Category Archives: Reform

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 Read more

Carney fights for Affordable Housing

For Immediate Release: July 7, 2015 Congressman Carney announces legislation to expand affordable housing options Housing Assistance Reform Act would increase housing options for low-income Americans, raise capital for affordable housing projects DOVER, Del. — This morning, Congressman John Carney (D-DE) visited Liberty Court Apartments in Dover to announce new legislation to improve affordable housing options. The Housing Assistance Reform Act would increase housing options for low-income Americans and help housing authorities raise capital for affordable housing projects. The legislation would expand access to the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Moving to Work program from 39 local housing authorities to 60, and eliminate the current unit cap for the Rental Assistance Demonstration program, allowing any eligible housing authority to participate. “Everyone Read more

Income Inequality is the latest distraction from the real problem

Bait and Switch Still Works The hard left has a rallying cry. America is being victimized by rising income inequality. The 1% are oppressing the rest of us by virtue of being successful, they contend. I believe that is poppycock. How much Bill makes is none of your business unless he is taking it from you. If Bill creates something or provides some service/product that someone is willing to pay, Bill should be able to get whatever the market will bear. The thieves are those who would steal from Bill for redistribution. It does not matter whether it is a robber with gun or a tax collector with a CAC because Bill still unjustly loses his money. Sure it may not be "fair" that Bill makes billions and Joe makes thousands, but it is not fair that Joe did not give as much economic value to society as Bill. Why didn't Joe transform the world like Bill Gates did? Using the current dipolar Read more

Delaware Animal Control Reform Petition Available On-line

By: Wolf von Baumgart, Staff Writer A Petition to Delaware Governor Jack Markell, Attorney General Matt Denn et.al. to "Immediately investigate violations by and clarify authority of the contracted dog control agency, known as Kent County SPCA, First State Animal Center & SPCA, Camden SPCA and Delaware Animal Care & Control" is available on-line at: https://www.change.org/p/governor-jack-markell-attorney-general-matt-denn-delaware-governor-jack-markell-delaware-attorney-general-matt-denn-delaware-office-of-animal-welfare-delaware-s-148th-general-assembly-immediately-investigate-violations-by-and-clarify-authority-of-t . NOTE: This information was contributed by D. Meier in a comment regarding a previous article: “Talk Show Host Legally Challenges SPCA”. Read more

Citizens Rally At Leg Hall In Support Of HB 50

HB50, It's All About The Right To Choose To Opt Out Of Testing Co-written By Don Ayotte and Wolf von Baumgart An Education Rally at Delaware’s Legislation Hall, drew an eager crowd of parents and children, wanting their voices heard in support of HB50. The short version of HB 50 states in the synopsis, “This bill creates the right for the parent or guardian of a child to opt out of the annual assessment, currently the “Smarter Balanced Assessment System.” This is a requirement of the new Common Core education system being implemented in Delaware Schools. The primary sponsor of the bill, Rep. John Kowalko (D-25) and Senate sponsor, Sen. David Lawson (R-15), along with House co-Sponsors, Reps. Baumbach (D-23), Keely (D-3),Matthews (D-10), Spiegelman,(R-11), K. Williams (D-19), Yearick (R-34) and Sen. Henry (D-2). Kowalko stated to the crowd outside of Legislative Hall Read more

Sussex Tech Property Tax Increase?

By Staff Writer: Wolf von Baumgart General Assembly Considers Options The Delaware General Assembly met twice earlier this week to consider funding options for Sussex Technical High School District. The Sussex County Delegation (consisting of nine state representatives and five state senators) continues to study Sussex Tech’s impending financial crisis. Five budgetary proposals were originally included in a study attendant to House Concurrent Resolution 2, previously passed in January. Subsequently, other options have emerged for consideration. Sussex Tech administrators have been steadily seeking legislative approval to more than double the STHSD’s current property taxes over the last two years above the current limit as currently permitted by statute. Delaware's three state-created countywide vocational school districts are legally empowered to raise school taxes (with the Read more

GOP Luminaries Gain Traction As Presidential and VP Hopefuls.

National GOP luminaries such as Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Kelly Ayotte and Paul Ryan have remained in the national limelight, in the post-election struggle to fight off such legislation as anti-second amendment legislation and Obama strong-arm tactics. Each continues to gain traction, not only with most factions of the Republican Party but also with Independents and many democrats. This new popularity is no fluke; many Americans that have recently voted for the President have become disenchanted with the newly re-elected president who has become obsessed with revenge based tactics, caused by his failed policies. Actions like failing to open Yellowstone National Park on time and cutting the Federal Tuition Assistance Program and housing benefits for our military veterans can be viewed as tantrum-revenge tactics by a clearly disgruntled president. President Obama pushed "Obamacare" Read more

Rubio Reminds Rush, “Obama’s Not Going To Be President Forever”

