Yeah, He Lied

Filed in Delaware by on November 3, 2013

Any better conclusions than that? Seriously, after the huffing and puffing and bluster that the News Journal and his critics were trying to mislead people or trying to hurt him or trying to delegitimize his function in office — Treasurer Chip Flowers finally meets with the News Journal and what we find out is that he really is that incompetent. And we find out that records requested by the NJ under FOIA have conveniently gone missing. From this morning’s NJ, where Flowers admits that there are financial records missing from his office:

Flowers has not provided records explaining a reimbursement of Alaska expenses charged to Delaware taxpayers about 10 months earlier because he says they are missing, and so are records for another state-paid trip to Vermont in 2011. Flowers has released limited documents requested under the state’s Freedom of Information Act from his travel and says he can’t provide others because he can’t find them.

Got that? In one of the smaller state offices, but one that is responsible for managing the cash flow of the state, the State’s Treasurer says he can’t find budget expenditure information from ten months ago. Yet he has spent — how long?– ostentatiously blaming everyone else for the fact that he does not have adequate controls over his own staff accounting operation. Which is what I said from the very beginning. If you are responsible for a budget, you make sure that there are controls to ensure proper spending and reimbursements AND that there is a paper tail for all of that for audit purposes. None of this exists in the Treasurer’s office and who knows how accurate his operating budget is.

And the lying continues:

Flowers said last week that he is working with the Attorney General’s office to investigate the missing documents and other problems with financial records in his office that he blames on a former employee. Flowers said the inquiry could lead to a criminal investigation.

But a state Department of Justice spokesman said Friday that state prosecutors are not looking into any criminal matter with Flowers, or reviewing any case of missing documents.

Right? Still blaming it all on some other employee, when if Flowers had done what pretty much every supervisor does and reviewed Benner’s credit card reconciliations himself, he might not be in this difficulty. But here’s what he has to say about even providing documentation of Benner’s charges:

Flowers now argues because Benner paid those charges, there is no reason for his office to search for documentation or to prove the charges were legitimate state expenses.

“That may not sit well with you guys,” Flowers said in an interview. “But from our perspective, we thought they were business, and all the additional evidence you would like, we don’t have to spend hours and hours and days. We don’t have to do it.”

If they were business charges — and Flowers keeps insisting that they are (while making sure that Benner reimbursed those charges back to the State, got that?) — then you should be able to document that. If these were approved, then disapproved, then approved, then disapproved, then how did all of that decision-making happen with no backup?

Asked last week about Benner’s trip to the lodge, Flowers said “I think we have a good idea who she met with.” Flowers said he is “fairly certain it was legitimate,” and added that he was “fairly certain” of “one or two” banks that Benner met with while in Talkeetna.

“I think there is a zero percent chance that any abuse happened in Talkeetna,” Flowers said.

Fairly certain. So this means there are no After Action reports from this meeting, documenting all of the strategies and other pitches made to improve the return on the State’s money, right? How is that, exactly?

And we still have Flowers not cooperating with the Department of Finance on this:

Kristopher Knight, the director of the state Division of Accounting, also says his review into Flowers’ office practice is ongoing. Knight has been critical of Flowers’ handling of questionable credit card spending.

“The Division of Accounting has been reviewing charges in the Treasurer’s Office for several months and has not received a final accounting from that office of the itemized charges that violated state travel policy and that have been reimbursed by Ms. Benner,” Knight said.

He has specifically blamed the Department of Finance for not doing the job that Flowers should be doing — owning his budget and watching how his employees spend against it.

And this is specifically disturbing:

He said he believes he has acted properly, and has been transparent with state officials and the public about his travel and problems in his office.

“Let me tell you what the issue is,” he said. “I think Flowers had a personnel issue that this has brought to light and the treasurer has been upfront and candid about it. We have procedures that we are going to correct.”

“Unlike most politicians, I don’t run from our problems,” he said.

Because he has demonstrably not acted properly here, has mismanaged his own office to the point where they can’t find budgetary records or even properly reconcile credit card spending, hasn’t been upfront or candid about anything to date, and has been running away from these issues specifically by spinning up blame for his office’s problems. So far, a retired employee, the Department of Finance, and the News Journal have been at fault for this. He has questioned the motives of everyone who has asked questions about this and spun up a phoney investigation (how much did that cost?)that was meant to deflect blame from his office. And at no time has Flowers said that he has screwed up here and that he’d just fix it. Apparently he is incapable of personal accountability, and we just can’t have this in government, especially not in an office that requires a high trust component like managing the state’s cash flow. I think that Chip Flowers just needs to resign and try again when he has better management skills and a better appreciation of what Good Government looks like.

