You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘Legislative Council’ category.

 Potential For Delaware To Have Unlimited Revenue Streams

Got this idea from a thread embedded in one of Steve’s posts.

We know the Racino’s are losing money.  It is because of competition.  Delaware needs a new idea, and Colorado provides the answer…

Of course some will object.   Just like everyone originally objected to the idea of gambling ever coming to Delaware…

Gambling is now so entrenched, it is not only a part of our revenue stream, but its owners get concessions from the state itself at the expense of raises to the state employees.  Soon, state wages will be replaced by scratch-off cards…..

On the other hand, the revenues from marijuana are amazing.  Delaware could pay for one fifth of its state’s educational budget by legalizing and taxing this revenue stream alone.($82 million) However the smart move would be to put all these revenues into an endowment fund for later, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey are sure to follow suit as our fumes cross state lines and infiltrate their state halls….. just as they did with casino’s, and eventually that Delaware’s consolidation on that income stream dries up…. But with an endowment, we can keep the benefit filtering in for decades into the future…. “as far as the eye can see.”

Of course, the first word out of the mouths of those politically connected, would be… “what about our friends, the Racino owners?”

And there’s the rub.  They benefit too….  In what other state can you gamble and smoke weed at the same time?  We’ll have to build new toll lanes just for the traffic trying to get into this state!

The officers shot in the New Castle County Courthouse shooting speak out, for the first time since the tragic event, in support of the federal Bulletproof Vest Partnership.  Their vests were purchased at half the cost to Capitol Police through the federal Bulletproof Vest Partnership, which expired last summer. Senator Coons is fighting to bring the grant program back.Coons doesn’t believe law enforcement should have to stand on street corners with a tip cup to get funding.

“I think the federal government owes this to local and state law enforcement,”

So we will make them beg for dollars in a tin cup, but we are too cowardly to ban high capacity clips and assault weapons?

Do you know who the biggest pushers of these two bans are?  Not parents but our first responders…. They were during the 1990′s and are now the ones asking our legislators to do the right thing and step up to ban high capacity clips, and ban automatic weapons….

(Delaware Law will only regulate new purchases and will not impose any hardship whatsoever on current owners )….

But isn’t it the height of hypocrisy that we can’t muscle the stamina to help out a first responder with passing two trite pieces of legislation,  but we can certainly fan the flames to get press coverage of them begging for money so they can please, please have 14 times a better chance of living through a firefight?  Think about it.

Just ban the sale of high capacity clips and assault rifles…  Help a first responder out……

Although the year is barely out, we do have our first nomination for the spot to be announced in December 2013.  With the Kinder Morgan Deal now on hold semi-permanently, even they are pointing to our hero of the year as the man most responsible for allowing the port to remain state owned….

I can say it was Julius Cephas who was behind almost every move to combat the loss of good jobs at our port.  He is being pointed out as the villain by the capitalists at Kinder Morgan.  In Delaware’s eyes, that elevates his hero’s stature even more…

In truth, he is no villain and knowing him, he will probably shun the acclimations being made by us common folk as being our hero.  In his eyes, he was just doing what needed to be done because no one else was there at that very moment to do it, and as that task swelled, it took a lot out of him….

Capitalists always need a villian.  But it was the “truth” which actually is what killed this deal.  Kinder Morgan WAS going to cut back on jobs, and their change of heart and blaming Julius instead of others, points exactly to the core of their problem with our port… …

People in Texas, do not understand unions.  They simply can’t fathom or understand how there can be an actual law that lets people strike and shut you down, whenever you try to pay them less..  In their eyes, you work for what they want to give you and if it is too little, ..humph.  go elsewhere….

The second culprit (after the “truth”),  was our office of economic development.  We gave Kinder Morgan too many “eager” signals that set us up as being seen as an easy pick.  They truly thought they could waltz in, pick up a top notch East Coast Port for a song, and we would eagerly give it up…  Again, that was because everything was done in secret.  Had a meeting been forthcoming in the very beginning,  Kinder Morgan might have moved on earlier when it became readily apparent, that southern Texas practices do not bode well in the Northeast…

Of course, being a corporation, they will blame the whistle blower.  (Ironic since the whistle blower of Enron works for them)..   Of course.  It is not like they find anything immoral in taking a state asset for a song, in firing those skilled dock workers, and replace them with some Spanish speaking Texans who never even heard of a union….

And Julius did blow that whistle. .  Like Rose on the Titanic, he took the whistle off of Jack (pun intended), and blew softly at first, then harder, and harder.   Gradually the sound registered on others ears….

