Delaware Political Weekly: Feb. 2-8, 2018

Filed in Delaware, Featured, National by on February 9, 2018

1. Park City Kathy Makes It Official.  Yes, she’s running. For State Auditor. You know, the Public Watchdog of the Purse Strings.  Here’s what she said as part of her announcement:

“My motivation is that I have been paying taxes and I know we can do better for all Delawareans.”

Heavy, man. Let’s cut through the crap.  She is running for office because she wants to be somebody. A playa.  Here are her accomplishments:  She was permitted to run for office despite not having been a Delaware resident for the required length of time. (I have little doubt that Elaine Manlove, prompted by Pistol Pete Schwartzkopf, contorted herself into making that ruling.) She was a Democrat, a Republican, and even an IPOD member.  She and Ernie Lopez had an affair. She and Pete Schwartzkopf are close. She has no background in accounting or auditing.  To certain guys, she’s hot.  Anybody have anything to add?  She is precisely the type of candidate we, or, at least, I, don’t ever want to see in public office.  Amoral people who couldn’t give two shits about what’s in the public interest, and give beaucoups shits about promoting themselves.  Here’s what I can guarantee:  Anything that Pete Schwartzkopf wants to protect will never be reviewed by Kathy McGuiness.  You know, like anything pertaining to the State police.  Awful, just awful.  Can we please get a credible challenger? Dennis E. Williams is not credible. Just another guy who runs because he has to.

2.  Kerri Harris Is Candidate X.

The reveal came this week.  The announcement is tomorrow.  I’m 100% all in. By contrast, the News Journal wrote a piece that could have been penned by Ed Freel. Or Celia Cohen. And, no, I won’t link to it. Fortunately, the News Journal has no influence any more. Lots more about this candidacy after the announcement.

3. The Simpson/Wilson Dance Gets A New Partner.

OK, here’s the storyRep. David Wilson announces that Sen. Gary Simpson will not run for reelection and that he, Wilson, will run for the seat. Simpson is pissed, would-be kingmaker Dave Burris, who has his own tow-headed dream candidate in mind (Milford Mayor Bryan Shupe), is pissed.  Wilson saw the game that Simpson and Burris had cooked up and pooped on the (P)arty.  Well, turns out that Wilson has his own game in mind, and poop, at least of the chicken variety, is very much in evidence.  Yep, Wilson’s own hand-selected successor has filed to run.  By the name of Jesse Vanderwende.  He is, wait for it, a chicken farmer.  And runs ice cream stands.  One presumes he speaks the English language far better than the marble-mouthed auctioneer he would replace.  It remains to be seen whether Burris will scrounge somebody up to challenge Vanderwende. Gotta say, this guy looks like a strong candidate.

4. Andria Bennett Gets R Challenger.

Unfortunately, she’s merely a right-wing alternative to the turncoat Bennett.  Cheryl Precourt is a member of the Caesar Rodney Board of Education who led the fight against permitting the administering of Depo-Provera (contraceptive) shots to students. Here’s what she said:

“Depo Provera and other medications have serious side effects and… I personally do not want to be responsible for stepping over what I believe is a parent’s natural right to direct the education and wellbeing of their child.”

The district is now overwhelmingly D.  Either Bennett gets a meaningful primary, or she’ll be there to cast clueless votes against D priorities.

5. I’m All In For Chris Johnson For AG.  Why? Read this article from the Delaware State News.  He’s not couching his words or positions.  He, in fact, is deliberately offering an unapologetic progressive agenda. I’m an unapologetic progressive.  Looks like I’ll be knocking on some doors when the weather gets warmer…

6. Filings. Incumbent Kent County Levy Court Commissioner James Hosfelt (R-2nd District).  Both Hosfelt and his D challenger Jeffrey Hall appear to be substantive candidates.

That’s it for this week. What’d I miss, and whaddayathink?


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  1. Joshua W says:

    Say what you will about Williams, he at very least would have the qualifications for the job.

  2. Yes, and I’d vote for him over McGuiness.

    But he’s been a perennial candidate for decades now, many races of the vanity candidacy variety.

    Plus, he wasn’t strong enough to even hold on to his own rep seat.

