Independents Beware!

Just how fair is the Department of Elections at registering people to the “Independent Party of Delaware,” instead of making them unaffiliated independents?

Guest Post: Claude Hodges

I lived in Kenton for over forty years and twenty years ago I was sergeant- at -arms during five years when Terry Spence was Republican Speaker of the House in Dover.

After more than 60 years as a registered Republican, I finally gave up on the Delaware Republican Party, and decided to change my political party registration.

The Independent Party of Delaware was my selection since it has become obvious to me the two major parties have failed to properly govern the First State.

When I visited the New Castle County Election office, I specifically told them Independent Party of Delaware. Lo and behold, when I received a postcard in the mail confirming my change of party registration, I was improperly registered as “unaffiliated”.

I called Don Ayotte, the new Chairman of the Independent Party of Delaware to complain. Mr. Ayotte informed me it is a frequent occurrence at all three county Election Boards. So to those of you who are as fed up as I am with the Democrats and the Republicans, beware.

Once in office, there’s not a dime’s worth of difference between the Democrats and the Republicans.

Our Delaware government has no problem using whatever means possible, legal or illegal, to stop you from your exercising your constitutional right to register with the Independent Party of Delaware.

Sincerely,

Claude Hodges

Commentary from Don Ayotte, State Chairman of The Independent Party of Delaware

In my capacity as Chairman of the Independent Party of Delaware (IPoD) I’ve dealt with the Dept. of Election on many occasions and have a good relationship with their organization. I have encountered the same problem that Mr. Hodges characterizes in his letter, both on the field as a candidate, and in my capacity as chairman of the Party.

I am known for going door-to-door while on the campaign field and have encountered many Independents while campaigning who said they were Independents and proudly showed me their card with the “I” printed on it. When I told them that in Delaware the “I” meant they were unaffiliated and had no party designation, they replied that they had told the election official that they wanted to be registered for “The Independent Party of Delaware.”

I get calls weekly about this deception scheme on the part of the Delaware Dept. of Elections, and I walk these people through registering with our party. The Independent Party of Delaware was given the designation of “W,” while the unaffiliated independents were given the designation of “I”. This is an ingenious deception on the part of the Dept. of Elections and State of Delaware.

As of January 28th, 2016, there were 659,381 registered voters in Delaware. 154,751 are registered as “unaffiliated independents” and 4027 are registered with the Independent Party of Delaware. If you want to register with our party, you must tell the Dept. of Elections by phone, or go in personally and tell them that you want to be registered with the “Independent Party of Delaware,” and the designation is “W”.

What I believe is a blatant case of discrimination, is the fact that Democrats have the designation of “D”, Republicans have the designation of “R”, Green Party “G” and the Libertarian Party a “L.” Why then, would the unaffiliated independents have the designation of “I” when they are not a party and the Independent Party of Delaware is a legitimate party and the third largest party in Delaware?

Trump Has The High Ground On Immigration Policy

Open borders advocates attempt to show how foolish and dangerous Donald J. Trump’s immigration plan is, they actually make his case for him. They claim that restaurants would shutdown, construction would grind to a halt, and food would rot in the fields. 11% of food service jobs, 14% of construction jobs, and 26% of farm jobs are held by undocumented workers according these advocates.

Does anyone really think that one couldn’t find workers to do construction or prepare food? If indeed illegals are taking double digit percentages of those jobs while Americans don’t get work they seek or are given part time work to avoid healthcare mandates, does this not argue for controlling the borders?

There are so many Americans who could fill those jobs. Ex cons who have given up because they can’t get a leg up because an undocumented worker has taken their reentry job. People who are unemployed. The U-6 which is the true measure of unemployment is 9.8%. There are almost 16 million people in the U-6 unemployment. Over the last 10 years, immigrants have taken all of the job growth.

Freeing America of a flood of illegal workers would create more demand for legal labor there by reversing the decline of wages afflicting the working and middle classes. They act like those economic benefits $130 billion would disappear. No that is 130 billion being taken from Americans and legal residents. $80 billion is being sent out of the country by illegals. They do help with Social Security, there is economic benefit to more consumers. There would be a shortage of farm workers that would have to be addressed by allowing touch back after background checks. Yes, there are benefits, but the economy would not collapse. The fact is that the problem of falling wages and household income the left complains about so loudly has less to do with CEO salaries and more to do with illegal immigration and bad trade deals.

Arguments that many of the people here already are so integrated into the economy and society that it would be harmful to both to rip them out of it have validity. We enticed people here, we should not break up families, businesses, and create holes in certain industries. How do we strike the balance of the rule of law and looking out for our citizens and legal residents and this reality? Trump actually has a good solution that I advocated years ago. Touch back is the answer. Screen out the criminals and allow back in the others after they touch back home and we screen them. Secure the borders. Adjust legal immigration. Expel the criminals. Some would not come back, that will provide jobs to Americans. Many will and they will be welcomed in the legitimate economy which will help everyone’s wages including theirs. They will no longer be exploited. They will be able to hold their heads high and contribute to a better America and a better future for themselves with dignity free of the fear of being discovered.

