Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Hoopgate: What it all comes down to...

Here we are, almost a week after news broke that DelDOT was out snatching basketball hoops.  The story has gone international, viewed in countries around the world (the only countries who haven't viewed it are in Africa and the Middle East) and picked up by national news agencies.  There is a Facebook page (which I administer by the way) dedicated to getting DelDOT to replace the poles and to have all of their regulations reviewed.  People from all over the world are commenting on the story with many in support of the family and some against them.  So far I have boiled down the argument to a couple of basic premises: safety and bad experiences.

Argument: Safety - Typical response: "Well, I mean the kids playing in the street is dangerous.  They could get hit by a car!"
The problem here is that this argument has absolutely NOTHING to do with safety and everything to do with convenience.  Even with the kids in the street, if a motorist is driving at the reasonable and safe speed limit which is posted (or assumed) they will be able to stop in the case of a child or small animal running into the road.  In fact, children playing IN the street on a basketball hoop are less of a danger because they are in more plain sight than children playing on a driveway court whose ball may accidentally bounce into the street and encourage a child to run out quickly from the driveway to get it.  Children in the street will move when they see a car coming.  This may require the driver to slow down or potentially stop but if the driver observes the speed limit and safe driving practices, there is little danger to children.  The "Hoopgate" incident is one in which the danger is even less of a real factor.  The hoop in question was positioned in a cul-de-sac and not on a "right of way".  In fact, had the hoop been on a main thoroughfare, a main artery or even a through road, one could understand the concern.  In this case, none of those things were occurring.
If the problem was indeed the safety of the children, then these concerned motorists would realize that the safest place in the world for a kid is their home (and the next safest in front of it).  They would understand that the parks (especially in Claymont) are actually not so safe.  The parks in this area are often frequented by drug users (teens and adults), gang members and at times child molesters (they like to hang out at parks, where kids play without parents).  So, if we really care about the safety of the kids, why not let them play there in the street where people can see them and where they are able to call for help from people who know them or escape quickly into the safety in their home.
Argument: Bad Personal Experience - Typical Response: "Look, these kids are rude, they cuss, they fill the street and they have no respect."
This one is understandable.  Everyone has (or has had) a neighbor whose kids are rude or disrespectful at times.  In some cases, "at times" can be more often than not but in others it's rare.  We all understand it.  A basketball incessantly bouncing "thump...thump...thump...thump" at 2AM, whooping and shouting at midnight, waking up at 7AM to the sound of a basketball setting off a car alarm, these are all valid complaints...that should be made to the parents of the offenders.  However, America (specifically New Castle County Delaware) has apparently become a nation where we don't talk to one another anymore. The simple fact is that just because your neighbors have crappy kids who don’t have any respect, that doesn’t mean that every hoop owner should be punished. What happened to the days when people would go to their neighbors and ask them questions like:
     a. Can you have your kids not smack into my car?
     b. Can you have your kids play after 9AM and be done by 8PM?
     c. You know, your kid cussed me out when I asked him not to do [insert here]…can you talk to him about that?

In this case, the neighborhood is fairly close knit.  There may be a few people who stick out but by and large the people get along.  This particular hoop is one of the places the neighborhood kids go to hang out, they shoot hoops, chat and most importantly stay out of trouble.  There are a few places in the neighborhood where they leave the basketballs out in the yard for the neighborhood kids to play on their baskets.  This was one of those places.  Remember the days when mom or dad would leave the hose out front (before we knew how "nasty" it was...weird that I never got sick from it...*shrugs*) so the kids could grab a drink if they needed to?  That's kind of how this neighborhood worked.  They love each other, they care for each other.  They even defended and came to the aid of an older gentleman who had not made the complaint, but agreed with the concept when his home was vandalized by overzealous and criminal individuals.  This includes the owners of the hoop who were on video.  Their daughter went down and helped the guy clean up the mess. 
So what happened to those days?  What happened is that morality and the idea of "community" has been stripped away.  Some people are afraid to make contact with their neighbors or question the behavior of their kids because the parents are equally rude and disrespectful, others simply don't want to bother with a potential confrontation.  Most people aren't rude or disrespectful, but because some are, it's frightened others.  Because of folks like those found in this earlier post about our nations loss of morality, people are worried about simply MEETING a neighbor.  Because of folks like those found on the comment pages at the DelawareOnline website, people find communicating with others, challenging.  Instead, they turn to local, state or the federal government to resolve disputes or mediate simple discussions that 15+ years ago would have been handled at the neighbor level.  Until we get back to a moral high ground, whether through religion or some other manner, we're going to continue relying on government to solve our problems through one size fits all laws that punish those who abide by the law in the same ways as those who break it.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Another Democrat found double dipping

It's no secret that State Senator Anthony DeLuca (my Senator I might add) is double dipping.  He is the head of the Office of Labor Law Enforcement as well as a State Senator.  Over the years, many politicians have double dipped, much to the chagrin of the voters.  The state has been reluctant to stop these double dippers because, well who wants to vote against themselves?  Our state legislature has been morally bankrupt with only a few shining lights over time.  There's nothing "illegal" at the state level with our politicians double dipping but DeLuca's position may be different.  Since his position recieved federal money, he may be in violation of a federal law that precludes elected officials who hold jobs that recieve federal money from running for reelection.  The News Journal, whose reporters seem to be getting it right much more lately (even if their editorial page is still in the tank for the left) has a great story on the issues DeLuca faces but we have to ask, even if it's not "illegal", is that enough to ignore the immorality?

Tony DeLuca is not the only elected official playing fast an loose. We have labor leaders whose members (and through dues, they themselves) benefit directly from their votes, in office at the County and State level.  Somehow, we still wonder why Delaware is bankrupt.  This is what Al Mascitti, the wild eyed screaming liberal on WDEL from 9 till noon everyday talks about when he talks about the "haves" and the "have nots".  Now, Al incorrectly portrays these positions on conservatives and business persons where the premise is silly.  Entrepreaneurs have WORKED for their profits and deserve the opportunity to enjoy their success.  These elected officials, who have used their name and positions to weasel into high paying government jobs while maintaining their elected offices are the ones gouging the people.

Community Crossfire Welcomes the TEA Party to Wilmington

Stormin' Norman Oliver, a well respected man from Wilmington hosts as 9PM Sunday cable access TV show called "Community Crossfire".  He has had Governor's, Mayor's, Senator's and some of Delaware's most influential people on his show which is heavily watched especially in the city of Wilmington.  His shows are often controversial and always entertaining.  Last night's program was no different and if you missed it, you missed A LOT.

