Mid Alantic in the New Year 8 January, 2010Posted by stoptaxing in Uncategorized.
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New Jersey keeps marriage between a man and a woman with the state senate voting down efforts to scrap civil unions and redefine marriage. Now the state can focus on the out of wack budget and weak economy.
Maryland’s largest city is getting a new mayor with the resignation of Shelia Dixon as part of a plea deal.
New York’s governor is seeking to raise the cap on charter schools after a national study showed that they may hurt charter performance. Pensioner’s who trusted the post office over the bank found out their faith was misplaced. Thousands of checks were lost in the mail in the western NY district. Direct deposits went without a hitch.
Virginia’s new governor is appointing his cabinet. He has tapped a technology CEO to be his secretary of technology and fix the mess left by the previous occupants. The Democrats suffered a set back in their hopes for claiming the state senate seat vacated by the new AG. Their candidate doesn’t live in the district and just rented a home for $600 a month that he does not live in to run for the special election.
Pennsylvania’s house and senate have finally agreed to add table games to their gaming mix. So much for the great gaming strategy of Delaware’s governor Markell. I am sure that people will drive past two or three to come here especially after we just repealed the exemption of lottery (all of our games are technically state lotteries) winnings from state income tax.
A Democratic perspective–the year in review 2 January, 2010Posted by stoptaxing in Uncategorized.
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Despite extremely challenging times — by most accounts the greatest our state has faced in several decades — we were able to pass legislation in 2009 touching nearly every Delawarean in an ongoing effort to improve their quality of life. Ranging from public safety measures, education bills, anti-discrimination legislation, new protections for our seniors and bills honoring our military, when all summed up I believe the 2009 General Assembly session was a success.
An early success of the session was the re-authorization of sports betting. House Substitute 1 for House Bill 100 provided our Racino partners with a competitive advantage and has resulted in adding much-needed funds to the state’s revenue.
The summaries below highlight some of the legislation passed and signed into law this past year.
· Established enhanced penalties for registered sex offenders who commit a sex offense against a child under 12 years of age.
· Added paramedics, EMTs, fire marshals and fire police officers to a list of first responders whose death can result in a first-degree murder charge.
· Increased the penalties for the crime of “sex offender unlawful sexual conduct against a child” when the victim is under 18 and has a cognitive disability.
· Replaced the costly and ineffective DSTP with the new Delaware Comprehensive Assessment System (DCAS) which will provide teachers a better tool and greater flexibility as to when to assess a student’s progress.
· Granted local districts substantially more discretion with respect to expenditure of state education funds and also established a number of safeguards to ensure that those funds are spent in a responsible manner.
· Expanded an existing program allowing Delaware National Guardsmen to receive financial assistance for a master’s degree without allocating any additional funding above the amount already appropriated in the fiscal 2009 budget.
Quality of Life and Seniors
· Prohibited discrimination against a person based on their sexual orientation, whether the orientation is real or perceived in areas of housing, employment, public works contracting, public accommodations or insurance.
· Allowed competent adults to receive visits in a hospital, nursing home or nursing facility from any person they choose. The law does not overrule a facility’s visitation policies that are based on the patient’s medical condition, visitation hours or a court order.
· Gave the public online access to the Adult Abuse Registry so Delawareans seeking to hire someone to help care for their elderly loved one could easily go online and check the job applicant’s name against the registry.
· Increased penalties for repeat drunk drivers.
· Placed the General Assembly under the state’s Freedom of Information Act as a public body, subjecting the legislature to the state’s open meeting laws.
· Prohibited state agencies from granting an unpaid leave of absence to workers while they are incarcerated.
· Restructured the Violent Crimes Compensation Board, a result of the work of the Sunset committee. Reforms include reducing the compensation of board members to a $100 per meeting from an annual salary of $10,000 including pension benefits.
· Amended the Freedom of Information Act to take advantage of current technology by permitting members of certain public bodies to participate in a meeting using video-conferencing under certain conditions.
My recap of the session would not be complete without a couple of comments regarding the budget approved the morning of July 1. Faced with an $800 million deficit meant making some extremely difficult decisions. The budget we approved reflected our commitment to the guiding principles used to direct our effort.
· Fiscal Responsibility – Reductions should real and sustainable. The budget approved included over $300 million in spending cuts, including the elimination of 1,000 positions out of 15,000.
· Keep our core commitments – Ensure the health and safety of our families, foster the growth of our economy and protect the quality of our air and water, give every child an opportunity to succeed, assist our senior citizens when needed and protect the rights of all of our citizens at all times. I believe the budget approved met this principles’ objective.
