Friday, February 25, 2011

Sussex County ED Chair Responds to Delaware Republican Official

Jeanette Talylor responds to Mar Spicer.  Spicer's letter is below.  I've also attached some video.


WOW!  You must have been at a different meeting.  I was at the one at Del Tech in the Carter Partnership Center auditorium.  As a new ED and a long time member of the GOP, I was terribly impressed that there was actually business conducted at this meeting.  That is something I haven’t seen done anytime lately.  The meeting was quiet and well ordered,  (thanks to the incredible job done by Vance) .  Oh yes, there was a lady yelling just prior to adjournment – but I’ll get to that.
There was no “double standard” or “dichotomy” that I saw.  Vance Phillips was elected Chairman Pro Tempore by a majority vote.  I did notice, however, that you failed to mention the first vote with 104 ballots cast by a voting membership of 78 (apparently two voters abstained) that required a second vote done by roll call ballot because somebody was a-cheatin’, which is kind of sad don’t you think for those who have tried everything in their power to keep any business from actually being attended to for months now at Sussex GOP meetings?  I wasn’t even going to mention how juvenile that was, as that kind of goes without saying , but, oh what the heck, it’s time to put on our big boy and girl panties.  Since we (the conservative group) knew going in that we already had the votes needed to get some actual business done and as I know most of them personally and can attest to the honesty and integrity of THAT particular group, it pretty well stands to reason that we know who was behind the cheating shenanigans. 

Now, to get back to the dichotomy and double standard.  Vance, according to the existing rules, was entitled to appoint a Parliamentarian Pro Tempore and he asked for any objections – THERE WERE NONE from the voting body present.   (Unless of course, those 26 ghost voters were simply not heard by us mere mortals)    Brent Wangen is a registered Republican and is very well versed in  Robert’s Rules of Order and standard Parliamentary procedure.   The existing rules state that the Chairman may appoint a Parliamentarian “unless the committee has provided otherwise”.    We were not provided the opportunity to provide otherwise as the  current chairman unilaterally chose Bruce Fitzgerald as his appointed Parliamentarian.   Oh yes, I know he said he got the majority vote of the Advisory Board for his appointment.  There are only a few small issues to be taken up with that.  Hmmmmmm, where should I start?   Well, the Advisory Board has no capacity or in legalese – jurisdiction – in this matter.  If you read the existing rules, the Advisory Board’s sole function is to maintain relationship with Republican voter elected officials at all levels.  Also, based on the behaviors exhibited by Mr. Fitzgerald at the previous meeting, he is NOT well versed in Robert’s Rules of Order nor standard Parliamentary Procedure.  Also, Mr. Fitzgerald resigned of his own accord publicly – I believe the next day on WGMD and also called for Mr. Sams to step down.  I could be wrong, I didn’t hear it – only heard about it.  Oh, but enough of that, let’s move on.
The “substitute” agenda contained ALL (that means every single item) from the original agenda but was in a different order to prevent yet another filibuster to prevent any business from being attended to by the voting members present.  This has been an ongoing tactic at past meetings and our purpose was simply to be able to conduct new/old business of the Sussex County GOP.   There was nothing hidden – the agenda was passed out to all voting members for review and comparison to the old agenda. 

“Character Assassinations” are not exactly what I would call a resolution to ask for a resignation of a Chairperson who is lacking in true leadership skills and has received a majority vote of no-confidence.  I have heard very few people say they dislike Ron Sams, on a personal level; most everyone likes him.  But the facts are there for all who are interested to see.  There has been NO REAL BUSINESS accomplished in the Sussex GOP for months! 

I can’t address the media being asked to leave and the doors being closed at past meetings – I have always seen members of the media present at our meetings so I’m not sure where that is coming from.  I do know that the media didn’t lead the exodus when Tom Ross rose to speak as those recording the event captured every word that he uttered.  A rather large contingent from the gallery (that means spectators) rose and exited when Tom Ross rose to speak.  A few of the voting members joined them.  Others (myself included) tried to stick it out just as a matter of respect.  I did notice, however, that although he made some rather nasty comments about our request for Ron Sams’ resignation (an ongoing issue for months now) that he said absolutely nothing about the 104 ballots cast by 78 present voting members.  You would think that cheating would be an issue, wouldn’t you?