Far from being anti-immigrant, this makes sense. I just hate the way he is presenting it. It seems angry and anti-immigrant. We know Mr. Trump loves immigrants, he married 2 of them. His grandparents were immigrants. I give him an F on tone, but an B on policy. I guess he has to do what he has to do to rally voters. I just hope he remembers there is a general election. Drop the challenge to birthright citizenship and he has a plan that will sell. When you really study it, it benefits everyone. While I am not a Trump supporter, he certainly is not a “carnival barker”. His critics would do well to steal some of his hard polices or risk being left in the dust.

Paul, Huckabee, and O’Malley Suspend Campaigns in the Aftermath of Iowa; Bush Campaign on Life Support

Governor Mike Huckabee, one of the finer men with whom I have had the opportunity to collaborate has dropped out of the Presidential race. I have not spoken to him since last week, but people close to him say that he is in good spirits. He quipped, “I am withdrawing for reasons of illness, the voters are sick of me”. Actually, polls show that he and Dr. Ben Carson are the most popular of the Republican Candidates along with Senator Marco Rubio. It just was not his time. In the past 8 years, he did everything right but one, he did not make relationships with a couple of strong fundraisers. He had the best plans, especially on economic and tax policy. It is a shame that he is out of the race, but it was the correct decision not to prolong the inevitable.

Senator Rand Paul is a great American and a powerful voice for liberty. I am delighted that he will return to the United States Senate and represent those of us who believe in liberty as a top priority. I also think it is a shame that he is out of the race. He brought an important voice to the national discourse. I think that he just wasn’t ready yet. Give him another term in the Senate and we may have a President Paul in 8 years.

Governor Martin O’Malley was the best candidate left in the Democratic race so it was logical that he did gain traction. I joke that we had the Socialist, the Liar and the Clueless running for the Democratic nomination for President of these United States. Clueless got a clue and is out. O’Malley was a decent man in a party that doesn’t seem to value that today.

Bush supporter Senator Lindsey Graham is saying publicly what many donors are saying, Bush needs to exit the race if he does not finish 3rd in New Hampshire. Saying that publicly sort of puts the campaign in a position like it is a sinking ship. With friends like that you don’t even need to worry about incoming from your enemies. Personally, I want nothing to do with Bush after the crazy mission to attack Rubio with outlandish or petty accusations. Now his people are attacking Rubio for being too pro-life. It just made me more likely to support Rubio than before.

According to The Hill, Rick Santorum may announce his withdrawal from the race tonight on Foxnews.

Bonus analysis of what the Iowa Caucuses mean to you.

Treasury Officials Lied About Debt Ceiling

There are lies, darn lies, and Treasury Department pronouncements. The Obama Administration understandably wanted an increase in the debt ceiling but they wanted it on their terms this last time and not Republicans as happened before. They decided to scare the public into pressuring Congress to “do the right thing”, according to newly released subpoenaed records from the Treasury and New York Federal Reserve Bank.

The claims that the Republicans were delusional when they claimed that the government would not default because debt payments would be prioritized including entitlements. Well, the New York Federal Reserve had just those plans ready to go in the event that we hit the debt ceiling. They called Treasury Department orders to keep those secret from Congress “crazy and counter productive”.

Made public for the first time, records turned over to the Committee in response to the subpoena show the Federal Reserve Bank of New York previously made plans to prioritize Social Security, veterans’ benefits, and principal and interest payments on the debt over other government obligations.

The Administration, however, directed the New York Fed to withhold this information from the Committee because “Treasury wants to maximize pressure on Congress by limiting communications about contingency planning,” according to a previously undisclosed internal email of the New York Fed.

“Crazy, Counter-Productive”

Efforts by the Obama Administration to keep its contingency planning a secret were met with objections from officials at the Federal Reserve and the New York Fed, who described the approach in an email as “crazy, counter-productive, and add[ing] risk to an already risky situation.”

The Committee began its investigation of the Obama Administration’s contingency planning in late 2013. The Treasury Department and New York Fed failed to comply with requests for information and stonewalled the investigation, forcing the Committee to issue a subpoena in May 2015. The Committee will discuss the nation’s unsustainable federal spending and the debt limit, in addition to the findings of the report, at an Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee hearing on Feb. 2.

“In light of what the internal New York Fed documents indicate, it is now obvious why Treasury fought so hard to prevent their production to the Committee: Treasury knew that the documents would expose the disingenuousness of its public statements and the political gamesmanship at the heart” of the Administration’s “no-negotiation” strategy on the debt ceiling, the

3 Tickets out of Iowa

Iowa is usually about the first 3 finishers. Rubio has the momentum and proves it is a 3 person race, Cruz scores and breaks the inevitability narrative of Trump, and Trump does what he needed to do and proved he can pull votes anywhere in the country. He is not a flash in the pan. New Hampshire is about the top two choices. South Carolina tends to be about the winner. The real vote count is the delegate count. Remember, it is delegates that matters here not who wins by a couple of points but who is strong and gaining delegates. This race is going to go into at least April.

Ted Cruz’s victory in the Iowa caucuses means he’ll collect eight delegates to the Republican National Convention. Donald Trump and Marco Rubio each get seven from the opening contest in the 2016 presidential race. Coming next is Ben Carson with three, followed by Rand Paul and Jeb Bush — one each. Delegates are awarded in proportion to the statewide vote. There are three delegates still to be awarded.

