General Assembly Post-Game Wrap-Up/Pre-Game Show: Weds., April 30, 2014

Filed in Delaware by on April 30, 2014

A particularly-sketchy ‘redevelopment’ project headlines today’s House Committee meetings.

HB 310(Longhurst) essentially enables the ethically-bankrupt Dick Cathcart to be at the center of what looks like a deal that will put $$’s in connected people’s pockets far from the view of the public. You may remember that Cathcart awarded no-bid contracts to friends of his while ‘working’ as contract administrator at Delaware State University; had his clear involvement in awarding these contracts whitewashed by Republican crony pal Auditor Tom Wagner; and even had Wagner recommend him for the position of City Manager of Delaware City as the scandal-scarred Cathcart beat a hasty retreat from elective office before the voters did it for him. Under HB 310, which, by the way just happens to be in the House Administration Committee chaired by…sponsor Valerie Longhurst, this is what would happen:

This bill creates the Fort DuPont Redevelopment Corporation, along with a board of trustees and an advisory council, to oversee the economic development of the Fort DuPont Complex near Delaware City while preserving the historical and environmental interests of the Complex and surrounding areas. This Act will allow the City of Delaware City to annex the land, will allow the Corporation to take title to the land to manage redevelopment, and will provide for the implementation of the pending redevelopment plan. The Corporation is required to comply with all laws of the State of Delaware and the City of Delaware City in the exercise of its powers.

So, let me get this straight. The State gives this land away? So that Dick Cathcart, in his role as City Manager of Delaware City and who has already proven that he is not ethically-fit to handle taxpayers’ dollars, gets to make decisions on how this land gets developed and sees that dollars go to certain parties? Oh, and that’s before we look at the strong possibility that this land could well end up underwater? What could POSSIBLY GO WRONG? BTW, the bill’s only sponsors are Longhurst and Sen. Poore, who have this perhaps soon-to-be-developed parcel in their districts. Any of their cronies involved? Will anyone dare to challenge this program until/unless any and all questions about this project are answered? Is this really gonna be rushed through the General Assembly between now and June 30? I’ll make a prediction now. If this project gets approved, sometime in the perhaps not-so-distant future, indictments will be the result.  One more prediction: After Delaware’s master of suspendered disbelief, Auditor Tom Wagner, leaves office at the end of the year, either of his own volition or on the sword of Brenda Mayrack, he just might end up as a beneficiary of Cathcart’s largesse. Enough already.

Other House committee highlights:

SB 48(Blevins)  creates a Delaware Redistricting Commission to handle future legislative redistrictings. Anyone thinking that this will eliminate political machinations will be sorely disappointed. The appointees will be nominated by legislative leadership, with those ten appointees selecting an eleventh person to serve as the chair. In other words, all that is happening here is that future maps would be indirectly drawn by the legislature via surrogates rather than directly drawn. This may be a lot of things, but reform is not one of them. Hey, I have no problem with the way things are now, so I’m not outraged. Just thought you should be informed. Also in the House Administration Committee.

HB 302(Jaques)  significantly changes  how elections are administered in Delaware. The current county election departments would be replaced with a statewide election board. The bill also ‘establishes a mechanism for citizens to report possible violations and gives the State Election Commissioner the resources to investigate possible violations’. This is one of the very few bills masquerading as election reform that is worthy of the name. House Administration Committee.

The House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee is wasting little time addressing a notable Senate bill. SB 178(Peterson) removes yet one more opportunity for ineptitude from the clutches of Insurance Commissioner Karen Weldin Stewart–this time defensive driving courses.

Today’s Senate Committee meetings feature some significant, if less blatantly-hinky, bills.

HB 105(Viola), which provides for same-day voter registration, will be considered in the Senate Administrative Services/Elections Committee.   The Senate has proven less immune to negotiating against themselves than the House, so I’m cautiously optimistic that the bill will ultimately pass the Senate, likely in its current form.

I’m ambivalent about SB 191(Henry), which creates ‘Downtown Development Districts’. The bill is ‘intended to leverage state resources to spur private investment in commercial business districts and surrounding neighborhoods; to improve the commercial vitality of our downtowns; and to increase the number of residents from all walks of life in downtowns and surrounding neighborhoods’. Uh, we’ve never done this before? Of course we have. But Chambers of Commerce love the notion of helping to spur private investment by ‘leveraging state resources’. Whether taxpayers should is another question. The money doesn’t always seem to end up where it should. Lotsa co-sponsors, though. In today’s Senate Community/County Affairs Committee.

