Nemski’s already written about the big news. In a preview of things-to-come should the R’s take over the State Senate, the Rethugs banded together to block the nomination of Shawn Garvin, who appears to be a flaming moderate on the environment, to be DNREC Secretary. The R’s, including self-proclaimed moderate Cathy Cloutier, voted in lockstep against the nomination. If the R’s lose this Special Election, they will rue what they did yesterday. I really don’t think that voters want this kind of obstructionism on issues like environmental protection. If the D’s don’t capitalize on this beginning yesterday, it’s political malpractice. Me? I see this as a major unforced error by the R’s, and it could well backfire big-time. You can see the total BS behind the obstructionism in this excerpt from today’s News-Journal story:
The 10-member Senate Republican Caucus did not issue a statement on why its members opposed Garvin. Minority Whip Greg Lavelle, R-Sharpley, said each person had different reasons but declined to list his own.
Other Republican senators would not answer questions about their issues with the nominee or say whether they believe Garvin’s nomination is salvageable.
Yep, ten different senators independently coming up with ten different reasons of their own to oppose the nomination. Happens all the time. Not.
I, for one, will be contacting my State Senator, Cathy Cloutier, today to urge her to support the nomination. If you live in her district, or in the district of any of the R senators, I encourage you to do the same. Cathy has said that she has remained an R in memory of her late husband, Phil Cloutier. The Republican Party to which Phil belonged, which was a strong environmental party, no longer exists. That was the party of Russ Peterson and Sen. Andrew Knox, perhaps the two public officials most responsible for the creation of the Coastal Zone Act. Could you imagine them voting to obstruct environment protection? Does she really intend to join with environmental obstructionists for the next two years? Not if I (and you) can help it.
All of Gov. Carney’s other nominations breezed through the Senate. On the whole, with a couple of exceptions, it’s a profoundly uninspiring lot.
Back to the relatively mundane. As I predicted, there were three bills that the legislative leaders wanted on the fast track. All three bills are on House or Senate Agendas today for final passage before going to the Governor. All three will pass, probably unanimously. They are:
SB 13 (Townsend): An attempt to clarify and to clean up Delaware’s ‘abandoned property’ laws.
SB 16 (Sokola): A mini-Bond bill that moves some money around from the June Bond Bill to address pressing priorities.
Both bills are on today’s House Agenda after having passed the Senate. On today’s Senate Agenda:
HJR 2: ‘We don’t need no steenkin’ pay raises’.
Joint Finance Committee hearings begin on Tuesday. You can find the entire schedule for the hearings here.
W-w-what? I just saw something interesting here. You have a member of Senate leadership also serving on the Joint Finance Committee? That’s against Senate rules. Especially for someone with a specific financial interest in securing money for an agency that they head. And for someone with an interest in making sure that a certain State departmental level agency approves funding for them and doesn’t get rid of this agency. Seems like a blatant conflict of interest to me. For the record, that person is Sen. Nicole Poore, who, you may recall, got herself a cushy job for which she was unqualified. With an agency that wastes upwards of $1.4 mill in taxpayers’ money a year. And because this agency is ‘technically’ not a public agency (wink wink, read the linked article to find out why), it relies on Grant-in-Aid funds. And because the Grants-in-Aid are doled out by, wait for it, the Joint Finance Committee, and because the Secretary of the Department that oversees JDG (hint: jobs, now what agency could that be?) has the power to downsize this useless agency, and since Nicole Poore also sits on the committee that oversees nominations, including that of the head of the Department that would oversee this agency, one could perceive a mere hint of a conflict-of-interest in all this.
I’m certain, however, that this legislator is applying her usual high ethical standards to avoid even the appearance of impropriety.
Move on, folks. Nothing to see here(?)