    My point being, we need a serious alternative to McGuiness.

  3. Alby says:

    Dennis E. Williams is kind of a dick, minus the kind of. But that’s exactly the sort of person who should be in the job.

  4. One thing we know from his time in the General Assembly is that he didn’t exactly bury himself in detail. Proudly admitted that he didn’t bother reading bills.

    If you’re looking for a dick from Brandywine Hundred who might be a good Auditor, I’d prefer Bob Valihura to Williams. Not to mention, Williams has never run a serious statewide race, as evidenced by his vanity candidacy challenges for Congress.

  5. Alby says:

    No, Valihura didn’t like conflict. Williams seems to like pissing people off, and auditor would give him plenty of opportunity.

    Plus I’m not going to vote for anybody endorsed by Schwartzkopf, who should be Target No. 1 for progressives in this state, ahead of any Republican. So Williams it is.

  6. TonyDem says:

    She has absolutely no financial background and is bragging about endorsments by so many elected officials. We don’t need a CPA but someone with a financial background would have been through and conducted plenty of audits to be qualified.

    The biggest disappointment was seeing Stephanie Hansen in pics at her announcement in NCCo…Already Selling out!

  7. chris says:

    If you can’t even get re-elected to your own House district, then you should not get elected state auditor. It shows the people who know you best do not support you… Dennis Williams has no shot. and he would be terrible.

  8. Alby says:

    Stephanie Hansen was a sell-out long before she got elected.

    What make of car does McGuiness drive? Anyone know? The best way to fight her is going to be hanging the “out of touch elite” label around her neck. Highlight her reason for moving to Utah. Highlight her attempt to give corporations the vote. How would she know profligate spending when she indulges in so much of it herself?

  9. Alby says:

    @chris: It’s a primary you can’t vote in unless you become a Democrat. Voting against people like McGuiness in primaries is the sole reason I’m a Democrat.

  10. TonyDem says:

    It’s a shame they are the only choices. I don’t care how many vanity campaigns Dennis ran…no way I could vote for someone that has a sole accomplishment of building relationships. Auditor should be someone who doesn’t care abt relationships because a good one will have to ignore them to do the job effectively. Have to pull the lever for Dennis.

    And still no candidate for treasurer. Don’t forget that one. Come on Delaware Dems!!!

  11. darkknight says:

    Heard there was about 8 people at Kathy’s announcement in Wilmington. Pretty laughable. Also heard someone tried to step between her and her camera. It did not end well.

  12. RE Vanella says:

    Speaking of announcements…. See you tomorrow at the Chris White Gallery from 11am.

    Carper OUT!

  13. Rufus Y. Kneedog says:

    Can we ask Bryan Townsend and Mitch Crane to explain their endorsements?

  14. anonymous says:

    And Sally McBride and Sonia Sloan? Lots of respected Dems, nice to get explanations.

  15. BREAKING: State Rep. Harvey Kenton announces retirement, endorses Milford Mayor Bryan Shupe for his seat:

    Is it any coincidence that Kenton did this on the same day that a very promising D filed for Kenton’s seat? I don’t think so.:

    “Professional carpenter Donald M. Allan Jr., a Democrat, first announced his plan to seek the office in January. The 36-year-old Milton-area resident also formally filed his candidacy papers on Friday.

    “I guess we’re going to have our first faceoff among millennials for this seat,” Allen said. “I think what I offer voters is a chance to be represented by a blue-collar worker. I’m not a political science major, an attorney or an accountant. I go to work and get my hands dirty every day.”

  16. TonyDem says:

    Good point Rufus….Stephanie Hansen comes in 3rd place on the disappointment list.

    Bryan is clearly first … have to wonder how a true progressive can support her.

    Mitch … don’t know what to say about that one. Maybe friends from Sussex and loyalty trumps most.

    Also – did anyone listen to the sound bite of her interview for why she wants to be auditor. It was almost like she didn’t have a real answer. Insert canned response…”I’m a taxpayer….”

  17. Bane says:

    See all that support from the R’s for their young talent. Shupe is a pol to watch. I bet Donald Allen Jr. was welcomed by nobody from the Dems. He’s probably being told to get out of the race and make way for another 70yr old Dem.