Not sure why this isn’t already law, but SB 193(Peterson)  requires a ‘mammography service provider to provide specific notice to a patient if that patient presents with dense breast tissue’. In today’s Senate Health/Social Services Committee. Legislation banning minors from using tanning facilities will also be considered. SB 94(Cloutier)  also mandates warning signs for these facilities.

Big doings in today’s Senate Judiciary Committee. SB 197(Blevins) would place Delaware amongst the states with the best statutes addressing human trafficking. It’s a great bill, and could well become law before the Memorial Day recess. Bear in mind, however, that the statute can only be as effective as its implementation. Asleep-at-the-switch Attorneys General need not apply.

SB 188(Peterson) rectifies one of the worst excesses of the ‘War on Drugs’ legislation in Delaware.  I was present at the creation of the current statute. Didn’t make sense then, doesn’t make sense now. Then-AG Jane Brady pushed for this and, aided and abetted by the likes of Tom Sharp, Wayne Smith, and Jim Vaughn, got legislation passed that gave the Attorney General, not judges, the authority to determine who should be considered ‘habitual offenders’. Her rationale was that, left to their own devices, judges would coddle criminals rather than put them away forever. It is, of course, ironic that Ruth Ann Minner then made this pox on the vox populi a, wait for it, judge. Jane Brady, one of Delaware’s worst public officials ever. She did real harm. But, I digress. SB 188 vests judges with discretion to determine “habitual offender” sentences, rather than the Attorney General’s staff. It also permits some offenders whose sentences were determined by the Attorney General’s Office to be resentenced by judges.  I know that many of you may find it difficult to believe that prosecutors were essentially given sentencing authority, but you just had to be there. I don’t think that any issue was demagogued as thoroughly as was this phony War on Drugs in Delaware. Except maybe for ‘forced busing’, featuring some of the same demagogues. Needless to say, SB 188 is a long time coming.

The Senate Public Safety Committee will have what no doubt should be an interesting briefing on the State Medical Examiner’s office from DHSS Secretary Rita Landgraf and Delaware Homeland Security Secretary Lewis Schiliro. What a clusterbleep that has been. How could such incompetence have been allowed to go on? Didn’t anyone in, say, the AG’s office, notice any early warnings on this? Just askin’.

Today’s Senate Agenda  features the bill to slaughter gray foxes, along with other varmints and critters. Fear not, though. An amendment has been introduced that would remove the gray fox from the sights of law-abiding hunters, although incidental ‘taking’ (read: killing) of gray foxes could be permitted by regulation. I’m guessing rabies, maybe.

Saved the post-game report for last. Here’s the full Session Activity Report from yesterday. Other than lotsa bills being introduced, there was little activity.

Enough activity for this post, however. Time to luxuriate in inactivity…before going to work.

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  1. Ezra Temko says:

    You missed one of the KEY components of SB 48 – making the map-drawing process public.

  2. Unless those drawing the maps are placed in some sort of transparent cube where people can watch the lines being drawn, the maps will not be ‘drawn’ in public. The public may have more opportunity for input, which is good, but legislators are not gonna unilaterally surrender input into drawing lines for their districts. Like I said, this is more about appearances than reality.

  3. Ezra Temko says:

    From Senate Bill 48: “All meetings of the Commission shall be open to the public and the Commission shall be subject to the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act, Title 29 of the Delaware Code, Chapter 100.”

  4. Ezra Temko says:

    I think it’s important for readers to be aware that S.B. 48 is a progressive bill. Your view here that this bill is about appearances rather than meaningful reform is not the one shared by most liberals, even though you are posting on DL. You are of course entitled to your opinions on the matter, but it is your opinion that this is not real reform, and certainly not fact not the opinion of most of the Delaware progressive community.

    The good government groups and community groups fighting for this would not do so just to change appearances. I personally believe that it is immoral to make a process seem more inclusive when it does not actually do that and instead wastes the public’s time.