Rubio is amazing. His campaign has changed the narrative. Trump did what he needed to do. He lost momentum after he allowed his personal feud overshadow his momentum. He was finally winning in Iowa after the Palin and Falwell endorsements. Then he stalled it. Rubio and Cruz shined at the debate. Anyone who watched the Luntz focus group was not surprised by Rubio’s surge. 64% of Iowa voters were Evangelical Christians who favored Cruz and Rubio, but Trump had 22%. 42% wanted some who shared their values.

Cruz, did very well by winning tonight. He is in for the long haul and a cofrontrunner. He did the most important function, he brought Constitutional Conservatism to the forefront. It is good.

Rubio, Cruz, Trump, Carson, and Paul being the top 5 is a rebuke to establishment politics. That is healthy.

Governor Mike Huckabee is one of the finest people that you can imagine. He would have been a great President, but he never made the contact to hire and recruit a first class fundraiser. It is a shame. He did the right thing fighting for actual votes and not polls. He did the right thing dropping out tonight when he didn’t finish in the top 5.

On the Democratic side, we no longer have the Socialist, the Liar, and the Clueless. Clueless is gone and Sanders and Clinton are in a virtual tie.

3 tickets out of Iowa, who would have predicted this 6 months ago, two tea party favorites and a businessman? How about that Democratic tie between Clinton and Sanders?

Towards Sewer District Referendum Reform

COMMENTARY

PROPOSITION: IF School District Election Reform, THEN Sewer District Referendum Reform

By: Wolf von Baumgart, Staff Writer

Senate Bill 165, currently before the Delaware General Assembly, if enacted, will afford citizens the opportunity to vote by mail-in ballots in Delaware public school district elections once a year on the second Tuesday in May. The elections will be conducted by the Delaware Department of Elections – not the local school boards. Logically, another question emerges:

Why not sewer district election reform?

The Problem:

The basic legal and administrative principles of general elections should also apply to school and sewer district elections in that they should be secure, impartial and held in a time, place and manner convenient to the electorate at-large. We have heard numerous allegations of multiple voting in various school district referenda, apparent electioneering on the part of some school districts, etc. that may, from time to time, cause reasonable public concern.

Speaking from actual experience, sewer district referenda (at least in Sussex County) are in need of serious reform. The major systemic flaw and inherent conflict of interest here is that the government entities (school districts or counties) having a vested interest in and supporting the positive outcome of a given referendum (of school property tax increases or creation of sewer districts and assessment of rates) are the same people in charge of the elections. Ergo, transferring exclusive control of said elections to the Delaware Department of Elections as a third party in the greater public interest is a formal step in the right direction.

A Case Study in Sewer Realpolitik:

As a glaring example, Sussex County (ca. 2000) proposed creation of an inordinately large sewer district for the greater Oak Orchard area when only a relatively small area in Oak Orchard and Riverdale had problems with obsolete failing septic systems. Initially, the proposed annual rate was estimated at between 1100 and 1200 dollars. The high figure (well in excess of federal guidelines that annual sewer rates not exceed 1.5 % of median area income as determined by the last decennial census) raised alarm among residents in lower income brackets. The rate structure (itself based on the obsolete front footage method of assessment) was arguably inequitable. The situation was further complicated by Sussex County’s long-standing policy that sewer hookup and plumbing costs as wells as inspection fees are the sole responsibility of tenants in cases of rented land.

The proposal as it stood was actively supported by the Sussex County Council, regardless of its high rates and personal impact. One (now former) County Councilman in the district actively sided with the developers in promoting the project, thereby giving many residents a clear impression of “political fixing”, backdoor deals, class prejudice, favoritism, cronyism, pseudo-elitism, externally imposed social stratification, condescension, marginalization and other “sleaze factors”. Unfortunately, some local residents were even afraid to vote in the referendum and actually believed that the sewer was coming whether people voted for it or not and some immediately placed their houses on the market.

In response, a small group of area residents formed the Oak Orchard Citizens Wastewater Commission (O2CWC) whose purpose was independent research, survey, analysis, cost reduction and public information. The O2CWC, acting within the scope of 9 Del. C. , proposed boundary reductions and informed citizens of their little-known right to petition out of a proposed sewer district and submitted a map to this effect. Eventually, Sussex County contracted the Oak Orchard Sanitary Sewer District (OOSSD) boundaries more accurately to the affected area, thereby reducing planning and construction costs. The group also researched low-cost innovative and alternative small-flow wastewater treatment options and applicable government programs, using publicly available information.

Sussex County held a number of public hearings in which the O2CWC actively participated and raised both fundamental and complex technical questions in the public interest. The group held its own public meetings in an ongoing community outreach. The sewer district proposal was itself, controversial. Despite a highly-charged and politically polarized atmosphere, the O2CWC adopted an integrated creative, objective, trans-disciplinary, scientific, technical and economic think-tank methodology, coupled with a legal and consumer advocate/investigative public interest research approach – taking nothing at face value.

