Who Would Be Governor?

leader   We Republicans, here in Delaware, are still over  a year away from selecting our nominee for governor. We have two candidates as of right now, but to be honest, we need better choices.    We just closed the first session, of the current General Assembly, one in which closing budget gaps should have dominated the entire session, but sadly the legislators chose to stick with the tried and true tactic of funneling one social issue after another through the pipeline in order to control what the media, and the people were talking about.

As has become a long-standing, and tiresome tradition of the General Assembly, it was not until the final night of the session that the legislators finally, or at least tried to make it appear as if, finally got down to tying up the loose ends of the budget, the bond bill and grant in aid bills.

The fact that they had been talking about a possible $46 million  shortfall in revenue for months, seemed to have no affect on them, to motivate them to work on revenue and spending cuts in the months leading up to that final night. Well at least not in a manner that would allow the citizens to know what deals were being cut. Anyone who thinks that the deals were cut at two in the morning on June 1st, is only fooling themselves. Those deals had been worked out long before that night, and the groundwork to make all look as if it had been painful was also laid early on.

That being said, as Delaware enters an election year, 2016, which is also a presidential year, we here in Delaware will be facing a projected shortfall in revenue of somewhere between $100-$160 million (Let me write it like this $160,000,000.00) which must be closed before June 1st 2016, only months before the primary and general elections.

How will Delaware close that gap? In this past session they closed the gap by spending the mortgage settlement money from the JP Morgan case, that is a one time fix. And by the way, it may not even be legal, considering lawsuits have been filed against other states that tried to do the same thing.

So where does Delaware come up with $160 million in less than a year? Since the Democrats have shown no willingness to make real cuts in spending, and considering it is an election year, I would not look for a change in that behavior. After all, Democrats get elected by being Santa Claus. And since Republicans have shown no ability to leverage any movement on cuts, even when they have led us to believe they had some. Consider how they held up the DMV fee increases, only to vote for them in the last hours of the session, and for what? Prevailing wage concessions that are likely never to come true, and a lock box on transportation funds which stand about as good a chance.

So, back to the race for governor. Who would want to be governor in 2017? Well for Republicans right now it is between a long time state Senator, Colin Bonini  Bonini  who has been “serving” the people since 1994, that is twenty-one years. Now Sen. Bonini has in those twenty-one years, attempted, like many Republicans, to paint himself as an ultra-conservative leader. I would first call into question just how conservative his record is. Oh! Sure he consistently votes no on the last vote of the budget, but how many bills that add to that budget did he vote for during the process? It means nothing if you vote no on a budget that will pass anyway, especially if you added to the bottom line, with pork for your district.

Sen. Bonini is asking, after twenty-one years in the Legislature, to now be governor of Delaware, to be its leader. But has he shown any real leadership skills in those twenty-one years?

Where is his record of building coalitions, both within his party, and across the aisle to make even the smallest change in the state’s ever-increasing spending problem? What sort of legislation has he put forth as a sponsor to make real cuts?

Considering the dire straits the budget was in leading up to that last night, and considering that he had made it known he would be running for governor in 2016, let’s look at the legislation he sponsored this pass session.

SB38, The Right To Try Bill. This bill would allow patients and doctors to try experimental drugs in critical cases where death is imminent. No budget cuts there.

SB15, A bill to establish a Ronald Reagan Day. No Budget cuts there.


SCR33, To extend best wishes to Gov. Larry Hogan. No budget cuts there.

SCR13, To create a DEFAC Advisory Council on spending. No real cuts there, but at least would look at how the money is spent. Oh! But wait, hasn’t Sen. Bonini been in the state Senate for twenty-one years? Shouldn’t he have a darn good idea of how the money has been spent?

So, in a year when even the public was aware of the shortfall problems, what did this long-term senator propose to do about it? Create a Ronald Reagan day.

After twenty-one years in the Senate one could easily say that Sen. Bonini has been a part of the problem, but clearly he has failed to be a part of the solution, or to even make any real effort at it. With the looming troubles facing the state, do we really want to risk our future on someone who has shown no skill at leadership, or of finding ways to build bridges that allow the opposition to work with us in meaningful ways for the people of the state?

That brings us to the second Republican candidate for governor, Lacey Lafferty. laceylaffertyshotting   This is Ms. Lafferty from one of her homemade videos, in which she brags about shooting from the hip. Obviously she doesn’t understand the negative connotation that phrase carries.

Ms. Lafferty is a former Delaware State Trooper who claims to be retired, but is actually collecting disability for hearing loss.

Ms. Lafferty will tell you that she is not the second candidate in this race, since she has been running for two years. She is as likely to tell you that she is qualified to run for governor because she walked the length of the state in a publicity stunt.

She has no record to run on since she has never held any elected office, some might think that a good thing, but considering the size of the troubles headed our way in the coming years, I am not sure it is the right time to elect a person to the seat of governor, who has absolutely no institutional knowledge of government. All Ms. Lafferty seems to bring to the campaign is bumper-sticker slogans like, “We Own It”, and “we The People”.

In fact in a recent Delaware Online article when asked why she wasn’t running for a legislative position before running for the highest office in the state, she said, “For me to go through the legislative process, it’s too frustrating. I’m one of those people, I like to get things done,” she said. “You put forth a bill and then it goes to a committee, and then it goes in a drawer, and then it’s tabled and it goes away. To me, that’s truly frustrating.” 

So the person whose whole campaign has been about “We The People”, and “We Own It”, and the constitutions, thinks that the very bodies of government elected to represent the people, is too frustrating? What does she think she will be able to do as governor? Just write laws by executive order? Scary!