· Shared sacrifice – No group will bear a disproportionate burden. The budget required sacrifice from all constituencies including our state employees, Delawareans making more than $60,000 per year and corporations doing business in Delaware.
Our focus on maintaining our core commitments and fiscal responsibility will provide Delawareans with sensible solutions while protecting our children’s future, our seniors and those citizens with the greatest needs.
I will remember this session as very challenging yet rewarding – rewarding because I had the opportunity to meet and serve many constituents this past year. I look forward to serving them again in 2010.
Darryl M. Scott
State Representative – 31st District
Happy New Year 2 January, 2010Posted by stoptaxing in Uncategorized.
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May you have a happy and blessed New Year. (3 John 2)
The Election 4 November, 2009Posted by David Anderson in Uncategorized.
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Corzine concedes and promises smooth transition.
AP Calls it for Christie 81% and 5 point lead.
UPDATE: Christie lead 6% and 100K with 68% of the vote in.
Early lead for Christie, Christie still leads in fact he is increasing his lead back to 5% with 44% out. I like the counties still out. Christie is surprisingly strong in Camden County and Somerset. Christie is winning big in Republican areas by double to triple the vote margins of Forester last governor’s race. He is losing Democrat areas in Middlesex and Woodbridge where no Republican tends to win in a dozen years. GOP is winning Democrat House seats and losing none of its own. Still he has Newark and Jersey City to withstand.
Updated: 1 down–McDonnell wins big.
VA McDonnell leads early–exit polls confirm Republican trend. President Obama factor in votes of 2 out of every 5 voters.
Traditional Marriage is winning in Maine has a 5% or 25K vote plurality with 84% reporting in a heavy turnout (52%). Medical Pot is winning big. Civil Unions are narrowly winning in WA with a lot of Seattle out where it is strong and a lot of Eastern Washington out where it is weak.
Hoffman may not have the organization to pull the race out. Had to fight absentee vote already cast. It is an incredible showing for a third party candidate ganged up on by both of the other candidates. He may win still but he is behind by almost 3 points. Fox just projected Owens to win.
Definitely a change election, again. PA statewide offices go GOP. Court elections have little money so they are a pure show of party strength. Delaware County was solidly Republican down to town offices and county council. In NYC, the GOP picked up two council seats in Queens, and the Conservative beat the Republican in Stanton Island’s 50th council.
Pataki Boosts Hoffman 1 November, 2009Posted by David Anderson in Uncategorized.
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The first Establishment NY Republican to break ranks and support Hoffman was Gov. Pataki last week at a Conservative Party fundraiser. That broke the back of the Commie Lib Republican Dede Scozzafava. Now he is campaigning with Hoffman.
Taxes Matter 1 November, 2009Posted by David Anderson in Tax Hikes.
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TABOR is back and will be worth watching in two liberal leaning states. Maine and Washington are poised to pass Tax and Spending measures which limit spending growth to population plus inflation. Those will be as interesting and more of a national indicator than even the Governor’s races which have personalities and other issues involved.
NJ, Chris Christie will likely edge out a victory because of fiscal and economic troubles with the state and quite frankly concern that the Democrats will try to impose gay marriage. The reason that Christie may keep Daggett at bay is the marriage issue. Christie would have this race in a runaway except that he refused to discuss specifics about his tax plan. When Daggett came out with a real plan no matter how imperfect, it sent his numbers soaring. Why? Taxes matter.
In Virginia, Craig Deeds killed his campaign this summer when his transportation plan opened him up to tax increase charges. McDonnell has a consistent record of being a full spectrum conservative. The choice was clear.
I think the victory one Tuesday will be a Tea Party victory. It will be one for the restraint of government. Democrats will ignore it at their peril. Republicans must embrace it or the Hoffman and Daggett phenomena will be their peril.
Mid Atlantic Regional Political round up election Bombshell edition 31 October, 2009Posted by David Anderson in around the region, Election 2009/2010.
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New Jersey People in New Jersey are excited about the I-95 world series, but according to Rasmussen polling, 67% are even more engaged with the off year election. 3 candidates have a significant following.Third choice, Chris Daggett, has a 37% approval and 20% of the people considered voting for him. The good news Chris Christie is that the opposition is now starting to focus on getting rid of Corzine. Daggett’s numbers are now down to 8% and Christie has a small lead of 3 points which is right at the margin of error. It will come down to turnout. Christie has 7 point lead among those who are determined to vote and has even 28% of those who somewhat approve of President Obama while keeping a vast majority of the 45% who disapprove.
Corzine is in trouble because 60% of the state does not think that he deserves reelection and even after 30 million of ads he still has a 54% disapproval.