    Beyond redistricting reform being in DDP and DYD’s platforms, tere are the groups that are specifically supporting SB 48:
    Delaware Alliance for Community Advancement
    Sierra Club of Delaware
    Americans for Democratic Action—Delaware chapter
    Civic League for New Castle County
    Common Cause of Delaware
    Delaware Coalition for Open Government
    American Civil Liberties Union of Delaware
    League of Women Voters of Delaware
    National Organization for Women—Delaware Chapter
    Citizens for the Greater Good
    Coalition of Black Trade Unionists—Delaware chapter
    Delaware Public Employees Council 81 AFSCME
    Delaware State NAACP Conference of Branches
    Green Party of Delaware
    Progressive Democrats for Delaware
    SEIU 32BJ

  5. OK, kids, sidle up close to the computer, and let me explain the facts of SB 48 to you. Here’s what’s gonna happen if the bill becomes law. House and Senate leadership will name the so-called ‘commissioners’. That’s in the bill. Were this commission to be appointed today, those naming the members would be Representatives Pete Schwartzkopf, Val Longhurst, John Viola, Dan Short, Debbie Hudson (3 D’s, 2 R’s) and Senators Blevins, McBride, Henry, Simpson and Lavelle (3 D’s, 2R’s). Those 10 commissioners, currently 6 appointed by D’s and 4 appointed by R’s, would name an 11th member to serve as chair.

    Have I mentioned yet that these members of leadership serve at the pleasure of their respective caucuses? Now I have. They will appoint ‘commissioners’ who will respond to the demands of the caucus members. Sorry, that’s just the way it is. Everyone wants to preserve their spot, both leadership and members alike.

    As to the drawing of the lines, as someone who has been quite involved in the drawing of the lines during two redistrictings, I can tell you that the drawing of the lines will NOT take place during ‘meetings of the Commission’. Nor, frankly, would anyone want to VIEW the drawing of the lines for more than ten minutes.

    I’m sorry, but SB 48 is being oversold as reform. It’s not. Just adding another layer of plausible deniability.

  6. Ezra Temko says:

    Thank you for educating us kids!

    From looking at what other states with independent commissions do, the map drawing depends on who has the software (in-house non-partisan GIS staff, hired mapping consultants, etc). Regardless, check out, as an example, the transcript from one of the Arizona independent redistricting commission meetings. The commission gives the map consultants specific directions at the meeting, the map consultants come back to the next meeting with those specific changes and go over them, complete with a “change report.” http://azredistricting.org/docs/Meeting-Info/Transcript-120911.pdf

  7. In Delaware, the commission is not ‘independent’. It is comprised of appointees appointed by politicians. Which defines the term ‘political appointees’.

    I don’t object to the bill per se. I object to the way it’s being sold as something more than what it is. Which is yet another political redistricting with perhaps more public input. In the end, said input will have far less influence than the legislators’ own desires for their respective district.

    I guess what bothers me the most is that elected officials will hail this as reform, which I view as the height of cynicism. This’ll be all over their brochures when, deep down, they know that it accomplishes next to nothing.

  8. Ezra Temko says:

    Independent means not elected officials. It is not synonymous with the word non-partisan. The idea is that there is a direct conflict of interest with elected officials (or future candidates, or lobbyists, or campaign or party officials) drawing the maps that determine their voters. This reform is much stronger than the 12 states that have advisory or backup commissions. I understand your criticism of the language, but all the states that have what are being called independent commissions (AK, AZ, CA, ID, MT, WA) have legislators involved in appointments or selection of nominees, most directly, with California as an exception really limiting their involvement.

    Regardless, whether or not this reform used an independent commission or stayed in legislators hands, it opens up the process to public scrutiny. I’m not talking about the public’s role in providing input, I’m talking about the public’s role as a watchdog.

  9. I’m done playing semantics with you. There have been proposals that so-called ‘disinterested parties’, like the University of Delaware, do redistricting based solely on non-political criteria. Geography, demographics, etc. Of course, the University of Delaware is as far from a disinterested party in this state as you can find. Or at least will be until they stop taking money from the state. Or open their books to the public. There is no such thing as a disinterested party in Delaware.

    Feel free to define a commission of political appointees appointed by elected politicians as ‘independent’. I’ll continue to live in the real world. Where the so-called ‘independent’ commissioners talk all the time with those who have appointed them.

  10. Bane says:

    Anyone who thinks they cut lines during commission meetings is mistaken. First off, most of the software used these days for cutting these lines requires some 20 year old to manipulate it. That will be done in the basement of leg hall with the Speaker and Blevins. The results will be brought to the commission for approval. The public will never see the actual process. I don’t always agree with El Som, but when I do… He’s right.

