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Saturday, July 12, 2014


As I hung up the phone with Congressman Delaney's campaign manager, Liz Jaff, I realized that after 3 months of telephone conversations and emails attempting to negotiate a date for a public forum with Incumbent Rep. John Delaney and Republican candidate Dan Bongino, I was being told in so many words, Don't call us...we'll call you.
     Many may not know that besides writing this blog,  I am also the president and events organizer for the Hagerstown TEA Party (HTP). I have been attempting to organize a Meet the Candidates forum for candidates running for US Congress in Maryland's District 6. The HTP has hosted several such events in 2012 and also during the 2014 primary season, building a reputation for providing well-organized forums for a fair exchange of ideas among those with widely different opinions. Likewise, this event would be non-partisan, so we would be inviting the Democratic and Republican candidates, along with the two Green Party and unaffiliated candidates. It would be a monitored Q&A forum, with each candidate having equal time to answer the same questions. There is time before and after to mingle with the candidates. This is a public service to our community, providing an opportunity to meet with and learn about the candidates, and unlike other candidate forums in the area...our events are always free of charge. The HTP Board of Directors were particularly excited about the probable interest and attendance for such a rare opportunity for the citizens of Washington County to meet their Congressman in person and to hear first hand where he stands on issues that are important to them. It would be double the value to be able to see him compete with those who also want to represent them. Western Maryland deserves this opportunity!


      It all started the first week in April when I reached out to Congressman Delaney by a contact link on his website, by email, and by sending him a formal invitation via U.S. Mail. I received an email 14 days later from his campaign manager, Liz Jaff, stating that Delaney would not be able to attend. She offered no reason, but did tell me to "feel free to call with any questions." I instead responded to her email asking if there was a scheduling conflict for the tentative date of July 10th. I stated that we had started planning so far in advance (3 months), that we "have enough time for adjustments." She responded by email stating that "May is packed on the official side" (apparently not realizing that all three invitations clearly stated July 10th), but said she should be able to work something out and "would be happy to chat next week." Great! Right?


     I waited for the following Monday to call Ms. Jaff. I was eager to set a date because I knew that I wanted as much time as possible to promote this event for a fantastic turnout. I shared with her how our candidate forums are conducted. She asked that I email her a preliminary agenda, the forum rules, and a bio on our moderator, Pieter Bickford. She was reluctant to set a date until she received everything and had time to meet with her team. I told her that I would email it that day and she told me to call back the following week. I emailed everything as soon as we hung up, from my iPhone, in my car.
     I called the following week, and the following week, and the following week.


   The primary season was winding down, and it was looking like Dan Bongino could not lose. I ran into him at another campaign event. We didn't know each other. I think we knew of each other. He did attend our candidate forum in 2012 when he ran against Cardin. Incidentally, Delaney did not participate in our candidate forum that year when he ran against Roscoe Bartlett. So I ran into Bongino, and I asked him about a forum with Delaney. Without a moment of hesitation he said that he would, but that I needed to call his campaign manager to set a date. He gave me the phone number. I called Sharon Strine the next day. I  gave her the tentative date of July 10th, and it was done.


Is it the TEA Party?
    It is possible. I know that the media has done a good job branding the TEA Party as a bunch of wild-eyed, racists with pitchforks. Surely by now those who are as well-informed, well-read, and as educated as the Congressman know that is not the true TEA Party. It certainly isn't the HTP. We have a proven record and a great reputation for being inclusive, fair, and respectful of others. If Delaney had attended our forum in 2012 he would have seen that for himself. At that event we had one lone Democrat that participated. At the other forum that year for U.S. Senate we had four Democrats who participated. They were treated with respect. There was not one heckler. There was not one person out of line for either event, nor were there any at our events this year. We even asked that those in attendance wait to clap at the end of the forum after each closing statement. Our moderator, Pieter Bickford, is a professional and beyond reproach. For someone who makes a real effort to brand himself as a moderate non-partisan politician you would think he would be comfortable with the TEA Party. Nothing to fear here.

