Cause and Effect and Truckers

Cause and Effect during the Pandemic

By Deborah Lambert

Facts are facts: This year, America needs 80,000 truck drivers, according to Christopher Spears, president and CEO of the American Trucking Association. The primary reason is timing. Younger drivers are the key, but finding them is the problem, since the association estimates that 105,000 new drivers are needed by 2023.

The shortage of drivers is understandable. After all, the nationwide chaos caused by the pandemic has inspired millions of working Americans to succumb to the lure of government benefits, such as child tax credits and unemployment insurance. However, The Daily Caller reported that Bruce Busada, who heads up a truck driver training school, reported that new drivers can easily bring in 60K during their first year, nearly 30 percent more than the median driver’s wage in May, 2020.

Meanwhile, as everyone knows by now, keeping up the abandonment of old habits can become an impossible dream, especially during the life-changing situations brought on by a pandemic.

Case in point: Cigarette sales rose for the first time in 20 years last year, leading some to conclude that "pandemic-related stress spurred an uptick in smoking," according to Big Media reports released by the Federal Trade Commission.

The largest U.S. cigarette producers sold "an estimated 203.7 billion cigarettes to wholesalers and retailers in 2020, representing an increase of about 800 million over 2019," according to the Washington Post, while The Journal reported a 2019-to-2020 increase at 0.4 percent.

Meanwhile, Altria Group CEO Billy Gifford told investors in the Marlboro group that "fewer social engagements allow for more tobacco-use occasions," said the Post.

Not surprisingly, Erika Sward of the American Lung Association, who also called the new FTC data "very troubling," attributed the increase in sales to the pandemic, considering the effect that stress has on smokers, past and present.

Tobacco executives also believe stimulus checks and enhanced unemployment benefits could have played into the rise, as well, as the fact that "lower-income smokers have been able to buy in bulk when they go to the store," writes the Post. And that's without mentioning the influence that “bans on flavored vaping and increased e-cigarette taxes may have had on pushing smokers back toward traditional cigarettes,” notes the Journal.

However, it’s unclear if the uptick occurred as a result of new smokers, relapses, or increased intake among existing smokers. One analyst told the Post it is "too soon to tell whether the same trend continue into 2021."

However, in the trucking universe, age is another factor in the current situation. The average age of a truck driver is 55. Only 20 percent of them are under 45. However, Busada also noted that the industry hasn’t done a good job of reaching out to other groups, such as women and younger people. “It’s not ‘Smokey the Bandit’ anymore,” explained Busada, who added that today’s trucks are really high tech vehicles.

Not surprisingly, the pandemic has heightened the problem in Maryland, a state that relies heavily on truckers. In fact, WJZ in Baltimore recently noted that although scores of container ships are stalled outside the ports of LA, 93 percent of MD communities need truckers, due to congestion at other ports.

Also, cigarette sales in Maryland – and throughout the country – increased for the first time in 20 years. As the seriousness of the situation increased, everyone started looking for a way to get through it, no matter how long it lasted.


Deborah Lambert is Party Line editor and a Member of the Montgomery County Republican Party Central Committee.


Ride On

Montgomery County Ride On buses ~

Meet Two Great Republicans

Brigitta Mullican and Joel Keralis


BRIGITTA, a new member on Central Committee, became involved in politics after she retired from the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services.  She became aware, that the same year she retired, there was a non-partisan election for the City of Rockville Mayor, but there was only one candidate.  She felt it was not good there was no choice for voters.  She was involved with the Alliance of Rockville Citizens, a group that followed the various City of Rockville and Montgomery County elections, and Brigitta was most interested in how her city taxes were spent.

As a nursing home coordinator in the Montgomery County Board of Elections Absentee Voter Department, she was responsible for sending teams to assisted living and nursing facilities.  She worked as a temporary employee during the 2005 General Election.  Following that, she served as an assistant chief election judge for various City of Rockville and Montgomery County Elections.

Brigitta is a naturalized citizen, who celebrated her citizenship when a Richard Montgomery High School high school student.  Her entire English class witnessed her taking the oath on what she describes as “my most exciting day”.  Born in Coburg, Germany, she immigrated to America in 1956 with her two brothers and her parents.  She admits to being a very determined person who always tries to do her best.

Growing up with two brothers,  Brigitta describes herself as a tomboy and athletic, having played softball, basketball, volleyball, and bowling.  When her three sisters were born she cared for them while her parents worked. She says here parents were strict.  With her husband and daughter she used to participate in club “volksmarches” (German for hiking, Germany’s very popular sport) on weekends.  For entertainment she likes reading political books and watching romantic movies.  Puzzles, sewing, crocheting and knitting are hobbies.  During the pandemic Brigitta sewed 1,020 masks!