By Request of commenter Nuttingham, the video from the NJ:

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  1. Jason330 says:

    treasury office records missing. Oh dear

  2. Paul Calistro says:

    How many employees does the State Treasurer have to supervise? I thought the office only had around nine staff. I maybe way off on this guess. If so can so many staff mess up ?

  3. The hed on our story should simply read:

    “He Lied.”

    Blamed everyone for imagined vendettas against him (BTW, check out how many times he refers to himself in the third person in the News Journal story).

    He didn’t need enemies. In the end, he got himself got.

    Time for whoever’s playing Beau Biden this week to launch an investigation.

    And maybe Inspector Clouseau can help Chip find the missing papers. Ladies and gentlemen, YOUR Delaware fiscal steward.

  4. Paul Calistro says:

    Speaking of oneself in the third person frequently is called illeism. Illieism is often seen in individuals with extreme narcissism and manipulative behavior.

  5. Geezer says:

    @Paul: Are you saying that Elmo is narcissistic and manipulative? That explains the bad vibes I’ve always gotten from him.

  6. Paul Calistro says:

    Richard Nixon is a better comprasion,

  7. Nuttingham says:

    The video attached to the story is priceless. Can those embed here? It’s just three minutes of him talking, but worth a watch.

  8. jason330 says:

    I can’t help feeling bad for the guy. He was ambitious and made a bad choice at the outset to be slightly evasive and slightly dishonest. That limited his future options to being more evasive and more dishonest.

    Maybe…

    “It happened on my watch. I am responsible and I will take full responsibility for this. We will investigate it fully, including instances of credit card misuse that I may have been a party to. There will be accountability.”

    …could have helped him.

  9. Turk184 says:

    @Paul C – According to HB 200, the FY 2014 Budget Act on OMB’s website, there are a total of 23 positions. Still very small by any comparison.

  10. John Young says:

    Apparently he is incapable of personal accountability, and we just can’t have this in government

    A whole lotta resignations need to follow then…

  11. jason330 says:

    @cassandra, Thanks for posting and transferring the comments.

  12. cassandra_m says:

    Flowers’ Facebook response, still spinning up fault:

  13. jason330 says:

    You sometimes read shocking headlines like, “Accountant Arrested for embezzling $250,000″

    Seems bad. But when you read the story it is even worse than the headline portrays.

    Typically, the accountant has been skimming $25 bucks here, $30 bucks there over a long period of time to put some gas in their car or pay an overdue electric bill. They are thinking that they are “good for it” or they justify it by remembering a miserly pay increase. In other words, the crime grew like a cancer and the accountant never even got to enjoy a quarter of a million dollar windfall.

    I see similarities in this.

  14. Turk184 says:

    I think someone should track down that retired employee and find out what they have to say about this.

  15. Nuttingham says:

    A word in his defense.

    He said in the video that he did not have time to prepare for the meeting with the publisher (the one he demanded) because “every hour on the hour” they were finding more problems.

    Ok. That wasn’t much of a defense.

  16. cassandra_m says:

    I added the video as you suggested, Nuttingham.

    It was August, I think, that we first heard of Flowers’ credit card mismanagement. And then, the story was about how the Department of Finance was tardy in notifying him of these issues — NOT that they were finding issues hourly with how accounting was done in his office.

    So if they are finding issues with accounting on an hourly basis NOW, that means that Flowers’ was never trying to get to the bottom of this before, he thought all of his epic spin would take care of it. Do I have that right?

  17. stan merriman says:

    Has the Delaware Democratic Party spoken out in any way about this ? If not, why not?

  18. canadian bacon says:

    How will the Chipster explain this

    If they were business charges — and Flowers keeps insisting that they are (while making sure that Benner reimbursed those charges back to the State, got that?) — then you should be able to document that. If these were approved, then disapproved, then approved, then disapproved, then how did all of that decision-making happen with no backup?

    Asked last week about Benner’s trip to the lodge, Flowers said “I think we have a good idea who she met with.” Flowers said he is “fairly certain it was legitimate,” and added that he was “fairly certain” of “one or two” banks that Benner met with while in Talkeetna.

    “I think there is a zero percent chance that any abuse happened in Talkeetna,” Flowers said.

    Fairly certain. So this means there are no After Action reports from this meeting, documenting all of the strategies and other pitches made to improve the return on the State’s money, right? How is that, exactly?

