WDC Final

October Newsletter  - Volume 5, Issue 2




Upcoming Campaign Events

Social Media Update --- We're on Twitter! 

Political Book Club

Volunteers: It Takes a Village 

Suggestion Box 


You may click on one of the above titles to go directly to that subject, or simply scroll down the newsletter.     


Thanks to Sybil Cantor, Teddi Pensinger, Bonnie Wicklund, Linda Kolko, Sheila Moldover, Joyce Lipman, Stacey Maud, Sara Watkins, Dave Sears, and Lucy Freeman,  for their contributions to this newsletter.




Thursday, November 13



Luncheon with Clarence Page


Normandie Farm

10710 Falls Road, Potomac

Cost:  $30-Members; $35-Guests 

Reservations close on Tuesday, November 11 at 12 noon.


Are you a post-election news buff?  Come hear Clarence Page's post-election analysis along with conversation about his engaging new book, Culture Worrier: Reflections on Race, Politics and Social Change. Page is a nationally syndicated columnist and a member of the Chicago Tribune's editorial board.  He also has been a regular contributor of essays to "The NewsHour" with Jim Lehrer and a regular panelist on "The McLaughlin Group," NBC's "The Chris Matthews Show," ABC's "Nightline" and BET's "Lead Story" news panel programs.  

Reservations close on Tuesday, November 11 at 12 noon.


To make your reservation for the luncheon, send your check to: Judith Heimann, 6900 Marbury Road, Bethesda, MD 20817 or reserve online at http://www.womansdemocraticclub.org.   Questions about the event, please call Natalie Bouquet at 301-907-7856.  

Thursday, November 13

Happy Hour     Coctail

5:30-7 p.m.  

Lebanese Taverna

7141 Arlington Road, Bethesda


Cash Bar at Happy Hour Prices. 


Want to meet new people and talk politics?  Join us at the next WDC Happy Hour. Every second Thursday of each month, Democrats who are passionate about politics gather to relax and network with WDC members and their guests. Whether you want to meet elected officials, make new friends, form new business contacts or just have fun, the WDC Happy Hour is the perfect place to meet and greet fellow Democrats.      







Keep The Senate Blue


Sign up directly at KeepTheSenateBlue.Org.  For more information, email  katherine.deerkoski@gmail.com or call Katherine at 301/452-4626.


Maryland Dems Campaign Events


Maryland Combined Democratic Campaign Phone Banks
Gov O'Malley visits the Bethesda campaign office where Beth and Linda, along with.other WDC members were making calls to elect
Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown and the entire MD Democratic team

Every Day Including Tuesday, November 4 Election Day


Bethesda Campaign HQ

7833 Woodmont Avenue


9 AM to 9 PM  


Wheaton Campaign HQ

11262 Georgia Avenue


9 AM to 9 PM


On Election Day, the hours for the phone banks will be from 9 AM until the polls close at 8 PM.


Note: Predictive Dialing is available in both locations from 3-9 PM. Using predictive dialer, you do not make the phone calls; they are automatically made onto your cell phone; you talk to folks who answer the calls; and you can provide a personal touch about the importance of getting out to vote.   


Please help phone bank for as long and as often as you can. Election Day is especially important! We need high Democratic turnout in Montgomery County to beat Larry Hogan, a goal to which every Democrat should be 100% committed.  Please bring your cell phone and charger.


For more information or to sign up, email Christa Burton at christa@brianfrosh.com or call Christa at 847-409-5889.



Monday, November 3


GOTV Phone Bank at Leisure World Clubhouse

3700 Rossmoor Boulevard

Silver Spring

10 am - 4 pm


Governor O'Malley will be coming with his guitar at noon!



GOTV Canvassing


Saturday, November 1


Potomac "Invasion Day" with the District 15 Team - please meet at 10:00 am at Winston Churchill HS, 11300 Gainsborough Road, Potomac


Saturday, November 1 and Sunday, November 2


Canvass with the District 14 Team - Meet at 10:00 am at Paint Branch HS, 14121 Old Columbia Pike, Burtonsville. For more information call Del. Eric Luedtke at 240-988-0293.