Oliver is not one to shy away from confrontation which is what made him a great Councilman for more than 10 years.  His callers are not afraid to mix it up either.  I joined Lee Tirado, a fellow member of Founders Values, on the show which was already recieiving plenty of attention.  In addition to blog posts asking people to "ask some wingnut related questions", Mr. Oliver recieved a number of emails and phone calls questioning him having on members of the "racist" TEA Party.  Needless to say, we understood what we were up against.  Lee and I were steeled in the fact that most of the people calling us "wingnuts" and "racists" had never met us, knew nothing about us and relied on a heavily biased media for their information.  This is the same media that has constantly and consistently demonized the TEA Party without substantive proof.  And yes, the issues of the "spitting" incident during the healthcare debate passage when Democrats mocked Dr. Martin Luther King's march by nearly skipping through the protestors with glee, which not one media outlet can produce proof of, was brought up. 

Mr. Olivers phone began ringing before the phone number came up on the screen and we knew that we were in for quite a ride.  There were so many calls in fact, to the live pick up show (there's no call screener) that it was difficult to expound on points being made.  We were able to dicuss who the TEA Party is, what it stands for and what it does.  While we were asked to define the number of African-Americans and militia members in our group, there was also thoughtful commentary on education, job creation and limiting the size of government.  Mr. Oliver was fair and in conversation before and after the show there was much common ground between us.  While both Lee and I wish we had a little more time to get our points across, I think that people realized we had a difficult task to overcome months of mainstream media angst. 

In the end we made our case for a voucher system that allows parents to control where their kids go to school and that includes vocational, private and public schools.  We talked about how to create jobs in the city and turn the economy around and we made our case for limited government.  We plugged our website, our meeting and our candidates for school board.  We also asked that people try coming to a meeting before they make a decision.  Response after the fact has been positive by and large and we're looking forward to going back on the show in the near future.  Also, a little bit of interesting information, Mr. Oliver is fair and and he has invited the NAACP on his show as well, to give their side.  They have so far declined or not taken his calls.  Lee and I thought it was interesting that the TEA Party went on a show that broadcasts to a large segment of the African-American community to discuss the media attacks against them and the outrageous claims of racism but the NAACP wouldn't appear.  That alone should prove that these allegations are completely baseless.

We discussed the reality that faith plays an important part in fixing much of what is wrong with our state and our nation. I am proud to be part of this enlightenment that I see happening around the country and I hope that more, across the spectrum, will come to realize that we can disagree on some things, but that there are certain basic truths and basic ideals, like freedom, liberty and opportunity that we all hold dear.  We're thankful for the opportunity to be on Mr. Oliver's show and we recommend that more of us watch Community Crossfire every Sunday night at 9PM to gain perspective.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The News Journal Strikes Again

Last night Founders Values had our annual membership meeting.  This meeting revolved around the 2nd Amendment and that is always a good draw.  Even with the expectation of poor weather and some late notices, we had a good turn out.  One of our members, Bob Wilson, approached me before the meeting and asked where I found some information that I had written about concerning Delaware's pension and retiree health care benefits.  I told him that I had taken my information from a Pew Center Study that was done in 2008 about our state of underfunding.  As you may note, the Pew Center is no right wing think tank, this isn't information from the Heritage Foundation, Americans for Prosperity or some other such conservative organization.  The Pew Center leans left and is far more optimistic about governments deficit spending than even most Americans are.  That's why when they say that our State Employee Pensions are underfunded to the tune of $600 million and our retiree health care plan is unfunded to the tune of $5.4 billion, I take notice.  When they post a study that says we should be concerned about the retiree plan that is LESS THAN 2% funded, I think it's worth citing. 

I soon found out why he was so interested in my source.  Bob had written a letter to the editor of the News Journal.  He's written letters before and almost always received a verification call from the same person.  This time the call came from a different person, John Sweeney.  Sweeney is the editor of the News Journal editorial pages so it's understandable that he might jump in and make a verification call on an editorial submission.  The problem comes when you read the letter Bob submitted, and the one that was printed.  I'll start with the version the News Journal printed:
In the March 11 News Journal, the spokeswoman for the Delaware State Education Association stated that it has a history of collaboration with the state government. My question would be, “Who are they collaborating against?” In this situation, it could only mean the taxpayers of Delaware. Is this a good thing?
The executive director of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees said that any kind of effort to change the status quo would cause the unions in Delaware to unite.

The only reasonable conclusion would be that they would unite against the taxpayers and citizens of Delaware.

You know, the ones who have to pay for all of this.

Does anyone think that all of the unfunded liabilities may have come from this type of cooperating and collaborating?

Bob Wilson, Newark

And here is what Bob ACTUALLY wrote:
According to the Common Sense Communities Society, Delaware's public employee pension fund is underfunded by $600 Million dollars and the public employee retirement health care fund has an unfunded liability of $5.4 Billion dollars.  Now what can possibly go wrong here?

In the March 11th News Journal the spokeswoman for the Delaware State Education Association stated that they have a history of collaboration with the state govt.  My question would be who are they collaborating against?  In this situation it could only mean the taxpayers of Delaware.  Is this a good thing?

In the same piece the Executive Director of the AFL-CIO, who happily is also a member of the state House of Representatives, stated that the Unions have been so successful in the political process that they don't even have to negotiate with the state.  What!!  All they have to do is tell the state what they want and they get it?  That's a sweet deal!

The executive director of AFSCME said that any kind of effort to change the status quo would cause the Unions in Delaware to unite.  The only reasonable conclusion would be that they would unite against the taxpayers and citizens of Delaware.  You know the who have to pay for all of this.

Does anyone think that all of the unfunded liabilities may have come from this type of cooperating and collaborating?

Nah, nothing to see here, just keep on moving.

Bob Wilson
Now, I understand that the editorial pages retain the right to edit submissions, but to TOTALLY change it in such a drastic way by omission is rather pathetic.  I'm urging you to call the News Journal and demand an answer as to why this letter was edited to such an enhanced degree.  The removal of all of the facts make the op-ed almost entirely incoherent.  You can call the News Journal at the number below:
Be sure to mention that John Sweeney should apologize for his actions publicly.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Beau Biden Foreclosure workshops

So, foreclosure workshops are the AG's new responsibility?  We're spending taxpayer dollars on things now that the banks should be and HAVE BEEN doing for years?  Here is an excerpt from an article on Biden's "workshops":
 The Attorney General’s Mortgage Fraud Task Force is sponsoring free statewide housing workshops on March 22 in Milford and March 23 in Wilmington to help Delawareans who are at risk of losing their homes to foreclosure.  The workshops, which are sponsored in conjunction with the State Bank Commissioner and Delaware State Housing Authority, are offered to facilitate loan modifications, reduce foreclosures, and provide educational information to help residents stay in their homes and manage debt.

“Too many Delaware families are suffering the devastating effects of foreclosure,” Attorney General Beau Biden stated.  “One of the ways we have responded to the foreclosure crisis is organizing housing workshops where homeowners can sit face-to-face with their lenders and discuss repayment plans to stay in their homes or other options to avoid foreclosure.  I’m pleased that ten of our largest mortgage servicers will be participating in next week’s workshops and I strongly encourage homeowners who are behind on mortgage payments and at risk of losing their home to attend, meet with their lender, and get information about the many services available to them.”

Foreclosure filings statewide in 2010 surpassed the record set in 2009, increasing 4.9% to 6,457.  All three counties recorded increases, with a 4% increase in Kent and New Castle Counties and a 7.6% increase in Sussex County.  Foreclosure filings for the first two months of 2011 are occurring at the same pace as last year, and it is expected that filings will surpass 6,000 again this year.
Since the Attorney General's Mortgage Fraud Task Force was established in 2009, more than 900 homeowners have attended 15 workshops with mortgage lenders and these events have helped more than 300 Delaware families modify their mortgages with the help of their lenders.  

Homeowners who have missed mortgage payment, are facing foreclosure, or suspect foreclosure fraud can receive immediate on-site help from housing professionals.  At each workshop, mortgage servicers, state employees, and HUD-certified housing counselors will discuss mortgage modifications, the Delaware Mortgage Assistance Program (DEMAP) and other government homeowner programs, and foreclosure rescue scams.
Well's some news you may not be aware of.

 - HSBC loan modification program
 - Bank of America loan modification program active since 2008
 - Citi loan modification program active since 2007
 - Chase bank loan modification program

So...can you tell me again why we're spending tens of thousands of dollars on your programs to put people in touch with their banks when people can just make a phone call?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

America's Energy Policy

If it weren't such a serious subject, America's energy policy would be a lot like that old skit "Who's on First"?


The problem is that our situation is serious and it impacts every single American and beyond that, the vast majority of the world.  I'll explain.  IT's pretty obvious that our own energy policy affects all of us:

An increase in energy costs drives up the price of all of our goods and services as well.  It costs more to make the goods because energy prices for corporations are higher, it costs more to ship those goods because transportation requires fuel.  It costs more to keep the products on the shelf because the retailer is paying more for their energy usage. Therefore, when we get to the product, the price is increased.  Sound crazy?  Check the price of corn.  Since last year, the wholesale May delivery of corn has more than doubled from $3.67 to $7.23 per bushel and the crisis in Japan will push those numbers higher.  If the Middle East continues to rage and as Japan turns to rebuilding, we could see the price of a bushel at $10.  By the time we see that cost it's going to be up around $2 per lb (I saw them this weekend at Shoprite in Newport for $1 per lb). 

While the government doesn't include food and energy in their analysis of inflation, both of those commodities have been rising.  We've all seen a difference in our electric bills but we pay it withoutreally understanding why there is such a change.  There are many factors that go into it but I will try to make it simple.
  1. The electric company must make a profit to stay in business.  This means it must pay employees, pay loans for the upkeep of their offices, buildings, vehicles, transmission lines, pay for land it owns and cover all of its expenses with a little extra left over.  This also includes paying the salaries of many workers who are unionized.
  2. The state government puts regulations on energy companies and sometimes more than one state regulates an energy company.  For instance, a coal fired plant in Delaware is regulated by Delaware to comply with air quality standards, that same company (or another related company who passes the cost on to it) is regulated in West Virginia where the coal mines are located.  These regulations encompass anything from air quality to worker safety.  These regulations are not free and their cost is passed through the company.
  3. The federal government puts regulations on energy companies for various reasons as well.  Again, these regulations encompass everything from bookeeping to air quality and worker safety.  Likewise, these regulations are passed through the company as well.
  4. Electric companies are regulated by federal/state governments in terms of what KIND of power they are allowed to use as well.  That means they may be mandated (as we are in Delaware) to use wind/solar/nuclear/geothermal power in certain levels.  This can drive the cost of energy up depending on the unit cost of the energy. 
  5. Delaware has joined the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative which is nothing more than regional Cap and Trade.  It mandates certain energy usage levels and other price controls that drive up the cost to power companies.
 From all of those calculations (and more) we come up with a final number.  That's why President Obama said that energy rates would necessarily skyrocket under his Cap and Trade plan.  Because he understood that all of the costs would increase once they created a new trading market for carbon credits (which are an abstract concept).  So, after all of this, what is our energy policy?
We can't drill off of the coasts because we might spill oil like we did in that MASSIVE BP oil spill off the coast of Louisiana (the cleanup they thought would take maybe 100 years) took less than 90 days before they couldn't even FIND any oil to clean and that was after it took WEEKS to get the cleanup started. 
  • We can't use oil, coal or natural gas because they are fossil fuels that the government believes causes climate change (a natural cyclical event that has occured many times throughout the planets history).  But we can send hundreds of billions of dollars to the Middle East, Brazil and other countries who don't like us very much for THEIR fossil fuels. 
  • Ethanol usage drives up the price of corn and diminishes our supply of food.
  • We can't build more wind farms because bird migrations and bat movements are affected.
  • Nuclear technology is clearly too dangerous (despite the fact that in 50+ years there have been (now) 3 major accidents.  3-Mile Island (where 0 people were killed)....Chernobyl, Russia (4,000 died in a plant where safety precautions were not taken and in fact a plant that was not built properly)...Japan (the plant withstood an earthquake more than 10 times as powerful as it was built for and the current reactor leak has yet to kill anyone and radiation levels, while higher than normal, are still WELL below (about 4,000 times lower) the "safe" limit.
  • Solar is ok, as is geothermal but both combined provide about 6% of our needed power WITHOUT any growth.
Folks, something has got to give.  Our current "energy policy" is a recipe for disaster and if we don't change it, we face a huge energy crisis on top of everything else that is going on.  We need to have a common sense energy policy that responsibly turns over energy creation to the private sector while ensuring basic saftey and clean air/water safety.  With our safety standards, even a massive Gulf spill created a MINIMAL problem for fishing, coastlines and animal life.  We can also safely build nuclear plants, mine for coal and utilize alternative sources of energy to conserve and supplement our energy needs.  The only way that's going to happen is if we stop letting special interest groups and faulty science scare us into dismantling all of our sources of energy.

