El Somnambulo's Latest Posts
Jonathan Gallo has filed to face Bobby Outten in the 30th RD. Gallo changed his registration from R to D to run and, if you check out his site right now, you will not find the word Democrat, or the donkey, anywhere on the site. I mean, anywhere. He’s got the classic bio, and he’s a “man of dedication, integrity, and commitment, who early in his life felt a call to serve his community.” Which means, he’s a ‘man of dedication, integrity, and commitment’ who is hiding his party affiliation. He also rides a tractor standing up (picture).
J. Kevin Robbins of Harrington, is challenging Harold Peterman in the conservative 33rd RD. Robbins is a long-time farmer and has the type of profile that could give him a shot in this district. Here is his site. Not only does he have the donkey there, he actually calls the Party the Democratic Party.
Guess which one I prefer.
When I started the 62 Project, I had Pete Schwartzkopf ranked 13th on my initial list. That was largely because I thought that he, as House Majority Leader, effectively pushed through key progressive bills, including civil unions. He also was able to get the at-the-time controversial ‘revenue enhancement’ package through a fractured House. This helped balance the budget during the early Markell years. He wasn’t afraid to use legislative power to get things done. While I didn’t always admire his tactics, I respected the results. The role of House Majority Leader requires tough tactics in tough times.
However, as Speaker of the House, Schwartzkopf has governed as if he were still Majority Leader. Aided and abetted by an equally-enthusiastic, though far less skilled, arm-breaker, Valerie Longhurst. Pete not only handpicked Longhurst to be his successor, he insisted that they both be elected as a team or he would not serve as Speaker. Uh, I wonder if he’d be willing, or in any position, to make the same demand today. Put simply, Pete Schwartzkopf is in danger of being a one-term Speaker, and not because the D’s are in any way facing the loss of the House chamber.
Yep. Favors a rate lower than that, $9 to be exact. Because he is Tom Carper. It’s keeping Harry Reid from having enough votes to pass the bill. He needs to get out of that bleeping Chamber. Who is paying for his obstructionism this time? He should just take a job with them and end his disgraceful public career.
117 House Democrats, count ‘em, 117, have signed a letter urging President Obama to exclude chained CPI from his FY ’15 budget. By now, you know where this is going. Once again, absent from this list is the truly-awful John Carney. You know, our Congressman.
Yes, this is shameless self-promotion. In one of my many other incarnations, I am Symphony Steve, and I am a volunteer producer with the Arden Concert Gild.
I’m bringing in a killer blues/blues-rock show to the Arden Gild Hall this Saturday night at 8 p.m.
The opener is the Mikey Junior Band. Mikey Jr. is an amazing harp (harmonica, for those of you who are not blues aficionados) player and showman. Originally from Trenton, Mikey is making a big name for himself regionally and nationally. He’s made it to the finals of the International Blues Competition in Memphis. He always has a kicking band, and now he’s got a new CD as well. Check him out for yourself inside…
While it’s possible that, under the right circumstances. first-term D Rep. Trey Paradee could be vulnerable, his opponent doesn’t appear to be much of a threat. R Peter Kramer has filed to challenge Paradee. Click here to learn a little more about Kramer. “Keep More With Kramer”. Presumably both money and ‘personal freedoms’. For low-income voters, that’s “Keep Poor With Kramer”. BTW, did any of you actually get a ‘kindergarten diploma’? Or would you even remember it if you did? Kramer did, and he does. Or at least, says he does.
Also, did you notice how his mission statement just…stops? Maybe he’ll add more as he thinks of it.
BTW, I notice that he didn’t mention that the family company for which he works (J. S. Kramer Inc., a construction company) has gotten serious money from state and federal contracts for institutional construction. Guess that’s money that he doesn’t want given back to the taxpayers. He’s outraged about spending as long as spending that benefits the family business continues. I can provide links if you need a sure cure for insomnia. I, for one, don’t.
I, El Somnambulo, am, in one of my many other incarnations, a volunteer concert producer with the Arden Concert Gild. My musical interests tend to run towards roots, blues, soul, and Americana, especially if the music rocks. (BTW, I’m producing a killer blues and blues rock show on Feb. 22, but I digress.) While there have always […]
Brother, can you spare a dime a gallon for a $500 million boost to Delaware’s economy? A jobs creator and a massive infrastructure upgrade? House Majority Leader Val Longhurst has already said she won’t do it, regardless of the number of constituents in her district who will earn meaningful wages for their families. I hope she is in the minority. I hope that the unions who previously supported her are paying attention. With a gallon of gas well north of $3 a gallon, let’s be honest here. That additional 10 cents should hardly be a deal-breaker. But we shall see. The General Assembly has a minimum of six weeks, starting at the end of today’s session, to consider whether a $500 million boost to the state’s economy is in the economic interests of the people who live and try to work here. It’s all about the jobs, as far as I’m concerned. By far the biggest issue facing the General Assembly this term.
