Archive for the ‘GOP’ Category

GOP Response

January 25, 2013

   It is good to see that the Delaware GOP is not allowing the Delaware Democrats and the Governor get too far out in front of them in doing nothing on gun violence.

   This morning I heard that the Delaware Republicans in Legislative Hall have come up with their own set of proposals, and while I am at work and have not been able to actually study them in-depth, from what I am hearing reported these will be as worthless as the democrat proposals.

  it seems that the Republicans  think that by simply increasing the penalty for existing laws, that this will some how deter insane people from acting insane. Really? This is the best we can do?

  I still fear that we are working towards a compromise that will boil down to nothing but increased background checks, that will boil down to nothing but increased numbers of law-abiding citizens being denied gun ownership.

  As Senator Dianne Feinstein stated in her presentation announcing her sweeping gun ban bill, the intention is, “to dry up the supply of these weapons over time.”. I believe that the background checks being proposed are intended to aid in this “drying” up of those who will be able to legally purchase guns.

  One other proposal was for a “panic” type button, much like banks use to be pushed in the case of an event. I can see the usefulness of this in quickening the response time of law enforcement, and I see more merit in this as opposed to the “panic’ doors previously suggested.

  I am glad that there is give and take on both sides here, my only concern is the final outcome and how it will negatively affect gun ownership.



January 22, 2013

     We as Republicans have been asking ourselves for sometime now, why does it seem that we are losing the battle of ideas, when it comes to convincing voters that we are the party best suited to lead the nation, and for that matter the state of  Delaware.

   Now I know that some of my more liberal friends will tell us that it is because the ideas, the principles and the values of the Republican party, and that of conservatism, no longer represent those of a majority of  the  American people.

  Then again, there are members of the Republican party that will say it is because the Republican party no longer holds true to the conservative values that once placed the GOP at the center of  American politics.

   There may possibly be truth in both of those views, however, I have come to believe that the Republican party and the conservative movement are not losing the battle of ideas, it is not that the ideals and values of the GOP and conservatism are not representative of those of the American people.

  In my view we are losing the battle of perception. The problem we are having in winning over new voters, both for the GOP and from the ranks of the growing pool of independent voters is how we are perceived by the majority of voters.

  So what is the perception of the Republican  Party and the conservative movement?

  Currently that perception is most influenced by what has become known as the TEA Party, but what is more accurately titled the TEA movement. The term TEA grew out of the feeling by a large number of citizens that we were, “taxed, enough, already”, but has grown into a movement that now seems to have no real direction nor goal. The TEA movement has been taken over by any number of sub groups with wide-ranging, separate agendas.

  What was once a movement of rallies and marches to demonstrate a discontent with the size of government and the tax burden that goes along with it, has now become little more than a hodge-podge of groups that spends most of their time attempting to show their conservative credentials.

  In reality there isn’t really even a TEA movement any longer, due to the constant bickering the movement has splintered into any number of movements.

   Now you would think that since the TEA movement has splintered, that it would have lost any influence that it once held over the GOP, and to some extent, this is true. However what is happening, is that though the TEA movement no longer seems able to move the GOP in one direction or another, even so,  the sub groups are still seen as being the face and voice of the Republican party, or at least the media is more than willing to paint them as such. And in so doing, any negative behaviour of these groups is attributed to the GOP.

  We as a nation, and as a state here in Delaware are currently having a debate how best to solve the ongoing issue of gun violence and mass shootings. I do not want this to turn into a debate about that problem, I am merely using it as an example of how we in the conservative movement and the Republican party are losing the battle based largely on perception.

  The problem as I see it is that there is a loud and vocal faction within the GOP and the conservative movement that believes the best way to make their argument is to constantly state that the liberals and the Democrats and government are coming to take our guns, that the proposals that have been made by Pres. Obama and in Delaware by Gov. Markell  are a direct assault upon the 2nd Amendment.

