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Rhee to appear for Md. Senate hopeful

It looks as though Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee, who placed herself at the center of the D.C. mayor's race this month by linking her tenure to that of Mayor Adrian M. Fenty, is acquiring a taste for the campaign trail. Next week, she's headed to Baltimore, where she'll appear on behalf of Democratic state Senate candidate Bill Ferguson, a fellow Teacher for America alumnus. Ferguson's campaign committee is sponsoring "An Evening With Michelle Rhee, Nationally Renowned Progressive Education Reform Advocate." (no reference to her day job, per the Hatch Act) Tickets start at $50 for Baltimore city school teachers and top out at $1,000 for "hosts."

Ferguson is mounting a primary challenge to 46th District incumbent George W. Della Jr., who has served in the state house since 1983, representing an area that includes Cherry Hill, Federal Hill and Fells Point. A cursory look at Della's record didn't turn up much one way or the other on education issues. His biggest claim to recent fame seems to be a 2009 bill that would have banned beer pong. It never got to the floor.

UPDATE 7:02 p.m.: Rhee said Tuesday afternoon that she didn't consider the appearance to be a campaign event, nor was it an endorsement of Ferguson, who she doesn't know.

"Somebody who knows him called me and said they were having an event for him," she said. "They want me to talk about the importance of education reform. It's very general."

Nor does she know much about Della. "I know he's been in office for a long time, but I'm not taking a stance on which candidate to vote for."

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By Bill Turque  |  July 13, 2010; 3:13 PM ET
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The last thing any state needs is another TFA cult member, using myths and slogans in place of fact and analysis, in a position of power. Keep the Koppies out of government.

Posted by: mcstowy | July 13, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

She acts more and more like Palin all the time. At least Palin was qualified on paper.

Posted by: mamoore1 | July 13, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Michelle Rhee is either being disingenuous in her statement or she is dangerously naive. Look at the website:

Ferguson has her on the front page of his web site, and is asking people to donate $1000 to his campaign for 30 minutes of her time at a VIP event in Baltimore. By appearing, she's endorsing Ferguson, a long-shot challenger with no local community association experience. Ferguson is running against Senator Della, a champion of worker's rights and teacher salaries for over 27 years in the General Assembly.

How would Mayor Fenty feel if Baltimore Schools CEO Andres Alonso came down and did some campaigning for Vince Gray?

I have to agree with mamoore1. She's acting like Mitt Romney or Palin or something, travelling around and throwing her weight behind distant campaigns. Maybe she's succumbed to the Adrian Fenty "White House-Hollywood" syndrome.

Posted by: CharmedCity | July 13, 2010 7:52 PM | Report abuse

This is terribly poor judgment on the part of Michelle Rhee. Saying she's not endorsing anyone for a Maryland Senate race but appearing at fundraiser anyway is a crock.

She needs to either pull out of this event or pull out of DC Government.

Posted by: JLDF | July 13, 2010 8:12 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: wakeupfolks99 | July 13, 2010 8:46 PM | Report abuse

Thank you to reader edlharris for bringing this to my attention last Friday. (

You're welcome, Bill

Posted by: edlharris | July 13, 2010 9:30 PM | Report abuse

As a registered DC voter and longtime Glover Park resident, I am outraged that our Chancellor has decided to hit the campaign trail like Sarah Palin and throw her influence around another town for a little-known, extremist candidate. Well, let me tell you something, HON. Your job isn't exactly finished yet. Please. Focus on your job.

Posted by: hstevens | July 13, 2010 10:37 PM | Report abuse

Is it still all about the kids?

Posted by: mamoore1 | July 14, 2010 12:51 AM | Report abuse

I think Rhee should stick to improving DC schools in a non-political fashion - after all, her salary is being paid by the citizens of DC and I'm absolutely certain they're not satisfied with the return on their investment, yet. Stumping for someone she hardly knows and in a city she knows nothing about is pretty dumb for a smart lady like her.

My message to Rhee - continue to make improvements to DC's schools and keep your nose out of Baltimore politics.

My message to Ferguson - your loose affiliation with Rhee is too apparent to make her of any value to you in your campaign against Della. Try utilizing the vast resources of the Maryland educational system before running to DC for answers. DC's schools are absolutely horrid compared to Montgomery, Anne Arundle and Howard Counties. Why won't anyone from those jurisdictions come speak about education on your behalf?

Posted by: everettbiotech | July 14, 2010 3:03 AM | Report abuse

Thanks for the weblink for Ferguson’s campaign website, charmedcity.

On the front page of the site, there’s an unatributed copy the first paragraph of Turque's article above (up to, but not including the reference to the Hatch act.) The website also changes the name of the article from "Rhee to appear for Md. Senate hopeful" to "Rhee to Stump for Md. Senate Hopeful" so it sure sounds like the candidate or someone on his staff thinks she's campaigning for him.

Only when you click on the title do you get the full article, showing Turque as the author and providing a link to the Washington Post. However, the title remains "Rhee to Stump for Md. Senate Hopeful."

Posted by: efavorite | July 14, 2010 6:47 AM | Report abuse

Well, I see now that the link to this wapo article is:

suggesting "stumps" was in the original wapo title. Thus it's understandable how the candidate's webpage picked it up that way.

Posted by: efavorite | July 14, 2010 6:58 AM | Report abuse

It's yet another chance to be on stage!It's celebrity Rhee. It's not paying off for Fenty. In a campaign, needing Rhee to speak on reform, might be the kiss of death.

Posted by: candycane1 | July 14, 2010 6:00 PM | Report abuse

Maybe Miss Rhee is buttering her toast on both side and is making an opening to return to the origin of the Baltimore Miracle.

Posted by: edlharris | July 14, 2010 6:06 PM | Report abuse

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