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.