  19. Anon. says:

    Anyone else noticed even his supporters on his FB page are dwindling?

  20. cassandra_m says:

    @Stan — I haven’t seen the local D Party speak out about this issue (and I could have missed it), but I seriously don’t expect them to.

  21. AQC says:

    Seriously, does this guy not know sometimes it’s better just to admit you screwed up? And if he can’t do that, doesn’t he know to just shut up?!

  22. Nuttingham says:

    “Nothing bad could happen on my watch,” assured Flowers. “In my office, maybe. But not on my watch, because it cost $19,000.”

  23. Paul Calistro says:

    Does anyone know how to view exif data on digital photos? If you do, you could compare date, time and location on the Alaska photos. The data might help clear up some of the confusion on who was where with whom.

  24. Anon. says:

    Schwartzkopf did call for Chip to stop hindering the investigation and provide the correct agencies with the records in todays News Journal for what its worth.

  25. Geezer says:

    When someone tells you Obamacare is a train wreck, just direct them to the People’s Treasury and explain, in your best Foghorn Leghorn voice, “Now, son, that, I say, that THERE is a train wreck!”

  26. anon says:

    Paul this is from Flower’s FB page:

    http://www.delawareliberal.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/chip-denali5-edit10-28-2013-1-02-58-PM.png

    And this one from Benner’s:

    http://www.delawareliberal.net/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/benner-denali2-edit10-28-2013-4-40-24-PM.png

    You can tell they are from the same angle, the same day, look at the cloud coverage.

  27. Paul Calistro says:

    Looks like the shadows are at the same time

  28. cassandra_m says:

    I don’t know if exif data is preserved with a photo uploaded to a site like Facebook, Paul. I think you have to have the original photo to look at that information.

  29. RunCV79 says:

    Best picture of the day came from Rob Tornoe! Please tell me someone has it handy and can post it… Priceless!

  30. I question whether the check that Flowers posted was indeed remuneration for his expenses from NAST. Why? The check mentions nothing about NAST, it is from the Council on State Governments. NAST is but one of many government subgroups of CSG that offer conferences to Delaware officials of every stripe. Taxpayers paid for this trip through ‘dues’ to the organization that then (supposedly) remunerated the state from those dues. Which doesn’t change the fact that the (presumed) $3K or so cost was paid for by the taxpayers. Only Flowers and Benner benefited.

    Since all checks like this come through the State Treasurer’s office, and since Flowers has not been able to even verify that this check was THE check, it is plausible that Flowers dug up this check (eight months after the fact) from among many that were deposited from CSG to remunerate for any number of different conferences. Nothing about that check indicates that it was to remunerate for travel from the Treasurer’s office.

    At this point, I assume that Flowers is lying about everything until/unless he can demonstrate otherwise. Why? Because we can catalog lie after lie from him, and he cannot prove a single one of his assertions to the contrary. Dog ate his homework. And Flowers ate his words.

    Who’s he gonna blame next? Some mysterious ‘mole’ in his office?

  31. Anon. says:

    Just a couple of questions and a teaser.

    Did anyone else pick up on how many time Chip used the word entitled in the article?

    Did Flowers report the missing documents (they are state property) to the authorities if they were stolen or destroyed? If not, why?

    Just wait until the News Journal reports on the details from his excurtions on his trips to Vermont, New Mexico, New York City, Seattle and Disney World………yes, Disney World.

  32. LeBay says:

    Anon-

    Yes, the word “entitled” jumped out at me as I sipped my coffee this morning. The Chipster appears to be a lefty version of the Sussex County Sheriff. They both hold “Constitutional” offices & in their minds are accountable to no one.

  33. anon says:

    Flowers is a buffoon. This guy seriously thinks he’s going to be governor? He failed the audition. He cannot manage an office of 9 people. He admits that his “financial records are in disarray”. His deputy resigns 5 months ago, and he is still paying her $97,000 per year? Paying her to keep her mouth shut no doubt. We’re supposed to trust him with $2 billion and he can’t keep the records straight for a few credit cards and his own personal travel expenses? Chip, you idiot, why don’t you try logging on to the credit card company website. You could probably print the past three years of statements in under 10 minutes and send them to the News Journal this afternoon. So what’s the hold up, Chipster? Why are you avoiding a simple FOIA request? Why not put your lovely secretary (now accomplice) on the phone and have her call all the resorts you visited over the past 3 years to request duplicate receipts. The reality is that Flowers is a lying scumbag. If the records were really lost, he could have his credit card statements and hotel receipts together in a matter of a couple of days. Who does he think he’s kidding? He’s obviously lying. Embarassed that I ever voted for this incompetent clown.