She has also shown some poor judgment in the recent past, in being affiliated with a fund-raising event which was called into question for how it was organized and where the money was to go. There is still $1,000.00 in cash unaccounted for. Ms. Lafferty’s, then campaign manager Vince Calabro, was directly involved in this fund-raiser, and she made no effort to distance herself from it, until she was forced to by public outcry.

Lacey unplugged  It is hard to take Ms. Lafferty seriously as a candidate when she is posting photos like this on her Facebook page during her so-called campaign.

Republicans do not need another fringe candidate to muddy the water. Ms. Lafferty was closely associated with former Sussex Sheriff Jeff Christopher, who along with his far right, fringe supporters failed to respect the wishes of the people, and after losing a close primary race, chose to run a write-in campaign against the GOP nominee. This is important to know, since  many of the same people who supported Jeff Christopher in that write-in campaign, are now supporting Lacey Lafferty.

It is not hard to believe that when, not if, she loses the primary, she too will decide to put the party through another write-in circus side-show.

Lacey Lafferty is simply Jeff Christopher in a Lacey Lafferty hat top hat.

The Delaware GOP does not need that circus side-show in a state-wide race. Maybe she should just move to the Indpendent Party of Delaware (yeah you know why it’s spelled that way) now and save both time and money for real candidates.

I am sorry, but Delaware does not need a governor who is running because it’s the next step in a political career of a long setting senator, who has failed to show real leadership. And Delaware certainly cannot afford a governor who sought the office, like some three-year old grasping for the new toy on the top shelf, because it looks like fun.

The problems facing Delaware in the coming years require someone with real leadership skills, someone who has faced difficult decisions. Someone who has had to make those decisions even when they initially hurt some, but who has the vision to see beyond that hurt, to realize that it is for the best of all in the long run.

We need the person who will step forward not because the job will be easy, not because the times are good, or because they need to feel important. We need a leader who will come forward and say, “I recognize that this state is facing some very hard and difficult decisions, decisions that if handled incorrectly could cause decades of hardship for us, and our children, and that is why I feel  I must run for governor, because to sit and wait for those good times to return and do nothing, would be irresponsible”.

I hope that person exist, I hope that person will not allow the carnival tactics of some to keep them from stepping up. Delaware needs that leader, Delaware cannot afford more of the same, nor can it afford a person who would be nothing more than a cartoon character.


10 Comments on "Who Would Be Governor?"

  1. Mike Rowe says:

    Interesting missive. Until a viable Conservative Republican steps forward to announce their candidacy I will be supporting, and voting for John Carney. I realize he is a Democrat but I feel that he has more character and integrity than either of the announced Republican candidates. We know who is running as a Republican, and I am thinking that Carney will likely be facing Biden Family friend Tom Gordon, as well as Matt Denn. While in Congress, John Carney has shown his willingness to cross party lines and do what is best for Delawareans.

  2. Pat Fish says:

    I should think, Frank, that you’d offer up a suggestion.

    Lafferty has a huge billboard up right by the intersection of Rt. 9 and Rt. 1, gets one hell of a lot of exposure. She’s got money from somewhere.

    Okay, I will make a suggestion…..I’d go with either Brian Pettyjohn or Ruth Briggs King.

    If not this time, maybe next.

    Ruth King really needs to move up or she’s going to fade away before her big chance.

    Just my two cents, me and the Food Lion.

  3. Bill Christy says:

    Pat…. the only exposure the billboard at the Rt 9 and RT1 intersection really gets is the tourons. Those from New Castle county would never vote Republican, and out of state people could care less. Concerning Lafferty’s campaign funding anyone who views her campaign financial reports can easily ascertain she is primarily funding it herself. Sorta like she’s a published author but she paid the publishing company to print it.

    On another note I wonder how Ms. Lafferty’s view on illegal immigrants will affect Nelly Jordan’s support for her.

  4. Harry Whittington says:

    People in New Castle County voted for a statewide Republican every two years, Mike Castle. In 2014, it was almost even in NCC outside of Wilmington for Ken Simpler, which isn’t bad for a Sussex County guy. NCC will vote Republican if the Republican is solid and sane.

  5. Frank Knotts says:

    First, Harry, move on its not 2010 anymore.
    Pat, Bill is correct, so far Ms. Lafferty has loan herself around $28,000.00 and raised only about $600.00, speaks volumes about the level of her support.
    As for suggestions? I will not presume to speak for others, it is up to the person to decide if things are bad enough for them to realize they are needed. It is not in easy times that we need leaders the most, it is under the current conditions that we need real leadership at all levels.

  6. Mike Protack says:

    Sadly, the GOP has never been interested in issues or policies which would halt Delaware’s slow but steady decline.

    I put out detailed ideas on many subjects which were workable solutions and all the De GOP did was feed BS info to wRONg Williams and engage in character assassination at every level.

    No, the De GOP would rather control on how they lose than gamble on how to win.

    I could pass on the lies, stories etc for hours as there is no moral leadership int the GOP.

    Mike Protack

  7. delacrat says:

    “While in Congress, John Carney has shown his willingness to cross party lines…” – Mike Rowe

    With Democrats like Carney, who needs Republicans.

  8. Mike Protack says:

    The De GOP is not a factor in Delaware Politics.

  9. mouse says:

    Carney can be counted on to vote for the 1%

  10. sheldon says:

    “Are borders should be secured with a massive ditch, twenty foot high fence with sniper towers, barbed wire and troops vigilantly keeping an eye on everything with day and night video infrared surveillance. If I were in charge this would not happen.” – Lacey Lafferty 7-17-2015

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