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3 Minute Interview-Ficker

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Local,Kathleen Miller
Gadfly, rabble-rouser, perennial failed candidate, perpetual tax foe, call him what you will, but Montgomery County resident Robin Ficker has led an interesting life. The 65-year-old, lawyer, real-estate agent and former Maryland state delegate is best known for pushing anti-tax ballot referendums and as the fan who harassed visiting teams at Washington’s NBA home games, even heckling his way into a book by Charles Barkley. After 34 years of calling on Montgomery County residents to support his efforts to make it more difficult to increase property taxes, he finally won: His ballot “Question B” this year eked out a win.

What motivates you?

I am trying to bring about peaceful change. This is a great country, this is how we do things here … we switched from [President George] Bush to [President-elect Barack] Obama without firing a shot.

You’ve got a reputation as a lot of things — how would you describe yourself?


I would describe myself as a thoughtful people-lover. Here in Montgomery County, two-thirds of the adults have graduated from college. I figure, I’ve got a Ph.D. in Montgomery County government just by talking to these people.

You’re a frequent critic of people in power. Anybody ever get it right?

In Montgomery County politics? Idamae Garrott [a councilwoman and state legislator in the 1970s and ’80s] seemed to have the citizens’ view at heart. She was immune from the beckonings of special interest.

How did you achieve legendary Washington NBA fan status?

I always kept it clean, never swore, never drank alcohol or made racial or sexual comments. I was well-read about the players, I knew their psychological pressure points.

And your relationship with Charles Barkley?

He wouldn’t eat vegetables, so I would bring veggies to games and hand them out to his teammates. We had a lot of fun. A couple of his teammates went out with broccoli and cauliflower under their jerseys a few times. He flew me out to Phoenix for NBA finals to heckle the [Chicago] Bulls in the NBA Finals.
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