Sausage And Laws

leg hall   Well the old adage is, “there are two things you never want to see made, sausage and laws”.   So last night, and this morning, I was in attendance at Legislative hall in Dover, Delaware for the closing session of the 147th General Assembly. If this post seems a little rambling, okay, a little more rambling than usual, it may be due to the fact that I was there until 3:30 am this morning, and including the trip home didn’t get to bed until 4:30 am.

I have to admit that this was my inaugural trip to Leg-Hall, even though I grew up around Dover as a life-long Delawarean. I should also thank my host for the evening, Rep. Ruth Briggs-King,  and Sen. Brian Pettyjohn. Thanks to them I had seats reserved on both the floor of the House, and the Senate.  I have to apologize to Rep. Briggs-King since I spent the bulk of the night in the Senate.

So when I decided I would attend the final night, my first thought was to take copious amounts of notes on individual bills that would be worked and passed, and report back to you. I soon realized the pace and number of bills would make this almost impossible to do for someone who was seeing the process for the first time.

I had tracked one bill, HB 212, which ended up being HS 1 for HB 212 w/HA 1 , which concerned the installation of ignition interlock devices on the vehicles of all DUI offenders, including first offenders. I felt that this was a waste of time legislation since it would not stop offenders from driving their spouses car, or even their children’s cars. I also had a concern that the bill would unfairly penalize people who could not afford to install the devices, allowing people who could afford the devices to have the freedom to drive, while basically putting low-income people under house arrest.  Possibly opening the state up to law suits. I also was concerned that the state of Delaware would end up subsidizing those low-income people. Not to worry, the contractors who install the devices are required to reserve a certain number of devices for people who can’t afford the cost. And why not? The state has just given them a mandated market.

I should point out for full disclosure that my senator, Sen. Pettyjohn, was a sponsor of the bill and did vote in favor of it. Well,  just proves that I won’t always agree with the people I support. Sen. Pettyjohn in my opinion still gets more right than wrong.

Other than that one bill, I was caught up by the experience, one might say the sights and sounds, the process.

I have to say my overriding first  impression was of an atmosphere much like the last day of school when I was in the eighth-grade. You know, you show up knowing that not much, if anything, will get done. At first over in the House, the session was opened with several personal privilege motions for Reps. to introduce, or thank others. Both houses took time to thank out-going DNREC Secretary   Collin O’Mara for his service, the House at the beginning, and the Senate in closing.

But that atmosphere soon dissipated, sort of like the teacher just happened to find a stack of  worksheets that had to be done before the class could leave, or pass the grade.

The bills started flying fast and furious on the Senate side, only to be slowed down slightly when a suspension of rules was called for, time and time again. The Republican caucus opposed these as a whole for the entire evening until very late when the point had been made that the Republicans felt that suspending the rules was skirting the process, the point had also been made that none of the Democrats were going to vote with them to block suspending the rules.

This exercise in futility on the part of Republicans demonstrates that elections have consequences. If you are unhappy with the direction the state of Delaware is headed, then you have one party to blame. If you want to see any hope of having a check upon the Democrat march to the left, then you should reconsider your voting habits. It’s not just that Democrats lean to the left, it’s the fact that there is no check to pull them back. No bill gets passed unless it is approved by the Democrats. No procedural tricks can hold up the Democrats because they have the votes to do what they wish.

So if they want to force private business owners to open their private bathrooms to the public, then they can. So one has to ask, why, when the Republicans in the senate had won a small victory by getting a bill tabled, a bill intended to enlarge the size of the board that oversees the Port of Wilmington,( A correction was made here, I was incorrect on which bill had been tabled. Thanks to my shadow editors. Frank Knotts) a bill that seemed to be opened ended on funding, a bill the Republicans had opposed  on its first pass, why then would Republican senator, Sen. Colin Bonini shoot the Republicans in the foot?

The bill had been tabled earlier in the session and didn’t seem to be coming back. The Senate had taken their last break while they awaited the bond bill to clear the House, it was at least a thirty-minute break. As soon as the Senate came back to finish up the agenda, Sen. Bonini rose to make a motion to reconsider the bill. This was obviously something that Sen. Bonini did without consulting the leadership. Minority Leader, Sen. Gary Simpson sat in stunned silence, as Minority Whip, Sen. Greg Lavelle became livid, asking Sen. Bonini what he was doing?

Sen. Lavelle stated that the bill was nothing but a pork-bill and why would Sen. Bonini ask to have it Brought back? Sen. Lavelle also pointed out that there had been a thirty-minute break, yet Sen. Bonini had failed to caucus with his fellow Republicans. The bill was brought back, even though the Republicans attempted to block it, all except Bonini who even voted with the Democrats on the challenge to stop the bill from being reconsidered, after being scolded by Sen. Lavelle. The bill was then passed, and thanks to Sen. Colin Bonini, what should have been a small victory became just another defeat.

