El Somnambulo's Latest Posts
While the Trumpster talks about building a literal wall between the US and Mexico, Bryan Townsend is building a figurative electoral wall around the greater Newark area. His campaign HQ is in Newark, the preponderance of his grassroots efforts so far have been in the greater Newark area, and all of these endorsements are from legislators who more or less are from that area. It makes sense to me. Shows that his grassroots campaign is paying off. He now starts with a solid group of supporters largely based on geography. That’s a nice chunk of voters who he can count on. The question will become: To what extent can he expand and replicate that grassroots either throughout the state as a whole or in a more specific sense. A great start though. Haven’t contributed to his campaign for, oh, three weeks or so. Might be time to ante up again.
He has been an integral figure in the expansion of equal rights for all Delaware citizens, and he’s changed things for the better.
Oh, Jeez, Frank Luntz must be consulting with the House R’s again. Today, Greenville’s Debbie Hudson and Monsignor Greg Lavelle are pushing the, wait for it, Parent Empowerment Education Savings Account Act in the House Education Committee. If the bill’s title leads you to suspect that this is another scheme to take $$’s away from public schools, you are correct:
This bill provides opportunities to parents of special needs students to select the most appropriate and productive educational pathway for their children by using funds otherwise allocated to their residential school district.
The co-sponsors of this legislation appeal to the General Assembly to dignify parents of special needs children, by approving an innovative experiment to empower certain parents with the authority to design their special needs children’s education plan, subject only to state approval of vendors to be managed by the state Department of Education or its designee.
And, of course, those parents who aren’t ‘empowered’ will find resources even scarcer than ever. Why do Rethugs hate public education?
NCC Councilman Joseph Reda passed away yesterday at the age of 73. A ‘sheet metal worker, union man, bartender, husband and politician’, Reda earned the affection and admiration of all of his colleagues, regardless of political differences. I encourage you to read the obituary. He did a lot of good for a lot of people. People really liked him. Folks like that deserve to be remembered.
Verizon is a despicable, union-busting, company. My brother-in-law is on strike. He looks like skin and bones after working mandatory 6-days a week, 12 hour shifts. Whatever you do, support the strikers. Here’s a great article laying out in detail what’s at stake here: http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/09/15/the-verizon-standoff-and-the-future-of-labor-communication-and-privacy/ Some key excerpts: The current ownership of the Verizon Communications […]
I don’t think it was on yesterday’s Senate Agenda, but this was the best, and potentially most important, bill passed yesterday. SS2/SB 130 (McDowell) creates Complete Community Enterprise Districts, and here’s the statement of policy as to what they’re supposed to do:
(1) Encourage development that maximizes the economic value to the citizens and the government of the State of both existing and new transportation infrastructure.
(2) Strategically deploy transportation funds in ways that meet the mobility needs of the people of the State at the lowest total economic cost to the people and government of the State.
(3) Encourage transportation solutions that enable the formation of new households in the State that have less than one vehicle per adult worker.
Should the bill become law, local communities could enter into agreements with DELDOT to create districts using the synergies described above.
McDowell has been at this issue for virtually his entire career. Troglodytes like Kermit Justice and a succession of like-minded Transportation Secretaries have kept Delaware far behind the national curve when it comes to innovative mass transportation alternatives. Justice fought commuter rail tooth and nail. Until, of course, his conviction for taking kickbacks. Jason330’s new BFF, Colin Bonini, was a co-sponsor, leaving only three downstate Troggs to vote no. Hocker, Lawson and Simpson.
It looks like this bill has the strong support of the current DELDOT secretary, so maybe better things are ahead. I know that this would be a boon for the ongoing Claymont renaissance, so I’m for it.
The Governor and leaders of the General Assembly, along with the State Chamber of Commerce, are repeating the same strategy they employed so effectively to emasculate a decent minimum wage increase two years ago.
The exact same strategy, in fact. Step One: Get some DINO like Brian Bushweller to express reservations about the bill, thus requiring supporters to weaken it in order for it to pass the Senate.
