Category Archives: Transparency

Open Letter re: HB 204

Guest Opinion By: Doug Beatty Dear Representative Lynn, This citizen must take umbrage with your sponsorship of H.B. 204. On what planet is this a sound idea? The animal control officers at KCSPCA/FSAC have racked up an impressive history of unanswered complaints. At this very moment one Jacqueline Dyer of Hartly has publicy stated that Lt. David L. Hulse is retaliating against her for a drug test Hulse failed in 2006 administered by Dyer. After Dyer went public, she was criminally charged for dog at large on very shaky probable cause. In fact, in spite of evidence to the contrary according to Ms. Dyer and video from her home surveillance that she has made public. Anywhere I've lived except this place would call that retaliating against a whistle blower. Here, nobody cares how many officials know about this event it seems to always fall outside their responsibility. Giving 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

Ron Paul to Oversee the Fed

I love it.  Audit, Mr. Chairman, Audit! Campaign for Liberty Release WASHINGTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Yesterday, Congressman Ron Paul, Honorary Chairman of Campaign for Liberty, was named Chairman of the U.S. House Domestic Monetary Policy Subcommittee for the upcoming Republican-controlled House of Representatives. “It is very welcome news, and brings hope to the grassroots battle Campaign for Liberty has been leading these last two years—one that Congressman Paul has been fighting his entire political career,” said John Tate, President of Campaign for Liberty.   “This is another step forward in an ongoing struggle to bring true transparency and accountability to the Federal Reserve. Let’s hope the incoming Congressional leadership keeps making progress toward this goal, which a majority of Americans support." With a fierce critic of the Federal Reserve like Read more

Are they Lobbyists or not? Acorn runs into trouble in Delaware

The Delaware Public Integrity Commission is either persecuting Delaware  ACORN for its members utilizing their constitutional right to redress government, or insuring that lobbyists are conducting themselves in the sunlight in accordance with state law.  You can find out for yourself on December 15th.is gaining national attention.  It is being viewed as part of a pattern of lawbreaking. If any organization needs to avoid self created controversy, you would think it would be ACORN. Delaware ACORN's business is filing government forms. You would think one more wouldn't be a problem. If  ACORN has changed from lobbying to encouraging their members to speak out, then it should win.  If it is just lazy, then it had better resolve it before the 15th. Read more

Ron Williams Can’t Read

Ron Williams whose Political acumen and ability to predict Delaware races has earned him the nickname of of WRong Williams, is at it again. This time he displays an incredible inability to read, analyze, and subsequently comment on the issue of transparency. Ron Williams in a December 9 editorial, takes Colin Bonini to task for not knowing who funded the Retirement Week Ads that were put out by the State Treasurer's Office in October. After all, according to Ron, he asked the State Treasurer herself on October 25th and she told him that Fidelity Investments gave her $50,000 for the Ads. Ron's problem is that Colin Bonini asked a question as to who financed the Retirement Week ads from the State Treasurer. It appears Bonini had the gall to ask this question directly of the State Treasurerer and to expected to get a direct answer from her (Williams believes that Bonini should have Read more

Smear on Meg Whitman exposed

Ebay CEO Meg Whitman did not vote in primaries or in referendum elections most of her life, but the smear that she was not registered to vote in the 80's and 90's was a lie. The missing records were found. In my mind, the real scandal is either the fact that the Democrats running the show in those two counties are lax in keeping public records while being quick to make pronouncements or worse are manipulating public records to smear a strong opponent. This is a real scandal and needs to be investigated. Whitman should not have had to file FIOA in order to get her own public records. The ruling click in D. C., New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and now California are giving rise to a disturbing culture of abuse of power and corruption by one party. Meg Whitman's vote in the general approach is too normal. People need to pay more attention to government, but it is normal. I Read more

In Case you Missed it

The Governor’s office responded to Rep. Lavelle’s FIOA request for Mr. Vince Meconi. The answer is there is no formal contract and no formal standards have been set. He is a casual/seasonal employee with no formal job duties contracted, but his agency sets out expectations. He is paid $38.46 an hour and must keep a time card. I think he will be around for a while. On page 8 of the packet Lt. Governor Denn makes the case that we have gotten more than our money’s worth and we need him more now than before. What is interesting is the admission that most of the stimulus money has yet to go out. So much for it stimulating anything.