This is not the first time that Sen. Bonini has given aid and comfort to the opposition, and one has to ask, what did Sen. Bonini get in return for this double-cross? Or is he just a buffoon?

Just a couple of other moments that were at least interesting for me were that I noticed that “Hate Radio” was represented by Doug Beatty who was walking around wearing his gravy stained WGMD “media” badge. What is it with these people and badges?  I now know that either he has no idea what I look like, since we were about ten feet apart and he stared right at me.

The other moment was while I was waiting for the Senate to go into session, and the House  was in caucus. I was just standing in the lobby and noticed U.S. Senator Tom Carper passing through. He seemed to be glad-handing with people he knew.  He then walked up to me, and no, I don’t know the senator beyond having been introduced to him casually a couple of times.

The Senator then asked me if I knew where the governor’s office was. Now, must I remind people Sen. Carper has been in Delaware government since 1976, including eight years as governor? One would have to assume that he has spent a little time in Leg-Hall and the governor’s office there.  I have resisted making claims that Sen. Carper may have health and or mental issues due to his age. However this is firsthand knowledge of what could be a symptom of dementia. Are the people of Delaware being fooled by a cover-up by his staff and the Democrat Party? Much in the same way the Republicans looked the other way at the condition of Sen. Strom  Thurmond who was 100 years old while in office.

So, that was my first experience of the final night of a General Assembly. I had a great time in that it was something I had never experienced before. I do have to say that there is a frustration with the fact that the process is allowed, no actually forced, to be handled in this manner. I just don’t believe that this could not be finished during regular working hours if those involved chose to.  So until next year, maybe, rest easy, your law makers won’t be making any laws for a while at least.


12 Comments on "Sausage And Laws"

  1. Porky says:

    Why would Bonini push House Majority Leader Longhurst’s bill when it’s funding is open ended and will help her win a primary and a general against a Republican? Bonini should have called for a vote on the mid-wife bill instead, that bill passed the House and had the votes to pass in the Senate but one Democrat wouldn’t let it out – and the mid wife bill didn’t spend taxpayer money which Bonini should like because “it’s your money” or so he used to say. Could it be because mid wives aren’t out there greasing palms with their millions?

  2. Rick says:

    There are several states in the union that are populated by citizens who believe in all-encompassing, big government. The residents of these states are willing to submit to the endless intrusions which always accompany one-party rule. The legislators in these states feel they have carte blanch to do virtually anything, and apparently, the people agree. These socialist, one-party states include MA, VT, CT, RI, MD, CA, DE and to a lesser extent, NJ and NY.

    Most of these states are dominated by large, urban areas, with the numbers to dominate the rural population and which always seem to vote with the left. In these states, all the GOP can do is attempt to slow the drift toward socialism; this is known as incrementalism. But, the ultimate destination is the same.

    If one looks at national voting patterns depicted in the red state/blue state maps, the urban/rural divide becomes stark. Since big-government never restrains itself and seems to exist only to exert more and more power, it is obvious that the only answer is for several states to secede from the union and go their separate way. At its root, the schism is cultural, and it is irreparable. If conservative traditionalists continue to hold the naive notion that this is a mere political phase, then they will learn the hard way that the left has built a standing army for a reason; they have destroyed the traditional American ethic, and must eventually use ever-increasing force to maintain “order.” Historically, this is known as a police state.

  3. Frank Knotts says:

    I have made a correction in the post above. I was incorrect about which bill had been tabled and brought back. It was not a bill concerning Port DuPont, it was a bill that will enlarge the board that oversees the Port of Wilmington. My apologies, and my thanks to my shadow editors. Frank Knotts.

  4. Frank Knotts says:

    Rick, secession did not work when half the nation attempted it, though I do feel the states had the constitutional right to attempt it. How do you think two or several states land locked in the middle of the nation will succeed?
    No, states will be unable to secede and create a separate nation. However, states can secede from the federal teat. If states would simply refuse the federal dollars, then they would also remove themselves from the federal influence. This will require great courage on the part of voters and state elected officials. State taxes would have to increase or services would have to decrease. States would have to also stop being the federal tax collectors as well in many cases where the states enforce the certain laws for the feds.
    A great theory I know, and about as likely to happen and be successful as an armed revolt.

  5. Rick says:

    Rick, secession did not work when half the nation attempted it, though I do feel the states had the constitutional right to attempt it.

    It didn’t work before because the union was galvanized under the abolitionist movement, and justly so. And there was a sense of duty that existed under the old order that no longer exists.

    How do you think two or several states land locked in the middle of the nation will succeed?

    Quite well, since free markets, individual responsibility and a constitutional government will be preserved. Remember, there will be treaties and agreements to facilitate trade, commerce and transportation, just as exists between France and Germany. Eventually, Galveston will become the largest port in N. America, as manufacturers flee the high tax, highly regulated US.

    Although there will be much saber rattling, there will be no war. We will agree to disagree. And eventually, the old, socialist US will fail, as socialist states always do.