  34. cassandra m says:

    Some mysterious ‘mole’ in his office?

    I’m hoping that the person who retired that he keeps blaming all of this on speaks up. It is plenty odd that this person managed this process just fine for who knows how long and under Flowers’ term, it’s all messed up.

    If you are the person we are talking about and are out there reading, feel free to contact me — Cassandra_M@delawareliberal.net. I’d love to hear your side of the story.

  35. anon says:

    I hear Chip has already booked a trip to Puerto Rico later this month for “official business”. Maybe he should give the state credit card a rest and work on complying with the FOIA request.

  36. puck says:

    As Governor Markell taught us, there is no penalty for violating FOIA.

  37. Jason330 says:

    Also Obama failed to raise taxes. Just sayin’

    But seriously folks, I love me some Puck. His moral clarity and message discipline is second to none. You are my commenter of the year, three years running.

    You got the plaque I sent, right?

  38. Linda says:

    I can’t believe that in his “official statement” he says the Division of Accounting should rigorously investigate the Fisker deal! What a pathetic “leader” it is who — while saying he’s taking accountability — still tries to blame others or in the case of Fisker, tries to point to other failures that he thinks can mitigate his own. Numbskull.

  39. Geezer says:

    Nor has anyone been punished for not having records in a variety of cases the past couple of years — DelDOT in SuxCo, Correx (or whomever) in the prison labor case, etc. etc.

    This is a spreading fungus in state governments all over the country, as outgoing administrations have taken to wholesale destruction first, apology second. Somebody — Paul Baumback? — should propose a bill with teeth to require retention of records.

  40. Paul Calistro says:

    This seems to be an issue that falls within the realm of the State Auditor. their Mission Statement from their website is as follows:
    The Auditor of Accounts, an elected office, serves as the State of Delaware’s fiscal watchdog. As the independent auditor, the Office of Auditor of Accounts (AOA) is charged with responsibility for the State’s annual financial and federal single audits. AOA also helps to assure accountability of taxpayer dollars by conducting various audits and investigations. In addition to identifying fraud, waste, and abuse, the Office evaluates government operations and programs for economy, efficiency, and effectiveness.

  41. I’ll vote for you, Paul.

    Seriously. Think about it.

  42. hmm says:

    Screw it. Paul run for treasurer, you’d win. Someone needs to stand up and run against him.

  43. Anonandonandonandon says:

    It’s frightening that this ignorant, slick talking fraud in a poorly fitting suit controls $2 billion of our money. What is he doing with it? Travelling all over the country with his girlfriend. Spends thousands on room service and expensive restaurants. Helicopter rides to glaciers. Limo rides to Cowboys-Patriots games. Disney. He claims that taxpayers did not pay for any of this, yet he refuses to hand over any receipts when FOIA’d and fires off tirade filled emails to Finance and Accounting officials when they dare to ask questions. Yea, the great unwashed masses do not deserve a single receipt from The People’s Treasurer! Not a one! He claims that he cannot find his credit card statements. Chip, are you really that brain-dead-dumb that you cannot figure out how to get your statements online? If you’re really that freakin stupid, you certainly should not be Treasurer. He admits that his travel records are in disarray and/or missing. Says that he is accountable to no one and claims that no one has the constitutional authority to investigate him? We just need to trust him. Really?

  44. Flip Chowers says:

    Screw ya’s! I’m off to Puerto Rico bitches!

  45. anon says:

    At this point even Chip has got to realize that he’s done. I am weary of discussing Flowers. He’s old news. It’s time to move on.You guys should start a new thread to discuss the leading contenders and possible candidates for Treasurer. Mitch Crane is an obvious choice. Who else?

  46. Anonandonandonandon says:

    Benner resigns 5 months ago. She continues to collect $95,000 / year salary.

    Chip’s budget director resigns 2 months ago. Does he still collect his salary?

    When Chip resigns, will he continue to collect his salary?

  47. canadian bacon says:

    Treasurer Townsend?

  48. Geezer says:

    “It’s frightening that this ignorant, slick talking fraud in a poorly fitting suit controls $2 billion of our money.”

    Poorly fitting my foot. Nobody buys an Ermenegilda Zegna suit without getting it tailored. Who do you think he is, Charles Potter?

