GOP speaker supports wall, guns and Constitution

Delegate Tony O'Donnell

Huntingtown, MD - A Republican lawmaker from the Hawkeye State had a lot to say about the ruffled feathers of Washington, DC’s Democrats recently and over the past seven years. Congressman Steven King of Iowa’s Fourth Congressional District was the guest speaker of the 2016 Lincoln Reagan Dinner sponsored by the Calvert County Republican Central Committee (CCRCC). The annual event was held Thursday, June 23 at The Hall in Huntingtown.

The central committee saluted longtime Delegate Tony O’Donnell, who is vacating his District 29C seat in the Maryland General Assembly after 22 years. O’Donnell was recently appointed by Governor Larry Hogan to a five-year term on the Maryland Public Service Commission. The appointment becomes effective Aug. 1.

Delegate Mark Fisher chronicled O’Donnell’s legislative career, which began in 1994 with a razor-close General Election win over a Democrat who disputed the result and took the matter to court. Despite being badly out-numbered in Annapolis, Fisher noted that O’Donnell “got stuff done.” One of O’Donnell’s accomplishments was helping expand Maryland’s oyster aquaculture industry. “Tony basically gave this industry its birth,” said Fisher. “The Democratic Party has tried tirelessly to take this away from Tony.”

Several of the local party’s foot soldiers and worker bees received awards. One of the more touching presentations was the honoring of Mike Brown as Republican Man of the Year. Brown, a Dunkirk resident and Texas native, died this past February at the age of 70. The 2015 Man of the Year, Robert “Bob” Arscott, spoke of Brown’s many community activities, political and civic, as well as his love for his family, the military, surf fishing and America. Brown’s widow, Anita, accepted the award and portrait of her husband.

The Republican Woman of the Year was Joanne Martin of Huntingtown. The Frank McCabe Award for Lifetime Service to the Calvert Republican Party was presented to Carl Sadoti.

In his introduction of King, O’Donnell noted the congressman always carries a copy of the U.S. Constitution in his coat pocket. O’Donnell also stated the guest speaker was a “coyote fiscal conservative,” meaning he would “rather chew off a leg” than raise taxes.

King, a member of House subcommittees on Constitution and Civil Justice, and Immigration and Boarder Security, gave the large turnout a quick overview of his personal life—highlighted by a well-established business and a strong marriage.

Of one of the Nation’s Capital’s bigger stories this week, King admitted he was surprised by Democrats for politicizing the recent Orlando massacre in an attempt to pass gun control measures. “The very thing we need are the guns to defend us,” said King, who conceded he got dragged into a brief set-to with a Democrat congresswoman who was participating in the mid-week sit-in on the House floor over the gun control issue.

King also stated that his support for Ted Cruz resulted in several Republicans in Iowan recruiting somebody to oppose him (King) in the Republican Primary. The incumbent decided not to spend any money on advertising during the primary and ended up winning handily.

As for the GOP’s nominee-apparent, Donald Trump, King declared he likes him because “he’s going to build a wall. We would save a lot of money.” King said the current protection for the U.S. southern border is expensive and ineffective. “Let’s build that wall, it makes economic sense,” he stated.

King said both President Obama and the current Supreme Court have ignored the Constitution on occasions and the nation’s “separation of powers” have frequently been circumvented over the last seven-and-a-half years. Two occasions mentioned were the majority of the court’s “rewriting” of the Affordable Care Act to give broader federal authority and the issuance of a “command” on all states to recognize same-sex marriages.

“I’m troubled where our country has gone from a constitutional perspective,” he said. “We are a superior culture and civilization. We should be proud of who we are. We are better off if we project our American values to the rest of the world.”

Contact Marty Madden at

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