The NJ released video today of conversation with Erika Benner with her explanation of the Patriots tickets. Click through for the video. As of this writing, there is the video, no other reporting by the NJ. The much rumored picture of Chip Flowers at the game is shown here. Benner claims that Flowers not only knew about the charge on her state card for these tickets, he told her the charge was allowable since they were doing some State business.
Copeland is really phoning it in, and why not? He doesn’t have any viable statewide candidates so why should he try to make an actual case for Republican governance? He has clearly decided to punt on this round of statewide and focus his energies on building for 2016. But he still has to make a show about caring, so while he hasn’t committed himself and the party to any coherent policies – he has chosen a campaign theme of sorts. That theme is a mild queasiness around the idea of “one-party rule” in Delaware.
This is just the latest iteration of the perfunctory messaging coming out of Greenville:
Today, we will review the state of play in the statewide races, which are our US Senator and Representative, as well as the Attorney General, Treasurer and Auditor. As is Delaware custom, we have overwhelmingly favored incumbents facing off against token or insane opposition, and then we have a game of musical chairs producing an unexpected race (Attorney General), a race between a tired incumbent who has overstayed his welcome and a young competent whippersnapper (Auditor), and
a vulnerable incumbent whose time in office has invited primary challenges on both sides of the aisle an open race between a competent Democrat, a Republican businessman, and a crazy person named after a singer and a South American country (Treasurer).
Then we move over to the State Senate, where the Democrats enjoy a 3 seat majority in the small chamber of 21 Senators (13 Democrats and 8 Republicans). Can the GOP take over the majority this fall?
Somebody get Deval Patrick on the phone. We have to warn him.
State Treasurer Chip Flowers has announced that he is ending his campaign for reelection and his moving to Massachusetts with his soon to be new wife once his term as Treasurer is over. He will not be resigning. This makes Sean Barney (D), the defacto Democratic nominee for Treasurer, and it likely ends all GOP designs on the office. I will leave it to others to describe the incredible press conference where these announcements were made, but needless to say another ommission of fact (or as we call them, lies) was revealed in that Chip did in fact attend that Patriots game, tickets to which were purchased on the state credit card. Like I have said before, I am tired, we are all tired, and now, Chip himself is tired. Best of luck, Mr. Flowers on your future endeavors in your new state.
I don’t believe this at all, given the current state of play and what we publicly know. So there must be another shoe about to drop.
Embattled State Treasurer Chip Flowers could resign after a former deputy accused him of harassment. Delaware Public Media contributor Jeff Mordock of Delaware Law Weekly reports sources tell him Flowers may step down as early as Friday and abandon his run for second term this fall. Reports of Flowers possible resignation come about a day after reports surfaced of former Deputy Treasurer Erika Benner filing harassment claims against her former boss.
In addition to seeing that justice is done in Ferguson – this 1033 program has got to go. It is really possible that in 2013 alone, the 1033 program has transferred $449 million in military equipment to police forces?
Yes. They brag about it on the 1033 Program webpage.
The Law Enforcement Support Office (LESO), the facilitators of 1033 program, originated from the National Defense Authorization Act of Fiscal Year 1997 (FY 97). This law allows for the office to transfer excess Department of Defense property to law enforcement agencies across the United States and its territories.
Since its inception, the 1033 program has transferred more than $4.3 billion worth of property. In 2013 alone, $449,309,003.71 worth of property was transferred to law enforcement.
If your law enforcement agency chooses to participate, it may become one of the more than 8,000 participating agencies to increase its capabilities, expand its patrol coverage, reduce response times, and save the American taxpayer’s investment
Take a look at this picture:
I’m old enough to remember this kind of image being routine from news stories from Central and South America or the Eastern Block countries. We used to see those images as the disgrace of these dictatorships, where they have to point their armies at their citizens in order to maintain their power.
That picture is from Ferguson. This St. Louis suburb can afford to equip its police as if they were an occupying army. And they are delivering on the authoritarian behavior of an occupying army.