The minimum wage hike bill got plenty of love from the Business Lapdog Committee this time, and made it to the floor. 6 favorable, one on its merits, and 3 unfavorable. Amazing what six months of reflection can do.
Come inside for more…
Well. That was quite an ambitious, and welcome, State of the State Address from Governor Markell last Thursday. There is no surer way to jump-start our state’s economy and, not coincidentally, address long-postponed infrastructure deficiencies, than by proposing a massive capital upgrade. Our roads and bridges need it. So do our workers. I suspect that we will hear this week how Gov. Markell intends to pay for the proposed $500 million program. No doubt an increase in the gas tax will be one of the proposed revenue generators.
I, for one, strongly support such an increase. People have choices as to what kinds of vehicles they drive. If they want to drive massive gas-inhalers, that’s their choice. If they opt to downsize, that’s their choice. The fewer massive gas-inhalers out there, the less pollution gets emitted. Those with mass transit and/or car pool options would be more likely to consider them should gas prices rise. There would be fewer unnecessary trips if people really were concerned about higher gas prices. Less traffic, smaller vehicles, less pollution. Why not raise the gas tax to help pay for this engine of economic recovery? There no doubt will be other revenue sources. I, of course want to see some equity restored to our tax code. But I’m completely on board with this proposal.
Lotsa other good stuff in there as well, including specific job skills training for high school students, and an intense campaign to clean Delaware’s waterways. The question is, will D’s respond favorably to one of the best and only Democratic proposals from our D governor. Here are two early reactions….
Marie Mayor has filed to run for the 20th RD seat currently held by the odious ex-state cop Steve Smyk. You may recall that Mayor ran a superb campaign, handily won a primary for the seat, and was poised to win until…a two-week blitz of fear and hatred stirred up the local yokels.
Meanwhile, in the absence of any other breaking political news this week, I’d like you to predict what comes next politically for the following Delaware figures, especially considering that Gov. Markell is term-limited…
Today’s highlight, of course, will be Governor Jack Markell’s State of the State Address. I, for one, want to hear whether the Governor has developed even the slightest empathy for those Delawareans who have been hurt by the increasing concentration of wealth that the Governor has helped to enable. Something, anything, to provide hope to those who don’t live in Greenville, and don’t attend the same cocktail parties the Governor attends, and can’t afford to. My prediction? Whether this week, or next week, when he introduces his proposed budget, those who have been screwed will be asked to make even more sacrifices. The wealthy will not. Maybe he’ll prove me wrong. For once.
All Senate and House committee meetings were canceled yesterday, and none were rescheduled for today. Many thanks to House and Senate staff who provided the public with today’s agendas yesterday.
It’s time to recognize the possibility, perhaps likelihood, that Beau Biden will not be able to run for reelection. I think it’s pretty clear now that he’s battling a serious health challenge He is virtually invisible in public. When he does venture out, people are concerned about what they see. There has been no official update on his condition since August. His spokesman routinely makes statements that Beau previously would have made, most recently on the failure of the Senate to muster up enough votes to restore Beau’s signature legislation to keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill. I wish our AG a full recovery and a long productive life.
However, someone will be elected Attorney General this November. If not Beau, then who? Matt Denn? Or some blinkered law and order type who only cares about talking tough on crime, not on protecting consumers and the public from getting ripped off? It’s time we have this conversation. I know that there may be great comfort in imagining the Biden name on the AG line. But it’s less likely to happen each passing day. Who will step up?
Beau is the only one who can talk me down on this. Right now, he’s not talking.
A true friend of Delaware Liberal, Steve Newton, will run for the 22nd Representative District seat currently held by Republican Joe Miro. Miro, BTW, is one of those legislators who has basically retired, but never bothered to tell anybody. If any third party candidate has a real shot, Steve is at the top of the list. He is consistently one of the most thoughtful and on-point analysts of public policy in our state. Here is the press release in its entirety.. inside…..
Well, one day in, and already one of my predictions has gone down in flames. (Or is it ‘up in flames’?) Thought it would be easy for the Senate to resurrect HB 88(Barbieri), which would establish procedures to try and keep guns out of the hands of the dangerously mentally-ill. We weren’t talking about passing the bill, we were just talking about restoring the bill to the Senate calendar. However, this signature initiative of Attorney General Beau Biden went nowhere on Tuesday, likely prompted by the notable absence of Beau Biden. From the News-Journal story:
Senate Minority Leader Gary Simpson, R-Milford, said he expected Biden to be in Legislative Hall to make his case.
“If this bill is that important, I would think the attorney general would be present to debate it,” Simpson said. “He should be on the job and seen and heard from, rather than his staff speaking in his name.”
Biden’s chief of staff, Timothy Mullaney, said Biden spent his day in meetings to discuss violence in Wilmington. Biden was not available for interviews to discuss a new Wilmington crime plan announced by Mayor Dennis Williams. Joe Rogalsky, who leads legislative efforts for Biden, said the attorney general would not give up on the gun-control issue.
