Progressives have been waiting forever to have one of their own represent Delaware in Congress. The last time a liberal voice represented Delaware in the U.S. House of Representatives was in 1966, when then-Representative Harris McDowell (the state senator’s dad) lost to Bill Roth. For the first time in 50 years, we now have the chance to elect a proven progressive and exceedingly effective legislator to Congress. A person with both intellect and heart. That person is Bryan Townsend.
Channel 28 on cable within Wilmington is a public access channel that is the locus of African American politics (and gossip) on Sundays. This is a segment from a recent Community Crossfire segment where Mayor Dennis Williams discusses the state of the city and the state of the Mayor’s race with Sammy Congo, Sam Guy, and Pastor D. If you can spend the 30 minutes or so to take a look at this, you can see how Wilmington’s African Amerian leadership speaks to its African American (mostly) audience. It’s pretty disappointing all the way around, really. If you read this blog regularly, you know that one thing that I like pointing out is how Republicans are particularly good at getting their victim on as a way to bully people into their POV. Even though they aren’t victims of anything, other than their own mismanagement or their own failure of messaging or leadership. You can see exactly the same thing here. Wilmington’s “leadership” is being victimized by Purzycki (called out by name), or others running for Mayor who — according to Williams — he has helped and who are now somehow displaying serious disloyalty in now running against him. Pastor D calls out Kelley in a particularly despicable fashion — denigrating his involvement and friendships with the families of crime victims, wondering why Kelley doesn’t bring jobs to these communities. You are quite welcome to wonder which of these gentlemen have brought any serious jobs to their communities.
I don’t know why I didn’t think of this earlier. While we may not have a Christine O’Donnell in 2016, I can’t recall a year when there have been so many Stoopid Candidate Tricks. Or at least the kind of stories that make me want to scream. Two such stories surfaced this morning in the News-Journal. Scream along with me.
First, we have another example of Mayor Dennis Williams’ solid personnel judgment. Second, we have a DUI in Sussex politics again.
In most Blue States, the usual source of Democratic progressive governing is from its major cities. The Editors of Delaware Liberal have often lamented the fact that Delaware’s biggest city has been lacking in a more progressive political vision at pretty much every level. There’s one candidate in Wilmington’s Mayoral race who is finally advocating a comprehensive progressive vision for governing Wilmington — a vision that is inclusive of the entire city, that is committed to bringing city government practices into the 21st century and will start the work to tackle some of the social justice issues that damage and hold back some of our communities. Delaware Liberal is proud to endorse Eugene Young for Mayor of Wilmington.
Just got this press release from the AG’s office:
Attorney General Will Not Appeal To U.S. Supreme Court On Death PenaltyDelaware DOJ Will Argue State Court Decision Is Not Retroactive
After carefully reviewing the Delaware Supreme Court’s opinion regarding the constitutionality of Delaware’s current death penalty statute, the Attorney General has decided not to appeal the decision to the United States Supreme Court. He has concluded that even if the United States Supreme Court reversed the opinion on Federal Constitutional grounds, that the Delaware Supreme Court would ultimately invalidate Delaware’s current death penalty statute based on the Constitution of the State of Delaware. The Delaware Supreme Court has repeatedly stated that the Delaware Constitution provides rights to a jury trial that are independent of and in some instances more expansive than those provided by the Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution. Litigating and appealing these issues – a process that would likely take years before issues of both federal and state constitutional law were resolved — would likely not only bring about the same result, but would also deny the families of victims sentencing finality.
Specifically, email from a Delaware State Representative campaigning to an email list for his wife, running for Wilmington City Treasurer. This is supposed to be a Big No No, right? And I would expect that if he is emailing this Wilmington-based list, there are probably others he is emailing as well. As I understand it, public officials are not supposed to campaign or conduct campaigns via their state-provided emails. And yet, here we find Representative Charles Potter campaigning via his taxpayer-provided email for the election of his wife. Velda Potter was running for Wilmington City Treasurer and was fired from the Williams Administration for apparent misuse of city resources for her son’s Foxtail concert. Certainly, there were no formal charges over this, but even Dennis Williams was embarrassed enough over it to let her go.