Is it me [the blogger]?
     I guess it is possible that he saw my blog post entitled Congressman Delaney: First Impression ( and thought he might not be treated fairly. Each of us who belong to the HTP, yes even the board members, are entitled to our individual opinions. I just happen to write about mine. However, when acting as a representative of the HTP it is a different story. We have a mission statement that we must represent. I don't write the opinion of the HTP. If I did I would need to get the approval of the Board of Directors before submitting it to a public forum. So when I wrote about my first impression of Congressman Delaney after attending a $30 breakfast at the Chamber of Commerce, it was just that, my opinion. Considering that Delaney and I are on different sides of most issues, I think that I wrote a fairly positive opinion piece. If you doubt it, read what I wrote about Brown. But even if I had written a scathing opinion piece, it had nothing to do with the HTP and how he would be treated at a HTP-hosted forum. I clearly described our forum rules. Nothing to fear here.
Does he care about Western Maryland?
      I think we are getting closer to the truth here. He was willing to travel to Western Maryland to speak at the Chamber of Commerce breakfast at $30 a plate. These events are usually attended by Democrats and Liberal-leaning Republicans. He would never be challenged or have to work for their votes. He knows this is a Conservative area in our Liberal state and that he does not have to work for our votes because he doesn't need them. It doesn't matter to his campaign. He doesn't have much of a vision for our part of the state either. It was here that I heard him plainly state that we would never be a hub of any great importance in this region, but that we could build on transportation and logistics. Our role would be distribution and fulfillment. In other words, trucking and warehousing. That left me feeling a little cold. 

Is he afraid for a stand off with Bongino?
    Bingo! If he isn't, he should be. Bongino is willing to work for your vote! He doesn't just go where his base is and sing Kum Ba Ya. He is everywhere talking about everything. I don't care where I go I see Bongino. It's like he has clones or a superpower that lets him be in multiple locations at the same time. Then you turn on the radio or the TV and there he is. He is working it! He isn't just doing it to win. You can sense the sincerity a mile away. I've attended many events where I have seen him across a large room talking to a regular Joe about what his concerns are for this country, or his business, or his family. If I was Delaney I'd be leery about talking issues in the same room with Bongino. He knows the issues and can talk about them, any of them, without a seconds notice and do it with intelligence and passion. Delaney is a smart man and he can talk a good game, but he can't fake the sincerity or passion for the individual and for this country. Bongino gets it. He has that gut-level feeling and understanding about what is happening to our country from the top down and  could express it in his sleep in a way that anyone can understand. Yes, there is  something for Delaney to fear here.

    I guess fearing Bongino and not caring about Western Maryland made it easy for Team Delaney to say, Don't call us...we'll call you. I hope that the voters of Western Maryland and all of District 6, who surely will have had the pleasure of meeting Bongino by then, say the same to Delaney in the voting booth. 

Thursday, June 19, 2014


Let the reader decide...