More spectators and members left when Ross started mudslinging at Christine O’Donnell – who by the way,( if you were listening to the Treasurer’s report) has made significant contributions to our operations.  That’s when I had enough and left.  This party has shown little or no regard for the VOTERS’ choice in this state and has gone about choosing the candidate they wish to support prior to the primary.  In case you have forgotten, the conservatives in this state won our first and main initiative last year in eliminating Castle.  O’Donnell was the PEOPLE’S choice in the primary (by a 65-35% margin!) and the GOP is charged with carrying forth the VOICE AND VOTE of the people of the Republican party – NOT THEIR OWN AGENDA.   I guess not everyone has quite gotten the message that we are tired of the good ole boys (and girls) politics at every level. 

Most of you aren’t aware of the many previous attempts to get Ron Sams to resign over the last several months but it has been well documented.  He was contacted by a great many people in an effort to get him to resign so that we can pull this party together and move it forward as a voice of the Republican voter in the State of Delaware .   Ron was presented with a significantly large number of signatures from voting members of the SCEC and offered the opportunity to resign with grace and dignity.  Hell, we even offered to throw him a party, tell everyone what a great job he had done in the past and how hard he had worked.   He was also told that failure to resign would result in the resolution and public attempts to strip him of his title due to the lack of confidence by a majority of the voting membership.  Please note the word  M A J O R I T Y, it’s important.
As to embarrassing Ross – well, I can say we really didn’t have to – he just opens his mouth and embarrasses us.

So far as publicity goes, WBOC and WGMD are actually kind of small potatoes; I understand much of what Ross had to say is posted on YouTube for anyone with a computer to view, anywhere . 
As for “thug tactics”, well, I haven’t seen or heard any of that either so I’m not sure from what quarter that is coming but it isn’t coming from the conservative voting members of the SCEC.  To my knowledge, none of us have threatened anyone with bodily harm.  We strive to set a higher standard for our activities and the conduct of business.  So far, we have succeeded in doing just that as the meeting was quiet, orderly and well conducted – we actually got through Old and New business without a filibuster from one or more elected representative who only wishes to hear himself talk.   That was the ONLY purpose in moving Ross to the end of the meeting on the revised agenda.   Both Vance and Brent did an outstanding job of maintaining the rules of order and abiding by the existing rules of the SCEC. 

No one started yelling until after Ross began his rather insipid and petulant tirade against the Sussex County Republican voter.   This occurred just prior to adjournment of the meeting at 9 pm
So, gee, I don’t know what meeting you were at but it wasn’t the Sussex County GOP meeting on February 16, 2011 at the Carter Partnership Center auditorium on the Del Tech Community College Campus in Georgetown, DE. 

And, by the way, I thought that I might pay a visit to the Sussex County Republican Women’s Club monthly meeting so I started looking for a calendar and meeting times.  Unfortunately, I, like most of Sussex County Republican Voters – WORK FOR A LIVING and, therefore, can’t attend a Wednesday luncheon. 

Perhaps if you were more accessible to the voting public, you may be more in tune with their voting habits and political attitudes.  We are pretty much fed up with the elitist and self-serving attitudes of the old guard and we’re going to take our party back to the people, where it belongs.   I’m glad you are happy to see a good turn out and a passion for change.  Baby, you ain’t seen nothing’ yet!
For the readers, if you live in my district and wish to be heard, call me.  As a representative of the district, I intend to be accessible.

Jeannette Taylor
2nd ED 41st District
Millsboro, DE  19966


     Screaming women and character assassinating men dominated the GOP meeting at Del Tech’s Carter Hall Wednesday evening, February 16, 2011.

     The double standard and dichotomy began when the Acting Chairman, Vance Phillips, stated that he needed a Parliamentarian and immediately appointed Brent Wagaman, an individual many people thought was a Registered Libertarian, not a Republican.  There was no review of Brent's credentials, no motion to permit him to serve.  Yet when Chairman Ron Sams did the very same thing prior to the January, 2011 meeting, Mr. Sams was verbally castigated and the Parliamentarian, Bruce Fitzgerald was pressured to resign for “the good of the Party”.

     Motions were made, a substitute agenda approved and the character assassination of Chairman Sams began.  It was all I could do not to laugh out loud!  The very same actions, or “lack thereof”  had been practiced by the 3 previous Sussex County Regional Chairs!!!

     So, what was different now?  A hidden agenda had to be fulfilled!  The media were invited whereas in previous situations, the media were asked to leave and the doors were closed.  The hidden agenda became very obvious.  Media were present to record the character assassination and the walk out when Tom Ross began to speak in an effort to publicly disgrace them and to force elected officials to resign from their non-paying jobs.  Does anyone remember when the Primary election results became available in September 2010?