  These people use words like tyranny and confiscation. They become loud when speaking on the issue. Some of them speak of armed revolution. They say things like, “they can have my gun when they pry it from my cold dead fingers”.  When they are opposed they resort to calling people names like RINOs, liberals, tyrants, stupid or worse.

  Their clarion cry is, “UNCONSTITUTIONAL!”. Any law that they disagree with become unconstitutional. Many of these people have but a passing relationship with the document at best, and have mostly gathered what they do know, from the talking points hurled at them at some sub group meeting that gathers to make their members feel as if they are actually making a difference.

  Some of these angry people have actually run for office, they delude themselves that they are in the majority and cannot lose, and when they do lose elections, well then it is always some grand conspiracy, it is never because they are angry and out of touch with the citizens.

  It is when these angry, narrow-minded, intellectually vacant people run for office and are afforded a stage to propagate their tiny shriveled view of what conservatism is, that they are most dangerous to the conservative movement, the Republican party, and to the future of the nation.

  It is when they have any sort of stage at all that the media then is able to label them Republican, they are said to be representative of Republicans and conservatism, and why not? Do they not continually tell everyone and anyone that they are the deciders of who is or is not a true conservative?

  These people are held up as examples, when in reality they are little more than a noisy pest.

  The question that the Republican party and conservatives must ask ourselves is, do we want to be known for shouting down our opposition as we run up and down the aisle of some meeting, waving our arms in the air, shouting “TYRANNY! TYRANNY!”?  And be perceived as nothing but the fringe lunatic?

  Or do we want to be known for being reasonable and for winning, by using logic and reason to convince people  our ideas and values are actually the better alternative?

   Let us take the issue of gun ownership once again, instead of talking about the attack on the 2nd Amendment, something that most average citizens, either doesn’t understand or doesn’t believe is happening, maybe we should be talking about why the proposals that have been made will not help protect our children in schools.

  Maybe instead of dividing our citizens, we should be attempting to unite them. Instead of calling the people we disagree with names, maybe we should be seeking ways to communicate our ideas better.

  As long as we allow these fringe elements to be the face and the voice of the GOP and conservatism, we will be allowing the media and our opposition to paint the entirety of conservatism and the Republican party as the fringe lunatic, and we will continue to lose elections, not because our ideas are not good and right, but because of how we are perceived in the media and by the citizens.



What Is A RINO?

January 6, 2013

   Recently someone posed the question of what exactly constitutes being a RINO?

   I have thought about this since that question was put forth and it was suggested that a post should be written to answer this question.

  First for anyone who is not aware that RINO is an acronym for “Republican In Name Only”, meaning that while someone may be a registered Republican, in someone elses view they are not a “TRUE” Republican.

   The phrase RINO is most often used by those who have decided that they are the keepers of the conservative flame, and it is used much in the same way that racist use the “N” word “Jew” as a pejorative. It is ment to be-little the person being attacked, to end discussion and to draw a line of degrees between the self-righteous hurler of the phrase and the person be disparaged.

 First let me say that I have in the past used this term RINO, and for the exact reasons that I have listed above. As time has passed I have realized that the term is not accurate to the intended meaning of the user. I believe that what is actually intended, at least in my case is NARC, “Not A Real Conservative”, since it is the matter of degrees of conservatism that we are talking about.

 I will come back to that point a little later. Right now I want to address this idea of Republican in name only idea. If someone is going to judge the republicanism of another person, then they must have a clear and defined definition of “EXACTLY” what a Republican is.
  As I have said, I too used this term, and yet I cannot tell you that there is a strict definition of what constitutes a Republican. We need to remember that Republican is a party, and so it is by definition made up of many differing parts of the conservative ideology.

 I have come to understand that there are differing types of Republicans, there are liberal Republicans, who may see social issues as unimportant, and may even believe that some social entitlements programs are needed, yet on some of the larger fiscal issues they are more in line with the Republican party’s line of thought. Or maybe they are in favor of abortion, but against homosexual marriage. In any case they see themselves more aligned with Republicans and will most times vote for Republican candidates. Yet there is a group of people who would attack them as RINOs and say that they have no business being Republicans. This is no way to grow the GOP!