Virginia is looking like a GOP sweep,the state senate may even flip giving the GOP the entire government including all three statewide offices. Currently the GOP holds two (picking up the Lt. Gov when Kaine won–pay attention Delaware GOP) and the state house by a narrow margin. All I can say is if it does happen, do not sit on your lead. Do something with it. Solve a couple of problems and you will stay in power. It worked with the Congress. The GOP accomplished a great deal under Gingrich, Armey, Delay, and Kasich. Then they just sat there resting on their laurels after 3 of the 4 left. Success without a successor leads to failure. First let’s make it happen the only poll that matters is election day.
New York Besides the Yankees, the people of New York are paying attention to a couple of elections. NYC elections are next Tuesday. Bloomberg has passed Corzine to become the all time champion spender of personal funds in political races. It looks as if the Independent will win reelection to a third term. Republicans are poised to pick up a couple of seats in Queens.
Let’s get to the special election that is fascinating the nation. New York 23rd has a new Development with Dede Scozzafava suspending her campaign, according to the Watertown Daily Times. The Bombshell announcement reads in part.
“The opportunity to run as the Republican and Independence Party candidate to represent the 23rd District has been and remains one of the greatest honors of my life. During the past several months, as I’ve traveled the district, meeting and talking with voters about the issues that matter most to them, I’ve been overwhelmed by the amount of support I’ve received as I sought to serve as their voice in Washington. However, as Winston Churchill once said, Democracy can be a fickle employer, and the road to public office is not always a smooth one.
“In recent days, polls have indicated that my chances of winning this election are not as strong as we would like them to be. The reality that I’ve come to accept is that in today’s political arena, you must be able to back up your message with money—and as I’ve been outspent on both sides, I’ve been unable to effectively address many of the charges that have been made about my record. But as I’ve said from the start of this campaign, this election is not about me, it’s about the people of this district. And, as always, today I will do what I believe serves their interests best.
“It is increasingly clear that pressure is mounting on many of my supporters to shift their support. Consequently, I hereby release those individuals who have endorsed and supported my campaign to transfer their support as they see fit to do so. I am and have always been a proud Republican. It is my hope that with my actions today, my party will emerge stronger and our district and our nation can take an important step towards restoring the enduring strength and economic prosperity that has defined us for generations.
“On Election Day my name will appear on the ballot, but victory is unlikely. To those who support me – and to those who choose not to – I offer my sincerest thanks. Dede
3 days before the election it is anyone’s guess on how this will play. Will her hardcore supporters stay home or vote for the Democrat? How many of the people who were just supporting her because she had a Republican label will now go to Hoffman? The fact that she refused to endorse anyone leaves this race up in the air. If this happened 2 weeks ago, it would be a Hoffman victory. MSNBC just released a story and they claim it is good news for Hoffman. We shall see.
Delaware The First State is lining up for 2010 with my prediction that our appointed state treasurer would run coming to pass leaving Chip Flowers (Democratic operative) to rethink his plans. Senator Bonini has to spell “I am in it to stay” for the Delaware Grapevine. The GOP has solidifyied around him for Treasurer. Everyone is still awaiting AG Biden’s decision. Ferris Wharton is said to interested at a second shot at AG.
The state had none election related news. The Army Corps of Engineers is considering defying the state and deepening the Delaware River without a Delaware permit. The state will be the site of a new hybrid line which will take over the old Boxwood GM plant. Governor Markell is excited about his first green jobs victory.
Maryland O’Malley is boring, please get a new governor. He lost his bid to drive out investment when the Public Service Commission decided that it has no business setting CEO pay for utilities which cleared the way for a French company to invest 4.5 billion dollars in Maryland utilities. As usual the Eastern Shore gets shorted. This time with H1N1 vaccines.
Pennsylvania Philadephia is having its elections this year. My bold prediction is that Democrats will win as expected except for the City’s distirct attorney where Republicans are making a big push. Whether it will be strong enough remains to be seen.
In Delaware County, Democrats are pushing to crackthe GOP stronghold. President Obama carried the county, but Republicans still dominate 41 of 49 townships and the county offices. Since these towns and the county still works on the patronage system, who wins could have statewide implications. This is a swing area. If Republicans lose it, Democrats will be able to hire people to keep it and get out votes up and down the ballot. Conceivablely a Presidential election could be decided in that one county just like the 1976 election was decided in Ohio or 2000 was in Florida.
There is an effort to change the 12 year old charter school law. We shall be watching it.
Table games are still in negotiation. Governor Rendell is getting impatient.
A few ideas to save money 23 October, 2009Posted by David Anderson in Budget.