So. Lisa Blunt Rochester sends out the following e-mail: Friends, This week we celebrate the 51st anniversary of the Voting Rights Act being signed into law. It is a piece of legislation that guarantees all Americans—no matter their race—the right to vote. For the first time in half a century, we are facing an […]
I imagine Dennis Williams’ campaign manager could be a bit rusty as to where the City boundaries are since he, like many of the Mayor’s top people, does not live in the City. Yes folks, the Mayor’s campaign headquarters is located on the wrong side of the road. In the County, possibly escaping City Wage taxes? This is 311 E. Lea Blvd, across from the Goodwill facility. According to Parcel View, this building is in New Castle County, but not in Wilmington. It is in a strip mall that doesn’t seem to have many occupants. Today there was one car in the parking lot, in front of the Campaign building.
Today, Governor Jack Markell signed SB 52, The CARE Act. I'm proud to have been the prime sponsor in the House for this bill and commend the work done by Sen. Bethany Hall-Long, Paul Baumbach, State Representative and Representative Valerie Maglio Longhurst, AARP Delaware, and all the other advocates for this important piece of legislation which will help the 123,000 Delawareans providing home healthcare to loved ones.
By far the best journalism being committed in Delaware today is being done by WDEL’s Amy Cherry. She has effectively chronicled the stink of corruption permeating the proposed farmland deal between the Gordon Administration and a couple of well-connected farmers. Here are the links. Go ahead and read/listen to them. I’ll wait.
Nobody, least of all the American “media”, has to do anything to demonize Trump. He’s taken care of it himself by continually attacking a Gold Star family with the GOP playing the role of Hype Man behind him shouting right along. What a disgusting joke the GOP has become. And the Delaware Republicans just follow suit. SAD!
Mayor Williams’ Chief of Staff, Gary Fullman, sent an email to the members of The Monday Club, inviting them to a fundraiser sit-down with the mayor but also invoking the real “threat” that a white candidate could win the Mayor’s race:
“Our communities have fared better over the past 24 years (under an African American mayor) than under previous administrations, at the expense of those who previously benefited, and there is a strong effort by those others to regain control of City Government,” wrote Fullman.
“So much so that folks have paid candidates to enter the race or are paying black individuals to garner support for white candidates in the African American communities (Norman Oliver for Mike Pryszicki [sic]). Don’t be fooled. Join us Wednesday evening to converse directly with Mayor Williams to get the real story.”
Perhaps Jack Markell’s favorite poster child for economic development has given Delaware the finger. SevOne is conducting a series of ‘brutal layoffs.’ And, of course, the Delaware Economic Development Office doesn’t know how much money the state won’t get back. Here’s the (no) money quote from the News Journal story:
“They are laying off so many people I had to wait [hours] to get my severance,” the worker said. “It’s like standing in a line for a guillotine.”
It’s not clear where Delaware will stand in this line. Here’s what we know….
Part 3 was released some time back and I apologize for not posting that. See the end of this post to see details on the release and wrap party for the final episode. Have you heard about this new podcast? Sponsored by the Delaware Center for Justice, this is a long-form reporting project that is meant to explore the role that poverty plays in Wilmington’s crime problems. This will be in four parts — and so far includes voices from young men wrapped up in crime as well as voices from the ACLU, Dr. Yasser Payne, Charlie Copeland and others who are illuminating the larger picture involved with Wilmington’s crime problems. I’ve listened to the first one (this is about 20 minutes long) and it is riveting. Give it a listen and I hope you’ll come back to this thread to discuss this work and the issues it raises.
“Sources told WDEL that Roberts took his own life at his home on his family farm, the Roberts Farm, near Odessa, which was preserved by private non-profits in 2015.
So finally someone heard me! The DelDems Executive Committee decided to not endorse for statewide candidates this season. This is an excellent decision and one that recognizes that it is the voters’ job to vet and select the candidates that they thnk will best represent them in government.
