This is a Guest Post from multiple authors who wanted to discuss some of the weaknesses of HB 197 as they see it. As always, this Guest Post doesn’t represent the views or opinions of the editors of Delaware Liberal — we’re giving other voices a forum to air their concerns. I’m hoping that the folks who wrote this will join in the discussion.
We (multiple authors) decided to write this post to outline where exactly we see the land lies with SB 197. This particular piece of legislation has been a long time coming, and we roundly applaud Sen. Blevins and all the co-sponsors on the bill. It should sail thru the legislature easily – who would be against stopping Human Slavery.
However it seems other agencies, with the responsibility for enforcing the law seem to be either unaware or uncaring about the problem. [...]
We have gotten several comments recently from newcomers to Delaware asking us to explain who the cast of characters that is Delaware politics. So here is a first post in a series of posts giving every one of our readers an overview of the upcoming elections in the Delaware Senate. And then we will review the elections in the House. And then we will profile each and every Senator and Representative in our General Assembly. Each profile will include demographic information about each Senator or Representative, and information about their respective districts.
To aid us in this series will be the graphics and tools of Stephen Wolf and his team at Daily Kos Elections. They have put together a Google Spreadsheet that shows us a map of all the Senate districts in Delaware, and colors them according to how they voted in the 2012 election and which party represents these districts today.
This is is a great tool for a political junkie. What jumped out at me is that there are basically only 6 competitive Senate districts, and only one of them is ripe for a Republican takeover. Come inside to play with the interactive maps and charts!
We have some polling goodness from all over, including some that show that our so called vulnerable southern Democrats are not so vulnerable. Such as Sen. Mary Landrieu, whom I hereby predict she will win her election rather easily. Why? Because she has embraced Obamacare:
[I]n an interview today, Landrieu vowed to campaign aggressively against GOP foe Bill Cassidy’s opposition to the Medicaid expansion in the state, offered a spirited defense of the law—while acknowledging it has some problems—and even insisted he’d be at a “disadvantage” over the issue. […]
“That would be a real setback for the people of Louisiana, many of whom are working 30, 40, 50 hours a week but find themselves caught in the Jindal gap because the state refuses to expand health care options to the working poor at little to no expense,” Landrieu told me, referring to Governor Bobby Jindal’s opposition to the expansion.
“This issue is not going away—it will become an issue in the 2015 governor’s race,” she added. “Cassidy has wrapped himself up with Jindal. The question is whether people who work full time or part time in the U.S. should have access to quality and affordable health care.” […]
“I think the benefits that people have received are worth fighting for,” Landrieu continued, citing an end to discrimination against preexisting conditions and extended coverage for young adults on parents’ plans. “I think Bill Cassidy is going to be at a distinct disadvantage. He has insurance, but he’s also denying it to the 242,000 people who fall into the Jindal gap. He also wants to take coverage away from tens of thousands who have gotten it for the first time.”
It makes me real happy when Democrats act like Democrats. This is what every Democrat should sound like this summer and fall. And if you don’t, leave the party and join the Republicans.
Yesterday, I was emailed this op-ed by John Daniello. I have checked the News Journal and it looks like it it has yet to be published, which is odd, since the News Journal would publish the grocery lists of Senator Lavelle and GOP Chairman Copeland if given the chance. So inside we have the full op-ed from Chairman Daniello’s op-ed, and afterwards, I have some unsolicited advice for our Democrats in the General Assembly. Here is a taste of both:
Delaware Democrats in the legislature are committed to working with their counterparts in the Republican Party. Disagreement is to be expected, but all members of the assembly were elected to work through these disagreements and come to legitimate alternative solutions. For example, Republican State Senator Dave Lawson proposed recently that the state should cut 2% from its budget. He offered no specifics, even though he sits on the budget-writing Joint Finance Committee. He suggested that 2% should be cut without affecting personnel, employee wages, or ‘critical services,’ a term he didn’t define. This is not a serious solution from a legislator who sits through hours of budget hearings.
My advice: Don’t negotiate with yourself. If you move towards the Republicans, the Republicans will move further right. Move to the left instead.
Happy Saint George’s Day everyone! Grab a pint glass of your favorite English beer, or fix yourself a nice gin and tonic, and enjoy your pretend Englishness today – preferably with the aid of alcohol. There will be readings from Douglas Adams and a half-assed game of cricket later.
Until today, Saint Georges Day hasn’t really be celebrated around here and I mean to fix that. We are Americans and holidays are what we do. So let the word go forth – today we are all English.
Happy Earth Day. National Geographic gives us the history of Earth Day:
Earth Day began in 1970, when 20 million people across the United States—that’s one in ten—rallied for increased protection of the environment.
“It was really an eye-opening experience for me,” Gina McCarthy, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency administrator, who was a self-described self-centered teenager during the first Earth Day rallies, told National Geographic. (See pictures: “The First Earth Day—Bell-Bottoms and Gas Masks.”)
“Not only were people trying to influence decisions on the Vietnam War,” she recalled, “but they were beginning to really focus attention on issues like air pollution, the contamination they were seeing in the land, and the need for federal action.”
In response to this, Richard Nixon actually did a good thing. Indeed, it may have been the last liberal/progressive thing a Republican President has done. They passed the Clean Air and Water Act and established the EPA.
The latest state revenue estimate from DEFAC is expected to be released today. Last month saw $40 million added to the projected deficit that Markell and the GA will need to close. And they may have already done so:
But with Gov. Jack Markell (D-Delaware) signing his $51 million corporate tax hike into law April 15th, the state could have more money to work with.
My question as to who is running for AG is answered. My next question is: does our Delaware State Constitution provide anyone power to appoint a new Lt. Governor, should Lt. Governor Matt Denn be elected Attorney General later this year and thus resign his current office. Section 9 of Article II tells us the Governor does not have that power. But If Matt Denn resigns the office of Lt. Governor at any time prior to September 4 of this year, then it would seem that the election for the remainder of the term of Lt. Governor would take place during the November general election. Given the lateness of that September 4 date, I imagine this election for Lt. Governor is treated like a special election wherein the parties nominate a candidate for the office rather than engage in a primary.
Is this the good news of the day or what? From Denn’s website:
[...]But as I have thought about it and talked it over with my family, I’ve realized that the Attorney General’s office would allow me to take a leadership role on some issues that are critical to our state, while still staying involved in the issues involving Delaware’s children that have been the core of my work over the last six years. The Attorney General, as the state’s chief law enforcement officer, must be someone with the judgment, impartiality and will to prosecute and punish those who have violated the laws of our state. He or she should also possess compassion for our most vulnerable residents, a respect for all citizens of our state regardless of their background, and a vision to prevent crime from occurring by combining smart crime prevention with a commitment to providing Delawareans with real opportunity and hope. I believe that I possess these traits. That’s why I have filed to be the Democratic candidate for Attorney General of Delaware in 2014.[...]
Make no mistake. Delaware needs to tackle human trafficking. According to activists, Delaware ranks near the bottom when it comes to addressing the issue of, let’s not mince words, slavery.
Which, IMHO, is why, as ‘Lazy Reader’ pointed out (major tip of the ‘Bulo sombrero), that Delaware has had this sudden proliferation of Asian massage ‘spas’. Within the past year, New Jersey has enacted perhaps the most comprehensive statute in the country. The Pennsylvania legislature is likely to pass a comprehensive bill by the end of the current legislative session, and already has a stronger statute than Delaware. As to Delaware, while it comes relatively late in the session, there should be no reason why SB 197(Blevins) doesn’t get enacted into law by the end of June. I think that one of the elements driving the increased spa proliferation in Delaware is, in fact, likely the stronger statutes enacted elsewhere. Delaware offers a soft underbelly for those with no conscience.
Just to give you an idea of the extent of the sprouting of these spas, My Friend At Work (huge sombrero tip to her), who is deeply involved in this issue, suggested a website that pretty much lays it out there. While I will not give the website any undeserving traffic, it promotes, both under ‘escorts’ and ‘body rubs’, many of these spas. Generalized locations include Philly Pike in Claymont, Shoppes of Camelot in Rehoboth, Market Street in Wilmington, Foulk Road in Brandywine Hundred, State Street in Dover, Naamans Road in Brandywine Hundred, N. Broad Street in Middletown, Silverside Road in Brandywine Hundred, N. DuPont Hwy. in Dover, Chestnut Hill Plaza in Newark, S. Maryland Ave. in Wilmington, Pulaski Highway in Bear, and Jenmar Plaza in Newark.