Step Two: Have Speaker Pete put it in the House Business Lapdog Committee, instead of the Labor Committee. Step Three: Get a couple of putative D legislators to parrot Chamber talking points and express ‘concerns’ they have with the bill. Step Four: Either kill the bill in committee or, failing that, make the bill even weaker than the bill that passed the Senate.
While states like New York and California have passed bills establishing a $15 minimum wage, and while several municipalities have done the same, what passes for D leadership here seeks to water down a bill that would provide a phase-in of an eventual $10.25 minimum wage. This, of course, after tossing something like $50 mill to corporate serial polluters to stay here.
OK, I couldn’t wait. This guy thrilled us at the Arden Gild Hall back in February. Yes, everything you hear is him: Man, this one will almost certainly be in my Top 10 at year’s end: SPECIAL BONUS CUT!!!: While this was cut around Halloween, I only found out about it when […]
I can hear some of you scream, “Oh, no!” Well, Jason330 anyway. Fear not. Too much great music last month, one of the best months ever. Too much for one post. A real wide diversity, something for everybody. Enough talk: Blue-eyed soul from…Australia? Remember his name:
That was a pretty weak non-denial denial, wasn’t it? The person who could shed light on it refuses, claiming that it is a confidential personnel matter. If nothing happened, if he never took those lists, then wouldn’t a simple ‘He did his job, he didn’t take the lists’ be justified? I also love the part about how the complainant was invited to come in, but didn’t. You live in Section 8 housing, you’re gonna head on up to Cop-land? Whole thing smells like a cover-up to me with ex-cops acting as the enforcers. Since Gordon is no stranger to ethical violations or even illegalities, and since everyone knows it, I don’t know whether it will impact him. But he clearly did a 180 on that tape when he found out who the alleged miscreant was. Will the primordial ooze flowing through county government flush him down into one of NCC’s sewers this time? It depends on whether his D opponent, Matthew Meyer, runs an effective and aggressive campaign. It’s also possible that if Barry Nahe, who has filed as an R for County Executive, turns out to be a non-ideological candidate running on the issues of transparency and competence, he could defeat the ethical black hole that is Gordon. Nahe has been Chief of Building Operations and Maintenance in NCC since 2008.
As to Bethany Hall Long, I think it could damage her campaign for Lieutenant Governor. Even if it turns out that Dana Long did nothing wrong, she could unfairly wind up as collateral damage. She barely got a mulligan on the first one (the sign-stealing), but people may start seeing this as a pattern, even if there’s no pattern. It also places John Carney in a bit of a predicament. He’s made no secret internally that he would prefer to run on a ticket with BHL. If he no longer prefers to, her candidacy takes a huge hit. Does Carney want to risk having Gordon sewage all over him? I don’t think so. BTW, let me go back to the sign-stealing thing for a moment. Long didn’t just steal signs, he was a serial sign-stealer. Dana Long got caught b/c his opponents’ signs had gotten stolen so much that they got frustrated and essentially set him up on camera. I fully understand that. My signs were selectively stolen when I ran against Wayne Smith, and I fantasized about catching the thieves in the act. So, Dana Long doesn’t get a pass from me. As of now, we don’t know if Long did anything wrong and/or if BHL knew about anything he might have done wrong. Don’t know if people are in the mood to give her the benefit of the doubt this time.
No, he wasn’t an Okie from Muskogee. He was a country bard from Oildale, California, and he was one of the most empathetic songwriters of the last 50 years. I also think he was one of the greatest. He was especially attuned to the plight of working people. Here are some of my favorites, all […]
Realtor Jim Startzman startz anew. Doesn’t even look like his webpage has been updated. Here’s why he says he’s running:
You’re probably wondering why I’ve decided to run for State Representative and what it is that makes me more qualified than the incumbent. During the last 6+ years I have become more and more aware of the negative effect of our state government towards the citizens of Delaware.
Ho-kay. Anyway, Williams defeated him in 2014 by a 3128-1788 margin. She is one of Delaware’s best legislators and best progressives. She’s part of the solution. My theory as to why Startzman’s running? Real estate business must be slow.
