Reid says PR isn't about him, it's about Him

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March 07, 2007|By LAURA VOZZELLA

Don't look for any shrinking violets among Baltimore magazine's Power 50. Amid all The People Who Run This Town, one stood out by issuing a news release that bragged about making the list. The mega-developer? The powerhouse lawyer? The political steamroller? No, the servant of God.

"DR. FRANK M. REID III, BETHEL A.M.E. CHURCH NOT ONLY IS ONE OF THE BALTIMORE MAGAZINE'S POWER 50 BUT ALSO PASTOR'S [sic] THE TWO MOST INFULENTIAL [sic] WOMEN IN BALTIMORE," the release began.

Mayor Sheila Dixon and Comptroller Joan Pratt are members of Reid's congregation, and Reid gave Martin O'Malley his influential nod when the governor first ran for mayor in 1999.

That might explain why the release contended that "the leadership reigns [sic] for State and City government [are] sitting right in the lap of Dr. Reid."

Issued by Out Foxed Media, the release said Reid "has been saught [sic] by every political leader as a spiritual guardian."

It also trumpeted a controversial deal involving a city-owned concert venue. The developer agreed to give 10 percent of the profits to the church in exchange for no work or investment. Novel marriage of private philanthropy and public contracting? No-show minority set-aside? No, just keen business sense.

"This 55 year old Harvard graduate is not only an extraordinary man of God but on the busines [sic] front has proven to be a very keen and powerful neogotiator [sic]," the release said. "Dr. Reid has led Bethel A.M.E. Church through such powerful deals as the Cordish Pier Six Deal, where Bethel will receive a cut of the profits, more recently the church is planning on breaking ground in Baltimore County to build an Edifice."

Reached by phone yesterday, Reid said he was "humbled" to make the Power 50 and had "a feeling of undeservedness."

Then why toot his own horn with a release?

"We want to blow not Frank Reid, the person's, horn, but the influence that God and the people have given a person and a church and what God has done for this person who came from a divorced, broken home, raised by a single mother, a poor student in high school that ended up graduating from Yale and Harvard," he said. "We sent out the press release because I wanted it known that it's not about me. It's about the people that I'm blessed to represent and give voice to."

Reins? Reigns? Who's in control?

So does Pastor Reid really hold the "reigns" of city and state government?

Said Anthony McCarthy, a spokesman for the mayor: "Mayor Dixon adores and admires her pastor and his advice means a great deal to her."

A spokesman for Governor O'Malley did not return calls seeking comment.

Back to the Beehive State

Another Maryland Republican off unemployment: Kristen Cox has landed a job in Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr.'s Cabinet.

Cox, who was Bob Ehrlich's disabilities secretary as well as his running mate, was appointed director of the Department of Workforce Services in her home state. The department helps people find employment.

Cox could not be reached for comment. But she shared the news in an e-mail to associates Monday.

"Some major changes - looks like we're moving back to Utah as of Friday," she wrote. "The Governor of Utah called and offered me a position on his cabinet. ... An exciting opportunity - but it is going to be a pretty stressful time for a couple of months while we make the transition."

She'll be back and forth between Utah and Maryland until her older son, Tanner, finishes school in June.

"Governor Huntsman is thrilled to have someone with Kristen Cox's background and experience joining his team," said spokesman Mike Mower. "Maryland's loss is Utah's gain."

More honor for the physicist

Nobel Prize winner in the House - and Senate. John C. Mather of the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt was celebrated yesterday by state lawmakers for his 2006 Nobel in physics, The Sun's Jennifer Skalka reports.

Mather's research led to greater understanding of the big bang.

"It's a pleasure to live here in the beautiful state of Maryland," Mather told lawmakers. "I'm not going to go into the big-bang theory. You can call me up later, and I'll tell you."

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