  11. Ezra Temko says:

    My point was that I’m not playing semantics with you. “Independent” is the term that is used across our country to describe the type of commission proposed in Senate Bill 48. I understand your criticism of the use of the word independent. You also probably understand the different ways one can interpret the word.

    I agree that there are not really disinterested parties. Even if UD were to do it, I’d want it publicly broadcast for scrutiny to ensure that nothing was done to skew the districts for political purposes. However, good luck getting anything like that through the legislature when we cannot yet get them to make their own process public. You may remember Senate Bill 50 from last session that passed the House, which did not create any commission but did make the process open and public. The House did not have a committee hearing on that bill.

  12. PainesMe says:

    Ezra – I’m curious about the mechanics of such a commission. Who actually uses the GIS software to draw the lines? Are the commissioners (all 11) huddled around a single computer, drawing lines together and debating them? Do they submit proposals? Will there be a staffer that does the GIS work?

    Beyond that, how involved could the public be? Could they submit proposals, or are they just a fly on the wall?

  13. PainesMe says:

    Also – notably missing from SB48′s cosponsor list: any of the House leadership teams. What gives? Wasn’t this one of Pete’s campaign promises last decade?

  14. Another Mike says:

    I see this commission would be subject to the Freedom of Information Act. I presume that would include any emails sent or received by members. Since the General Assembly has decided to exempt its own email from public view, would emails between commission members and legislators be public or not?

  15. John Manifold says:

    It’s all been said before, but Ezra’s absolutely right. This bill is needed.

  16. Geezer says:

    I believe what’s needed is a law that would remove the politics from redistricting. I believe the argument is over whether this bill would accomplish that.

    The more steps involved in delivering the orders to the folks with the software, the more likely we’ll find out who’s driving the process, through leaks, etc.

    It can’t hurt, so why oppose it?

  17. Ezra Temko says:

    PainesMe, the bill does not specify the procedure. It does say, “The General Assembly shall take all necessary steps to ensure that a complete and accurate computerized database is available for redistricting, and that procedures are in place to provide the public ready access to redistricting data and computer software for drawing district maps.”

    I would also hope that in this day and age 11 folks would not huddle around a computer for such an important project and that if they ever wanted to do so they would use a smartboard or projector instead!

  18. Ezra Temko says:

    HB 105 released from committee!

    SB 48 killed in committee.

    Reactions from community leaders:

    “Redistricting reform has the support of the Progressive Democrats for Delaware, Delaware Young Democrats, and the Delaware Democratic Party, and Senate Bill 48 is co-sponsored by a majority of the Democrats in the Senate and a majority of the Democrats in the House. It is shameful that the House Democratic Leadership are going against their party and its ideals—the very party platform—to block this bill from a floor vote. With their vote against open government and against removing themselves from an inherent conflict of interest, one has to ask, ‘Whose side are they on?’ It is clear the answer is that they are on their own side and not the side of the people. Delaware ADA appreciates that the House Republican Leadership, House Minority Leader Daniel Short and House Minority Whip Deborah Hudson, voted today in favor of this common-sense reform, and appreciates all the legislators who have supported this bill along the way. Their support for good government, open government, and fair and effective representation should be noted by all Delawareans who care about the fairness of our democracy.”
    Jenna Fenstermacher, Board President
    Delaware chapter—Americans for Democratic Action (Delaware ADA)

    “Today the House Majority Leadership missed an opportunity to further good government in Delaware, rejecting transparency, fairness, and democratic rule. By not voting to allow a full discussion and vote on Senate Bill 48, Speaker Schwarzkopf, Majority Leader Longhurst, and Whip Viola prevented the redistricting reform bill from being debated and voted upon by the full House. We are thankful that the majority of the legislature is ready to solve this issue, and we thank the 24 legislators who are co-sponsors of Senate Bill 48 as well as Representatives Daniel Short and Deborah Hudson who voted to release the bill from committee. The will of the legislature and the people were blocked today.”
    Jeff Raffel, Chair
    Common Cause Delaware (CCDE)

    “The House Majority Leadership voted today against the will of the people and against open government and democracy. In killing this bill, which has wide support among the public and among legislators, a few House Representatives have kept an important process behind closed doors and showed us the outdated and corrupt ‘Delaware Way’ of back-room deal-making in which power, not principle, have the winning hand.”
    Apryl Walker, State Campaign Director Delaware Alliance for Community Advancement (DACA)

