Protest Group Clashes with Rep. Turner Over Fraud Claim

Turner claims woman is masquerading as a civil rights leader, refuses invitation to town hall

Rep. Mike Turner, R-Ohio, is in a strange dispute with a local Dayton group. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

A protest group is firing back at Ohio Republican Rep. Mike Turner after he accused one of its members of masquerading as a civil rights icon.

Turner said in a statement that a woman named Christie Baker, whose middle name is Ella and goes by Ella Baker, is claiming to be civil rights icon Ella Baker, the Dayton Daily News reported. Turner claimed she is the head of protest group Dayton Indivisible.

“The leader of Dayton Indivisible purports to be Ella Baker. She is not and she along with the leadership of her fraudulent group know her true identity,” Turner’s statement said.

“Congressman Turner will not be attending any events held by the fraudulent leadership of the fraudulent group Dayton Indivisible,” his statement said.


Dayton Indivisible was one of three groups that criticized Turner for not attending a town hall they organized on Saturday.

But Mathias Detamore, president of the Miami Valley Progressive Caucus, said Baker is his group’s treasurer and is not part of Dayton Indivisible. Detamore said Baker has never claimed to be the civil rights icon, who worked alongside Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.


“That is such a far-reaching attempt to smear her character is is laughable,” Detamore said. “We have Mike Turner’s attention. He is scared.”


Turner says that Baker has “fraudulently contacted my office and impersonated Ella Baker in violation of 18 USC section 1001. We assume she has also misrepresented her true identity in fund-raising and group organizing.”


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