The 37th Representative District Stage Is Set

It seems as though the Democrats have found another single issue candidate to run for the 37th Representative District, of the state of Delaware, for 2014.

While speaking at a meeting of the Eastern Sussex Democrats at a local Lewes restaurant, Democrat Paulette Rappa let it be known that she will seek the election to the 37th Representative seat in Dover, currently held by lifetime Georgetown resident Ruth Briggs-King.

Mrs. Rappa, who move to the area permanently ten years ago, from New Jersey, when her husband retired, defines herself as a mobile homeowner, and says that there are serious side effects to Senate Bill 33, this is the legislation that forces land owners to justify rent increases. Mrs. Rappa says that she is in a unique position to represent these issues to legislators.

Well considering that her husband is the president of the Pott Nets  Homeowners Association, I guess that you could say that she does have a single perspective from which to look at these issues.

With Mrs. Rappa as the Democrat candidate, it would seem as though the Democrats are once again being represented in the race for the 37th by a single issue candidate. Of course Mrs. Rappa states that she will also work towards increasing public transportation in the area. Does this mean we would see even more buses riding the roads of Sussex County with two people on them? Is anyone surprised that a person who would be in favor of impinging the rights of land owners, would also be in favor of expanding a failed public transit system at a higher cost to tax payers?

Mrs. Rappa points out that due to our aging population, that there is a need for transportation directed at the elderly. We await to see if Mrs. Rappa has any ideas on how to pay for this increase in services. She also points out that seniors are being forced to work longer into their golden years due to the economic recession, now we could have the debate about who caused that recession, but I will leave that to the candidates. However her point seems to be that since they are working longer, this can lead to stress and health issues, that require more healthcare practitioners in the area. It’s too bad that so many people feel that her party of choice will be to blame for fewer healthcare practitioners, resulting from the Affordable Healthcare Act, or as it is commonly known, Obama care. Which will also lead to higher medical cost for all. Talk about stress!

Seeing as Mrs. Rappa was a High School teacher for eleven years, it is not surprising that she would want to talk about education.  She says, “We can’t talk about jobs if we don’t talk about education”, really? Because, while education is extremely important to young people finding jobs, we have a lot of unemployed adults around here as well. I’m sure that they would feel differently about when we could have a conversation about jobs. We could talk about reducing regulations and fees that hinder the expansion and creation of small businesses that are the number one private employers of people, second only to the state itself.

But it comes as no surprise that someone who spent eleven years working within the system would feel the need to enlarge the system. Mrs. Rappa proposes creating a four-year college or medical school in Sussex County, and while this is an admirable goal, one has to again wonder whether or not Mrs. Rappa has any idea how to fund such a large-scale undertaking, or is she merely pandering?

No, it would seem that Mrs. Rappa is simply a one issue candidate, that being mobile homeowners stripping land owners of their rights through more legislation, and is only mouthing Democrat talking points on healthcare, education and transportation.

It also seems that Mrs. Rappa fears going head to head with Rep. Ruth Briggs-King when she said she is optimistic about her candidacy,  “She’s going to be occupied in
session from January to June,” Rappa said.” “She said she plans to campaign hard during that time.”

Sounds to me that Mrs. Rappa plans to avoid having to debate Rep. Briggs-King for as long as possible, and also seems to be deriding the fact that Rep. Briggs-King will be “occupied” working for the people of the 37th from January to June.

What Mrs. Rappa fails to see is that in her statement she has drawn attention to the experience that Rep. Briggs-King brings to the table. In her time as the Representative for the 37th District she has earned a reputation as someone who works hard for her constituents. She actually reads the bills that come before her, not all our legislators can make that claim. She has also earned a reputation for being  tenacious when defending her views.

However her tenacity does not hinder her from working to find compromise on issues in order to find the best solution to difficult problems, such as the gulf between the land owners and the renters in the mobile home parks within her district. While the compromise certainly did not make everyone happy, and certainly made many unhappy, it was the best solution to a difficult situation at the time. And now we see that the mobile homeowners are not satisfied and have found another candidate to carry their banner.