  There are some people who are registered Republican that are considered “MODERATE” Republicans, these are people who also are labeled RINOs due to the fact that they are not conservative “ENOUGH” for some small group of people who have come to believe that they can see into the heart of others and determine the Republicanism of each individual rank and file voter within the GOP. A moderate Republican is a person who attempts to see both sides of an issue, and may vote for either Democrats or Republicans, though again are more likely to vote for  Republican candidates. The keepers of the gate of Republicanism again would run these people from the GOP, so as to keep the party pure in their view.

  There is a third group within the Republican party, these are the hard right conservatives, these are the people most likely to use the pejorative RINO. They see themselves as the “TRUE” conservatives, as the “TRUE” Republicans, they see it as their duty to point out those who do not meet their standards of Republicanism, they see it as their duty to run all who do not meet these standards from the GOP. They see their form of Republicanism as the “ONLY!” “TRUE!” form of Republicanism.

  The trouble this last group has, is that they have in a large part gone so far right, that they are becoming what they claim to oppose. They have become progressive conservatives. They are fine with growing government in scope and cost, as long as it fits their view of the world, which they can and will change to fit their current desires and wants. Which may actually make them the real RINOs.

 The problem with the term RINO is that it is not possible for any one person or group to determine who is or isn’t a Republican. And really should they?

  Republican is a party, we can only grow the party by being inviting to people, if on the other hand we are uninviting to people, then the party will continue to shrink in size and influence.

  So I hope I have given at least a view of what I see the term RINO to mean. Even though I have used it in the past, I now see it for what it truly is, a word meant to attack that which we cannot refute or that which we dislike.

 I believe that there are many types of Republicans, and we need all of them to defeat Democrats. If we continue to segregate within the party, we will never unify the party. The definition of the word party as it pertains to politics is, “a group of persons with common political opinions and purposes organized for gaining political influence and governmental control and for directing government policy”, notice that it says “common” not “identical” opinions and purposes.


With All Due Respect

January 4, 2013

   Let me start this post by saying that I had and have a great respect for all that Jerry Wood did for the GOP, both before and as the Chairman of the Sussex County GOP committee.

  Some may feel that it is too soon to start talking about who will replace Jerry in that position, but since Jerry had made the announcement that he would not be seeking re-election due to health concerns, we would be having this conversation anyway. So with all due respect, I would like to talk about the up coming elections for the Sussex County GOP committee.

  It is no secret that the Sussex GOP is an organization that has several differing factions, and even so, we were still able to elect Republicans to office here in Sussex. Due in some part to the quiet leadership of Jerry Wood.

  So what should we be looking for in our next chairman?

   Let me start with what I feel we don’t need in a chairman. We don’t need a fire-brand, we don’t need the type of person who runs around waiving their hands and calling people names like RINO. We don’t need a progressive-conservative who believes that it is acceptable to grow government, if, in their view the growth is of a “conservative” nature. And we certainly don’t need a chairman who is looking to run for office.

  What we do need, is a person who has conservative credentials, a person who can relate to both the social and fiscal conservatives within the GOP.  A person who has worked on campaigns and who understands how to get people elected.

  I believe that our current vice-chairman, John Riley is exactly the type of person we need in the chairman’s seat.

   I have known John for quite some time now, and have had the pleasure of working with him and have spent hours talking with him about the direction of the Republican party.

  I know John to be a person of strong personal principles and values, who I would challenge anyone, to argue that John Riley is not a true conservative. The type of conservative that has the broad appeal that we should be promoting to the rank and file voters.

  I know John to be a person who holds his personal faith very close, but who does not feel the need to impose his beliefs upon others. I also know John to be a person who understands, that the current fiscal road, that the state of Delaware and the nation are on, is a road to ruin. That is why I feel that John Riley would be an excellent choice for the chairmanship.

