Friday, April 11, 2008

04/11/2008--Windmills and Windbags

Wind Power Tug of War—Two big events occurred this week. House Concurrent Resolution 38 passed the house (go to to see how your Rep voted—Terry Schooley voted in favor of this important legislation that directs the Controller General to stop stone-walling the contract which was approved by all three state agencies that studied the bids and the contract.

With 25 Reps voting for it, and with six Senators co-sponsoring it, more than a majority of the General Assembly supports this, so why is the Controller General continuing to stall? Tom Noyes runs a great blog, with special attention to the wind power issue, at

Delmarva’s marionette puppet Senator Harris McDowell’s sham hearings have, surprise, surprise, this week led to a report (seemingly penned by Delmarva) that argues for buying land-based wind power (without any price protection, and without bringing any jobs to Delaware). Anyone willing to bet that the report wasn’t written before the first sham hearing? House Bill 6 was passed two years ago to bring control to the price of power to Delaware. Bluewater Wind (BWW) won the bidding process fair and square, by meeting the requirements. Delmarva (and therefore McDowell) didn’t like the results, and so they are working hard to scuttle it. To bring jobs and clean off-shore wind power to Delaware, ask your state senator to vote in favor of HCR 38, recommending that the Controller General approve the BWW contract.

Discrimination Update—Senate Bill 141 (SB 141) would make it illegal to discriminate against someone in Delaware based on sexual orientation. Let’s join Maryland and New Jersey and 18 other states (and DC) and get this passed now. The bill is stalled in committee by Senators Still, Copeland, and Cook. Sponsoring senator David Sokola is passing a petition to bring the bill to the senate floor. Please contact your own senator and ask them to sign onto the petition for SB 141, to put an end to this discrimination in Delaware.

If you live in Senator McDowell’s district (Senate District 1 in north Wilmington), please give him a call at 302-744-4147 or 302-577-8744 and ask him to stand up against discrimination, and sign Senator Sokola’s petition. (You should probably not mention that I think that he is Delmarva’s lap dog.) THANKS!!!

Spaghetti Dinner/Auction Update—Tonight is the night. Bring family and friends to tonights spaghetti dinner and auction for the 23rd RD Democratic committee, at the Newark UU church ( for directions). The cost is $10, and the dinner starts at 6pm. Chris Coons is a terrific auctioneer, and most Democratic candidates will be there. Will you?

State Democratic Party Convention Update—I was not selected to go to Denver as an Obama delegate. I posted some information on my blog about the state convention on Saturday April 5th. The process is quite involved, and I did not go into all of it. I described it to some as sausage—the result is great but you don’t want to see what goes into it. The delegation selected to go to the national convention in Denver is wonderful, and will do a great job in representing the state. However, it was painful for many who really wanted to go and did not understand the Byzantine system, especially in selecting ‘add-on’ delegates. Also, state party chairman John Daniello’s behavior during the selection of delegation chair was atrocious.

Presidential Primary Update—There are only 11 more days until the primary in Pennsylvania, only two more weekends to volunteer to help your candidate get more votes. Each candidate has a good website, where you can find out how you can volunteer (and donate). I continue to really enjoy going to daily to get updates on election issues, including polls. It notes that Obama has 130 or more delegates more than Clinton, and this gap is insurmountable. There are some great tables of data at , including the 2008 Democratic Popular Vote (with and without Florida, Michigan, and caucus states IA, NV, ME, and WA). I see zero chance of Clinton receiving more popular votes, states, or delegates than Obama. When can we move onto challenging John McCain?

I’m a financial planner, and a reporter asked me this week what I thought about the 3 candidates’ views on estate tax reform. John McCain wants there to be no estate taxes until a couple has $10 million, and then cut the tax rate from 45% to 15%. Both Hillary and Barack want to freeze the levels at $6 million per couple. McCain’s position is not too surprising, given that his wife is worth about $100 million. I simply don’t get how Republicans can continue to say, with a straight face, that they are fiscally responsible, and at the same time talk about drastically cutting tax revenues from families with more than $6 million. That kind of fiscal responsibility got us into the current financial mess. How can we cut taxes for zillionaires when we need money for schools, health care, and infrastructure? I just don’t get it! We need to get a Democrat into the White House in November!

Governor/Lieutenant Governor Race—I serve on the Progressive Democrats of Delaware’s ( endorsement committee. We examined the candidates for Delaware governor and lt. governor last month, and this month we endorsed Jack Markell for governor and Matt Denn for lt. governor. Please realize that the other two candidates (John Carney and Ted Blunt) are good people, and good candidates, however we felt that Jack and Matt are the best.

Good Government—We are asking the Newark City Council to join New Castle, Elsmere, Smyrna, Ocean View, Felton, Farmington, Lewes, Wyoming, and Odessa, and the League of Local Governments, to urge the General Assembly to pass Senate Bill 4, to remove the General Assembly’s exemption from abiding by the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Likely this will come up at a council meeting in the next month. Let me know if you’d like to attend and support this resolution.

If you live in the city of Newark, please contact your councilperson (and the mayor) and express your support for this resolution. You can go to to find your council person, click on their picture, and bring up a page with their email address. Be prepared for comments such as ‘city council likes to stay out of partisan issues’ (response—good government isn’t partisan, and this bill will help Newark better see how its interests are being handled in Dover—no more closed-door sessions), or ‘other folks are addressing this’ (response—shouldn’t Newark stand up and be counted along with the others who wish to improve our state government).

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