Without Julius, Bob Marshall would not have pushed through Senate Bill 3.  Without Julius, most of the links showing up in everyone’s blog, would have not been found.  Without Julius, the case for protecting workers would not have even made the rounds of the Norman Oliver show….

There were many helpers. Bob Marshall, Nancy Willing, Norman Oliver, Norinda, Helene Keeley, Al Mascitti, Liz Allen, John Kowalko, and (an other blogger too shy to be mentioned here). When one looks back through all of them one sees from everywhere, there in the center of the universe,  stands a normal human being just like us, known to most … as Julius.

There will come a time when a better deal will arrive.  Could even be this year. There will come a time when a suitor who does care about Delaware, who does care about unions, about human beings, about those businesses on the outside, and who will want to upgrade the port for everyone’s interest, not just their own… And that suitor in this day and age, could even come from abroad.  Germany is very committed to union labor, to the environment, to being a good neighbor…. There are a great many possibilities out there that are immeasurable…. We definitely dodged a Texas bullet with this one….

When that suitor arrives… Julius’s stature will be set in cement….  For he did nothing really Herculean, except argue the truth…  He didn’t lie.  He didn’t connive,  He didn’t threaten….

That was done by our office of economic development.  Instead and unlike them, Julius told the truth.  He told the truth to anyone who would listen.  He told the truth enough, so many “did” listen….

And that is why, he  deserves this nomination as Delaware’s Man of the Year.  I know it is early into 2013, but great things just do not wait!!….

You will hear smears that Julius tubed the deal… I saw the letter and it is already out on WDEL and the Delawareonline’s News Journal… But as an impartial blogger, I can tell you exactly what killed this deal.

It was “the truth”.  The truth of what this deal would cost us Delawareans….. is what turned the tide and caused the outcry that rose up against it….

If Kinder Morgan really wanted this deal, they could have easily said… “we are expanding and putting 5 new berths out into the river.  We are buying the port for the bargain price of $5 billion.   We need those businesses outside the fence because the jobs we get, will soon be too big, we can’t do it ourselves.  We will keep the union just as it is;  Wilmington needs good jobs and we are going to do our part….  We are also going to contribute into an emergency fund to be used for any spill or environmental accident that takes place under our tenure….

Kinder Morgan could have done any of those things, … and didn’t…. The blame doesn’t lie with Julius after all…. Especially when you consider the following…

This Economic Council erred on Fisker Automotive.  Then it erred on Bloom Energy.  Then it tried to Kinder Morgan us out of our port…..   Someone rushed in  with a save to make sure that last one didn’t happen.

That person is now hereby nominated for Delaware’s Person of the Year…….

When I was young, and thought I ruled the world, I went car shopping. it was about time for a new car, I wasn’t really in the market, but repairs were due and perhaps I could leap into a new car, and let the dealer fix up the old one on his dime…. I walked into the Honda dealer on Cleveland Avenue 15 minutes before closing , way back when Honda Accords were listed for $12,000….

I test drove then sat down with the salesman/manager (he negotiated back and forth with himself), and I said, it’s a nice car, but I can’t go over $8000. He got all exasperated, and flustered about, and said, .. “if you sign it tonight, I can give it to you for $8500…. Right here. Right now…” That scared me. I began to wonder what on earth was wrong with the car; still, I could have sold it the next day for $9000. But, it was too fast for me, and I said so. “I can’t sign tonight, I have to look at all the options including finances.”

I spent all night trying to find a way I’d lose money on that deal.. I couldn’t find one. So at 10:00 am I drove to Cleveland Ave, … the car was gone! I approached the manager I’d had the conversation the night before, and thinking they were prepping it up for me, I said … I decided to take that offer now…”

“Sorry, kid. That was for last night. It is gone. Would you like another vehicle?” I didn’t want to pay more than $8500. so i said “no:….

As a caveat 7 years later I saw that same model, same year, on the used car lot with a price tag for a used car, of $14,800…. My left shin was black from all the kicks I gave it…

To this day, I’ve always wondered why he went so low that one night? It has definitely been the best deal ever on a vehicle I’ve seen, and I haven’t figured out any rational reason why he would do such a thing…. Being the sales manager, the man in charge, it obviously had some import….

This relates to the fiscal cliff in this way. Just because an offer was made… doesn’t mean it has to stand. It was made for a limited time only.. That time frame is at the discretion of the seller.

Did you ever try to use a coupon that has expired? What happens? It doesn’t work.

If Republicans do not act on this in a timely way, the price goes back up… That way, they will have more respect, as did that young car buyer, of in the future, acting in a timely fashion…

If they don’t accept now and firm a deal, it is time to pull the offer. Later on, we can settle for keeping the tax cuts on those under $250,000 and Republicans will sit out in the cold…..