Another week down, another 8-figure payout of taxpayer money transferred to the corporate giants. We’re told that we have to do it, otherwise someone else will. You see, the people who keep getting their pittance of health care cut, the state workers who have to beg for a pittance of a raise, they don’t count. We don’t have to do anything for them, they’re lucky they get what we give them. No, we need the big-paying jobs, or, to be accurate, the tiny fraction of those jobs that will remain, more than we need a more equitable and humane system. Oh, and to go ever-so-slightly off-topic, our sleazy County Executive is gonna throw yet millions more of taxpayers’ money at these extortionists. $7.5 mill for starters. Our money going to pay the big corporations and their biggest earners. That is what’s known as a transfer of wealth. BTW, all those Rethugs who publicly rended their garments in outrage over Gov. Markell’s efforts to at least bring new industries to Delaware? They all voted for both (so far) of these corporate bailouts. They don’t object to transfer of wealth, they just object to it not going to the usual suspects. What this Governor and this General Assembly just did is pretty much similar to throwing money at the casinos…except that these jobs pay more. More money for ever-diminishing returns. Our money.
Yes, SB 200 (Blevins) passed the House and was immediately signed into law by the Governor Thursday. Nobody even had to be late for their St. Patty’s Celebrations. Betcha there was some passin’ ‘o the green to go along with the wearin’ o’ the green that night. Only people who got screwed? Delaware taxpayers. And maybe an inebriated legislator and an appreciative lobbyist or two.
Before I move on, I have a question for my County Council member. These companies are staying, at least for now, whether or not the County hands them $7.5 mill of our money. Could you at least please vote no against this unnecessary and unwarranted giveaway? Thanks for reading. You, the reader, may want to call your Council member to express similar sentiments.
The more I think about it, the more I’m impressed with the kickoff to Matt Meyer’s campaign for County Executive. It’s as if the campaign emerged fully-formed out of nowhere. I’m sure a lot of people worked on preparing this, but I hadn’t heard even a hint about his candidacy until yesterday. Perhaps, as an attorney, he didn’t want to give Gordon the chance to threaten his employer until he was already in. The ad is brilliant, effectively lays out his message. My favorite bit: “Your search found 1 result”. And his bio is compelling. Especially the stuff about Ecosandals:
Matt chose to move to Nairobi, Kenya, where he taught himself Swahili and started Ecosandals, a footwear business he created that has sold environmentally-friendly footwear to customers on 17 countries in 5 continents for over two decades.
Numerous groups and organizations have recognized Ecosandals’ work in creating innovative job opportunities in neighborhoods facing extreme poverty. Those groups include CNN, the United Nations, the World Bank, BBC, Al Jazeera and Current TV, which on national TV called Matt an all-around super human. Ecosandals continues to create employment opportunities in neighborhoods of Nairobi, Kenya where residents are desperate for meaningful work.
Think about it: Tom Gordon or Matt Meyer…gotta ask my wife if we can send Matt a few bucks. Besides, Friends grad and a math teacher? Hey, that’s my daughter’s bio!
BTW, Tom Gordon filed yesterday, so the game is on.
The proposed constitutional amendment mandating that $10 mill must go to Agriculture Lands Preservation annually did not come close to a 2/3 majority in the House. 20 Y, 17 N, 4 A. The only upstate D’s to vote for the bill were Gerald Brady (?) and…Bryon Short (!). Oh, did I mention that there are 8,000 Delaware Farm Bureau members? A cheap (it wasn’t going to pass with or without his vote), politically expedient, and intellectually dishonest vote by the least progressive D candidate for Congress in Delaware.
Guess there was no controversy surrounding SB 202 (Sokola) after all. Mitch Crane was right, the bill merely reflects the self-insured nature of the state and its school buses in this matter. Bill passed unanimously in Senate.
