As a T.E.A. Party leader and Republican I am uniquely positioned to understand the concerns of both sides as they struggle to achieve a balance in a new political climate. The establishment has been running things for a very long time and now some new upstarts are threatening to cut in on their action. The "upstarts" happen to be the electorate as a whole which is actually the way our government was designed. The problem is that it hasn't been run that way in more than 100 years so the establishment has become complacent in their dominance.
Delaware, like New York, Chicago and most other small geographical locations has been controlled by a powerful few for many years. These powerful few come from all political affiliations and they control the most important decisions in the state. While the people retain the power to vote of course and appear to be in control of the process, it is the elite few that control who runs, how they are covered in the media and what support they get from the political parties. It's been said that the only place that plays Chicago politics as good as Chicago, is Delaware.
So it's not surprising that after a divisive Primary election where establishment favorite Mike Castle was beaten by TEA Party favorite Christine O'Donnell, that the two factions would be suspicious of one another. The Democrats are riding a high after their General election victories and they are feeling confident about the Special Election for New Castle County President. They've nominated Tim Sheldon, the current 9th District County Council Representative and former Vice President of Delaware's AFL-CIO. He's still employed by the unions, now serving as the Chief Administrative Officer of the regional bricklayers union and like fellow Democrat Velda Jones-Potter, he's dipping into government resources through another level as well. While not a paid position, Sheldon serves on the board of the Delaware Solid Waste Authority. DSWA is a public/private partnership whose board is appointed by the Governor (and confirmed by the State Senate) and who controls landfill and trash removal in the state.
Councilman Sheldon is paid $27,500 per year by the New Castle County taxpayers part time to serve on County Council and also likely pulls down 6 figures from his full time union job (Not to mention the benefits!). He doesn't really need the money so it's OK that the DSWA appointment comes without pay, what it gives him is an inside track to ensure that his union gets in on the government contract action. It may not be illegal but morally, we have to wonder, is it right?
On the other hand, the Republicans have nominated former State Representative Tom Kovach who was caught on the wrong side of the wave election this year. Kovach is the hand picked candidate of Mike Castle which likely harmed him among conservative voters in his district and may have cost him the election there. This past election was unfortunate as good Republicans lost in places they never should have for various reasons. Some lost because people didn't like O'Donnell and others because of their allegiance to Castle. Whatever the case, unfortunately the good was taken out with the bad. Tom Kovach, for all his bedfellows, is one of the good ones. As a State Representative he served ably in Dover and he stood up for conservative fiscal values. He's a lawyer who specializes in corporate environmental law and intellectual property. He has experience with the land use issues that County Council will be working on and he understands the importance of fiscal responsibility at all levels of government. Tom is perceived as a moderate, "Mike Castle Republican" because he has not been overt about his views on social issues. What we do know about Tom is that he understands that we need cut spending, decrease the tax burden and get government out of the way of the free market to create jobs. These are the things that matter and these are the things that Tom will work to fix in County Council. So what if Mike Castle endorsed Tom Kovach? There has been a lot of talk about working together and uniting to ensure that our economy improves and I believe that Tom Kovach is a candidate that we can all agree will fight to make that happen. With that in mind, consider this my official endorsement of Tom Kovach for New Castle County President. I hope that the members of the Patriot Movement will join me in supporting Tom and standing up against the harmful policies of Paul Clark and Tim Sheldon. Please consider voting for Tom Kovach on Jan. 13th, 2011 in the Special Election for New Castle County Council President.