Rep. Briggs-King however is far more than a single issue candidate, just recently she took part in a trip to Taiwan, and met with the Vice-President of that country and others to build on a trade partnership that would strengthen Delaware, and Sussex County’s export market with Taiwan. In 2012, Delaware’s exports to Taiwan reached  $96.5 million, making Taiwan Delaware’s 13th largest export market. It is this type of vision and hard work that makes it possible to talk about creating jobs here at home, a discussion that Mrs. Rappa seems to believe we can’t have at this time.

It looks as though we can expect much the same type of campaign in the 37th District that we saw last time around, the single issue voters will rattle their cans about lot rents, and the main stream voters will again recognize that Ruth Briggs-King, brings her years of experience in the real-estate industry, along with her lifelong knowledge of Sussex County, and her willingness to look beyond rhetoric and politics to the table, to find real ways of creating jobs and building the state’s economy to a level that will then allow the state and the county to work on solving other issues such as transportation and education.

You see, Rep. Ruth Briggs-King, being a good old Sussex County girl, knows you can’t put the cart before the horse. She knows you can’t discuss creating new and expanded government services until you find a way to pay for them. This means you have to grow the private sector first, and then you will most likely notice that those other issues will take care of themselves through supply and demand.

This, I feel, will end up being the telling difference between these two candidates, one sees government as the solution, while Ruth Briggs – King believes that it is the people of this state and county who will be the real solutions to our needs and troubles.


40 Comments on "The 37th Representative District Stage Is Set"

  1. Mike Protack says:

    The Taiwan trip is pone of the many trips legislators get to attend not based on their merit but simply because they are there, the goodies get spread around every year to different office holders.

    Medical School or College in Sussex would be a tremendous waste of time of money, a medical school is north of $200 million to start up. Del Tech is in Sussex and U of D is a scant 75 miles away.

  2. waterpirate says:

    Drum roll please? Cue the here we go again music. A 1 issue candidate is nothing more than a special interest that is willing to run. What else is on her resume’? Being a teacher, or a nurse, or a housewife, or someone who dates old men that drive tow trucks, just does not do it for me.

    Service before self, not self before service. Just being from the other party and thinking you did not get a fair shake in Long kneck will not sway the voters of the 37th.

  3. Harry Whittington says:

    Rep. Briggs King was the only NO vote on the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative in the House. For that alone she should be re-elected.

  4. Bill Bittychick says:

    Are we to believe that the Country of Tawian really cares what a State Representative has to say about trade agreements? Senators Roth, Carper, Biden and now Coons along with our past Governors have been doing the heavy lifting for our poultry industry for years. This was a free trip/junket sight seeing tour. Not all legislators go on these junkets.

  5. Bill Bittychick says:

    WRONG, Harry Whittington! A quick fact finding mission shows she wasn’t even elected when the RGGI vote was taken. Booth, Hastings, Hocker all voted for it. Democrat Kowalko was the lone NO vote.

  6. Dunleve says:

    And the RGGI has helped Delaware how? Let me guess, Bloom Energy?

    “States sell nearly all emission allowances through auctions and invest proceeds in consumer benefits: energy efficiency, renewable energy, and other clean energy technologies. RGGI is spurring innovation in the clean energy economy and creating green jobs in each state.”

    Wow, States picking winners and losers in the clean energy field has certainly worked out so well .

    At the end of the day it is another hidden tax on ratepayers. When the Chinese have to deal with the same stupidity imposed on American producers, maybe it will be Made in America items on the Walmart shelves.

  7. Frank Knotts says:

    Bill Bittychick says, “Are we to believe that the Country of Tawian really cares what a State Representative has to say about trade agreements?”
    First of all the trip was sponsored by the country of Taiwan, and since Taiwan is the 13th largest export market of Delaware it is not a matter of whether Taiwan cares about us, we had better care about them. There are two marketing strategies, one is you open a store and just wait for people to walk by and decide to come in, the other you build a store and then you advertise, you put up signs directing people to the store and you send out sales people to sell your product door to door. I personally think that the second one will be more productive, and anyone who has had the opportunity to sit and speak with Rep. Briggs-King, one on one knows that she can be very persuasive.

  8. kavips says:

    Care must be exerted here.

    Harry boldly goes where none have gone before….

    “Rep. Briggs King was the only NO vote on the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative in the House. For that alone she should be re-elected.”