Simpson’s right, you know. Perhaps a little cruel, but right. Were Biden up to the task, he would have been in Legislative Hall. It’s not a long drive from Wilmington. However, it proved to be a Route Too Far to revive his signature bill. You do the math.
Hey, didja know that 17 United States senators have formed a working coalition on climate action? Didja know that these senators are members of the two Senate committees best positioned to have an impact on climate action? Didja know that Tom Carper is a member of one of those committees? I think you can see where this is going….
The 2nd Session of the 147th General Assembly begins today. For newbies, or for those who forget easily, here’s what you need to know. Each legislative term lasts two years, from election to election. The 147th General Assembly runs until Election Day. Since this is the second year of the Assembly, all legislation that was in play on July 1, 2013 remains in play today. Of course, that doesn’t even consider new bills, new nominees, new controversy and, of course, new snark from Yours Truly.
The General Assembly meets for three weeks in January, breaks for six weeks for Joint Finance Committee hearings until mid-March, meets until Easter, breaks for two weeks, meets until around Memorial Day, breaks for two weeks (this is usually when the fiscal bills are finalized), and then meets until the early hours of July 1. But that’s getting ahead of ourselves.
This can and should be a busy and productive January session. It WILL be a contentious session. Here’s just some of the stuff that likely will be considered during January….:
Ennis took the time-honored (or dishonored) route to the General Assembly. Retired state trooper straight to Leg Hall. His temperament, though, is different than others who have made the same trek. He’s not aggressive, he’s very friendly, does his homework, and maintains close ties to his constituents. He is in his Dover office almost every day, and he’s always meeting with constituents. Not those with the most money, I might point out. You might not think he’s all that smart when you first meet him, but he uses that to his advantage. He’s a lot smarter, and more politically canny, than he seems.
Meanwhile, Stephanie Bolden isn’t terrible, but she appears disinterested in, you know, legislating. One would hope that a district like hers would be served by someone more interested in their constituents’ problems than her own resume. She generally votes the ‘right’ way, but then so would anybody who represents this overwhelmingly Democratic and under-served district. I’d normally say that the district deserves better. But the voters sent the Plants back to Dover for something like 33 years. So maybe the 2nd RD deserves Stephanie Bolden.
Our congressman, you know, the one who refused to push for Congress to stay in session until benefits to the long-term unemployed were restored, nevertheless found the time to send out this e-mail, presumably from the comforts of his home, which I received at 5:21 pm on New Year’s Eve: Friends, Over the past year, […]
One of the people in the picture to the left is the MVP this year. There were several worthy contenders who just missed the list this year. Superior legislators like Melanie George Smith and Michael Barbieri deserve consideration every year. Ed Osienski is fast approaching that status. Helene Keeley and Kim Williams were on my list at one time or another during my deliberations.
2013 was a great year for social justice in Delaware. Economic justice, not so much. However, I am encouraged that at least three strong voices for progressive principles joined the General Assembly this year, and a couple of Leg Hall vets found their voices as well. The progressive grassroots became more effective this year, and helped ensure historic victories that would not have happened without their support. Marriage equality, transgender equality, and justice for manufactured home owners, being among them.
The most notable omission from my list, and I struggled with it, is Governor Jack Markell. His role in hastening civil rights for the LGBT community will most assuredly be his lasting positive legacy. But, his actions in slowing the passage of minimum wage; his continued pushing for corporate education solutions and favoring charter schools; his granting of a tax cut for Delaware’s wealthiest citizens; his almost-disastrous actions concerning the Port of Wilmington; and several others, led me to omit him from the list. At best, the good and the bad canceled each other out. And, no, you don’t have to take the bad with the good. Or at least you shouldn’t accept it. I don’t.
Now to the list….
Once again, I shall simultaneously announce the 2013 MVP Winners (Delaware’s most valuable to the progressive cause) here at Delaware Liberal and live on the Al Mascitti Show, 10 am to 12 noon on WDEL 1150 AM. This happens on Tuesday, December 31, New Year’s Eve Day. Check out the blog around 10, and either click on your radio or stream live here.
It will be lively, celebratory, and perhaps a bit impertinent. In other words, a perfect early New Year’s Eve celebration.
Quite the eclectic collection. I sincerely hope that you find some stuff you love and some stuff you can’t stand. Me? I love all these, and in this reverse numerical order: 10. Steve Earle: Invisible http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w_AZmBT4wWI 9. Jaimeo Brown w/Geri Allen: Power of God http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QUba1yMQvTw 8. Courtney Barnett: Avant Gardener http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bcnIhzaDTd0 7. Sarah Jarosz: Over […]
I am El Somnambulo, and I’m a listaholic. I listen to lots of music so that you don’t have to. I don’t like my Top 25 list this year, I love my list this year.
If you sample these songs, I can almost guarantee that you’ll find some stuff you’ll want to investigate further. (BTW, Cecile McLorin Salvant‘s ‘Womanchild’ would have been high on this list if only I could have found an online version. She’s great and, if there’s any justice, she’ll make tons of money.)
So here we go, as always, counting down from #25 to #1: