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Stewart criticizes feds, Baker wants more Metro

Tuesday - 3/15/2011, 1:05pm  ET

Corey Stewart Rushern Baker (Paul D. Shinkman)
Chairman Corey Stewart and County Executive Rushern Baker. (WTOP Photo/Paul D. Shinkman)

'Ask the Executive' with Rushern Baker, Corey Stewart

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WASHINGTON -- Prince George's County Executive Rushern Baker and Prince William County Board of Supervisors Chairman Corey Stewart were guests Tuesday on WTOP's "Ask the Executive" program with Mark Segraves.

Stewart criticized the Department of Homeland Security, which he said knowingly releases illegal immigrant criminals. Read the full story here.

He also had strong words for the District government, regarding what he said is too strict ticketing enforcement of would-be slug riders.

"D.C. would be wise to be a bit more friendly to those of us who come into work every day," he said.

Many businesses are moving out of D.C. and into Virginia partially because of this, Stewart claimed.

Baker focused much of his attention Tuesday on projected development of his county, particularly in the southern regions, following his Monday announcement of a $50 million economic development investment fund.

He would like to see an expansion of the Metro system, specifically the planned Purple Line, and a separate line to cross the Wilson Bridge and connect with National Harbor.

Prince George's will also soon implement speed cameras. These will be designed both for safety and to collect more revenue, to go to public safety costs, Baker said.

They still need to select a contractor for the cameras, and it is unclear if the contractor will be paid a flat rate or a percentage of the ticket revenue.

For more on the interviews, listen to the full audio to the right or check out the live blog.

Here's what Stewart had to say:

10:56 a.m. speaking about illegal immigration:

We get more support from legal immigrants than any other group. Those who have come to the country legally resent those who have come illegally, and make everyone look bad.

10:55 a.m. speaking about predatory lending:

People have to take personal responsibility, too. You can't blame anything on the bank when you shouldn't have taken the loan.

Instead of suing the bank, it's probably better to call the bank and try to work with them.

10:46 a.m. speaking about immigration and his suit against the Department of Homeland Security:

We're pursuing a report on Carlos Montano. It does show the Department of Homeland Security released Montano despite his two previous driving offenses because he wasn't a violent criminal.

"He was clearly dangerous."

The Department of Homeland Security continues to release dangerous criminals when they should be deporting them.

There are 3,000 other criminals we've handed over to the department for deportation, and they're being released.

"We want to know who they are, where they were released and where their disposition is."

"They need to let local police know when they're releasing dangerous criminals back into the community."

10:45 a.m. speaking about development on Route 1:

I think we're going to widen that route from Fairfax County to St. Mary's Way.

One of the things I would like to get accomplished is widening that road, "and taking down the garbage you see along Route 1."

10:43 a.m. speaking about Gainsville road work:

It looks like we've secured the funding to expand I-66 out to Route 15, so the construction may be going on for a while.

We have to continue to widen our major commuter highways.

10:37 a.m. speaking about foreclosures:

It's come down from 6,500 in 2008. It looks like it's going to be around 2,000 for the entire 2010 calendar year. I think it's going to continue to go down this year.

I don't think you're going to see the same number of investors coming in to buy up those homes.

I think it's too easy to find a boogie man here. Everyone likes to pile on banks or Wall Street, but many people who had their houses foreclosed purchased beyond their means.

It's just the reality that the economy runs in cycles, it happens but the economy is getting better.

10:36 a.m. speaking about accomplishments in Prince William:

When we saw the economy dip, we reacted quickly.

We reduced tax bills, 9 percent below what they were in 2007.

We are now the lowest taxed jurisdiction in Northern Virginia. We're actually going to start hundreds of millions of dollars in public projects.

10:35 a.m. speaking about hostility toward slug drivers in D.C.:

Businesses are moving out of D.C. precisely for these issues, and Virginia has been a big recipient of that.

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