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It is about time someone offered suggestions to save taxpayer money. I do not agree with all of them, but I find the Caesar Rodney Institute a breath of fresh air. The CRI is dedicated to a better run government.
Mid Alantic Region just two weeks out from off year election 22 October, 2009Posted by David Anderson in around the region, Election 2009/2010.
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Democrats lose big vote on Stabenow bill to eliminate the fake Medicare cuts because it was not paid for. Over a dozen Democrats joined Republicans to defeat the measure 47 to 53. In the mid-Atlantic, only our Virgina Senators cared about paying for the proposal. Our moderate Carper, Gilibrand, Casey, and Specter favored adding a quarter trillion to the national debt.
New Jersey Gov. John Corzine can not even release his charitable contributions without taking an unrelated jab at Mr. Chris Christie. So far this year, the Governor’s foundation has generously given $191,770. I applaud his generosity. The Governor has spent $15,600,000 of his own money so far on the campaign. In the last campaign he spent slightly more nearly $19,000,000, but in the last 20 days he doubled that to $40,000,000. He is expected to at least double his spending so far this time as well. A hundred million in campaigns so far for Governor and Senate and hundreds of thousands in donations. There is nothing wrong with it, but maybe that is why the governor drew attention from truly generous giving by attacking his opponent so no one would make any comparisons.
Christie is still leading most of the polls, but the Independent candidate, Daggett is drawing a lot of voters. His support is firming and he may well get 10%. If he gets above 20% then Christie is in a lot of trouble. Christie’s advisers convinced him to be vague and avoid a specific plan so Corzine couldn’t attack it. The local republican activists pleaded with him to announce a plan and take the game home. Instead, Daggett came out with one and jumped mightily in the polls. So much for consultants leading the way. Fortunately, Corzine’s negatives are so high that he will still lose.
New York Fred Thompson, Jerri Thompson, Shawn Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, and now Sarah Palin are all backing the Conservative candidate in New York’s 23 district over the Republican liberal Scozzafava, who favors card check, the stimulus, government health care, abortion, gay marriage, more government spending, and tax hikes. She has gained the endorsement of the unions but is sinking in the polls as the electorate in the Republican district learned of her positions. I agree with the Washington Times which called for her to stand down based upon her aids calling the police on a reporter for asking tough questions, but she doesn’t care about the party. The Republican party did not hold a primary but the 11 county affected by the district choose her as a compromise on the third ballot. The Choice has split the House GOP leadership and the party both locally and nationally.
Governor Patterson is now Governor Panderson. He is pushing gay marriage declared a state disaster emergency after the state finally closed a dilapidated bridge so that contract rules can be waived, and reversed the mandatory vaccination of health care workers for the H1N1. He has also made a deal to put off dealing with New York’s deficit in a special session.
Lobbyists seem to have been slapped with fines for giving over the limits. Democrat Senator girl friend slasher Monsserrate is facing calls from colleagues for his resignation, but they won’t push him out so far.
Maryland even the Maryland bloggers have said not much is going on. My skipping of Maryland last week was not due to any disrespect for our Marylanders. This week we have opposition to a wind farm in western Maryland and the governor asking his school superintendents to start being frugal. The unions say just tap into the rainy day fund.
Slots in Maryland have run into more problems due to the bureaucratic zoning boards. The bad news for Delaware is that a slots parlor for Cecil County finally has its license.
Virginia Democrats are starting to explain why Deeds will lose. That is never a good position to be in. Republican McDonnell is now up to a 19 point lead and is beginning to bring the entire ticket along on his coattails. Virgina may see all three offices and both houses go Republican. Right now only the house and Attorney General McDonnell’s seat are Republican. Democrat Shannon is desperately trying to play the race card in the AG race.
Delaware John Carney thought he would be making news due to his fundraising for the congressional seat, but his fundraising for his business made more news here. The story was picked up by local talk radio both north and south. The papers may get it eventually.
Governor Markell is America’s most underrated governor according to a survey found by those other guys.
Pennsylvania Racial politics has emerged in the Philadelphia district attorney’s race. Some people were offended by the defense of the Democrat DA’s office death penalty prosecutions by the Republican candidate in a debate two weeks ago. He must be racially insensitive they discovered two weeks prior to the election. In the typical brawl they call politics in Philly, the candidate showed up to the press conference alled by State Sen. Anthony Williams, NAACP president J. Whyatt Mondesire, and the Rev. Audrey Brunson, president of Black Clergy of Philadelphia and Vicinity. He challenged them to blame the people who were in charge of the office (all Democrats including the candidate they were backing) if they believed this were true.
Table games still under negotiation.
One local newspaper reports on who’s who in a local corruption scandal. it is a long list.