Mo’ Better Dems: John Viola, RD 26

Filed in Delaware, Featured by on September 6, 2017

To paraphrase Larry King, “Look up ‘political hack’ in the Delaware Political Dictionary, and you’ll find a picture of John Viola.”

How big a hack? Let’s just start with the fact that he is serving illegally and simultaneously in two different state jobs.  That’s right, he has taken the same career path as ‘Tiny Tony’ DeLuca. For those who have forgotten why this career path is unconstitutional, this brilliant piece of prose will remind you.  The Bottom Line:

First, the Cliff’s Notes Version. The Delaware Supreme Court issued an opinion holding that a public officer of the state may either serve in a position that makes the laws, or a position that enforces the laws. You can’t do both. Tony DeLuca does both, and he can’t do that.

In the same opinion, the Supreme Court held that, when one accepts the second position that violates the separation of powers, they will have effectively resigned their first position. In other words, Tony DeLuca effectively resigned his Senatorial office when he took a job enforcing labor law. Except he didn’t.

Jack Markell and Beau Biden knew it. They didn’t do anything.

Well, guess what? Not only does John Viola hold two similar positions simultaneously, his ‘boss’ at his so-called labor law enforcement job is…Tiny Tony DeLuca.  Call him Tiny Tony’s Dumber, Less Ambitious, Brother. Don’t take my word for it.  This is directly from Viola’s own legislative profile:

Occupation:
Labor Law Enforcement Officer.

That is illegal and unconstitutional, according to the Delaware Supreme Court.  If they weren’t previously aware of it, John Carney and Matt Denn are now.  Is there nobody in authority in Delaware who will put an end to this blatant disregard for the law? If not, it’s up to the voters and to the Democrats in that district.  In fairness to Viola, his defense might be that he really doesn’t do anything at either job, but I somehow doubt that that defense will fly.  This nonentity has been eating for two at the public trough for at least a decade now.  Time to make him pay for his own slop. BTW, don’t look for the House to look into this.  Viola is, wait for it, Vice Chair of the House Ethics Committee. A role for which he is well-suited.  Never fear, John’s got your back.

Viola is also one of the least distinguished legislators in a body with more than its fair share of  undistinguished legislators.  Pete and Val put him into leadership as a sop to labor.  While there were several legislators with labor ties, Pete and Val wanted to ensure that the least competent labor ally be put in that position.  As we learned this June, they were too smart by half.  Now they want to dump him.  While he should be dumped from leadership, the real blame lies with Pete and Val, who wanted a nonentity in that position. They got one.

The district, which at one time was a swing district previously represented by R Rich Davis, is now overwhelmingly D.  Registration figures:  9227 D; 2854 R; 3988 I.  The district is tucked in just east of Newark and just north of Bear. Old Baltimore Pike runs through the length of the district.  It is not generally a district you would expect to be represented by a hack.  It doesn’t have to be.  A reform-minded D challenger can defeat this ethical black hole.  Let’s hope someone steps up and does it.

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Comments (15)

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  1. chris says:

    So where are the Common Cause leaders to call this out or bring an action/ lawsuit, etc?

  2. loritool says:

    Do not hold your breath. As everyone has figured out on here all talk no action

  3. chris says:

    Why no R’s raising the issue?? They were banging the drum on all this state employee hiring of members a while back. Then it all fades to black….News Journal?? do they care?

  4. puck says:

    “Why no R’s raising the issue??”

    They don’t want to stop the gravy train; they want to get on it.

  5. anon says:

    Good question, Chris. Haven’t heard much from Common Cause since Claire Snyder-Hall resigned.

  6. The Delaware Donald says:

    Viola is the typical D legislator, feeding at the trough.

  7. JohnJacob says:

    You guys are so dumb. He doesn’t even work there anymore.

  8. JohnJacob. No outing. First and last warning. (The outing portion was excised.)

    My source?: Viola’s own website. As of yesterday. Oh, and JJ? Even if he has left, how many years was he working both jobs in violation of the State Constitution? You’re so smart, why don’t you tell us? How much money does he intend to repay the state for violating the State Constitution? That’s a rhetorical question. Hacks like Viola and DeLuca live to steal money from the state. DeLuca even enables his ‘assistant’ to also steal money from the state.

  9. JJ is now blacklisted. I will answer the question he asked that could make it through the filter. He asked, and I quote, “And who cares what job he had, did he do the job well? Or is it mutually exclusive to be able to do two jobs at the same time well? What did he steal?”

    The answer is he illegally collected two salaries for jobs that, according to the State Constitution, are mutually exclusive. I’m sure your lips were tired from trying to read the article, if you even tried. But the Delaware Supreme Court issued an opinion that one can either make the laws or enforce the laws. But not both b/c that is a violation of the principle of separation of powers. The Hack Viola had one state job where he made the laws and one other state job where he enforced the laws. Just like his Godfadda DeLuca. It’s really not that hard to understand if you have, say, two working brain cells.

    I hope the answer satisfies you, JJ, b/c you can’t ask any more here. I warned you.

    Between the DeLuca defenders and the Viola apologists, all I can say is: “Teh stupid, it burns.”

  10. Dan says:

    El Som:. Can you share the case citation for the Supreme Court case you keep referencing ( ie the name of the case)?

  11. Dan: It was a unanimous opinion, not a case decision, from the Delaware Supreme Court. The opinion was rendered at the request of parties involved in a prospective candidacy by a state police officer who wanted to run for the House. Here it is:

    http://caselaw.findlaw.com/de-supreme-court/1274997.html

    The legalisms you see in my pieces are quotes directly from the opinion.

    And here’s the original piece where I argued that Tony DeLuca was serving illegally:

    http://www.delawareliberal.net/2011/12/14/did-tony-deluca-resign-from-the-state-senate-and-not-even-know-it/

  12. alby says:

    The question isn’t “Did he do the job well?”

    The question is, “Would he have been hired if his name was Joe Shorts and he wasn’t in the General Assembly?” The answer to both is “No.”

  13. True.

    I’d also point out, though, that DeLuca and Viola conducted themselves as if the only thing that mattered at their agency was making sure that job discrimination claims were shredded as swiftly as posslble.

    That’s why their chief defenders on this blog are the construction trade thugs who have kept most construction trades, well, if not lily white, then swarthy white. Or pasty white.

    Oh, that’s also why Jack Markell finally sent Tiny Tony’s buddy John McMahon to the showers.

  14. fluttrby says:

    This is a little of topic but whose in charge of actually finding out if out reps/senators actually live in their districts or in the houses they own or rent there? Is there a req to the amount of time they must spend actually living in their districts?

  15. mediawatch says:

    @flutterby: I think that’s in Dave McBride’s job description, at least for the Senate.