The U.S. Senate confirmed Alex Azar II to serve as Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on January 24. Secretary Azar attended Parkside High School in Salisbury, Maryland from 1981 to 1985. His father, also named Alex Azar, is a retired doctor of ophthalmology and teacher at Johns Hopkins Hospital. He practiced ophthalmology in Salisbury, Maryland for more than 30 years. His grandfather emigrated from Lebanon in the early 20th century.
Thanks to the tax reform bill which passed Congress late last year and was signed into law by President Trump, most Marylanders will start benefiting from tax relief this year. According to a Tax Foundation estimate, the average gain in after-tax income for a middle-income family is higher in Maryland, $3,245, than it is for the country as a whole, $2,598. Moreover, the foundation estimates that these reforms should result in more than 17,000 additional jobs in Maryland.
by Dwight Patel
I’m taking a little break from campaign advice to talk about Maryland’s first Republican governor during my lifetime. In 2002, Robert Ehrlich ran for governor on a platform of fixing Maryland after 8 years of Parris Glendening who ran the state into the ground. (What is it with these Democrat governors and running the states into the ground? It always takes a Republican to fix the mess created by Democrats).
By Mark Uncapher
The Baltimore Schools Public School system was forced to close during the first days of this month because more than 60 of its buildings lacked heat. The knee-jerk response of some partisans was to blame the Baltimore system’s woes on a “lack of funding.”
For example, the Maryland Democratic Party was quick to blame Governor Hogan for what they called his “callous disregard for the safety of Baltimore students.” However, their shrill, over-the-top rhetoric withers under any form of scrutiny.
Democratic State Comptroller Peter Franchot noted that “Since I became Comptroller, I've voted to approve over $538 million for school capital funding for Baltimore City. It's infuriating that internal front office issues resulted in millions of HVAC project funds being reverted back to the state.”
By Dwight Patel
Now that 2017 is in the rear view mirror, let’s take a look back and examine some of the things you should have done by this time:
- Should have identified the office you are planning to run for, or at least narrowed it down to possible offices. If you haven’t done so, you really need to focus on this goal. Please refer to Dr. Politics Issue No. 1 for a list of offices and their requirements.
During the last weekend of 2017, Montgomery County experienced a record number of building fires. Two days later, the County Fire Chief announced nearly $3 million in cuts.
Why would the Chief reduce the support to county residents at a time when fire, rescue, and emergency medical services needs are at an all-time high? As the number of building fires continues at a record pace through early January, Montgomery County stands to lose two fire engines, a ladder truck, career staffing, and volunteer department funding. The impacts of these cuts are real and frightening – longer response times to those in life threatening situations.
By Deborah Lambert
As Montgomery County Republicans gather for their annual convention on February 2nd and 3rd, the anticipation of gearing up to reelect Maryland’s popular Governor Larry Hogan to a second term is sure to fill the halls of the Gaithersburg Hilton with positive energy.
After all, the 62nd governor of Maryland is only the 2nd Republican to fill the state’s gubernatorial slot in 50 years. After winning his battle with cancer (“I think cancer picked the wrong fight”), America’s 2nd most popular governor with a 70 percent approval rating went on to score major victories during his first term by creating a business-friendly administration that attracted 130,000 new jobs. He recently announced a $9 billion traffic relief plan for three major state highways that will reduce congestion for millions of drivers.
By Mark Uncapher, MCGOP Chairman
I want to thank my fellow central committee members for giving me the opportunity to again lead our party in Montgomery County. Next year, in addition to our primary focus on reelecting Governor Larry Hogan, we will be selecting most of our state and county officials. The results of this election will determine the direction of our state and county for years to come.
By Richard Jurgena
I want to take this opportunity to congratulate our new chairman Mark Uncapher and his team on winning the election at the annual meeting. While we have different approaches on how to accomplish our goals, I firmly believe that our goals are the same: re-electing Governor Larry Hogan and electing Republicans in Montgomery County.
By Dwight Patel, MCGOP First Vice Chairman
It is getting close to the candidates’ filing deadline date, which is Tuesday, February 27, 2018 by 9:00pm. So, please, if you haven’t done so already, go to the MD Board of Elections website and download the forms to file for the office you wish to run for. Now that we got that out of the way, let’s talk about preparing for questions you will most likely get, and the right and wrong way of answering them.