Kowalko’s Open Letter to Markell

Filed in National by on September 22, 2017

Dear Jack,
I’ve just finished reading your N.Y. Times op-ed and I feel it’s my obligation to Delaware’s taxpayers to respond. I’d like to think that your most recent missive has merely added to my disappointment in you but I think I’ve already passed the minimum expectations level in regard to your performance and legacy. I will try to be objective in my analysis and critique.

First, I find it unbecoming for you to use “revisionist history” as a crutch to support your crippling economic decisions. That pejorative explanation has become the trademark of Trumpism and the Republican Conservative ideologues and should be an embarrassing reference for any legitimate public servant who wears a “D” after his title. I’d suggest that you cease evading responsibilities, casting blame and rewriting reality or remove that “D”.

Your statement that “I was as guilty as any elected official at playing this game” fails to adequately express the reality that you were much more “guilty” then other Delaware elected
officials. You blithely dismiss the seriousness of this ongoing “economic/corporate welfare”
threat by writing “And I don’t blame public officials, either, for their efforts to attract businesses with enticements, since they otherwise would risk losing out on new jobs, the
transfer of old ones elsewhere and the bad publicity that could come with abandoning efforts to entice or retain companies”. That attitude and admission would be better relegated to
a confessional for your personal “mea culpa” and forgiveness ask.

In your article some of the revisions you make to your economic tenure as Governor are merely omissions, others are misrepresentative of reality and others seem to be deliberate distortions. So I will attempt to briefly summarize what you’ve conveniently forgotten. During your 8 years as Chief Executive your DEDO/Strategic Fund doled out over $250 million (in grants and subsidies) in taxpayer money. Approximately 37% of the recipients where huge fortune 400 companies. This number does not include the more than $80 million in lost corporate revenue from your hastily contrived “Delaware Competes Act” (House Bill 235 quickly ushered through the Delaware General Assembly during the first few weeks of 2016 session) along with the “Commitment to Innovation Act” (SB 200). You mention the failed Fisker debacle but choose to ignore/deny your other expensive yet failed economic enterprise the “Bloom” subsidy. Not only has the cash grant/subsidy failed to produce the promised jobs but you’ve ensured that 300,000 individual and commercial Delmarva ratepayers would be burdened with an additional 20 years of subsidies to a private speculator/entrepreneur at a cost of $12-$15 million per year. Your remarkably optimistic speculation that the two of three Dow/DuPont spinoffs was a victory belies the reality that a preponderance of the research jobs are gone and Delaware is left with a comparative handful of jobs at the two headquarters.

This type of Pyrrhic victory should not be heralded as the sign of an economic boon to Delaware. You
also failed to mention the layoffs of 1700 (six-figure) DuPont researchers especially in light of your Secretary of Finance Tom Cook’s testimony on the House floor in response to my query that those jobs are gone and not coming back despite the Competes/Innovates corporate tax cuts and the 13 million cash giveaways that Ed Breen publicly said would not affect DuPont’s plans for job cuts. To paraphrase Mr. Breen’s remarks in the News Journal article “that money won’t make a difference in our plans but I’m not going to turn it down”. And lest we forget Jack, $10 million to JP Morgan (declared $24 billion in profit the year before) $2.5 million to Sallie Mae ($71 million profit 2 nd qtr. 2017), $70 million infrastructure improvements to the Astra Zeneca campus (dramatically improving the value of their property now being sold) housing an ever dwindling workforce.

I do agree with your sentiments expressed as such “but it would be better for taxpayers if thesekinds of cash incentives could be invested instead in such things as schools and infrastructure”. Maybe that will happen under your successor’s tutelage via the newly minted taxpayer giveaway mechanism named the “Delaware Prosperity Partnership”. Perhaps that
corporate dominated cabal will accept applications for funding to restore the $27 million in cuts
to education you made in 2009 that have continued to date (under the guise of flexible spending
block grants) or the additional $31 million in cuts to public education in this year’s budget or
maybe some of those poor and elderly former pharmaceutical assistance recipients could make
their anguished cries heard.


About the Author ()

Jason330 is a deep cover double agent working for the GOP. Don't tell anybody.

Comments (10)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. chris says:

    Laying it down!!! YES…wish the Journal would print this.

  2. RE Vanella says:

    Ex post facto. Markell is a coward.

    It’s nobody’s fault. He had to do it. But it’s bad.

    Next time you wonder why people don’t vote, remember this. The mind of the politician is diseased.

  3. Scuttlebutt302 says:

    Thank you, John Kowalko! You are a true warrior among cowards.

    John Carney must love it every time ole Jacky boy swoops in on his bike to lay a big turd like this. Next up: Jack Markell cures cancer!

  4. mediawatch says:

    At this point, Carney’s position seems to be: “By God, Jack Markell made a big mistake, and we sure as hell are going to repeat it.”

  5. RE Vanella says:

    That’s the spirit.

  6. chris says:

    Great letter to editor in News Journal!
    on DE Prosperity Partnership..

  7. jason330 says:

    Im posting it soon

  8. stan merriman says:

    And we ask why progressives can’t have nice things? This is a classic example of a Democrat owning up to his errors, showing a very public display of humility in admitting error. Yet, instead of welcoming him to the fold that called submitting states/counties/cities to corporate extortion an egregious error and complimenting him for honesty, the Governor gets kicked while in a humble position. Not a way to win allies, let alone friends and not a way to progressive victory. But then, many progressives are not about winning, but are about being right.

  9. john kowalko says:

    @stan merriman

    “But then, many progressives are not about winning, but are about being right”.

    Correct Stan. That’s exactly why I’d never sacrifice being right for winning. Until one can accept the moral obligation of never sacrificing what’s right for everyone as opposed to compromising for the “WIN”, they can never bear the full weight of being a true progressive. Since Markell continued to ignore many things that were “right” in order to prop up his “creds” as a leader/winner for eight disastrous (to the middle-class) years it is certainly not appropriate for me to forgive and forget because of one self-serving attempt at a mea culpa appearing in the N.Y. Times. In fact the eight years of belligerence absorbed by Delaware Public Education and educators at the hands of Markell and his corporate allies leaves little to no room for the hollowness of “poor me I wish I could have a do-over” as proof of remorse or regret. I know I’m a progressive and I know I will always do and say what I think is right. I make no apologies for my attitude or agenda. And quite frankly I believe that the public appreciates that and has rewarded me and others who have made that choice with “WINS”
    Representative John Kowalko

  10. RE Vanella says:

    @chris… Grazie.