     Vance Phillips telephoned WGMD to say that Ron Sams, Tom Ross, State Party Chair, Priscilla Rakestraw, National Committee Woman and Laird Stabler, National Committeeman, “had to go” and that the “Delaware Republican Party will never be the same”.  Aren’t those the same words that came out of the mouth of Christine O'Donnell when she lost the Senate seat in the election?

     Having witnessed the effort to embarrass Sams and Ross, I wanted to hear the additional chapter in the effort to dismantle the Party.  WBOC carried the planned character attack on the 11:PM news Wednesday evening.
     The following afternoon, I even turned on WGMD after the 3pm news to hear what Bill Colley would say.  Colley stated that he led a “walk-out” when Tom Ross began to speak, and indeed he did, a half dozen or so folks followed him out the door, and as Colley stated, they left the door open to hear what was being said.  Colley’s rude behavior and continued character assassination seems to be the new norm for those few who choose to follow him.  Several dozen of us turn the dial or literally turn off WGMD after the 3PM news.

     On the positive side, it is very exciting to see the passion and increased numbers of people interested in Republican politics.  I do, however, wish the thug tactics (with actual threats of bodily harm or in the case of Sams and Ross, character assassinations) would stop.  Does “praying” behavior apply to politics or are they only words to be spoken?    I wish that civility and respect for others would return to Sussex.

Mary Spicer, President,
Delaware Federation of Republican Women
PO Box 611
Lewes, DE.  19958

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Obama Says We Can "Ride Out" Libyan Crisis - Oil Tops $100

Yes you read that right, in an ABC News Report today, as oil prices reached $100 today (before closing down at $97.23 per barrel) President Obama told reporters that “We actually think we'll be able to ride out the Libya situation and it will stabilize,”.  I suppose $100 per barrel is no big deal to Obama:
The ABC News report is chocked full of interesting things from our President.  I thought it would be a good idea to go line by line through some of them:

“We have substantial capacity across the major economies in the strategic reserves of the major economies to deploy those reserves in the event we faced some particular risk of sustained supply disruption," Geithner said.
Across the major economies?  I'll admit Timmy...I'm not from the banking industry...or large corporate leadership...maybe I'm just dumb but this sounds like you don't just mean here in America but in other nations as well.  Are you tying us all together as though we were part of a single worldwide unit?  Which economies did you mean exactly? 

“I expect this to be a working group in which we are coming up with some concrete deliverables,” Obama said, “I don't think that we have to be trying to hit home runs every time. I think if we hit some singles and -- and doubles, if we find some very specific things that this group can help us on and we can work on together, then we can build on that success, and in the aggregate over time this will have really made a difference at a critical juncture in our economy.”
Mr. President, with all due respect.  You're in the 9th inning now.  You're down by 15 runs and you've got no one on base with 2 outs and 2 strikes.  You're going to need a couple of long balls (home runs for those of you who are not baseball fans) to stay in the game there partner.  So far all you've done is commit errors.  WE THE PEOPLE...some of whom have been unemployed for more than 3 years (your whole time in office) are sick of your sports analogies, your REALLY bad jokes and your belief that this is some sort of regular job where you get time off.  I'm not against you taking a vacation now and again, but when you go on 8 of them in just a few months, when your wife and kids eat up millions in taxpayer dollars jaunting around the world like Hollywood starlets, I begin to wonder if you take your job seriously. 

The president said that while the economy is growing in many sectors the biggest challenge is that unemployment is still “way too high” all across the country.
Didn't we hear last year that the economy was growing faster than expected?  Maybe it's growing everywhere but Delaware (that would be consistent with the conservative wave that swept the nation but washed up on the Delaware beaches).  Most of the major reports show markets like the housing and retail markets shrinking or staying flat so it appears that liberals are grasping at any straw they can for "good news".  Listen Mr. President, while you and your bookworm friends like Timmy G. look at statistics from obscure sources and try to dig for any good news you can make the real world we see through it.  We are on to your lies and we can see that there are no jobs.  Where are the jobs Mr. President?  Create private sector jobs, THEN tell us the economy is growing.

