Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D) faced off against his Republican District 8 challenger in an at-times testy debate Friday at a senior community in Gaithersburg.
“I’ve never seen so much misinformation in so little time,” Van Hollen said of Republican Ken Timmerman’s remarks.
Timmerman, a Kensington investigative journalist, is hoping to unseat the five-term incumbent and leader in the Democratic party on the strength of rural voters new to the reshaped district.
In a hour-long forum, Timmerman accused Van Hollen of lying about job growth, contributing to a federal government deficit that has become a “disgrace,” and imposing burdensome regulations on healthcare by supporting the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as “Obamacare.”
“You can not ram this kind of compromise down the throats of the people,” Timmerman said of the Affordable Care Act. He said his first vote, if elected, would be to repeal the law.
Van Hollen responded by saying that would leave many aged 18 to 26 without healthcare, something that could “bankrupt” their families if they were to need medical care.
Timmerman emphasized his campaign work in rural Frederick and Carroll Counties, new to the 8th District, and criticized Van Hollen for proposing a sequestration alternative that would cut direct aid to farmers.
Van Hollen said the cuts in direct aid to farmers would not affect many Marylanders and was something that had bipartisan support.
“I have spent most of my life investigating career politicians, like my opponent,” Timmerman said in his opening remarks. “Democrats have been in control of the House since January 2007. They did absolutely nothing to avert the crisis that hit us that June and did nothing to make things right. They had their chance. It’s time for a change.”
As they shook hands after the forum, Van Hollen appeared to ask Timmerman to “stop lying.” Timmerman responded by telling Van Hollen to “show up,” a theme the Republican has been harping on in campaign mailers.
The forum was organized by the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association and included a District 6 portion before Van Hollen and Timmerman squared off. Incumbent Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R) did not attend to take audience questions with his Democratic challenger, financier John Delaney.
The Bethesda-Chevy Chase Rescue Squad (5020 Battery Lane) will host a pair of events geared toward the public in the next week, including Sunday’s Oyster and Shrimp Feast and an annual open house on Oct. 6, to go along with Taste of Bethesda.
The Oyster and Shrimp Feast is Sunday, Sept. 30 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. in the Rescue Squad’s Anastasia banquet room.
The fundraising event typically attracts around 300 Rescue Squad members, their families and Bethesda area residents.
Tickets are $40 in advance and $45 the day of the event. For more information contact the Rescue Squad at its website.
The open house, “Rescue Day 2012,” will feature a tour of the station, equipment demonstrations and the squad’s 1972 Cadillac ambulance.
As part of National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day, local health representatives will be on hand tomorrow at the Friendship Heights Village community center (4433 S. Park Ave., Chevy Chase) from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to take unwanted, unused or outdated prescription drugs.
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration runs the event, which in April resulted in the collection of a record 276 tons of prescription medication from more than 5,000 sites for proper disposal.
The four DEA Drug Take-Back Days have resulted in a total removal of 1.5 million pounds, or 774 tons, of prescription drugs from circulation.
DEA Administration Michele Leonhart said the agency is still working on a uniform system for prescription drug disposal.
From the event website:
Our take-back events highlight the problems related to prescription drug abuse and give our citizens an opportunity to contribute to the solution. These events are only made possible through the dedicated work and commitment of our state, federal, local, and tribal partners and DEA thanks each and every one of them for their efforts on behalf of the American people.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says prescription drugs have become the primary contributor to the country’s increase in drug overdose rates.
Flickr photo by deathtiny42
County Executive Isiah Leggett announced yesterday that Montgomery County has retained its AAA bond rating from all three rating agencies, an encouraging sign for the county’s economy as the threat of federal sequestration looms.
County Council President Roger Berliner (D-Potomac-Bethesda) accompanied Leggett to New York a few weeks ago to meet with representatives of the bond rating agencies —Standard & Poor’s, Fitch and Moody’s — and on Monday said Moody’s indicated it would link Montgomery County with sequestration, if it happens.
“We have argued to Moody’s that our community is no longer dependent as many are,” Berliner said. “We are a far more diverse economy. We have asked for the opportunity to make that case to them.”
Almost $1.2 trillion in federal cuts are set to kick in Jan. 2, unless Congressional lawmakers figure out an alternative plan. Sequestration would mean federal job losses in both defense and domestic agencies and could mean as many as 12,600 job losses in the state of Maryland, according to an AP report.
It’s unclear how many federal jobs in Montgomery County would be at risk. Two major federal employers, NIH and the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, call Bethesda home, as well as a number of private federal government contractors that could also be affected.
The AAA bond rating is important because it allows the county to issue bonds for capital borrowing at the most favorable rates, which in turn saves taxpayers “millions of dollars a year,” according to a county press release.
Montgomery County was one of 38 counties, out of 3,140, to achieve the AAA rating from all three agencies, which Leggett attributed to his effort to close the budget gap during the recession.
“With the tough decisions and actions the County has taken during my administration, we are successfully rebuilding our financial foundation and are on the right path to fiscal sustainability,” Leggett said in a prepared statement. “We continue to make the hard choices necessary to put ourselves on a much stronger fiscal footing, lowering our revenue estimates to reflect economic conditions and building our revenue base by planning for growth and attracting businesses and jobs.”
Over the past six years, the county has reduced more than 1,200 jobs and cut employee pensions.
“These changes were critical to continuing the work I began when first elected to put the County’s fiscal house in order and reduce unsustainable spending,” Leggett said. “The economic downturn made that work even more critical.”
For 3 Sisters, a breast cancer awareness nonprofit created by Montgomery County firefighter Marshall Moneymaker, is coming to Blackfinn American Saloon (4901 Fairmont Ave.) on Oct. 5 for a special event and happy hour to celebrate National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Moneymaker, assigned to Bethesda Station 6 at Wisconsin Avenue and Bradley Boulevard, lost three sisters to breast cancer and along with his wife, Shannon, created the For 3 Sisters organization to raise money and awareness for the cause.
BlackFinn reached out to the group as part of their month-long charity focus on breast cancer awareness groups, Shannon Moneymaker said.
People can meet Marshall Moneymaker and donate $5 to For 3 Sisters for access to happy hour specials.
Photo courtesy For 3 Sisters
Rock Creek Park Runners Report Owl Attacks — A number of runners in Rock Creek Park have recently reported owl “attacks” during their jogs. A Bethesda man said his running group was attacked along Glen Cove Parkway. [WTOP]
$499 Million Contract Awarded to Renovate National Intelligence University — A Baltimore company was awarded the contract to renovate Bethesda’s Intelligence Community Campus along Sangamore Road. The campus, which was vacated by the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency as part of BRAC, will include the National Intelligence University and employees from a number of other agencies, totaling 3,000 employees by 2017. [The Gazette]
Flickr photo by gastwa