Archive for June, 2012

Sen. Joe Booth Makes It Official !

June 26, 2012

 

Senator Booth Announces 2012 Campaign

 

Georgetown — Conservative Republican State Senator Joe Booth announced that he will seek re-election in 2012. Booth has served in the Senate since winning a special election in 2009.

“We need strong conservatives in Dover who have the backbone to stand up for conservative principles, and also have the respect to be heard,” Booth said. “In the past few years, the New Castle County liberals who control state government have gotten even more extreme. They don’t understand the challenges that taxpayers and small business owners face. I’ll continue to fight the liberals in state government and offer common-sense solutions to cut the size and cost of state government and get our economy moving again.”

Booth noted that he and fellow Senators Bonini and Lawson have come to be referred to as the “Row of No” for consistently voting against big-spending proposals.

“I’m proud of my conservative record in the Senate,” Booth said. “I fought against a $200 million budget increase. I fought to stop illegal immigrants from getting free benefits, and when Barack Obama shoved Obamacare down our throats, I was one of the few people in Dover fighting back.”

“As a University of Delaware football player, I learned a lot about blocking and tackling,” Booth said. “I’ve put that experience to good use in Dover, and when I’m re-elected this year, I’ll continue to fight for our conservative values.”

Booth is a life-long resident of Georgetown, where he works in education and is a small-business owner. He previously served as Mayor of Georgetown, Indian River School Board, and as a State Representative. He is active in numerous community organizations including Little League, Beebe Hospital, the Bridgeville Library, and his church, Wesley United Methodist Church in Georgetown.

Anonymous Letter

June 19, 2012

   As many of you already know an anonymous letter was delivered to every member of the Delaware House of Representatives in which serious criminal allegations were made against an elected official from Sussex County.

  I have waited to address this letter out of caution, both for the privacy of those involved and for the protection of this site and myself against adding to what no doubt will be a sensational news story.

   It is now been made public knowledge, what many already knew about the anonymous letter. The elected official is Sussex County Councilman, Vance Phillips, the allegations within the letter are that during the 2010 campaign for Glen Urquhart, on which Mr. Phillips was the campaign adviser, Mr. Phillips had an ongoing relationship with a then under age 17-year-old girl.

  The letter states that there were witnesses to inappropriate touching and behaviour between Mr. Phillips and the girl at the Apple Scrapple Festival in Bridgeville in 2010.

   The letter also states that when Mr. Phillips’ wife discovered the relationship she immediately “kicked” Mr. Phillips  out of their house.

  It has also become public knowledge that Mr. Phillips has retained legal council from one Joe Hurley, this may be due to the fact that the attorney General has now become involved with the ongoing investigation by the Delaware State Police into the validity of the letter’s charges.

  Since this is an ongoing investigation, and since the letter was sent by an anonymous person, or persons, I will take great care in what I have to say on the matter at this time. I know that many of you have knowledge of exactly what was in the letter, including the name of the girl. I will ask you to please refrain from using her name as I will edited it out. This matter is not about her, it is about whether Vance Phillips entered into what is an illegal act, but also what is a completely un-acceptable relationship, at least in the view of a father, of a daughter.

   To me it wouldn’t matter if the girl was 18 years old when this alleged relationship took place, The age difference aside, Mr. Phillips was married. If these allegations prove to be true, then it is the end of his political career in my opinion. Unfortunately, even if they are proven to be untrue, it is most likely the end of his political career. More importantly, these allegations be they true or not, will upset and possibly ruin the lives of many people involved.

   One does have to wonder why it has taken two years for this to come to this point. It would also be helpful to know the identity of the person or persons who sent the letter. The timing is interesting you would have to admit. I’ll let you all draw your own conclusions on that matter.

   I am sure that the DSP are working to identify the sender for several reasons. One to help determine the validity of the allegations, two to determine when the sender learned of the alleged behaviour as they may be held legally responsible for not reporting it sooner, which might explain the letter being anonymous, and three to identify the sender so that if the allegations prove untrue, to press charges for false reporting of a crime.

  Let me again remind all who wish to comment on this, this is the real lives of people, not some soap opera. Please do not use the girl’s name or reveal her identity in any way. The issue is not her, it is whether Mr. Phillips lost his mind, it is also about who knew what and when.

 

 

Why Joe Booth ?

June 17, 2012

 I think I have made it perfectly clear that I oppose Eric Bodenweiser becoming my Delaware state senator for the 19th Senatorial District.

   I also believe that I have made it clear why I oppose him. Since he has no voting record, and since his views are built upon sand, and he is little more than a political parasite, I must judge him based upon his public behaviour.

  Anyone who lives in Sussex County, Delaware has no doubt heard many of Mr. Bodenweiser’s verbal faux pas, the list plays like a gag reel at the end of some 80’s B-movie.

  He has suggested that backroom deals are the way things get done in Sussex County, and endorsed the use of said backroom deals. He suggested that the Republicans  should take lessons from the Democrats, and learn to sweep the dirt under the carpet.

  But I have listed all of this and more in the past to demonstrate my opposition to Mr. Bodenweiser being elected to any office.

  I have chosen to endorse and to work for the re-election of Sen. Joe Booth (R) for the 19th Senatorial District in the GOP primary that Mr. Bodenweiser is challenging Sen. Booth. However I will not support Joe Booth simply to oppose and to defeat Eric Bodenweiser, though it would be tempting, my integrity compels me to seek reasons to support Sen. Joe Booth.

   The following are actual votes that Sen. Joe Booth has casted, pay close attention to the gambling bills since Mr. Bodenweiser is attempting to mislead the voters on Sen. Booth’s record on gambling.

  Considering that Mr. Bodenweiser has refused to answer how he would vote on certain important issues until after he were elected, it is truly helpful to be able to confirm Sen. Booth’s actual votes, especially when they are called into question by his opponent, especially when said opponent has had a tendency to, shall we say, manipulate the truth?

  June 22, 2011 SB 97  Rent control for manufactured housing – voted no

  May 11, 2011  SB 17 Medical marijuana – voted no

  April 7, 2011  SB 30 Same sex civil unions – voted no

   April 5, 2011 HB 19 To reduce punishment for drug possession – voted no

  January 28, 2010  HB 310 To legalize table games – voted no

  June 29, 2009 HB 212 Alcohol tax increase – voted no

 June 29, 2009 HB 210 Liquor license fee – voted no

 June 29, 2009 HB 291 To reinstate the estate tax – voted no,

 June 29, 2009 HB 198  National popular vote – voted no

 June 24, 2009 HB 121 Adding sexual orientation to Delaware anti discrimination laws – voted no

 May 8, 2009 HB 100 re-establishing sport lottery – voted no

 April 2, 2009 HB 107 Manufactured housing rent regulations – voted no

 May 5, 2008 HB 190  Sports betting – voted no

 June 29, 2006 SB 60 Sterile needle syringe exchange pilot program – voted no

  These are but a few of the bills that I have found where I agree with Sen. Booth’s voting, this by no means is to suggest that I agree 100% with his record. I doubt that I would ever find anyone that I could agree 100%. However from his record of actual votes, not just rhetoric from behind a microphone, I feel confident in my support for Joe Booth.

 I would encourage everyone within the 19th state senatorial district to research Sen. Booth’s record for themselves and to not rely on the word of his primary opponent. I am sure like myself you will find much more to agree with him on than to disagree with him on.

 

H B 392

June 15, 2012

 Delaware’s Democrats must be hearing the death rattle of Obama care and are expecting the U.S. Supreme Court to throw out the unconstitutional legislation.

 Why else would Delaware Democrats put forth H B 392, a bill intended to institute socialized health care on the state level.

  I have to admit I haven’t had a chance to read the entire bill yet, because of course they have chosen to make this one complicated. I am getting the sense of Nancy Pelosi here, ” you have to pass it to find out what is in it”.

  Here is a link, read and let the debate begin, and call your legislators about this, even Democrat voters will oppose this, but the Dems in Dover will push this through in honor of Biden if they don’t fear the voters.

 http://www.legis.delaware.gov/LIS/lis146.nsf/vwLegislation/HB+392/$file/legis.html?open

All In Due Time

June 15, 2012

  I know that many of you have by now heard of the unsigned letter that was sent to every member of the Delaware House of Representatives in which the anonymous writer makes a very serious allegation of a crime involving an elected official from Sussex County. The matter has been turned over to the state police and the Attorney General for investigation.

  I know that I have set myself up as a bit of a voice of Sussex County here, and you may be wondering why I am being silent on this. Well due to the seriousness of the accusation and the effect it will have on many lives if proven to be true, I am waiting for the Delaware State police to run their investigation into the validity of the letter and the accusations within it. If and when charges are actually brought, or if and when I feel the time is appropriate, I will be addressing this, because if the accusations are true then many people will need to be held accountable. I would also add that it is extremely important that the person who sent the letter be discovered, whether the accusations are true  and especially if the y are found to be false.

  I will not be allowing comments on this post since I would rather not have us guessing or pouring gasoline on what will surely be a large fire. I would thank you for not posting comments about this on any other thread here as well.  I will say that since I see this as an extremely serious situation, I will be tracking comments about this issue and will report to the police anything I feel is appropriate.

 Thank you all for your cooperation in this. I promise I will deal with this, all in due time!

 

Just Vote !

June 14, 2012

    There seems to be a growing trend among our Delaware legislators of not voting on legislation.

     Oh they show up and they sit through debates on bills and may have even given their opinion on the issues in the past, but when it comes time to cast their vote, they choose to go on record as “not voting”.

   Really ? Not voting? Why you may ask would people who have been elected to go to Dover to represent the voters within their respective districts choose to not vote on issues that are in many cases important and often controversial?

   Well while I am sure that there are plenty of cases where Democrats have done this, I am concerned with Republicans doing it. I care more about the Republicans doing it because as a Republican, I expect more from my Republican elected officials. For that reason I will be focussed on a few recent examples of this trend of not voting by Republicans.

    The first one that drew my attention was that of  Rep. Dave Wilson (my representative by the way) when he went on record as not voting on the legislation to define the powers and authority of the sheriff’s office. He stated that he felt since a law suit had been brought that the issue should be settled by the courts. Okay, I can respect that, but why “not voting”? Why not just vote against the bill? Was he trying to have it both ways? Was he trying to say that he felt the bill was a good idea, since he had been a co-sponsor on the Republican version, but that since it was now a Democrat bill he wouldn’ t vote in favor of it? But he wouldn’t vote against it either. I am always confused by people who can’t come to a conclusion on important issues, but then I don’t have to run for re-election either.

  Unfortunately the second example also includes Rep. Dave Wilson, but he had company this time on the bill to expand gambling to the Internet. Along with Rep. Wilson, Rep. Harvey Kenton and Rep. Bobby Outten all went on record as not voting. This time it was due to a conflict of interest. It seems that they are on the board of the Harrington State Fair, and the Fair Grounds owns the casino and receives a share of the profits. One might suggest, that these gentleman, decide which is more important to them, being a part of the Fair Grounds, or being a legislator, since the one seems to be preventing them from fulfilling their duties to the other.

   Now the third has not yet occurred. Rep. Ruth Briggs-King appeared on The Dan Gaffney Show on WGMD this morning to discuss an upcoming vote on rent control of manufactured housing. The vote was supposed to happen some time today, I have learned however that the bill did not get worked for unknown reasons. Rep. Briggs-King stated that she would be going on record as not voting due to the possible perception of a conflict of interest. It seems that two of her uncles own mobile home parks and of course they have contributed to her campaigns, unusual for family members  by the way.

  Let me step out for a minute and say that I hope that Rep. Briggs-King takes the weekend to reconsider not voting. She has always been a strong property rights advocate and has a voting record to show for it.  If she were to vote down the rent control bill it would not be out of character for her.

  So what are we to do about all of these conflicts of interest of our legislators? Should we only elect retired people? Or maybe we should only elect the self-unemployed .  I imagine that if you selected any random piece of legislation, and then picked a random legislator, within an hour you could come up with some perceived conflict of interest.

  Those I have named are not the only ones, there is Sen. Joe Booth who has a job with Sussex Tech, leaving his constituents without a vote in the senate on any issue concerning Sussex Tech, like their budget.

  We also have candidates who are being challenged based on the fact that they work for the University of Delaware. Glen Urquhart has made it quite clear that he believes that Ernie Lopez cannot fairly represent the people of the new sixth senate district due to the fact that he would have to recuse himself on many votes.

  So I ask again, how do we solve this? I think it is quite easy. It is up to the legislators, they should vote on every bill no matter the perception.

  Of course many will say that they can’t if there is a conflict of interest. I say they should vote on the merits of the bills and then defend their votes based on the merits of the bills. If anything, voting on bills that hold the potential for that criticism, should force the elected officials to do due diligence and to have their ducks in a row, knowing that they will need to be able to defend against the accusations.

  Joe Booth should vote on all bills concerning Sussex Tech, Dave Wilson should vote on all bills concerning gambling, Ruth Briggs-King should vote against the rent control, all elected officials should vote on all bills, that is why they are elected.

   It will be easier to defend a vote based on facts and issues, then to defend not voting at all. I can respect someone who has a different opinion than my own, as long as it is fact based and not merely a political calculation.

  One has to believe that our Founding Fathers cast a few votes on the issues of tobacco, farming, slaves, and other interest that many of them were involved in, are we to believe that the majority of them went on record as not voting on these important issues of their times? I think not, I think they were men of integrity and they were able to represent the people while carrying on their private lives. I am also sure that there were times when they were conflicted on issues and votes. I don’t know how they came to their conclusions, but they seem to have been able to do so in a manner that has left us with an example that it can be done.

 So I say to our elected officials, vote on every bill, no matter the issue, no matter the perception. Weigh the facts, consider the cost, choose the course that leads to the best results for the citizens of the state of Delaware, and then, just vote!

Nothing New !

June 7, 2012

  I missed Sussex County Sheriff Jeff Christopher today on WGMD’s The Bill Collie Show.

  But really I missed nothing, since there was nothing new in his arguments for expanded powers for his office.

  One point that he didn’t spend a lot of time on is the fact that the County Council will be holding a hearing Monday morning at 10:00 am in regards to the deputy that was accused of improper use of county equipment. This is the case that accuses the deputy of using a county vehicle for personal use among other charges.

  Sheriff Christopher did make one statement about the council “SPYING” on his department, I can only assume this is in reference to the GPS units on the sheriff’s department vehicles that were used to determine that the deputy was using the vehicle after hours. To call this spying seems a bit paranoid since it is my understanding that most if not all of the county’s vehicles have these GPS units installed.

   The sheriff again stated his belief that he is standing on constitutional grounds in seeking the expansion of powers for his department. Unfortunately he never goes beyond saying that it is a constitutional issue, and gives not basis for that beyond the over used term, “conservator of the peace”.

  He spoke of all of the people from across this nation who support him, this gives me as a states rights person great concern. This will and should be settled in Delaware, I would advise those people across the nation to spend their time removing the beam from their own eye.

  Here is a link to WGMD, it is about twenty minutes long.

  http://www.wgmd.com/?p=59529

Is Your Church A Slave To Government ?

June 3, 2012

   I should start this post by explaining to those who don’t already know , I define myself as a Christian but hold no allegiance to any organized religion or denomination.  I came to my faith through the reading of the Gospel and then through the reading of the Bible in context.

   I tell you this only to inform you of my personal belief system and to show that I have no axe to grind with any other religion or denomination, I do believe that I am less likely to see faith as a team sport due to this, but I understand the need some people have for an organized system of faith. That is the freedom we have here in the United States. The freedom to worship as we see fit.

   That actually brings me now to the point of my post. Is your church really free?

   First answer two questions. Is your church incorporated? And is your church filed as a 501c3? If you answered yes to either, then you may not have as much religious freedom as you think you do.

   The founding of this nation was based on two fundamental ideas of freedom, one was the freedom of speech, especially political speech, and secondly the freedom of religion.

   Now many of you know how I feel about keeping my faith and my government completely separate. I feel that one’s faith will suffer relative to the amount of government involvement in said faith. Personally I see no need for the organized public prayers that others seem to need to legitimize their own faith. I am also not sure that I would want  to be involved with a church that spent more time preaching about politics than it did about the Gospel.

  But again I recognize that some people desire that their churches were more outspoken on political issues. They seek to mobilize the parishioners to act as a voting block. Again in my view this comes down to religious freedom, if you are attending a church that is politically motivated and you are not, you can choose another church. And the same is true of the opposite, you are free to seek out a politically motivated church.

  This has become very important in recent months with Pres. Obama speaking out on two very social issues. First is the mandate that religious organizations must supply insurance that pays for contraceptives for their employees, even if that goes against their doctrine. The second is Pres. Obama’s recent statement of support for homosexual marriage.

  Many people have been disappointed that their churches and church leaders have not been outspoken enough on these two issues and to call for political reactions to the president’s position. Now in fairness there has been limited and subtle response from the black  community and a legal challenge from one organization.

  For this post however I am asking why has there not been a more fervent outcry from the pulpit.

  One has to believe that one reason, if not the reason, is that the churches fear losing their tax exempt status. They fear that if they were to call for a political reaction to these attacks on their faith, that the government would react by repealing their tax exempt status.

  But is that even possible? I don’t think that it is, since the churches are protected by the First Amendment under the freedom of religion clause. So why do so many churches and people alike believe that the government has the power to tax the churches?

  Well mostly because in 1954 then Senator Lyndon B. Johnson was a driving force to adding churches to the tax code under section 501c3, or better known as the tax exempt code.  Johnson sold this as a favor to the churches, but what it has done, is to silence the pulpit. As I said earlier, out of fear of losing this tax exemption.

  But does the federal government have the power to grant tax exemption? A better question is, does the federal government have the power to tax a church? I say no, again since the first Amendment puts the churches squarely outside the purview of government, then the government cannot place a tax upon a church with the threat of shutting down the church if the tax is not paid. So if the government cannot tax a church, then there is no need for tax exemption.

  Even the I R S recognizes this in their own code 508 (c) (1) (A), the code says,

 “The notification requirement set forth in IRC 508(a) is subject to exceptions and these are listed in IRC 508(c). Under IRC 508(c)(1) there are several exceptions to notice which are applicable to (A) churches, and their integrated auxiliaries, and conventions or associations of churches, or (B) any organization, other than a private foundation, the gross receipts of which in each taxable year are normally not more than $5,000.”

  What this means is that churches and their auxiliaries have no need to apply for tax exemption. So if the I R S feels that there is no need to apply for tax exemption by churches, then one would have to believe that there is nothing to lose. Churches are also automatically tax deductible according to IRS Publication 526 which says, “Organizations That Qualify To Receive Deductible Contributions, You can deduct your contributions only if you make them to a qualified organization. To become a qualified organization, most organizations other than churches and governments, as described below, must apply to the IRS.”

  The second thing that modern churches have chosen to do that ties them to government is to incorporate. Why?

  Well there are three reasons that most likely seem attractive to some churches, these being,

   1. A corporation has limited liability protection

  2. A corporation may exist in perpetuity

  3. A corporations may hold title to real property

 However there is another legal attribute  to a corporation that may not be as desirable to churches and one that the churches may not have been made aware of, a corporation can sue and be sued. This is extremely important I feel since states like Delaware have passed  homosexual antidiscrimination laws along with homosexual civil union laws and there is still a push for homosexual marriage laws, so how long before a homosexual couple will be bringing a law suit against a church for refusing to perform a homosexual marriage? And since the church has already established a legal connection between the church and government, they have given government a perceived sovereignty over the church.

  It is the legal entanglements that the churches have chosen to take on in an attempt to safeguard themselves, that have actually put them at the greatest risk, not only from individuals, but from the very government that should have no say, what so ever, over the free exercise of their religion.

 Point of fact, in  the case of  Hale vs. Henkel the U.S. Supreme court said this about corporations,

 ” Upon the other hand, the corporation is a creature of the State. It is presumed to be incorporated for the benefit of the public. It receives certain special privileges and franchises, and holds them subject to the laws of the State and the limitations of its charter. Its powers are limited by law. It can make no contract not authorized by its charter. Its rights to act as a corporation are only preserved to it so long as it obeys the laws of its creation.”

Hale v. Henkel, 201 U.S. 43 at 74 (1906)

 

So you can see that any type of legal entanglement on the churches part with government is to the detriment of the church.

  In 1811 a bill was ratified by Congress to incorporate the Protestant Episcopal Church in Alexandria, Virginia, when the bill was presented to then President James Madison for his signature, he promptly vetoed the bill and in a veto message stated,

“Because the bill exceeds the rightful authority to which governments are limited by the essential distinction between civil and religious functions, and violates in particular the article of the Constitution of the United States which declares that ‘Congress shall make no law respecting a religious establishment.’ The bill enacts into and establishes by law sundry rules and proceedings relative purely to the organization and polity of the church incorporated… This particular church, therefore, would so far be a religious establishment by law, a legal force and sanction being given to certain articles in its constitution and administration.” 

 

 

  It would seem that President Madison understood that any legal recognition of the church by the government, even if such recognition was sought by the church, was beyond the original intent of the Constitution. It would seem as though he also understood that in seeking such recognition the churches were actually seeking a license, in essence the churches were seeking a legal statement that they had permission from the government to exist. But due to the First Amendment no such license is needed.

  I know that there are many people out there who are looking to their churches and church leaders to speak out on the pressing social issues of the day, and they are not receiving that which they seek. I would say to those people, talk among your fellow parishioners, tell them that you and your churches need not be slave to the government just to retain a tax exemption that the government doesn’t even have the authority to bestow upon the churches. Tell them to throw off all the chains that government has placed upon their freedom to worship and to speak out on the issues that effect them and their families.

  Even if they are forced somehow to pay taxes, would that not be better than the forced silence that they live under now?

   I will leave you with the words Of President John Adams,

  “The church is the moral compass of society.” But in order to remain a true and faithful compass, the church must remain separate and independent of the influences of that society, particularly its civil government. It must be a “free-church.” Should the church become subordinate, or in any way controlled or co-opted by the civil government (a “State-Church” system), it can no longer effectively serve as that society’s moral compass. Unless it is respected, no one will listen to what it has to say. ”