Archive for May, 2012

Eric Bodenweiser, The Al Sharpton Of Sussex County

May 30, 2012

 

“If I was the county councilman  right now I’d be looking to get this thing taken care of I’d say, ‘Gee, Jeff, what is it going to take to get this going away?’ ‘Well, how about some training and certification for my deputies? What about some squad cars?‘ ” said Eric Bodenweiser, chairman of the 37th District Republican committee, on a local talk radio show”.

  That was a quote from Eric Bodenweiser concerning an incident between the Sussex County Sheriff, Jeff Christopher and Sussex County Councilman, Vance Phillips.

  Mr. Bodenweiser seemed to infer that the two should settle what could have become a legal battle in some backroom deal, one that would have had the councilman offering to give into the demands of the sheriff, in return for the sheriff dropping any charges or threats of a law suit. Some saw this statement as Mr. Bodenweiser suggesting the use of influence peddling to solve a personal altercation between the two men.

  The original quote was made by Mr. Bodenweiser on the Dan Gaffeny Show on WGMD, a local talk radio show, during which Mr. Bodenweiser was given the chance to walk back the statement, which he did not.The Wilmington News Journal also ran a story with this quote in it. He was then asked on another show, by another host to defend the statement, which he did, but never did he attempt to take it back.

  The really interesting part of this second time was something else he said also.

  While being interviewed on The Angel Clark show Mr. Bodenweiser also made the statement that, “we”, meaning the Republicans, ” should take some lessons from the Democrats” and learn to “sweep these things under the carpet”.

  Mr. Bodenweiser was subsequently voted out of his position as the R D of the 37th Republican District of Sussex County, a voluntary position I might add. That’s right, it was felt that his statements had so embarrassed the Sussex GOP, that he was voted out of the voluntary position within the Sussex Executive Committee. And trust me the vote wasn’t even close.

  So yesterday Mr. Bodenweiser officially started his campaign by announcing on the same talk show that he made that original quote, The Dan Gaffeny Show. He announced his intention to primary the incumbent Republican of the 19th state senatorial district, Joe Booth. This will be the second time that Mr. Bodenweiser has tried to defeat Mr. Booth for the same position, he was defeated in a primary in 2010 by Sen. Booth.  

  After announcing his intentions, Dan began to ask him some questions about some hot button issues, such as gambling, and the fact that Joe Booth took a state job after the last election.

  Mr. Bodenweiser was more than happy to answer questions about how he would vote hypothetically on such issues as expanding gambling and homosexual marriage. However he seemed to be completely caught off guard when Dan asked him how he would vote concerning a bill that would inflict rent control on local mobile home park owners. The bill would basically tell the owners of these parks how much they could raise their rent, in essence it would put the government in the position of arbiter of what should be a private contract between two private citizens.

  If you where listening, as I was, you could actually hear Mr. Bodenweiser sucking air as if he had been hit in the stomach, he even made the statement to the effect of, “wow, you really go straight for the jugular”. He also said something about, “you could have asked me about civil unions”, a topic that one can only assume Mr. Bodenweiser was prepared to speak on.

  The very telling aspect of this exchange was that Mr. Bodenweiser refused to answer the question. He took Dan and his listeners on a walk around the block and when we got back, still no answer. He spoke of how nice the people of DMHOA were and that he is actually a member of the organization and has been attending their meetings for some time now. DMHOA is the Delaware Mobile Home Owners Association, they are the advocacy group that is pushing for the rent control legislation.

  It would seem that if you are a member of the organization and are attending their meetings, that you would have formed an opinion on the issue. But not Eric Bodenweiser. He first said that he needed to know more about the current bill before he could say how he would vote. But when pressed by Dan and callers, he showed and even stated that he had a “tremendous” amount of knowledge of the bill. And still no answer about the vote. Then he had his Nancy Pelosi moment. We all remember Nancy Pelosi making the statement that “we would have to pass this bill, before we could know what was in the bill” when talking about the Obama care health care bill.

  Well Mr. Bodenweiser actually said that the people would “have to elect him before they would find out how he would vote on that bill”, meaning the rent control legislation.

   It was at this point that I remembered his statement on The Angel Clark Show about taking lessons from the Democrats. Obviously he took one from Nancy Pelosi, so I called in and reminded him of this, his reply was, ” I don’t know what Frank is talking about, I have never said anything like that”.

  Well thanks to Angel Clark we have the audio to prove it.

  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=es_nyCv10ZU

  Please listen to the entire recording and you will get a sense of just who Eric Bodenweiser truly is, but the part about taking lessons comes at about the 5:30 mark.

  So either Mr. Bodenweiser has a really bad memory, or he says things that have no real meaning to even himself, or he is willing to change his story to suit his own agenda, I have my own opinion and I’ll let you form yours.

