Delaware Dem's Latest Posts
Sorry for my absence in the open thread department the last two days. I had some family business to deal with and thanks to Cassandra for stepping in.
So it looks like the whole Benghazi Conspiracy Theory being embraced by Republicans is based on a phantom email created by a GOP source. Whomever that GOP source on Capitol Hill is, he or she should be imprisoned. You have to wonder why the GOP does this to itself. Sooner or later some kind of actual government wrongdoing was bound to come down the pike for the GOP to make hay out of. It always does. In some administrations more frequently than others. But the current Repubican opposition is so bereft of ideas and new policies, and so desparate to come up with anything to tarnish the President so that he in reality matches their fantasy version of him, that they have tried to turn either minor stories or tragedies into massive scandals, like Fast & Furious, like Solundrya, and now, like Benghazi. And the reason why they were so desparate is that the Obama Administration, up until now, has been relatively scandal free.
If only the GOP had waited….. because now they do have two stories that could turn into actual wrongdoing, at least on the parts of the agencies themselves, but the poor GOP already cried Wolf.
First the alleged child rapist Eric Bodenweiser, and now this:
A young woman is suing a veteran Sussex County councilman, claiming he repeatedly sexually assaulted her after encouraging her to become in involved in politics. The lawsuit filed this week in Kent County Superior Court alleges that Republican Councilman Vance C. Phillips forced sex on the woman several times in 2011, beginning a few weeks after she turned 18. The 17-page complaint includes graphic details involving bondage and sex toys during the sex acts that she says happened in Kent and Sussex counties. The complaint also says Phillips threatened the young woman not to tell anyone.
This seems to be connected to the allegations about Vance Phillips in an anonymous letter sent to the General Assembly last year. From the News Journal:
Delaware State Police investigated Phillips last year after members of the General Assembly received an anonymous letter claiming he was involved in a relationship with an underage girl. No criminal charges were filed. Phillips’ attorney, Joe Hurley, said he was told by the attorney general’s office earlier this year that the investigation was complete and that there would be no criminal prosecution.
So what does the 17 page complaint say? I am trying to get my hands on it, but here is the News Journal’s synopsis:
The lawsuit alleges that Phillips first met the girl at a GOP event in Sussex County in March 2010, when she was 16. The complaint said that she later began working with him almost daily, regarded him as a close friend and adviser, and became “completely reliant” on him.
On May 9, 2011, a month after she turned 18, Phillips accosted the young woman in a parking lot of a Georgetown dentist’s office, exposing himself and trying to take her clothes off, according to the complaint. Phillips then told her to follow him to an isolated rural area, where he again tried to have sex with her.
About a week later, the woman alleges, Phillips sent her a text warning her that if she told anyone what had happened, she would never have a career in politics, that he was “a very powerful politician with lots of power over the courts and judges,” and that no one would believe her. Phillips demanded that she meet him in Laurel, locked her in a farm building near his home, and sexually assaulted her, the complaint alleges.
Other attacks followed, with the woman claiming she feared what would happen to her if she did not submit to Phillips’ demands, according to the lawsuit.
The Hill recounts the story about how Delaware’s own Joe Biden forced the President’s hand on gay marriage:
Last May, in the heat of President Obama’s reelection efforts, Biden went on “Meet the Press” and said he was “comfortable” with same-sex marriage. Obama had not at that point announced his support for gay marriage, and the vice president’s endorsement left the campaign lurching to clarify the administration’s position.
The following week, Obama acknowledged he had decided to make an announcement endorsing gay marriage before the election, but Biden’s comments forced his hand early. Biden at the time said he apologized to the president for putting him in that position, but in the Rolling Stone interview, Biden said Obama couldn’t have been happier.
“I got blowback from everybody but the president,” Biden said. ”I walked in that Monday, he had a big grin on his face, he put his arms around me and said, ‘Well, Joe, God love you, you say what you think.’ I knew he agreed with me. It wasn’t like he was in a different place.”
Booman wonders if the “Biden Push” was and is the seminal moment for progress on marriage equality in America. Recall that ever since, the polls have shown nothing but majority approval for it, and momentum in the states passing gay marriage legislation has been brisk.
The Governor signed HB 35 into law yesterday, surrounded by a group of parents who lost their children in the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting in Connecticut last December. The law extends mandatory background checks to most private gun sales this July. There are three other gun control measures that are part of the Governor’s gun control package: a bill establishing gun-free school zones (HB 67), a ban on high-capacity magazines (HB 58), and a requirement to report lost or stolen guns (SB 16).
SB 16, the aforementioned bill that would require gun owners to report lost or stolen guns within 7 days after discovering the bill lost or stolen, has cleared the committee and is headed to the House floor for a vote. How anyone can oppose this bill is beyond me. Indeed, if you oppose this bill, you must be a terrorist or a criminal, or at least an enabler of the two.
