Win Joe, Win

Rep. Booth, unsurprisingly, got the nod for the 19th senate seat on the GOP side according to sources.  I am not sure that he will find it as fulfilling as the house seat, but all that matters is can he do a good job.  The answer is yes. Being the lackey that I am,  I am endorsing Rep. Joe Booth,  Republican candidate for the 19th senate seat.   The truth is that we need to shake things up.  Winning one special election put a chink in the armor.  Winning two would send a message.  I know some people love Rep. Booth.  Some people have problems with him.   I don't care which side you are on.  This is bigger than Rep. Booth.  This is about sending a message to powers in the state and restoring a conservative flavor to the Republican senate caucus.  Email me at DEpolitics@gmail.com and we can set up a team of volunteers or donors to make our voices heard.  If he understands Read more

In What World…

…is this decent journalism? This is the front page of Delaware Online. In what world is a 16% increase in your taxes considered being “spared” or “catching a break?” EVERYONE over $60,000 had their taxes raised. So those making $150,000+ got hit, too. Now, thanks to the News Journal, people all over the state will be outraged that the top earners didn’t feel any pain when they did. Shoddy. picture-56

While we were looking at the budget– a radical agenda continued

While we were looking at the budget,  our friends at the Delaware Family Policy Council also paid attention to the senate.  We all know that illegal activity at abortion mills is forbidden under FACE (Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances).  Last night, the radicals decided to go after legal education and free speech.  This bill needs to die.  It is about view point discrimination.  It creates a free speech bubble that does not apply to any other group.  Blocking an entrance is already illegal regardless of the business, this bill specifically targets free speech activities. From Jordan Warfel Last night, the Delaware State Senate voted to pass S.B.169, a bill that threatens pro-lifers right to free speech.  In yet another act of defiance toward the public, they voted to pass the bill without a committee hearing or any time for the public to view the bill or voice their concerns. You Read more

About Last Night

It was painful to sit through the proceedings last night and listen to the state government raise every fee and tax in the state, and even add some new ones. To me, it represents failure at the highest level, punishing small businesses and their employees for the failure to cut painfully obvious waste in state government. That said, I feel the need to commend Dick Cathcart's Republican caucus. They put the onus for these tax increases on the Democrats, requiring every D to vote for every tax increase. Only then would the GOP give them the one vote they needed to pass the increases. By doing this, the caucus put its stamp of disapproval on the situation, but stopped short of intransigence and government shutdown. In return, they got a written commitment to ongoing reductions in state payroll, and then turn those savings into reductions in last night's tax increases. I've made my complaints Read more

Cheers for Iraqis

I hope this premature pull out from the Iraqi cities works. I believe that it is too early, but the Iraqis are confident. It is their country, they know it better than anyone else. I want to see the day that we can withdraw all but a base or two. Iraq needs to be run by its people and Americans need to get out of their business. On that we all agree. I want my friends home to stay. Let’s pray that this date works. I don’t want to think about the alternative. We have paid the price of 4300 American service people plus the lives of contractors to bring this peace. The Iraqis have paid an even greater price fighting the Saddam loyalists and terrorist cells. Now we are gambling it all on a date certain. If the gamble pays off, we all may be celebrating Iraqi Sovereignty day next year.

It’s on

In his inaugural speech,  Lt. Governor Matt Denn blasted the late President Reagan for encouraging people to hold their government responsible results.  He called for sacrifices of us but not from the governing class.   That was a signal of what was to come-- taxes, taxes, and more fees. The Democrats in the Delaware General Assembly had to accept the concept of sunset clauses to many of their tax bills in order to avoid a government shut down.  Even then they voted down 1 year sunsets and voted in 4 year sunsets. This allowed them to get 1 republican vote so they could get their super majority.  We have hundreds of millions in tax increases and tens of millions more in fee increases.  Death taxes, income taxes, gross receipts taxes, cigarette taxes, and fees on practically everything are going up.  If you get too depressed about it, and go drinking (not recommended) you had better Read more

The Congressman Castle Kent County Listening Session

Today I attended Rep. Mike Castle’s health care listening session in Kent County. This is a compilation of some of my notes from that meeting. It was hosted at Del Tech Terry Campus in a mid-sized room which was overflowing. Approximately 160 people attended, and many had to stand. Representative Castle brought with him a panel of several experts on different aspects of the health care debate. A representative from the Central Delaware Chamber of Commerce (CDCC), a private practice doctor, the president of Bayhealth in Dover, a member of Delaware Hospice, someone from the nursing department at Del Tech, and others. One notable absence is that no one from the insurance industry was present. I am not sure why. First Rep. Castle and the panelist presented their ideas then the floor was opened up for public comments. I will give Representative Castle credit for setting up these meetings. Read more

On this one is President Obama right

The President is now the lamp czar.   The White House is announcing new regulations which set standards for lighting.  He claims that they will save the equivilent of 14 coal powered power plants.   It raises legitimate concerns about the nanny state.   Is this a proper role of government? "Conservation is only half the equation. Even as we use less energy, we need to produce more of our own," said Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. "We have to admit there's a gap between the clean, renewable fuel we want and the reliable energy we need." This is according to the June29 Washington Post on line. That does raise another question?  Should something not be done if it is part of the equation?  Can any real solution not include some type of conservation?  It seems like reducing our dependence on foreign oil is a national security issue. Two areas that are painless Read more

Guest Post from Read the Bill.org

Editor's note:  This interesting email from Ellen Miller goes to heart of whether or not we have a 21st century participatory government. Times like these are too important for us not to hold government to the highest possible standards. The House of Representatives is poised to take up debate on a health care bill in the coming weeks that will have a huge impact on each of our lives and our economy. The bad news is that if the last week is any example, it's not clear that we will even know what's in that bill. Indeed, it's not clear if even our representatives will have a chance to read the bill before they vote. Whatever you think about the "Cap and Trade" bill that was passed by the House last week, or however you feel about health care reform, the process for considering legislation is not as transparent as we need it to be. I'd bet you'd agree with us: Congress MUST read Read more

Hooray For Open Government!

resolutedetermination over at Resolute Determination has this inspiring report up:
I just called the Division of Research at Legislative Hall to get my hands on a copy of the budget. I was told that the public has no right to review the budget until after the General Assembly passes the bill.
So how can any Delawarean make suggestions about what should be cut from the budget if we can’t see the budget? Get it, noman?

A couple of small steps

Step one-- How many of the savings recommended by State Auditor Tom Wagner are still floating around. Some such as the DSTP reform is outdated. Others are not. Talk about consolidating the school districts is understandably controversial. What really isn't controversial is consolidating the administration of the vo-tech high schools. That seems like an easy million.  Remember this? What I have to wonder is why don't we hire a few people to go around the state and collect phone, electric, gas, and other bills around state government then pay them in a consolidated check to each vendor with designated amounts for each account. That would save us many millions at $50 a check. Then we also need to push our vendor to get a fire under themselves to update our software or immediately start taking bids for a new system next year. We are wasting up to 200 million dollars a year just in the Read more

Guest Post–Just say No to tax increases

While the leadership seems to have reached an accord with the Governor which results in millions of dollars in increased taxes, I urge each and every Republican member of the General Assembly to reject the deal. Why? First and foremost, the Republican Party is opposed to tax increases aimed at perpetuating big government. Second, the Governor has not really bargained in good faith. Consider the fact that the pro-union "Prevailing Wage" measures remain in place ---thus costing the citizens of this state MILLIONS and are aimed at rewarding union supporters. When you begin negotiations with many things "off the table" as this administration has done, why should the Republicans help out by raising taxes on everyone else? A "promise" to work towards reducing state jobs by 600 is just that - a promise. If you want to save tax dollars, prevent a paycut for state employees and TRULY Read more

New Contributors

I am pleased to say that we are adding 3 new contributors to Delaware Politics. All three have commented on this blog in the past. You will enjoy their insight and perspective even more. I won't promise that you will always agree with them or that they will agree with each other, but that is part of the fun. The first two will be joining us this week. These two are both involved on the ground with the issues that matter. On paper they come from very different perspectives. One is by background part of the establishment, and the other is part of the new wave. In reality, they both care very deeply about common sense values, fiscal integrity, standing up for the people, and the cause of liberty. One comes from the Republican party and is one of our wisemen. I have known him for well over a decade and trust his counsel and wisdom. I have discussed with him some of his first posts Read more

They are coming for your business accounts

Our friend, Charlie Copeland alerted us to a bill HB 274. It seems to be set to sail through under suspension of the rules without a committee hearing. Which is 46 pages of fee hikes. According to the bill's own synopsis, this is true. This act increases certain fees charged by the Department of Health and Social Services and imposes certain new fees related to licensing, registration, and permits furnished by the Department. The fees apply to bedding manufacturers, body art and piercing parlors, manufacture of bottled water and sodas, child care licensing inspections, violations of the Clean Indoor Air Act, environmental investigations that may impact human health, inspections of cosmetology shops and similar facilities, restaurant inspections, laboratory certifications, lead based paint licensing, massage establishments, milk and dairy safety, end stage renal disease facilities, Read more

Reality knocks against President Obama’s Campaign Promises

Here are the campaign promises that didn't quite make it. Enforce pay-as-you-go (PAYGO) budget rules "Obama believes that a critical step in restoring fiscal discipline is enforcing pay-as-you-go (PAYGO) budgeting rules which require new spending commitments or tax changes to be paid for by cuts to other programs or new revenue." Allow five days of public comment before signing bills To reduce bills rushed through Congress and to the president before the public has the opportunity to review them, Obama "will not sign any non-emergency bill without giving the American public an opportunity to review and comment on the White House website for five days." Tougher rules against revolving door for lobbyists and former officials "No political appointees in an Obama-Biden administration will be permitted to work on regulations or contracts directly and substantially related to their Read more

Governor’s Office Tone Deaf

The Governor’s office pulled back from a major oversight. They originally scheduled the signing of SB 121 for the same day as Senator Adams Funeral. They since changed it to the 2nd of July. Scheduling any bill signing without checking that funeral schedule was a major oversight. This is the second major bill signing that did not check with the schedule of key players. I am glad they weren’t too proud to quietly reschedule. I will chalk it up to being so overwhelmed with these budget numbers in their rookie year. It is times like this that some one like Denny Rochford would have been an asset to the Governor, but the partisans would have none of it.

Smitty’s Out!

First, thank you to Dave Burris for bringing me along with him way back in the First State Politics days.  I am not 100%, but I believe I may have been his first "signee" back at the launch.  Also, thanks for listening to ideas and dealing with my rebellious-to-the-party behavior at times, both on and off of the blogs.  Oh, and humble thanks to hearing me out as to why I thought "Delaware Politics" was a much better name to draw traffic from search engine look ups!  How many hits did we drop because of that change?  😉   Thanks Dave for bringing me along.  A blog by the lonesome, to me, is just that: lonesome.  Some are great at it, but for me, it demands too much of me to keep it afloat.  I certainly had fun, but I also had moments where I wanted to instantly hang it up.  Truth is, I did more hanging out in the background in the overall picture.  Call me the Bass Player of the Read more

Finding Candidates For The 19th District

After Thurman Adams passed away this week, his 19th district state senate seat was vacated requiring a special election to occur. In an email sent out tonight, Eric "Bodie" Bodenweiser notified potential supporters that he is being interviewed by GOP leadership as a potential candidate in that special election. Bodie is currently the honorary chaplain of SCCOR. He is one of what I'm sure is a group of people interested in running. That list of names isn't published, but I would guess at least one person that might run for that seat. That person's win would lead to another special election, and so the cycle goes. No doubt there will be a Democrat on the ballot. I'm aware that there is a possible minor party candidate. This will all shake out soon enough, giving everyone an interesting summertime election. (crossposted on That's Elbert With An E) UPDATE: Due to some misunderstandings Read more

Cap and Tax moves on–Castle abandons Workers

Speaker Pelosi put it all on the line. She made it. 219 to 212. It is a vote reminiscent of the Clinton tax hike of 1993. The Democrats own this with 211 votes to 44 in favor. The speaker and the President owe a big thank you to eight Republicans Mary Bono, Michael Castle, Mark Kirk, Leonard Lance, Frank LoBiondo, John McHugh, David Reichert, and Christopher Smith. May I say they made me sick. This bill is the worst bill in a generation when it comes to destroying what is left of manufacturing and burdening the middle class. If only 4 changed the bill would have needed more vulnerable democrats I have as of now withdrawn my mistaken support of a Castle senate run. I will see what comes. I am proud of my party, especially the leadership, on this issue. They stood on principle. They stood up for the little guy. They defended business. They offered alternatives. They insisted Read more

DP To Continue

DA will be continuing to operate this site after my departure. Elbert, Maria & John will continue on with him, and I wouldn't be surprised to see some additions on top of that. I will have a final post after Tuesday's session. One thought, for now: the ability to win an election does not disqualify you from being an incompetent coward. Most of the elected officials in Delaware are proving to be just that, and those in power are cementing that as their legacy. Now -- right now -- is one of those rare times that calls out desperately for a leader. A real leader. Not some pussyfoot bullshit negotiation between the Governor and the House Minority (who are working feverishly to retain that title) over 600 jobs by attrition. Attrition is a piss poor way to reduce costs. Just because a job is vacated doesn't mean it's not worth filling. We need a leader. You know who you are, and Read more

Pursuing Goals, Poorly

From The Atlantic:
The Obama Administration appears to me to be pursuing many goals, poorly. Here are four: 1) The stimulus failed to meet Larry Summers’ famous criteria of timely, targeted, or temporary. 2) The cap and trade legislation maximizes rent-seeking (favoritism toward particular businesses) and minimizes carbon reduction. 3) The proposed financial reforms are mostly cosmetic and fail to address the key issues of housing policy and regulatory capital arbitrage. 4) In championing health care reform, the President stresses the unsustainability of our current system, while insisting that nothing will change (you can keep your insurance, keep your doctor, etc.).