In one instance, its independent investigation quickly determined that a mass mailing (from a nonexistent local group) in favor of sewer district creation, purporting to be environmental advocacy, was in fact the work of a local developer who had a direct economic interest in establishment of a sewer district and it subsequently publically exposed this fact to the media and community at-large. From an ecological standpoint, it is interesting to note that, beyond relatively standard static textbook calculations of Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Total Suspended Solid (TSS) and Biological Oxygen Demand (BOD) reduction at existing environmental loading levels, no agency or official involved in the OOSSD public process was inclined to precisely answer the emergent dynamic and multivariate question of net environmental impact of sewer-related development , projected higher densities and other resultant loading factors, as a more comprehensive predictive model was apparently not applied in the project’s environmental impact study.

There was also some talk of building a gambling casino in Oak Orchard at the time. This would have required significant property transfer, as the immediate area had a higher population density than its surroundings. To build up the suspense, on at least on one occasion, the stretched limousine of a prominent NJ casino developer with its personalized license plates was spotted cruising through the Oak Orchard area. One local letter to the editor even claimed that prosperity is just around the corner as the advent of central sewer would somehow bring back “the Good ‘Ole Days”.

Sussex County then held an informal closed door meeting with selected concerned persons regarding the outcome of sewer district referendum, including county engineers, local developers, a plumber, the R&D Director of the O2CWC et.al., in which the plumber (who had a direct economic interest in sewer hook ups) promised Sussex County government a “slam dunk” in the referendum. The O2CWC subsequently informed area residents of the situation and raised further questions of electoral integrity. In retaliation, local thugs targeted and punctured an O2CWC member’s tires during a public meeting in a very crude, but unsuccessful attempt to intimidate and silence the group.

In a heavy-handed attempt at official intimidation, former Sussex County Administrator, Bob Stickels, tried to corner the O2CWC’s R & D Director in the Administration Building. He declared that the O2CWC was an illegal organization and ordered its immediate and unconditional disbanding under threat of a lawsuit. (This was reportedly on the advice of the County Attorney, in reference to a statute regarding establishment of government commissions as entities exclusively by the State of Delaware that was intended for and limited in scope to Delaware political subdivisions.)

After responding to the demand with the famous Battle of the Bulge quote of “NUTS!”, the R&D Director calmly explained that the OAK ORCHARD (geographic location) CITIZENS (legally operative modifier) COMMISSION (form) was convened under Article 1, section 16 of the Delaware Constitution that enumerates the right of the People to assembly, petition and remonstrance; and thereby, the statute alluded to was inapplicable to a freely-associated ad hoc citizens group. Furthermore, any Sussex County SLAPP* action could be legally considered as a state and/or federal civil rights violation and would be acted upon in an appropriate court of competent jurisdiction. Stickels, whose bluff was called, backed down after being reminded that his authority was limited to administering county government — not commanding a Panzer Division.

Subsequently, a rather crude attempt to refuse acceptance of filing the O2CWC’s report of its independent findings in response to the county’s legally questionable one-week public commentary period was made one day before the deadline by a lower ranking official of the Sussex County Engineering Department. The report ( a work product containing three new sources of federal HUD, EPA and USDA grant programs, a community survey , public commentary, a willingness-to-pay curve and information on low-cost alternative wastewater treatment technology) was filed as public record after it was pointed out that arbitrary rejection of filing would constitute an actionable civil rights violation.

It turned out that the first referendum passed by one vote, but was invalidated by Sussex County after the O2CWC raised questions about the handing of some absentee ballots. Also, some people eligible to vote in the referendum reported being turned away from the polls. The second referendum eventually passed by about 15 votes. The O2CWC’s willingness-to-pay survey came in closely at $ 50 over the standard federal guideline. Sussex County (despite its publicly adversarial posture) actually followed up on the O2CWC’s suggested federal funding sources (that its officials were admittedly previously unaware of) and received three additional major grants that enabled significant rate reduction. As a result, fewer people sold their homes to escape unaffordable sewer rates and, true to form, the county politicians claimed full credit for the “windfall” reduction in sewer rates in a staged waterfront public media event.

Possible Solutions:

The fact that people are generally not afforded the opportunity to vote on low-cost innovative and alternative small-flow wastewater treatment systems as an additional ballot option instead of YES or NO to larger expensive central sewer systems raises fundamental questions of state environmental and technology assessment policy as well as local economic development matters that are beyond the scope of this article. However, a third alternative on the ballot can be a useful mechanism.

One possible remedy for similar situations would be to transfer sole sewer district election authority from the counties to the Delaware Department of Elections. Mail-in ballots for sewer district referenda could also be handled as in SB 165. This will ensure maximum voter participation in both sewer and school district elections and be presumably more politically reflective of the will of affected community at-large.

Additionally, the common issues and objectives of school and sewer district election reform are:

1] The actions of PACs and other political groups in these elections should come under existing state campaign finance laws.

2] Corporate entities as stakeholders directly affected by school property tax rate and sewer district questions should also have their right to vote through their legally designated agents more formally codified in state law instead of county or school district criteria.

3] Questions for capital improvement, boundary modification, etc. of sewer districts should also be decided by referendum as in school districts by persons so affected.