We wanted to sell it today, we gave them an offer they couldn’t refuse, they refused and the offer got pulled…

It was for a limited time … only.

This is a tough one. Like a Gordian Knot, one string is overlapping another. Pull one, and an unexpected result pops out. This problem is one that will depend upon specifics, such as what is the business, what is the competition, how many people does it affect….. Not a quick answer mind you…

Michigan went to right to work, as you all by now know. That is a blow to unionized labor in that state. It does not mean unions are immediately dissolved. It means that over time they can be weakened….

Indiana also went. Ohio, Wisconsin, Illinois, are all trying to follow suit. Anywhere there were cars made, there is a large enough voter backlash to make it tough to keep unions in business. Why? The economies of these heavily industrialize auto manufacturers are slumped. Detroit in particular is a ghost town, compared to its heyday in the seventies. However, automobile manufacturing units put in by foreign car makers, BMW, Nissan, Honda, and Toyota in Southern right to work states, are thriving….

There are many factors. During the 80′s and 90′s baby boomers simply preferred foreign models. Despite campaigns to buy American, buyers persisted in preferring foreign models whose quality showed through when the time came to trade them in. So some of the slump can be contributed to poor design and planning. But, today when every new car is carrying a price tag of $1500 to pay for labor and future pensions guaranteed to the union of automobile workers, it is very hard not to succumb to the philosophy that perhaps, unions did chase the jobs away and cause the rust belt.

Companies who are non union have more money to re-invest into their business than companies who are closed shop… If you have more money to reinvest, you can build better cars than your competitor who cannot match you there… because he diverts more money to labor.

To understand how unions work you need to understand cartels. Cartels as in Arab Oil Cartels, withhold the amount of product (labor) forcing its price to climb…. The labor unions says: if you want to make cars, this is our price. The automobile manufacturer has to meet that price. If all cars have the same labor price, then this system is static. But when some labor is high priced, and some is low priced, then those with low price do well, and those with high price do not…. Over time, the proper tendency would be to become free of union intervention….

Granted, a union is savvy enough not to kill it’s host, and with global competition, may unions have made concessions to keep their plant open and working. But there have been many plants that closed. Like Janesville. It closed because it wasn’t needed; not because of labor. However the argument against labor unions, is that they make cars less competitive by inflating its cost, and if cars don’t sell, they get discontinued, and that forces the plant shut down…

It is no lie…. that union salaries positively impact a communities economy far more than do non union wages….A union is able to bargain for a higher wage, and a non union worker gets the lowest amount a company can pay and still keep and employee… Those that vote for making states a right to work one, fall back on the adage that it is better to have a job that pays little, than a job that goes away…. Ask yourself. If you were laid off from a union job, and off work unemployed for two years, then applying for a job making one third your previous amount, would you take it? If so, then right to work wins over closed shop labor. Because you would work at low wages.

Now. There is no one that I’ve seen who has not given credit to the unionization of American workers as being the reason our nation used to have a prosperous middle class. That middle class did most of the buying and selling in this nation. When they have money to spend, all is well. When they don’t and are pinching pennies themselves, the economy sputters and dies. This is commonly accepted by all people.

The Unions are what built America.

As Unions have gotten weaker, corporate income has gotten higher, and wages have gotten lower….

Where this is good for investors, it is not good for the economy. More money thrown to wages and less to profits and dividends, is the key to getting our economy thriving. More money thrown to wages increased our nations demand for goods. Increased demand is what investors are waiting for to toss in all the money they have waiting on the side, hoping for the perfect moment to lay it down……

So I think we are beginning to see the dilemma and the possible resolution required.

Labor unions are not a business tool. If treated as such they will evolve outward and disappear. They are a social tool. Having labor unions is bad for business and is a burden to any business that has to deal with them. Labor Unions are NOT business friendly. However as a tool for society, they serve the most basic function of forcing more money to back down to the first through fourth economic quintiles, and sucking it out of the stratosphere of the top 1%….

Instead of money being bet on the price of eggs in China, it is being used to buy more eggs in ShopRite which stimulates the economy…

We know from history how dark life is for those without any protection from their employer. The standard reply from a boss, is “if you don’ like it you can just……… leave.” But what if you can’t leave? What if you have so little that your children starve if you are off work one day? Two days. Three days….

Without unions, you have no choice. You have to work at whatever wage they tell you…. All America becomes a sweatshop….