She dislikes when people disrespect others, and those who do not respect our laws.  Illegal immigration offends her because it is unfair to those, who like her family, waited in line and want to be in America legally and obey our laws.  

Brigitta worked hard to complete her education at night while working full time and raising a family.  She completed a 36-year career with the Department of Health and Human Resources.  She started her government job right out of high school as a stenography and worked her way up the administrative ladder to budget officer.  Her volunteer work with school, church and nonprofit organizations is a source of pride.  

She After retiring she has visited  traveled to Singapore, France, England, Panama, Cuba, Ecuador, Greece, Spain, and lived in Germany until she was 7 years old .  She would not want to live anywhere else than America, because this is the country that her family believes provided them the best opportunity, freedom, and law and order.

Welcome, Brigitta, as our new treasurer.



Joel’s job keeps him very busy on Capitol Hill where he works in the House of Representatives.  Joel is a legislative assistant for a Conservative Republican Congressman, Adrian Smith of Nebraska.  He regularly meets with local and national stakeholders to discuss pending legislation, drafts legislation for the Congressman, works with committee and leadership staff to advance the Congressman’s priorities on issues including health care, foreign policy, defense, veterans’ affairs, judiciary issues, and education.  Joel has always been interested in politics.  His grandfather was a Republican activist and regular donor.  Joel remembers being fascinated with the letters  his grandfather received from political figures, and loved the political pins and buttons his grandfather collected.  

Of course, working in the MD/Washington, DC area presents many opportunities to meet fascinating people.  Joel found Jay Aeba, Chairman of the Japanese Conservative Union (JCU) to e one of the most interesting men he’s met.  Chairman Aeba worked with Matt Schlapp, chairman of the American Conservative Union to establish a Japanese sister organization connecting the Japanese people with American-style conservatism - especially limited government, a spirit of independence, and the protection of shared traditional values.  Chairman Aeba and the JCU host a Japanese version of CPAC which often features conservative icons from American politics.

Joel was born in Omaha, NB, and grew up in the area of Lincoln, NB, the state capitol.  He went to a rural consolidated high school, “literally in the middle of a cornfield.”  He worked as a farmhand on weekends and detasseled corn during the summers.  Like many young farm boys,Joel learned to drive a John Deere 4450 tractor before he could drive a car.

His father is a doctor and his mother worked at home taking care of Joel’s siblings: one sister, and one brother.  As a family they frequently travelled internationally because his father did medical work in places like India, Zimbabwe and the Phillipines.  He greatly admires the boldness and passion his parents exhibited traveling the world with the whole family to help people in poor and remote areas where doctors were needed.  Joel had visited every continent except Antarctica by the time he was 20 years old.

His favorite place in the world is Kyoto, Japan.  However the Italian ski town,Canazei. Is a close second.  Kyoto was the old imperial capital of Japan up until the late 1800's when the capital moved to Tokyo, so it has thousands of ancient shrines, temples, and monuments. It was also the largest Japanese city to avoid firebombing during WWII, so it is relatively unique in Japan as a large city that retains its ancient street layout and traditional architecture. You could spend five years in Kyoto visiting a different temple or shrine every day and you still wouldn't have seen all of them.

Jessica, Joel’s wife, works at the CDC, National Center for Health Statistics, and is in her final year of an epidemiology and biostatistics PhD program at the University of Maryland.  They met at Texas A & M University as undergrad students, and currently have two cats.

Deep involvement in the legislative process developing new bills, specifically drafting new legislative language based on a idea in his head is one of Joel’s favorite experiences.  He finds the idea transitioning to words, improving the concepts, and then seeing it become a permanent part of the history of our great country extremely gratifying.

Joel decided to get more involved locally due to his frustration that the DC area, Silver Spring and other lower crescent county areas are uncontested democrat strongholds.  If Silver Spring will never send a Republican delegate or senator to Annapolis, he wants people to at least feel they have to acknowledge the presence and value of Republicans, and make a little effort into running for office rather than take it for granted they have it locked up.

Garrett County, particularly Swallow Falls State Park and Wisp ski resort are favorite vacation spots.  He likes hiking, often on Catoctin Mountain, and camping at Green Ridge State Forest,.  Sports, MLB and NFL and college football are his favorite tv shows, while he likes science fiction and fantasy books as well as Japanese-style comic books.  Chef Joel enjoys cooking, frequently making traditional Italian, Japanese and Korean dishes.  Favorite restaurants in LD20 are Ikko Sushi, LaMalinche, and El Sapo in Silver Spring, plus Trattoria da Lina and Republic in Takoma Park.

As for the future, Joel plans to continue balancing his local and national political involvement, while short-term hopes to become Legislative Director in the House or elsewhere.  Goals include helping strengthen local GOP operations and help local candidates succeed.  He is considering a run for office himself at some future time.

Like most of us, Joel would LOVE to see at least one Republican on County Council.  Redistricting may not have created any easily winnable seats, but the two new County Council districts hopefully present an opportunity for a greater diversity of views on the Council.  We all need to work together as a team to recruit high quality candidates who can appeal to enough voters to compete against the democrats!

When not occupied with Central Committee, work and their busy lives, Jessica and Joel escape deep in the woods north of Cumberland where he enjoys working on his 100-year-old cabin, hunting, and fishing.


Karol Smith is a writer, former candidate, organizer of GOP Asbury and a member of the Montgomery County Republican Central Committee.


The First Latino President

As the issue of immigration reform is debated in Washington and America witnesses a growing Latin American voting demographic, many might be surprised to learn that the first “Latino” President was none other than Richard Nixon. In his first year in office, 1969, he established the Cabinet Committee on Spanish-Speaking People. Throughout his presidency, he would appoint more Latinos than any President had before, including John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson, and would remain unsurpassed until Bill Clinton in the 1990’s.

In fact, Latinos had more impact on a presidential election in 1972 than ever before, or since. Seeking re-election, President Nixon reached out to the Latino community discussing his strategy to funding education, health, small business, and other programs in Latin American communities in areas like Texas, California, and the Southwest. He was often joined by some of his most prominent Latino appointees, including Cabinet Committee chairman Henry Ramirez, U.S. Treasurer Ramona Banuelos, and Office of Economic Opportunity head Phillip Sanchez. The strategy proved successful, for both the President and the Latino community.

Even today, after recent Presidents such as Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama have made substantial efforts to appeal to Latin American demographics, President Nixon’s historic appointments still warrants singular recognition. Henry Ramirez, now 84 and the author of the memoir “A Chicano in the White House,” claims President Nixon was the best friend Latinos ever had in the White House.

In a phone conversation with journalist Tony Castro, Ramirez said, “There was one day when Nixon called me into the White House that I’ll never forget. Nixon had lived among Mexicans and Mexican Americans in Whittier. He knew us. He knew us intimately. He says, ‘Henry, we anglos have built and invisible wall of discrimination against your people, and you and I together are going to knock that wall down.’ That’s all Nixon wanted to do. That’s all we were really trying to do.”


Reprinted from the Nixon Library. Henry Ramirez is a Montgomery County Republican, his book is available HERE.


Election Season is Here!

Republicans across the State of Maryland are ramping up for the election season. Click below to check out all the upcoming events.

Mike Hough for Frederick County Executive 42nd Birthday Fundraiser
Special Guest: Lt. Governor Boyd Rutherford
November 4th, 2021
5:30pm - 9pm 
Clarion Inn Frederick Event Center 
Tickets: $42

Butch Tilley for State Senate Fundraiser (District 34 - Harford)
Guest Speaker: Harford Co. Sheriff Jeff Gahler
November 4th, 2021
Maryland Golf and Country Club
Bel Air, MD

Baltimore City GOP Lincoln, Reagan, Douglass Dinner
Guest Speaker: Congressman Byron Donalds (R-FL)
November 4, 2021
6pm - 9pm
Ikaros Restaurant 
Baltimore, MD
Click here for more info

Anne Arundel County Lincoln Reagan Dinner 
Guest Speaker: Congressman Devin Nunes (R-CA)
November 5th, 2021 
Bleues on the Water
Glen Burnie, MD
VIP 5:30pm 
Dinner 6:30pm
Tickets, Sponsorships and Program Ads available here

Cassilly for Harford County Executive Bull Roast
November 6, 2021
5:30pm - 7:30pm 
Fallston Volunteer Fire Co. 
Fallston, MD
Click here for tickets and sponsorships

Talbot County Republicans Lincoln-Reagan Dinner
Guest Speakers:  Andy Harris, Kelly Schulz, Dan Cox, Robin Ficker
November 11, 2021  "Veterans Day"
Miles River Yacht Club
St. Michaels MD
Click here for more info/tickets

St. Mary's County Republican Central Committee Lincoln Reagan Dinner
November 11, 2021
Elks Lodge #2092
Checks payable to St Mary's County Republican Central Committee, P.O. Box 1925,
Leonardtown, MD 20650

Wicomico County GOP Lincoln Reagan Dinner
Guest Speaker: Pinal County, AZ Sheriff Mark Lamb 
November 16, 2021 
5:15pm VIP; 6:00pm Dinner
Black Diamond Catering Lodge
301 N. Fruitland Blvd
Fruitland, MD

Kane Becomes MD Chamber of Commerce President

“The pandemic has reminded us of the importance of our community, the need for strategic thinking and the courage to pivot when the need arises,” Kane said.

From Maryland Matters


The Maryland Chamber of Commerce has turned to a well-known Maryland political figure to be its new leader.

The chamber announced Wednesday that Mary D. Kane would become president and CEO beginning next Monday. She replaces Christine Ross, who departed over the summer after five years on the job.

Incoming Maryland Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Mary D. Kane.

Kane has led state, federal and global organizations, most recently at the U.S. State Department as director of the National Museum of American Diplomacy. An attorney, she also served as secretary of State in Maryland under Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. (R) from 2005-2007 and as executive director at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce from 2008-2011.

Kane also been a political candidate in Maryland, running to be lieutenant governor on a ticket headed by Ehrlich in 2010, for a legislative seat in 2002, and for a Montgomery County council seat in a 2000 special election. She’s also half of a political power couple in Maryland: Her husband, John M. Kane, is a former Maryland GOP chair who runs his own Annapolis lobbying firm, Aton Strategies LLC.

“When the search committee began the process to select the next CEO of the Maryland Chamber, we agreed that our primary goal was to identify a candidate that was most qualified to continue to move the Chamber forward as the leading voice for business in Maryland,” said Gracelyn McDermott, a vice president at Kaiser Permanente of the Mid-Atlantic States and chair of the chamber board. “Mary’s appointment will round out what is already a stellar team of professionals who are committed to ensuring that the Maryland Chamber is the premier business advocacy organization in Maryland.”

Kane, who has also served as president and CEO of Sister Cities International and chair of the Board of Trustees of Mount St. Mary’s University, her alma mater, said she was “honored and excited” to lead the chamber.

“The pandemic has reminded us of the importance of our community, the need for strategic thinking and the courage to pivot when the need arises,” Kane said.

[email protected]

Chevy Chase Republican Women's New Members Event


"Four members of the Republican Central Committee members attended the Chevy Chase Republican Women's New Members Tea at the Chevy Chase Country Club, Chevy Chase, Maryland.
Peter Huessy, the President of Geo-Strategic Analysis for Industry, the U.S. Military, and Congress on key national security and defense issues as well as a host for forums on Capitol Hilltop security issues spoke at the new Member Tea at the Columbia Club in Chevy Chase, MD.
Peter talked about ramifications around the world of Joe Biden’s botched national policy decision that resulted in a failed execution to safely evacuate American citizens, troops, and military equipment from Afghanistan."

Biden Attacks First Amendment

In an Outright Act of Totalitarian Overreach, the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is Under Attack from the Biden Administration.  

While parents around the country are speaking out against Critical Race Theory (CRT) and mask mandates in the schools, the Biden Administration has tossed out its First Amendment right to do so. On October 4th, Attorney General Merrick Garland took the unprecedented step of unleashing the full force of the Department of Justice to counter what it called “a disturbing spike in harassment, intimidation, and threats of violence” against school board members, teachers, and other school system employees.

However, in its press release, the DOJ did not provide any evidence of this “rise in criminal conduct” or define what constituted “harassment” and  “intimidation.” The memo even inferred that the First Amendment does not extend to “efforts to intimidate individuals based on their views.” Assuming that angry parents are viewed as “intimidating” to school board members, does that mean that they should not be allowed their First Amendment rights to “petition the Government for a redress of grievances?”  

Moreover, the memo was issued only five days after the National School Boards Association (NSBA) wrote a letter to President Joe Biden, asking federal law enforcement to “investigate, intercept and prevent the current threats and acts of violence against our public school officials” through “extraordinary measures,” including the use of “the PATRIOT Act in regards to domestic terrorism” (emphasis added).

While the letter included numerous footnotes, citing examples of the threats posed by parents at school board meetings, local law enforcement had no difficulty responding to the uncivil behavior in any of these cases. And yet the letter cites, without explanation, a threat to “interstate commerce” as justification for bringing in federal authorities. Is the FBI going to be knocking on the doors of parents, who testify that they do not share the political views of school board members and call them “domestic terrorists?”  

It is clear that the Biden White House used the NSBA letter as a pretext for the DOJ memo: The NSBA letter requests state and local coordination with the DOJ’s National Security Branch and Counterterrorism Division. In dutiful compliance, the DOJ press release promises coordination with local law enforcement “in the  next 30 days” and promises to create a “task force” with a wide range of DOJ departments, including the National Security Division.

America First Legal has even uncovered damning evidence that the White House engineered both the DOJ memo and the NSBA letter due to concern that the parents’ advocacy for their children would redound negatively for the Democrat Party in the upcoming midterm elections. This coordinated effort, which began in early September, was a blatant attempt to chill speech that the Biden Administration did not like.  

While we condemn any acts of violence directed towards school officials, these acts have thus far been ably prosecuted by local law enforcement officials. On the other hand, there have been a large number of credible threats made by school officials against parents. In Pennsbury, PA, there were so many examples of parents prevented from speaking at school board meetings that the Institute for Free Speech has filed a First Amendment lawsuit on their behalf.

In Loudoun County, VA, the epicenter of the national outcry against CRT, an “antiracist” Facebook group that included teachers, school board members and the county’s top prosecutor, went after parents in the anti-CRT groups, even after hackers shut down their websites and the Southern Poverty Law Center listed them as “hate groups.” That designation would give the school board enough “ammunition” to ban them from speaking at meetings.  

Merrick Garland’s memo is a brazen attack on the ability of parents to exercise their First Amendment rights to critique what school systems are teaching their children. The Attorney General’s actions are even more outrageous, given his obvious conflict of interest: Garland’s daughter is married to the co-founder of Panorama Education, a company that collects social and emotional data from k-12 students. Such data-mining is considered an aspect of critical race theory, because the survey questions its focus on identity politics and sexual identity.  

We call on the Attorney General to rescind his October 4th memo immediately. As the Senate Minority Leader stated, “Telling elected officials they're wrong is democracy, not intimidation.”


Amy Waychoff is a Member of the Montgomery County Republican Party Central Committee.

Help Lead the Party


The Republican Party through its elected board, the Montgomery County Republican Central Committee (MCGOP) is currently recruiting qualified applicants to fill a Committee vacancy for Legislative District 20 (Silver Spring area). Eligible individuals must be registered Republican voters who reside in LD 20.  You may check to confirm your LD by Clicking Here .

If interested in applying, please submit your letter of interest and political/professional resume to the MCGOP’s Party Secretary Lori Jaffe NO LATER than 5 PM November 25, 2021.  Interviews will be scheduled at a later date.

Following interviews, if nominated to fill this vacancy the full MCGOP Central Committee will vote to consider the nomination at a date to be determined.  If elected to serve member volunteers are to be active participants in all MCGOP efforts: attend regular meetings, promote the election of Republican candidates, organize and operate effective political organizations in your Legislative District, engage in fund-raising activities and build grass-roots political support within Montgomery County. You would fill the remainder of this term until the Maryland General election in 2022.  It is fun, challenging, yet rewarding work.

This is your chance to help lead the Republican Party.


Chairman's Message

It’s the start of election season … When politicians of all ilks promise to do the impossible, without an increase in taxes, while giving us free stuff…

Don’t believe it…

  • Look around… we see our legislators continuing to allow Montgomery County to be used as the ATM for the state, allowing the failing Baltimore schools to get $30,000 in state funding for each student while Montgomery County gets approximately $5,500 per student.
  • Look around … Maryland and Montgomery County's sanctuary policies are making us a dumping ground for illegal aliens.
  • Look around … The County Council is working to defund the police - as crime increases dramatically.
  • Look around … The Montgomery County Public School System is teaching principles of critical race theory (CRT) in our schools.
  • Look around … The County Government is instituting “Thrive 2050” which will shape our communities to eliminate single family homes without increasing infrastructure and promoting $600,000 “affordable housing”.

We are the local Republican Party, MCGOP, and we want to make a change in our county. There are over 100,000 registered Republicans in Montgomery County and scores of unaffiliated/independent voters who are fed up with the way our county is headed.

We have an unparalleled opportunity to make a difference in Montgomery County and counter the actions of the County Council and Legislators. Our goal is to make a difference by educating our citizens, digging deep, past the sugar-coated propaganda that the County Government is feeding us and getting a simple, common-sense message out to the voters.

Help us to make progress by volunteering:  I want to Volunteer 

Help us to make progress by donating: I want to Donate

Thanks for being a great Republican. We need you. 

I’d love to hear from you. Send me a note at [email protected]  Your thoughts and notes mean a lot and I appreciate them.


Montgomery County Republican Party