 In the time I have known John, I have admired his calmness, a trait that I personally lack.  John is able to communicate his feelings without losing his composure.  He is able to disagree with a person, while still respecting their opinion. John is a person that I believe has the ability, as chairman, to bridge the gap that exist between the differing factions within the Sussex GOP, unlike others who might seek the position, who would do nothing but widen the gap.

  In my opinion the role of the chairman is to recruit candidates, to raise funds, and to organize people to help with campaigns, and to lead by example.                                                                                                                                                            We have to ask ourselves, do we want a leader who will be the face of the county party who is known for ranting and name calling, or do we want a person that is known for being reasonable and level-headed?

  I believe that John Riley is the type of leader we need, the type of leader who has paid his dues within the party by being a worker bee and who has also had experience in leadership roles in the past. I believe that John Riley is exactly the type of leader we need at this time, to unite the party, not a person who would further fracture the party.

  It is 2013 and we cannot afford to waste anymore time arguing amongst ourselves, we need to fix our sights on the true opposition, the Democrats.

  I have spoken with John in the past about my feelings about him taking on the chairmanship of Sussex, though I did not consult him, or warn him, about this post, sorry John to put you on the spot. Some people seek the leadership role, others have it thrust upon them. I am not sure whether John is seeking this leadership role or not, but personally,  I would be honored to work with John Riley to build and grow the GOP so that we can once again have a real role in governing within this great state of Delaware.

If We Had Only Known

December 28, 2012

   Like so many people in our lives I didn’t take the time to get to know Jerry Wood, if I had only known that his time was so short, I might have taken the time to find out more about him personally.

  That being said I won’t now attempt to say that I knew him well at all, at least not on a personal level.

  I first saw Jerry at Sussex County GOP meetings that I was attending as a visitor, at that time Jerry was just another of the older gentlemen across the room. My first conversation with Jerry was at a meeting to organize volunteers for Christine O’Donnell.

   On a personal level what I remember most about Jerry is that he was one of the quiet ones at meetings, but when he did have something to say it was usually of a positive nature, always it seemed with an eye towards moving the GOP in a more conservative direction.

  I only knew Jerry for a short time, however it was a very challenging time for the GOP in general and for the Sussex GOP in particular.

  As I have said Jerry was working for Christine O’Donnell at a time when that may not have been the most popular thing to be doing, but Jerry, like myself and others, must have felt it was the right thing to do.

  Jerry’s most stand up act for the Sussex County GOP was when he threw his hat in the ring to become the chairman of the GOP Committee after Glen Urquhart was forced to resign to run for office.

  At the time Jerry took over the chairmanship, the committee was having some serious growing pains, and there was a lot of in-fighting. I do believe that it was Jerry’s election that brought some stability to the committee, though some felt he may not have been aggressive enough to handle the multiple personalities of the Sussex GOP. I would say that he did the best he could with a most dysfunctional family.

  One of the largest challenges that Jerry faced was the state senate race for the 19th district. The primary was contentious and through it Jerry attempted to allow the system to work. Of course what followed was a complete shock to everyone. With the accusations made against the GOP nominee Eric Bodenweiser, the general election win for the GOP candidate was called into serious doubt.

  Jerry played a large role in first convincing Mr. Bodenweiser to suspend his campaign, and then to completely withdraw his name from the race, thus allowing Brian Pettyjohn to petition to have his name added to the ballot.

  Jerry also worked with others to see to it that Brian Pettyjohn’s name was added to the ballot and thus making it possible to win the 19th district for the GOP, which we did. This would not have been possible without the hard work of Jerry Wood and others. It was this type of devotion to the Republican Party that Jerry demonstrated many times in the short time I knew him.

 I will remember Jerry Wood as the quiet gentleman across the room, the guy with the wry, subtle sense of humor. I will remember him as someone who stood up and took on the mantle of leadership when few wanted the job.

  It is often said at times like these that we should keep Jerry in our prayers, but I believe that Jerry is beyond the need for prayers, for he is with our Father. I believe that Jerry is praying for all of us now.

  Jerry, I wish I had taken the time to get to know you better, if I had only known.