    Democrats are losing the future.

  18. 14th Watcher says:

    I think I can explain the Crane endorsement of KM. Schwartzkopf is endorsing her. (Nuff said.) And KM will be every bit the progressive that PS is. What I’d like to see is more discussion here of Harris’ run against Carper. Harris is a committed progressive activist. But does she have ANY chance against the Carper machine? Is there no other well known progressive in the State that has the balls and experience and financial backing to run against Carper!? We don’t need to wound him this time, we need to beat him. Is there really no one else?

  19. Alby says:

    Endorsing her? Schwartzkopf couldn’t get closer to her if he were a tampon.

  20. RE Vanella says:

    Why does Carper’s challenger need to be “well known”? Everyone will know who she is this September.

    In my experience most widely known Democrats are tainted. Sprayed by the neoliberal skunks.

  21. Gerry W says:

    Chuck Durante for State Auditor, and Harvey Kenton’s seat is developing into a battle of developers. Many, many, Powers to be (both Parties) from the governor on down jumped on a bandwagon endorsing Restaurateur Bob Ciprietti and his Take Over of a Historic Bank building in Milford for one of his mouth watering establishments – another Touch of Italy. Now candidate/mayor Shupe bent over backwards and did all the somersaults he could and gave away everything but the key to the City of Milford. Boys, boys you and Governor’s Development Office should have done an hours research before the Giant Smile Photo Op. Turns out Mr. Cipiretti is not just Political Favorite, he’s also a 5th slime ball with several states coming after him for various legal reasons. Do a quick check of how he is costing Richmond, Indiana millions. You see Mr. Ciprietti never came close to opening his new Milford location and so young Mr. Shupe is looking pretty stupid. Harvey Kenton existed to get developers variances to build, including family members, other than that he never seemed to exert himself. The only crew cut in the Legislature I believe.
    Fun reading- Bob Ciprietti and the City of Richmond, Indiana. No wonder he gets along so well with Delaware Politicians.

  22. I’d vote for Chuck Durante. Is he considering it?

    Richmond , Indiana? My daughter went to Earlham College there. If this guy screwed Richmond, Indiana, and if Shupe greased the skids for him here in Milford, watch out! Time for a little weekend reading…

  23. Don Allan says:

    Oh, we will be competitive in District 36, we have energy behind us and an open seat in our sights. A little over a month in, and we’re ahead of our fundraising pace, and have passionate volunteers in place. We can win here, don’t complain about the Democratic Party, come help us improve it!

  24. Alby says:

    If that’s supposed to discredit Dennis Williams, it does the opposite for me. I was of the opinion Bill Clinton should have committed suicide, but resignation was a good second option.

  25. Don: I’m thrilled you’re running, and I’m thrilled that we have so many grassroots candidates taking the plunge. I’ve been longing for this since I first joined the blog. It’s finally happening.

    Anyone in your area now has a campaign to embrace. Embrace it, folks.

  26. nathan arizona says:

    Would be great to see Chuck Durante there.

  27. Alby says:

    I doubt he would take the pay cut.

  28. Mitch Crane says:

    I had the pleasure of sitting down with Don Allan last month and was thoroughly impressed. I sent him a check the next week. He is a great candidate and will fight to win a district Trump carried handily. ( Trump carried 8 of 9 Sussex RDs )

    I wholeheartedly support Kathy McGuiness for Auditor. Pete is my friend and I always consider who he supports. I then do what I think best. Pete supported Kathy in 2016. As county chair I stayed out of the race and as an individual I voted for someone else

    Kathy is well suited to be Auditor. Her ambition will drive her to succeed. Success means actually conducting audits and looking out for the taxpayer by scrutinized analyses of government agency and non-profit books. Ambition will enable her to succeed at this

    She has the energy and personality and also the fundraising ability needed to beat a long-term incumbent.

    That is more important than her living with her family in Utah in 2012, as is ridiculous personal rumors and attacks.

  29. Facts are not rumors, and assertions, as in…:

    “Kathy is well suited to be Auditor. Her ambition will drive her to succeed.”

