.: Prince George's County executive candidate Rushern L. Baker III (D) unveiled a plan Tuesday at a rally in Landover that he says will create jobs and spur development.

The three-page plan (see below) was distributed to reporters as Baker spoke to 100 or so attendees, mostly union workers, after being introduced by a slew of local labor chiefs spanning the construction, food, hospital and public safety sectors.

The plan includes proposals to create jobs through: public works projects; the encouragement of development around Metro sites; tax breaks for those who purchase homes in blighted areas; favoring developers who have a history of hiring local workers; giving incentives to the 6,000-member county government workforce to spend money in the county; and putting more money into community college training programs.

However, many of the plan's components are dependent on yet-to-be secured federal and state funding, as well as General Assembly approval. And there are two things the plan does not include: An estimate of how many net jobs it will create, and an estimate of how much the program will cost.

"I don't know how many net jobs it can create. ... I don't want to put a number on it. ... We'll look at it and we'll get you a number," Baker said in an interview after the rally. "Most of the things we have in here, with the exception of some of the incentives ... are revenue-neutral."

Balance sheets aside, simply speaking to the jobs issue may be a net gain for Baker, who said job growth is the number two issue of concern among residents, behind education, according to his own polling.

As far as how Baker has secured such formidable union support? He made it pretty plain in his speech:

"When they ask whether I believe in labor agreements, you know what my answer is? Hell yes!" Baker said to applause. "Because those labor agreements provide career and labor opportunities for our folks."

Baker earned the support of key unions early on, in part with a pledge to never furlough public safety or education workers, a controversial cost-cutting measure employed by current County Executive Jack B. Johnson (D).

Jobs Plan

This post has been updated since it was first published.

By Jonathan Mummolo  |  June 2, 2010; 1:23 PM ET
Categories:  2010 Elections , Jonathan Mummolo , Prince George's County  
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Comments

I applaud that at least one of the county executive candidates, Rushern Baker, is addressing what I believe to be the most important issue of this election season, the economy. His focus is on jobs, and after reading his plan, while not the most detailed, provides a philosophy for how the County Executive can have a direct impact on increasing job growth without plundering Prince Georges' coffers

Posted by: chriswallas | June 1, 2010 5:23 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Baker has the support of my colleagues and myself for two reason. He is from the community and he is working for the community. There are to many PG County residents leaving the county to find jobs. There is no logical reason why there should be no jobs in the county when there is all of this space in county, developing the land and creating jobs in the county all created with county dollars is a great plan and some progress is always better then NO progress. The fact that there will be jobs means enough to me the fact that they don't know how many is irrelevant as far as I am concerned some is better then none, every new opening is an opportunity for someone to improve the quality of their own life and the quality of the county. I don't pay taxes for good I am paying for great.

Posted by: LAdams1 | June 1, 2010 5:50 PM | Report abuse

I'm intrigued by Baker's "duty free" zones suggestion. I don't know if he could get that through the state legislator. However eliminating sales taxes in some of those inner beltway and DC border areas could instantly create huge growth. There would be a huge fight over what neighborhood or area would qualify. However if he pulled something like that off, it could be a huge for attracting companies and consumers, especially vendors that sell expensive items like cars. At a minimum Baker could waive all local taxes and fees in an area and offer rebates to help pay sales taxes up to a certain amount for new companies. Got to give it to him: that's something different. Maybe he should get the Governor on board and a few other County Executives and Mayors. Great concept for growing business.

Posted by: Whatisthepointagain | June 2, 2010 3:26 AM | Report abuse

I like it. Ideas matter. You can get from Seat Pleasant to downtown DC in 20 minutes during rush hour. Its a completely underutilized area. I like that Baker has a vision for the inner beltway areas (where I live).

Posted by: PGDEM | June 2, 2010 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Here's an idea, maybe Rushern Baker can use some of the $1M in loans he took from developers and put people to work.

All you need to know about Baker:


http://maryland-politics.blogspot.com/search/label/Baker%20on%20the%20Spot

Posted by: george_w_bush0 | June 2, 2010 4:52 PM | Report abuse

Here is another reason to vote for Rushern Baker: a thoughtful, balanced approach to job creation and economic development. This is the real kind of visionary leadership we need for the county.

Posted by: voteforbaker | June 2, 2010 11:12 PM | Report abuse

Rushern’s announcement is good as far as it goes, but it doesn’t go far enough. He needs to get his website up to speed with policy proposals. Gerron has more stuff on her website. You can agree or disagree with what she has on the site, but at least there is something to chew on. Rushern has been at this for a lot longer than Gerron but has less (zero) policy info on his site. Not a good omen. A press release is no substitute.

As to the poster who keeps citing MPW for negative Baker info, give it up, it reflects badly on Gerron. Levi is a lobbyist for a labor union, and Adam Pagnucco the primary writer for MPW is an employee of a carpenters union. It’s likely they scratch backs. Union people sticking together. I have nothing against union people. Mrs Countbobulescu is a union official.

Posted by: countbobulescu | June 3, 2010 12:45 AM | Report abuse

As a community developer, Rushern Baker has actually helped many people with challenges to get a job, keep a job, and turn that job into a career.

That experience will make a difference for working families and local businesses. No other candidate can claim that.

Posted by: Hellmut | June 3, 2010 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Countbobulescu:

You're such a hack but not a clever one. Stop "pretending" to be a Gerron supporter when many of your posts are pro-Baker. On the one hand, you've celebrated the "unions" endorsement of Baker - now the only thing that unions are good for is "scratching each others back?" The truth is, the MPW posts reflects very poorly on Rushern Baker because guess what...it's the TRUTH! Rushern Baker has taken nearly $1M in loans (not gifts or donations folks) from one special person for each of his losing campaigns. When the MSM starts focusing on this in August, it will be over for Rushern Baker - a slick loan shark.

Posted by: george_w_bush0 | June 6, 2010 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Hellmut:


No other candidate can claim to take $1 million, as Rushern Baker can, from the SAME developer for 3 losing campaigns either!

Posted by: george_w_bush0 | June 6, 2010 11:03 AM | Report abuse

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