General Assembly Pre-Game Show: Tues., May 16, 2017

Filed in Delaware, Featured by on May 16, 2017 8 Comments

Before we look at what’s happening today, we first must address what SHOULD happen today:

The House should censure Rep. Steve Smyk for his disgraceful behavior in inciting violence.

The demagogic ex-cop told a grave lie that has now taken over right-wing media, a lie that could well lead to violence.

Nancy Willing lays it all out in this excellent piece from her Delaware Way blog.  All I’m doing is boldfacing and underlining this utterly irresponsible rhetoric from this would-be demagogue:

The swirl of unfounded rumors reached a peak on Monday after state Rep. Steve Smyk, R-Milton, a retired 24-year-veteran of the State Police, told multiple news publications that Sealy Jr. during the standoff had been “yelling quotes from the Quran,” Islam’s holy book. Smyk told The News Journal that investigators were hiding from the public that piece of information. The account, he said, came from multiple officers who surrounded the Middletown house the morning of April 27. Many Delawareans shared the allegation and similar rumors on various social media sites.

“What I can tell you is that there are people that will immediately assume that the war cry of, the Muslim war cry of ‘Allahu Akbar’ may have been said, and I don’t know that to be true. I do know that he was a ‘budding jihadist’ and that being said, how long was he a practicing Muslim, I’m not aware of,” said Rep. Smyk. “We do know that, at the scene, during this standoff he was heard citing quotes from the Quran, what those quotes were I don’t know.”

Later on, Smyk was forced to roll back his claims:

“Rep. Smyk is a 24-year Delaware State Police veteran and based his comments on reports he received directly from officers that were at the scene of the standoff in Middletown nearly two weeks ago. On further reflection, Rep. Smyk realizes his conclusions were speculative and premature.The motivations for Burgon Sealy, Jr.’s killing of Delaware State Police Cpl. Stephen Ballard, as well as Mr. Sealy’s actions in the 18 hours that followed, remain unknown and under investigation.”

‘Speculative’. AKA  made-up.  Whether or not a cop friend of his told him this (and if they did, will there be any sanction on them?), or whether it was a product of his demagogic personality, his allegation was made up.  Needless to say, he can’t, nor does he have any desire to, unring the right-wing bell that is sounding like a clarion call to the Great Unwashed who want to believe what he said. In fact, that’s why he said it. Smyk, of course, is the crazed avenger seeking to push restoration of the death penalty and the overcharging of inmates through a supine General Assembly.  Mostly while using Stephen Ballard as the convenient martyr to push this crap through before anybody in Dover wakes up.

The incendiary charge he threw out there could well lead to violence. It indeed is the textbook definition of ‘shouting fire in a crowded theatre’.  The House should move to censure the Representative. Anybody wanna bet that they will do this?

Gee, I feel like I need the kind of shower that Kellyanne Conway claimed that she needed to take.

Perhaps a look at today’s House Agenda will calm me down.  Hey, we’ve got a couple of key bills being considered.

HS 1/HB 85 (K. Williams)  ‘eliminates the use of an enrollment preference for students living within a 5-mile radius of a charter school.’  The fact that Sen. Sokola and Rep. Jaques, who generally have been more supportive of charter schools than other D’s, are on the bill as sponsors is a good sign.

I also like HB 114 (B. Short),  which raises the minimum automobile bodily injury and property damage limits for the first time since 1983.  For all intents and purposes, current policies already reflect the changing economic circumstances, but this bill codifies the higher minimums.

It looks like finally, finally, Lumpy Carson’s Dover Mall bailout package will be considered by the Senate today. It will have next to no impact on the future of the Dover Mall, but will cost some somebodies $$’s.  Which leaves us a couple of important bills on today’s Senate AgendaSB 24 (Henry)  removes the ridiculous requirement that a shrink must sign off on applicant’s request for medical marijuana. Who ever thought that that was a good idea in the first place?

While I doubt that it will be considered today (it’s near the bottom of a fairly lengthy agenda), SB 65 (McDowell)  ‘makes it unprofessional conduct or a ground for discipline for individuals granted a certificate to practice medicine under Chapter 17 of Title 24 or licensed under Chapter 19 of Title 24 (regarding nurses), Chapter 30 of Title 24 (regarding mental health and chemical dependency professionals), Chapter 35 of Title 24 (regarding psychologists), and Chapter 39 of Title 24 (regarding clinical social work examiners) to engage in conversion therapy with a child or to refer a child to a practitioner in another jurisdiction to receive conversion therapy. This Act also prevents the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families from engaging in conversion therapy with a child or recommending that a child receive conversion therapy.