This happened on Friday and is certainly impressive. Senator Booker has been on some lists as a potential VP candidate for Hillary Clinton, and there’s been plenty of cheerleading for him. He’s a solid progressive and defeated a fair bit of Newark public sector corruption and cronyism to win the Mayor’s seat. Here’s his pitch for Eugene Young, candidate for Mayor of Wilmington:
The News Journal released the results of their poll last night, which shows the race being much closer than the common wisdom (including mine) would have suggested. Here’s the numbers:
Kevin Kelly 18%
Mike Purzycki 14%
Dennis Williams 13%
Theo Gregory 11%
Eugene Young 9%
Norm Griffiths 8%
Robert Marshall 2%
Maria Cabrera 2%
The margin of error on this poll is 5.8 and reached landlines only. This surveyed likely Democratic voters. This polly also asked about registration and primary practices — where we find that this group of likely Democratic voters think that it should be easier to switch parties to vote and that primaries should be open.
The filing deadline is this Tuesday, July 12 at 12 noon. After Tuesday, parties may file candidates, but individuals cannot file on their own separate from the party. The deadline for withdrawing one’s candidacy and getting one’s filing fee returned is this Friday, July 15 at 4:30 pm. Friday is also the deadline for candidates to switch from one race to another. I’ll likely be out campaigning for the candidate of my choice (Bryan Townsend) at the Tuesday deadline, so please keep us posted on any last minute developments.
I took a call this evening from Public Policy Polling who was conducting a poll on the Wilmington Mayoral Race. And I am excited to see the results — if there is polling in Wilmington it is for candidates and I don’t think this one was. Here are the questions asked:
1. Likelihood of voting (I answered very likely)
2. Read a list of candidates (in alphabetical order by last name), with instructions to push a number for the candidate you will vote for
3. Wilmington Right Track/Wrong Direction question
The City of Wilmington Just Lost $1.5M in WPD Funding and All Mayor Williams Can Manage is the Usual Okie Doke
At the end of the legislative session last Thursday, the GA took back $1.5 million it was holding at the behest of AG Matt Denn to finance more WPD foot patrols in hot spots in Wilmington. AG Denn helped the City to fund foot patrols last spring and then the JFC met in a special session to allocate more funds this time for both Wilmington and Dover. The additional $1.5M would have paid for 20 weeks of foot patrols and other overtime and would have added in $75K for crime analysis of hot spots by the Delaware State Police. The legislators conditioned Wilmington’s award to the city providing some data on current WPD deployments and it would require that the city meet with the WPPSC consultants again so an assessment could be made of the City’s progress in implementing the recommendations of the commission.
It looks like the General Assembly has scrounged up enough money for the Bond Bill by finding figurative money under the seat cushions. Complete, of course, with dire warnings from Chamber worry trolls:
“It tells me that they are clearly focused on short-term remedies for something that is a long-term problem,” said Robert Perkins, executive director of the Business Roundtable and a former aide to Republican Govs. Pete du Pont and Mike Castle. “This is the equivalent of looking under the cushions of your sofa to find loose change to pay your electric bill.”
The Roundtable, which represents various Delaware business owners, released a study late last year that called for legislators to find more stable sources of revenue and stop the continually growing cost of things like education, Medicaid, and employee health care costs.
“If people did not recognize last August when we released that study that there was a structural problem then, they must now,” Perkins said. “Cobbling together a state budget, which has many, many important programs that must be funded, is not a practice that is sustainable in the long-term.”
You remember that ‘study’, don’t you? Paid for by the Business Roundtable to provide pro-business talking points. Cut corporate taxes, do away with the estate tax, raise taxes on seniors. That’s the one. No mention of raising taxes for Delaware’s wealthiest. And not a peep from the General Assembly this year.
Colin Bonini had company this year. The Annual Operating Budget passed the Senate, but only by a 15-6 vote. All the nos were from R’s with only Cloutier, Lawson and Lopez voting for the budget. An amendment failed that would have removed a $290,000 to the Center for Energy & Environmental Policy. The center is run by McDowell ally Dr. John Byrne. The amendment predictably failed on a straight party vote, 9 yes, 12 no. I may have time to slog through the Epilogue Language which, as longtime legislative observers know, is often where special favors for legislators and their pet projects are buried. However, today is not that day.