  49. Geezer says:

    On someone running for treasurer: Why would you want a valuable progressive lawmaker in that office? It has no real power or duties, which is why Markell could dress the window with Velda. Yes, it’s been a stepping-stone to higher office for a couple of people, but Carper was being groomed for bigger things by his backers, and Markell had the money to bide time while grooming himself. People who simply get elected to that office and expect to automatically climb, like Janet Rzenicki (I don’t care enough to look it up), generally get exposed. That’s what’s happening here.

    I would contend the few progressives in the General Assembly are needed there, where they remain fewer than the ex-cops on pensions.

  50. Nuttingham says:

    You’re not giving him enough credit. He spent several hundred thousand dollars of his own money last campaign. I cannot imagine that being elected the Peoples Treasurer has hurt the earning power of The Flowers Law Firm, which will give him plenty more to spend.

    He’s been willing to pay for ads in the paper and in the radio for years when people weren’t paying attention. He will spend a lot and attack a lot when people are.

  51. hmm says:

    Nuttingham, Flowers has shown he is a loose cannon and will act irrationally a smart opponent will use that to their advantage and force chip to spend money in the wrong places.

  52. Aoine says:

    Make that ” girlfriend(S)” and we will have a winner- seriously , I don’t know how he keeps his stable of “chip-monks” straight…..

    Off to Puerto Rico…..he likes that type too- thought it would help him with a certain group during the election…..trouble is, he didn’t keep her around long after he got elected…..

    Scorned women talk and all that jazz….

    Glad I didn’t vote for him- I smelled SEXIST right thru his fancy suit and nasty cologne and nothing smells worse than that….except maybe a racist.

    We all have our crosses to bear politically, the right has the Sussex Sheriff around their necks, the left has Chipman Flowers around theirs.
    I say we lock them in a room, although, there isn’t one big enough to contain the megalomania those two nut jobs exhibit.

    Maybe the sheriff could try kicking him? Seemed to work for Vance Phillips….

    Gotta love DELAWARE politics, better than a telenovella- but with no subtitles.

  53. puck says:

    I can’t wait until Flowers is gone and we can get back to having a banker crony in the Treasurers office, quietly doing his job of funneling as much vigorish as possible to the favored banks. But his expense accounts will be in order – or at least nobody will look at them.

  54. cassandra m says:

    Attentive oversight of your own budget is Management Competence 101 and it stretches credulity to give this guy a pass for his inability to get something this basic done competently. The only comforting thing here is that the activity surrounding the state’s money is subject to 3rd party oversight.

  55. puck says:

    You do realize any Treasurer who questions the favored banks’ entitlement to unquestioned fees from taxpayer money will be subject to the same microscope. So which malfeasance carries the greater dollar amount – the excessive fees, or the expense accounts? And which crony do you favor for replacing Flowers?

    And when is Markell going to stop letting the News Journal and DL do his dirty work, and come up with some criminal charges?

  56. cassandra m says:

    I suppose Flowers is delighted that someone has bought his conspiracy theories lock stock and barrel, but if flowers managed his office with the same care he tends his claim to persecution, he wouldn’t be in this world of hurt.

  57. Nuttingham says:

    Is that the new message point?

    “Chip doesn’t like banks like M&T and Chase (regardless of how many people in Delaware they employ) so powerful forces conspired to send Chip to Alaska, lose his expense reports, repeatedly call reporters liars and then get angry when those reporters set out to show they weren’t lying?”

    Well, some people believe climate change denial, too. (Those glaciers still looked frozen in Denali).

  58. puck says:

    Markell will have to man up and bring an audit or some criminal charges. Right now all he’s got is politics of personal destruction, It won’t escape the attention of voters that this “world of hurt” centers on Flowers dating a white woman. Markell ought to watch out for blowback.

  59. puck says:

    “Is that the new message point? ”

    That is the “original” message point. If you trace back the stories in NJ or DL, the friction between Flowers and the Governor began over those bankers performance and fees. Flowers put forth proper proposals for changing that,which he did not prevail on, and DL, swallowing the Governor’s spin, acted as though Flowers had attempted some kind of armed stagecoach robbery.

    That is when the microscope was turned on full power.

  60. cassandra m says:

    So very like puck to not keep the thread. Some of the critique started when flowers was running – running promising accomplishments in areas his office didn’t have authority for. And his scorched earth policy pretty much vindicated the criticism – but since mostly the same banks are managing funds now as previously, all that crony bullshit is still bullshit. Which doesn’t change the fact that anyone worth their political life knows not to provide fodder for those out to not deal with you kindly and flowers is a pretty big fail at that too.