GOTV For Congressman John Delaney


The energized Republican base in this state is making a close race in Congressman John Delaney's district. We need to help Congressman Delaney make sure that every District 6 Democrat votes.


Saturday, November 1 and Sunday, November 2


Canvass with Team Delaney - Three hour shifts leave throughout the day from Delaney HQ: 14 Bureau Drive, Gaithersburg, For more information call (301) 500-8642



Van Hollen For Congress 


Congressman Van Hollen would like volunteers to join him at the event below. The campaign wants as many Democrats as possible at this location so we can help turn out the vote. If you can help, please contact Ben Shlesinger, Field Director, Van Hollen for Congress on 301-942-3768 or ben@vanhollen.org.  


Monday, Nov. 3 - 7:15-8:30 am. - Bethesda Metro @ 7450 Wisconsin Avenue, Bethesda



For a full listing of campaign events, please visit mocovotes.com 








The Maryland Secretary of State recently released the final language for the ballot questions in Maryland for the 2014 General Election. Please examine the ballot initiatives and share the language with family and friends.


Click here to download the 2014 Ballot Questions Report  



On Statewide Question 1: Transportation Trust Fund - transfer of funds: The MCDCC will SUPPORT the Constitutional Amendment.  



On Statewide Question 2: Filling a County Executive Vacancy Election: The MCDCC will SUPPORT the Constitutional Amendment.  



On Montgomery County Question A: District Councilmember Residency Requirement: The MCDCC will SUPPORT the amendment to the County Charter. 


Click here to view the Democratic Party sample ballot.


                                                                                        by Sheila Moldover


For Justice to thrive, citizens must be "a moral compass"


Laurence Tribe has been arguing cases before the U.S. Supreme Court for 24 years and teaching at Harvard Law School for close to 50 years. Last month, he brought his knowledge, wit and wisdom to WDC, telling the assembled crowd, to laughter, "Even Justice Scalia occasionally cites my stuff."


Tribe, author of 115 books and articles and well-known as a leading liberal scholar of Constitutional Law, came to talk about his newest book, Uncertain Justice: The Roberts Court and the Constitution. The book Scalia cited, American Constitutional Law, is one written by Tribe decades ago, but remains in wide use.


Uncertain Justice arose out of Tribe's desire to explain the Supreme Court in a way that is "widely accessible but in no way oversimplified" as well as "fun to read" for what Tribe called "an educated population."


Don't stereotype the Supreme Court


Tribe said that many books describe the Court as the "stereotypical five conservative activists vs. four moderate liberals," but Uncertain Justice does not. The book seeks to look at "more complex themes than a right to left split," adding, "Stereotypes turn out to be largely useless in determining how justices will vote."


The justices "are not cardboard caricatures. They come with ideas, they are not blank slates," he said. Tribe said "yes," in response to a question about whether empathy makes a difference on the Court, as President Obama suggested when nominating Justice Sonia Sotomayor.


"We don't have nine computers up there, we have nine people," he said. "And they are not diverse enough. They are all from Harvard and Yale. Surely there should be someone from the University of Maryland or California. There are not enough women. Most of these people have never been trial lawyers. They think that trial lawyers are greedy. That's why they make it so hard for people to sue corporations and the police. Justices get their view of the world from their clerks and from the other justices. Thurgood Marshall made all the difference in the world, and O'Connor opened their eyes about women."


How Roberts thinks is key


Citing three recent Court cases and how Chief Justice Roberts voted -

  • McCutcheon vs. FEC (campaign finance);
  • the Agency for International Development vs. Alliance for Open Society (the HIV/ AIDs funding case in which the Court ruled that the Federal government could not require AIDs-fighting groups that took federal money to sign a pledge that they opposed prostitution and sex trafficking in order to get that money);
  • the Obamacare decisions


Tribe said that in these cases the stereotypical division between conservative vs. liberal justices did not hold. The outcome, he said, was predictable by looking at how Roberts thinks.


"There is reasoning that underlies the rulings in these supposedly unrelated matters," he said.  


In McCutcheon vs. FCC, said Tribe, the Court concluded that federal limitations on campaign spending involved "a serious burden on First Amendment rights of [very wealthy] donors to not to have to make a choice of where to spend their money." The 5-4 decision had all five "conservative" justices in the majority.  


The same reasoning on Roberts' part - that you cannot force people and corporations who take federal money to give up their First Amendment rights - applied in the HIV case, said Tribe. In that 6-2 ruling (Kagan recused herself), Roberts joined with Kennedy and the four "liberal" justices.


In the Obamacare decisions, Roberts was part of both the conservative and liberal majorities, Tribe said. He upheld the Constitutionality of the law with the liberals, saying that it was within the Federal government's taxing authority, but stood with the conservatives on the Medicaid expansion portion of the law. "It was the same point," said Tribe. "You cannot force states to take the Medicaid expansion and say if they don't they will lose federal money."


Tribe noted that he had predicted this in advance of the Court's Obamacare decisions.


Recent Court decision "sadly misguided" 


The voting rights case (Shelby County vs. Holder) in which the Court struck down federal pre-clearance for changes in voting laws in states that had a history of civil rights discrimination showed the Court was "reasoning fallaciously" in its claim that "Congress had violated a new Constitutional right that all states be treated equally," Tribe said.


He lambasted the "equally insensitive" and "sadly misguided" 5-4 decision in Town of Greece vs. Galloway to "uphold opening public town meetings with Christian prayer," adding, "Why we would want to get rid of separation of Church and State is beyond me."


Public disillusionment


"We do have a terrible crisis that so many people treat voting as a waste of time. It's a tragedy," Tribe said. He noted Justice O'Connor's recent effort to improve civic engagement, but said of it, "It's kind of boring."


"It's hard to get people excited about politics when they are so disillusioned with the elites, with the press. And some of the disillusionment comes from mega-billionaires pouring money into it. People ask - what difference do I make?"


Book's readers are to furnish a "moral compass"


"Justice is a house of many mansions," Tribe said. "It's not just in the high-voltage issues but in every lawyer's actions and every citizen's actions. We need a moral compass and a good map of the legal icebergs to avoid. We are counting on you, as our readers, to furnish the moral compass. The book is the good map."  



Q & A


1) How accurate is the Scott Turow quote that Uncertain Justice documents a "wholesale revision of the Constitution"?   "It's a little over the top," said Tribe, but blamed his publisher for wanting provocative book jacket blurbs. However, there have been some major changes in Constitutional interpretation under the Roberts court, Tribe said.


"The Roberts Court has engaged in massive overhaul, some of it good, most not." Four justices "think that the meaning of Brown v. the Board of Ed is that we should ignore race. And four justices think that's crazy. Justice Kennedy is right in the middle of that split. Four justices think that since the umbrella [of the Voting Rights Act] worked [to prevent discrimination in voting], you can throw it away."


2) The Citizens United decision. "When I first read it, my immediate reaction was that it was bad, but on further reflection, it's a decision that limits the power of the Federal government to "shut down free speech. And that's not a power we want to give the government," Tribe explained.


"The band-aid of campaign finance reform is not the way to solve the problem of inequality. I'd be worried about giving the government, any government, the power to limit what people can spend. I'm not willing to give away a part of the First Amendment," he stated, while not addressing the inequality of how campaigns are financed.  


In Citizens United, the Court said that "money does not buy access," and stated that the problem of the appearance of unfair access could be solved by requiring disclosure of all donations. "The Court said 8 to 1 that disclosure will be perfectly Constitutional, but if Congress won't even pass that, they won't pass campaign finance reform."