    Since Bill B. proved she was not there to cast that vote, the only conclusion that can be drawn from that statement now, is that she should then, not be re-elected…

    Point is: loose lips sink ships… Expect this to be used over and over and over again… A quick 2 minute search could have prevented this slip-up.

  9. Harry Whittington says:

    Kavips – I’m just someone making comments on a blog, if Rep. King had made my errant statement, maybe it could be used against her, she did not, so I don’t see how it can be used against her. However, you can feel free to use my incorrect statement against me.

  10. Agent 99 says:

    oops Harry. your bad!

    On another note, please check her votes on Fisker and Bloom.

    I also believe she was instrumental in bring increased State Police coverage to Sussex during the summer months when the population increases.

    She might have her opponents, however, in the end I believe Representative King will return to Dover. Mainly because while her opponent will be attacking her and campaigning from January thru June as stated above:

    “It also seems that Mrs. Rappa fears going head to head with Rep. Ruth Briggs-King when she said she is optimistic about her candidacy, “She’s going to be occupied in
    session from January to June,” Rappa said.” “She said she plans to campaign hard during that time.”
    Sounds to me that Mrs. Rappa plans to avoid having to debate Rep. Briggs-King for as long as possible, and also seems to be deriding the fact that Rep. Briggs-King will be “occupied” working for the people of the 37th from January to June.

  11. Bill Billichick says:

    Frank, how persuasive is she? She couldn’t persuade her own cauacus to put her back on Joint Finance?

  12. Frank Knotts says:

    Bill Billichick, that may actually be a testament to her tenacity, because she was known to actually read the budgets line by line and then challenge the need for the cost. Sometimes even the most qualified person can’t overcome politics.

  13. Curious says:

    I can understand why the left attacks RBK, she stands by her conservative principles.

    I’ve never been able to understand why one faction on the right attacks her (Edited for content. Frank Knotts)

  14. Bill Billichick says:

    Frank, how persuasive is she? She couldn’t persuade her own party to elect her to vice-chair?

  15. Frank Knotts says:

    Bill Bllichick, as I said above, “Sometimes even the most qualified person can’t overcome politics.”

  16. nobody says:

    We need someone who is going to take a stand by casting their vote when bills are presented. RBK has a history of not voting which was pointed out by you in the past.

  17. waterpirate says:

    The point of interest here is that constituents elect their respective leaders at the polls. NOT the party. The party is currently under a regime of far right somethings. The county is is currently filled with center right constituents who chose to stop fighting with the curent party regime and left. Just because we left the party the regime makes the mistaken assumption that we will also choose not to support candidates or vote.

  18. saltyindependent says:

    waterpirate makes a great point. people vote. the far right has done a lot of talking. they have produced scant results.

  19. Frank Knotts says:

    Nobody, you are correct. Rep. Briggs-King did recuse herself from voting on one of the bills concerning rent control, under legal advice due to the possible perception of a conflict of interest. You are also correct that I was critical of that move both here and I also expressed my concern directly to Rep. Briggs-King. That was one vote, I do not believe she has ever shown a pattern of not voting on bills. Of course, if like Mrs. Rappa you are only concerned with a single issue, and not the bigger picture of Delaware and Sussex County, then of course that would seem like the end all for you.

  20. nobody says:

    RBK hasn’t voted on 6 key bills since she has been in office.

  21. Harry Whittington says:

    Which “6 key bills”?

  22. Tuxamus Maximus V says:

    I really don’t have a dog in this hunt but will state that if you run for the office and get elected you are supposed to do the job. As an elected legislator you should be there to vote yes, no or take a pass but be there to do the job. Unless there is a death, or serious illness in the immediate family ALL elected legislators have a primary obligation to serve the voters and nothing else should be put ahead of that job. Just my humble opinion.

    That the Democrats will have someone to oppose RBK is a GOOD thing as that’s how the process is supposed to work. She may well have other issues to give people a choice on as well in the months to come. Maybe a GOP’er will come along to primary RBK and another Dem step up to primary Rappa as well. Not saying Frank is wrong by any means but at least someone is stepping up to make a choice available in 11 months. Maybe RBK will be in Dover every day they are in session (and more) and make a vote every time a vote comes up. Time will tell what’s up with that little issue!

    Waterpirate made a great point with his second comment. Can’t argue the first comment either but did get more of a good giggle from it more than anything else. Thanks WP.

