State Rep. Smyk to Governor: “Reassess Your Position” on Syrian Refugees

State Rep. Smyk to Governor: "Reassess Your Position" on Syrian Refugees Date: November 24, 2015 The following letter was recently sent to Gov. Jack Markell... Gov. Markell: I truly understand your compassion in indicating that you favor accepting Syrian refugees into Delaware, should the federal government wish to place them here. It is likely that the vast majority of Syrian refugees are peaceful people who were forced to abandon their homeland due to the strife of civil war and the scourge of terrorism. Both the U.S. and Delaware have a long history of welcoming such people and providing them a safe haven and a chance to be contributing members of our society. However, my research indicates the Syrian refugees present us with a unique challenge. With the chaos caused by the Syrian civil conflict, and the hostile relations between our nation and the Syrian Read more

DE Governor: Weekly Message 11/25/2015

Thankful For the Generous Spirit of Delawareans By: Governor Jack A. Markell As Governor, I travel the state. I visit schools, businesses and not-for-profit organizations. I get to ride along our growing trail system, visit our beautiful beaches with my family, and spend time with leaders in our state—all things I am thankful to be able to do. But each year as we approach the Thanksgiving holiday, I realize there is so much more to be thankful for. This week, I joined WJBR for their annual Turkey Thon that benefits the Ministry of Caring. Delaware residents contributed everything from baby formula and canned goods, to turkeys and non-perishable food for families in need over the holiday season. We also have organizations like Delaware Adopt-A-Family, coordinated by the Division of State Service Centers, that aids families in crisis, whether they're struggling with homelessness, Read more

Proposed Water TAX Resurfaces

Apparently, Delaware Governor Jack Markell’s proposal to impose a water TAX , or “fee” on Delaware property owners has resurfaced. It was first revealed in his 2014 State of the State Address. It was subsequently incorporated in the Governor’s Clean Water for Delaware's Future Initiative. On Thursday, November 19, 2015, a draft of the Clean Water for Delaware Act was distributed and discussed at a Clean Water and Flood Abatement Task Force meeting. The official purpose of the proposed legislation is to provide the State of Delaware with a new revenue stream to raise Delaware’s natural and drinking water quality levels. According to the latest USEPA’s 303-(d) list, 90% of Delaware’s natural waterways are impaired as they fail to meet their designated uses for swimming, fishing and drinking. Under the proposed "Clean Water for Delaware Fee", Delaware residential property Read more

DE U.S. Senator, Tom Carper: Reflections on Syrian Refugees

November 21, 2015 US Senator Tom Carper:Reflections on Syrian Refugees Just over a week ago, terrorists struck at the heart of our nation’s oldest ally in Paris, France. I offer my deepest sympathies to the French people. Our nation mourns with the French people as they bury their loved ones and countrymen. The attack in Paris was not just an attack on France, but on the core values that we share with France – freedom, democracy and respect for human life. This week, the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee held the hearing, “The Impact of ISIS on the Homeland and Refugee Resettlement.” As the committee’s ranking member, I questioned officials fro m the Department of Homeland Security and State Department about the implications of the Paris terror attacks on our national security, including the questions surrounding refugee resettlement. You can Read more

Delaware Governor’s Statement re: Syrian Refugees

In response to a Midlantic Dispatch inquiry, Press Secretary to Delaware Governor, Jack Markell has issued the following statement: The Governor supports the President's decision to provide asylum for refugees in the United States. It is unfortunate that anyone would use the tragic events in Paris to send a message that we do not understand the plight of these refugees, ignoring the fact that the people we are talking about are fleeing the perpetrators of terror. The safety of our citizens is always a top concern. And while any security system can always be improved, the federal refugee review system has the highest level of security checks of any traveler to American shores, including biometric and biographic checks and in-person overseas interviews by federal officials trained to ensure the applicant is a bona fide refugee and not a security risk. That system involves multiple agencies, Read more