Socially, philosophically, and patriotically we need a rejuvenation of Union Strength. Toss out all business arguments. That usually is how all anti- union arguments are framed, and it is smart they do so, because as I said above, Labor Unions are bad for business.

But they are good for America….

There are $2 trillion dollars today on the sidelines waiting for Congress to decided on its tax plan. Some of that needs to be invested in todays workers. The argument for unions would be weaker if business on its own, chose to reward its workers with some of its riches just because they were are part of the success too. But they do the opposite, and therefore, society needs some balance.

Labor Unions are a social issue… an economic issue…. not a business issue. The US rust belt needs investment. It also needs those wages to be high enough to spurt the local economies…. Only unions can provide that higher rate…. Though in negotiation for their own welfare, when successful, all of America benefits…..

The story goes that Warren Buffet, rather worried about his investments early 2008, wanted to talk to God… God told him to use his phone and he’d send him the bill… He got and paid the $333 million dollar charge. His investments flourished, too… That would be the end of the story, except he was down in Sussex County recently, following up first hand on a corporate case being processed out of Georgetown… once again, he asked God for the right to call, and agreed to accept the charges… When he got his bill, he was fuming… He was only charged 25 cents… “God”, he said, “you ripped me off on that first call, big time!”… God said, “Warren, don’t you get it? In Sussex County, that’s a local call…”

Local call or not, Sussex County is weighing in on whether to say a prayer before County meetings or to not… Here are a few takes on that policy: one, two, three, four……

As someone who grew up where prayers were always said before football games and county meetings, it isn’t a big deal…… That is, as long as everyone agrees it isn’t a big deal. You don’t see prayers before meetings conducted in New York.

Not because New Yorkers are heathens, but because in New York, you have a multiplicity of religions, so praying a prayer from one of them, is a slap in the face for all others…

Why it’s even an issue in Sussex County is because the Positive Growth Alliance, has been building condo’s like ants, and lots of people who did not grow up in Sussex County, now live there. Many have different ideas of religion than those who’ve always been there all their lives…

If everyone believe in the same version of God as does David Anderson, then of course, duh, why are we even arguing about it… Of course we’re going to pray to God to guide us through this meeting.. That’s what He’s for!

Suddenly, thanks to Rich Collins and the Positive Growth Alliance, we have tons of people who do object to having David Anderson’s version of God, one who dislikes Homosexuals, and one who casts pox on Democrats, one who believes married people should have sex only when they have children, one who believes sex between animals is immoral, one who believes taxes are caused by the devil, one who believes that nature was made to bulldoze and pave with a combination of petroleum and gravel. … one who believes that oil companies have the divine right to pollute oceans, one who believes that animals were made for us to kill. … one who believes a national religious holiday should fall on the first day of deer season.. one who believes pick up trucks and baseball caps are proof that homosexuality is a sin,… on who believes killing someone with a gun is not a sin, but taking that gun away for the safety of others is…

(yes, I’m having fun and talking tongue in cheek)…

The point I’m making is that Sussex County is changing; and it is changing mostly thanks to Rich Collins and the Positive Growth Alliance.

Can you make new citizens join the current religion? If so, then by all means, just like the days of old, they will see no qualms in having a tiny prayer before the meeting.

But if they don’t want to join that religion, then, to force one group of religious people to impose their prayers on others, is not American…In fact, it’s kinda creepy…

If in an effort to show fairness, the Sussex County decided they would do prayers from all religions in alphabetical order, when they came to “B” and hit Buddahism, giving an Buddahist prayer before the session, most of those in the audience would be saying WTF! This is our nation, why do we have to listen to such crap…

Which is… exactly what those Buddahists think, who have opened a business in Millsboro, and have come before the county to ask for a variance on something or other that is in their antiqued code….

So… If it is unnatural for a Baptist to suffer a Buddahist prayer, it is equally unnatural for a Buddahist to sit through a Baptist prayer…

It’s not about one religion being right and the other wrong. It’s about who the citizens are that make up Sussex County. If you want to blame anyone over this controversy, the blame solely lies with those who built up Sussex County and brought in all these new people to begin with… Now that they are here, we have to make Sussex County as fair to them as New York, is fair to us, when we take our business up there……

Positive Growth, huh? Depends on your version of positive I guess………….

i’m concerned.

With a lot of discussion aimed at one particular person who is employed by the state, and works for it as well, that something will get washed under the bridge without anyone mentioning it.

That is,

If we disallow state employees to run for office, who does that leave to run? People with Republican sympathies…..

Let me explain. Delaware only pays a legislator $42,000 a year. One can’t live on that… Therefore the only people who can physically serve are those who do not have to work 40 hours for their income…. That can be someone retired,or someone fabulously wealthy, or someone who doesn’t need forty hours of pay to stay alive….