    This is a first of me but I actually kinda sorta agree with Protack’s comment as well.

    On a side note I’d like to welcome ‘Nobody’ to Frank’s playground! Hopefully you won’t be abused here like you are at that other venue. Liked by the TM’s all along I’ve also cheered you on from behind the fence feeling you fought a good fight or at least tried to anyhow. Hope you stay and continue to play.

  23. nobody says:

    HW RBK did not vote on these bills.
    HB 170
    HS 1 for HB 230
    HB 291 with HA 1 and HA 4
    SB 7 with SA 2
    SB 205
    HB 289

  24. Frank Knotts says:

    Nobody, since there is no reference to any of the bills you listed or which session they were in, I can only say that we could take any legislator, even ones you like and find votes that you don’t agree with, or votes which they did not cast. The question is, have the people of the 37th been well served by Rep. Briggs-King, and or would they be better served by a single issue candidate such as Mrs. Rappa?
    I would also ask. since Mrs. Rappa’s husband is a president of a HOA in the Long Neck area, could she cast votes on rent control without a clear conflict of interest?

  25. Harry Whittington says:

    First, nobody, it helps if you clarify which general assembly the bills were worked, there are multiple bills with the same numbers from different GAs. But let me take a crack at your code:

    HB 170 146th GA, Briggs King absent, passed House 40-0

    HS 1 for HB 230, 145th GA, Briggs King wasn’t a legislator:

    HB 291 with HA1 & HA4 145th GA, again, Briggs King wasn’t a legislator:

    SB 7 w/SA1 & SA 2 was also the 145th GA, Briggs King wasn’t a legislator

    SB 7 146th GA, Briggs King voted Yes, so did every other voting legislator

    SB 205 146th GA Briggs King is listed as a “C” for Conflict of Interest, her family owns manufactured home parks.

    HB 289 146th GA: Briggs King was an “X” which means she consciously did not cast a vote, along with 4 other legislators. This was the “Payday Loan” legislation which was contentious, is it really the legislature’s business to tell someone how many loans they can take out a year regardless of whether they are high or low interest?

    nobody, if I’m incorrect on the bills where she wasn’t in the legislature, send links to the correct bills.

    BTW, none of these bills were key bills as you described them.

  26. Harry Whittington says:

    Didn’t Briggs King beat Rappa in 2012? Oh wait, that was Beth McGinn, a better known version of Rappa.

    I don’t see how another same issue candidate beats RBK, especially since the manufactured home legislation is already passed. Will Rappa be crying that manufactured home dwellers need MORE legislation to protect them from themselves because they’re just too stupid to read a rental agreement?

    Enough is enough, people who live in Pot Nets and the other parks in Long Neck had better tread lightly, if I was Rob Tunnell, I’d clear out those parks and replace them with developments of $600,000+ homes.

  27. nobody says:

    HW here’s the link for the first 4 bills she did not vote on
    all small business. The source is the National Federation Independent Business. 2009-2010 Session roll call votes.

    The information for the other 2 bills came from Project Vote Smart 2012-2013 Session:

    I bet small business owners felt the legislation that wasn’t voted on was key to them. Same with the other two bills she didn’t vote on. Maybe you should read Franks article entitled Just Vote !

    If any information is incorrect feel free to contact the sites directly to educate them.

  28. Frank Knotts says:

    Harry, not sure that this is Mrs. Rappa’s goal, but I have heard that they want to void “ALL” contracts and institute actual rent control.

  29. Anon. says:

    Why would Rappa have a conflict because her husband is HOA President? Conflicts only apply if a legislator benefits financially more than a class of people.
    Example, If she passes rent control, her neighbors have rent control too, not just her.

  30. Frank Knotts says:

    Anon, what about the class of people known as “LAND OWNERS”? If she passes rent control, she and her husband and the renters benefit, while the land owners pay the cost. No different than if a legislator were to cast a vote that benefitted their family.

  31. nobody says:

    Rappa wouldn’t be passing the bill she would only be one vote. What about the land owners? What costs? In many cases the land has been paid for long ago. Their just reaping in the profits. There’s little to no accountability to the homeowners. What about the class of homeowners that make up the HOA’s?

