On Tuesday night I had the pleasure of seeing 3 of the 4 Democratic Insurance Commissioners and a representative of Paul Clark. The setting was a caucus with 4 or 5 RDs represented and conducting various business, including the first step in sending delegates to the Democratic National Convention.
The first to get up and speak was a representative from Clark’s campaign. As you all know, Clark is often accused of being an out-of-touch insider with ethical issues. In an effort to quell that impression he decided to send Vince Meconi in his stead. Mission accomplished.
Since Karen Weldin Stewart is the incumbent, probably she should have been allowed to start, but instead Dennis Spivack stepped up first. This is the Dennis Spivack that is challenging a sitting insurance commissioner that is seeking re-election. You would think that for someone to want to primary Stewart they would have some real, tangible complaints about the current IC office, how it’s run and who is to blame for that, right? Nope. Not one freaking word about KWS.
In fact, While Spivack spoke for almost 6 minutes (of the 5 allotted) he didn’t really say a goddamned thing for the entirety of his presentation. It consisted mostly of “I know people that have gotten sick” and “I know business people that have health insurance” and the ever popular “I’ve lived in Delaware for all my life”. In a nutshell, Dennis Spivack hasn’t even come up with a cover story for the real reason that he is running. And it doesn’t take a genius to figure out what the reality is. Dennis is running to dilute the anti-KWS sentiment, and to help her get re-elected. Bravo, Dennis.
Next up was Stewart herself. Her argument was about how much she was able to save for Delaware insurance consumers during her term. She threw around a lot of numbers without much evidence or explanation. She was so proud of her accomplishments, that she had to have them all written on cue cards while she told us about how hard she negotiated for Delawareans. Oh, and in an effort to out-do Spivack, she said she had been in Delaware for generations. So there.
Finally, Mitch Crane stepped up to talk. In four minutes, he blistered the KWS administration with bills that he wrote, that would have met Stewart’s campaign promises in 2008. Yet those bills sit on a shelf, still wanting for a sponsor in the legislature. He detailed the numerous ways that Stewart’s administration has failed real consumers in Delaware from Medicare Advantage plans to holding the bag for Highmark. He also managed to highlight his plans (along with the political backing that he will use to accomplish the goals).
I was able to sit in on a discussion afterwards about what we had just witnessed. I was amazed at the uniformity of the opinion that Crane was the right candidate to carry the Democratic torch. It wasn’t even close, and every person was able to highlight a different thing that they liked about Crane.
I know that the Insurance Commissioners race isn’t a sexy, high-profile race that will inspire a lot people to get off of their asses on September 11th, but it ought to be. Democrats should take this opportunity to show the state that we police our own. To demonstrate that when a crappy person gets into office, we are capable of recognizing our mistake and resolving it in a way that benefits everyone.
Now can we have a real (unconvicted) challenger to Paul Clark, please?