Attorney Hammad Matin provided comic relief at the 2018 Louis L. Goldstein Dinner

Chesapeake Beach, MD – At one point during the 20th annual Louis L. Goldstein Dinner the room filled with hundreds of Democrats had the feel of a pep rally/celebrity roast. The raucous atmosphere changed abruptly when one of the event’s main speakers was given some sad news during his speech. Fifth District Congressman and House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer had shifted his remarks to a serious talk regarding the March 20 shooting incident at Great Mills High School. St. Mary’s County Democratic Central Committee Chair Dr. Kathleen O’Brien, who is CEO of Walden/Sierra, walked up to the head table and told Hoyer that Jaelynn Willey, the teen who had been critically wounded in the Great Mills incident, was being removed from life support by her family. Hoyer then asked for a moment of silence. “Too many young people have lost their lives,” said Hoyer, who lamented “the inaction that follows the moment of silence” by the Republican-controlled Congress.

“We’re going to win back the House of Representatives in November,” said Hoyer. “Our country needs policies that will give us all a better deal.” Later, Hoyer acknowledged that much of the legislation languishing in Congress aimed at addressing gun violence would not have prevented the tragedy at Great Mills since the weapon, although in the wrong hands, was legally obtained and possessed. “You can’t stop all of this,” Hoyer told “That doesn’t mean you can’t do something.”

President Donald Trump, the Republican-controlled U.S. Congress and Maryland Governor Larry Hogan were big topics March 22 during the annual event at the Rod ‘N’ Reel Restaurant in Chesapeake Beach. Maryland Democratic Party Chairwoman Kathleen Matthews spoke about “a blue wave that is going to cascade over our nation” on Nov. 6, General Election Day. “This is going to be a great year.” Matthews stated “the man in the White House” has energized Democrats. Noting that 562 Maryland Democrat women are seeking elective office in 2018, Matthews added that, “the energy comes from the bottom.” In critiquing Democrats’ latest efforts versus Republicans, Matthews stated, “we have to listen better. We’ve been punching well below our weight class. We can do better.”

The local central committee presented four awards during the program. Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh received a new award called “Standing for Justice.” The award was presented on the same day that a summons was issued to President Trump in a lawsuit filed by Frosh and the attorney general of Washington, DC. The suit alleges Trump is violating the emoluments clause of the U.S. Constitution. The clause prevents elected officials from receiving gifts or benefits from foreign governments without congress’s approval. It’s one of several suits Frosh has filed against Trump since he took office in January 2017. In accepting the Standing for Justice Award, Frosh, who is seeking a second four-year term this November, proclaimed, “we’re going to continue to sue the bastards!”

Other awards included one presented to central committee vice chairman David Salazar, a county native who is currently a supervisor for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers’ (IBEW) Washington, DC headquarters. Members of the IBEW stood and were recognized as Salazar received The Chairman’s Award from Hagner R. Mister. Cindy Yoe, a union-side labor law firm office manager, was the recipient of the Dan Pike Volunteer of the Year Award.

Maryland Senior U.S. Senator Ben Cardin was the recipient of the committee’s Louis L. Goldstein Award. In the event’s history, the award has gone to 22 individuals—twice posthumously, including the first award to Goldstein—two couples and, in 2015, to The Working Men and Woman of the Labor Movement. Cardin was not present to accept the award due to the U.S. Senate’s ongoing debate of the omnibus spending bill. Rachel Jones, Cardin’s Southern Maryland field representative, read a letter from the senator, expressing thanks for the award. “It all begins at the local level,” Cardin stated in his missive to the Calvert Democrats. Hoyer noted that Cardin was only 22 when he was elected to the Maryland House of Delegates. Goldstein, said Hoyer, influenced all young Annapolis Democrats like himself, Cardin and Maryland Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. who arrived in the state legislature during the 1960s. Goldstein served nearly 40 years as state comptroller. After several years of service in the state senate representing Calvert County, Goldstein was elected state comptroller in 1958. He served until his sudden death in early July of 1998. “You grew to love this person we called ‘Mr. Maryland,’ ” Hoyer said.

Two candidates for governor and two lieutenant governor hopefuls briefly spoke to the audience. “We are leading the charge against Donald Trump and Larry Hogan,” said State Senator Richard S. Madaleno Jr. of Montgomery County proclaimed. “We can be the beacon for the rest of the country. We are standing up for unions. We can’t abandon any of the local districts.”

“I feel the energy in this room,” said Baltimore County Executive Kevin B. Kaminetz, who is hoping to be the Democrats’ choice for governor in 2018.

Baltimore City politician Elizabeth M. Embry, gubernatorial candidate Rushern Baker’s running mate, had praise for the Prince George’s County executive, who was not in attendance. Embry stated that there has been “a transformation in Prince George’s County” under Baker’s leadership. “He’s done it by helping neighborhoods.” Baker is considered the Democrats’ front runner in the June Primary. “We have a big fight coming,” said Embry.

“We created Larry Hogan, we took our voters for granted,” said Baltimore City Councilman Brandon Scott, who is gubernatorial candidate Jim Shea’s running mate. Scott pledged to work to work to restore Maryland’s education stature in the nation, which he indicated has gone downward under Hogan’s leadership. Scott also looked ahead to the 2020 Presidential Election, predicting that, “we are going to take out ‘the Orange Man.’ ” 

During the program, county commissioner candidate and central committee member Tricia Powell noted the deaths of two local party stalwarts—Clara Mae Buckmaster and Pearl Miller. La Plata-based criminal defense attorney Hammad Matin provided comic relief for attendees with his extemporaneous roasting of both Miller and Hoyer. Miller, who is embarking on his 12th consecutive run for a state senate seat, made sure every Democratic candidate in the room was recognized. The recognitions included Miller’s Democratic Primary opponent, Tommi Makila of Ft. Washington, who Miller introduced twice. “Hey, that was me 40 years ago,” said Miller.

Contact Marty Madden at