Monday, March 7, 2011

The New York Times Proves Me Right

I have pointed out that Wisconsin is not the only state to see their pension/healthcare benefits become unsustainable. The same thing is happening all over the country, especially here in Delaware. Local union leaders and public employees have called me crazy, they've attacked me, they've insisted I was lying, that public employees are not paid as well as private sector workers and that they simply planned better than the rest of us. They have defended collective bargaining as "a human right" (we'll get to that later). Today, the New York Times did a story and released a study that shows that in fact, as a whole, public sector employees are better paid than private sector workers. They do downplay the numbers as you would expect a left wing "news" outlet to do but the facts are even undeniable for them. They point out that state and local government salaries w/benefits nationwide average $70,000 while private sector workers average just $61,000 and that gap isn't shrinking, it's growing. The NYT tempers this analysis by pointing out a discrepency in the TYPE of worker (blue collar vs. white collar) but what they don't point out is that the private sector salary includes the $58 million per year CEO and the $13 per hour retail salesperson. The next stat is stunning, public sector workers put in FAR fewer hours per week than private workers and they cost 70% MORE than private sector workers. While the NYT makes an argument defending public workers for having higher degrees (doesn't seem to help with the way our government runs), it fails to point out that their study includes young workers in the private sector who are either in college and working full-time or simply haven't gone to school. In addition, the Times breaks down individual sectors (a favorite of union leaders since salaries fluctuate based on occupation type) and finds descrepencies among service jobs (which they explain away with the caveat that it includes Police, Fire and Rescue workers) and clerical jobs (where they point out a slightly less obvious gap). The average private sector clerical worker costs their employer about $24 per hour while public sector clerical workers average about $29 per hour. The picture on the left details the unfunded retiree healthcare liabilities (not pensions, wages or active worker healthcare costs) for the U.S. as a whole. What about Delaware? Our retiree healthcare costs (not pensions) are only 1.45% funded. That's right folks, as of 2008, the Pew Research Center found that Delaware owed 5.4 BILLION in retiree healthcare and more than $100 million in pension benefits (to give an idea of the current levels, TODAY our pensions are underfunded by $700 million).

Continue reading on New York Times Proves That Public Sector is Paid More Than Private Sector - Wilmington Education |

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Delaware GOP filed lawsuit against wrong Republican candidate for U.S. Senate

That's a big oops. It turns out that there was some funny business when it came to campaign finance in the Delaware Republican Party but it wasn't committed by Christine O'Donnell. Instead the violations were committed by none other than former Congressman Mike Castle. The Delaware GOP overtly claimed that O'Donnell used campaign funds for personal expenses in a suspicious pattern in 2009-2010. This argument is largely based on the idea that she had not filed a Statement of Candidacy (the form required by federal election law for a candidate to be official). The following is information that has recently come to light:
Yet O'Donnell's "pattern" was similar to Mike Castle's "pattern" of campaign spending, except that O'Donnell declared herself a candidate (technically, exploring a candidacy for office) in January 2009, whereas Mike Castle did not actually become a candidate until October 2009. (Actually, O'Donnell's pattern of campaign spending in early 2009 is more obviously proper than Castle's.)

The DEGOP's lies were based upon the falsehood that O'Donnell was not a candidate for office at the time the expenses were incurred. In fact, she undeniably was.

From January 2009 through June 2009, Mike Castle used campaign funds for:

$587.64 for food & beverage at CAFE GELATTO, paid on February 6, 2009. (Remember: Castle's Statement of Candidacy was filed October 19, 2009.)

$2,588.88 for food & beverage at the Capitol Hill Club restaurant in Washington, DC, paid between March and May 2009. Again, Castle filed his Statement of Candidacy in October 2009. The U.S. Senate campaign was up in Delaware, not in Washington, D.C. However, Castle was a Congressman in D.C., eating out in Washington, D.C. off of campaign contributions.

$245.77 at WHO'S COOKIN' for FOOD & BEVERAGE, paid on 3/27/2009

$594 at FLOWERS BY YUKIE between January and March 2009.

$219.80 at HAPPY HARRY'S on 1/14/2009

$13,499.35 in unspecified credit card charges, creating a "slush fund" for Mike Castle's expenses that are not identified on FEC reports.

$873.70 at the TIMBERLAKE restaurant down in Washington, D.C., not in Delaware where the campaign was, paid on 12/19/2008. Castle was of course a sitting Congressman at the time. However, his personal expenses for food down in Washington, D.C. should not be paid out of his campaign funds up in Delaware. Congress was in its Christmas recess on December 19, 2008. Food related to either Castle's Congressional activities or personal living in Washington, D.C. should not be paid out of campaign funds for the election up in Delaware.

$120.00 at GALLAGHER & GALLAGHER for food & beverage paid on 4/29/2009.

$1,298.67 to COMCAST cable from January 2009 through June 2009 -- again months before Mike Castle was actually a candidate.

$500 for gala tickets to the Chowder & Marching Club -- IN MARYLAND! This was not an event in Delaware.

$546.25 to AMTRAK for travel from March 2009 to May 2009 - before Castle was a candidate.

Mike Castle -- although an elected official for almost 40 years -- has somehow amassed a personal fortune worth over $3.5 million. Perhaps we've discovered part of Mike Castle's road to riches: Pocket his congressional salary, then live off of campaign donations for his personal living expenses? At least if those accusations are hurled without any foundation at O'Donnell, might we ask the same questions about Mike Castle? Or are questions about certain people off limits?

While Christine O'Donnell was clearly a candidate for U.S. Senate in January 2009, so that all of her campaign expenses are legitimate, it is Mike Castle who fails the very same test advanced by the Delaware Republican Party. The smears spread by the DEGOP were then handed to Ginger Gibson at the Delaware News Journal, who published a March 2010 hit piece smearing O'Donnell. These charges were later picked up by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington in a criminal complaint based on David Keegan's affidavit.
On March 20, 2009, O'Donnell filed a "Statement of Candidacy" for the 2010 U.S. Senate race with the Federal Election Commission.

In December 2008, O'Donnell posted a message on her 2008 campaign website urging volunteers to keep their campaign signs for probable use in 2010. In January 2009, O'Donnell began informing supporters privately of her status as an exploratory candidate for the 2010 U.S. Senate race. Her campaign finance reports show trips to Washington, D.C., to meet with donors and potential supporters, as well as meetings in Delaware with potential donors and supporters.

The Statement of Candidacy is normally filed only after a person has been a candidate for a while, and exceeded a $5,000 threshold of donations or expenses. So O'Donnell was a candidate prior to March 20, 2009. Castle, however, exceeded the $5,000 donation / expenditure threshold very early in 2009, but Castle did not file his Statement of Candidacy until October 2009. Therefore, Castle did not have the intent to be a candidate until October, and from January through September 2009 was using campaign funds for personal purposes. At least, that is the very same argument used by insiders in attacking Christine O'Donnell.

The Delaware Republican Party started in December 2009 -- weeks after Karl Rove's attempts failed at co-opting the tea party movement for Mike Castle -- to circulate smears, likes, and slander against Christine O'Donnell. The "DEGOP" was obligated to remain neutral among primary candidates for the Republican nomination until the State GOP endorsing convention held March 13-14, 2010, in Rehoboth Beach. Instead, the DEGOP not only launched assaults to sabotage Christine O'Donnell to help left-wing Mike Castle (a fiscal liberal and social liberal), but did so with savage personal attacks which were lies and slander.