Citizens United "overturns two centuries of history of what a corporation is." He suggests working to change each state's rules governing how corporations are chartered, agreeing with Maryland State Senator Jamie Raskin's proposed Maryland legislation to require a majority vote of shareholders before a corporation can make political expenditures.


3) Maryand v. King and privacy (a 2013 5-4 decision saying that taking a DNA swab when someone is arrested is not a violation of the Fourth Amendment (search and seizure) and is similar to fingerprinting and photographing as legitimate police procedure. In this decision, Scalia wrote a dissenting opinion which three liberal members, Ginsberg, Sotomayor and Kagan joined. "Sometimes there are unexpected coalitions," Tribe said. "Scalia tends to be very liberal with rights of privacy. He says that new technology should not leave you with less privacy than you had in 1791."


4) Could President Obama get a Supreme Court nominee confirmed? "No chance," said Tribe. "I think it's inconceivable that they could overcome a filibuster."


5) Bush v. Gore. "The second time it came to the Supreme Court, it was fixing a mess in Florida and was a happy coincidence that it offered Bush the victory," Tribe said. "When people are holding up ballots to look at chads - to me, that looked like democracy. To Scalia, it looked like chaos."


6) Access to justice. "The supposed right of everyone to have access to a lawyer is only possible if Public Defenders get more money or pro bono lawyers give more time. The average lawyer donates a half hour a week to doing pro bono work, and much of that is for people he knows," Tribe said. Citing a rise in deportation and child custody cases, as well as criminal cases that need access to low-cost legal services, Tribe said, "Courts are being starved. It's become even harder for make progress on access to justice. There is terrible damage to access to justice being done by the Roberts Court."




WDC's Montgomery County 101: Affordable Housing program that was originally held on September 22nd was repeated on October 15th at the Silver Spring Civic Center. Here are some pictures from the event.







                                                                                  by Sara Watkins


Delegate Mizeur Speaking at Luncheon 

"I WON!" exclaimed Heather Mizeur at the October 20th Luncheon


"During my run for governor, I woke a sleeping giant and will continue to lead the charge for transformational change in Maryland as a citizen" stated Heather Mizeur, when she spoke at the Woman's Democratic Club's October luncheon.


Delegate Mizeur spoke about the important changes that Democrats should support in order to continue to move towards a more progressive Maryland. Mizeur believes the agenda should include the following key initiatives.  


1)    Re-do the minimum wage law: A better minimum wage law is essential for Maryland       workers, including speeding up the timetable for raising the minimum wage to $10.10. She would like to see the rate continue to rise based on inflation after it reaches $10.10, and wants us to do more to help tipped workers.


2)    Promote equal pay for equal work: Maryland needs to continue to fight to close the gender wage gap and ensure women receive equal pay for equal work.  


3)    Eliminate the achievement gap in schools: Maryland's schools are facing big challenges and we need to address them and provide a school system that sets up every student for success. Maryland's achievement gap is one of the worst in the nation. The Brown-Ullman team are supporting universal pre-school for four year olds, but we need more. We need to invest in all of our youngest children from birth to 5 years old.  


4)    Legalize, tax, and regulate marijuana: Marijuana's time as a controlled, illegal substance has run its course. The current laws are enforced with racial bias, and tend to distract law enforcement from much more serious and dangerous crimes. A Maryland with legalized, regulated and taxed marijuana will result in safer communities, fewer citizens exposed to the criminal justice system, and will provide needed funding for universal early childhood education.  


5)    Take a cautious approach to fracking: It is important to study and understand the environmental impact of shale gas drilling (fracking) before making any decisions on what should be done on this issue in Maryland. Tourism is an important driver in Western Maryland and we should not jeopardize this economic sector. The bottom line is no studies....no fracking.  


