Stoopid Joint Finance Committee Tricks

Filed in Delaware, Featured by on February 15, 2018

First of all, take a look at the current membership of the JFC.  Other than Rep. J. J. Johnson, this is not exactly the ‘best and the brightest’.  This is also about as conservative a JFC as I’ve ever seen. Then you have the ethical sewer that is Sen. Nicole Poore.  OK, enough editorializing for a sentence or so, here’s the current membership:

Harris B. McDowell

Melanie George Smith

  • Brian J. Bushweller
  • Bruce C. Ennis
  • Nicole Poore
  • Dave G. Lawson
  • Bryant L. Richardson

  • James Johnson
  • Debra Heffernan
  • William J. Carson
  • Michael Ramone
  • Harvey R. Kenton

Waitaminnit. Didn’t Pistol Pete Schwartzkopf remove Melanie as co-chair?  I thought he did. Guess not. Anyway, this is the official membership, according to the General Assembly website.

Stoopid JFC Trick #1:  I’m leading with this one b/c it’s so rare that the News Journal reports on anything, much less the Joint Finance Committee.  You read that correctly, state cops might get even more money than they asked for, $1.4 million more, to be precise, ostensibly to…

“…help purchase more bullet-proof vests and fund the transition to a full-time SORT team. Several lawmakers who sit on the General Assembly’s budget-writing committee said they want to provide those extra funds to ensure state troopers and the public are afforded the best protection possible.”We hear lots of budget requests that we need to consider,” said Sen. Dave Lawson, R-Marydel, a retired state trooper. “But nothing is more important than saving police officers’ lives.”

Yo, Senator Lawson, you are aware, aren’t you, of the slush fund that dumps proceeds from the loot that police steal from ordinary citizens every day, aren’t you? You are aware that that stolen loot goes directly to fund law enforcement, aren’t you? I mean, you’re an ex-cop, aren’t you?  Well, maybe you don’t know about that fund. So here’s a refresher course.  This slush fund is of course in addition to numerous bills that have passed the General Assembly that impose “…additional fines for certain offenses, with all of the additional fine money going for law enforcement.”

Kids, ask yourselves this question:  In a General Assembly full of retired cops, is it in the slightest way possible that cops have been underfunded? You’re all intelligent people. You know the answer.  Unfortunately, you’re not on JFC, and the likes of Lumpy Carson, Dave Lawson and Nicole Poore are.

Stoopid JFC Trick #2. “Doctor” Mark Brainard was crying crocodile tears down in JFC over the disrepair of the Del-Tech physical complex:

DelTech, which has been pushing for more money for deferred maintenance since 2006, has $98 million in capital needs, according to President Mark Brainard.

Leaking roofs are just one example of problematic facilities, and the college has already begun closing off rooms, Dr. Brainard told the Joint Finance Committee Tuesday.

The Owens Campus in Georgetown recently had a “critical” HVAC problem that costs $5 million to fix, he said.

Gee, you build a statewide monolith, you have virtually the entire General Assembly on your payroll and/or in your hip pocket, you have the brilliant Lonnie George as mastermind, and you end up with this?  What’s Lonnie’s former body man/current Del-Tech president to do?  That’s right:

The college continues to push for legislation that would effectively create a statewide property tax to fund DelTech’s capital needs. Senate Bill 50 mirrors the vocational school model, creating a tax on properties of no more than 10 cents per $100 of assessed value. Assessed value is different from market value.

Unlike the vocational school tax, it would apply equally to each county.

This tax could then be raised at the whim of Del-Tech’s Board of Directors.  Sen. Harris McDowell calls this tax ‘relatively painless’.  Especially if you don’t know that you’re paying it.

I have an alternative. Maybe, just maybe, Del-Tech could either raise tuition a tad, or begin to cut back on its gargantuan footprint.  But don’t make taxpayers ante up for Del-Tech’s mismanagement.

Finally, a note to Matt Biddle: You’re doing a great job, a great job, by far the best job of covering the General Assembly since Chad LivengoodHowever, Mark Brainard is not a doctor, not in the traditional academic sense.  He has a JD degree, although he couldn’t pass the Delaware Bar.  To my knowledge, there is not another attorney (or would-be attorney) in Delaware with those credentials who calls themselves ‘Doctor’. Not even Sam Guy.  Del-Tech just wanted to graft some academic gravitas onto Brainard’s curriculum vitae, but, in truth, there is no such gravitas. He’s a non-academic who is President of an academic institution solely because Lonnie George wanted him to be.

Your amigo,

El Somnambulo

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Comments (9)

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  1. Alby says:

    The News Journal glossed over the actual story on the SORT team: The JFC basically endorsed an increase of 10 officers over the current level to make that special ops team full-time.

  2. chris says:

    You are right. Very conservative membership on JFC for sure.
    I hear Brainard is quietly lining up the votes for his statewide property tax bill. That thing may quietly slip through passage later this year or next under the radar.

  3. Alby says:

    We need a statewide property tax for K-12 education, not the remedial school for people who were failed by K-12 education.

  4. Harold says:

    Wait, he has a law degree but never passed the Bar?

  5. jason330 says:

    It happens all the time.

  6. Alby says:

    The Delaware bar exam is one of the nation’s toughest. The Delaware bar uses the highest “cut score,” meaning the highest minimum score on the MBE (multi-state bar exam) required for passage, in the nation.

  7. Rufus Y. Kneedog says:

    If DelTech doesn’t need the GA anymore for funding, wouldn’t that mean they can then give pink slips to all their GA-related employees? Just trying to look on the bright side here.

  8. Alby says:

    Oh, bless your heart. They want this IN ADDITION to the money they already get.

    McDowell is a babbling, booze-addled danger to the state at this point. Read the article: an average of $20/year per homeowner, but it doesn’t mention how much it would raise from everything else. As if that kind of tax hike, were one to be enacted, should go to Del-Fucking-Tech.

    I fully support a statewide property tax as the remedy to rich people pretending they live in Florida. But DelTech’s incredible stupidity in ignoring available space in the city with the HIGHEST COMMERCIAL VACANCY RATE IN THE NATION isn’t the public’s problem, or shouldn’t be.

    There’s a simple solution to this: Vote Republican.

  9. So… Del-Tech. They get all their funding from the State General Fund, right? So where does all their tuition money go to? If the state funds pretty much everything, they should be sitting on a gold mine in tuition funds. Something to think about.