I am working on two major projects today: a race by race analysis of each General Assembly race and the Statewides and a look at what each candidate raised during the last reporting period and what cash they have on hand. So the Open Thread is going to be a little bare today. Like Coffee Talk on Saturday Night Live in the 90′s, I shall propose some topics for you to discuss:
1. Since Jack Markell took my advice and shaved his head, does he not look more and more like Jesse Ventura?
2. I wish I paid more attention to county politics, but they are just so boring and corrupt. Case in point.
The big race this year is of course the race everyone is talking about today. I wonder if some Republicans are crying into their coffees this morning, or adding some Bailey’s to ease the pain. For their easiest path to victory was a Flowers primary win, who would then be beat down by their strongest candidate, Ken Simpler. It does not seem all is going to plan now, as the road to victory for Flowers just got a little more difficult. And that was before we even talk about text messages.
It would seem that the only candidate actually raising the majority of their campaign coffers from actual people and not themselves… is Sean Barney? That kinda upends some perceptions. I thought Flowers was the People’s candidate, yet he is self financing like he’s a Ken Simpler or something. Just how rich is Treasurer Flowers anyway, if he has a half million to blow on two campaigns? And while he has the cash on hand advantage right now, will that last? I imagine Flowers will now have to spend heavily to keep the seat. And he will have to dirty Barney. That will cost money. Does he have more to give himself?
Onto the other races.
Another marquee primary is that between Senator Bryan Townsend and New Castle County Councilman David “DeLuca Promised Me” Tackett in the 11th Senate District. Tackett was too busy trying to get some lawyers to turn against Bryan instead of raising money during this last go round, as he only raised $900. But fortunately he has $17,170.74 cash on hand, and he seems to be sitting on that for a classic last minute mail drop. Oh, and you what Tackett used to entice these lawyers into turning against Bryan? The fact that Tackett is against marriage equality. These lawyers looked at him and said “We are for it.” As is every Democrat in good standing. The next time Tackett is up for election to his council seat, he must be thrown out of office as a bigot.
So, cops with full blown military gear, weapons and vehicles? Yea, I know, bought on fire sales by locals from feds surplus. But really? Is this what our social order has come to? Press arrested, peaceful protesters arrested and battered with rubber bullets? Really ?
There are some questions swirling around the PDD endorsements, but here is someone all progressives, …hell… all of DELAWARE can endorse, Matt Denn.
He is a legit Robert Kennedy Democrat seeking statewide office, so if you consider yourself a progressive, get off your ass and send him money. If you do I’ll match it up to a total of $500.
Mark your donation with 3 cents added, so the Denn team can tell me how much I owe. Hopefully that is a quick $1,000 bucks to a guy who makes me proud to call myself a Democrat.
I remarked to my source that I thought the primary in the Treasurer’s race was going to be a very close. My source replied “…. assuming something doesn’t break in, say, the next three weeks.” Then he said.. “that is foreshadowing.” That was yesterday.
Former deputy state treasurer Erika Benner has accused her former boss, state Treasurer Chip Flowers, of making harassing and threatening statements in text messages and phone calls after an incident before a July Fourth parade in Dover. [...]
“Tell him to come to my house,” according to the text Benner provided that she said was sent by Flowers on the evening of July 4. “I picked up something from cabelas last week that should ude (sic) just fine. Tell him I’m begging him. He fu—- with the wrong ni—.”
I just knew that Cabela’s was bad news the minute it opened.
First Read: “Well, that didn’t take long. Less than 48 hours after The Atlantic published Hillary Clinton’s critical comments about Obama’s foreign policy, she walked them back. Spokesman Nick Merrill said in a statement that Clinton called the president to ‘make sure he knows that nothing she said was an attempt to attack him, his policies, or his leadership,’ adding that the two will ‘hug it out’ in Martha’s Vineyard tonight. As we’ve noted, Clinton’s always been more hawkish than the president, but the handling of the interview and this apology just seem like more politically head-scratching decisions as she continues her book tour. The bottom line: This is not the first time Clinton and Obama are going to have a public split as Democrats transition from one standard-bearer to another. But is every one of those moments going to be as tortured as this one?”