This entire session has been one giveaway after another to the corporate behemoths. Thursday’s session continued the trend with the Senate voting unanimously to fatten the corporate coffers (at the expense of the state’s coffers) by $10.6 mill by FY 2019. Look, I understand that we don’t want to lose any more jobs, but the state has essentially become a one-trick pony in recent years. And, for all that we’ve doled out in corporate welfare, we’ve only retained a small fraction of the jobs that once were the backbone of our economy. And now the county is jumping on the bandwagon. And all the public officials are praising each other for moving so swiftly to ‘save’ the paltry number of DuPont jobs that were ‘saved’. What is lacking is the ‘vision thing’, to quote Bush the Elder. Plus, a thoughtful discussion as to whether the millions we’re tossing to the companies extorting us would be better spent elsewhere. Thankfully, we’ve got John Carney bringing his inspiring vision to–uh, never mind.
Mayor Dennis Williams Just Won’t, Or Can’t, Grow Up.
You’re probably aware that there is a Wilmington mayoral debate on March 15. You may be aware that there are six filed candidates for Mayor. You may also be aware that none of those filed candidates are named Dennis Williams. OK, when the forum was scheduled, quite some time ago, one of the requirements for participating in the forum was that you must be filed as a candidate. Didn’t seem unreasonable, still doesn’t seem unreasonable. But, from a highly-placed source (wink wink) this caused Wilmington’s Embarrassment of a Mayor to go into high dudgeon…how dare they require that someone must be filed as a candidate to participate in a candidates’ debate? Junior high school stuff. But, the organizers relented. So, if Mayor Williams, for one of the very few times since he’s been mayor, deigns to grace the crowd with his presence, he’ll be welcome. Of course, if he had just filed, like a reasonable person, none of this faux-drama would have been necessary. But he just can’t help himself.
In the Senate Executive Committee is yet another giveaway to business, this one the so-called (is Frank Luntz coming up with names for these bills?) “Delaware Commitment to Innovation Act”. The bill basically is yet another $10 mill or so annual giveaway to corporations in addition to all the other giveaways that have taken place in less than three months. Hey, I’ve got some time, let’s see how many of these giveaways I can list:
1. Right out of the box, THIS bill, aka the ‘Delaware Competes Act of 2016′ was specifically designed to keep Chemours, you know, the company that DuPont spun off specifically to avoid liability for its environmental wreckage, here. Passed and signed. Loss of revenue to state’s coffers? About $50 mill over three years, according to this fiscal note. Requirements that Chemours clean up its mess? Zero.
2. Then we’ve had the Council on Development Finance scurry to throw yet more $$’s at the new behemoth, which may well reward the CEO’s who carved out this merger dual CEO’s with an $80 mill payoff. A relatively paltry $9.6 mill of taxpayer money.
3. In the same article, we read that:
New Castle County officials are in the process of approving their own five-year, $7.5 million commitment to DuPont. The plans, which still must pass the County Council, would create a strategic economic development fund for the first time in county history and commit tax reserves to that fund.
Once again, that’s taxpayer money.
4. But that’s not enough for the would-be chemical conglom-o:
County Executive Thomas P. Gordon last month said DuPont officials also have asked him to use his authority to lower its property tax bills.
5. We’re even acting as their real estate agent. (I know I’m missing some more. Isn’t Wilmington being extorted as well?)
6. Which brings us back to this $10 mill annual giveaway.
Practically everybody is on the bill as sponsors, so it will sail right through. Delaware and its local governments have been reduced to paying extortion in order to salvage jobs here. We used to bribe companies (the banks) to come here by throwing people who need credit under the 18.6% bus. We’re now reduced to paying any and all kinds of extortion to get giant corporations to stay here, at least until someone bribes them with even more. Guess it beats providing living wages for people who live and work here. Except, the extortion never stops, and the wages never go up. Pretty much defines ‘The Delaware Way’.
We already know what won’t be addressed by the returning General Assembly this week: Abolition of Delaware’s death penalty. However, it’s for the best of reasons. It’s quite possible that the United States Supreme Court has already sounded the, um, death knell for Delaware’s capital punishment statute. The ironies involved in this are dee-lish. The Delaware legislative hardliners some twenty years ago decided that juries were sometimes too namby-pamby when it came to doling out the death penalty, so they decided to give the judges (who must come before the State Senate for nominations and renominations) the exclusive life and death authority.
