UPDATE Double Take: Twin Sister of Montclair’s Renee Baskerville Appears in Video During Republican National Convention

UPDATE: Lezli Baskerville says she will take action regarding Trump administration misappropriating her likeness. Statement below.

In a video that appeared Thursday evening during Day 4 of the Republican National Convention, there was a familiar face – one that looked a lot like longtime 4th Ward Councilor and mayoral candidate Dr. Renee Baskerville.

We and others were fooled – but that’s because it was Baskerville’s twin sister – Lezli Baskerville, a lawyer and president and CEO of the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education.

Lezli Baskerville appears in a convention video in a group meeting with Trump. The footage is used in a package praising Trump on public housing, but the video is from a meeting with leaders of Historically Black Colleges and Universities in February 2017.

Lezli Baskerville, in a letter to HBCU presidents in August 2017, said Trump’s response to “the national disgrace that was Charlottesville and the false equivalency he made between the Nazis/white supremacists and those who opposed them” had given HBCU leaders reason to doubt Trump’s competency, Mother Jones reported.

Dr. Renee Baskerville has been involved in efforts in Montclair to mobilize and be part of the anti-Trump resistance.

Lezli Baskerville send the following statement Friday morning:

The Trump Administration is misappropriating my likeness, that of the members of the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education, the Nation’s only membership and advocacy association of the CEOs of all HBCUs and PBIs, a not-for-profit and non-partisan association, over which I am privileged to serve. The Trump Administration is misrepresenting, for political purposes, a non-political, non-partisan, White House event, the signing of The Executive Oder on HBCUs. The signing of the Executive Order on HBCUs is a White House executive event that has occurred at the beginning of every New Administration since President Jimmy Carter signed the initial Order. To miscast that event as support for President Trump is reprehensible with potentially far reaching legal ramifications.  I have consulted counsel and we will take appropriate action

Let me further share with you why I am offended and concerned.  I am a seasoned constitutional justice lawyer who was humbled and thrilled beyond measure when my alma mater, Howard University School of Law recognized me as such two years ago when bestowing upon me its coveted Lifetime of Achievement Award. I have spent my entire life using my gifts and talents to expand opportunities for those of least advantage in America and around the globe.  I have been privileged to meld my profession and my passion while serving as “the voice for Blacks in Higher Education” as President & CEO of NAFEO for more than 16 years and as its outside pro bono counsel before that. I served as national legislative counsel for the NAACP, education and voting rights counsel at the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, Counsel of the Law & Justice Committee of the National Black Caucus of State Legislators, as a senior staff member for Members of Congress and congressional committees and Vice President of The College Board.  I was Coordinator & National Policy Director of the 20th Anniversary March on Washington for Jobs, Peace and Justice whose 57th anniversary I will join in celebrating today at the recommitment on the Mall.
That the Office of the President, which is the owner of the photos used in the Trump 2020 video, would cast me in a false light, the association over which I humbly and confidently serve, and the presidents and chancellors of the nation’s HBCUs, is a dastardly deed that must not go without remediation.

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  1. It doesn’t make a difference. It’s too late. The country passed the tipping point…and NJ is irrelevant. Ironically, we host the gang on golf weekends. Sometimes all one can do is laugh at the futility of it all.

  2. Oh, and yeah, if Sir Elton John was powerless over Trump using I’m Still Standing, don’t the Baskervilles of Montclair threats seem impudent?

  3. Frank R – “It doesn’t make a difference. It’s too late.”

    It is not too late. Go out and vote on November 3rd. Let’s get this bum out of the White House before it really is too late and we loose our democracy!

  4. New Jersey’s voters and elected representatives will not factor into Trump leaving the WH. The Green Bay Packers, Pittsburgh Steelers, Cleveland Browns states…and the military…will determine if we get a Democrat as the next president.

    Either way, we are not going to lose our Democracy. It will be the same Democracy we have today. This was my point.

  5. Now you are walking it back. Whatever. You never mentioned anything about WI, PA, OH. You better hope he’s not re-elected. Our democracy will change radically; the erosion is visible in his first term.

  6. Democracy?? Seriously folks follow the money. Many Montclairians get their info from CNN and and MSNBC. Who controls their content? 70% of their revenue come from Big Pharma. Make your audience fearful, anxious, and depressed and then advertise the drugs that will alleviate the symptoms you caused. Great business model…ugh. How about the Covid narrative. Again Big Pharma and Big Tech were pulling the strings. The largest move of money in the history of the world shifted into Big Tech and Pharma due to Covid fear. It will be years before the truth comes out, if ever. In the meantime the only politician that the Democrats and loath, as do half the Republicans, is the problem. As an old Woodstock hippy friend said when Trump was elected, “I have been waiting for this moment my whole life, finally a President that those in power fear and hate.”

  7. “Big Pharma and Big Tech were pulling the strings.”

    “It will be years before the truth comes out, if ever.”

    Specifically, what strings? What truth?

  8. Silver…do the math. Don’t read stories, don’t watch the news, don’t be influenced by Facebook. Analyze the data and do the math….or follow the Pied Piper..your choice.

  9. You’ve avoided the question and responded with instruction. Not what I was seeking.

    Let’s try this. What does all that self-analyzed math and data say to you and from what source do you obtain it?

  10. All the data on COVID from every state and every country is available online. The transcript of every word spoken in the House and the Senate is available online. Everything the Fed does is available online. Every move the Stock market and the Bond markets make are transparent. All this info is unfiltered by the press and takes a lot more time to analyze than reading headlines. Parsing through headlines accepting what you would like to believe and rejecting the ones you don’t agree with is easy and for some gives validity to their point of view.

  11. Look on the bright side..whatever your beliefs…
    The electronic media is giving us a window of sorts in the 10th Amendment, Federalism. etc. It also has had to allocate its First Team coverage to include State and local government. Although, I have to say, the NY Media is still lacking in its coverage of NJ & CT.

  12. Frank, I like the fact you brought up the 10th amendment. It will be interesting to see the push back from states for less Federal Government. I think that is the next battle. Birds of a feather flock together and when given a choice people with certain mindsets will flock to Red states and others will flock to Blue. We are seeing that now with the exodus out of NY and NJ. We will see how biting the hand that feeds you works out. NY is the first domino ready to fall.

  13. flip – Of course, COVID and financial markets data provided directly from the CDC and NYSE are unbiased as they are both primary sources. I get all that and a no brainer, really.

    In your initial post you said, “Many Montclairians get their info from CNN and and MSNBC”, implying that those outlets put their own spin on it. Interestingly, you said nothing of FOX. You then said, “Big Pharma and Big Tech were pulling the strings” and “It will be years before the truth comes out, if ever.” Unlike the CDC, that certainly has a ring of inherent bias.

    My question to you is: What is the source of information that led you to make those statements? Was it CNN/MSNBC or FOX?

  14. As stated earlier follow the money…70% of CNN and MSNBC ad revenue is from Big Pharma. Watch and you will see nearly every ad is for a drug. Fox is biased as well but most of their ads are for MY Pillow…very annoying as well. Evil Trump said his next target is Big Pharma and their pricing policies. Same drug in America costs many times more than the same drug in other countries. Like I said, follow the money to see what narrative you are going to fed. CNN, MSNBC, and FOX are not even close to being “news” outlets. They are self-admitted opinion outlets. I do scan all 3 a few times a week but find them unwatchable after about 2 minutes. To answer your question…my source of information doesn’t come from any “news” outlet. Like I said, any real information can be found from reliable data sources. Why rely on a talking head, especially when their motive is to divide, agitate, and get clicks and ratings.

  15. “To answer your question . . . my source of information doesn’t come from any “news” outlet.”

    You want us to believe that every opinion that you have formed in your head is sourced by a “non TV, radio, print, etc news outlet?” That you gather your information and form opinions acquired from the multitude of pure primary data sources, i.e., CDC, NYSE, Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Census Bureau, Federal Farm Bureau, etc.

    To put it politely, that’s poppycock! Tell us another. But then again, if you have enough time on your hands to track and quantify the number and frequency of drug and pillow ads, you may just have enough time to source individual primary data.

  16. The Canons of Journalism are almost 100 years old and, for all intents and purposes, I can’t think of an outlet that meets a majority. This ‘coming up shor’ trend is increasingly prevalent, but nothing new over the last 40 years. What has also seriously declined has been their audience’s critical reading/thinking skills.

    Whether I was reading the NYT or the Akron BJ, I was taught to first be sensitive to organizational bias and then the particular author’s bias. I am not particularly skilled at it, but I long ago decided the Canons were, at best, aspirational and, at worst, just an industry PR thing. It doesn’t dismiss what is being said. That is always important. Without it, there would not be any need for critical thinking.

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