    “The public be damned is the only way to describe the vote today to stop Senate Bill 48 from being considered by the full House of Representatives. The redistricting process is extremely important. Senate Bill 48 would have given the public a greater degree of confidence in the election process. The House Administration Committee should have released the bill from committee so that the full House of Representatives could discuss and vote on the merits of the bill.”
    John Flaherty, Board President
    Delaware Coalition for Open Government (DelCOG)

    “To suggest that holding public forums is a viable alternative is misleading. Such forums would do little more than what was done in 2011. Senate Bill 48 isn’t perfect, but it is a huge step forward because the map-drawing process would become public. Representative Longhurst’s alternative does not meet our criteria for meaningful reform.”
    Sandy Spence, Advocacy Chair
    League of Women Voters of Delaware (LWVDE)

    “Delaware benefits when legislators are accountable to their constituents. Council 81 AFSCME is disappointed that the House Administration Committee voted today against the interests of working families and everyday Delawareans. We will continue to fight for making our democracy fairer and more accessible.”
    Mike Begatto, Executive Director
    Delaware Public Employees Council 81 AFSCME

    “Senate Bill 48 is a tool to clean up our politics, and our government, by reforming the way our legislative districts are drawn. Currently, the majority leadership in each chamber of the General Assembly is charged with drawing the districts, and they do so, regardless of which party is in control, with an eye to benefit their party. And sometimes they do so with petty animus in mind, as we saw in 2012. Senate Bill 48 would have made the process more independent and more open to the public Thus, it is beyond disappointing that some Democrats on the House Administration Committee were not interested in cleaning up our politics or opening up our government. The Progressive Democrats for Delaware now doubt these Democrats’ commitment to open and democratic government.”
    Jason Melrath, President
    Progressive Democrats for Delaware (PDD)

    “Is this the kind of legislative committee from the past where they won’t let a bill go to the floor of the chamber for a vote? Are we still suffering from desk-drawer politics and not giving the people a voice? This was already a compromise bill. The Civic League will continue to fight for redistricting reform.”
    Nancy Willing, Director and Lobbyist
    Civic League for New Castle County

  19. While I’m an agnostic on the bill, don’t oppose it, don’t think it’ll do much, it’s safe to say that supporters of the legislation would do better with a different House leadership team in place.

    You can start where I will: Vote Longhurst out of office and/or support her opponent in the September primary. Dollars and shoe leather.

  20. gary myers says:

    SB 48 is deeply flawed in both its structure and its implementation. it tries to do reform by “mere” statute when what clearly is required are several amendments to the State Constitution. In fact, unless the constitution is amended, SB 48 creates its own constitutional problems.

    The front end of SB 48 has its own problems, but it is the back-end which raises all kind of significant state constitutional problems. And they exist because the vehicle that has been chosen for this reform is a statute and not a constitutional amendment. For example:

    1. SB 48 seemingly removes the Gov. from the implementation process. Commission plans need only be approved by majorities of both Houses. SB 48 says nothing about the effect of a possible veto by the Gov. But no legislative pronouncement can have the force of law unless it is also approved by the Gov. (or his veto is overridden). Art. III, sec. 18. The timelines for consideration of the first, second, and third Commission plans in SB 48 do not take into account any action by the Governor.

    2. SB 48 commands that the Gen. Assembly stay in, or return for, session after June 30 if the first Commission plan is not enacted by that date However, under the State Constitution, only the Gov. or the leaders of both houses, can convene a session after June 30 of each year. Art. II, sec. 4; Art. III, 16. A statute cannot commit a future Gov. or legislative leaders to such a recall.

    3. SB 48 implies that the Gen. Assembly may not amend, and then enact, a redistricting plan after one is submitted by the Commission. Rather, the GA must simply vote up or down on the Commission plan, returning it if it does not gain approval. This violates Art. II, sec. 1 and its fundamental precept that one legislature cannot, by statute, dictate how a future legislature can go about its legislative business. This fundamenal precept captured by Art II, sec. 1 would allow a future legislature to amend any submitted plan, or simply dump the whole process and enact its own redistricting plan (provided the Gov. approves).