With this kind of dishonesty by Tom Ross and the Delaware Republican leadership, it is time to start over with a fresh team of leadership for Delaware's Republican future.

With these new revelations about the 2010 Republican candidates for Senate, I hope that intelligent moderate Republicans, who were sucked in by the lies of Tom Ross, Priscilla Rakestraw and Mike Castle will hold them accountable by their own standards and call for their removal and dismissal. Ross, Rakestraw and Castle have done damage to the party that will linger for many years. Their plan appears to have been to burn the party down if they couldn't maintain control. I sincerely hope that the next chair of the Delaware GOP, whomever they may be, moves forward and brings along people Like Glen Urquhart and Christine O'Donnell who energized and revitalized the Delaware GOP in 2010. They deserve not only our thanks but our apologies for the way they were treated.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Job Losses and Toll HIkes: Markell's legacy of pain

Since Jack Markell took office in 2008, following 8 years of the most corrupt administration in Delaware's modern history, Delaware has indeed experienced "change".  Both Governor Markell and President Obama promised a healthy dose of change in their 2008 campaign.  For my money, I'd trade all of the change they gave us for some jobs.

Since Jack Markell took office and named Alan Levin as Secretary of the Delaware Economic Development Office, Delaware has experienced a net loss of 36,000 jobs.  That means that today, there are 36,000 Delawareans who cannot find work.  Meanwhile, as the layoffs keep coming, Markell and Levin do nothing.  Markell just inked a deal with China, the largest foreign holder of U.S. debt, to invest in Delaware bio tech.  In reality, this deal doesn't do squat to create jobs.  It provides Markell with a photo op and a favorable news story which gives the appearance of him actually doing something.  If anything does come of it, Markell has just invited China, America's largest debt holder, to purchase their way into the Delaware economy.  Since Markell took office, Delaware's industrial footprint has died.  Some may think that is by design, and while that might seem outrageous, there certainly has been a real and wholesale loss of blue collar jobs in Delaware's private sector.  I find it difficult to believe that Markell and Levin don't WANT to create jobs but I submit to you that GM and Chrysler (closed in 2008 under the Minner Administration where Markell served as Treasurer) left the state which left thousands of Delaware Autoworkers without jobs, Valero closed and shed nearly 1000 jobs, HSBC and Wilmington Trust cut more than 1200 jobs, DuPont and AstraZeneca have laid off more than 1,000 workers and scores of small businesses around the state have closed.  Even with the purchase of the Chrysler plant by U of D, Fisker moving into the GM Plant and the new owner of the Valero plant moving in, Delaware faces a net loss of 36,000 jobs.  In January alone, Delaware shed 700 jobs and the unemployment percentage stayed flat at 8.5%.  Even the News Journal, not known for displaying the failures of Delaware Democrats, has had to admit that the employment picture in Delaware is not good.  The Markell Administration has consistently talked about the budding Delaware bio tech industry, green energy jobs, healthcare and financial services as being Delaware's economic future yet the only thing materializing in those areas is government spending and job cuts.  Healthcare dropped 600 jobs in January while banks and finance companies have been shedding Delaware jobs by the thousands since the passage of the financial regulatory bill. 

Regulations, especially as they pertain to the environment in Delaware have increased and so has Delaware's spending.  In fact, Delaware's personnel costs and the cost of government services are so high that there isn't an opportunity for the state to commit to creating a pro-business climate.  Markell and the General Assembly have been content to focus on social issues like homosexual equality and gimmicks like Markell's bottle bill rather than to address Delaware's problems with job creation and spending.  In 2011, Delaware faces a $377 million budget shortfall that must be closed by the General Assembly and the Markell Administration.  This is the 3rd straight increase in budget gaps under Markell and his accounting gimmicks and tricks will only work for so long before it becomes undeniable that Delaware has a spending problem.  I only hope that enough of us wake up by 2012 to stop this train before it totally derails.

Speaking of shortfalls, DelDOT (whose budget is a mere 8.5% of the entire Delaware budget...dwarfed by education and health and social services) is facing a shortfalls totalling "$1 Billion over the next 5 years and more than $3.7 Billion through 2023" says Jeff Montgomery of the News Journal.  State Senator Robert Venables from Laurel doesn't think the General Assembly understands the severity of the problems (and he's a Democrat by the way) and outgoing DelDOT head Carolann Wicks says that "We're now down to the core programs, primarily,".  Still, the following excerpt from Jeff's story is chilling:

Filling the budget gap without cutting back on projects would require more than $169 million in new revenue just for the budget year that begins July 1, an amount DelDOT officials said could be raised with $85 million in new taxes or fees and an additional $85 million in borrowing.

By 2023, however, the single-year shortfall could grow to nearly $498 million.

Confining DelDOT spending only to "core" maintenance, safety, operating and vehicle replacement spending would still leave a $125 million gap next year that would rise to a cumulative $545 million by 2016 and nearly $1.4 billion by 2023, officials said.

State officials have blamed a combination of rising costs, growing demand for services, inadequate funding and rising debt-service payments for the trust fund's quandary. Payments on past loans and interest alone now amount to about $123 million a year.
Folks, this is STAGGERING.  Even if we ONLY spent money on core services from DelDOT, we're looking at a $125 million gap in 2012.  That's no new roads, no updates that aren't critical, no new bus routes, etc.  The blame from the state officials goes not on poor planning, excessive borrowing and administration failures but on the INTEREST for the debt they ran up.  Folks, the payments for the past debt alone total $123 million per year.  So next time you hear that Delaware's financial situation is better than the federal government and that we have nothing to worry about, remember that DelDOT...who makes up just 8.5% of the state budget pays out an amount equal to about 1/3 of the FY2012 budget shortfall.

There is an interesting sidebar in Jeff's story:


Impose $1 per barrel fee for crude oil barge transfers in Delaware Bay: $100 million
Raise Del. 1 weekday toll to $2, weekend toll to $3: $36.4 million
Raise all I-95 tolls by $1: $24.5 million
Shift DelDOT operating funds from Trust Fund to General Fund: $14.1 million yearly for 10 years
Eliminate trade-in discount for new vehicle document fee: $12.2 million
Charge toll for new Indian River Inlet bridge: $7.6 million
Hike vehicle registration fee by $10: $6.7 million
Raise Del. 1 commercial vehicle toll by $1: $4.5 million
Increase gas tax by 1 cent: $4.5 million
Shift Paratransit service costs to General Fund: $4.3 million yearly for 10 years 


$1 increase in Del. 1 commercial tolls: $4.5 million
10 percent fee on sale of Delaware tags: $15,000
Illegal sign fees: $9,000
Shift Paratransit service costs to General Fund: $4.3 million yearly for 10 years
Double current $25 fee for driver's license suspension reinstatement: $510,000
$10 additional for driver's license permanent renewal: $87,000
Increase revocation reinstatement to $200 from $143: $230,000
Double late registration renewal fee to $20: $831,000
Double over-size vehicle permits to $40: $903,000
Double fee for paratransit trips outside regular transit corridor: $2.1 million
These are the ways that the special planning board that the Markell Administration created has come up with to "fix" the problems.  You'll notice that there are a lot of fee increases and toll charges but no real cuts.  Oh, and you'll see that they recommend shifting costs...which only hides the costs in the General Fund budget instead of spotlighting it like the rest of the transportation spending.