“So what we wanted to do was retool,” he said, “It's critical for us to have input from folks who are actually hiring, putting people to work, making payroll, making the products and services that make our economy so powerful.  But we want to make sure that we narrowed the focus to think about how do we ensure, A, that we're putting people to work right now, but also how do we lay the foundation for us to win the future over the long term.”
Soooo, did you NOT think to ask the people who are doing the hiring what they were looking for in the first place?  By the way, any of those folks from Delaware?  I think there are a few thousand people in Delaware looking for work at one of those places that is hiring, putting people to work, etc.  As for narrowing the focus, as I've said before, you sir, are out of time.  We don't have any more time for you to noodle around.  We need jobs and we need them yesterday.  PERIOD.  So have your "Brain Frame" there look into creating private sector jobs immediately and then look into sustaining them.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

So...Why can't Christine O'Donnell dance?

By Pat Fish

Last night I checked in on Facebook and read an entry by Christine O’Donnell herself.  She said she’d been officially offered a chance to dance on ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars” and she wanted input as to what we all thought.

I’m quite sure COD got a bunch of answers , yea or nay, warnings or possible problems, yada, yada.   I don’t necessarily want to write about whether or not COD should dance or not.  For there are those living in this tiny state who need my help.

 This morning I chanced to hear WGMD’s Dan Gaffney’s morning show.  He brought up the matter of COD’s possible participation on DWS, which was a fine topic.

The COD derangement folks came out in full force.

Folks, get down on your knees and thank your Lord this morning that Christine O’Donnell is not living, rent free in your head, feeding your irrational hatred, nourishing a loathing that is based on pretty much nothing.

One such COD derangement sufferer called in and I, early in the snowy morn, said a silent prayer for this poor afflicted chap.

First, there are the COD derangement sufferers who declare, with a disdainful sniff, that COD is nothing but a big attention seeker and this DWS gig will satisfy that crime against humanity committed by COD for her daring, DARING I TELL YOU, to think that the likes of SHE should aspire to be a damn U.S. Senator, doesn’t that bitch know that only the very special, the very enlightened, those whose very heads are surrounded with blinding halos, should so aspire?

Of course the woman seeks attention!  SHE RAN FOR A SENATORIAL POSITION FOR GOD’S SAKE.  Do these COD derangement sufferers think that all those other fine senators now sitting in America’s  House of Lords spent their lives under covers, hiding from any sort of attention, all filled with their own nobility of such levels that attention, fame and fortune will seek them out?  Do these poor COD derangement sufferers think that those who think they have what it takes to be a Senator, a Representative in America’s House, a President, every actor and actress or wannabe, successful or not, DO NOT WANT ATTENTION?

Another symptom of COD derangement syndrome is being not all that bright, please understand this.

The COD derangement sufferer of the morning Gaffney show really was afflicted badly.  He went on and on about how COD wanted attention (the HORROR of it), how he doesn’t think he could stand exposure to COD another minute (might be a candidate for assisted suicide here), on and on with a vitriol so typical of COD derangement sufferers.

“She’s an awful person, she has no resume”, this COD derangement sufferer said.  I know it’s just my opinion but I suggest my opinion’s as good as this nut still obsessed with COD hatred.  But Christine O’Donnell is a very nice young woman, she speaks very well, she’s a Christian. She is no way an “awful” person and while I’m no psychiatrist, I’ve met a lot of people in life’s route, some of them pretty awful.  Christine O’Donnell is not awful, not even close.  I’m just so sorry but because you don’t like a particular candidate, for whatever even appropriate reasons, does NOT make that person an awful person.

As for COD’s resume, is this COD derangement sufferer looking to offer COD a job?  What the hell difference does it make what COD does for a living?  I don’t recall anyone every so interested in what either Joe Biden or Mike Castle did before becoming a permanent public employee.  Nothing wrong with this but as a resume it’s hardly the stuff that would impress.

It’s just so sad that these COD derangement sufferers (I heard Karl Rove is still recovering) are still out there, still with minds consumed with unreasonable hatred, still able to be sparked to irrationality by the mere mention of her name.

They wonder why us boobs who voted for COD could possibly have done such a crazy thing.

See, had COD been elected to the Senate, it was no matter if she ever wanted to dabble in witchcraft, if she almost declared bankruptcy, if she had a checkered career path.  We truly believed that if COD was sitting in that Senate she would vote FOR Conservative causes and while I know those with full blown COD derangement syndrome can’t comprehend such a concept, this is all that really matters when choosing someone to represent what YOU believe.

I say Christine, dance if you want to.  For if you suddenly were to enter a convent and perform enough miracles to elevate you  to Mother Theresa status, those who are afflicted enough to have full blown COD derangement syndrome will never get over it.