Memories…

Remember back when presidential candidate Barack Obama said this: When there are meetings between lobbyists and a government agency, we won't be going to the Supreme Court to keep it secret like Dick Cheney and his energy task force, we'll be putting them up on the Internet for every American to watch. Well, apparently that's out the proverbial window. The White House is keeping information about Obama's meetings with coal executives and lobbyists a secret: CREW filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request [PDF] to the Secret Service on May 15, requesting “all records relating to any visit” made to the White House by the CEOs of 16 major coal companies and lobby groups. In their response to the request [PDF], the Secret Service claimed that the logs qualify as presidential and vice-presidential records and thus aren’t covered by FOIA—and could also be protected Read more

Highlights from Delawarespends.com

• From January 1, 2009 through June 30, 2009, state employees received more than $76.5 million in benefits. • In fiscal year 2008, the State of Delaware spent over $3.1 billion in check payments to Delaware businesses and over $1 billion to out-of-state firms (over a quarter of the check expenditures), equating to over $3 million dollars per day sent out of state. o The other top states to receive checks from the State of Delaware were:  Over $245 million to Pennsylvania firms;  Over $236 million to New Jersey firms;  Over $138 million to Maryland based firms;  Over $54 million to Georgia based firms - that is a bit more than a million tax dollars a week – spent in Georgia • 862 state and school district employees make $100,000 annually or more totaling over $50.9 million in salaries. • In 2008, the State of Delaware spent over $4.3 million on association dues Read more

New Website for Taxpayers–DelawareSpends.com

Caesar Rodney Institute Launches Transparency Web Site DelawareSpends.com unveiled in effort to increase accountability in government through a user-friendly, searchable online database of state government spending. DOVER – In recent years the calls for improving accountability and transparency in Delaware’s state government have increased tremendously. As is evident with the State of Delaware’s recent budget shortfall, now more than ever, Delaware’s residents, business leaders and elected officials need to thoroughly analyze how every tax dollar is being spent. To this end, the Caesar Rodney Institute, a 501(c)(3) non-profit, research and educational institute, has today unveiled DelawareSpends.com – to provide a new, clear look into how state and local tax dollars are spent. Building upon the movement for open government in Delaware, DelawareSpends.com offers searchable 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?

Blog Or Propaganda?

Lt. Governor Matt Denn has caused a stir in Delaware's Blogosphere by starting a blog that he touts as, "the first official blog written by a member of Delaware’s state government." And as far as I can tell, it is. It's also, as I pointed out on Down With Absolutes, a blog that doesn't give the reader the option to comment. Well, of course my blatant heresy lead to a bunch of comments like this: Do you really think he is going to open the comment section for all the trash? And this: Oh, the exact reason why FSP and Maria want to comment, is the reason why there are no comments allowed. It’ll degrade to pure partisan off topic sniping at a moment’s notice. And this lovely post from the Delaware Way: Meanwhile, a pair of local GOPer henchbloggers, Dave Burris and Maria Evans (who, like Mr. Copeland, are members of long-time fat-cat Delaware families) end up chasing Read more

The Blog Factor–WHYY style

I thank WHYY for recognizing the influence of the blogosphere. Feel free to watch the clip.  It is posted by our friend Tyler Nixon.  Thank you Dave Burris. for letting me sit in for you.  Mike and Shirley were a pleasure even to a remote guest. Since the other blogs are talking about it (kindly--thankfully), I can't let ours fall behind. I am fascinated that just 4 years ago, this was not a daily source of information for the vast majority of people.  Now it is the number 1 source of  political information for those under 30.  I have seen marked increases in readership in the past year.  The Internet is now a source as utilized as daily papers for political information.    The world is changing.  If gas prices go much higher, we may not be find delivering papers affordable.  Read more