4] In any event, all ballot question language should be legally required to be stated clearly and unambiguously to ensure that a “YES” or “NO” vote means precisely a positive or negative response.

5] Government entities should be forbidden from any political activity in school and sewer district elections.

Another approach could be to have school and sewer district referenda correspond to general elections. (The same can be said for municipal elections after city charters are changed through appropriate legislation.) This would initially require an expense of reprogramming voting machines or providing separate paper ballots, but would save the people and state of Delaware even more money in the long run by eliminating separate election set-up costs.

Conclusion:

The People of Delaware deserve honest and impartial school and sewer district elections, based on objectively verifiable information and a process free of conflict of interest as well as inordinate and underhanded special interest and/or government manipulation. In addition to school district election reform, sewer district referendum reform is an idea whose time has come. Accordingly, the Delaware General Assembly should also make the neural connection and deal with this issue through appropriate legislation by extending the legal logic and intent of SB 165 to sewer districts in a separate specific and comprehensive bill with an eye towards electoral thoroughness, efficiency and economy. Delaware’s constitutional and electoral integrity depends upon it.

[ * NOTE: SLAPP –Suit Launched Against Public Participation ]

National Archives Document shows Hillary Clinton Avoided indictment for political reasons

Unindicted Career Criminal Hillary Clinton? That is the view of some close observers. The Special Prosecutor could not get some key figures to flip and we all know that a couple had unfortunate deaths such as Jim McDougall who died of an heart attack while in isolation where he no longer had access to his heart medication and Vince Foster who killed himself and his Clinton related records wanted by subpoena were taken by Clinton aids which were held in the White House Library until they were found after the statue of limitations. Susan McDougall was later pardoned by President Clinton. Now we know how close she was to being indicted thanks to archives being made public. The career prosecutors likened the difficulty to that of a case against a Mafia Kingpin.

The April 24, 1998 memo said, “First, when we are confident of the ultimate ground of our case — the factual guilt of the accused — there is an impulse to bring the charges if there is any reasonable basis for success. Part of that impulse is the recognition that in a ‘typical’ case, the costs of failure are low. No prosecutor has ever been criticized for being too aggressive in charging an ‘edgy’ case against, say, a Mafia kingpin. In this instance, however, the costs — in terms of damage to the investigation and damage to the public perception of the criminal justice system –of failure will be much higher than normal.”

DE Governor’s Weekly Message 1/29/2016

Investing in a Strong Future for Delaware

By: Delaware Governor, Jack A.Markell

This past week I introduced a balanced budget that builds on our core values, most importantly making economic opportunity available for all Delawareans. That means investing in areas that have the greatest impact in creating opportunity: stronger schools and workforce training, innovation and infrastructure to spur economic growth, supporting better health and a high quality of life, and ensuring our budget is sustainable for years to come.

Access to a high quality education is the biggest driver in setting our children on a path to success. We’ve made significant progress, with record high graduation rates and giving more students access to college, but we can do more. To attract and retain great educators, we must recognize our starting salaries are the lowest in the region. I’m recommending funding to change that. We must do more for underserved youth in Wilmington, so we should fund the Wilmington Education Improvement Commissions plan to support low-income students as well as redistricting that helps families better engage in their schools. And we must build on the investments in early learning that have allowed us to increase the number of kids in high quality programs from 5 to 59 percent.

The last two years have set a record for job creation in the state, but we can do more to support economic growth . That includes leveraging state funds to attract investment to our downtowns, supporting high growth sectors like bioscience, and supporting research and development at our colleges and universities.

We will only be able to maintain investments in our progress if we address the unsustainable costs of health care. My budget offers new proposals to bring down costs. I look forward to another year when we challenge ourselves to make our state stronger than ever – and to keep Delaware moving forward.

YouTube: https://youtu.be/itaNvHpSz0s

10 Companies taking responsibility for equal opportunity for women

It is 2016 but in some company, advancement for women in senior positions have not gotten past 1986. These companies have a plan to change.

Women represent close to 40 percent of new hires at the companies, mostly at the entry level. And they are much harder to find at the top. Men comprise 73 percent of senior management, on average, at these companies, a list that includes AccorHotels, Barclays, Koc Holding, McKinsey & Company, PwC, Schneider Electric, Tupperware Brands, Twitter, Unilever and Vodafone.

The firms, which collectively employ more than 1 million people in 190 countries, break out the percentages of women overall, in the boardroom and at the new hire, entry and senior levels.

All are publicly sharing this data for the first time, with the exception of Twitter. Their leaders — all men — are publicly committing to do better and are sharing goals for increasing the numbers of women at all levels in their companies.

Post Debate Thread: Rubio Scores

UPDATE 12 million viewers tuned in at any given minute for the Foxnews Debate. Ratings were down but successful topping the last debate.

Senator Marco Rubio dominated the debate according the instant Google polling and the Luntz focus group as well as my own eyes and ears. He showed why he easily dominates general election polling and is surging in Iowa. Will he surge enough to catch Cruz who also held his own?

In the undercard debate, Businesswoman Carly Fiorina was the Woman on Fire. Governor Mike Huckabee shined and Senator Rick Santorum had a solid performance. Even Governor Gilmore had his best night, but compared to the others he will be mostly forgotten.