Pray for them, for they have lost their rational minds.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

While the Unions March...we call

Delaware public employee unions march on Wilmington tomorrow, getting paid to protest...paid with our tax dollars.  Let's call into the local radio shows and let them know that we support Gov. Walker, we stand with the taxpayers of Wisconsin who want fiscal sanity and we want the same kind of deal in Delaware.  We want public employee unions to understand that the time for sweetheart deals is over and that it is time for them to share the sacrifice that regular WORKING FAMILIES have made.  Some of us have taken pay cuts, lost more than 60% of our 401k savings and pay exorbitant amounts for healthcare coverage.  No more sweetheart deals on the taxpayer dime.  Let's show the unions that "working people" doesn't just apply to people in the unions.  WE WORK FOR A LIVING TOO...

Here are the call-in numbers for local shows:

1450 WILM
Host - John Watson - 302-395-9456
Hours: 9AM-Noon

1150 WDEL
Host - Al Mascitti - 302-478-9335
Hours: 9AM-Noon

1150 WDEL
Host - Rick Jensen- 302-478-9335
Hours: 1PM-4PM

92.7 WGMD
Host - Dan Gaffney - ON AIR TALK SHOW LINE 302-945-9292, or 1-800-518-9292
Hours: 5:30AM-9AM

92.7 WGMD
Host - Jared Morris- ON AIR TALK SHOW LINE 302-945-9292, or 1-800-518-9292
Hours: 9AM-Noon

92.7 WGMD
Host - Bill Colley - ON AIR TALK SHOW LINE 302-945-9292, or 1-800-518-9292
Hours: 3PM-7PM
Indiana Dems have joined Wisconsin Dems in running for Illinois to hide out.  Below you can see a video of them leaving for Kentucky and Illinois.

Please read my full Examiner article which contains the excerpt below:

What does this all mean for Delaware? Well, as I've mentioned in previous posts, the personnel costs in Delaware are 30% of the total budget. Meanwhile, the leadership of Delaware's public employee unions say:

In Delaware, public employees' health insurance and pension programs do not constitute a huge "budget buster," as they do in other financially troubled states. Our budget woes result primarily from the continuing effect of the Great Recession on state revenues.

Well there must be a fundamental disconnect her because I see 30% of the budget being devoted to employee costs as a "budget buster". The slide show on the left contains a couple of charts that show the benefit packages that state workers recieve and the current underfunding of Delaware's state worker pension packages. Also, let's keep in mind that Delaware state workers contribute 3% to their pension accounts while the state contributes 7.5% to that plan over and above. Add to that the fact that state workers are becomming more brazen and demanding to know "When am I going to get a raise..." even as the Governor is looking at the budget and seeing a nearly $300 million shortfall (almost twice what Wisconsin is closing with their bill). At some point, Governor Markell is going to have to face the facts that DSEA, AFSCME and other unions MUST have their deals restructured to ensure that out state remains solvent. That doesn't mean that we have to destroy the current way of life of union workers. We can institute changes that affect new hires, we can offer early retirement to those who are at the end of their careers and we can make minor changes to the current benefit packages (like increasing employee contribution by 2% and decreasing State contributions by the same amount making the contributions equal at 5% each).

Monday, February 21, 2011

Yet another example of a bunch of pathetic people who think fists solve problems

And you wonder why Marxists and Communists, resposnsible for the deaths of HUNDREDS of million of people, get through to our young people?  Apparently it's because they're THIS JUVENILE....It aggravates me to see this happen...what a bunch of losers.

Senator Carper upset over House plan to cut rail funding

Amtrak costs taxpayers more than $1.5 BILLION each year.  That means that once all the bills are paid, Amtrak brings in $1.5 Billion LESS than it spends.  This is not a new occurrence either.  Amtrak has lost money every year (since 1970) it has been in operation.  I can certainly understand Senator Carper's concerns over cutting funding to Amtrak, which he uses to go back and forth to D.C. everyday with Chris Coons and John Carney.  Also, the union membership of the Amtrak employees is a key voting bloc for Delaware's congressional delegations.  Without Amtrak, Carper would either have to get an apartment in D.C., sleep in his office or pay more than $3.20 per gallon for gas to drive (or be driven) to D.C. and back everyday. 

