Third World Style Politics

question  So, there has been a lot of focus on the race for Recorder of Deeds in Kent County, Delaware. If you are one of the few that hasn’t heard, the race has been in the courts since the night of the election basically.    The race is between incumbent Democrat, Betty Lou McKenna, and the Republican challenger Lamar Gunn. The race was so close that a recount was held of the absentee ballots. They have been counted several times, and so far they have yet to come up with the same count twice.

The last count ended in a tie, this means that Governor Jack Markell will be empowered to appoint the position for a two-year term, until the next regularly scheduled elections in 2016. Gov. Markell has already announced that  if the current count and the tie are the final decision, he will appoint the incumbent Ms. McKenna. SHOCKER! Right?

You see, elections do have consequences. By having won the seat of the governor, the Democrats have one more layer of protection for their political power through this appointment. Now of course many would say that the office of Recorder of Deeds is an insignificant office with no real power. Okay.

However, this appointment allows Gov. Markell to solidify the Democrats hold on another office. Considering the set backs the Democrats suffered in this past election cycle, one can only imagine that they are desperate to hold every office they can until the next election. This appointment does that.

There has been a lot of talk from the Gunn camp, and some Republicans, that there has been some, shall we say, political maneuvering in the recounting of the absentee ballots. Some feel that those counting the ballots have an incentive to give the election over to the Democrat, Ms. McKenna. In fact this is not completely over, as of right now, since Mr. Gunn, it  is believed, will  be taking this to a higher court for a ruling.

Look, I don’t know how this will work out, I have seen the five ballots that were in question, including the one that the Gunn camp hopes to have changed in order to break the tie and put the win in the Republican column, and I would have to say that in my opinion, those counting, got it right.

The real take away from this is, this is all taking place in the light of the public scrutiny. In fact the last count was open to the public.  It is this openness and transparency, this participatory aspect of our election process that gives us the freedom we so enjoy. These recounts were not held in some backroom away from the people involved, or the people who voted. These counts were held according to the rules and laws clearly defined through our state constitution and the legislation governing the process.

Of course there will be winners and losers, and of course some will be dissatisfied with the results, that is the way of the world. But all should be thankful that we don’t live in some third world dictatorship where, if elections are held at all, they are nothing more than a dog and pony show to keep the people happy and believing that they actually have a say. And of course we have some in this state and this nation that will state that is exactly the case here, usually they are the losers, and most of the time they are the candidates that garner the least amount of support from the voters (217).

It is also true that many times when these extremist fringe elements of politics actually obtain any small amount of power, they are the ones quickest to corrupt the system to maintain that power, at any cost.

Which brings me to the upcoming committee elections for the Sussex County GOP Executive Committee. I have to tell you, some of the things that have been going back and forth in recent days, about how registration for the offices are to be made and publicized, about how the elections themselves will be handled, along with any number of other issues, would make any third world dictator proud of the way this current small group of people have set up these elections.

Let me start with the thing I find the most troubling. According to the rules of the Sussex GOP, the Election Committee that is vested with overseeing and ruling on these elections, will be made up of the Executive Committee Advisory Board.  (Article V, sec. 1d)

The Advisory Board is made up of the Representative District Chairs, and the county-wide officers. (Article IV, sec. 3b)

Of the nine current RDCs, seven of them are seeking re-election, and of the five county-wide officers, three are seeking re-election, the parliamentarian is an appointed position on the AB, and so has a stake in who wins as well.

In fact one of the current RDCs, Vince Calabro of the 40th RD, is seeking an EDC position, an RDC position, and is running for the Chairman of the Executive Committee. Way to hedge your bets Vince. And all the while he will be a part of the AB and Election Committee. No conflict of interest there, right?

Look, there is no rule against running for multiple offices. The problem I see here is that you have people making the rules and counting the votes that have a vested interest in the outcome. Again, any third world dictator would be proud.

Let’s look at how we have gotten to where we are so far. First of all, the rules state that the elections must be publicized two weeks prior to the filing deadline, which they did. However, in the publication, and on their own website they failed to post a time deadline. They simply stated that the deadline was the 29th of December. In writing  a post for Delaware Right I contacted Linda Creasy the current EC Secretary and asked specific questions about deadlines for filing, and about dates and times for the elections. I took notes during this conversation.

I was told that the deadline was the 29th of December, and that they would take filings until 4 pm, when the GOP Headquarters in Georgetown closed. Ms. Creasy even sent me a thank you Facebook message following my post that read,

“Thank you, Frank, for your kind words in your post, and more importantly, for just posting the information folks need without much opinion. I expect plenty of that in the comments, and that’s the way it should be… but I appreciate the way you posted on the election. Thank you for having the class to do it this way.”
   Notice that she made no corrections about the information I had posted. In fact she also commented on another blog-site that had posted misinformation and had corrected the information.
The reason I am pointing this out is because after the 4pm deadline had passed, we were told that they would be allowing online filings until midnight of the 29th. Now while Ms. Creasy at first attempted to say that I had chosen to print only the 4pm deadline, after a flurry of messages she then posted this comment on the post,
Linda Creasy says:

I wanted to advise everyone that I was not clear when speaking to Frank about the deadlines for applications for positions on the Sussex GOP Executive Committee. Frank reported as accurately as he could based on the information I gave him, so this misunderstanding falls on me, not him.