As a veteran, I appreciate Businessman Donald Trump’s championing veterans. He raised nearly 6 million dollars at his event for veterans’ causes. It is too bad that he did not do it the day after the debate. Mr. Trump provided alternative programing for CNN to punish Fox News. Fox News has appropriately apologized for the outrageous media release mocking the candidate while they were in negotiations which provided a pretext for Mr. Trump to skip the debate and try to protect his lead. Fox News should apologize to all of the voters as well. Defending their star was appropriate. Mocking the candidate before he withdrew was beneath their normal standards.

The dust up may have given Huckabee who was gaining to a 5th place slot in recent Iowa polling the chance to stay in the race by giving him the opportunity to gain attention both at the Trump rally and the undercard debate. Rubio likely hopes not because he could play for Huckabee and Fiorina supporters which would propel him into a solid second. If they go to Cruz, that could make his path difficult.

Bomb Threats expand

Yesterday, Dover Delaware, Ocean City and Berlin Maryland Police Departments experienced bomb threats. The probing continues.

Statement from Dover PD

The Dover Police Department was forced to evacuate their police station at 5:17PM when a bomb threat was received through our 911 center. Our 911 center immediately transferred calls to the Kent County Department of Public Safety to avoid loss of services to the City of Dover residents upon receiving the call. The police station has since been cleared of any threats with assistance from the Delaware State Police and Delaware Capitol Police K9 Units. At this time, the department is beginning to resume normal operations in the department. If you have any information on this incident, or other threats in our area, please contact the Dover Police Department at 302-736-7111

Virginia Rejoining Concealed Carry Community

Virginia rejoins the community of common sense and true gun safety with Governor Terry McAuliffe deciding to make a deal with Republicans in the state legislature to restore concealed carry reciprocity with 25 other states and overturn radical Attorney General Mark Herring’s decision last month.

Concealed carry permit holders are screened and among the most law abiding citizens in the country, at least 5 times less likely to be involved in violent crime then the general public. This fact made AG Herring’s decision untenable.

The deal itself may make Virginia families safer. In exchange for restoring reciprocity, McAuliffe gets a change in Virginia law that mirrors most other states and forbids people who are under a permanent PFA from possessing firearms during its duration — up to two years. Instead of celebrating a victory the Coalition Against Gun Violence fumed in a statement on their Facebook page.

Now he’s preparing to cave to them in a strange backroom deal. Please help us drive home the message that gun violence prevention advocates will NOT be taken for granted by his administration.

Supporters of the right to carry should congratulate Governor McAuliffe. Contact Governor McAuliffe at (804) 786-2211 or online.

Trump jumps 10 points with Palin endorsement nationally and takes lead in Iowa; Now skipping next debate

Trump is not a conservative and does not have the temperament to be President say most conservative leaders. The National Review edition pulling together 2 dozen leaders who agreed with their long held contention. National Right to Life Leaders have also taken a stand today. Conservative hero, Glen Beck is for the first time touring and endorsing a Presidential candidate in a primary. Those efforts eclipsed by the iconic Sarah Palin. Her endorsement took Trump from 3rd to first with Evangelicals and moved him from 5th to a tie with Cruz with very conservative voters. He is now edging out a lead with tea party voters and moved to a 30 point lead in the latest poll nationally. Palin helped make Rubio and Cruz and now has abandoned them for no particular reason.

Personally, I find this turn of events depressing because he is the person I would least like to see except for Jeb Bush who lost every shred of respect that I had for him with his scorched earth and thankfully inept campaign against Rubio, of all people. I think that Mr. Trump is positioned to win 45 states in the primaries and caucuses. Then tonight, he changes the subject and lets his personal feud with Megyn Kelly explode back into the headlines with decision to pull out of the Fox News Debate. Mr. Donald Trump has been brilliant with few exceptions but has recovered. This time there may be no time to recover. Will he throw away the advantage that he gained?

Texas Grand Jury Indicts Planned Parent Video Activists, With Shocking Felony Charges

Abuse of Texas Justice System Using Partisan Politics.

In an unbelievable move, a Texas grand jury indicted two people from the Center for Medical Progress, Founder, David Daleidon and center employee Sandra Merritt. The two were charged with tampering with a government record, a felony. Daleidon was also charged with a misdemeanor count related to purchasing human organs.

It is paramount to acknowledge the Houston Grand Jury investigating Planned Parenthood stemming from a series of undercover videos on Monday, instead indicted the two anti-abortionists who shot the footage “We were called upon to investigate alleations of criminal conduct by Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast,” Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson said. “As I stated at the outset of this investigation, we must go where the evidence leads us. All the evidence uncovered in the course of this investigation was presented to the grand jury. I respect their decision on this difficult case.”

Anderson provided no details on which documents were allegedly tampered with or why Daleidon faced misdemeanor charges related to purchasing human organs. According to Anderson’s offices, details could not be provided until the documents charging Daleiden and Merritt were formally made public.

“The Center For Medical Progress uses the same undercover techniques that investigative journalists have used for decades in exercising our First Amendment to freedom of speech and of the press and follows all applicable laws,” Daleidon said, while responding to the indictment.