    4. Most significantly, SB 48 grants to two judges the ultimate authority to craft legislative districts if the GA does not act. SB 48 makes such a delegation without any guidance as to the standards to be used, and then says that the General Assembly may not change or amend the judges’ determinations. Again, Art. II, sec. 1 prevents a statute from delegating to judges the penultimate legislative power to determine legislative districts. If judge’s are not have a non-judicial role in redistricting with binding effect, the State Constitution, not a statute, must grant them that power. In addition, under what authority can a present legislature bar a future legislature from exercising its legislative powers and override the judges’ rulings? The redistricting to be done by judges is not a judicial act, but a legislative one, and in that arena, the General Assembly by Art. II, sec. 1 has final authority (unless some other constitutional provision points otherwise) and can repeal or override any prior legislative redistricting decision.

    I think the supporters of SB 48 need to seriously rethink the mechanics of their bill. If an independent commission is worth having, the proper process is to amend the State Constitution to make that process binding.

  21. anonymous" says:

    Here’s something far more serious than defensive driving courses in the clutches of corrupt inept moron Karen Weldin Stewart. Note she didn’t comment, but since (lucky for her) her staff wants to avoid exposing her stupidity whenever possible, they issued a statement instead.
    http://www.delawareonline.com/story/news/health/2014/04/29/va-family-struggles-replace-nemours/8490063/

  22. Could not agree more. Memo to voters: There is often a real human cost associated with electing total incompetents to office.

  23. Speaking of incompetence, and I know I’m off topic on my own post, but reading today’s News-Journal story about the total screw-ups concerning (alleged) evidence in thousands of drug cases makes me wonder whether we have a Potemkin Village Attorney Generalship in place. Here’s the money quote from Public Defender Brendan O’Neill:

    “What happened here is that the state was cheating.” By state, he means prosecutors who pushed for plea bargains despite their knowing (and the defendants not knowing) that evidence was at best tainted and at worst non-existent.

    This is almost incomprehensible.

    BTW, no Post-Game/Pre-Game Thursday. Work beckons.

  24. anonymous" says:

    El Som,
    Total incompetents only get elected because they lie to hide their incompetence and total lack of qualifications. That was true in spades with Karen Weldin Stewart. She had everyone thinking she’s some kind of financial genius. The local media ignored all warnings to the contrary because they were and still are in the bag for her political connections.

    There should be a law that all candidates for any elected office be given a background check of the kind private employers use before they hire anyone.

  25. Don’t think anyone who knew her ever believed she was some kind of genius. She is/was a narcissist who relentlessly kept at it until a perfect storm of circumstances put her into office. People who knew her, and that includes me, thought she was a joke. We were correct.

  26. Ezra Temko says:

    THURSDAY IN LEGISLATIVE HALL:

    Senate will be voting on House Bill 167 Ban the Box.

  27. Ezra Temko says:

    THURSDAY IN LEGISLATIVE HALL:

    Senate will be voting on House Bill 167 Ban the Box.

  28. DEevol says:

    Here’s an idea for redistricting: Interactive Participatory GIS. Lines can be drawn on a map, and citizens can suggest different alignments. The Participatory GIS system can, on the fly, assess the differences between the two. An example of this in ocean planning is here:http://www.seasketch.org/ but I’m sure someone must have developed similar products for redistricting.

    Also, all you need to know about the waste of public funds that is the Delaware City/Fort Dupont project can be seen here: htt://de.gov/slrmap. The entire scheme is in direct conflict with Governor Markell’s recent executive order which directs state agencies to avoid building in flood prone areas. Not to mention contradictory to good common sense.

  29. Ezra Temko says:

    House Bill 167 (Ban the Box) passes the Senate!

    Vote: 15 yes 5 no 1 absent

  30. Aoine says:

    Wow, all this brian power, all these semantics thrown around…and all this ‘ I know better than you know” casting shade and and ego,shagging

    Not one.single.word. In the comments section About women men and children being modern slaves, not one word a out the fact the Bill picked up,two new sponsors, not one word about why the incredible increase in Asian massage parlors and their proliferation in Delaware

    And obviously, if our AG this one or the next one doesn’t implement anything let’s not waste any more time on the Bill- that easy.

    No questions and the enforcement, where will all these victims services suddenly come from, it’s a very specialized field and will it really be enforced, no question about why there have been not ONE . SINGLE. ARREST or prosecution since 2006 Under this statute

    I think it’s obvious that the saber rattling and the dick measuring contest is far more important than the abuse of the more vulnerable in our society

    Nice to know where your priorities are and what really interest you ……..I won’t make the same mistake twice in imagining that progressives really care about our most vulnerable

    Nope, you only seem care about who can parse a phrase better. At least that is what is obvious from the comments on this days work.