Ayotte Loses Again

December 11, 2012

   Well I haven’t written about a monthly Sussex GOP meeting in quite some time, but I felt tonight was worth relating.

   At last months meeting there were several names put into nomination to become Election District Chairs. One of the more notable names was Ron Sams, former county chairman. Mr. Sams has always been a person who has worked to elect Republicans and I guess he feels that it is time for him to step back into the fray.

  Ron Sams was run out of his position as chairman after the elections of 2010 because some felt that he had not supported certain candidates as forcefully as he could have.  There was also a lot of criticism about how he chaired the monthly meetings.

  Well it would seem as if some people are still holding a grudge against Mr. Sams, in this case that would be former councilmatic candidate who was defeated by Democrat Joan Deaver, Don Ayotte.

 As Mr. Sams’ name was read so that he could be voted on for confirmation, Don Ayotte sprang to his feet (as he is want to do) clutching what seemed to be a prepared statement and a copy of the rules for nominating and voting on nominees. His complaint was that Mr. Sams had not been nominated properly according to the rules, and I must state that according to the rules, technology he was correct. As usual Mr. Ayotte presented his case with an angry tone, at one point he told another person to “shut up” and another to “kiss my ass”. One can only wonder why he didn’t win his election.

 Unfortunately for Mr. Ayotte, due to another attempt to block other nominations from being confirmed in the 35th District the rules were suspended and not only were the nominees in the 35th district confirmed, but so was Ron Sams.

  It would seem as if some people believe that we need no new volunteers, that we can afford to push people away.

  Thank goodness that once again Don Ayotte lost, come to think of it, thank goodness Don Ayotte lost.

Looking Ahead

November 26, 2012

  This will be my second post on the recent elections. Again I will focus on a local race here in Sussex County.

  My previous post was titled, “Looking Back”, since it was looking at a race that the Republican, Don Ayotte, lost to Democrat, Joan Deaver, for the 3rd councilmatic district of Sussex.

  I have titled this post looking ahead because it was won by the Republican, a man who many feel will be the future of the Republican party, and a positive influence in Delaware politics for the citizens of the district he ran for, and for the citizens of the county and the state.

  I am referring to Ernie Lopez in the new sixth state senatorial district, who first won the GOP primary against fellow Republican Glen Urquhart.

  As I did in my previous post, I am asking for the views of those outside of the race as well as those who may have had a hand in helping Mr. Lopez win.

  First let us look at the primary win, which put Mr. Lopez in a position to then go on to win the general election.

  It was a primary like most filled with controversy from the very beginning. Many people felt that Mr. Urquhart took advantage of his newly acquired position as the chairman of the Sussex County GOP Executive Committee. Many felt that instead of finding a viable candidate to run against Democrat Pete Schwartzkopf in the 14th Rep. District, or any candidates for that matter, Mr. Urquhart chose to primary Mr. Lopez for the sixth. I would also point out that Mr. Lopez had announced his intentions first, though that too was a bit of a controversy.

  Mr. Urquhart was also criticized for not choosing to run against Rep. Schwartzkopf himself instead of challenging in a primary.

  For the most part both candidates attempted to keep the race free of personal attacks, at least on the service. There was a lot of talk of Mr. Lopez’s job with the University of Delaware, and whether it would be a conflict of interest.

 Mr. Lopez focussed on the issues and kept it positive.

 Now the question is, how did Ernie Lopez win the primary and the general election? He won them both the same way so I will just say it once for both races.

  First and foremost Ernie Lopez as a candidate fit the district that he was running for. Some felt that he was too moderate, most of these voices did not even live in the district, so their voices did not carry much weight. They are the same people who think you can build the robo-candidate and run them in any race.

 Second, Ernie Lopez may have been the hardest working candidate in the 2012 election cycle. He won the old fashion way, by knocking doors and meeting people. And unlike other candidates who were not as successful, when people meet Ernie Lopez, they like him and they hear what he is saying. But just as, if not more importantly, Ernie Lopez when meeting people, listens to them.