Miscarriages of justice happen when the Department of Injustice takes charge but this is one time that it is so obvious that the blatant face of partisan politics is calling the shots, that perhaps it is the Harris county District Attorney’s office that should be investigated.

Foxnews contributed to this post

DE Governor Jack A. Markell Weekly Message 1/22/2016

Celebrating Past Progress and Envisioning a Bright Future for Delaware

By: Delaware Governor Jack A. Markell Weekly Message

This week I was privileged to deliver my 8th state of the state address to my fellow Delawareans. Thinking back to my first address I’m reminded that we faced a collapsing national economy and a growing deficit at a time of rapidly increasing demand for public services. So we all got to work, improving our business climate and making difficult decisions to balance our budgets. We’ve made substantial progress. Since then Delaware has added more than 50,000 jobs. Local businesses have found new global markets. And thousands of Delawareans have access to new training opportunities for in-demand fields that pay competitive salaries. Today, the state of our state is stronger than it has been in years. But we expect more, and that’s why I’m looking ahead with new proposals that build on our progress. A skilled workforce is a key to driving economic growth in our new technology-driven economy. We’re expanding partnerships that teach computer programming and provide training opportunities at growing local companies for thousands of high school students. I’m advocating legislation that builds a more welcoming business environment by helping small businesses gain access to capital and modernizing our tax code to promote job creation. And we’ll review professional licensing requirements to lower barriers to those entering these fields. Our educational system is positioning young people for success better than ever, from teaching proficiency in foreign languages, to achieving record high graduation rates, and improving access to college. We’re taking additional steps to attract and retain high quality teachers as well as expand access to high-quality early learning programs. By continuing to make these and other investments we’ll give every Delawarean the tools and knowledge to build a bridge to the life they want and deserve. And that will keep Delaware moving forward.

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DE Governor Issues State of Emergency

Delaware Governor Jack A. Markell has issued a REVISED winter storm State of Emergency Declaration effective Friday, January 22 at 5:00 p.m., and announces a Level 1 Driving Warning to begin at 12:00 a.m. Midnight on Saturday, January 23 as follows:

At the Governor’s request, Delaware National Guard and DelDOT began pre-positioning their resources yesterday in anticipation of this weekend’s storm. The State of Emergency declaration allows the Governor to deploy the Delaware National Guard, DelDOT, first responders, and other agencies to open or close roadways and take other actions to protect public safety and property during the storm event.

According to state law, a “Level 1 Driving Warning” means that any person operating a motor vehicle on Delaware roadways must exercise extra caution. All nonessential employees, public and private, are encouraged not to operate a motor vehicle unless there is a significant safety, health or business reason to do so.

If the predicted forecast comes to fruition, the “Level 1 Driving Warning” is likely to be upgraded to a “Level 2 Driving Restriction” as roadway condition deteriorate Saturday. The Governor continues to monitor the forecast regularly and will remain in frequent contact with emergency management and transportation officials over the course of the storm.

According to state law, under a “Level 2 Driving Restriction,” no person may operate a motor vehicle on Delaware roadways, except for persons designated as “essential personnel” or who have received a waiver from the Delaware Emergency Management Agency. The following persons are specifically designated as “essential personnel” under Delaware law:

•Operators of snow removal equipment (public and private);

•Persons providing public utility services;

•Persons providing healthcare services; and

•Persons providing food and fuel deliveries.

The National Weather Service has declared a Blizzard Warning for New Castle County and Kent and Sussex Counties are under a Winter Storm Watch. Residents are encouraged to avoid travelling area roads Friday night and Saturday, and Delaware residents in flood-prone areas in Kent and Sussex should seriously consider relocating during this time.

“With authorities predicting snowfall amounts of 12-18 inches, it is important that all Delawareans take the necessary precautions to protect themselves and their loved ones”, said Governor Markell. “Conditions are predicted to rapidly deteriorate during the overnight hours and through tomorrow, which will create hazardous driving conditions and the threat of flooding in low-lying coastal areas. That’s why I’m urging Delawareans to find a safe place to be this weekend and to arrive there this evening, and why I’m asked all non-essential personnel to avoid travelling our roadways after the snow begins so that DelDOT and emergency crews can clear the roads and keep our citizens safe.”

Because of the amount of snow expected and duration of the snowfall, many roads will be snow-covered and could be impassable throughout the day tomorrow. DelDOT has been working hard to prepare the roads for snow and to prepare its crews for a weekend of plowing.

DelDOT crews started applying brine solution to Delaware roadways on Wednesday, and have since completed those operations. All equipment used in snow removal operations have been checked and rechecked from the snow plows to the windshield wipers. Plow trucks are being loaded with salt, and all normal snow removal preparations are underway.

DelDOT has Equipment Operators for 330 snow plows currently at work and on standby ready to act as the snowfall requires this evening and Saturday.

Yesterday, the Governor authorized the National Guard, in coordination with the Delaware Emergency Management Agency, to pre-position its forces to assist local first responders with stranded motorists, flooding, and other emergencies that may require their attention. They will remain in position to assist Delawareans throughout the weekend.

