Open Thread For September 22, 2017

Filed in Delaware, Featured, National by on September 22, 2017

The Business Roundtable Is A Clusterbleep Even Before It Gets Started.  Let’s start with this quote:

The board, for instance, will not be required to hold public meetings or publish minutes of its discussions. Financial disclosure documents that would reveal potential conflicts of interest also will not be released to the public.

“I’m a big proponent of transparency,” Carney told The News Journal last month. “But there is a balance we need to strike between being transparent and being confidential when necessary. How we do that will be something the board will need to look at once it’s in place.”

There’s no fucking balance here.  It’s why Carney and the Chamber made sure this wasn’t a public agency.  (Deep cleansing breath).  OK, let’s check out the membership:

Governor John Carney (co-chair)

  • Rod Ward, President, CSC (co-chair)
  • Desmond Baker, Founder, Desmond A. Baker & Associates
  • Alan Brangman, Executive Vice President, University of Delaware
  • Patrick Callahan, Founder, CompassRed
  • Eric Cheek, Associate Vice President, Delaware State University
  • Doneene Damon, Executive Vice President, Richards, Layton, & Finger
  • Jeanmarie Desmond, Co-Controller, DowDuPont
  • Robert Herrera, Co-Founder, The Mill
  • Nick Lambrow, President of Delaware Region, M&T Bank
  • Senator Greg Lavelle, Delaware State Senate
  • Greg Moore, Vice President, Becker Morgan Group
  • Lori Palmer, Ventures Executive Leader, Trellist Marketing Technology
  • Rob Rider, CEO, O.A. Newton
  • Representative Bryon Short, Delaware House of Representatives
  • Richelle Vible, Executive Director, Catholic Charities
  • Senator Jack Walsh, Delaware State Senate
  • Representative Lyndon Yearick, Delaware House of Representatives

Anyone see any possibility of conflicts-of-interest here? Yes, I thought so. And what a group of legislators! Greg Lavelle, Bryon Short, Lyndon Yearick, Chamber lackeys all, and Jack Walsh, who we still don’t know anything about.

Oh, and they’re still months away from being operational:

One of the first things the new board is expected to tackle is the search for a chief executive officer and staff to handle the partnership’s day-to-day operations.

Until then, Delaware’s economic development efforts – such as the pursuit of Amazon’s HQ2 project – will be headed by the Delaware Division of Small Business, Development and Tourism, a state agency created at the same time the former Delaware Economic Development Office was dissolved.

I’ve been around the Delaware General Assembly a long time.  This is one of the most disgraceful and short-sighted initiatives I have ever seen.  The fact that taxpayers are paying for this crony capitalism is a scandal in and of itself–and it’s only a preamble to the scandals that will inevitably follow. The only question is:  Can anybody penetrate the veil of secrecy to report them to the public?

Blatant Carve-Outs In Cassidy/Graham.  That one was for Ron Johnson.  This one is for Lisa Murkowski.

Uber Kicked Out Of London.  Just wouldn’t follow the rules.

Ex-NFL Player/Felon, Had Brain Of a 67 Year-old Man. He was 27 when he hanged himself in jail cell.

How Another State Shields Corporation From Scrutiny.  It’s like Delaware on steroids. Wisconsin under Scott Walker.

What do you want to talk about?


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  1. Arthur says:

    im pretty sure 90% of delaware’s politicians are republicans but put a D by their name to get elected

  2. mediawatch says:

    It depends on how old you are.
    Back in the day, Bob Weiner, the New Castle County councilman, talked very much like a D but put an R after his name because, at the time, there was no way a D could get elected in Brandywine Hundred.
    And Margaret Rose Henry, if you recall, once put an R behind her name to facilitate election the the state Senate. She did switch back to D pretty quickly.

  3. mouse says:

    The whole nation is like that to some degree. Many of the dems fly the false flag by obsessively supporting some narrow liberal social issue relating to sexual matters then screw average people where it impacts them the most.

  4. chris says:

    The fact that this passed the GA without any guarantees of transparency and no conflicts of interest is SHOCKING….. where is Common Cause? where is ACLU? where are al the good gov’t types? there should be a bi-partisan group calling for the necessary safeguards. Hello, its still PUBLIC MONEY! this is Delaware way at its very worst!!!!

    and Carney says he believes in transparency, was his quite. Give me a break..
    what a JOKE!!

    Not even 100% sure this set up is constitutional… needs to be challenged.

  5. RE Vanella says:

    “…and Carney says he believes in transparency.”

    I’ve submitted something to the News Journal on this very snippet. Fingers crossed. I love to take the piss out of Carney.

    In other news, finally had my few visit to Arden Gild Hall last night. Bromberg is classy. American roots!