  61. Jason330 says:

    When someone sets out to make the pharisees gnash their teeth with dread, you’d think they would start by making sure they had their shit together.

    The very fact that Flowers didn’t have his shit together makes me think that his whole maverick pose was bullshit from the outset.

  62. Geezer says:

    “You do realize any Treasurer who questions the favored banks’ entitlement to unquestioned fees from taxpayer money will be subject to the same microscope.”

    Evidence, please.

  63. puck says:

    Geezer, the only evidence would be if another treasurer with the same position is elected and is then attacked. And our next treasurer will be singing from the same page as the Governor’s banks, so you are not likely to get your evidence.

  64. Geezer says:

    People who actually know something about investing a state’s money don’t like Flowers’ proposals because gambling with the state’s money isn’t wise — and it’s especially unwise to trust that job to someone who’s constitutionally incapable of accepting responsibility for the things he DOES have control of.

  65. Geezer says:

    “when is Markell going to stop letting the News Journal and DL do his dirty work, and come up with some criminal charges?”

    That’s your standard? It’s OK if it wasn’t criminal?

  66. puck says:

    Assuming the expense account issue is finite and it is all paid back, and assuming the core Tresurer duties are being done (which nobody has questioned, by the way), I’m not all that disturbed by it, certainly not as much as some. If the expenses stay on the straight and narrow from now on, I’m perfectly fine with carrying on and letting Flowers make his case to the voters.And yes, Markell needs to bring it back inside a legal framework.

    With all that bully power at his disposal how come Markell can’t move a minimum wage bill? For that I’d take a paid-off credit card scandal in every agency.

  67. Geezer says:

    Me too, but that’s not the choice before us, and you should stop pretending it is.

  68. Geezer says:

    “Geezer, the only evidence would be if another treasurer with the same position is elected and is then attacked.”

    Untrue. You could have someone on the inside telling you this is personal. On the other hand, those of us who have talked to people know it’s not.

    “And our next treasurer will be singing from the same page as the Governor’s banks, so you are not likely to get your evidence.”

    What makes you think that this is about specific banks, rather than the instruments of investment? What makes you think these banks are unique to the Markell administration? The state’s strategy has been the same since Tom Carper was in the job.

    On the other hand, if you had the sense God gave a billy goat, you’d figure out that Flowers attacked Markell first, not the other way around, and therefore can’t complain about being picked on. He ran for office by running against a sitting governor of his own party.

    I told y’all three years ago that something like this would happen. I thought he was smarter than this, so I didn’t realize what a spectacular cluster of fuck he has released (though, given his track record with other women, I could have predicted he’d throw some luckless woman like Erika Benner under the bus). But this was always the obvious endgame for the Chipster’s quixotic quest.

  69. puck says:

    I am onlly an amateur prick, not a professional. I dont have any inside information, and that is the perspective I bring. I might not even vote for Flowers if tney run somebody better. I am just commenting on how this whole thing looks from the big picture.

  70. Geezer says:

    Well, then, take it from a professional: He asked for it and now he’s getting it.

  71. liberalgeek says:

    He ran for office by running against a sitting governor of his own party.

    This is not entirely Chip’s fault either. VJP changed her mind about running and forced Chip to differentiate himself from her, and by association, Markell. I wonder what would have happened if he had been able to run as a friend of Markell.

  72. Anon says:

    When the real story gets out it will be that Flowers replaced Markell’s favored bankers with his own favored bankers – those that wined him, dined him, and slept with him the most at these conferences. Does anyone realize that the Treasurer negotiates “marketing and education fees” (aka kick backs) that are paid directly to the Treasurer for his own private slush fund that has no oversight? These funds are supposed to be spent on things like educating state employees about their retirement plan but instead get used to fund things like Chip’s self-promoting billboards and radio ads, those nifty stickers that were on the front of the News Journal this morning, his quarterly People’s Treasury Reports, and, of course, a little extra travel money. Someone should be asking Chip how he pays for all the Chip Flowers self-promotional stickers, reports, and billboards. Some of this stuff says “No tax payer money was used” in the fine print. Well, okay then who’s money was used? Are campaign funds being used to fund stickers and reports with the State seal? That ain’t right. Most likely this stuff is paid for by “marketing and education fees” paid by Flowers’ pet banks. There should be an accounting of all the kick backs his office gets from his investment managers and retirement plan vendors. You gotta pay to play with The People’s Treasurer. And you people thought Chip was so clean and pure? I’m sure those records are missing too.

  73. Jason330 says:

    “I wonder what would have happened if he had been able to run as a friend of Markell.”