The deadline for in-person drop offs of applications to the Sussex GOP HQ was 4 pm, as that is the time the office closed. However, since neither our website or the newspaper ads we ran provided any specific time of day for the deadline, we will accept electronic applications until 11:59 pm. We feel this is the only fair thing to do, given the ambiguity of the website and newspaper ads.

Sincere apologies for any issues this may have caused. It was entirely unintentional. Again, Frank is not responsible for this misunderstanding, I am. If you would like to run for a position, please go directly to our website and submit an application prior to 11:59 pm.

While this may or may not demonstrate a corruption of the process, it does demonstrate that the so-called Election Committee is completely unprepared, or unqualified to act in this role. They failed to think out the message they were publicizing on the rules and deadlines of the elections, and it goes further.

Following both of the time deadlines a message was sent out with the list of filed candidates that said,

“Anyone who believes that their name may have been erroneously omitted from the published filing list, may file a written appeal within eight (8) hours to the Election Committee, with proof that they had filed on time. The Election Committee will determine the merits within 24 hours, and their decision is final.”

So, if you filed and were left off the final list, you had to be following along every minute waiting for the posting of the final list, and then you had to put your entire life on hold to contact the Election Committee within eight hours. And when I sent a message asking if that was eight hours from the 4pm deadline, the midnight deadline, or the posting time, I received no answer. Why such a short deadline? Why not at least a couple of days? Also there was no answer about how someone was supposed to prove they filed online.

When asked about other issues like if candidates had to be present to be elected, Ms. Creasy stated that after checking with Vice-Chair Fred Silva and former county secretary Carol Bodine, that they were required to be present. Problem is, there is no article or section within their rules that states this. I and another person were told that there was a “book of election rules”, and when asked where we could find a copy, we were then told that there was no actual “book of election rules”. We were advised to reference Article V of the GOP rules covering elections. At no point was the EC Parliamentarian quoted.

Let  me be perfectly clear here, I have endorsed Ms. Creasy for her re-election bid as Secretary, I stand behind that. Through all of this she has been quick to respond. I do believe that she is being used as a front for a faction within the AB and the Election Committee. She is seeking guidance from those she should be able to trust and count on, and is being given bad and conflicting information. This is my opinion only.

What we have here is a group of people who like to play fantasy politics. They sit around and talk in bumper-sticker rhetoric with no idea of what it takes to win elections and then govern. They have done little or nothing in the past to help Republicans to be elected, yet they stood around in the meeting following the last election and talked about we this, and we that.

And now, and now! They want people to re-elect them to positions that they either ignored, or outright abandoned during the elections cycle. And they will do anything to maintain the small amount of power and control they were able to manipulate. And how will they do this?

They will omit important information from notifications about the elections, they will make up the rules as they go along, they will set a time period to appeal being omitted from the list that is completely unreasonable. The question has to be asked, is this current crop of tin-pot dictators corrupt, or just completely incompetent? Or possibly both?

For complete openness, I have again placed my name in consideration for an EDC position. I still believe that there is hope for this body. But only if people who actually care, and or, know about winning elections for Republicans. The current make-up of the Executive Committee is weighted far too heavily to the extreme fringe right, whose only interest in this committee is to continue in the manner it has been for the past four years, and that is not a committee interested in organizing volunteers, and raising funds, not a committee that is a resource for Republican incumbents and candidates, not a committee that augments and assist the candidates own organizations, they are only interested in this committee continuing to be little more than a monthly debate club.

I encourage all registered Republican voters of Sussex County to show up and voice you opinion, and in doing so cause this process to proceed in the bright light of public scrutiny. Because all elections have consequences.  The people elected to EDCs then vote for RDCs, then these people all vote for county-wide officers including the Chairman. The Chairman has all kinds of duties such as certifying candidates for election and special elections and other administrative duties. So just as the election of Jack Markell has had far-reaching, unforeseen consequences, so could the elections of this Executive Committee.

Here is a link to the Sussex GOP website where you can find a list of candidates and even the rules governing these elections. Good luck.

The elections will be held at the CHEER Center in Georgetown, De on the 12th of January, a Monday. Voter registration begins at 6pm until 7pm at which time voting will begin.


15 Comments on "Third World Style Politics"

  1. GOP Is Right says:

    I have watched Frank Knotts’ rise to crapdom from nothing, to the idiot he has become. It wasn’t too bad until he teamed up with Grossman and Cragg who are hell bent on destroying the GOP in Delaware. Frank’s rants and ravings however have gotten better but he fools nobody and the Delawareright team is successfully and systematically destroying what is left of Conservative Christian Delaware. They will attack anybody without exception for being either Godly or Conservative, and that must tell you people something.
    I don’t blame Frank that much because he is an impressionable puppet of Cragg, who wants to be governor. My God, that’s all we need.

