Tuesday, November 25, 2014

"Giving Tuesday" - A New Holiday Tradition

HAGERSTOWN, MD - You know the drill. Every holiday season, Thanksgiving kicks off an extended weekend of eating, sleeping, and shopping.

  • Thursday - eat, watch Football.
  • Friday - go shopping!
  • Saturday - go shopping at local businesses!
  • Sunday - rest!
  • Monday - go shopping online!

But this year, why not start a new holiday tradition?

On Tuesday, December 2, 2014, charities, families, businesses, community centers, and students around the world will come together for one common purpose: to celebrate generosity and to give.

The event is called #GivingTuesday. Just find a way for your family, your community, your company or your organization to come together to give something more. Then tell everyone you can about how you are giving. Join us and be a part of a global celebration of a new tradition of generosity.

If you're looking for a suggestion on where to give, giving local is best. One recommended charity is the Discovery Station in Hagerstown, MD. The Discovery Station is a local non-profit dedicated to science and technology education.

What other local charities are you interested in donating to this #GivingTuesday? Please feel free to share!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Governor Candidate, Shawn Quinn Interviews Pre-Election Day for Maryland Citizens

Maryland Libertarian Governor Candidate, Shawn Quinn (Left)
with 2012 Libertarian Presidential Candidate, Gary Johnson (Right)
The following is a guest post/interview conducted by David Malekar, who regularly contributes content to the WashCo Chronicle. The interviewee, Shawn Quinn, is the Libertarian candidate for Governor of Maryland.  You can contact Shawn through the website, citizen4quinn.org.

A very big thank you to Shawn for participating in this interview so close to election time.

DM:  Thank you Mr. Quinn for taking the time during your very busy schedule to agree to another interview so close to Election Day, November 4th.  We have seen the frustration of Maryland voters over the last couple of months expressing their frustration on the candidate selection given by the Democrats and Republicans.  How do you feel this will affect the election on Tuesday?
SQ:  David, there is really no way to know what voters will end up doing once they are face to face with the voting machine. The two parties have been ruling with fear tactics for a long time. If I had a dime for every time I have heard that we must vote for the lesser of two evils or that somehow Hogan owns republican votes and I am stealing them.  Their nonsense just never stops. I personally don’t think anything will change if Brown or Hogan should win this election. I continue to be the only candidate that is talking issues with a plan. I continue to be the only candidate giving honest answers and putting the people first. I guess we will all find out two things on Tuesday; will people come out to vote in force, and have people truly had enough of the crap we have been getting from two party corporate crones.

DM:  As stated in my last interview with your running mate for Lt. Governor, Lorenzo Gaztanaga, you have the only party platform in Maryland that will support the full legalization of Marijuana, at a low state tax.  Can you stress again how this will benefit Maryland in revenue, combat the black market, help those with marijuana related records get back into the work force, and many of the other points?
SQ:  Let’s hit these one at a time. Revenue has been proven by the two states that have already legalized Marijuana. I want to take that revenue and use it to fight addiction. Addiction is really the big problem. Of course if we keep using jails to combat addiction we are not even in the fight.
Combat the black market: Human nature is that some folks will always try to profit by giving people things that the government decides should be against the law. By legalizing and keeping the tax low, we will take in revenue without making it easy for those folks to undercut prices and create a black market.
Felony charges: This is the greatest insult to our African American community. They are the target of most non-violent, drug arrest. We fill our jails up with these folks for years, where we teach them to become criminals. Is it surprising that these folks can’t get a living wage job when they are released?  I will work to get these non-violent folks out of the jails and clean up their records so they will have a chance to make a living. Getting these folks out of our jails will free up major assets in revenue.

DM:  During our last interview, you had stated your intentions to revise and cut Many of Maryland’s taxes and regulations.  Can you also elaborate again your stance on the Second Amendment for Maryland and your plan with taxes, such as cutting the State Tax to 3%?
SQ:  I think I have made it pretty clear that by cutting the sales tax to 3%, we keep citizens shopping in Maryland and we put an average of $3,000.00 a year back in the pockets of the working poor and those in poverty.  We will need to get term limits put in place and end the pension system for elected office holders. This will offset lost revenue from lowering the sales tax.

The second Amendment is just one of many rights we have as citizens. It amazes me that so called 2nd Amendment defenders throw their money at candidates who want to take away their 2A rights. I am the only candidate running who is pro bill of rights and would fix the permit issue. I am the only candidate that is willing to try and repeal SB-281. I have to think these organizations are trying to keep this a problem to steal money from their members. The NRA did not even respond to the many e-mails I sent them. I was not even permitted to have their questionnaire to be rated.

DM:  A lot of your campaign has been a in your face, one vote at a time approach versus high cost commercials and famous endorsements.  Do you feel your hands on approach, is more effective on a personal level to gaining voter’s confidence and vote?
SQ:  Look David, I would love to put out a couple of closed caption commerce’s. People watch TV and it reaches a lot of folks. With that said, I know people are hurting. I chose not to do fund raisers because of that. I have told people if they wanted to donate, that $5.00 was plenty. I also made a point of going to every event that I could. This wasn’t always easy and some days I did 3 or 4 events. I left my parties national convention to make an event in Frederick. I traveled many miles so I could attend a civil rights march. I showed up in Annapolis for gerrymandering event. I showed up in Howard County for an addiction awareness event. I have had my head shaved for cancer and addressed high schools and colleges. We have been to over 100 events since January. I wanted people to understand that I will be there for them. They are the ones who are important. So yes, more money for TV would have been nice; but I would not trade that for one single person that I was able to meet and talk too. TV may be more effective, but I am much more blessed and have a far better understanding of what is happening in Maryland. I will leave it to the citizens for where they want to place their confidence.