DE Governor’s Weekly Message 11/20/2015

Delaware City Refinery: Six Years Later – By: Governor Jack A. Markell Weekly Message An anniversary this weekend provides an opportunity to take stock in our state’s economy and recognize how many Delawareans have contributed to putting us on a promising path. On this day six years ago, this familiar Delaware manufacturing facility – the Delaware City Refinery – shut its doors. 750 people were put out of work. For many, that meant unemployment. For others, it meant missed mortgage or car payments, or even bigger problems at home. Today, the Delaware City Refinery is up and running more efficiently, cleanly, and safely than ever. And we should pause and take note of what that says about the spirit and fortitude of our people. The refinery closed during one of the most troubling recessions in modern American history. Delaware saw thousands of job losses as the national economy Read more

Carney joins Bipartisan Majority in supporting the Pause of Syrian Refugees

47 Democrats including our own John Carney joined all but two Republicans to support Speaker Paul Ryan's bill adding another level of scrutiny to refugees coming from ISIS controlled areas. Ryan had a major victory with his third way approach. The News Journal interviewed Congressman Carney. Carney told the News Journal Wednesday that he would want to suspend the intake of military-aged single male refugees from Syria, but still allow women, children and families into the country. Combat-aged single men not attached to families make up about 2 percent of the almost 1,800 refugees admitted into the country, according to the U.S. State Department. In a statement Friday morning, Carney defended his vote and said that officials, "have a duty to ensure that our vetting process for letting refugees into this country is air-tight -- our constituents are right to demand that of us." Carney Read more

Imagine if ISIS were evil–Democrat drops out of MN Race after tweet that ISIS is not necessarily evil

Dan Kimmel discovered the meaning of the phrase a virtual firestorm when he tweeted that ""ISIS isn't necessarily evil. It is made up of people doing what they think is best for their community. Violence is not the answer, though." After a firestorm, he tweeted that he deplored the evil acts of ISIS. I guess this is an extreme example of hate the sin and love the sinner. He later ended up tweeting that he was withdrawing from the race. This poor guy is not part of the administration nor am I trying to broad brush the Democratic Party. He is illustrative of why the Democrats have problems dealing with ISIS. Why? He is the extreme wing of those who do not really believe people are evil or moral absolutes. He represents the logical conclusion of their beliefs. It is blame the West first. It is self hatred. It is the inability to judge right and wrong. Once moral absolutes are jettisoned, Read more

Markell and Merkel Will Not Reverse Position on Syrian Refugees

By: Wolf von Baumgart, Staff Writer Just as Bundeskanzler Angela Merkel (CDU) announced that she would not reverse her position on Germany’s acceptance of Syrian refugees, Delaware Governor, Jack Markell (D) has declared that Delaware will accept Syrian refugees in accordance with Obama Administration policy. This statement comes in the wake of Saturday’s bloody coordinated bombings and massacres in Paris at the hand of ISIS-sponsored terrorist agents, most of whom were identified as French and Belgian citizens and one was confirmed to have been a recent Syyian refugee. While there are basic international humanitarian concerns regarding resettlement of refugees from war-torn areas, the question is also balanced with legitimate national security concerns, specifically: proper background checks of individuals seeking asylum in host nations and public safety issues arising in Read more

Markell Stays the Course with Syrian Refugees while 24 States express Concerns: Senator PettyJohn Pleads for Reconsideration

Senator Brian Pettyjohn, a Republican of Georgetown's 19th district, sent the following letter which expressed specific concerns about allowing Syrian refugees into Delaware in light of the events in Paris and Egypt. Governor Markell has issued the following response on his Facebook page to those raising questions to the policy. The United States has always been a welcoming nation. We have always been compassionate and kind to those facing danger and injustice, and in our diversity we have found great strength. The safety and security of Delaware and its citizens are our top priority, but we also must understand we are talking about people fleeing perpetrators of terror. And while any security system can be improved, the federal refugee review system has the highest level of security checks of any traveler to American shores, including biometric and biographic checks as well Read more

