Delaware General Assembly Pre-Game Show: Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Filed in Delaware, Featured by on January 9, 2018

I’ll save the ‘unfinished business’ threads for others.  HereHere.  And…oh, never mind, the News Journal didn’t bother.

Neither the House nor the Senate has an agenda today. Which gives me plenty of time to talk about three issues important to me and, I hope, to you.

1. Carney To Do The Right Thing.  According to the News-Journal, Gov. Carney plans to propose 12 weeks of paid family leave for state employees.  He already has reportedly budgeted for his proposal.  Let’s first state the obvious: This is something Jack Markell would never have done.  Not only is the proposal humane, it also makes sense as a means of retaining state workers.  We’ve been losing quality state workers for years as they have consistently been maligned by both the governor and the Rethuglicans. Not just maligned, but economically-disadvantaged.  This comes at a time when more and more corporations offer benefits like paid family leave.  I like both the policy and the politics of this proposal, and I hope it’s law by June 30.

2. Bail Reform Could Happen This Week. I got another e-blast from Delaware United today.  HB 204 could well be on the Senate Agenda this Thursday. It passed the House with only three no votes back in June of 2017.  It has already been voted out of the Senate Judicial & Community Affairs Committee, and is ready for action on the floor.  Now is not the time to let up.  If you support bail reform that would reduce the disadvantages facing poor defendants, contact your State Senator and urge them to support the bill.

3. Has Anything Sucked Worse Than The Process To Legalize the Recreational Use of Pot In Delaware?  What a cluster-fuck. I hate to throw cold bongwater on the legalization push, but whatever passes, if anything passes (which I don’t think it will), won’t be worth the effort. In fact, this should be taught in universities as an example of to how not to make public policy.  It should also serve as an example to everyone as to why Delaware should not allow the police, most specifically the State Police, to have a hand in any legislation being considered in Dover.  For background, read this article from the Delaware State News.  Try to digest the idiocy coming from leading police voices:

If marijuana is legalized, the chairman of the Delaware Police Chiefs’ Council believes users of the drug should be required to have a special driver’s license that would prohibit them from buying a firearm.William Bryson, the chief of the Camden Police Department, made the comment at a Wednesday meeting of a task force looking at the issues around cannabis legalization.

Hey, while I’m in favor of fewer firearms, you won’t find any police chief urging a prohibition on firearms sales for anybody who buys a fifth of Jack Daniels seven days a week, 365 days a year. And then there’s this:

Tom Brackin, president of the Delaware State Troopers Association, agreed legalization would hinder police. Serious cases involving drug trafficking or illegal firearm ownership often start with police detecting marijuana. If cannabis is legal, law enforcement would potentially be unable to get some criminals off the street.

“What we’re doing here by legalizing marijuana is not only we’re taking a tool for law enforcement to impact violent crimes (but also) handing a tool to the bad guys,” Mr. Brackin said.

I want you to roll his statement around in your presumably non-drug-addled brains.  The cops have been using marijuana as a pretext for unreasonable search and seizure for years. Brackin just admitted it again. They take property from people even when there are no charges filed and then don’t return the property.  It’s known as civil forfeiture and we’ve talked about it here at DL for awhile now.  Here’s a primer. And an excerpt:

I didn’t know, betcha that you didn’t either, that police can seize property, money and valuables when they suspect that the owners of said property, money and valuables are involved in drug-related crime.  Betcha didn’t know that neither (a) the filing of charges and/or (b) convictions for said offenses were a prerequisite for police just taking stuff.  Betcha didn’t know that it’s exceedingly difficult, if not down-right impossible, for innocent victims of said seizures to get their money, property and valuables back.  Betcha didn’t know that the ‘proceeds’  go directly to a law enforcement slush fund called SLEAF. Betcha didn’t know that Delaware is the only state in the union that refuses to release the amount of money seized and how the money is spent.

Maybe someone can tell me why the bleeping Delaware Chapter of the ACLU hasn’t taken this to court.  If this isn’t illegal search and seizure, I don’t know what it.  The police can steal your stuff with impunity, then put the proceeds into a slush fund to benefit the police.

BTW, and this is important, from the linked Delaware State News article:

“The Delaware Department of Justice shared similar views (to Chief Brackin).”

Meaning that our Attorney General and the so-called Department of Justice apparently supports the ability of the police to steal your stuff with impunity and then put the proceeds into a slush fund. Meaning that there is no justice. I want to know how any and all of the candidates for AG feel about this. But, I digress.

Once Rep. Keeley put the brakes on the process to allow yet more input from the most vocal opponents of the legislation, especially the cops, she guaranteed that whatever emerged would be a shadow of what was needed to make Delaware an economic winner in the recreational marijuana sweepstakes. The winner: State cops. The losers: Supporters of legalized marijuana legislation and all those who have had their stuff stolen by the police. Oh, and all those who will have their stuff stolen by the police.

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  1. jason330 says:

    “The cops have been using marijuana as a pretext for unreasonable search and seizure for years. Brackin just admitted it again.”

    Off the top of my head, here is a list of Democrats who think marijuana as a pretext for unreasonable search and seizure is good policy:

    Bruce Ennis, Bethany Hall Long, John Carney, Bill Powers, Bill Bell, Valerie Longhurst, Peter Schwartzkopf…

    There are probably more. Like I said, just off the top of my head.