The field is frozen until Lt. Governor Matt Denn decides what he wants to do, much like Hillary Clinton has frozen the 2016 Democratic Presidential Primary. If he runs, he is the nominee, and I doubt he will garner any challengers. But if Matt Denn doesn’t run, then the floodgates are wide open. Celia Cohen has her uses. She is plugged into to the mover and shakers, the behind the scenes people in the know, on both sides of the aisle, though her bias and writing style leaves much to be desired. Still, she offers a wide range of potential candidates, so of which will garner a declaration of “WHAT????!!!” and some of which will leave you saying “Hmmmm, that’s interesting.”
Stan Greenberg had been previously telling these spineless cowards to campaign on moving past Obamacare. Now he is telling them to embrace it. Because his polling tells him it is the better idea.
“Until now, this is an issue where the intensity has been on the other side,” he says. But defending Obamacare, he adds, has emerged as “a values argument for our base.” Greenberg now believes Democrats “ought to lean much more strongly” to campaign on the virtues of Obamacare as a means of boosting progressive turnout. “Not apologizing for Obamacare and embracing it actually wins the argument nationally,” he says. “And it produces much more engagement of Democratic voters. That’s a critical thing in off-year elections.”
No fucking shit. Seriously, if you wonder why Progressives have absolutely no respect for our corporatist spineless establishment party, what with people like Chris Coons, Tom Carper, John Daniello et al, it is because we are nearly always proven right, and yet we are the ones treated with disdain by them.
Good news on the deficit on this Good Friday:
The U.S. government’s deficit will fall to $492 billion this year, according to the Congressional Budget Office, a steeper drop than originally predicted from $680 billion in fiscal year 2013. The 2014 deficit will be 2.8 percent of the economy, according to CBO, almost 32 percent below fiscal year 2013, when it was 4.1 percent. The deficit will shrink again in fiscal 2015 to $469 billion….
“This will be the fifth consecutive year in which the deficit has declined as a share of GDP since peaking at 9.8 percent in 2009,” CBO said in a report released today. The 2.8 figure as a percentage of gross domestic product is lower than the 3.1 percent average of the last 40 years, CBO said.
And we have some polling goodness inside…
Molly Magarik told me Beau Biden would not be available to further discuss his political intentions as long as he remains Attorney General (No surprise!). But we have a circular loop, because – as noted earlier on this blog – the Attorney General has been noticeably unavailable for media interviews ever since his hospitalization in Texas.
Loudell also wonders if Biden can simply not campaign and not make any appearances and just rely on the Biden name to get elected. The answer to that is a resounding no. And Biden and his people need to understand that. Because I am sure it has crossed some mind somewhere in the Biden camp. I will vote Republican if that is his plan, and I will work tirelessly for that Republican, and encourage everyone I know to vote Republican. Even if that Republican is Christine O’Donnell. Even if Sarah Palin herself moves to Delaware to hunt foxes and decides “you betcha this state is small enough for me to be Governor in.” I would place “Evil (R) for Governor” bumperstickers all over my car. And the reason is that if Biden follows the Loudell hypothetical, it will be a sign of such disrespect for all Delawareans that the shower of that disrespect will need to be destroyed, in the figurative sense of course.
He cannot run for public executive office and keep his medical condition a secret, all the while using that medical condition as a reason to not make public appearances. Running for public office involves sacrifice. Sacrifice of time away from your family. Sacrifice of long hours you rather spend watching baseball instead of another rubber chicken dinner at another RD fundraiser. And you sacrifice some of your privacy. And I am not even talking about full disclosure. I don’t need every medical record, every prescription, every boo boo Biden has ever had. No, we are entitled to know what procedure Biden underwent. What the diagnosis was. What the prognosis is.
All Biden would have to say to satisfy me is….