 It is ironic that both in the primary and the general elections Mr. Lopez’s opponents tried at the end to attack Mr. Lopez through surrogate organizations, though both denied any knowledge of the ads.

  Mr. Urquhart was supported by the hard right PAC known as the 35th Conservative Citizens PAC, even though he had been involved in their fund-raising events, he went on the Bill Colley show and denied knowing who they were, along with Mr. Colley who had MC’d these events.

  In the general election Andy Staton (D) was supported by out-of-state pro-homosexual groups, no surprise since Mr. Staton is an openly gay man.

 In both cases Mr. Lopez stayed above responding to the attacks, instead choosing again to stick to the issues.

  In the primary Mr. Lopez defeated an opponant who many felt was the robo-candidate that could win anywhere. In the general election Mr. Lopez defeated an openly gay man in a district that has a large community of homosexual citizens, one who was also endorsed by the powerful Rep. Schwartskopf and also by the Governor, Jack Markell.

 First let me acknowledge that this does show that not all homosexuals are single issue voters and that, in that community, much in the same way within the conservative movement, there is a vocal minority of fringe voters that often cloud the real issues with their single-minded way of thinking.

 I believe that Ernie Lopez can be the future of the GOP in Delaware, not because we should try to replicate him as the robo-candidate for every race, but because we should learn from his example. That we should first seek candidates that fit the races they are entered into. The candidates should be focussed on the issues, and the voters should educate themselves about the issues and the candidates, and not rely on special interest groups who seek to involve themselves into every race in attempt to spread their myopic views.

  I believe that Ernie Lopez possesses the conservative views that will lead this state to new levels of success, while also possessing the integrity to be able to compromise with the opposition, without compromising those conservative values, to be able to move in that direction.

 My only regret is that I was otherwise involved during the 2012 election cycle and was unable to work directly with Mr. Lopez’s campaign, I am sure there was much to be learned. Great job Ernie, and to all that helped you. Thank you much.


Looking Back

November 18, 2012

  Last Monday we were encouraged by the Sussex County GOP to show up and “VENT” about the recent elections.

   I wrote about my concern that the GOP would focus only on the negative, which I felt the term vent inferred.

  I would like to say that for the most part the meeting of the Sussex County GOP was friendly and positive.

   I do believe that it is important to look back at all of the races, both the wins and the losses in an effort to learn from our mistakes and our triumphs.

  This will be just the first, in a possible series, of post taking a hard look at individual races. I am hoping to get the opinions of those who were involved in the races, as well as those of the people watching from the outside. I hope that we can have an honest discussion of what went wrong and what went right.

  We had a lot of high-profile races, from the race for the presidency, to the local race for the Delaware 19th senatorial district, which was won by a come from behind Brian Pettyjohn, we had the blood, sweat and tears of the hard-fought Ernie Lopez win over the heavily endorsed Democrat Staten.

  Of course we had the uphill battles for the state-wide offices, where we came up short with Jeff Cragg for governor, Kevin Wade for U.S. Senate and Tom Kovach for U.S. Congress. Tough losses in races that were long shots at best.

  So with so many possible races to look at,  it was a difficult choice for my first post on this topic. I wrote so much about the Pettyjohn race as it was happening I felt that I would wait to recap that one for later. That being said I thought I would focus on a Sussex race first, for as they say, “all politics are local”.

   So for my inaugural post on this topic I have chosen the most local of local races, the race for the third councilmatic district between incumbent Joan Deaver(D) and her challenger Don Ayotte (R).

  Of course being the incumbent there wasn’t much for Mrs. Deaver to do other than to run on her record. The life of an incumbent is made and failed on their record, it is the challenger that must set the tone for the race and it is the challenger that must prove the unproven, that they can do the job better than the person who is currently doing the job.

  For those who are not aware, Mr. Ayotte was unsuccessful in his challenge for the seat on the council. What we are looking at here, is why. I will offer my own insight, but I am really looking for the thoughts of others.