   Mike McKay is running for Delegate for MD District 1C. His opposition in the GOP primary is Ray Givens (no relation). Of course I am extremely interested in where GOP candidates stand on the TEA Party, more so since the national Republican Party publicly declared war on us. I have made it my mission to expose those who would distance themselves from us in solidarity with the establishment power brokers in our Party.
    I tried to contact McKay by telephone as soon as he began to campaign. I called several times and left phone messages asking him to please return my call. I got no response.  It was around this time that someone approached me to tell me that McKay had been a speaker at a union event in Hagerstown where he said, when asked about his relationship with the TEA Party,
 " I used to belong to the TEA Party, but I distanced myself from them about 3 years ago."
This peaked my interest and I wanted to hear directly from him the meaning of this statement. I called a few more times before I realized that he was not going to return my call.
    I attended a meeting of the Allegany TEA Party Conservative Caucus, hoping that I would get a chance to talk to their members about the group's relationship with McKay. It wasn't  until after the meeting when several of us went to lunch did I hear about what may have occurred three years ago. I must tell you that I was not in an "interview setting."  I was seated at a long table at the end seat, so I was basically only able to listen to the conversation around the table. I heard feelings of betrayal. Those at the table believed that they were used to get McKay elected as County Commissioner and then dropped like a bad habit just after the election.  As I said, it was not an interview. There was no one on the record. It did make me all the more determined to find out his side of the story...if he would just return my calls.
    As the events organizer for the Hagerstown TEA Party, I invited him along with all Republican and Democratic candidates for MD Districts 1C, 2A, and 2B to a TEA Party-sponsored candidate's forum.  HTP candidate forums are non-partisan and all candidates are invited to participate and are treated with respect. This was proven true during the last election cycle. I sent an email and  I sent a formal invitation by U.S. mail. I did not expect to hear from him since all attempts to contact him had been ignored.  Just in case he would hesitate due to my last name (the same as his opponent), I made it clear that there is no family relation. He was the first to reply! He said that he had to attend an earlier County Council meeting that evening, but that as soon as it was over he would head towards Hagerstown, and he would be arriving late. We had a little rather hurried back and forth about a statement that he wanted to be read to those in attendance. It sounded like a campaign statement, not an explanation for his tardiness. I told him that it wouldn't be fair to the other candidates to allow a statement without his presence and without Q&A.  We finally agreed that it would be just a statement on his tardiness. However, when I finally received the statement it was more than what we agreed on...and he did not show up. Again, a missed attempt to hear his side of his statement to the union crowd and to ask him if he was following the lead of the national Party and distancing himself.
    My last attempt to speak directly with Mike McKay was at the Allegany TEA Party and Conservative Caucus candidate's forum. (You can see the video of  this event with both candidates responding to Q&A at After the forum I found an opportunity to approach him and speak to him privately. He knew who I was before introducing he did know that I was the one that he had seemingly been avoiding for months. Finally, I asked him:
"I am told that you made a statement before a union crowd that you had distanced yourself from the TEA Party about 3 years ago. Is this in solidarity with the national GOP's "war on the TEA Party"?

He answered without hesitation, giving an emphatic "No." I pushed. I told him that some in the group feel that he used them to get elected and then quit. He again, without hesitation, explained that the group was under different leadership at the time. He felt that the leadership back then had become a little "unruly." He said that their president was making public accusations about illegal behavior by public servants from the sheriff's department on up. He felt that it was unfounded and irresponsible. What could I say? I too may have distanced myself under those circumstances. I told him that I would attempt to verify this claim. He assured me that he still wholly espoused TEA Party principles.
    Since then the Allegany group has endorsed Ray Givens as their candidate for Delegate for District 1C. I spoke to two people currently in leadership: one was around when McKay was a member and the other was not. Both believed that there was some truth to his explanation of why he quit the TEA Party three years ago. My nagging concern...
He didn't tell the union crowd why he distanced himself from the TEA Party, or that he still espoused TEA Party principles....and he avoided me for as long as he could.

        I have tried to be fair and give the reader something to think about before voting. I too have since decided to endorse Ray Givens. Why? There has never been a doubt about his friendship with the  TEA Party. I know first hand that he has attended most of our events since its inception in 2009.  If I have a question I can call him and he will answer or get back to me as soon as possible. I don't know, maybe he has more time than McKay for phone calls. After all, Ray Givens is retired while Mike McKay owns and manages 6 dry cleaning stores and I believe he has 8 children at home. Fact is one responds the other does not.
     Ray Givens has been a tireless advocate for the Second Amendment, making the long trip to Annapolis and back many times over the years. He made that trip from Hancock sometimes twice a week during the SB281 debate. He is committed to Conservative causes. He is available to the public.  To me it just makes sense. I support Ray Givens for Delegate for MD District 1C.

Reader, you decide and remember to vote on June 24th!

Saturday, May 31, 2014


(G-rated Version) They called police officers pigs.