This was the first time I seriously considered not supporting Hillary AND seriously considered whether, should a credible candidate challenge her, like Warren or O’Malley, she could win the nomination. Hillary wants to walk a tight rope and appear hawkish and strong, but when she does that, she sounds like a Neocon or John McCain. And I will not be voting for a Neocon. So Hillary better get her act together.
Meanwhile, what is going in Kansas? Sometimes the public just tunes out an incumbent and decides they are done with him. There are three such incidences this year: Corbett in PA, Quinn in IL, and now Brownback in KS.
It sure looks that way. Both Valerie Longhurst and Dennis E. Williams have sent out official House correspondence to their districts that are little more than taxpayer-funded campaign pieces. There may well be others who have done the same.
The supposed deniability comes in that these are allegedly legislative updates to constituents. They are sent on their personal House letterhead, in House envelopes, and likely through state mail. And they are prepared in-house by state employees on state time. They tout the alleged accomplishments of the legislators, and, as campaign pieces are prone to do, try to mislead voters on issues where the incumbents are vulnerable. Oh, and so far, they’ve only been sent out by incumbent House members facing primaries.
When I worked in the Senate, we were forbidden from doing this. During the brief time that I worked for the House, then-Speaker Terry Spence allowed us to send such mailings. Of course, it’s likely not coincidence that this policy was set during the election season that the Rethugs were desperately trying to hold onto their majority, and if they did it, he had to let us do it. Truth be told, most of July and August were spent on preparing and sending these mailings.
Only one person can authorize such mailings: The Speaker of the House. It’s likely legal, as the General Assembly routinely exempts itself from laws that apply to everyone else. In fact, apparently it’s technically legal to send out these sorts of mailings up to 35 days prior to an election. But I submit that it’s a wasteful misuse of taxpayer funds.
Ed Kilgore suspects that if the GOP does real well in 2014 (i.e. winning the Senate), then they will become overconfident in 2016 and nominate someone who cannot possibly win:
In both 2008 and 2012 the GOP managed to nominate presidential candidates with relatively moderate images and demonstrated swing-voter appeal. In both cases, the nominations were in no small part fortuitous following a demolition derby of more ideologically rigid rivals. The odds of the “most electable” candidates winning a third straight GOP nomination have been diminished by the relatively low popularity of Chris Christie (damaged significantly by “Bridgegate” and already controversial for supporting a Medicaid expansion in his state), Jeb Bush (headed for a direct collision with conservative activists for his championship of Common Core education standards) and Marco Rubio (more distant from conservative sentiment than ever as the prime Senate sponsor of “amnesty” legislation).
Personally, I think no matter how well the GOP does this year, the dye is already cast for 2016. The radical tea bagger base of the Republican Party already thinks that they lost in 2008 and 2012 because the Establishment forced them to nominate two liberals. And of course they lost because their candidate was not conservative enough.
I’m really stunned at this evening’s news that Robin Williams died today, apparently of suicide. Many years ago I saw him in a Kansas City club — the second show. He was on a tear, and the audience was falling off of their chairs laughing. By the time they got to the club’s closing time, Williams had a ton of energy and the audience was game to stay — so the owner closed the club, charged people $5 or something (so he could claim it was a private club since he was keeping the bar open) and Williams went on for at least two hours more. And it was really interactive too — not only was he conversing with patrons (and then riffing off of the conversations), but he took suggestions for routines. Mostly from Shakespeare. It was utterly hysterical and really smart — you could tell that he knew the work he was riffing off of. I can’t imagine what he has been experiencing, but I know depression can be brutal. Even if you are someone that the world loved so very much.
So President Obama will take some kind of executive action pursuant to both his executive authority and laws already passed by Congress to address the immigration problem later this summer. Whatever he does, it will be the basis for impeachment proceedings this fall. Greg Sargent, in one of his latest columns, talked to experts about the limits of executive power. One of those experts was attorney David Leopold, who was the “former president of the American Immigration Lawyers Association and immigration reform advocate who has consulted with the White House on immigration law.” The upshot is, the President has all the authority he needs under existing law to do what he wants to do. But the GOP will impeach him for it anyway.
We also have a lot of polling goodness inside…