"Obama's not going to be president forever," said Florida's Junior senator, Marco Rubio." Rubio sounded like a GOP Presidential Candidate, when appearing on Rush Limpaugh's Radio show Tuesday. "“It’s easier to sell cotton candy than it is to sell broccoli to somebody, but the broccoli is better for you. And it’s the same thing with limited government,’’ Rubio told Limbaugh. “Yeah, it’s a lot easier for a politician to sell people on how a big government program is going to make their life better. But I think ours, once we sell it, is more enduring, more permanent and better for the country.’’ (Newsmax reports) Rubio said while the GOP supports immigration reforms to make it easier for illegal immigrants to remain and prosper in the United States, the party sometimes is seen as against it because of different approaches. “Our point has always been we understand Read more

Endorsing the Kowalko Bill to Stop the Revolving Door

When you are right, you are right. I am presenting the online petition to put a one year break between members of the General Assembly becoming lobbyist of their colleagues. It would not stop them from lobbying agencies or using their knowledge, but it would shall we say be a circuit breaker. One year does not seem unreasonable, but it does eliminate the possibility of a payoff. Here it is.
Please support the Revolving Door Bill being presented by State Representative John Kowalski, which would bar State legislators from becoming lobbyists immediately after leaving office.

Tax System So Broken It Needs to Be Trashed

..So says 3 of 5 Americans, according to a Pew Report released yesterday.   This is why  Herman Cain was on to something and Romney is not.  President Obama is the defender of the status quo that the people want to trash. The number of Americans who feel they pay more than their fair share in federal taxes has dropped significantly over the past decade, from 55% in 2000 to 38% today. About half (52%) now say they pay the right amount in taxes.  Yet at the same time, fewer see the overall tax system as even moderately fair (43%, down from 51% eight years ago), and roughly six-in-ten (59%) say that so much is wrong with the tax system that Congress should completely change it. The latest national survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, conducted Dec. 7-11, 2011 among 1,521 adults, finds that this sense of unfairness centers on the perception that wealthy Americans Read more

Is the Demacratic Caucus’ Statewide Redistricting Plan Racially Discriminitory.

Black Elected Leaders are asking Delaware lawmakers to reconsider the current restricting plan set forth in the General Assembly by the Democratic Caucus. Delaware's Black Caucus has accused the General Assembly's Democratic leaders of "racial Gerrymandering," and are asking that lawmakers, reconfigure the more heavily populated minority Senate and Representative Districts in Bear, Dover, New Castle and Wilmington to make the populations more dominated by racial minorities, according to NewsJournal Reporter, Chad Livengood. "It is our view that the proposed redistricting plans violate the spirit and the intention of the federal Voting Rights Act. We cannot and will not accept the status quo," Delaware Black Caucus Chairman Jea Street wrote in a letter to House Speaker Robert Gilligan and Senate President Pro Tem, Anthony DeLucca, according to the NewsJournal' article. "From this, one Read more

Lead and They Will Follow: Governor Walker Shows Courage and Leadership in Battleground State

Bravo to Gov. Scott Walker (R-Wis.) for standing up for all of the citizens of the Badger State, as a minority of public sector union workers, teachers, correctional officers and other civil servants foment demagoguery and fail to do their jobs. With a $3.6 billion budget gap as a backdrop, the Wisconsin governor must confront reality and re-tool the state’s fiscal problem before it weighs down future growth and crowds out investment. And, unlike the federal government, states are obligated by law to balance their budget. Thus, Gov. Walker is acting like the grown-up in the room. Wisconsin’s newly-elected Governor, in a press conference speech given late Friday in the rotunda of the State capitol, explained to the press and the audience that “We are broke.” He went on to say that the majority of workers and citizens alike in the state support his bill. He wants state workers Read more

Representatives Lavelle and Hocker Say “the time has come to fundamentally reassess” DEL DOT’s Organization

January 31, 2011 Governor Jack Markell Tatnall Building Dover, DE 19901 Governor Markell, Given recent events, we are deeply concerned that questions over management of the Delaware Department of Transportation have seriously crippled public confidence in the agency and impacted its ability to operate effectively. Our apprehension involves a long and well-publicized list of missteps, miscues, and questionable deals and is highlighted by news stories that surfaced today regarding two lawsuits in which the agency is currently engaged. The first involves action the state is taking in Chancery Court, alleging a 66-year lease NKS Distributors received from DelDOT for a prime parcel of land along Delaware 1 was a “typographical error.”  NKS, not surprisingly, is challenging that notion, contending that they have spent hundreds-of-thousands of dollars developing the site Read more

Baseball Player Gil Meche Quits Because He is not Earning Pay

All Gil Meche has to do is sit down and do what he is told and he will make 12 million dollars in the final year of his contract with the Kansas City Royals. Instead the 32 year old, struggling pitcher is retiring because he doesn't feel right taking 12 million dollars when he went 0-5 with a 5.32 ERA (not good numbers) last year. "I want to earn my keep..." he said. Everyone is shocked, but the first thing out of their mouths is well Gil is known for his integrity. I have to say that either way, he is fine in the integrity part, but I admire a person who lives it to the best of their ability. I wonder if that has public policy implications. Readers know that I am opposed to mandatory term limits, but that debate would not happen if those who served the public in office said, I am out of ideas in this office. I either need to move on or take a break and let someone else bring something Read more

