Presentation on Talbot County Budget and Property Taxation Issues

The Talbot County Democratic Forum is hosting an important public presentation and discussion entitled “Straight Talk on the Talbot County Budget and Property Taxation,” on Wednesday, June 13th, from 7:00 to 9:00 PM, at Talbot Democratic Headquarters, located at 26 West Dover Street, Easton, MD 21601.

This will be an evening of conversation and questions about the interaction of the property tax, revenue cap, and educational spending in Talbot County. Featured speakers include Jennifer Williams, President, Talbot County Council; and, Kelly Griffith, Superintendent, Talbot County Public Schools.

This 7:00 – 9:00 PM educational program at Democratic Headquarters on Wednesday, June 13th, is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.

The Talbot County Democratic Forum is the official Democratic Club of Talbot County, created to promote democratic ideals, and help educate the public on important political, economic, and social issues of interest to our community.

For more information, contact Forum President Rick Schiming at:

Seven County Council Candidates to Address Talbot Democratic Forum June 1

The Talbot County Democratic Forum is hosting a Democratic County Council Candidates Presentation on Friday, June 1st. This “First Friday” event will start at 5:00 PM, with fabulous food, beverages, and music, at Democratic Headquarters, located at 26 West Dover Street, Easton, MD 21601. The Council candidates’ presentations will start at 5:45 PM.

There are seven Democratic candidates running for nomination to the five positions on the Talbot County Council. The candidates are Keasha Haythe, Naomi Hyman, Pete Lesher, Robin Page, Rose Potter, Maureen Scott-Taylor, and Dominic “Mickey” Terrone. Each candidate will make a brief presentation, to be followed by an audience question-and-answer period.

This 5:00 – 7:00 PM Democratic County Council Candidates event on Friday, June 1, is free and open to the public.

The Talbot County Democratic Forum is the official Democratic Club of Talbot County, created to promote democratic ideals, and help educate the public on important political, economic, and social issues of interest to our community.

For more information, contact Forum President Rick Schiming at:


Annual Meeting of Talbot County Democratic Forum

1st District Democratic Congressional Candidates Jesse Colvin, Allison Galbraith, Michael Pullen, and Steve Worton will speak at the annual meeting of the Talbot County Democratic Forum on Sunday, March 18 at Easton’s Avalon Theatre.

The social hour begins at 4 pm, accompanied by the Forum’s fabulous smorgasbord and Talbot County Democratic Women’s Club’s silent auction. Following a call to order from Forum President Rick Schiming at 5 pm and a brief business meeting, Talbot County Democratic Central Committee Chairman Scott Kane and the candidates will speak to our cause in the coming election.

Jesse Colvin, Allison Galbraith, Michael Pullen, Steve Worton

Marylander Jesse Colvin spent a semester in Egypt, lived in Syria, taught English to Iraqi students, and served four tours of duty as an Army Ranger in Afghanistan. He then became a consultant to business and government executives, and more recently, he has married and become an expectant father.

Allison Galbraith is a native Marylander, mom, and business owner specializing in federal contracting. Having dealt with the complexities of working with both veteran-owned small businesses and government agencies, she believes that a government of the people can and must work for the people.

Having served as Talbot County Attorney and worked with both Republican and Democratic county councils over the past 24 years, Michael Pullen is intimately aware of Eastern Shore issues. He founded the grassroots organization Talbot Rising, became a delegate to the 2016 Democratic National Convention, and left his position as County Attorney to run for Congress.

Candidate Steve Worton worked 33 years for the Department of Defense, managing over 3,000 people at 23 sites around the world. He retired from Aberdeen Proving Ground in 2014. Having dealt with Senate and House committees, he wants to bring his experience in promoting sound management to Washington.

This event, free and open to the public, also provides an opportunity to join or renew membership in the Talbot County Democratic Forum. For more information visit or email

The Truth About Fake News

Journalist David Henry to address our fake news concerns.

Fake news has always been around, but for the most part we could count on receiving accurate information. Objective journalism has been both an industry standard and a successful business model, but with the advent of cable news and the internet, things have changed. A timely forum, The Truth About Fake News, will be presented Thursday, June 15, at the Academy Art Museum in Easton. The program will begin at 7 pm.

What is fake news? Why do we have it, and how can we identify it? Award winning TV journalist David Henry has spent the past 30 years covering local news in Philadelphia, as well as international events such as our two gulf wars and the aftermath of 9/11. His Emmy Award winning investigative reporting included uncovering medical malpractice and political corruption in the city of Philadelphia.

He will define fake news, describe the factors contributing to it, and perhaps most importantly, help us identify fake news and suggest how we might return to a media marketplace that favors accountability. This presentation will be followed by a period of discussion, questions and answers.

This program is being presented by the Talbot County Democratic Forum and is free and open to the public. For more information, call Bonnie Morro, 410 690 3624.

Public Meeting on the Affordable Care Act

Michael Hash

Now that our president has advised “letting Obamacare collapse,” we might remind our representatives that they were elected to govern. There is clearly work to be done as long as we see other nations delivering better outcomes to more of their citizens at less cost.

The Talbot County Democratic Forum and FamilyCare of Easton, Aesthetics are sponsoring a program on why the act was created, what it has done, how it can be improved, and what changes to it might mean for people on the Eastern Shore.

The program will be Thursday, March 30, at 7 p.m. at the Eastern Shore Land Conservancy, 114 South Washington St. in Easton. It is free and open to the public.

The featured speaker will be Michael Hash, who served as director of the Office of Health Reform at the Department of Health and Human Services from 2011 to 2014. Before that, he was deputy director of the White House Office for Health Reform. He has a long history of involvement with health care policy at the highest levels in Washington and has taught at Johns Hopkins and Georgetown.

“Before passage of the Affordable Care Act,” Hash said recently, “people with preexisting health conditions were denied coverage, denied benefits, or charged exorbitant rates. The uninsured rate in the U.S. stood at 16 percent. Today that rate is below 9 percent and more than 22 million Americans, who were previously uninsured, now have health insurance.”

He said that the ACA, also known as Obamacare, has also improved the quality and outcomes of care. “Hospital re-admission rates and infection rates have significantly declined and electronic medical records have made patient records more accessible,” he said. “But more progress needs to be made. In some places consumers don’t have an adequate choice of health plans, premiums may be unaffordable, and the cost of prescription drugs is out of reach.”
He said that a constructive, bipartisan effort is needed to strengthen the ACA or else the progress that has been made and the health and well being of millions of Americans are at risk.

Susan Delean-Botkin, a nurse-practitioner in Talbot County, will discuss what the ACA has meant for individuals in the Mid-Shore.

The program will end with a question-and-answer session.

Income Inequality: Causes, Consequences, and Cures

Forum addressing income inequality to be presented in Easton.

With the highest level of income inequality among Maryland’s 23 counties, Talbot County is a good place to address this issue. Maryland does have the highest median household income in the nation, though, and a lower than average level of income inequality.

The shift toward income equality and strong growth that we experienced following WWII has been steadily reversed since 1979, though. Our nation’s current level of income inequality is both our highest since the Great Depression and the highest among industrialized nations. A majority now believes our next generation will be worse off than our last.

Richard Schiming, Ph.D., former professor of economics at Minnesota State University, Mankato and co-author of the textbook, Principles of Economics, will describe the causes, consequences, and cures of these economic shifts. His presentation will be followed by a panel discussion including members of our community.

Sponsored by the Talbot County Democratic Forum, this presentation is free and open to the public. Join us on Thursday, October 13, 7pm, at 26 W. Dover St., Easton.

Chris Van Hollen to Open Talbot Democratic Headquarters

chris_van_hollen_gty_629_956x519Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Chris Van Hollen will be in Easton on Friday, July 22, for the grand opening of the Talbot County Democratic Headquarters, 26 W. Dover St.

The grand opening party, from 4 to 6 p.m., is sponsored by the Talbot County Democratic Forum, the Democratic Women’s Club of Talbot County, and the Talbot County Democratic Central Committee. Refreshments will be served and the public is invited to come and meet Congressman Van Hollen.

Van Hollen, who has represented Maryland’s Eighth Congressional District since 2003, is the Democratic nominee to take the seat held by retiring Senator Barbara Mikulski. Van Hollen has said he wants to follow in the footsteps of Mikulski, who is seen as a strong supporter of watermen, the seafood industry and Maryland farmers.

“In this era of divisive politics and partisan obstruction, I believe the most important job of a U.S. Senator is to make sure the government works for our families, not special interests,” Van Hollen said. “That means fighting to grow the economy, invest in education and job training, and protect families from the extreme Tea Party agenda. It also means helping our veterans get the services they need and helping Maryland seniors with their Social Security.”

IMG_3674Speaking of his campaign, Van Hollen added, “This summer, I will continue talking with families across Maryland about what is important to them — whether you’re from the Eastern Shore or Western Maryland, Baltimore or the Washington suburbs.”

The Talbot County Democratic Headquarters, a joint project led by the Talbot County Democratic Central Committee with support from the Democratic Forum and the Democratic Women’s Club, is a regional focal point during campaign season.   “We Democrats are very proud of the new headquarters,” said Rick Lynch, president of the Democratic Forum. “This year we have the room to host large crowds to hear our message and meet our candidates.”

Democrats are expecting just such a crowd at 8 p.m. on Thursday, July 28, for a party to watch Hillary Clinton’s televised acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention. Should the convention schedule change to put the speech on another day, the date of the party will change to coincide with the speech.

Talbot Democratic Forum: Voting – Our Right, Our Responsibility April 17

Only about half of Maryland’s eligible voters have exercised their right to vote in recent elections – 66 percent of us in 2012 and 42 percent in 2014. Being reminded of our history and that people have fought and died for this right could rekindle our appreciation for the foundation of our democracy.

Dr. Clara Small, recently retired Salisbury University professor of history, award-winning author, and currently appointed to a commission by our governor to study the history and legacy of slavery, will recount for us the African-American experience leading to the 15th Amendment, and the Women’s Suffrage movement leading to our 19th Amendment.

Our second speaker, Olivia Brice, is a University of Maryland graduate and a Strategy and Operations consultant employed by Deloitte Consulting. The Department of Homeland Security and the Defense Department are among her clients. She will address the voting issues we are facing today, including strategies for encouraging greater participation.

Following their presentations, certificates and a first place prize of $100 and second place prize of $50 will be awarded to the Talbot County high school students who have submitted the winning essays on voting. They will be invited to share their essays and join the panel discussion that follows. Questions will be welcomed.

This program, free and open to the public, is being sponsored by the Talbot County Democratic Forum; and will be presented Sunday, April 17, 3-5 PM at the Senior Center, 400 Brookletts Avenue, Easton.

Senate Candidate Van Hollen Comes to Easton April 19

The Talbot County Democratic Forum will feature Maryland Democratic US Senate candidate Chris Van Hollen as the keynote speaker at the Forum’s Annual Meeting, which will occur April 19 at the Avalon Theatre in Easton. Van Hollen was the first to announce his candidacy for the US Senate seat after Barbara Mikulski announced she would retire at the end of her term.

Screen Shot 2015-04-11 at 9.14.40 AMCongressman Van Hollen was elected to Maryland’s 8th Congressional District in 2002, and was quickly elected to the Democratic House leadership, and recently was elected by his colleagues to serve a second term as top Democrat on the House Budget Committee. He is a tireless advocate for Maryland in Congress, and his leadership has helped to obtain funding for a wide range of critical community investments, including infrastructure, biotechnology, and education. He has been awarded the “Courageous Leadership Award” from the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Committee and received awards from several magazines for his contributions. He has received top awards from the Maryland League of Conservation Voters, Save the Children, Mattie Miracle Cancer Foundation, the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce, Progressive Maryland, the Committee for Education Funding and the Veteran Institute for Procurement.

He is a steward of the Chesapeake Bay, and has fought successfully to obtain a historic boost in federal funds for the Bay as part of the Farm Bill and to secure provisions in the Recovery Act for loan guarantees for renewable energy projects. He also played an integral role in the passage of the Affordable Care Act and expanding health care for young adults.

Before his election to the House, he served four years in the Maryland House of Delegates and eight years in the Maryland Senate. He is a graduate of Swarthmore, Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, and Georgetown University Law Center. He lives in Kensington with his wife, Katherine, and three children.

The event is free, and begins with a reception from 4-5 PM featuring the fabulous Forum smorgasbord. The Democratic Women’s Club will hold their annual silent auction, and bidding will end at 5 PM, when the meeting agenda commences. The Forum’s High Kicker Award will be presented, and the first official Act of incoming Forum President Rick Lynch will be to introduce Chris Van Hollen as keynote speaker.

The Forum is asking attendees to bring canned food for the Hunger Coalition and Talbot Food Pantry Programs-a Can of Care!

The Talbot County Democratic Forum is the official club of the Democratic Party in Talbot County. The 1,000+ supporters of the Forum are activists who believe change is possible with an educated electorate and have built their base upon this premise.

For Further information, contact Forum President Richard Calkins at


Talbot County Democratic Forum Appoints New President, Three Board Members

he Talbot County Democratic Forum has appointed Rick Lynch as the Forum’s President and Susan DeLean Botkin, Larry Pifer and Rick Schiming to its Board of Directors.

Rick Lynch, the incoming Forum President, lives in Royal Oak and has been a Forum member for ten years and a Board member for four years. He was born in Washington, DC and spent his entire Federal Government career with the USDA’s Rural Electrification Administration, where he served as the agency’s Personnel Director and Assistant Administrator for Management. He is a thirty year member of Dignity, the national LGBT Catholic Advocacy organization, and has managed their Capitol Hill office until recently. Rick is a lifelong Democrat, and was active in several campaigns and causes, such as the O’Malley campaigns of 2006 &2010, and the Kratovil for Congress campaigns of 2008 & 2010, and has served the Forum in several volunteer activities.

He succeeds Richard Calkins, who will have served as President for four years, and has served on the Board for 5 ½ years. Calkins moved to Talbot in 2002 and retired in 2007 after serving as Executive Director of three international organizations over 25 years in DC, and as a university administrator for more than a decade in Switzerland. He will continue as a volunteer with the Forum

Susan DeLean-Botkin is the owner of Family Care of Easton, where she is a CRNP, a Nurse Practitioner. She is the Past President of the Nurse Practitioner Association of Maryland, and in that role was a leader in the bipartisan effort in legislation leading to the Decoupling Act which untethered Maryland’s CRNP’s, allowing them to work independently of physicians. Her expertise is well-known in Maryland, and she has received several awards and spoken at several conferences.

Larry Pifer retired from the Applied Physics Laboratory of Johns Hopkins University after 34 years in various supervisory positions. As a principal engineer, his areas of expertise included the launch systems for nuclear weapons on missile carrying submarines. He has also served several years with Pratt and Whitney Aircraft and Martin Marrietta. Larry is a stellar member of the Forum’s Environmental Committee, and is deeply committed to the health of the Chesapeake Bay, following state, county, and federal legislation.

Rick Schiming retired to Easton in 2012 after a 38-year career as an Economics Professor in Minnesota. As in Minnesota, he is an active Democrat who, since coming to Easton, has volunteered in the Talbot County Democratic Headquarters, and canvassed over 400 homes in the period leading up to the 2014 election.

All with be introduced and installed at the Forum’s Annual meeting April 19 at the Avalon Theatre, which will feature Congressman Chris Van Hollen.

With the addition of the above, the Forum Board, as of April 19, will be Rick Lynch, President; Carol Voyles, Vice President; Art Cizek, Treasurer; and Board members Steve Bailey, Susan DeLean-Botkin, Francine DeSanctis, Charlene DeShields, Jim Franke, Charles Hines, Jane Johnson, Bonnie Morro, Larry Pifer, Blair Potter, Joyce Scharch and, Rick Schiming.

The Talbot County Democratic Forum is an activist organization that works for the election of Democratic candidates as well as providing political and subject forums of public interest. For further information go to our website at or Facebook page Talbot County Democratic Forum.

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