    He would have.

  74. puck says:

    I’ll admit Flowers’ pompous style drives me nuts, much like Cassius Clay drove my parents nuts.

  75. Geezer says:

    I don’t mind his style; I actually like him personally. But his ego has undone him.

  76. Nuttingham says:

    He’s really not undone yet. Somebody is going to have to want to face a few hundred thousand dollar onslaught from him.

  77. Whodini? says:

    Chip posted this to his Facebook page earlier today:

    Delaware State Treasury will publicly release complete travel documents, along with other travel information, for State Treasurer Chip Flowers & former Deputy State Treasurer Benner early next week, following the Veteran’s Day holiday. Press details to follow.

    And just like that kids, his travel records have miraculously reappeared!

  78. anon says:

    Question: If she’s the “former Deputy”, why does she still appear on Chip’s payroll? Can someone please explain this to me? Usually when you resign from a job, the paychecks stop.

  79. cassandra_m says:

    I wouldn’t hold my breath about those records — they’ll be a data dump, it will be incomplete and he’ll run around pointing to it and saying it is complete. Please.

  80. puck says:

    He ran for office by running against a sitting governor of his own party.

    Right! There is only one politician in this state who is allowed to use his fortune to run against his party’s anointed candidate, and that is Jack Markell.

  81. mediawatch says:

    Anon:
    As the news stories have repeatedly pointed out, the former deputy is on some sort of paid medical leave. For accounting purposes, she has to remain attached to some state agency in order to receive her paycheck. When she comes off her paid leave, whenever that is, she would be removed from the Treasury payroll and she would stop being paid (unless the Office of Management and Budget immediately finds her a job within the merit system, which is what she has asked them to do).

  82. anon says:

    Thanks for the explanation Chip. Where’d you find that box of travel records? The trunk of your car?

  83. NC says:

    anon, I don’t think that is Chip.

    I am convinced this man listens to no one. No one in his right mind would keep talking!! Because he kept talking, the worse thing has happened which is even if his story about the missing documents and rogue employee are true nobody believes him!

    Above all that, the fault lies with him. He is responsible for the management of his department. Clearly he nor his deputy were actually managing the department. And he definitely wasn’t managing his deputy!

    Geezer is absolutely right – Chip’s ego is supremely out of control and is the direct cause of what is happening right now.

  84. liberalgeek says:

    I do sort of love how I read in the last Flowers’ thread how all he had to do was call all of the places he went and request duplicate receipts and how doing that was no big deal.

    Now it is “Where’d you find that box of travel records? The trunk of your car?”

    Looks like some axes being ground here.

  85. Gemma says:

    In one of the News Journal articles it mentioned Benner was on short-term disability. That should end soon, it will be interesting to see where she ends up in the state system.

  86. Whodini? says:

    My News Journal had a Flowers sticker on it this morning. I hear his radio ads everyday up and down the state everyday. I heard it in Seaford. I heard it in Wilmington. He must be on several stations. He’s publishing a new People’s Treasury Report. I drove by at least two of his billboards today. All of it sounds and appears as if it’s officially from the State of Delaware. I don’t remember Jack, Velda, Carper, or Janet Reznicki doing this stuff. His radio ads sound like campaign ads. Where does the money come from for this stuff? Is it campaign funds or is it from his budget? Does some of it really come from the banks that Chip moved the money to? Chip claims it’s not tax payer money. Whose money is it?

  87. mediawatch says:

    I haven’t seen any billboards, but I’ve heard the radio ads. At the end they say “Paid for by Flowers for Treasurer.”

  88. TruthBeTold says:

    Whodini, You obviously have an axe to grind. Like mediawatch says Chips pays for a lot of his outreach using his campaign funds. Nothing illegal with that. I guess you also have a problem if he chooses to use some of his personal money. The man cannot help it if he’s a rich and successful lawyer.

  89. Whodini? says:

    I didn’t say that using campaign funds to promote oneself is illegal. I assume it’s not as long as it’s properly reported. I’m just saying that I know some of this stuff that Chip puts out, the stickers and reports, things like that say, “Not paid for with taxpayer money”, but they also do NOT say “Paid for by Flowers for Treasurer”. The question is, if Flowers for Treasurer is not paying for it and taxpayers are not paying for it, then who is?

  90. anon says:

    I disagree with TruthBeTold. Chip may be entering a gray area. If the materials or the commercials are political in nature or serve a political purpose, they should not appear as if they are from the state or the elected office. I’m not sure if it’s technically illegal but you’re not supposed to use your official elected office for political purposes.