Represenative Kowalko’s HB 13 finally passed the House after six years of trying, 30-11. The bill bans lawmakers from becoming lobbyists after they leave the General Assembly for one year after leaving office. His previous bills called for 2 years. The Republicans have introduced that version of the bill in the Senate, and offered an Amendment was offered to increase the term to 2 years, but it was defeated. I am not sure why, but some Democrats in the House are really making themselves look like defenders of lobbyists by opposing this legislation. Some surprising names in the no column. And given that all the Republicans voted yes, it is obvious that they are using this and the double dipping issue to their advantage. And the Democrats voting no are dumb enough to let them.
Come inside for the rest of the Vote Tracker….
I wrote this last night about the fact that Ernie Lopez, Gerald Hocker and Greg Lavelle ending their statewide political futures with their votes against marriage equality yesterday and about the chances that Cathy Cloutier, on the other hand, had elevated her statewide future based on her yes vote:
The problem, though, is the Republican Party. When I say that the next Republican Governor of Delaware will support marriage equality, I say that because no one who doesn’t support marriage equality will ever win a statewide race going forward. They will barely crack 40% of the vote. So for a Republican to win, he or she will have to be for marriage equality.
For the foreseeable future (at least until 2016), the Republican Party’s base is violently against marriage equality, and no Republican candidate can win the primary or get the nod at the state convention without being against marriage equality. Maybe the victory today will speed the death of the rabid bigots at the heart of the state GOP, and I hope it does. But assuming it doesn’t, the GOP is caught in a horrible catch-22: it can only nominate anti-gay candidates, and it can only win with pro-equality candidates.
And this, in response to how losing could be so addictive to our state GOP:
How can losing be so addictive? Easy. It allows these social conservatives to play a role they love so well: that of the victim. They love whining about how oppressed they are. And nothing proves their oppression more than defeat after defeat after defeat at the ballot box and in roll call votes in the General Assembly. And nothing brings in the dollars of retired old bigots more than hate and fear and victimhood.
Jonathan Bernstein agrees with me, or I guess I agree with him (depending on who wrote what first) in his latest article in the Washington Monthly…..
I will however be posting an update of the Vote Tracker, my own contribution to following the workings of the General Assembly, this afternoon, and in that update I will highlight what other very important bills passed the House yesterday while all focus was on the Senate. I will also provide info as to what is on the agenda for Thursday. In the meantime, enjoy some more photos from yesterday’s victory by way of the Delaware House Democratic Caucus’ Facebook page.
They are calling for the immediate repeal of the marriage equality law, I suppose not realizing that the 12 Senators and 23 Representatives are not going to repeal a law they fought hard to get passed. And apparently not realizing that once civil rights are expanded to new groups and classes of people, they are hardly ever rolled back. Indeed, the Hate Amendment in California is the only example I can think of, and even that attempt is about to be struck down as unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court.
Here is a rescued comment from one Ecia. I moderated her (or his) comments on the prior Marriage Equality thread because she (or he) started spamming the thread with this drivel. But I decided to highlight this comment to reveal how bigoted and stupid the opponents of equality are.
Here is her (or his) comment:
Calling For Repeal SB75:
As The State Government has completely ignored the legitimate concerns of the People of Delaware, there is an urgent call for A Special Election to REPEAL SB75 or to do something to correct this unjust law that Desecrates God’s Word.
Let me stop you there. The General Assembly ignored your bigotry. They did not ignore the legitimate concerns of the People of Delaware. To the contrary, they addressed a very legitimate concern: equality for all. What is it with conservatives thinking they always speak for all the people of the state or country. And they loudly pronounce that they are speaking for all the people and all the people agree with them. They doth protest too much. They know their minority and bigoted views are not shared by the majority anymore and it scares the living shit out of them, so they have to scream louder that they do speak for all, I guess thinking that if you shout a lie loud enough and often enough it turns out to be true. But I digress…
Second, a special election? Did a Representative or Senator die or resign? No. So there can be no special election. But Ecia is talking about a referendum here. Thankfully, we don’t have referenda in Delaware. Not because I fear losing a referendum. In fact, the forces of good and equality would win such a vote. I just don’t think it is right to have a vote on someone’s rights. How would you like it Ecia if we voted on whether you could get married to the one you loved?
“A just law is a man-made code that squares with moral law or God’s law” If necessary, I am prepared to go to jail before complying with any law that so blatantly desecrates the most sacred gift from God, The Institute of Marriage.
Unless you are a Clerk of the Peace, as a citizen this law does nothing to you. It does not force you to comply with anything. [Come inside for more]