    Best detail was a photograph in the lobby of Leadbelly playing for a bunch of white kids at the Gild Hall in 1947. No S.T. though. He must have been sleepwalking elsewhere…

  6. alby says:

    @chris: It was all widely reported at the time. Nobody thinks it’s a good idea except for the Chamber of Commerce.

    At the time I pointed out what a farce it is to let existing companies decide which start-ups get funded. Here’s a guarantee: Anyone with an idea that would disrupt the business model of any powerful business in the Chamber will never get a dime. It’s akin to letting the home team’s players call all the fouls.

  7. SussexWatcher says:

    Common Cause lost its good-government chops when John Flaherty left. DelCOG, even though it’s the current Flaherty vehicle, is a useless Nancy Willing / Christine Whitehead-driven whining forum. The ACLU has other priorities. And you won’t hear if TNJ challenges it because they only report if they win. And David Ledford wants too badly to be best buds with the players that he won’t lift a finger.

  8. I just noticed you have a “share” button now. I got to share your great take on the new DEDO. Totally agree. Shame on us for allowing this crap.

  9. “Common Cause lost its good-government chops when John Flaherty left. DelCOG, even though it’s the current Flaherty vehicle, is a useless Nancy Willing / Christine Whitehead-driven whining forum.”

    Nice one from a cowardly anony. Way to go. I resigned from this organization a few months ago but not because it isn’t a great asset for the state. You must be a protector for LLCs in Delaware considering your venom is directed at Whitehead who is instrumental via DelCOG with Flaherty and Kowalko in attempts to stop the fraud and laundering that goes on through our Division of Corporations.

  10. alby says:

    “And David Ledford wants too badly to be best buds with the players that he won’t lift a finger.”

    When you have his job, you don’t have to cotton up to them because they come looking to schmooze you. You will almost never find a newspaper that isn’t pro-business, because the real job of a newspaper is selling advertising. It’s more a business-to-business decision.

    This also was the case when the state started throwing money at the Wilmington riverfront. The News Journal led the cheerleaders, because the expenditure brought in more businesses that advertised.

    If you want to determine motive, follow the money.

  11. R.E.: I WAS sleepwalking elsewhere. I love the Leadbelly photo as well. From its inception, Arden was Delaware’s first voluntarily-integrated community. Dates back to the beginning of the 20th Century.

    Our motto is ‘Ye Are Welcome Hither’, and we mean it.

    Chris: I wonder whether there are constitutional questions as well. Gonna touch base w/ some legal eagles…

    Nancy: We have a ‘share’ button? Who knew? Share away!

  12. SussexAnon says:

    The holder of secret meetings will meet privately to decide on transparency.

    Ooooh I feel better. Thanks, gov.

    Kind of Ironic to see Uber (again) with their lack of transparency in London this time.

  13. alby says:

    @SxA: Trumpian, isn’t it, to brag about transparency while taking a public agency private?

  14. john kowalko says:

    There were 6 good government types who debated against and voted against this latest Chamber, Business Roundtable, Corporate legislative lackey inspired taxpayer swindle. They certainly deserve some thanks and the aye’s deserve letters of disgust. The nays were:
    K. Williams

    Rep. Kowalko

  15. RE Vanella says:

    Shockingly none of those individuals were assigned by legislative leadership to the cabal.

    Which of these clowns will be a dissenting voice? More importantly, how will we know if one does dissent?


    Note: If you’re considering telling me how much of an aggressive progressive fighter Byron Short is, don’t waste your time.

  16. Anon says:

    McBride and Townsend voted no in Senate. Maybe Bonini too.

  17. BREAKING: Russia targeted Delaware’s voting infrastructure:

    One of 21 states targeted by Russians. John? About those new voting machines…

  18. alby says:

    So much for the notion that they’re masterminds.

  19. Bryon Short is a Chamber lackey. Ignored Beau Biden’s pleas to stop the BC/BS-Highmark merger with the comment: “There’s nothing I can do.”

    Buried minimum wage legislation in his Business Lapdog Committee not once, not twice, but three times.

    Voted to repeal the Estate Tax.

    Sponsored the bill to create this clusterbleep of an economic development privatization. As in the PRIME sponsor. BTW, Sen. Walsh, Karen Peterson’s successor, was a sponsor of the bill and has been appointed to this crony racket.

    Yes, Short voted like a D on marriage equality. But, he’s a Carper acolyte on everything else. Not surprising, since he worked in Carper’s office. He needs a progressive challenger, stat.

  20. chris says:

    I applaud the six, but there should be triple that number & should be very bipartisan …. too many damn folks rolling over in both parties.