The Herald Mail has its favorites. One of these is a Mr. Rodney Guessford. Everything that this man utters, be it in writing or by phone, is published. In my observations, the favorable responses to his utterances are always published and in a timely manner. Opposing feedback will likely not be published. When opposing feedback is published, it is long after his original comment was posted, almost ensuring that it has at least in part been forgotten. Opposition rendered useless.

In contrast, although I am a "top commenter," I rarely get a word printed.  I have a public profile on the Herald Mail on-line version, and it has a section called My Recent Comments. I comment nearly every day on something. My most recent comments listed in this section are from 5 months ago! I don't need the Herald Mail for my opinions to be read. I am just aggravated that their readership (my community) doesn't always get both sides to the inane babblings of Rodney Guessford.

This has to be the most ignorant definition of freedom ever to be uttered.

One of those babblings was titled: Remembering Woodstock. I found this telling to say the least. This has to be the most ignorant definition of freedom ever to be uttered. I wrote a letter to the editor of the HM in response. Of course it was not published. At first I thought maybe it was because it was the week of Memorial Day, but it is actually quite relevant since it was his ilk that spat upon our soldiers when they returned from Viet Nam. The Herald Mail can bite me! Here is the ignorant Feedback comment, followed by my op-ed. Read and SHARE. I believe the Conservative on-line network far outreaches their readership.
Herald Mail, Feedback, May 22, 2014
“I’m sitting here Saturday, I’m reminiscing. I’m playing my ‘Woodstock’ album. To all you tea partiers out there, that’s what freedom was, Woodstock.
That’s freedom, not carrying a gun and being fearful for everybody that walks around you. That’s not freedom. Freedom is enjoying everybody; everybody else’s thoughts. Caring about people, caring about babies and women and children, and the soldiers.

Freedom is not complaining all the time, and wanting your own agenda. That is not freedom.”

— Rodney Guessford, Hagerstown

To the Editor,
I am writing in response to--the HM's premier opinion writer/caller--Rodney Guessford's Feedback entitled Remembering Woodstock. This explains a lot. Rodney is tip-toeing through the tulips defining freedom as being free to drop acid and roll in the mud naked having sex with strangers. Sure that is freedom too. However, that is not what makes people care about people, babies, women, and children. Especially soldiers! These same people spat on our soldiers!

Now, carrying a gun actually is a freedom protected by the Second Amendment. I am not in fear of anyone, but should some drug addict attempt to invade my home, he should be very afraid because I am free to protect myself and my 80-year-old mother. This just happened in Dundalk and the poor woman had nothing with which to protect herself.
I doubt that Mr. Guessford "enjoys everybody else's thoughts."  He pushes his own agenda, and he is constantly complaining here in the HM. Complaining actually is a freedom also, protected by the First Amendment. "Tea partiers" are as free to complain, promote a Conservative agenda, and carry a gun as Rodney is to wallow in the mud. Deal with it.

 Lynda Givens Evans

If you agree...SHARE! The Herald Mail and other Liberal news outlets will find themselves obsolete and powerless. The on-line Conservative network is limitless!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014



Is it just me growing more cynical or is this truly a coincidence? These candidate's profiles for the Board of Education were published two-at-a-time, and the first thing that struck me was that the HM is not exactly known for its investigative work. So what's up? Why this election? Why only the BOE candidates? One of the candidate's told me that when they were interviewed the reporter justified publishing this information because the BOE has a large budget, if not the largest budget, in the county. OK, but what about the dirt that wasn't related to finances? Certainly there is dirt that could be dug up on other candidates for other races; in fact, I know that there is.

The second cynical thought came after reading the first profile that was without dirt. The article did not state that they had investigated this person and was unable to find anything to report. There just wasn't any. In fact, that statement did not appear in any of the profiles without dirt. Intentional?

After reading 6 of the 8 profiles and realizing that there were only 2 so far without dirt, I predicted that there would only be one candidate of the final two profiles to be published that would report a bit of dirt, giving us exactly three "clean" candidates. Guess what? Three clean candidates and three openings...imagine that.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

A Chance Meeting: Do You Believe In War?