  2. bamboozer says:

    Legalize in Delaware? Endless incompetence aside the cavalry is on the way in terms of more and more states legalizing. The native greed of Delaware politicians, of both parties, can only stand so much. As in “New Jersey makes over a billion in revenue!”….. etc. As for the Delaware State Police hard not to notice they think they have a right to interfere in the states politics, in most states this was controlled long, long ago as it should be. I see it as another element of the hated “Delaware Way” that needs to be ended, buried and the ground sown with salt.

  3. Stat says:

    How exactly have state workers been maligned and economically disadvantaged by republicans. Dems control everything and brag about it but still want to pass blame.

  4. Well, without digging too deeply, here’s how the Delaware Rethugs kept DELDOT employees from getting hazardous duty pay:

    Oh, and Stat? Unless D’s have the type of supermajority needed to pass such a bill, they don’t control everything. Otherwise, the bill would have passed. But you knew that.

  5. At her request, Cathy Cloutier will be leaving her spot on the Joint Finance Committee, and the vacancy will be filled by Sen. Bryant Richardson.

  6. Stat says:

    @El Som
    Is that the best you got. Where are the Dems when it comes to pay raises.

  7. Have you ever stopped shoveling shit long enough to read this blog? Nobody has been more critical of the failure of Jack Markell and the General Assembly to take care of state employees than we have. Consistently, over the course of years.

    But you wrote in defense of the Rethugs. I pointed out that you were full of shit. Let me know when the R’s take up the cause of state employees, even DELDOT employees working in hazardous conditions. Or YOU take up the cause for state employees.

    It could happen. First time for everything.

  8. Stat says:

    DelDOT employees get time and a half for all overtime hours which has always been state policy. Nothing has been taken from them. Except no pay raises and reduced benefits. Thanks

  9. In other words, you don’t give two shits about the hazard pay that the Rethugs kept them from getting.

    Meaning, to paraphrase Dennis Green, you are who we THOUGHT you were. Thanks for trolling.

  10. Stat says:

    No I don’t. DelDOT for years didn’t properly follow the merit rules pertaining to overtime eligibility. They milked the overtime for all they could. They are now compensated properly according to the rules that the rest of the state has always followed. Essential employees still have to report during snow events without receiving additional pay.

  11. Please, Stat, You came over here yesterday saying that it’s the D’s fault that state employees get screwed all the time b/c they control everything. I pointed out the bill providing for hazardous pay for DELDOT employees. You’ve now been revealed as someone who opposes such pay, just as are/were the Rethugs who killed the bill.

    Go back and read the Dennis Green quote.

  12. Stat says:

    Correction, you stated it was Repubs fault that state employees get screwed. I refuted that and you gave a lame example of a bill not passing. Just trying to correct your original statement so it doesn’t get confused with fact.

  13. Correction: I stated that Gov. Markell AND the Rethugs were at fault.

    I stand by what I wrote.

  14. RE Vanella says:

    Here’s the tell:

    “They milked the overtime for all they could.”

    Where does this assessment come from? Seems anecdotal and prejudiced. How the fuck would anyone know what ever hourly DelDOT employee did or didn’t do? Moreover the verb “milked” implies that you know intent, like why they did it…

    We’re surrounded by idiots.

  15. This guy has the Monsignor Lavelle ass-holiness gene.

  16. Alby says:

    The state GOP backed Trump. Enough said about how much they care about anything other than lining their own pockets. The problem with government, in their view, isn’t that robbery is occurring, it’s that they’re not seeing any of the proceeds.

  17. chris says:

    Don’t forget. Del DOT Secretary Jennifer Cohan spent millions refurbishing their offices ‘to improve morale’. Someone dimed her out in a News Journal story a year ago..It was all supposed to be hush hush, but then they had emails to actually prove the money was for new digs… Del DOT leadership has had a credibility gap going back years.

  18. Stat says:

    Yes I know first hand of employees working as much OT as possible until they came close to reaching 60k for the year. Then they would refuse it so they didn’t get taxed the higher rate. Would you consider that milking it?

  19. Uh, DELDOT employees or employees you know? Because you’ve implied DELDOT employees. And, if you’re talking ‘first-hand’ experience, doesn’t that make you a DELDOT employee? Or do you merely grudgingly pay them?

    I know we’re not supposed to feed the trolls, but keep digging, please.

    I’m anxious to learn more about your pathologies.

  20. RE Vanella says:

    No, I wouldn’t.

    #1 Let’s say you know 5 people. That doesn’t meet a statistically relevant percentage. Sad for a person who goes by Stat.

    #2 Taking OT isn’t milking if it’s available and there’s work to do.

    #3 People who refuse more wages because of tax rate thresholds don’t understand how taxes work.

    I know it’s only January but this is the front runner for stupidest thread of the year.

  21. Alby says:

    If we’re going to talk about state employees milking overtime, let’s talk about state cops.

    I fail to see how employees turning down work that would pay them time-and-a-half hurts me as a taxpayer.

  22. RE Vanella says:

    Lastly, and most important to me, I would never dream of disparaging anyone who maintains our shared transportation infrastructure and makes 60k a year. When I think about this person in the abstract I don’t picture someone “getting over” or milking anything.

  23. Alby says:

    I’ll bet dollars to donuts Stat is a downstater. The whining stink of resentment hangs heavy around him.

  24. mouse says:

    Try living a civilized existence for a family making 60K

  25. Delaware Left says:

    Please be nice to future Republican Governor Jen Cohan