Code Purple locations will open today in all three counties for individuals who are homeless and in need of shelter during the storm. More information, including a list of sites statewide, is available here. To be connected to Code Purple resources, call Delaware 2-1-1, search for “Code Purple” on the Delaware 2-1-1 mobile app or on its website at www.delaware211.org and click on the Code Purple button.

Winter Storm precautions released by the Department of Agriculture can be found here.

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The Original State of Emergency Declaration is as follows:

Executive Department

Dover

DECLARATION OF A STATE OF EMERGENCY FOR NEW CASTLE, KENT AND SUSSEX COUNTIES EFFECTIVE AT 5:00 P.M. ON FRIDAY, JANUARY 22, 2016

AND A LEVEL I DRIVING WARNING FOR NEW CASTLE, KENT AND SUSSEX COUNTIES EFFECTIVE AT 12:00 A.M. ON SATURDAY, JANUARY 23, 2016

DUE TO EXPECTED BLIZZARD CONDITIONS AND COASTAL FLOODING

WHEREAS, a significant winter storm is imminently forthcoming in the State of Delaware, and the National Weather Service has issued a Blizzard Warning for New Castle County and Kent County, Delaware, and a Winter Storm Warning for Sussex County, Delaware, beginning at 7:00 p.m. on Friday, January 22, 2016, and ending at 10:00 a.m. on Sunday, January 24, 2016; and

WHEREAS, the National Weather Service forecast for New Castle County and Kent County includes predictions of whiteout conditions, including snow accumulation of 12 to 24 inches in New Castle and Kent Counties, and snow accumulation of 4-8 inches in Sussex County, resulting in potentially hazardous road and travel conditions in all three counties; and

WHEREAS, the National Weather Service estimates that the strongest winds and greatest potential for blizzard conditions will occur during the day on Saturday, January 23, 2016, but urges extreme caution in road travel during the evening hours of Friday, January 22, 2016; and

WHEREAS, the National Weather Service has also issued a Coastal Flood Advisory for New Castle County, Delaware, beginning at 8:00 a.m. on Saturday, January 23, 2016, and ending at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, January 24, 2016, potentially resulting in some tidal flooding and road closures; and

WHEREAS, the National Weather Service has issued a Coastal Flood Warning for Kent County, Delaware and Sussex County, Delaware, beginning at 4:00 a.m. on Saturday, January 23, 2016, and ending at 12:00 noon on Sunday, January 24, 2016, and has predicted tidal flooding, resulting in road closures and many roads potentially being impassable on either side of Saturday morning’s high tide; and

WHEREAS, on January 22, 2016, I authorized the Delaware National Guard to assist state and local officials in all three counties with any necessary response and recovery activity for this severe winter storm; and

WHEREAS, the forthcoming winter storm is expected to create hazardous road conditions in all three counties that present an imminent danger to persons traveling on Delaware roads, as well potential danger to life, safety and property in all three counties;

NOW THEREFORE, I, JACK A. MARKELL, pursuant to Title 20, Chapter 31 of the Delaware Code, do hereby declare a State of Emergency for the entire State of Delaware. This State of Emergency will be effective in all three counties on January 22, 2016, at 5:00 p.m., and shall continue until terminated as provided under state law. The nature of the emergency includes projected blizzard conditions and possible road flooding in Northern Delaware, including New Castle and Northern Kent County, and high winds and coastal flooding in Sussex County, resulting potentially in hazardous road conditions throughout the State. Along with such other actions authorized by Title 20, Chapter 31 of the Delaware Code, I specifically direct and authorize:

1. All departments and agencies of the State of Delaware shall assist in response and recovery activities, as directed by and in coordination with the Delaware Emergency Management Agency (DEMA), in consultation with the Secretary of the Department of Safety and Homeland Security (DSHS), necessary in those areas affected by the storm.

2. As of January 23, 2016 at midnight (12:00 a.m.), and until further notice, a Level 1 Driving Warning is in effect. Any person operating a motor vehicle shall exercise extra caution in the operation of that vehicle for the duration of the emergency. Nonessential employees, regardless of whether employed by a public or private entity, are encouraged not to operate a motor vehicle for the duration of the emergency, unless there is a significant safety, health or business reason to do so. State and local officials are directed to remove abandoned vehicles from roads in affected areas at the expense of the vehicle owner.

3. In addition to the Level 1 Driving Warning, this Order constitutes notice to Delaware residents and businesses in all three counties that additional driving precautions or restrictions may be forthcoming in the morning of Saturday, January 23, 2016.

4. The Delaware National Guard shall take precautionary or responsive actions directed by the Director of DEMA, in consultation with the Secretary of DSHS, upon request by local authorities.

5. I authorize the Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) and the Delaware State Police, in consultation with DEMA and the Secretary of DSHS, to order such bridge and road closures as necessary to protect the health and safety of the public.

6. I reserve the right to take or direct state or local authorities to take, without issuance of further written order, any other necessary actions authorized by Title 20, Chapter 31 of the Delaware Code to respond to this emergency.

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VISIT:

http://news.delaware.gov/2014/01/21/governor-markell-issues-state-of-emergency-for-winter-storm/

for numerous original embedded hyperlinks.

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