    I was driving home from a meeting in Sykesville, and I had decided to take a different route home. Right away I realize that this was a bad decision because of the many traffic lights and heavy traffic. I stopped at a red light and a man pulls up next to me on my passenger side. He motions for me to roll down my window. He asks, "Do you believe in war?" Right away I think this is because he saw my bumper stickers, although none of them mention war. The most prominent sticker is larger than the rest and is bright yellow with the snake and Don't Tread On Me...the Gadsden flag, also known as the TEA Party flag.

    I wasn't afraid. He was soft spoken with a Spanish accent. He didn't look threatening in any way. He didn't appear angry. I had all of these thoughts, and managed to answer before the light changed, "It depends." He looked perplexed at my answer. The light changed and I drove on.

    I stopped at the next red light and he again motions to me to roll down my window. He asks me, "How old were you in 1970?" I said, "eleven."

    "Have you ever heard of Viet Nam?"


    "Where were you in 1970?"

    "I don't know. I told you I was a child. What is your point sir?"

    "Do you know that when I came home from Nam no one greeted me with tears of gratitude and flowers? They spit at me and called me names." Again, very soft spoken. 

    "I have heard about that. I am sorry."

    He again looks perplexed.

    "Thank you for your service. I am sorry that this happened to you."

    The light changed and someone beeped their horn. He said "Thank you," and waved me on. I lost sight of him in the traffic.

    I have been thinking about him and why he flagged me down. I was a stranger with a bumper sticker that he knew was political but didn't know exactly what it was. He felt like he needed to flag down a stranger and ask her about something that happened to him 44 years ago. Why? Why did I take that route? Why did we have this chance meeting? What am I supposed to learn from this interaction?

    All I could think was how sad it is that 44 years later a bumper sticker triggered his pain and he wanted to know if I understood it. I can't stop thinking about him. 

    I think that I will remember him again sometime in the future and it will be a significant moment. It will be an ah hah moment and I will understand why. I have always known about the mistreatment of our Vietnam vets. I've read about it and I've heard about it, but this was the first time that I felt it. 

Thursday, April 3, 2014


    I am writing in response to the Apr 2nd Letter to the Editor that was published in the Herald Mail, titled “Of course the tea party is biased against the president” by Rodney Guessford. See . This is just one of the many op-eds, editorials, and Feedback column anti-TEA Party comments that I have had to refute since the campaign season has started to heat up. However, I have only been able to provide rebuttals mostly on-line. The HM either does not print my op-eds or op-eds written by TEA Party members, or they hold them and print them long after they have lost relevance. Not all Feedback column rebuttals make it to print. The editorial columnists do not respond nor do they provide a printed public forum for rebuttals. The number of syndicated editorial columns are equal in number for both sides of the public narrative, but the local columnists are either Liberal or Liberal-leaning Republicans, and of course the HM publishes their own Liberal opinions on a regular basis. If the Herald Mail wanted to be fair, they would provide the local TEA Party a column. Even though the national media is trying to convince us that the TEA Party is dead, it has proven to be--and continues to be--relevant nationally and locally since its inception five years ago. It is time to give us a voice.
“…It’s no more biased than the people in this county, especially the tea partiers. Tea party is so biased on their side that they make up stuff, because they have no ideas and no plans.”

    Mr. Guessford and I started an on-line debate on March 27th when he first made the Feedback statement, “…It’s no more biased than the people in this county, especially the tea partiers. Tea party is so biased on their side that they make up stuff, because they have no ideas and no plans.” I assumed that he was making that accusation against the only TEA Party in this county, the Hagerstown TEA Party (HTP), and I challenged him to provide evidence. He still has not been able to provide any. I don’t think that he has a clear understanding of the movement nor has any knowledge about the local group, but before, I attempt to provide both, I will respond to his letter.

    In his latest Letter to the Editor (HM prints his letters), Mr. G stated that the TEA Party is biased against the president. I personally am 100 percent against his policies. I think it would be safe to say that most Conservatives are against most of his policies. He uses some of the signage at TEA Party rallies as evidence that we are biased against the president personally. He just falls short of saying we are racists. The TEA Party has no control over who wanders into one of their rallies. If you want to find a nut in a crowd you will find one. Depending on how large the crowd is you may find many. Has he ever seen a union rally, a civil rights rally, or a gay pride parade? There are always people there who do not reflect the integrity or the spirit of the group at large. It can’t be helped, but the Liberal media has used it in an effort to discredit the TEA Party.
"Well, the last I looked, Hawaii was still our 50th state."
    He believes that all TEA Party members think BHO is not an American citizen and asks the rhetorical question, Is Hawaii still our 50th state? Yes, Hawaii is a state, but can somebody tell our president that we only have 50 states. See mistakes are also made, but only the TEA Party’s are fodder for a media frenzy. All political parties have their characters and bad actors, and the Democratic Party has had their share, but only the TEA Party’s get the negative press coverage.

"The tea party’s always saying we want our country back. Back from where?"
    We want our country back to a time when our Constitution was the firm foundation that protected our freedoms and made us the envy of the world; when people took responsibility for themselves, their families, and their healthcare; when the church and the community provided “social services;” when the Welfare program was a temporary safety net and not a generational lifestyle of dependency; when our national budget wasn’t burdened with entitlements for almost half of the country, indefinitely, and growing; when you had to earn the privilege to become an American citizen, you didn’t brake our laws by entering our country illegally and then burden the American taxpayer with social services meant for our citizens; when things were made in America by American workers; when corporations were never too big to fail; when the government didn’t pick winners and losers; when you were free to say what you want, own the gun that you want, and your privacy was protected; and when America stood by their allies and were feared and respected by their enemies. It has nothing to do with wanting black segregation and "gays back in the closet."
The truth about the TEA Party

   The TEA Party is NOT a nationwide organization led by some central governing body. It is a nationwide (becoming world-wide) grassroots movement. Each group, actually each member, is independent. For instance, the HTP has a Board of Directors, but they are not managed by a larger entity, nor do they attempt to manage their membership. The board just provides enough structure to provide independent like-minded citizens opportunities to meet and network, participate in political activism (locally, in Annapolis, and in D.C.), and stay informed and educated on current events and the political process. We prefer to call our members Conservatives because they may actually be registered Republicans, Libertarians, Independent Constitutionalists, and yes even Democrats.  We don’t all agree on everything, so we limit our mission to things that we all agree are important: protecting our Constitution and our freedoms, fiscal responsibility, free markets, and Capitalism. As a group, we DO NOT get involved in social issues. Social issues are not addressed or promoted at TEA Party meetings, at our events, or on our social media. Members are free to participate and/or promote social issues as individuals.

    As I have told Mr. G on-line, I will be happy to discuss or debate issues. I hope that I don’t have to waste any more time clearing up misconceptions based on negative stereotypes developed from a hatred of anyone who doesn’t agree with him or others like him. Unfortunately, I think it will be an on-going daily battle. This battle should be fought fairly on a level battleground. E-mail Jake Womer ( and respectfully tell him that the TEA Party deserves a voice. Love us or hate us, many of us are HM customers, we are a part of the community....and we are here to stay.

* I need to aknowledge that the HM article published about our Meet the Candidates for County Commissioner held last night (4/3/14) was positive and fair. It is the first time that there was not one negative implication or something that would make the public wonder if we are a legitimate organization. The attendance was a little understated, but usually the media grossly underestimates the turnout at our events. I don't think it was intentional. I just think it was a wrong guesstimate. We had seating for 100 and there were not many empty seats.

We promote patriotism, capitalism and free markets as well as personal and fiscal responsibility. We believe it is important to preserve and uphold the Constitution of the United States as well as the freedom and liberties granted to us by our Creator.