The reality is that Amtrak is a drain on America's pocketbook and for those who are VICIOUSLY attacking the Army, National Guard and the Air Force for spending $10 million sponsoring motor sports to boost recruiting, perhaps we can also look at saving a much larger amount through Amtrak.  To look at the nuts and bolts of Amtrak, you can see that only 4 out of the 45 active lines make a profit.  In any business, the 41 lines losing money would be cut back, eliminated or otherwise reformed to ensure a profit.  Our government, is content with just sticking you and I with the bill.  Further, if someone suggests privatizing the service, the left HOWLS about how horrible it would be for the people.  Yes, I guess it would be terrible if we had to actually break even through Amtrak.  5 people travelling from Los Angeles to Houston might have to fly (and spend less money to arrive sooner) instead of take the train.

Liberals will point to Japan, England, Germany and other European nations as proof that rail works.  I wonder if they know that each of those nations employees various degrees of private rail ownership.  Further, you might look at those nations and see how many of them you can fit into the United States.  The answer, all of them.  America is a big country and rail, even high speed rail, will not work everywhere but it does have it's advantages in some places.  What about the rail lines?  Surely the government must own and protect those lines right?  Well, currently, most of the rail lines in America are owned by private freight rail companies.  With that said, those places where highspeed rail DOES work would easily attract private investors who could fund the projects and make them profitable (and perhaps pay off the debt Amtrak has racked up).  The eastern corridor, from Boston to D.C. and the western coast from San Francisco to San Diego are two areas where high speed rail would be very effective.  There may also be some use for a line from San Antonio to Orlando (or Atlanta) but studies would have to determine the effectiveness.

So, Senator Carper, why exactly should we keep pouring money into a venture that has never made money...EVER?  The bottom line is that privatizing our nations rail system would save us more than $1.5 Billion and could possibly increase our GNP by hundreds of millions more or even billions more with highspeed rail.  From a practical standpoint it's a no brainer.  The question isn't's WHEN...and hopefully the answer is sooner...rather than later.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Wisconsin shows Delaware how it's done

Delaware Governor Jack Markell was acosted by a state worker at a townhall this week who asked "When am I going to get a pay raise?"  Markell answered, "I don't know...I don't know..."  With everything going on in Wisconsin with the public employee unions protesting Gov. Scott Walker's decision to close the state's $1.8 Billion shortfall by asking the public employees to...*GASP* contribute to their retirement plans, healthcare and the bill would " make various changes to limit collective bargaining for most public employees to wages. Total wage increases could not exceed a cap based on the consumer price index (CPI) unless approved by referendum."  In addition, Walker's bill cuts elected official and political appointee retirement calculations down to public employee levels.  Currently, those officials are given higher payouts.  Another contention with the bill is the removal of collective baraining for certain state workers such as family child care workers,  University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinic employees, University of Wisconsin faculty and academic staff.  In short, "This bill limits the right to collectively bargain for all employees who are not public safety employees (general employees) to the subject of base wages. In addition, unless a referendum authorizes a greater increase, any general employee who is part of a collective bargaining unit is limited to bargaining over a percentage of total base wages increase that is no greater than the percentage change in the consumer price index."
You can read the bill summary here and the full bill here.

The bill calls on public sector employees to up their healthcare contribution from 6% to 12% (the average private sector employee contributes 24% to their plan) and it calls on them to contribute 5% to their pensions while the average private sector worker contributes just over 50% to their plans.
Walker's bill has led to teachers unions and other employees unions staging walkouts, using CHILDREN as protest tools (despite the fact that most of the children have NO IDEA why they are protesting).  It has led to teachers and other union members carrying signs depicting Scott Walker as Hitler, placing bullseye targets on him and even calling Gov. Walker, a dictator.  The video below depicts some of the scenes from the Wisconsin protests and the rhetoric (that I remember the left BLASTING the TEA Party for after a left leaning psychopath shot a Democrat Congresswoman):

So what does this have to do with Delaware?  Well, as I mentioned, state workers (and their union leaders) right here in Delaware are beginning to call for pay raises and they have been resistent to any changes in their current compensation package.  Delaware is facing a $280 million budget shortfall and since Delaware has a balanced budget amendment that gap must be closed.  Delaware's largest employer is the state of Delaware which is followed by New Castle County government and therefore, government workers are one of the greatest costs to the state.  This includes police, EMS, teachers, inspectors, clerks, mechanics, electricians, construction workers, drivers, office managers, etc. and is not limited to public safety employees despite the fact that the left will point to teachers, police and EMS technicians as the only people affected.