    …are not facts.

  30. Alby says:

    Her ambition is why she need to be stopped right here, right now.

    Also, when campaign finance reports were due last month, Wagner had $300 IIRC. It’s not going to take “fund-raising ability” to win that race. In fact, “fund-raising ability” is a decided strike against her.

    Kathy is well-suited to move to Utah. And Mitch is well-suited to return to Pennsylvania.

  31. nathan arizona says:

    Alby: And why would he?

  32. Gigi says:

    “Recently, Kathy’s oversight of the new city hall construction project saved taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars. She has consistently fought waste, fraud and abuse while on the City Commission. Using her position as City Commissioner, Kathy continuously advocates for efficiency, transparency and good government.”

    Her website is painful to read. The city hall project went over budget, and didn’t account for railings or storm water runoff. I’m assuming giving LLCs the right to vote is the level of transparency she is speaking about.

  33. Alby says:

    “Kathy will not only audit government departments, she has the knowledge and experience to look beyond the balance sheet and make sure taxpayers get a fair deal from state government.”

    What the fuck does that even mean? The job is to audit government departments (and school districts). She has no experience at it, so I understand why she wants to do what she’s good at — bullshitting people– but the job is to look at the balance sheets, not beyond them.

    “The state spends your money. Kathy will not only combat, waste, fraud, and abuse, but also bring a common sense approach to find missed opportunities and ways our State can operate smarter, more efficiently and more effectively.”

    Once again, this is practically an admission that she will seek to expand the authority of her office. This is a reason to vote against her, not for her.

  34. Alby says:

    @nathan: Because it’s easier to hide bullshitters in a bigger state.

  35. jason330 says:

    Of all the things Mitch Crane could be doing, he decided to help McGuiness try to win elective office. That makes me queasy.

  36. 14th Watcher says:

    Well, what do you expect from Mitch? He’s spent much of the past several election cycles supporting and protecting Schwartzkopf, our own DINO-in-Chief, and sabotaging the campaigns of truly progressive candidates. He is a maintainer of the status quo. Of course he’d support a candidate like Park City Kathy.

  37. jason330 says:

    Everybody who said I was wrong about Mitch Crane has been proven right.

  38. RE Vanella says:


    No fucking sale.


    RE Vanella

  39. TonyDem says:

    Ambition alone!!! Screw qualifications.

    Ok – Mitch is officially disappointment #1. Quite possibly the worst answer I’ve ever heard. Sad sad sad!

  40. Memo to the McGuiness Campaign:

    PLEASE put Mitch in charge of the NCC organization. That will guarantee that McGuiness, like Mitch’s IC campaign before it, will have no presence in New Castle County.

    That bleeping Potemkin Village campaign of his ensured that KWS would be Insurance Commissioner. Thankfully, I’ve finally gotten over it. Only b/c someone defeated her.

  41. Rufus Y. Kneedog says:

    When I was younger, I had ambitions to play centerfield for the Yankees. Unfortunately, ambition alone wasn’t enough, I needed talent.
    Here’s an argument for McGuiness – she is better than what we have now. She has no relevant experience that would qualify her for the position but her connections might make it possible for her to adequately fund the office (used to have 50+ auditors, now fewer than 20). But the same connections that are her strength make it likely that the only real change comes at the expense of those without political cover. Maybe that change is better than nothing.
    I like to think we could do better, but as I consider this realistically I’m not so sure we can. Brenda Mayrack lost in my opinion because she had no real support from the democratic establishment which did not want a real independent auditor (yes, I remain bitter).

  42. Alby says:

    @RYK: As well you should. And that should give all the indication needed that Democrats in this state operate on a play-for-pay model: Play ball with us or we won’t pay for your campaign.

    McGuiness would probably do little harm as auditor. But I don’t want her and her small-business-Democrat bullshit thinking as the next governor, which is I’m sure is her and Sneaky Pete’s ultimate goal. She’s Reese Witherspoon as Tracy Flick.

  43. SussexWatcher says:

    This is usually the point where Wolfgang pipes up talking about his Independent party and how we need an Inspector General.