  2. Frank Knotts says:

    GOP Is Right, your comment is completely off topic, and is filled with nothing but attacks. However I will allow it since it demon strates exactly the problem within the Sussex GOP.
    The fact that you see the GOP only as, ” Conservative Christian Delaware”, shows the mind set of the purist. You like so many others within the Sussex GOP seek to boil down your politics to its purist form. Anytime you boil something down, you get less of it. Is this really how you believe you can grow the Republican Party and conservatism?
    I have been attacked based on my belief that there should be a separation of faith and politics, I have been attacked because I do not practice my faith in Jesus the same as others. And yet you say I am out to destroy others. No my friend I am out to protect my rights and those of others who fail to conform to the likes of yourself, who would, if you could cause all to practice your version of faith.
    Now to bring this back to topic, there is a faction within the Sussex GOP that feels as you seem to feel. That not only do they know best how to practice faith, but also how best to practice politics, and most likely will demand that the two are inseparable. In some cases they are the same people attempting to manipulate the elections coming up on the 12th of January.
    And you are right, I am working actively to stop them from being able to continue their destruction of the GOP and its ability to attract new members.
    I want people of all faiths to join, people of all colors and races to join, and of course there will be differing points of view about issues and policies, but I want all people who are willing to work together for the GOP to be a part of the GOP. If people cannot support the GOP, then they should join the IPOD (217).
    And this will be your one warning GOP Is Right, if you can bring nothing more to the discussion than attacks, you will be put into moderation until such time as your comments are on topic and civil.

  3. waterpirate says:

    The EC lost any credibility it had left after the ” just Jeff ” fiasco. Only the elections will bear out what the future holds. while the EC makes votes of confidance to support candidates, beyond that they are impotant. No money, no machine, no help.

  4. Mike Rowe says:

    Frank– You have no problem mentioning that Vince is running for multiple positions but fail to mention that his opponent in the race for Chair is also running for an EDC position. One thing’s for sure, the 12th will be an interesting night, especially in our own District, in which there are two races that will be interesting to watch.

  5. Frank Knotts says:

    Mike, I am sorry if you, as usual, feel that your friends have been treated unfairly, I pointed out Vince Calabro because he is the only person running for three positions. I also pointed out that my problem was not with the fact that anyone was running for multiple positions. But of course you ignore that part. “He said, she heard”. ” I write, you read.”

  6. shut the front door says:

    holy crap looking through the names sure looks like the far right faction is trying to get a stranglehold on the SCGOP. If the people whose names appear are elected it will be more of the same old same old. Gotta love the brass balls of several who spoke so ill of the party that are now running for EDC seats. The next prerequisite for holding a seat will be successful completion of the IOTC Constitution course.
    Good luck Steve,Frank, Jason…..with what I see, I fear you’re going to need it. .

  7. Frank Knotts says:

    That is exactly why if you live in Sussex and are a Republican, you should show up and participate and witness.

  8. Mike Rowe says:

    No worries Frank, I don’t think my friends have been treated unfairly at all, as I was only pointing out that you failed to leave out that others were running for multiple positions within the party as well.

  9. Frank Knotts says:

    As I said Mike, chose Vince because he is running for the most positions.

  10. Cobra says:

    For corrupt Delaware Politics as usual, the post should be more accurately renamed TURD World Politics.

  11. Frank Knotts says:

    Can’t argue with that opinion.

  12. mouse says:

    Godly, lol. You mean dogmatically dogmatic using religion as a pretext for despotism

  13. mouse says:

    There are millions of people who are educated, reasonable, who want effective efficient government that doesn’t over extend to control people who would vote republican if not for the religious purists.

  14. Frank Knotts says:

    Mouse that is why I believe that the Framers “DID” include a separation of church and state in the Constitution. Once you mix your faith into politics, it becomes something to be questioned. I know this from experience. If you claim to be a person of faith that doesn’t believe in prayer at public meetings or in schools, then not only your politics are questioned, but also your faith.
    It then becomes a lever to keep people out of the party. “Oh! they aren’t good Christian conservatives”, “so they are liberals”.
    It is the purist mentality that has been shrinking the GOP, not a move away from conservatism.

  15. mouse says:

    Agreed. These labels though don’t seem to accurately reflect any real detail. I mean, if forced to label myself, I would say I am a pragmatic centralist. I’m pro environment, pro science, pro technology, pro worker, pro education, pro art, Pro economic incentives to advance the culture, pro sustainability and not especially religious. I’m anti govenment waste, anti expanionist, anti war, anti funding for energy that pollutes and funds wars. Religion to me is a private thing not some tribal obsession. The 2 parties are corrupt self serving by serving monied interests.

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