I want the people at the top to take the cuts first like everyone else.  I want to see our politicians and public servants sacrificing FIRST.  Governor Markell likes to talk about the 20% paycut he took but he fails to mention that the office of the Governor had an 18% pay INCREASE when he was elected.  He then took a 10% pay cut right off the top, meaning that the office of the Governor actually got an 8% pay INCREASE when he took office.  Now he has taken another 20% pay cut after his 8% raise.  So he has now finally taken a 15% pay CUT from where he SHOULD have been when he was elected.  So while I would like the cuts to come from the top, there comes a point where we have to realize that cutting the pay at the top will not solve all of the budget problems.  There also comes a point where the state has to recognize that it is living beyond its means and needs to change the way it does business. It’s time to make cuts and these unions and state workers with these incredible compensation plans to recognize that they have been living beyond their means:

State workers and their union leadership are beginning to spend time and money pointing out that the state workers are being punished for planning for their retirement and that they are the scapegoats for the economic disaster.  They are saying that state workers make less in pay than those int he private sector in exhcange for better benefits.  I decided to look into these "facts" and what I've found is a bit disturbing.  The average salary for FT state workers in Delaware is $50,124.  The average Delaware worker’s salary (including public AND private sector employees is $46,270. Some simple math helps you find out that the average private sector worker makes $42,416 which is almost $8,000 LESS than state workers. Not to mention, we private sector workers pay for our medical plans…which the state workers don't.  State workers (as illustrated below) pay nothing for their healthcare or their family's healthcare unless they want the ultra-high end plan with little to no office co-pays and other "perks" that many private sector employees don't even have the option to purchase. The chart below details the payouts from the state and from the state employees per month in order to receieve the plans.  You will also notice that they pay a whopping $193 per mth for the highest end plan.  The average private sector worker pays around $250 per mth for a MUCH less comprehensive plan.  In fact, the avg private sector worker pays $250 per month for the same plan that the Delaware state workers pay $82.44 per month for.

Oh and their definied benefit package which they call "prudent planning"?  They contribute 3%. jus like the average private sector employee.  So what is the difference?  The state contributes 7.5% MORE to that plan but in the private sector you MIGHT get the 3% matched by your employer if you are lucky.  The real problem is that the average private sector employee contributes to a defined CONTRIBUTION plan that grows as you contribute which is called a 401(k) whereas the state workers contribute to a defined benefit package that grows at an ASSUMED rate (meaning it could grow less or more) of 8% per year.  NOTHING is growing at 8% per year right now and that is why these plans are rarely offered in the private sector.  These plans are usually only seen in industries where unions control the collective bargaining and negotiations.  Unions have such a stranglehold on political candidates and wield so much power today that they often have a TREMENDOUS advantage over corporations and even governments.  Let's remember here that While that doesn't mean we shouldn't honor the committments we've made in the past, these are CLEAR reasons why we should follow the example of Gov. Walker in Wisconsin and restructure the deals going forward.  A final look over the pension funding shows that Delaware has about $700 million in unfunded liabilities.

It's pretty clear from our look over the FACTS that the union leaders and their spokespersons are at best misleading Delaware citizens and at worst, out right lying to the people.  I will leave it to you to decide which it is but the facts are unmistakeable.  State workers make more than private sector workers on average, they pay less for their healthcare benefits and they contribute far less than the average state worker to a pension plan that most people couldn't even dream of.  It's time to fix our fiscal house and it's time to decrease the size and scope of our government.  Noone wants to see people unemployed but unfortunately, that means we have to look into how to make government more efficient and how to transition public employees to private sector employment.  Of course, that means that the government will have to actually help the private sector create jobs, something Alan Levin and Jack Markell can't seem to wrap their arms around...but that's for another post.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Delaware GOP needs new leadership

You be the judge of the current leadership situation in the Delaware GOP

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Where is our response?

In the last 3-4 years Delaware has lost two auto plants, an oil refinery, 750 jobs at HSBC and now hundreds more will be leaving Wilmington Trust thanks to the merger with M&T Bank.  These are just the bulk losses.  Gone with them are THOUSANDS of support jobs and small businesses whose customer bases lost their jobs in these major layoffs.  Since 2007 it has been one hit after another but what do we hear from our leaders in Dover?  *Crickets* *Crickets*

To be fair to the Markell administration the auto plant closings occurred on the watch of Governor Minner.  Of course, Jack Markell was Gov. Minner's Treasurer and he was fully aware of the economic problems we faced and if he wasn't than he was derelict in his duties.  The reality is that in just a few years during two Democrat administrations, Delaware lost more than 3,700 jobs.  For all the economic star power in the Markell Administration, including Alan Levine (of Happy Harry's fame) whose cross the party lines appointment was seen as genius and an illustration of a Governor who understood the challenges in front of him.  Democrats and Republicans alike praised Markell and to this day he is given a pass.  No one from either party questions the fact that Delaware has not created jobs.