This is how Delaware Democrats deal with our problems.  They bury them.  We saw it with Chris Coons in New Castle County as we are finding out, his accounting gimmicks masked the fact that our County is bankrupt and in danger of becoming insolvent and we've seen it now at the state level.  The only way we're ever going to fix our problems is to make big changes in the way we do things.  Delaware is in trouble.  We've got to cut spending, cut regulations to bring jobs back to the state immediately and reduce the size and scope of government at all levels.  If we don't make some real changes, face some pain today and get our house in order, we're going to face FAR worse pain in the future. 

Taking a Stand for Sanity

Jack Markell was elected in 2008 after a long primary with then former Lt. Gov. (now Congressman) John Carney.  Carney was considered the more liberal of the two and at the behest of nationwide conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh, thousands of Delaware Republicans changed their political party affiliation not only to ensure that Markell was the gubenatorial candidate but also that Barack Obama beat Hillary Clinton in a move dubbed "Operation Chaos".  This move in Delaware created artificially high Democrat registration margins, gave the liberals in the Delaware Democrat Party a dataset to use in order to claim a massive liberal mandate. 

The Delaware Republican Party has been largely silent in the last 3 years as Jack Markell and the Democrat controlled General Assembly has "balanced the budget" by using accounting tricks and half measures that ignore the real roots of our problems, the rampant over spending and bloated size of Delaware's state and local govenrments.  To be fair, I should point out that government largesse is concentrated in State government, New Castle County government and Wilmington city government.  While Sussex and Kent have largely controlled the size of their governments, the northern half of the state has exploded.  While some descrepency is expected since the majority of Delawareans live in New Castle County, government has taken advantage of that fact.  We can no longer be silent about the fact that Jack Markell and his ENTIRE administration is failing the people of Delaware.  This includes DEDO chief Alan Levin who is the real reason why the GOP is silent about Markell's failures.  Levin was brought in by Markell to show his bi-partisanship and was hailed as a brilliant economic mind.  Delaware has a higher unemployment rate than it did when Levin/Markell took over, a higher unemployment rate than the national average and is continuing to lose jobs left and right.  HSBC, Wilmington Trust and countless small businesses have laid off thousands since they took office.  Fisker has yet to build a car, the University of Delaware hasn't yet created a job at the Chrysler plant and the reopening of the Valero plant has produced a net loss of 200 jobs.  Yet, the Delaware Republican leadership is SILENT...because of Levin.   Mr. Levin, you HAVE FAILED.  It's time that you followed the lead of former DelDOT chief Carolann Wicks and resign.  Perhaps you could start another drug store and create more private sector jobs than you have as DEDO head.

I'm not willing to pull the same punches as the Delaware GOP leadership.  They live in a world where a few ultra rich people control their every move.  I don't.  Where I live, the people of Delaware MATTER.  Where I live, jobs need to be created and created NOW.  Where I live, spending is out of control and the answer is to cut the size and scope of government.  Where I live our children are failing and out administrators make millions in unearned taxpayer dollars.  Where I live we owe them a better education system and a better chance at making it.  Where I live the city of Wilmington needs an injection of hope, capital and common sense.  Where I live is with you, the people.  This is the first in a series that will highlight the problems we face and how we fix them.  I'm not going to sugarcoat it folks, our situation is dire.  With that said, we can survive and if we work together we will.  I don't pretend to have all the answers but I know the fools in office now don't seem to have any.  Let's rescue Delaware.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

What's all the Wisconsin fuss about anyway?

For a few weeks now, our TV news has been inundated with video and images from the protests in Wisconsin and with talking heads constantly battling over whether the public employee unions have a natural right to band together, buy some politicians and then bargain with them over taxpayer money. Most Americans inherently know that this concept is wrong, even the ultra-liberal President FDR stood up against public sector unions. With that said, a favorite lie of the union apologists is that: "Public sector workers get paid less than private sector workers in exchange for better benefits." This is an argument that they use especially with teachers to explain how underpaid they are. Well a friend of mine has provided me with the following information about Wisconsin teachers (and select public employees) and their salary/benefit packages. Underpaid? You be the judge.... Continue reading on What's all the Wisconsin fuss about anyway? - Wilmington Education |

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

New Castle County Democrats on the Lamb Wisconsin Style

I received an email last night from a good friend in the Delaware conservative movement who was warning about an impending power play by the New Castle County Council.  This is the message:
Tue March 1st at the New Castle County Bldg at 800 N. French Street at 4:30pm New Castle Council meets.  The New Castle Council will meet to try to strip Tom Kovach of some of his powers and undo rules of order that address the corruption in bidding and development.

We need you there. 
I immediately thought that I should go to this.  It was last minute, and with 4 kids, last minute sometimes just doesn't work out.  My wife and I scrambled to make sure we had kid coverage and I was able to leave (albeit a little late) for Wilmington.  I walked in about 25 mins late and was greeted by an almost empty room.  Well, almost empty of legislators.  By the time I arrived only Council President Kovach and Councilman Weiner were still in the room.  I later found out that of the 13 members of council, the following showed up:
  1. Councilwoman Diller (D)
  2. Councilman Powers (D)
  3. Councilman Tackett (D)
  4. Councilman Weiner (R)
  5. Council President Kovach (R)

Councilwoman Kilpatrick called in sick and Councilman Cartier was out of town, both announced their intent not to show.  The rest of County Council were no shows.  They'd pulled a Wisconsin.  Why?  Well they'd gotten word that THE PEOPLE had been notified that there was to be a vote to strip the Council President of some of his powers.  Word got out that we would show.  And so the Democrats (minus the few good government supporters above) decided since we WERE going to show, that they would not. 

But their motion is not going away.  Instead they are going to wait until the next Finance Committee meeting to bring it up.  That meeting takes place next Tuesday at 1:30PM.  They're doing it then because they figure that many of us who came, wanted to come or tried to come tonight will not be able to come then.  They don't want the public to know what is going on in County Council.  People like Tim Sheldon and George Smiley are neck deep in some serious corruption when it comes to land use and they've been using suspect methods to pass their bills.  Kovach has called them out on their misdeeds and now Council is reacting viciously.  Adam Taylor over at the News Journal (one of the few good guys) has an EXCELLENT piece on the moves Council has made to restrict Kovach's ability to check the Democrats.

