Executive Wayne Curry and 4 black council members to be ousted by term limits in 2002.
The black special interests in Prince Georges County, MD are understandably concerned
about a term limits law which will oust all of their black allies from the Prince Georges
county council, as well as black power broker Wayne Curry, county executive. These 5
elected officials are all in their second elected term and they are prohibited from
running for office in 2002 -- unless they manage to get the term limits law repealed on
the November 2000 ballot.
Executive Wayne Curry
As the November 2000 ballot draws near, these politicians want voters to believe that
"black power" will be harmed if the term limits law is allowed to remain on the
They are probably right about that. These politicians are mightily afraid that
their racial-preference policies will be compromised if they are forced from office.
Their supporters have mounted a campaign to convince black voters in Prince Georges County
that the term limits law will harm black special interests in the county.
According to the Washington Post, Maryland State Democratic Delegate Rushern L. Baker III
said "This is a new era in Prince George's County. We're just beginning to
build up a cadre of African American elected officials who know the ins and outs of county
government. Their leadership and their ability to implement policies and secure
resources [for blacks] that are critical to progress in the African American community
should not be held hostage to" a simple, logical law like term limits.
According to the Washington Post, the campaign to repeal Prince Georges County term limits
law also plans to air ads on black-oriented radio stations. The pro-black term
limits repeal campaign is also considering a mass mailing which will include photos of
pro-term-limits leaders so that black voters in the county will know that the group
The PG black power structure has attempted to portray the leaders of the campaign to keep
term limits as "white racists" by distributing printed materials which clearly
indicate the race of the pro-limits campaign members: Michael Steele, Prince
George's County Republican Party chairman, who is black; Judy Robinson, a Hyattsville
civic activist who is white; and council member Walter H. Maloney (D-Laurel), who is
In the interests of preserving its race-based black power base in the county, the Prince
George's County Council voted during the summer of 2000 to place a term-limits repeal for
the county executive and County Council on the November ballot.
Council Chair Dorothy Bailey
Council Member Isaac Gourdine
Council Member Marvin Wilson
Council Member Ronald Russell
County Executive Wayne Curry has kept his distance from the anti-term-limits
campaign. Officially, Curry is attempting to take no position regarding the effort
to repeal term limits being waged by his black cronies. Curry has taken too much
heat recently for doling out favors to black contractors and campaign contributors.
He is hopeful that the white voters in the county will be able to forget his "Racial
Boss" role in assigning Redskins stadium contracts to black firms and black
contributors. Nonetheless, Boss Curry stands to gain another term as County
Executive if the term limits law is repealed.
Curry has previously publicly stated his opposition to term limits.
Black council member Isaac J. Gourdine -- who also publicly opposes term limits -- won his
seat on the PG council in 1994 as a direct result of the term limits law. Gourdine,
now a vocal opponent of term limits, had repeatedly attempted to defeat incumbent County
Council member Susan V. Mills. Then, in 1994, the newly enacted term limits law forced
opponent Mills from office, allowing Gourdine to win a seat on the PG council.
Now Isaac Gourdine (D-Fort Washington) is advocating a way to avoid his former opponent
(Susan Mills) fate: Gourdine introduced the PG County bill that would permit
pro-quota voters in PG County to overturn term limits in November 2000.
Gratuitously, Council member Gourdine claims that his opposition to term limits is based
on a concern that it will force a near-complete overhaul of county government in 2002.
County Executive Wayne K. Curry (D) and seven of the council's nine members (four of whom
are black) will have served two terms by 2002 and are barred by current term limits law
from running for reelection.
According to the Washington Post, Hyattsville, MD civic activist Judy Robinson said:
"Mr. Gourdine obviously wants to keep his job. He ought to go out and get
another job and help the next council member get elected. He's putting himself above the
place that he loves, and that's disingenuous."
The liberal Washington Post also notes that "Swept up in a wave of anti-incumbent
fervor, voters in 17 states enacted term limits in the early 1990s. In Prince George's
County, Robinson collected more than 10,000 petition signatures and got the referendum
placed on the ballot in 1992. Voters supported term limits 51 to 49 percent, forcing six
of the council's nine members from office in 1994."
SOURCES and BACKGROUND:
Washington Post: Race
Issue Raised Regarding PG Term Limits (10/24/00)
Washington Post: Term Limits
Attacked by PG Council (05/25/00)
Additional reading on this topic:
Page (1) Prince Georges: Overview of Racial and Political Favoritism
Page (2) Prince Georges: Redskins Stadium, Racial and Political Contract Deals
Page (3) Prince
Georges: Political Donors, Allies Rewarded (07/23/00)
END (4) Prince Georges: Term Limits are