You would think that the administration would have worked to bring new businesses in to replace jobs being lost but you would be wrong.  The Chrysler plant, when abandoned by Chrysler was not turned over to flourishing companies like Ford, Hyundai, Nissan or Toyota.  Instead it was sold to the University of Delaware who will now embark on a decades long cleanup project to make the facility into a new medical complex.  They've promised grandiose plans that will lead to thousands of jobs but of course, they're long term projections.  The old GM Boxwood plant?  It's now owned by another company with lofty long term goals and no immediate results.  Fisker will employ 2000 autoworkers when it finally reopens the plant and begins making taxpayer funded electric cars.  Never mind the fact that every car it sells is subsidized 50% by state and federal taxpayers and that in all likelihood each car built will represent a net loss of taxpayer dollars.  Valero closed back in 2009 and nearly 1000 people lost their jobs.  In what represents the best hope for the creation of new jobs, it is expected that the plant will reopen under new management (PBF Energy, a foreign owned company has agreed to take ownership) this April and that 700 jobs will be picked up.  Still, that is assuming that everything goes to plan.  As for the more than 1400 jobs lost in the banking sector?  *Crickets* *Crickets*

Yet, still, we hear NOTHING from Dover and even LESS from the opposition party.  Where are the Republicans?  Why aren't they calling on Markell to produce jobs the way we hear John Boehner and Paul Ryan calling on the Obama Administration?  It's called "The Delaware Way".  The misnomer is that this is a unique brand of civility in Delaware but in reality it is nothing short of cowardice and wanton disregard for the business of the people.  It's very much the reason why there is single party rule in Delaware.  The Delaware Republican Party is scared to DEATH to call a spade a spade.  Sure, you may see a few people (like me, Charlie Copeland, Dave Anderson...etc.) with blogs who are critical of the administration but where are the press releases from the Delaware GOP leadership railing against this hemorrhaging of jobs and the lack of economic growth?  Far from being an act of civility, this silence is an act of servitude where the Delaware GOP ignores the transgressions of Delaware's ruling Democrat Party and in exchange is allowed a few token election wins.  Who would want to vote for a party that just does what the other party wants them to do? 

I'm calling on the Delaware Republican Party to STAND for something.  STAND UP for these people who have lost their jobs.  STAND UP for these people are desperately in need of help.  BE the GRAND old party again.  Stop maintaining the status quo and start rocking the boat.  Delaware needs leaders and there are people in the Delaware GOP who I KNOW can provide the leadership we need in order to turn our situation around.  What we need is for those leaders to STAND and to stop waffling.  Make your CASE...and the people will follow you.  I'm reminded of one of my favorite movies....Braveheart:
Craig: Sir William, where are you going?
William: We have beaten the English, but they'll come back because you won't stand together.
Craig: Well what will you do?
William: I will invade England and defeat the English on their own ground.
Craig: Invade? That's impossible.
William: Why? Why is that impossible? You're so concerned with squabbling for the scraps from Longshank's table that you've missed your God given right to something better. There is a difference between us. You think the people of this country exist to provide you with position. I think your position exists to provide those people with freedom. And I go to make sure that they have it.

Robert the Bruce: Wait! I respect what you said, but remember that these men have lands and castles. It's much to risk.
William: And the common man who bleeds on the battlefield, does he risk less?
Robert the Bruce: No, but from top to bottom this country has no sense of itself. Its nobles share allegiance with England. Its clans war with each other. If you make enemies on both sides of the border, you'll end up dead.
William: We all end up dead; it's just a question of how and why.
Robert the Bruce: I'm not a coward. I want what you want, but we need the nobles.
William: We need them?
Robert the Bruce: Aye.
William: Now tell me, what does that mean to be noble? Your title gives you claim to the throne of our country, but men don't follow titles, they follow courage. Now our people know you. Noble, and common, they respect you. And if you would just lead them to freedom, they'd follow you. And so would I.