  I think Mr. Ayotte got off  on a bad foot in the primary against Brent Wangen when he chose to accuse Mr. Wangen of plagiarizing his campaign, Mr. Ayotte also chose to accuse Mr. Wangen of accepting donations from developers in an attempt to say that Mr. Wangen could be bought, even though Mr. Ayotte himself had received the maximum amount from a developer as well, one who had also donated to Mr. Wangen.

  In the general election against Mrs. Deaver, Mr. Ayotte seemed uninspired. He chose to pick only the low hanging fruit of issues. His total focus on how he would create jobs in Sussex was only what was expected and nothing new.

  For someone who had accused another candidate of plagiarizing a campaign, Mr. Ayotte seemed to borrow liberally from the stock issues. He showed no depth of knowledge, even on these tried and true bumper sticker issues and was often at a loss for answers during interviews. It would seem to anyone paying attention that Mr. Ayotte had not done much homework before deciding to run for this office. Like many candidates he seems to have not thought about what he would do, if he were actually elected.

  On style points Mr. Ayotte is not a comfortable public speaker, often stumbling over his answers, when he actually had one. He has a tendency towards anger when cornered and comes across as being unwilling to compromise in any way contrary to his own preconceived ideas.

  However, beyond the optics and the delivery, I feel that the problem that the Republican candidate had in this race was a shallowness on the issues. There seemed to be nothing beyond the bumper sticker rhetoric, no new ideas, nothing to convince the voters that he had what it would take to actually do what he was promising. If we are to win races then we must find candidates that first of all fit the districts they are running for, but also we must have candidates that can articulate solutions, not just point out the problems.

  The Republican party has moved beyond the point where we can simply attempt to out cliché the Democrats, we must offer real solutions to real problems.

Did I Miss Something?

November 9, 2012

  I purposefully waited before posting about the recent elections. I was afraid that if I wrote too soon, anything I said in my excitement over the outcome would sound like gloating.

  I wanted to be able to give due credit to those who deserved it, for the hard-fought races and the wins, and to recognize the efforts of those who were unsuccessful without demeaning those efforts.

  I went to my first Returns Day ever yesterday, this is a two-hundred year old tradition here in Sussex, where the winners and losers come together to “bury the hatchet”, and to show that even though one party won and one party lost, that they recognize that to be able to govern effectively for the people, that they will have to work together in the coming days, months, and years.

  So after experiencing this tradition first hand, I was finally in the right state of mind to write about the elections.

  That was until I opened my email from the Sussex GOP Executive Committee announcing the next monthly meeting on Nov. 12th.








  This was the entire email, nothing added and nothing deleted.

  Did I miss something?

  I understand that on the state level, and the national offices, the Delaware GOP again fell short, but that is really no surprise. We have a lot of work to do in this regard.

  But I am troubled when the “leadership” of the Sussex GOP sends out an email that says, “COME AND VENT!”.

  This from the “leadership” of the one county in the state that had huge success in electing and re-electing Republicans.

 Exactly what are we suppose to vent about?

 Maybe we should vent about re-electing incumbents like Ruth Briggs-King, Danny Short, Dave Wilson, Gary Simpson, or maybe we should be venting about Gerald Hocker moving successfully from the House to the Senate, or about Mr. Gray taking his place in the House. We even held all of our County Council seats that were challenged from without and within.

  Maybe we should be venting about electing the young guns of Sussex, possibly the hardest working candidate Ernie Lopez, who defeated an openly gay man in the Rehoboth area, one who was endorsed by both Gov. Markell and Rep. Schwartzkopf, the unexpected Steve Smyk, who was attacked by outside agitators, or the lightning in a bottle Brian Pettyjohn, who stepped up and threw himself into a whirlwind full of hornets.

  Or maybe we are expected to vent about the unsung hero of the entire election cycle, Rich Collins, yes he lost, but by a margin so small that John Atkins may not get a good night’s sleep from now until the next election.

  I am truly troubled that the email sent by the Sussex GOP “leadership” announcing the first meeting following an election, that should be regarded as a real success for Sussex County, has the statement of,”COME AND VENT!”.