6)    Institute campaign reform: To get the citizens of Maryland more engaged in politics, we need to limit the influence of money. It is necessary to establish a well-funded public campaign finance system for all elected offices, improve campaign transparency, and close loopholes that provide special interest groups undue influence.  


Brief summary of Questions and Answers:


1)    What about paid sick leave? Yes, this is a part of our progressive agenda.


2)    What about Montgomery County Public Financing legislation? Yes, this is a good start but we need to do more.  


3)    What is your stance on the Purple Line? I strongly support this key transit investment.  


4)    How important is it to elect women to office? This is VERY important. Women are frequently more collaborative and less competitive, and just as qualified.  


5)    How to do feel about gambling/casinos in Maryland? I am opposed to all types of gambling in the State-"get rich quick" schemes do not work.


Delegate Mizeur and Members of WDC Board


INTERVIEW edited by Bonnie Wicklund


Lenna Israbian-Jamgochian


WDC's Legislative Chair also serves as Vice President of the District 16 Democratic Club and as Vice Chair for her precinct. In addition, Lenna is the President of the Maryland Board of Pharmacy, responsible for protecting the public and implementing state regulations, currently finishing out the last year of her second four year term. She also supervises more than 100 pharmacists and technicians in Maryland and Virginia as a Regional Pharmacy Manager for Safeway.

Lenna was born and raised in Beirut, Lebanon, and first came to the United States to attend college. She completed her undergraduate degree in 3 years and had just started pharmacy school at Ohio State University, when she received a notice from immigration to return to Lebanon at the height of its civil war. Our flawed immigration system led Lenna to seek asylum in Canada, where she quickly became a citizen. A couple of years later, she returned to Columbus, Ohio to complete her pharmacy degree, which is where she first became involved in advocacy and politics.      


Lenna's grandparents had escaped the Armenian Genocide, which is why she grew up in Lebanon. As a result, official U.S. recognition of those horrific atrocities remains a high priority for Lenna.   Her passion for this issue was the reason Lenna came to Washington to lobby Congress, and led to meeting her future husband Hrant Jamgochian (who organized a national fly-in focused on genocide prevention).


Lenna soon moved to Bethesda and became more active in politics. One of the first bills she advocated in Maryland was legislation introduced by then-State Senator Chris Van Hollen commemorating the memory of victims of the Armenian Genocide.   Lenna has since campaigned for Congressman Van Hollen and other candidates for office, including her husband who recently ran for District 16 delegate. She also testifies in Annapolis on a regular basis, often related to health care issues.




I recently finished reading The Great American Jobs Scam: Corporate Tax Dodging and the Myth of Job Creation. My husband met the author Greg LeRoy while going door to door on the campaign trail earlier this year. I just happened to see the book on his desk a couple of weeks ago and couldn't put it down. I could not have been more upset reading about the countless tax loopholes created by politicians for corporations, many of which have not created a single new job.



I am a huge fan of musicals and the theater. My husband and I enjoyed season tickets to the Kennedy Center, Arena Stage and Strathmore for several years. As a science fiction fanatic, I currently enjoy the television series "Falling Skies" and "Under the Dome." 



While I enjoy virtually every genre of music, my favorite has become anything that allows me to dance with my 14 month old son. Not much compares to seeing him smile as we "jam" together to every kind of dance music.



I visited Peru with my husband almost 10 years ago, which has become the "measuring stick" for every trip that we have taken since. The ruins and history, the culture and warmth of the people were all amazing.   



I enjoy reading Thomas Friedman's commentaries in the New York Times. His depth and understanding of the global community we live in is impressive. And even when I might not agree with his perspective on an issue, he is always thought provoking. It also doesn't hurt that he is a fellow District 16 resident. 




I have long admired our Representative Chris Van Hollen, and I've become a huge fan of U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren, who is one of the best at articulating our shared progressive values. 