  32. waterpirate says:

    1 more time for the folks who may have ridden a diffferent bus than most of us. If you enter into a business agreement with someone, you can not change the conditions of that agreement because you feel like the owner is makeing to much profit. You are free to put the wheels back on your house and move at the end of your current lease.

  33. Frank Knotts says:

    Sorry Nobody, I was only using the language that Anon had used. Of course she would only be one vote.
    The cost is the up keep of the parks, the pools, the common areas, the roads and such.
    There are also taxes to be paid by the land owners, all of this, like any other business, gets passed onto the consumer, or in this case the renter.
    Rent control in this case would be like if a manufacturer of rumididdles had to pay more for his widgets, but had to ask the government if they could pass the cost onto the buyers of the rumididdles.
    And if the state is going to be the arbiter of fairness, then how long before the state decides to question why one park owner should be allowed to charge more than other parks? I mean why should a renter in a park like Pott Nets pay more than a renter in a park like Woods Edge?
    Once we allow the state to step into the middle of a private agreement and contract, we have invited the state to take even bigger liberties with our Liberties.

  34. Dave says:

    Renters freely entered into a valid contract with landowners. As long as the landowners meet their contractual commitments, renters must meet theirs. However, renters have no realistic alternatives should they want to terminate the contract. They are effectively held in thrall to the landowner. It’s not dissimilar to serfs who are bound to the land because there is no alternative. Technically they could put the wheels back on, but we all know that is not realistically feasible.

    I am sympathetic towards the renters many of whom can ill afford lot rent increases, but I also recognize the validity of the contract freely entered into. If contracts have so little weight that they can be abrogated after the fact, they aren’t really contracts in the first place.

    This is a classical Gordian Knot problem. Do you provide relief for beleaguered renters by constraining landowners or do you say, “tough, you signed it, you lived with it”

    People are responsible for their decisions, but how far do we carry that? Is there a point too far? What if landowner raise the lot rent to some astronomical amount? Or the other hand, what if the renter refused to pay the increase? The landowner would have to evict them from the lot (including moving MH I suppose).

    Despite thinking about this issue, I don’t have a good answer. I have absolutely no sympathy for the landowner. They are not hurting financially but I do have respect for the contractual obligation.

    While I don’t know what I would for those with the problem today, I know what I do to avoid future occurrences. I would include in the price of every home sold, the cost of relocation of the MH. Additionally, I would require a specific disclosure statement as part of the contract that would articulate the average cost of moving the MH as well as the historical rent increases for the park and the probable future increases. The disclosure statement would also contain words to effect that the renter understands the possibility of such rent increases and that they have the means to absorb those increases.

    Of course that doesn’t do much for current renters. Nor does it do anything for folks at Baywoods who have stick built homes that are subject to lot (ground) rent increases.

  35. Harry Whittington says:

    nobody, the reason RBK has “-” in place of votes is because she wasn’t a legislator, exactly like the links I posted show.

    You can’t dispute the State of Delaware’s website when it comes to votes.

  36. Harry Whittington says:

    RBK won a special election in the fall of 2009, after Joe Booth won the special election for Thurman Adams seat in August 2009. RBK wasn’t casting votes until 2010.

    So Ruth Briggs King didn’t “not vote” or abstain from voting for some of those bills, she was not in the legislature yet.

  37. Harry Whittington says:

    One more point, the rent control bill passed the legislature last session and was signed by the Governor. I’m not sure what people in manufactured home parks still have to whine about but I guess this new version of Beth McGinn will be whining about whatever it is soon enough.

  38. Susan says:

    If King is a “good ole girl” she is being taken care of by the “good ole boys” , then they take care of her. Is this what we want?

  39. Susan says:

    Dave wrote:
    “This is a classical Gordian Knot problem. Do you provide relief for beleaguered renters by constraining landowners or do you say, “tough, you signed it, you lived with it””

    As a renter in leased land I understand the contractural agreement signed several years ago, now everyone in other communities are allowed relief from this law (sb33) but the majority of us are excluded.

    This law that was passed and signed should have “voided” the previous contracts, new contracts could gave been issued. Work intensive for the land owners? Instead landowners are hiring to calculate the justification for those that do qualify. Surprising that now Capital Improvements may justify rent increase…now work that was necessary years ago is being completed.

    Rappa will be the answer to these and other issues in this District.

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