    No wonder our major universities and our society at large has a rape culture. It’s so easy to say – yeah rape is bad, ok next issue?
    Oh Asian massage, no that’s not rape, they smile when they work on you in the Jack shack…..nothing to see here folks.

    Bubbles people, bubbles, Even ROTH was talking about this in the 90s but hey nothing beats a political pissing contest – far more fun.

    Think about that the next time you pass an Asian massage parlor in a strip mall, or see an add…..jus think ” I wonder if those women/ girls really want to be there?
    Or look at your next salad , and wonder if the people picking it were paid at all or not. Are you consuming slave trade goods

    The piss and moan about the politicians

  31. Atticus says:

    Longhurst is a tenant of Delaware City Councilman John Buchheit. Longhurst is known for running up large tabs at Buchheit’s bar that are taken care of.

    Cathcart and Buchheit are now business partners in a new bar in Delaware City.

    Delaware City Councilwoman Beth Konkus is also a partner in this new bar. Konkus and her husband own the Delaware City Marina. They have made it very clear they want to expand their marina into the Fort DuPont complex. Longhurst is her pal/drinking buddy.

    Buchheit and Cathcart pushed to have Fort DuPont annexed by Delaware City by their whim, even though the Delaware City charter mandates a referendum.

    You can’t make this stuff up.

  32. anonymous" says:

    @Atticus,
    Amusingly Interesting details of typical but relatively mild-mannered Delaware corruption according to the “Delaware Way”. All that is small potatoes compared to the many millions Karen Weldin Stewart and Gene Reed, plus various cohorts like Kinion and his contingent, are raking in with their grand-scale pay-to-play scheme in the DOI. But even that is laughably minor when compared to Stewart et al, taking down a perfectly sound health insurer, confiscating millions of the owner’s money, and then cooking the company’s accounting records with the help of their very own “management team” that’s composed of INS/RIS employees. It’s a privately owned insurer named Indemnity Insurance. You can look all this up online.

    They targeted this privately owned company because they could never have pulled it off with a publicly traded one and gotten past the SEC. Stewart claiming to have done this to protect claimants is an even greater lie than was her claiming to have always worked to protect consumers during her 2012 campaign.

    THAT, my friend, is the big time, but it’s just all in a day’s work in Delaware, the second most corrupt state in the nation after Illinois. And judging by the silence of the state’s political leadership and that of the WNJ and various radio stations, that’s the way it’s going to stay.

  33. anonymous" says:

    I expected at least some comments after my post above, if not outrage at my audacity. The silence is deafening. Must have hit a nerve.

  34. true facts says:

    @Atticus…go back to the bottle friend…you do make stuff up…you lie lie lie and do not know the truth if it hit your in the face. you have NO clue on what you are talking about….. more lies on the good people of Delaware City made up in your polluted little brain…. You even hate your own momma you sick sick creep!

  35. Uh, ‘true facts’, is that a response? Seems more like an ad hominem ‘attack the messenger’ rant to me.

    What specifically did Atticus say that was wrong? Not being a wise ass here, but just trying to understand what appears to me on the surface to be a pretty hinky deal.

  36. true facts says:

    What he said is complete lies. He is assuming who is the partners in a new pub that took over the neighbor hood dive bar. He has no knowledge of the owners and incorrectly named them. He is assuming Ms.Longhurst has her bar tabs taken care which is a complete lie. Ms. Longhurst is a supporter of all business in Delaware City. Which means she pays to support them. The Delaware City marina has publically opposed the new marina.

  37. El Somnambulo says:

    Gotcha. Are you comfortable with Dick Cathcart, who awarded no-contract bids to his friends while he was contract administrator at Delaware State, being at the center of something like this?

    In fact, are you comfortable with a guy with such a checkered past landing in this job in Delaware City? I’m not. I think it raises major red flags. Especially with all this money possibly floating around with the redevelopment project. The guy has a history, and he was bailed out by first a whitewash, and then a recommendation, from his political ally Tom Wagner.