Which is precisely why Delaware’s statute appears to have run afoul of the recent Supreme Court ruling, which ‘deemed unconstitutional part of a Florida statute that grants exclusively to judges the right to determine a sentence of death in capital cases’. Delaware has the same language in its statute, which is why the Delaware Supreme Court has placed a moratorium on any capital case moving forward until it can review the statute and determine whether Delaware’s statute can pass constitutional muster.
After missing much of the last session due to health reasons, State Rep. Harold Peterman (R-33rd RD) somewhat surprisingly sought, and won, reelection. He first survived a primary challenge from Charles Postles by a 64.5 to 35.5 margin, and then defeated D John Kevin Robbins, 58-42. However, two Republicans have already filed for this seat, which they likely wouldn’t do if Peterman didn’t give them the go-ahead. Postles is once again seeking the seat, and one Morgan Ann Hudson has also filed. Hudson’s website seems…incomplete and kinda weird. All I can say is that I could find nothing about her doing a Google search. Anybody out there with any info?
City Treasurer Henry Supinski has announced his retirement after 26 years in the post. I don’t remember a single scandal during that time that was attributed to any problems in the Treasurer’s Office. And, when you read the linked bio, pretty much all I can conclude is that this is/was a dedicated and effective public servant. Politics abhors a vacuum, so a politician has rushed in to fill this one. City Councilman Darius Brown has announced that he will not seek reelection to City Council, and instead will pursue the City Treasurer position. From the News-Journal article:
Brown, 34, said he will establish Open Checkbook, a program to show accountability for city expenditures; Money Matters, a program to provide financial literacy for constituents; and Economic Index to disseminate economic and financial data about Wilmington publicly each quarter to highlight the city’s progress compared to economic activity in the region, state and nation.
“Never judge a person until you’ve walked in their moccasins”-Quote from some American Indian guy who ought to go the hell back to where he came from. Sometimes we, and yes, by ‘we’ I include me, are too quick to judge. Take, for example, the lonely love child of former pro rassler and man mountain […]
Having apparently despoiled all there is to despoil within the law or, to be more accurate, within the see-no-evil boundaries ignored by DNREC on a daily basis, the big business boys are now targeting Delaware’s Coastal Zone Act. Here is the article from the Delaware Business Magazine, titled ‘Modernizing the Coastal Zone Act,’ that a wonderful tipster shared with me. You see, the CZA has created a ‘logjam':
Whether it was meant to eventually force manufacturing and industry to “wither on the vine” or to balance the types of allowable companies with keeping our natural resources pristine, it has created a logjam in the process. Regardless of the intent of the legislation, it is clear (to the Chamber) that Delaware’s Coastal Zone Act must be modernized in order for Delaware to grow.
You already see the false meme, don’t you? The implication that perhaps, just perhaps, such radical environmentalists as DuPont Company alumni former Gov. Russell Peterson and former State Senator Andy Knox must have wanted to force manufacturing jobs to wither on the vine. Don’t worry, there’s more.
Some people have a pathological need to run. I don’t know why. (Well, actually, yes I do. Every now and then, the stars align and one of these losers gets elected. Including Williams. And, uh, Karen Weldin Stewart, anyone?) Dennis E. Williams is one of those people. No, he’s not running for Congress, his nascent candidacy apparently having died aborning. Instead he’s gonna give the voters of the 10th Rep. District a chance to admit they were wrong when they threw Williams’ sorry ass out of the General Assembly in 2014. Problem is, Sean Matthews proved the voters right. Even with Pete & Val parking political operatives in the 10th to save one of their lackeys, Matthews defeated Williams by a 55-45 margin. It will be much larger this time, but, hey, Dennis, thanks for the filing fee. Although I now must dig into my pockets to send some $$’s Matthews’ way. He is already one of the most valuable legislators we have in Dover, especially on education.