The election of my mother-in-law Jean Boatman to her local Board of Education in Arizona. After volunteering on her son's campaign in 2010, she was inspired to run for office herself. Not only did she win on her first try, but she ended up receiving the second highest number of votes in her district, and even knocked off one of the incumbents in the process. Within a few months of her election, Jean developed a plan to consolidate her local school district, which would prevent the fourth consecutive pay cut in a row for local school teachers. And while my mother-in-law had recently undergone two surgeries for a brain tumor and started another round of chemo the day before, nothing was going to keep her away from attending the Board of Education meeting where she and her colleagues would vote to enact her proposal. 



I am extremely concerned about our aging population and making sure they receive the care they deserve. While my training is as a health care professional, this is also a very personal issue for me. My husband and I have lost several loved ones in the past 4 years, and unfortunately we have seen first-hand both the good and the bad in our health care system.


While the Affordable Care Act is moving towards providing more quality metrics in our health care system to help inform consumers, a lot more needs to be done to provide increased oversight. I believe that access to health care is a human right, which is why we need to make sure it is available to everyone, which means getting the most out of our health care dollars while ensuring we do everything we can to improve a patient's quality of life.








Sunday January 25, 2015 - 35th Anniversary Women's Legislative Briefing   


Location: University of Maryland, Shady Grove Campus, Building II, 9630 Gudelsky Drive, Rockville, MD 20850


The Theme this year is "Build the World You want through Advocacy & Legislation." General Admission Registration begins at 11:30 am with light refreshments. The conference will open with the keynote address. Compelling seminars on legislation in the Maryland General Assembly will fill out the afternoon. A reception will conclude the event providing an opportunity to meet with county and state elected officials, advocates and representatives of the most prominent county, state and national women's organizations.


General Admission
$20 in advance, $25 at the door

For more information, please contact the
Montgomery County Commission for Women
at 240-777-8333 or
www.montgomerycountymd.gov/cfw .







Time to renew All current members have received their renewal forms in the mail.  Please renew now!  Included in this mailing was a gift form which is new to our Club this year. Your gift membership to a friend is a great way to acknowledge a good Democrat and recognize the many opportunities that Club membership offers.  WDC appreciates your continuing support and wants to remind you that your dues were due on September 1. Your voice and membership dues are crucial to the vitality and strength of the Woman's Democratic Club. Your $35.00 dues ($36.00 online at www.womansdemocraticclub.org) pays for Club mailings; subsidizes events, programming, and the annual New Member dinner; and supports the important work of the Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee and Democratic candidates with campaign contributions. All non-renewing members are purged from the membership and email list.  Click here to renew or join now.







WDC has a Twitter account!  Our Twitter handle is @WomenDems.  Be sure to follow us!  


Don't forget to like us on Facebook; we're listed as Woman's Democratic Club, Montgomery County.

Want to learn more about what your fellow Democrats are reading about American or political Bookshistory? Join WDC's Political Book Club - our longstanding literary conclave that meets on the third Wednesday of every other month. Meetings take place at 1:30 p.m. at members' homes. A facilitator for each book leads the discussion. For more information, contact Estelle Stone at estellestone24@gmail.com .


The November 19 selection is The Presidents Club by Nancy Gibbs & Michael Duffy.


If you're interested in seeing what other books have been discussed, please go to www.womansdemocraticclub.org and click on Political Book Club, which is listed under Events.  



 Help Wanted

Sharing your skills and expertise with us and joining a committee are fun ways to meet other members and make new friends while helping the Club accomplish its goals. We especially need volunteers to help with new member recruitment as part of the Membership & Outreach Committee and we need volunteers on the Legislative Committee to help analyze and track important legislation.


Click here to volunteer.




Suggestion Box  

Do you have ideas for future programs? Do you know someone who would be a great speaker at a future WDC event?  If so, please send an e-mail to wdcmcmd@gmail.com.






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Woman's Democratic Club
Beth Tomasello.President
www.womansdemocraticclub.org     wdcmcmd@gmail.com
Woman's Democratic Club
Sybil Cantor
Email Coordinator