  Now to follow this up, Mr. Bodenweiser also appeared on the Bill Collie Show later in the day. I have to say the atmosphere was a bit more congenial for Mr. Bodenweiser. But again there was a moment worth mentioning.

  I called in and asked Mr. Bodenweiser if he had taken the time between appearances to form a opion about rent control. He had not, he dodged the question by saying that the bill would be long gone before he was elected, but that he would poll the people of the district to determine how he should vote on it if need be. He had made the statement earlier in the day that he would poll the people on issues, but had qualified that with, on the “controversial issues”, which we can only assume he gets to decide what is or isn’t controversial.

  Bill Collie did ask one tough question, “since you would poll the people about rent control and vote their will, would you also poll them about gay marriage?” Mr. Bodenweiser basically said there was no need to poll the people about gay marriage since we all know that everyone is against that.

  Now to the title of this post. Bill Collie asked Mr. Bodenweiser if he could put one thing into motion on his first day as a state senator, what would it be?

 And Eric Bodenweiser didn’t name a piece of legislation he would sponsor, not a regulation he would repeal, nope! Eric Bodenweiser said what he wanted to do first was to hold weekly “conservative” press conferences, that if that meant him standing on The Greens in Dover with a bullhorn and a music stand, then that is what he would do.

 So I think we can all see what motivates Mr. Bodenweiser, not working for the people, but to be seen by the people, to make noise to draw attention to himself.

  Is that what you want your senator to be about? Not me.

 

 

 

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Things That Make You Go Hum!

May 17, 2012

   I was listening to the Jared Morris Show on WGMD today, he was talking about the Sussex County Council and the law suit against the council based on the practice of the council to hold an organized Christian prayer during the regular meetings.

   Out of the blue Eric Bodenweiser called in and attempted to tie the prayer issue into the ongoing issue of the battle between the county council and the Sussex County Sheriff, Jeff Christopher. Mr. Bodenweiser has been very out spoken in his support for the sheriff.

  He did this by pointing out, in his words, that a Sussex deputy had been put on administrative leave for attending a prayer meeting at a local church. In the way that he put this forth, the show’s host and at least myself felt that Mr. Bodenweiser was inferring that the deputy had been punished for his faith.

  To Jared’s credit he asked some questions about what had led to the punishment. Mr. Bodenweiser then said that the county had seen fit to play “Big Brother” and had placed GPS devices on the vehicles of the deputies to track their movements. Mr. Bodenweiser then continued to state that the deputy had simply gone home had dinner and a shower, and then returned to the church for the prayer meeting. Mr. Bodenweiser then repeated his view that this was somehow “Big Brother” watching our every move, he made a statement along the lines of , “this is how the county government is using our tax dollars”.

  Now any thinking person would never think that the deputy had been punished for attending a prayer meeting, clearly if this is the case that a deputy was put on administration leave after being tracked by a GPS on a county vehicle, then he was punished for improper use of an official vehicle. The GPS is not “Big Brother” watching our every move, but is actually an attempt by the county government to protect the tax payers from being abused.

  Now before someone says that the GPS is another attack by the council on the office of the sheriff due to the ongoing riff between the two, let me tell you that I have been told that almost every county vehicle has a GPS device. Obviously with good cause.

   Now if this is true that a deputy did abuse the privilege of having a vehicle to ride back and forth to work in, then we must ask, how long has this been happening? How broad was the abuse among other deputies? Who knew this was happening? And who didn’t know it and why didn’t they?

   Did the sheriff know this type of abuse was occurring? If he didn’t why? Is he too focused on law suits and other peripheral issues? And what has been his response since having it brought to his attention.

  One has to think that since Mr. Bodenweiser has been one of the most, if not the most vocal supporter of Sheriff Christopher, that he may have some inside information about what has been going on within the hallowed halls of the sheriff’s office. Was this Mr. Bodenweiser’s “Joe Biden” moment? Was he a “little out over his skis”?

 If this turns out to be true, and a deputy was put on administrative leave as a punishment for abuse of county resources, one has to ask, is this merely the tip of the iceberg. Is there a sense of entitlement among the office of the sheriff, a sense of autonomy that has filtered down from the very top of the sheriff’s department. A sense that the office is above reproach.

  Maybe we need a complete audit of the sheriff’s office so that we know that the citizen’s tax dollars are well spent on the current status of the office, especially since the sheriff is asking to expand the office which would also expand the cost to the tax payers.

 

Just To Be Consistent

May 17, 2012

   A Federal judge has issued an injunction in the case of the Sussex County Council case over the issue of prayers during the official meetings of the council that prohibits the council from holding an organized prayer during the regular meetings.

    Now many of you know that I have argued that when the council is called to order they become a body of government and as such they are no longer afforded the rights of individuals. Also as a body of government the use of a prayer that is a Christian prayer borders on the establishment of a state religion. At the very least it is a government endorsement of a single religion by government.

   The original case was brought by citizens who were offended by the prayer, however there is no case for being offended. But I do believe that there is a case against government sanctioned religion.

   When the original case was brought the council’s practice was to call the meeting to order and then the council president would lead the chamber in the Lord’s Prayer, technically a Jewish prayer given to us by Jesus Christ. Again, in my opinion this is not a matter of and individual being denied the free exercise of their religion, nor is it a case of them being denied their right to freedom of speech, since those rights are guaranteed to individuals, not bodies of government, they are actually intended to protect us from the body government.

  However since the law suit was filed, the council has changed their practice in that they now say the invocation and then call the meeting to order. Now of course this is merely a technicality, but when we are talking about laws, a technicality is all there is sometimes to decide the issue. In my opinion the council has found a legitimate way to satisfy both those who wish to pray, without technically acting as a body of government while doing it. Until the meeting is called to order those members are simply citizens and are not acting as representatives of the rest of the citizens.

  That is why I now feel that the court has made an incorrect judgement in blocking these prayers. Now it could be that the court made their decision based on the fact that the council was previously calling to order prior to saying the invocation, since that was the practice at the time the suit was filed.

  However to prohibit prayer by citizens prior to the meeting being called to order is a clear violation of the free exercise of religion. I have no problem with a prayer being said by citizens, including the council members prior to the meeting. To prohibit members of the council saying a prayer before the meeting would be like saying that once a person is elected to an office, they can no longer say a public prayer, this would seem to include even in their church of choice. Of course that is ridiculous.

   I would encourage the council to appeal based on the fact that the prayers are no longer technically a part of the meetings. I have to believe that they should prevail based on this fact.

Sheriff Christopher’s Law Suit

May 13, 2012

Now that I have read the suit filed by sheriff Christopher, I am even more concerned with what the end game may be. In  it he quotes previous Delaware Constitutions prior to the current one from 1897 to justify his claims. Obviously once new constitutions are passed and ratified the previous ones have no bearing on current law.
 I am again troubled by the confrontational language that is used even in this legal document such as “bring the sheriff to heel”.  The suit also mentions the lack of a county-wide police force to justify the need for the sheriff’s office to have complete arrest powers.
 But one of the more troubling aspects of this document is in the request of judgement portion. Sheriff Christopher is actually asking the courts to state that the office of sheriff should be allowed to operate, ” without direction, restriction, or interference of any kind from any other government official or entity within the state of Delaware”.
  If the court were to actually rule in this way, they, the court, would be forever giving up even their authority to pass future judgements in a case involving the sheriff’s office.

  Also included in the request of judgement portion is the matter of lights and decals on vehicles, so we are back to this again, not just training. The suit also states that the office will be empowered to,

   ” a. maintain the safety of persons and property

     b.  suppressing all acts of violence and enforcing all laws of the state of Delaware

     c.  detaining and arresting on view anyone who breaks the peace

    d. detaining and arresting without warrant anyone who has committed any crime or misdemeanor, and anyone whom there are reasonable grounds of suspicion of  having committed a felony.”

   Now I know that Sheriff Christopher has stated that he is not seeking to create a county police force, but doesn’t what he is asking for in this suit sound a lot like a police force?

   I am actually encouraged by the wording of the suit, since I feel it will demonstrate exactly what Sheriff Christopher’s view of the office is and will allow others to understand that, his vision is for a full-fledged police force. So once again I say, the question is, do the citizens of Sussex County want to pay for another police force? 

  This suit goes far beyond simply asking for training for the safety of his deputies, it seeks complete autonomy of the office of sheriff. It seeks to redefine the office of sheriff outside the legislative process based on one man’s view of the office.

  In my personal opinion Sheriff Christopher has once again over played his hand here. Again, instead of waiting for an actual law to base his suit against, he has chosen to rest these broad request on the vague language within the state constitution.

  I would also like to point out that while Sheriff Christopher and his supporters have repeatedly stated that they do not feel that the legislative branch of state government has the authority to define the office of sheriff, in this suit, Sheriff Christopher is asking the judicial branch to do just that, and also asking, in so doing, to give up any future authority over the office of sheriff. If the court were to rule in favor of Sheriff Christopher, it would be a radical act of an activist court legislating from the bench. This is not my understanding of a conservative form of government. Seeking courts to set down rulings that are not based on actual law and asking courts to interpret laws that do not yet exist, based on vague language in a constitution reminds me of the use of the “general welfare” clause to raise taxes and  is what we have come to expect from progressives.

  We can only anticipate that if this suit is found against Sheriff Christopher, that he and his supporters will claim a liberal conspiracy. This will not be the end, this will not end, I predict, until it reaches the U.S. Supreme Court, since there are forces from outside the state of Delaware driving the bus now, forces with their own agendas. That is a shame, since I am a states right believer, I feel that this can and should be handled within the state.