  6. Frank Knotts says:

    So once Texas becomes its own nation, again, what is to stop Mexico from invading? More so than they already are. No Rick, your idea of secession is wishful thinking. The fed will not simply sit back and allow it, there would be bloodshed, if for no other reason than there are people on the far right that long for it.

  7. delacrat says:


    If you really found life so miserable in a “socialist, one-party states ” like “MA, VT, CT, RI, MD, CA, DE and to a lesser extent, NJ and NY.”, you’d have left for one of the 41 others, long ago.

  8. Dave says:

    Such as one of the states which rakes in more in federal spending in the state than they actually send to DC, like Mississippi, which gets back $2.08 for every $1 they send to DC. Or perhaps South Carolina which gets a whopping $5.37 for every $1 sent to DC). DE by comparison receives a paltry $ .31 for every $1. Yep you read that right thirty one pennies. And the added benefit for Rick is that places like Mississippi and South Carolina (among some others) are two of the most conservative states in the union. Hmmm, let’s see where Florida ranks, interesting $2.02 for every $1. I’m starting to sense a pattern. The most conservative states seem to consume the most federal spending. What up with that? Well, anyway it seems there are places in which Rick would be happier and even have the benefit of federal spending to ensure he doesn’t go wanting.

  9. saltyindependent says:


    please stop presenting rick with numbers and stuff. numbers are known to be stuck on stupid and very liberal.

  10. tony stark says:

    “The most conservative states seem to consume the most federal spending. What up with that?”

    Well, Dave is recycling the same Liberal talking points that have been around since the Reagan years. Dave’s question has been asked and answered hundreds of times but liberals have an aversion to reading comprehension so, they endlessly ask the same questions as if the answer has not been given.

    First and foremost, the largest contributor to Federal Revenues is the Federal Income Tax. Any State that has individuals that have high incomes will appear to give more to the Federal Government. The statistics cited by Dave, by and large, track the individual per capita income of a particular state. States with high income earners will appear to contribute more. In fact it is the individuals who pay more to the Feds and not the state.

    Regarding South Carolina, South Carolina has an unusually large number of military facilities. This of course means huge numbers of people paid by the Feds. This includes active duty military personnel and civilian personnel who are employed by the Feds.

    In addition, Low Land South Carolina is a destination for Military retirees. All of these individuals receive pensions, social security, medicare, BX , etc.

    I guess if you are a liberal, you can call this consuming the Federal Budget. I prefer to call it fulfilling our obligations to our military personnel.

    Mississippi consistently ranks as one of the lowest states in per capita income. Not surprisingly, the state’s residents pay less in Federal Income Tax. Mississippi is a rural state with little in the way of industry that could generate high income earners. As with other southern states, Mississippi, is beginning to get retirees moving to its Gulf Coast. This helps the local economy but according to the liberal argument, these emigre’s from the north now are consuming the Federal Budget for Social Security and Medicare.

    This brings us to Florida. Liberals seem to have missed the fact that retirees coming from the north are receiving benefits such Social Security and Medicare in the southern states where they now reside. People don’t retire and move to Connecticut.

    Connecticut, however, is consistently a state with the highest per capita income. In the liberal hate and envy scheme Connecticut pays more than their “Fair Share” to the Feds. To a liberal, the poor investment bankers and insurance execs. of Connecticut are paying too much while the farmers of Mississippi are getting a free ride.

    Since Dave is worried about 31 cents and not thankful that Delaware taxpayers are earning good money, I suggest he advocate policies that bring down Delaware per capita income, increase unemployment, (Unemployment benefits would bring in Fed dollars.) and cause out migration of high income earners. This will bring that 31 cents number higher and cause a lowering of our standard of living. But, that is what the liberal politics of envy gives us.

  11. delacrat says:

    Tony Stark offers up the notion that people from Northeast states like Connecticut retiring to the Southeast “conservative” states like Mississippi and Florida, to explain why the “conservative” states, as Dave says, receive “$2.08 for every $1 they send to DC.”, while Rick’s “socialist, one-party states” like “DE by comparison receives a paltry $ .31 for every $1, “because retirees coming from the north are receiving benefits such Social Security and Medicare in the southern states where they now reside.”

    Note that Mr. Stark does not dispute any of Dave’s figures.

    Tony, understanding that facts have a liberal bias, in true “conservative” fashion, never offers any facts to support his assertion that retirees are flooding from North to South.

    In fact, the 2010 census indicates that people 65 and over as a percentage of total population is actually higher in the North(14.1%) and Midwest (13.5%) than in the South (13.0%), followed by the West at (11.9%).

    Census data suggests that retirees in Florida(17.3%) are mostly from the “conservative” West and other parts of the “conservative” South, like Georgia (10.7%), not the North and Midwest.

    Tony’s North-to-South retiree migration myth is just that, a myth; explaining nothing.

  12. Ricky Bobby says:

    “I have to admit that this was my inaugural trip to Leg-Hall, even though I grew up around Dover as a life-long Delawarean.”
    This statement explains everything.

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