Turning to HoCo’s House Lannister, Dr. Janet Siddiqui has decided to enter the race for the 4th County Council District.
First of all, one should be skeptical of the argument that self-funders can be independent of special interests (“unbought and unbossed” to employ former Congresswoman Shirley Chisolm’s slogan). Folks with the ability to loan themselves $100,000 (funneled through various committees, as outlined here: https://scotteblog.com/2018/01/17/will-janet-siddiqui-run-for-office-in-2018/) are themselves a special interest. Of course, I expect her campaign won’t completely self-fund, but who would give the Siddiquis money to fill their coffers? Fortunately, campaign finance reports are available to the public. Just go ahead and type in “Siddiqui” in the Committee Name box here: https://campaignfinancemd.us/Public/ViewFiledReports
Her attempted job hop in 2014, from the Board of Education to a brief run for the House of Delegates in District 13 to deciding to drop out in favor of her husband Nayab is redolent of a sense of entitlement. This familial bait-and-switch was rejected by Team 13, while she was selected to run on the slate, Nayab was not. In her own words, she said regarding a run for the state legislature, “I’ve always looked forward to that in my plan.” (Source: http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/howard/columbia/ph-janet-siddiqui-withdraws-district-13-story.html). Oh really, would you care to tell Howard County voters more about your "plan?" Or how the events of “the day of the filing” were necessary for you to rediscover your “commitment to the people and children of Howard County.” If that commitment was so unshakeable, should it have mattered what Aquino and Meshkin did or did not do re: seeking re-election to the Board?
Let us not forget the very recent past, when Janet Siddiqui voted to retain the services of former Superintendent Renee Foose. By voting with the other members of the “Gang of Five” to renew her contract, this gave Foose the leverage to secure a massive ($1.65 million) buy-out. Of course, it should be noted that three members of this Gang were tossed out of office by Howard County voters in 2016, including Dr. Siddiqui.
Back to when she was on the Board of Education, her commitment seemingly didn’t extend to an awareness of certain aspects of the position. When asked about the public release of a “special education audit,” that one parent called “critical information that the public needs,” Siddiqui’s reply was “I don’t know that it hasn’t been released” (Source: http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/howard/columbia/ph-ho-cf-special-education-forum-0414-20160412-story.html). The report cost $300,000 yet only 26 pages were released to the public ($11,538 per page). As parents and other activists clamored for greater transparency and a full report, Siddiqui’s response, “we should work with what we have, moving forward.” That sounds like acquiescence, not advocacy.
Then there is the curious relationship that the Siddiquis seem to enjoy with gas station owners. Another prominent blogger has written more about this topic (Source:
If you prefer videos for information, a YouTube channel (HCEA Howard) created four short videos featuring Janet Siddiqui in which you might be interested:
Ranging from mold to poor spending decisions and weak financial oversight, they include:
Pediatrician Janet Siddiqui falls short on health issues for students and staff:
Failed management by Board Member Janet Siddiqui proven in State Audit:
State Audit Results under Janet Siddiqui’s leadership
Janet Siddiqui spends our tax dollars in the wrong places
In the opinion of this author, her track record demonstrates questionable judgement and an excessive degree of concern over what is best for the Siddiquis, not Howard County. As said in campaign literature in support of Grover Cleveland’s presidential candidacy, “public office is a public trust.” Based on her performance, Dr. Siddiqui has not earned our trust, and she should not be elected to a public office such as the County Council.
Stay tuned, as more will follow…