What was She Thinking?

Since her entry into the Treasurer’s race in July, Sher Valenzuela has made some tactical gaffes in her campaign that have left observers scratching their heads. Last night’s no show at the debate sponsored by the Delaware State Committee can now be added to that list. There has been considerable speculation regarding Sher’s non appearance, which Sher had announced some time ago. I am not going to add to the speculation. I will however, repeat what State Chairman Charlie Copeland announced last night. Mr. Copeland stated that Mrs. Valenzuela had told him about a month ago that she would not participate. How Sher’s cause could have been made worse by her appearance is hard to fathom. Regarding the event itself, Chairman Copeland handled the MC duties fairly and flawlessly. All the candidates ran over their allotted time at some point. But, with only 3 candidates speaking no one seemed to mind. Mr. Copeland also made it clear that any invited candidate would have the opportunity to make his/her case. The Chairman went back to his days as a candidate and his participating in similar debates. In some of the debates a no show by one candidate meant that his/her opponent could not speak. Mr. Copeland stated that he felt that this was unfair as one candidate could silence an opponent simply by not showing up. Therefore, Ken Simpler was given the opportunity to speak and make his case. He did so effectively. Mr. Simpler’s talk focused on the actual job of Cash Management, his qualifications and experience in this field, and how the Cash Management Policy Board functions with the State Treasurer. Some of the areas Mr. Simpler covered were technical. I would have probably advised him to stay out of the weeds on the technical stuff but Ken Simpler did a good job of explaining his prior duties in simple and concise language. His prior duties, including monitoring Asian and European markets for the best short term deals in managing his employers cash reserves, fits nicely with the job he will do as Treasurer. On a basic level we all do this in our personal lives. Whenever, we shift some funds from a non interest checking account to a savings account we perform this function. Of course in doing so we are not monitoring hundreds of thousands of possible investment opportunities. That’s why having someone who knows the job is so important. After all, the devil is in the details. Mr. Simpler explained and discussed the treasurer’s relationship with the Cash Management Policy Board. Some have painted a picture of this Board as a group of investment gurus who give up their time and expertise to instruct the treasurer regarding his duties and thereby run the agency. The facts are these: 1. The Board is largely made up of State Agency officials. These include (but are not limited to)representatives of the Dept. of Finance, Office of Controller General, etc. 2. The Board meets 4 times a year. 3. The State Treasurer sits on this board. 4. The Board sets broad policy. They do not oversee the Treasurer in any supervisory capacity. They all have day jobs to worry about. The insinuation that this board runs the agency is clearly wrong headed. This mischaracterization of the job is used by some Simpler critics to say that Simpler does not know what the job’s functions are. Ken Simpler does know what the job is about. I have saved the topic of agency personnel management for last. This is one area where Simpler’s comments hit home. There is a section of the Treasurer’s Office where the employees are tasked with the actual cash management functions. For the last 4 years these employees have reported to a lawyer, who has no experience or evident knowledge in this area. This is the person who signs the employee annual evaluations. The question is, How can a supervisor help an employee in the performance of one’s duties when the supervisor knows less about the job than the employee? I think we have all had the experience of having to report to someone who doesn’t have a clue about what your job entails or sometimes theirs. This is very frustrating. Most of us can’t wait to see changes when confronted with this situation. Ken Simpler is the only candidate who has the hands on experience that would allow him to be an effective supervisor to this key group of employees. David Anderson’s earlier post is spot on and reflects the feelings of many Kent Republicans. I contacted this morning an individual who typically makes it to every event imaginable. She was not in attendance last night. When asked why she didn’t attend she replied, “What’s the point of going to a debate when there is no debate?” She said she was disappointed. When I asked her what she might do about her disappointment, she stated, “I’ll know how to express my disappointment on Primary Day.” Regarding the Wade-Smink debate, it was painful to watch. Carl Smink is obviously a nice guy but last night he demonstrated he was not ready for this type of race. One can forgive his inexperience but, Smink does not do his homework nor, does he stay up to speed on current issues. When asked about the Burger King Merger, Smink included in his answer that he wanted to encourage all kinds of manufacturing in America whether it was manufacturing of cars or burgers. I don’t know if Mr. Smink believes that we will only be able to buy the Whopper in Canada in a few months but he clearly does not understand the issue. Things did not get better after that. Kevin Wade could have stood up, waved, and gone home and he would have lost nothing. Kevin’s presentation was energetic and polished. He also deserves the award for the best quip of the night. While responding to a question about repealing Obamacare, Wade stated, “You can change the shoes on Frankenstein and it won’t make him Fred Astaire.”

3 thoughts on “What was She Thinking?”

  1. TW
    Good to see you writing great pieces again. Very informative for us who had prior commitments and couldn’t attend the event.

  2. Yes! The tea party guy in Ole Miss had his lawsuit tossed.
    This means the GOP keeps the seat!
    It’s all about having the majority because until we do that we don’t matter.

  3. Still another primary where being a Republican mostly doesn’t count. Perhaps I should just throw in the towel and change my registration. It’s getting old.

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