  91. TruthBeTold says:

    Where do you think Jack got his budget for the Money School? How do you think the Treasury funds its excellent programs to educate teachers, police, and other state workers about the importance of saving for retirement? It’s not a secret that the Treasury enters into agreements with it’s business partners for revenue sharing. It’s been going on for years. Under the Flowers administration, the Treasury has greatly expanded its educational offerings for state employees and The Report on the Delaware State Treasury has become an invaluable resource to business leaders throughout Delaware. Chip has clearly exercised his fiduciary responsibility in prudently deploying this money for its intended purpose.

  92. TruthBeTold says:

    The Treasurer has made it clear that he plans to comply with the FOIA request. You haters want to jump all over the guy. His top two people resigned. Of course it’s going to take him a few days to get the records together. The Treasurer did the right thing by forcing the guilty parties out the door. Knowing the Treasurer, he wants to ensure that the submission of records is accurate and comprehensive. What did the Treasurer ever lie about? Because the News Journal sites some unnamed source at the DOJ now you want to denigrate the Treasurer. When has the DOJ ever admitted to an ongoing investigation?

  93. SussexWatcher says:

    The News Journal quoted the DOJ’s spokesman, not an unnamed source.

    Flowers did not force anyone out. Bennett resigned on her own. If she had been fired, she couldn’t now be trying to get her old merit job back.

    The other treasurer’s office worker, the finance staffer, retired and has not been accused of wrongdoing by anyone. The most Chip was able to say was they his staff couldn’t find records.

    It’s fine to take a few days to get records together. There is time allowed to do so under FOIA. But it was Chip who said last week that his files are in disarray and possibly missing. That’s not a matter of needing more time to make photocopies.

    Want to keep playing, Monsieur Fullofshit?

  94. Nuttingham says:

    My favorite line: “The Report on the Delaware State Treasury has become an invaluable resource to business leaders throughout Delaware.”

    Please name three who are willing to say that publicly.

  95. Just to clear up the question about who paid for the ads, etc., ‘Not Printed At Taxpayer’s Expense’ is sufficient. Remember who makes the laws on stuff like this, and you’ll know why.

    These are generally campaign expenditures, so funding comes from contributors and/or the candidate him/herself.

    Chip didn’t do anything wrong here.

  96. SussexWatcher says:

    What law are you reading, ES?

    Title 15 § 8021. Identification of purchaser.

    (a) All campaign advertisements having a fair market value of $500 or more, except printed items with a surface of less than 9 square inches, shall include prominently the statement: “Paid for by [name of political committee or other person paying for such advertisement.].” For purposes of this section, “campaign advertisements” shall include any communication by a candidate committee or political party that would otherwise qualify as an independent expenditure or an electioneering communication but for the fact it was made by a candidate committee or political party.

    (b) All third-party advertisements having a fair market value of $500 or more, except printed items with a surface of less than 9 square inches, shall include prominently the statement: “Paid for by [name of political committee or other person paying for such third-party advertisement. Learn more about [name of person] at [Commissioner of Elections' web address].”

    (c) The Commissioner may adopt regulations regarding the size, placement and duration of the foregoing statements as the same shall apply to specific forms of campaign advertisements. In connection therewith, the Commissioner may modify or amend the foregoing statements to conform to the requirements of a particular medium (i.e., television, radio, print, Internet), and may by regulation create exemptions from the requirements hereunder where compliance is not reasonably practicable due to the small size or short duration of such advertisements. In all events, however, campaign advertisements having the same medium and duration (for example, 15-second radio advertisements or Internet advertisements having less than 200 characters) shall be subject to the same requirements.

    http://delcode.delaware.gov/title15/c080/sc03/index.shtml#8021

  97. You’re right in that I haven’t looked at the Code lately.

    I know that the Flowers’ treasurer ‘reports’ that are run as ads on WDEL have the disclaimer at the end of the commercial ‘Paid for By Flowers for Treasurer’, or whatever his committee’s name is.

    I know that, for example, ‘reports to the people’ from legislators all have the ‘not printed at taxpayer’s expense’ disclaimer on them. Maybe they’ve been exempted from the definition of ‘campaign advertisements’? Maybe they also have the candidate committee disclaimer?

    Been a few years, my memory is hazy, and, hey, I’m old.

  98. Anon says:

    http://www.delaware1059.com

    Looks like Senate Republicans are first to break the ice

  99. Well, actually, the newspaper, the media, our blog, and Pete Schwartzkopf were.

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