  Instead of a positive message such as, “come out and share our successes”, or “come out and cheer our winners”, but no, we are encouraged to,,”COME AND VENT!”.

  Granted, the second part of the message seems a bit more positive, “THIS IS A CHANCE TO EXCHANGE VIEWS AND IDEAS

  That’s the easy part, look to the campaigns that were successful and realize it is about hard work, and finding the candidate that fits the race. Not about sitting in a room and venting.

    This is not a positive message in my opinion, it is a message from a faction within the party that see the wins we achieved, as losses for their narrow political views.




Where Is Jane Hovington?

October 30, 2012

  It is not hard to believe, that in all of the confusion and turmoil that has permeated the race for the 19th state senatorial seat, to understand how the Democrat candidate, Jane Hovington, might find it hard to gain any attention.

   Starting with the GOP primary that was surely contentious, leading to the complete implosion of the Bodenweiser campaign, that has brought us to the point, where after declaring as a write-in candidate, Brian Pettyjohn has now become the official republican candidate whose name will appear on the ballot on election day. This was solidified today as the Democrat appeal was defeated.

  But even considering all of the media attention that the GOP circus attracted, you would think that the Democrat candidate would at least try to get her message out to the voters of the 19th, especially now that she will be facing a serious GOP candidate.

  But what are the people of the 19th getting? Not much.

   There is a radio spot running on the local stations, but these ads are paid for by the Democrat Party of Delaware, and they do not even feature Mrs. Hovington’s voice. In the ad we are told that Mrs. Hovington is “one of us”, do you suppose John Atkins loaned that to her, or is it just the Democrat tag line?Kinda of reminds us of the O’Donnell, “I’m you” line doesn’t it? 

  The ad also make the monumental claim that Mrs. Hovington will go to Dover ad get rid of, “ALL”, the red tape. Not any particular agency, not any particular red tape, but “ALL” the red tape. But again it is a nondescript male voice that delivers this Democrat Party of Delaware claim, and at the end of the spot, not Mrs. Hovington’s voice telling us that she approves of this ad, nope, just some valley girl sounding female voice saying that the ad was paid for by the DPOD.

  The only other sign of Mrs. Hovington in the district that I have seen for myself is a mailer that came to my house. But once again the mailer was paid for by the DPOD. 

  But instead of the mailer really being about Jane Hovington, it is about how Jack Markell needs Jane Hovington in Dover to continue his one party rule. Okay the one party rule was my part.

   Again in this mailer, Mrs. Hovington is nowhere to be seen. There is a picture of Gov. Markell, there is a photo of a young attractive hispanic woman, a photo of a grandfather and his grandson on a farm, that look like any you might meet around Greenwood, and a photo of a shop owner who looks like Wally Cleaver all grown up.

  It has been my experience that when such mailers are done, the kind where a sitting governor endorses the candidate, it is usually done with a photo of the governor and the candidate together. Maybe looking as if they are pondering a serious piece of legislation, or standing talking to a group of people.

  But that isn’t the case here. So does it beg the question, where is Jane Hovington in her own ads? It also begs the question, is Jane Hovington campaigning at all? I haven’t heard any announcements of meet and greets, I haven’t heard of fund-raisers. I haven’t heard anything at all from Mrs. Hovington, except her ill-fated appearance on the Susan Monday Show where she was shown to have little or no  grasp of issues facing a large number of the people living in the 19th district.

  So is the problem that the Democrat Party realizes that Mrs. Hovington has no large-scale appeal in the district? Are they trying to hide this or something else from the voters? Have they decided to concentrate on a small core group of people to solidify her base, and will this be enough to win the district?

 It would seem as if the Democrats in general are actually running the campaign of Mrs. Hovington, and Jack Markell in particular, much in the same way he is running the campaign of Andy Staton for the 6th senate district.

 As a voter in the 19th, I intend to send the message to Gov. Markell that we in the 19th can choose our own senator, and we certainly won’t choose a candidate that the Democrats seem to be ashamed of themselves.