Supporting Veterans in Our Community – Governor Jack A. Markell Weekly Message

Supporting Veterans in Our Community – Governor Jack A. Markell Weekly Message Our Veterans Day celebrations and commemorations this past week provide an important opportunity to recognize the extraordinary contributions of the men and women who have accepted the responsibility of serving our state and country. We’re reminded that we are only the land of the free because we are the home of the brave. Abraham Lincoln once said, “Honor to the soldier and the sailor everywhere, who bravely bears his country’s cause,” and to honor them, we must do more than recognize them this week. We’ve made progress. We’re supporting Veteran entrepreneurship through an effort to ensure access to state contracts for veteran-owned businesses. We’re also doing more than ever to provide job training and connect former service members to job opportunities. Since 2009, our Department of Labor Read more

A New Republican Party, At War With Itself

Can the Republican Party hold itself together enough to win in 2016 or will the left of center republicans implode the party? Nationally as well as locally the republican party is bursting at the seams, and can't decide whether is wants to stay conservative or go further to the left for the sake of political correctness. The question is, the conservative values of the party have been severely compromised by both national and local infighting, to the point of becoming radically dysfunctional. National Leaders like Karl Rove, Reince Priebus, along with many other more moderate republicans have sought to defeat so-called "Tea Party" candidates or run primaries against them. Some examples in Delaware are Christine O'Donnell, and myself locally and now nationally Donald Trump, and Ben Carson, because they aren't the "Moderate Republicans" choice, or in other words; they want to represent Read more

A Fitting Ode To John Sweeney

Guest Post By: David C. Graham Many long time readers of the editorial opinions, "Our View", artfully composed by John Sweeney, Editorial Page Editor, may have finally noticed they no longer grace the pages of the News Journal. On Sunday, November 1, 2015, Mr. Sweeney cleverly and quietly announced his retirement in his final editorial comment, and fitting ode to his father. To this I retort, "Not so fast, good and faithful servant!" Back in the middle of September, John published his commentary about Facebook's struggle with creating an " unlike" button due to bullying concerns. In response, via a letter to the editor, I suggested a "read" or "noted" button, As usual, Mr. Sweeney properly re-titled it "Facebook bullies", and posted my submission as the lead letter to the editor within a day or so. Frequent users of Facebook may have noted within the last week that inserted Read more

Sussex GOP Report Calls for Committee to Dissolve

Dissolution was the solution given by a special investigator into talk show gate. That could be done, but the notion that there should be a cooling off period of a year is unrealistic not just politically but legally. Retired Admiral Mimi Drew led the inquiry and issued an unvarnished, straightforward report. During a special election for Regional Chair, the divisions boiled into the public. The flames seemed to be fanned by the Delaware Right blog on one side and callers on the Duke Brooks show on WGMD on the other. Some of the conclusions are right on target such as the problems leading to division were a long time in the making and will not be solved quickly. She also concluded that Republicans do not need a new code of ethics, but urged people to take responsibility for their words. The chairman seems to be taking action to hold a meetings to bring the organization together. We Read more

Have the Two Political Parties Lost the Ability to Govern?

OPINION: Have the Two Political Parties Lost the Ability to Govern? By: Dave Graham The recent spectacle of the Republican debate held by CNBC from Boulder, Colorado, emphasizes the wisdom of one of our foremost founding fathers, and the first Constitutional President, George Washington. While not a fount of quotations, Washington was vehemently opposed to political parties. George Washington stated his belief that the problem with political parties was once they got in power, they would work behind the scenes to stay in power. This last week the U.S. Congress once again "kicked the can down the road" by engineering a two year bi-partisan budget proposal with continuing deficits in coordination with an increase in the national debt limit, conveniently removing the issue from the 2016 General Election process. The same process also occurred in early 2014 in advance of the 2014 Read more