Financial Reform the House Dynamic

Changes approved in the Senate may earn more support in the House of Representatives if they make it through negotiations.  Our own Congressman Mike Castle is getting significant attention in today's The Hill post on this subject. Rep. Mike Castle (R-Del.), a congressman running for the Senate, said he liked the Senate version of the financial reform plan better than the House legislation and that he would consider voting for it when it emerges from the conference negotiations between the two chambers. “We’re watching it very closely,” Castle said. He cited a number of provisions that could make the difference in his vote, including the language on regulation of derivatives and corporate governance. There is no question that the Senate bill actually tries to make some reforms instead of just make a political statement like the House bill. I do wish that reform of the GSE's would Read more

The Vote Stealing Bill

What insanity would possess a person in a small state to support DE HB 198? It is The abolishes Federalism and insures Delawareans don't matter Act or at least that is what it would be called if we applied truth to labeling. The Act would disenfranchise Delaware Voters (or insert the name of your state) by insuring that regardless who they vote to support in a Presidential election, their electoral votes would go to whomever has the plurality vote in the country not even the majority is required to over ride the wishes of the people of the state. Recounts are not required to be complete in the legislation; it takes a snapshot 6 days before the appointment of the electors. One has to wonder about the Constitutionality of the measure. It would not allow voters to select the electors, but institute a plebiscite on election day. It allows the voters of other states to bind the voters of Read more

Jefferson Convicted

Another conviction has occurred in true bipartisanship in Washington--the town's culture of corruption. Former Democrat Congressman William Jefferson from America's Southern outpost of corruption was convicted of 11 counts of bribery related charges. Most Congressmen are not corrupt. Most are trying to be honest. The problem is that our system seems to go up to the line for even honest politicians and feeds public skepticism or what Tim called the trust gap. The problem stems from the power Washington has over our lives. People will do what ever they have to be able to live freely. They give donations for protection. The tax code gives advantages to some and punishes others depending how good your lobbyist is. The regulatory code is now becoming another tax code in its power over our lives. The budgetary earmarks are a disgrace when they have no votes and oversight. We need to Read more

READ THE BILL

Rep. John Conyers finally admitted what we already knew, that our elected officials on Capital Hill don't read those pesky pieces of paper that turn into laws and taxes and even wars because it's just too darn hard: “I love these members, they get up and say, ‘Read the bill,’” said Conyers. “What good is reading the bill if it’s a thousand pages and you don’t have two days and two lawyers to find out what it means after you read the bill?” I say enough is enough, you people (yes, I said, "you people" and I mean it) wanted to be in Congress and the Senate, well, it's time for you to know what you're voting on. It's time that you start doing your homework instead of having lackeys and lobbyists do it for you.... That's why I'm proposing that all Representatives and Senators attend a mandatory, Study Hall from 9am to noon on Tuesdays and Thursdays, so they Read more

Term Limits are a failure

Term Limits were the cure all reform mantra. If we get out those long time guys with out dated ideas, everything will be alright. The truth that we see is that having a CA situation where 1/2 of the state senate is no longer accountable to voters does not lead to better government. Maybe it is time to rethink them. Legislative term limits has not given us a government that works better anywhere. Executive term limits seem to have more value particularly if they are not a life time ban. The nature of the legislature is that it represents the will of the people. Power is not concentrated (if the rules are designed properly) as in the executive. When the the legislature is no longer accountable to the people for its survival, it becomes a tool of tyranny and corruption. The legislator may spend his last term trying to please the next employer not the current one. Term limits also Read more

Markell, Wagner, and Jones-Potter attack check costs

In their own words-- DOVER – In a move that will reduce the number of checks the state cuts each year, reduce the number of state credit cards and deliver several hundred thousand dollars back from the state’s credit card vendor, Governor Jack Markell announced Friday reforms in the way the State of Delaware pays its vendors, reimburses state employees and tracks state credit card usage. State Treasurer Velda Jones-Potter, State Auditor R. Thomas Wagner, Acting Secretary of Finance Tom Cook and leaders from several state agencies joined Markell in the announcement. “The state is serious about cutting its costs. Government needs to be as efficient and effective as possible to ensure that Delawareans get better value for their tax dollars,” Markell said. “These reforms are one of several important steps forward.” The new reforms consist of the following: * Read more

Fly Away Mr. Congressman

Fly away with me-- I mean for me. Congressional trips are up big time. Tax payer funded trips nearly doubled since the 2005 ban on funding by outside groups. Both parties do it. Many of the trips are legitimate. Congressman Chris Smith went to Brazil and helped get a high court ruling in favor of an American father whose child was kidnapped. There have been 113 trips to Iraq and Afghanistan. Some are high dollar wining and dining at the Paris air show. Whatever the case, there are a lot more of them. When Republicans took control, they eventually increased trips 6 fold. When Democrats took over they radically increased them in only two years. Trips are 10 times 1995 levels. They now have a fleet of 16 aircraft just for Congressional trips overseas. The issue is complicated and I won't demagogue it. Some of it is a useless waste of money while some is valuable. What I will do is 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