I say we show up enmasse on Tuesday at 1:30PM at the City County Building on the 8th Floor.  It's time we stood up for the people attempting to stand up for us.  In addition, if any of the following are your councilmembers, please send them an email about being absent from their duties today:
8th District - John Cartier - he was excused from the meeting but is in favor of changing the rules because Kovach is calling the Dems bluff

Delaware's Irrelevant "columnist" Attacks TEA Party and O'Donnell

Delaware's lone statewide newspaper employs some rather strange people.  One such individual, the often drunk (rumor has it he spends about 75% of his time in his favorite bar in a state close to a coma) Ron Williams falls into fits of rage and his drunken state keeps his stupid filter from working properly (read: at all).
I only bring this up now because Ron has gone and done it again.  Perhaps the oddest part about this, is that the News Journal editors (yes I'm aware Ron is an assistant editor of the opinion pages...but someone should review his work), presumably sober and rational, actually print his drivel.  Maybe more surprising, is that anyone still reads his column. 

Well someone does, and that's why the record must now be set straight.  The people of Delaware are being sold a bill of goods by an evil and corrupting old fart with a drinking problem and a lack of class.  In his column called "Are Republicans just going to hand over the keys to the newbies" back on Feb. 26th our own "Uncle Ronnie" once again waded into the waters of insanity and took his readers with him.  Maybe it plays to the target audience of the News Journal, mindless liberal progressive zombies but those of us with a few brain cells left are wondering about JUST a few things...

First, Ron opens his column with a couple of rather insulting remarks, one aimed at the thousands and thousands of Delawareans who have turned out for TEA Party rallies and the tens of thousands of Delaware Republicans who bucked the trend and supported O'Donnell in the 2010 Primary against RINO Mike Castle.
"I've been trying to pin down a Delaware Republican or two on the question of how the party is going to deal with the tea party faction, especially in Sussex County, and the likes of dear little Miss Christine O'Donnell."
Mr. Williams, the Delaware Republican Party isn't going to "deal" with the TEA Party faction...oh it's TRYING to...but the reality is that the TEA Party is a non-partisan effort to fight the kind of corruption that leads someone like Ron Williams to suggest that the Delaware GOP is going to "deal" with anything.  You see Ron, for those TEA Party folks who are registered Republicans, they ARE "Delaware Republicans" meaning that THEY will determine who runs the party, not a few elites.  You see, the TEA Party has awakened the GOP electorate to the fact that the party has been controlled by a small and elite few who have incestuously kept the power of the party consolidated within their ranks.  These same people have watched their fundraising base dwindle and have continuously thrust forward RINO Mike Castle despite the fact that he voted with the Democrats more often than with Republicans and despite some very odd votes (he voted to impeach President Bush and for Cap and Trade).
Further, your "dear little Miss..." statement is both condescending and ignorant.  Christine O'Donnell ran back to back TOUGH races against two opponents who used the large Democrat registration advantage and every nasty, dirty and disgusting  trick they could against her.  They attacked her for being a woman, called her stupid and worse yet not a peep out of the so-called "women's rights" defenders.  Some sources on the far left even dug up complete and total lies about Christine's "sex life".  These are things you would NEVER hear about male candidates.  Despite the nationwide smear campaign and millions of dollars spent trashing her, despite the fact that her own party leadership undermined her campaign at every turn and despite the fact that your paper, the News Journal, assigned their very own personal smear artist to the race, she STILL beat Mike Castle in the Primary and scared the CRAP out of Coons in the general.  For that alone she deserves more respect than what you've given her.  Of course, it could just be the whiskey talking...

Just a few paragraphs later, after attacking O'Donnell for the idea that she might be as rhythmically challenged as she suggests, Williams again insert his foot into his drinking hole:
"I don't completely understand how Christine O'Donnell, who lost a U.S. Senate race in Delaware by one of the widest margins in modern times, is considered a "star" by television producers. But that's why I'm not a television producer and they are."
As usual, Mr. Williams is playing fast and loose with the truth...well ok, he's pretty much completely wrong.  O'Donnell lost the 2010 General election by 14 points.  Now that is larger than the campaign would like but not insurmountable, it's really only a 7 point swing.  With that said, the loss remains at 14% so, is Mr. Williams right?  Is this one of the widest margins in modern times?
2008: Markell defeats Lee by 15% 
2006: Tom Carper (D) defeats Jan Ting (R) 70.2% - 28.7% (42% GOP loss)
2004: Carney defeats Ursomarso by 26%
2002: Biden defeats Clatworthy 58.2% - 40.2% (18% GOP loss) - keep in mind that if you speak to GOP insiders like Priscilla Rakestraw...she claims that this was a tight race...
2000: Minner defeats Burris by 20%
Not to mention there are a HOST of local and state rep races with similar defeats.  In fact, O'Donnell's 7 point swing in the face of overwhelming odds is rather impressive.  Perhaps Ron forgot these, whiskey has a tendency to make me that way too.

In addition to mischaracterizing O'Donnell's performance in the General Election, Williams goes right for an "objective source" when he reaches out to Tom Ross, the Delaware State GOP Chair who publicly said that O'Donnell could not be elected dogcatcher, made up a story about a fake death threat in a desperate 11th hour ploy (he's done this before in tight primaries to sway public opinion) and filed a frivolous lawsuit against the campaign which remained an active stain on the campaign throughout the entire general election season.  Tom Ross and the "Republican Party leadership" consistently undermined Christine and fabricated stories.  Pardon me if I question whether or not Mr. Ross even RECIEVED phone calls from other GOP chairs.  Much less that they used the term "that wacko from Delaware" (in the event that it did happen, how sad is it that these other state GOP parties are so weak that they rely on the smallest state in the union to get their candidates elected?)
"Because of the national publicity, state Republican Party Chairman Tom Ross was getting telephone calls from several fellow state chairs, including those in Connecticut and New Mexico, who were seeing a drop in the polls for Republican candidates in their state. They attributed it to that "wacko from Delaware" who's making all Republicans look like goofballs.