That’s right. The bill essentially outlaws the scam of conversion therapy in Delaware. Contact your senators and urge them to support this bill.

Following up on an item from last week, SB 68 (Ennis),  which failed to reach the 3/5ths threshold during last week’s vote, will again be brought up.  Sen. McBride, who switched his vote to no for parliamentary reasons, will move to restore the bill.  It could go directly to a roll call or could be laid on the table (which may or may not refer to something that former President Pro-Tem Tony DeLuca might or might not have done behind closed doors).

After Thursday’s session, the General Assembly recesses for two weeks.  What’s happening with the budget shortfall?  Looks like the corporate tax hike is a done deal. And nothing else is.  Gee, wonder if DEFAC is gonna produce some new ‘magic numbers’ for June…

I should be back tomorrow with a preview of this week’s committee meetings.  See ya’ then.

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  1. Blackflyer says:

    Steve Smyk does not deserve the confidence of the people of the 20th District.

  2. mouse says:

    These pandering parasites are everywhere in Sussex County gaining power through spewing the crap their most vile supporters so desperately want to hear

  3. Uhm, HS1 for HB85 is not something to celebrate. Sokola and Jaques support the bill because of the substitute portion which states a district that is not joined together (only one, Christina) does not have to get rid of that preference to the portion of the district that is not connected to the bulk of the district. In other words, Newark Charter School doesn’t want any Wilmington students attending their “God aren’t we great, we won the Blue Ribbon status twice” “prestigious” charter school. Smoke and mirrors. A good start, and I give high props to Kim Williams for getting this bill through, but the charter lobbyists have WAY too much influence in Dover.

  4. So, in your opinion, it’s a good bill but not good enough?

  5. john kowalko says:

    No it’s not a good bill without the amendment since it still excludes and precludes Wilmington matriculating 8th graders (Christina District) from access to Newark Charter’s lottery. Since those Christina families in Wilmington pay the same taxes as those Christina families in the Newark area and those taxes pay the expenses of all the public schools in Christina District than those Wilmington families are taxed to support an asset that they cannot avail themselves of. It also has been regarded as de-facto segregation when you consider the reality that Christina/ Wilmington matriculating 8th graders are bused into Newark to attend either Newark High, Christiana High, or Glasgow High as their only Christina high school choice options but are effectively barred from Newark Charter High School (currently within five miles of those high schools). Rep. Williams has made a valiant and honest effort to bring an equitable solution but I’ve been made aware that one of the Senate prime sponsors will not move the legislation forward if amended thereby protecting and preserving Newark Charters significant lack of diversity.
    Representative John Kowalko

  6. mediawatch says:

    The amendment to exclude the Wilmington portion of Christina is every bit as racially discriminatory as the provisions of the 1968 Educational Advancement Act that barred Wilmington schools from merging with suburban districts. (See all the rulings in the Evans v. Buchanan desegregation case.)
    That said, even without the Wilmington exclusion, it is highly unlikely that this legislation will have any significant impact on minority/low-income enrollment at Newark Charter. Consider: (1) one of the issues in the current Wilmington Education Improvement Commission discussion is the need/desire of Wilmington residents to have good schools in their neighborhoods, because they don’t want their kids traveling 20 miles each way to go to school; (2) Newark Charter has a huge waiting list because it gets far more applicants than there are open seats every year. There’s already a sibling preference — so if your oldest kid is a lottery pick, all the younger siblings are automatically in. As it stands now, white suburban kids face long odds of drawing Willy Wonka’s Golden Ticket. The odds for city kids who apply would be just as long.

  7. john kowalko says:

    “he amendment to exclude the Wilmington portion of Christina is every bit as racially discriminatory as the provisions of the 1968 Educational Advancement Act that barred Wilmington schools from merging with suburban districts”. Absolutely true which is why I offered the House Amendment 1 to repeal the entire 5 mile radius language. It is also accurate to posit that the current preferences of entitlement especially absent any other choice/lottery circumstances like other traditional choice feeder openings currently required at Kindergarten, sixth grade and ninth grade ( all absent at Newark Charter K-12) assures a closed enrollment like private schools enjoy WITHOUT tuition that private schools require.
    Representative John Kowalko

  8. mediawatch says:

    I can see it now … if large numbers of Wilmington kids were to start applying to Newark Charter, Greg Meece would be pounding the pavement in suburban Newark, knocking on more doors than John Kowalko and Brian Townsend in an election year, leaving Newark Charter applications inside every door.

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