Veterans Trust Fund Dinner, A Gala Affair

The Gala Trust Fund Dinner held at the Modern Maturity Center in Dover honored America's veterans in a formal gala dinner and fundraiser, with all the extras. Keynote speaker, Major General Francis D. Vavala, who serves as Delaware's Adjutant General gave a rousing speech in support of our veterans and the Veterans Trust Fund. General Vavala is responsible for mission readiness of all Delaware Army National Guard units to support federal and state missions. General vavala is the longest serving adjutant general in the nation. Major General Vavala's speech: How can we allow those who have taken up the mantra of defending our nation and our beliefs to live in uncertainty, often times without the necessities of life; You agree with me when I say that it’s inexcusable. It's a series of life events that sometimes is related to their service that promotes the despair that results Read more

DE Governor’s Weekly Message 11/06/15

Preserving Natural Resources While Strengthening Our Economy Weekly Message By: Governor Jack A. Markell The Delaware Bayshore is a unique and beautiful landscape. It’s a place where we enjoy fishing, hunting, bird watching, boating, kayaking and cycling; where our farmers plow bountiful fields and where watermen bring their harvest onto shore. Preserving and using these natural resources provides tremendous opportunities to enhance the quality of life in our state and strengthen our economy. We can be proud of four new milestones we recently reached, all of which encourage Delawareans and visitors to enjoy the Bayshore by connecting with nature, exploring our history, and discovering waterfront towns. First, we have preserved a key wetland, part of the Thousand Acre Marsh near Port Penn. The property provides habitat for thousands of waterfowl, protects our state’s water Read more

Donald Trump: VA Reform Plan

The TRUMP 2016 Presididential campaign has released Donald Trump's Plan to reform the US Veterans Adminsistration as follows: Veterans Administration Reforms That Will Make America Great Again The Goals Of Donald J. Trump’s Veterans Plan The current state of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is absolutely unacceptable. Over 300,000 veterans died waiting for care. Corruption and incompetence were excused. Politicians in Washington have done too little too slowly to fix it. This situation can never happen again, and when Donald J. Trump is president, it will be fixed – fast. The guiding principle of the Trump plan is ensuring veterans have convenient access to the best quality care. To further this principle, the Trump plan will decrease wait times, improve healthcare outcomes, and facilitate a seamless transition from service into civilian life. The Trump Plan Will: Read more

Jump Ball One Year Out

One year out the polls are over rated. That does not mean that they are useless. The Generic ballot shows that even numbers of Americans want Republicans and Democrats in charge. The latest NBC/WSJ poll is making news because Dr. Ben Carson is winning and more importantly has 50% in the first and second choice category. He is the first Republican to pass that threshold. What I consider most interesting is the general election generic ballot. Candidate polls are merely interesting at this point. The generic ballot is what shows deeper underlying attitudes which will be the foundation of the next election. 45% want Republicans in charge of Congress and 45% want Democrats in charge. 44% want a Republican President and 43% want a Democrat President. The nation is truly divided. We see it in our entertainment. We see it in our culture. We see it in our elections. Both parties Read more

Delaware Governor Pardons Underground Railroad Conductor

On Nov 2, The Offfice of Delaware Governor, Jack Markell issued the following media release: Governor Markell Pardons Conductor on the Underground Railroad Samuel D. Burris Dover, DE – In an effort to right a historic injustice, Governor Jack Markell today issued a pardon for Samuel D. Burris, a free black man from Delaware, who, on Nov. 2, 1847, was convicted of aiding slaves escaping from their owners. The ceremony, which took place in the same courtroom in which Burris was convicted 168 years ago, was attended by several of his descendants. [ Full text of the pardon is available here. https://governor.delaware.gov/docs/SignedPardon.pdf ] “This pardon is an extraordinary act in recognition of a historic wrong that cannot be corrected by a single stroke of a pen,” said Governor Markell. “But while we cannot change what was done more than 150 years ago, we can ensure Read more