Ross also told me recently that the chances of newcomers to Delaware joining the state Republican Party had been undermined by her. People with political convictions, and money to contribute, don't want to join a party with people like her."
O'Donnell raised $7 million from all over the country in the face severe odds.  Most of it was raised in just 6 weeks.  From February through September, Delaware supporters were discouraged and viciously threatened for showing public support for or donating to Miss. O'Donnell.  For the sake of argument, let's pretend that Tom Ross isn't a lying, conniving snake in the grass capable of selling his own mother to his father and give him the benefit of the doubt that these calls actually came in.  Are these claims accurate?  Let's start with the raw figures:

There were more registered Democrats in 2010 than there were in 2008 in fact, since 2002, the Democrat registration has jumped 31% and just since 2006 it has increased 19%.  Some of that is due to Republicans who became Democrats to vote in the primary that elected Jack Markell (how's that working out for us?) as Governor.  Most of it is due to an influx of NJ, PA and NY liberals who left the states they helped destroy for the relative safety of Delaware and have begun to destroy THIS state.  In addition, only 81% of Republicans supported their own nominee in 2010.  This is of course because the nominee was NOT Mike Castle because had O'Donnell not won, the party faithful would be EXPECTED to fall in line.

Further numbers bare an even more incredible reality for the Delaware GOP.  Since Christine O'Donnell has been a U.S. Senate nominee, the percentages have increased:

28.7% - 2006 - Jan Ting vs Tom Carper
35.3% - 2008 - O'Donnell vs Biden (other notables this year: Judge Bill Lee (Governor) 32%, John McCain 37%, Copeland 38%)
40% - 2010 - O'Donnell vs Coons

Remember, Jan Ting was SO liberal that he actually switched to the Democrat Party after he lost handily to Carper.  And lest ye think that despite the numbers above, O'Donnell caused a drop in Republican voters:
In the 2006 midterm elections, 90,176 Republicans voted.  In the 2010 midterm elections,  102,225 Republicans voted.  In addition, a third party firm, Viae Consulting found the following:
  • Christine O’Donnell’s candidacy did not drive Democrats to the polls
  • Christine O’Donnell drove more Republicans to the polls to vote
  • New Castle County Republicans jumped the party line to vote for the Democratic opponent
  • New Castle County Republican registration was lower in 2010, than in 2008.
O'Donnell was not the only person to recieve criticism.  After Ron felt that he had sufficiently attacked the Republican Senate nominee he turned his ire on the Republican Congressional nominee and those who chose him over Michele Rollins.

"The congressional candidacy of Glen Urquhart, whose campaign was run by a renegade, off-the-reservation Vance Phillips, current member and former president of Sussex County Council, was also not conducive to raising legitimate money. Why in the world would Republicans not vote for an attractive, independently wealthy, and brainy lawyer like Michele Rollins, they would ask.

Well, good question. You'll have to ask the tea partiers and right-wing extremists like Vance Phillips and his ilk."
So it seems that Mr. Williams just hates conservatives.  Vance Phillips is a respected member of the Sussex County Republican Party, former Sussex County Council President and current Sussex County Council member.  He has a long history of community involvement and in 2007 he was the state Vice Chairman of the Republican Party.  Like his friend Al Mascitti, Williams seems to think that anyone who believes in God, believes in being fiscally responsible or supports a small government is "an extremist".  Ron, Michele lost for a number of reasons, not the least of which is because the people of the Delaware Republican Party are TIRED of being told who to vote for and of supporting candidates like Mike Castle who do not represent them.  Rollins stood with Castle, she aligned herself with him and THAT is why she lost. 

Williams then goes on to attack Mike Protack who is a constant source of ire from the Delaware political establishment. 
"And now you've got Mike Protack, another perennial loser who has never garnered a legitimate party following, running for state party chairman."
It should be pointed out that, as someone who is plugged into Republican politics, Mike Protack has not said he wants to be Party Chairman, he hasn't announced an intention to run for that office.  The only names I have heard officially in the ring for state chair are Tom Ross (the current mistake) and Don Ayotte who is a Sussex County favorite with limited support in Kent and New Castle County.  This is laughably wrong and it serves to show that both the News Journal AND the Delaware GOP leadership are TOTALLY lost when it comes to what is going on within the GOP.  Later in the story Williams mentions John Siglar, the former NRA President who supported Christine O'Donnell as a potential candidate for Republican Party chair.  The problem is that he names Siglar as a party leadership favorite when in reality Siglar is being courted by the conservative wing of the GOP.
"Finally, Ron Williams ends his rather aweful column but before he does he says this:
I finally received an answer that at first I thought was simply flip and sarcastic. But the more I thought about it, it might not be a bad idea, at least in the short run. 'We're just going to give them the keys and let them run the show. See ya later.'"
This might be the best idea I've heard yet.  Under the leadership of Ross, Rakestraw and Castle the Delaware GOP has become irrelevant.  They've resorted to cutting deals with the Democrat Party in order to retain a semblance of power in the state.  Turning over the keys to the "newbies" who were able to rally together and defeat one of the 3 most powerful politicians in Delaware might actually help the cause.  In fact, I can almost guarantee that we would do a better job than the current crop of cronies who gave continuously depleted funds, been ineffective at raising money, have no real message and absolutely no leadership. 

Tom Ross is a an abject failure as Chariman.  I had misplaced hope after the election that he would be able to rally the troops under the banner of freedom and liberty but he's squandered every bit of political capital he had with the majority of Republicans who voted against Mike Castle and the establishment status quo.

Priscilla Rakestraw is a little like legacy computer games.  It's old, doesn't really work right but man it was cool back in the day.  She's the longest serving National Committeewoman in the entire I'm over it.  She's also quite vidictive and as you can see in this video, a little out of touch:

Laird Stabler is a good guy and fortunately he has stayed above the fray.  Unfortunately he has not been able to fight against the other party leaders.

Mike Castle is finally gone as the party figurehead but there is noone who stepped right in to take his place.  That has caused a bit of a problem as the party transitions and the GOP chair flops like a freshly caught fish on the floor of the boat.  Castle has 10 years of service in the Congress to give people an opinion on where the Delaware GOP stands, which is just left of the majority of the country.  Apparently that doesn't play as well in Delaware as they thought.  As the party ideology moved left, their numbers of representation plummeted.  Since the early 80's when Pres Reagan and then Gov. Pete DuPont led America out of the dismal 70's, the Delaware GOP has drifted to the left and moved so far that it has alienated it's base and blurred the lines between the GOP and Democrat Party to the point that people no longer even see a difference.  A fresh conservative approach would actually FIX the Delaware GOP but that isn't Williams' goal.  His only plan here is to demonize conservatives, attack Republicans and assinate the character of everyone in the process.  It's my sincere desire to see Ron Williams unemployed but I hold out no hope of the News Journal doing the right thing and firing this lunatic drunkard.  It's more likely that the Delaware GOP actually hand over the keys to the newbies than the News Journal do the right thing here.

Written by Evan Queitsch - I Evan Queitsch hereby certify that I am stone cold sober and have not touched a drop of alcohol in 24 hours. 

Maybe Williams could end his columns with the above line...naaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah