Anyone who has lived in Delaware for the last ten or so years is most likely familiar with the trials and tribulations of Rep. John Atkins, currently a Democrat, formerly a Republican.
Rep. Atkins was considered one of the most conservative Republicans in the state of Delaware. He consistently cast votes that were in line with conservative views and principles. Some considered him a rising star within the GOP.
However, Mr. Atkins seemed to be unable to stay out of trouble in his personal life. I will not go into all that has gone on concerning Rep. Atkins, other than to say that his personal misjudgments caused the GOP to ask him to step down from his seat in Dover. The party felt that he had so embarrassed the party with his conduct that they could no longer back him, he was encouraged by many, myself included to step down and then to run again and to let the voters decide his fate.
That is exactly what he chose to do, only one problem, Mr. Atkins also chose to change parties and to run as a Democrat, a run in which he was successful.
Some might blame the GOP for not backing Mr. Atkins and for allowing him to go over to the Democrats, but considering the problems that he has had since and the negative attention he has again drawn to himself, well one might have to say that the GOP leadership at the time may have done the right thing to distance themselves from that negative attention.
I can’t tell you if there were signs of things to come that were known by some behind the scenes, things known while Mr. Atkins was still a Republican, things that should have led the leadership to rein in Mr. Atkins, things that were ignored. But on the surface and to the public eye, all seemed fine and well.
What this cost the GOP was a consistent conservative vote, though in all honesty his voting hasn’t changed all that much, except when the Dems really need his vote, but it did cost the GOP in the seat count.
So ? How does this relate to current GOP candidate for the 19 th state senatorial district Eric Bodenweiser?
First of all, unlike Mr. Atkins, Mr. Bodenweiser’s troubles are on full display for all to see.
Mr. Bodenweiser has a propensity for saying and doing the most outrageous things, all in an attempt to attract attention to himself .
Unlike Mr. Atkins who tried to keep a low profile, but who seemed to just make bad decisions, Mr. Bodenweiser seems to make purposefully bad decisions in an attempt to keep anything but a low profile, I’ ll get to the bull horn and music stand later.
Eric Bodenweiser is so desperate for attention I am told, that he once had a temper tantrum because he was not asked to give an invocation at a function.
When he shows up at meetings it is not enough for him to be recognised, it is not enough for him to simply stand and be acknowledged, it is not enough for him to stand and be acknowledged and to give a few words from his seat, no not for Eric Bodenweiser, Eric must come to the front of the room and stand at the podium, I’m sorry I ment stand at the pulpit. He then will most likely talk on his favorite topic, himself. He will tell you the tremendous things he has done since the last time he told you how great he is.
I had said in an earlier post that Eric Bodenweiser is the guy standing on the corner as the parade approaches, he then jumps out in front of the parade and claims to be leading the parade. I still think that is a fair description of Eric Bodenweiser.
He runs around Sussex County, showing up at meetings, going to the pulpit, and then later claiming to have started some movement, all he starts for me is a bowel movement.
When Indian River School District was being sued, Bodenweiser started showing up and leading prayers during the public portion of the meeting, some might question if this was the best use of that public time. Some might question the prudence of imposing ones own religious beliefs upon all present at the meeting. The one thing it did do, was the one thing it was intended to do, draw attention to Eric Bodenweiser.
Later when the Sussex County Council was also being sued for holding government sanctioned prayers during their meetings, Eric Bodenweiser again showed up and held public prayers during the public portion of the meeting, Though he expressed his displeasure that the public portion of these meetings were held at the end of the meetings. Most likely this bothered him because not many people stayed until the end of the meeting, thus cutting down the number of people in audience for his performance, but never one to be accused of not letting the show go on, he continued to deliver.
Now it is really not surprising that a person who feels the constant need to introduce themself as, and to describe themself as, even on their campaign website, as a Christian conservative, should be showing up and demonstrating in this manner. However, to constantly be describing oneself in this way, when running for elected office does beg the question, does Eric Bodenweiser see himself as superior in his Christianity to hold elected office? Also does this behaviour mean that Eric Bodenweiser doesn’t want the votes of Jewish, Muslim and atheist citizens, not to mention those who adhere to Wicca. Does it also mean, if elected, he would hold some sort of bias against any who did not meet his standard of Christian conservatism?
Now I know what a Christian is, and I know what a conservative is (according to my own understanding), but what exactly is a Christian conservative? And why would anyone have to go around announcing either? In my opinion if you live a Christian life then people will respect you whether they know your faith or not, and if you are a conservative, then people will know it by the views you hold and the solutions you propose. Those who feel the need to trumpet either most likely doubt both themselves.
Eric Bodenweiser’s next real foray into the limelight revolved around the issue surrounding the Sussex County Sheriff. As most know the sheriff was seeking to expand the powers and authority beyond those of the office he was elected to hold. It seemed as if the issue was getting a lot of attention, so of course, enter Eric Bodenweiser.
Eric chose the side he felt would win in the end, as of now we are still not sure if he chose correctly. He chose to champion the sheriff’s cause by brining a resolution to the Sussex GOP Executive Committee seeking the committee to encourage the County Council to give into the demands of the sheriff. To say the resolution failed would be an understatement. But once again you must remember, with Mr. Bodenweiser it is not about the end results, it is about how much attention can he draw to himself. The resolution was ill-conceived, poorly written, as if written in the parking lot before the meeting, and the concept that the Executive Committee had or should have any influence in the matter was childish, as if running to mommy to tattle on your big brother.
But it gets better, after this, another ill-conceived idea was hatched and a meeting was arranged between Councilman Vance Phillips and Sheriff Jeff Christopher, the two main antagonist in this Greek tragedy. At this meeting a fight broke out and charges were brought against Mr. Phillips.
Once again a real headline grabber, speaking of which, enter Eric Bodenweiser, are you sensing a pattern here?
Eric had been buying air time on the Dan Gaffney Show on the local radio station on Friday mornings, out of his own pocket, during which he would entertain all with the tremendous things he had done in the past week to promote the GOP. Now he would go through some lame disclaimer that he was stating only his own views, and then spend ten minutes talking about nothing but GOP politics, from GOP events (which he organized alone in his own mind) to talking about issues of the day, all while having been identified as a GOP Representative District Chairman.
This is when the wheels came off the Bodenweiser train, (toot !, toot! ). When asked how this situation should be handled Mr. Bodenweiser said that these types of unofficial meetings (one might call them backroom deals) that end in fights, “is just how we do things in Sussex County”, he went on to suggest that the councilman should offer to give into the demands of the sheriff, (one might call this bribery), to make the charges go away.
Now the host of the show actually gave Mr. Bodenweiser a chance to walk it back, he didn’t, he tried to laugh it off. However on a later show with host Angel Clark he actually suggested that “we” meaning Republicans, should “take lessons from the Democrats” and “learn to sweep things under the carpet”, he went on to use the Brad Bennett (D) drunk driving case as an example. One can only assume that Mr. Bodenweiser, if elected, would be willing to look the other way in the case of an elected official being charged with drunk driving.
Here is the link to The Angel Clark Show segment,
These statements on both of these talk radio shows led to Mr. Bodenweiser being called before the Advisory Board of the Sussex Executive Committee, this board is made up of other R D Chairman, during this meeting the board recommended to Mr. Bodenweiser that he quietly step down from his R D Chairmanship for the good of the party, of course Mr. Bodenweiser is not one to give up the spotlight so easily, even after a vote of 6-1, Mr. Bodenweiser being the 1, he refused to step down. He should have taken a lesson from Mr. Atkins.
Instead the motion was brought to the entire E C to remove Mr. Bodenweiser, now remember this is a volunteer position. Mr. Bodenweiser had the chance to be present and to make his case, but for once he failed to show up and take the stage, I guess he just didn’t have the guts to show up.
He was voted out of the R D Chairmanship by a vote of 63-7, this shows that there was no support for Mr. Bodenweiser and that the committee had enough of the antics.
Now for a while he ran silent, some even began to wonder whether he may have learned a lesson from this event. Would he now tone down the wild rhetoric he had come to be known for? Would he take a more subtle tact when attempting to work on issues?
Oh heck no!!
There came another flare up of the sheriff’s issue when the County Council called on the Delaware General Assembly to redefine Delaware code to set strict guidelines as to the powers of the sheriff’s office. These sheriff’s issue flare ups have started to resemble herpes flare ups, you know not deadly, but annoying.
So Mr. Bodenweiser took the occasion to again show up at a county council meeting to demonstrate his support of the sheriff, and one can only imagine how grateful the sheriff must be to have Mr. Bodenweiser on his side, because this time he showed up wearing a hard hat and telling the council and the audience how hard he had been working on the issue. He then proceeded to get down on his knees and beg the council to take back their request of the G A. One can only imagine why they were not moved to do so by such a theatrical performance, but they were not.
Okay, now we have come to the point where Mr. Bodenweiser has again decided to challenge Joe Booth for the 19th senatorial seat. In his first attempt he lost by more than 120 votes.
Mr. Bodenweiser found a way to stir controversy right from the announcement of his running, again on the Gaffney Show, when he would not answer a direct question about how he would vote on rent control for manufactured housing. He actually said that the people of the district would just have to elect him to find out how he would vote on it, though he had no trouble telling us how he would vote on the sheriff’s issue, another herpes flare up.
So why do I believe that Eric Bodenweiser will end up like John Atkins? That’s easy, everything Eric does draws negative attention to himself and the GOP, he seeks out every opportunity to do just that. The GOP voters must ask themselves, considering his history of odd behaviour, how long if elected, before Eric Bodenweiser would be hauled before the General Assembly’s Ethics Committee? Not long considering that when asked what he would like to do first if elected, he said he would hold “conservative” press conferences on the Greens in Dover with a bull horn and a music stand(I told you I would get back to the bullhorn). So how long before he puts his foot squarely in his mouth once more, and once more brings shame and ridicule upon the GOP ?
How long before he is run out of the General Assembly and out of the GOP again? How long before like John Atkins he decides to become a Democrat?
Oh! Wait, he may have already become a Democrat. He certainly seems to be working for them more than he is working for Republicans.
He will gladly tell you about the tremendous things he has done for the GOP, but he might not be so ready to tell you all that he has done for the Democrats.
Let’s list a few. He has gone around Sussex finding any and all who will primary sitting Republicans, it matters not that the people in office may have been doing a good job or not. He has been involved behind the scenes in my opinion in finding someone to primary councilman Sam Wilson, one of the most conservative elected officials we have in the state, even I have run afoul of Sam from time to time. But Sam made the mistake in Eric’s eye to be on the wrong side of the Sheriff’s issue along with Mike Vincent another councilman now facing a primary.
He even went as far as to dig up some one issue candidate from the rent control issue to run against Ruth Briggs – King in a GOP primary, he actually walked this person into register to run as a Republican. The person has since removed their name as a Republican and will now face Rep. Briggs-King in the general election as a Democrat, thank you Eric Bodenweiser. Also Mr. Bodenweiser has actually taken the Democrat stance on the rent control issue.
While running an attack campaign against the sitting Republican incumbent Joe Booth, Eric was asked about the Democrat that is running for the 19 th district, Eric Bodenweiser had nothing but high praise for her. Hurt Republicans, help Democrats, seems to be Eric’s way.
So has Eric Bodenweiser been laying the ground work for his ultimate change to the Democrat Party? Will he be the next John Atkins?
One can only assume so based on his bizarre behaviour and his total lack of self-control when in the public eye.
Now the voters of the 19 th state senatorial district must ask themselves, do we really want to put the district, the state, the county, the party, the community, the people through the calamity of electing Eric Bodenweiser to any office where he would be representing all of us?
I personally say no! NO! NO! NO! A THOUSAND TIME NO!!!!!!!!!