DM:  Leo Wayne Dymowski, the Libertarian candidate for Attorney General of Maryland has been gaining a lot of momentum in Eastern Maryland.  We have seen you co-headline events with him during this campaign run.  Do you have any plans upon being elected by working together to help improve Maryland together?
SQ:  Mr. Dymowski and I have not sat down and made a plan. We do see a lot of things eye to eye. I will work with anyone who wants to make a better Maryland. I think Leo Dymowski will be a great Attorney General. I cannot see any reason why we would not work together.

DM:  Many Maryland voters feel that their vote is not being heard during this election.  What are the numbers needed to ensure a Libertarian winning for Governor?
SQ:  Here is a simple truth. If you feel you are not being heard, vote Libertarian on the 4th. You will turn more than just heads in Maryland. I think if we take 35 percent, we will be taking office in January. The people have the power to make this happen or they can simply vote for more of the same and stop complaining. You can’t ask to be heard and then vote for the folks who are not listening.

DM:  Now that we are so close to the election, has any of your stances changed for your platform, or can you confidently say that you have been consistent and honest to the citizens of Maryland since the start of your campaign run?
SQ:  David, I can say for a fact that I have always given honest answers to everyone. I have also made it clear that we are not going to lock into one course of action. When something is not working we will adjust. I also have strongly advocated that citizens must stay involved after the election. I will have an open door period every day for citizens. I can say that I have become open to bike paths after going to the disabilities forum. We must be open to talking and learning from each other.

DM:  Shawn, I want to thank you again for taking the time for this interview.  In closing, what would you like to let Maryland voters know as this may be your final interview in Western Maryland before Tuesday?  What are your final thoughts for voters who are still on the fence voting for Shawn Quinn as Maryland’s next Governor?
SQ:  As I do this interview I am making a trip across Maryland. I did the eastern shore on Saturday. Tomorrow morning, we will go west and south. I have tried to meet as many people as possible. Although I did find it insulting and un-American being kept out of the debates considering that I have been on the ballot since January. I would think the citizens should be even more insulted.  Just more of the two party agenda controlling what they allow you to hear. If you think I have earned a chance to work for you, please step up and vote for me. I know how hard it is to do something new and untested. I have spent a life time doing it, and I have always landed on my feet. Most times it was grand, sometimes it was a lesson, every time it was worth it. This is supposed to be your government. I will see that it is yours once again. Power to the people, because it has to be about people.

WashCo Chronicle encourages discussion of current political issues and candidates, regardless of viewpoints. Please keep comments polite, and on topic.

Photo courtesy of citizen4quinn.org.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Comptroller of Maryland Candidate Interview with Anjali Phukan, Write-In

The following is a guest post/interview conducted by David Malekar, who regularly contributes content to the WashCo Chronicle. The interviewee, Anjali Phukan, is the write-in candidate for Comptroller of Maryland. You can contact Anjali through the website, anjali4md.weebly.com.

A very big thank you to Anjali for participating in this interview.

DM: Thank you Anjali for the opportunity to take the time for this interview.  What would you like to readers to know about your background and desire to run as Comptroller of Maryland?
 I graduated from Trinity in DC Summa Cum Laude. I then passed the CPA exam and received an MBA from American in DC. I also have a recent Masters in Information systems with a 4.0 GPA from UMBC, and years of experience in auditing/compliance of both accounting records and

I want to make Maryland a safer and more secure place, free from hardships as the result of inefficient and wasteful spending – at the state and federal level. I also want to help re-create our middle class, while helping the “rich elite” recover from money addiction and the poor become employed in living wage jobs.
DM:  What would you say is the most critical changes and ideas you are bringing to the table as Comptroller of Maryland.
 I have a long list of changes and ideas, but the top 5 are:

Remove tolls and interest assessments.

Increase audits of agencies and contracts, as well as personal,
business, and non-profits taxes.

Increase accessibility of the Comptroller's office on line and at
satellite offices.

Only give universal tax breaks to all, instead of just select big businesses.

Start using different types of funds to protect emergency management,
pensions and education.
DM:  Determination has been a huge factor in your campaign during this election year.  With such positive energy, what do plan on doing day one as Comptroller of Maryland?
AP:  In-processing, a building tour, and icebreakers / team building activities with new and returning workers.
DM:  Long term, what would you like to see put into place, especially any specifics that would only be made possible with you, Anjali Phukan as Comptroller of Maryland?
AP:  I am offering the deputy comptroller position to the 2nd place candidate, and an assistant comptroller position to the 3nd place candidate, as the 2nd and 3rd most qualified person. This also should build cooperative leadership, from which the bi-partisan arguments seem to deviate. I think it would be great if we could all learn to be humble to our defects, tolerant of others, and simply get along and get things done. I would like good-will to be a long term sentiment in the comptroller's office.
DM:  Would you mind describing what voters would need to do to ensure their vote for you was counted accurately?
AP:  I plan on doing a ballot audit with some other write-in and 3rd party candidates, and other interested people. I think it will be a great experience – I've already heard from some supporters who spelled my name slightly wrong, so I look forward to learning if the election office will uphold their statement that minor misspellings are ok – and what defines “minor” to them.


“Any abbreviation, misspelling, or minor variation in the form of the
name of a candidate shall be disregarded in determining the validity
of the write-in vote as long as the intended candidate can be

DM:  I want to thank you again for your time during this very busy week.  In closing, what would you personally like to say to the readers and voters?
AP:  Thank you for your support and time. Peace be with you and us all.

WashCo Chronicle encourages discussion of current political issues and candidates, regardless of viewpoints. Please keep comments polite, and on topic.