  38. true facts says:

    Where are you getting your information from? You claim Dick Cathcart was recommended for the job as city manager through Tom Wagner. He was appointed by the Mayor who does not even know who Tom Wagner is. Cathcart was cleared on the allegations of no bid contracts. Where is your proof? Cathcart has done an amazing job as City Manager in Delaware City. Why are you so bitter on a man who has done so much for Delaware City and the State? As for the statements of Atticus he comes up with lies and bizarre stories also. Would you rather see Fort Dupont in the hands of the State who has put sex offenders and drug addicts there costing the tax payers money? Or would you rather see a community that would be a desirable place to live work and play. I live in Delaware City and I love the direction this City is going in. We have Dick Cathcart ,Mayor Green,Rep Valerie Longhurst and Senator Nicole Poore to thank for seeing us as more than a refinery town.

  39. captwannabe says:

    @atticus
    You found a new site to spew your bs. You are one very misinformed man. 1. The Delaware City Marina does not want a new marina in town. 2. Beth Konkus is not a partner in the new bar. 3. Valerie Longhurst rarely goes out to drink and when she does she pays her own way. Always. 4.The new restaurant that took over the dive bar is going to be a great addition to Delaware City.5. John Buchheit when he was mayor is the one that promoted and got Dick Cathcart the job as City Manager. 6. Dick Cathcart has been the best City Manager Delaware City has ever had. He gets more things done for the citizens of Delaware City than any other City Manager to date. Your house looks pretty. I hope it sells soon.

  40. El Somnambulo says:

    True Facts. Got my facts from the newspaper, which reported that, before Cathcart was hired by Delaware City, Tom Wagner gave him a recommendation. This was before he even deigned to release his whitewash of the original report. If you go back in our archives a couple of years, I think you’ll find the passage directly quoted.

    The only person who ‘cleared’ Cathcart was Wagner who, instead, went after the whistleblower who leaked the information about the deliberately-stalled investigation.

    I’m not ‘bitter’ towards Cathcart. Just pointing out that the facts clearly demonstrate that he awarded no-bid contracts. The way he did it is that instead of awarding a large contract to his pals, he’d artificially break it down into smaller contracts to avoid having to put them up for bid.

    Feel free not to believe me, but it’s damn well documented in the newspaper and on this blog.

    I’m not Atticus. But I wrote a lot about Wagner, Cathcart and the no-bid contracts at the time. Could be wrong, but I don’t recall you commenting on those articles. Also wrote about how he slid into the Delaware City Town Manager job just days after announcing he would not run for reelection. Just find it difficult to understand how someone who violated his oath as a public servant found work so quickly.

    Quite frankly, if you were looking to clean up any confusion, your ‘take no prisoners’ approach to anyone who dares question this, raises more questions, and doesn’t answer them.

  41. El Somnambulo says:

    BTW, captwannabe’s quote:

    “Your house looks pretty. I hope it sells soon…” verges on intimidation of Atticus. Makes me wonder what nerves he’s touched. That’s goon talk. Stop it or go elsewhere.

  42. true facts says:

    The news paper is not facts. Your allegation that Wagner recommended Cathcart for the job is also false. Cathcart was approached by Buchheit who was the Mayor at the time when Delaware City was recruiting for a town manager. An open interview process was done with 3 candidates that Buchheit selected. This was done at a public meeting in town hall where the citizens could ask questions. At the end of the meeting every citizen there supported Cathcart. The council then confirmed the Mayors appointment by a vote of 5-0. Mr Wagner was never present nor did he ever speak to the Mayor. Please stop trying to trash a good man. Delaware City loves Dick Cathcart.

  43. captwannabe says:

    his (wife’s) house is for sale. The yard looks nice. I hope it sells soon and he leaves the great town he loves to hate.
    and on that final note, I’m off this site.

  44. El Somnambulo says:

    So, this guy Buchheit who was mayor. He recruited a guy who was best-known at the time for awarding no-bid contracts to his buddies while at DelState? And, yes, Wagner provided a recommendation before his whitewash investigation was even ‘completed’?

    Seems like both Buchheit and Cathcart have big question marks next to them. Not trying to trash a ‘good man’. Just pointing out that (a) whether you choose to admit it or not, Cathcart has proven he is not trustworthy when disbursing public monies and (b) if this Buchheit guy went out to specifically recruit this guy, then the public should REALLY be on its guard when it comes to this redevelopment project.

  45. Warning: Regardless of what side of an issue you’re one, outing is forbidden. Stop. It.

  46. Atticus says:

    Pointless ad hominem attacks, stalking, intimidation,
    harassment, manecing and out-tight thuggery.
    The calling cards of the current corrupt cabal
    Running Delaware City until the AG finally catches
    up with them.

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