Therefore, every legislator if not independently wealthy, needs a benefactor. If that benefactor is not the state, or other forms of government, it has to be a private concern…. And… a private concern will be much more emphatic that their “owned” legislator, does their bidding…. For proof of this, look no further than Scott Walker, John Kasich, an Rick Scott.

Currently, allowing someone to work as a state employee, and serve as a part time legislator, is the only way a person representing working people, can afford to be a legislator.

It can create some problems of course, such as funneling money to a certain bureau but that pales in comparison to having another friend of Delmarva Power, Bank of America, Waste Management, Dupont, Positive Growth Alliance, Pam Scott Realitors, serving in our state legislator.

Only someone independent of corporate influence can see clearly when it comes time to balance the needs of corporations versus the needs of our state’s people…

One, we’ve already lost that balance. Forcing a legislator to have a corporate benefactor, will only push that balance further in the wrong direction….

So if we force this disconnection between a working state employee and a position as an elected official, we need to also have a way of having voices independent serve on our state boards…

Currently you have land use issues around this state. Residents are in an uproar over changes to their neighborhoods. But, none of them can run… Who can run? A realtor…. So properties get zoned for quick sales, irregardless of the consequences they actually impose upon those who live there!

This is the direction this bill will take us… unless we have something in it to balance corporate takeovers…

I propose that we pull the plug and make our legislators full time….

Jump the salary from $42,000 a year to $100,000 a year…. Wow, that’s a 138% increase in a time of recession!

Yes, but it will better equal our capacity to serve the whole of our states population.

Any government worker, can afford to quit to serve as his constituents representative. Any corporate representative, can afford to quit, to serve as his constituents representative…. Any human being, can afford to serve the needs of his constituents, without having to sell his soul to represent some narrow interest group once in….

How much will this cost?

41 plus 21 times $58,000…. equals $3.5 million dollars. or roughly 1 percent of our state’s budget. Whereas that may sound like a lot, we could easily increase the top 1% tax rate slightly to counteract it, and with the stroke of a pen, finally have a government independent of corporate, or labor, or another state department’s influence.

Such is the cost of excellence….

Other state’s paying for full time legislators, are…. California, Illinois, Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania… Once looking a the the list of salaries paid state by state nationwide, it becomes rather apparent why across this great nation of ours, the whims of government can be quickly changed by one good meal……

‘Nuff said.

The Forces of Good Finally Have It's Champion

Desperate times demand bold actions… Yesterday Delaware Governor Jack Markell, who won the past election with the support of many from both parties, addressed the full houses of both Legislatures giving a “state of this State”, message…

The commentary across the blogs and airwaves, is all over the place.. So for those who missed it, here is the meat…

A. We’re in the middle of a Great Depression.

B. Wake Up, Old Farts! We’re short $780 million!

C.We shall share the burden fairly, and not cater to the sqeamy baby whiners…

D. (1) Cut spending by $331M; (2) Cut funding to special funds by $40M; (3) Utilize $155M in one-time federal stimulus funding; (4) Raise at least $55M by re-authorizing a sports lottery and getting a fairer deal for taxpayers; (5) Increase our revenues by $166M; and (6) raise fees and fines by $12M.

E. If you see one of our State’s Casino operators out shopping or walking down the street, do the whole state a favor and bitch slap some sense into the moron.

F. We have 10 weeks; or 70 days; or 1680 hours; 100,800 minutes…. to correctly set Delaware’s course to solubility over the next three years… Every second squandered, every breath of hot air, pushes us backwards from where we came…

G. Only complete openness and accountability can make government more efficient.

H. “We must shift our reliance on expensive institutional care for our senior population by fostering community and home based care.”

I. This state funds local governments.. We wonder what THEY are doing with that money we give them…. Hmmmm.

J. Education sucks up and wastes much money… We will consolidate our school districts as soon as we render inconsequential those legislators who have their tongues permanently stuck up their union’s ass, ….

H. We will free teachers from the impediments imposed upon them by unions and ill informed legislators, and let them teach… Let teachers teach.

I. Teaching to the DSTP — dead

J. Want more money? Then teach better… We’ll make sure you get it.

K. The only long-term answer to our problem is getting Delaware back to work

L. We propose to train 40-50 year olds how to use computers. We propose to use 5 million to leverage 50 million to start up small businesses. We propose to push green energy from the top to generate jobs and cheaper energy for Delawareans than ever Pepco or Delmarva Power could ever provide. Since the blogging world is now keeping a close eye on Harris McDowell, we can use the good parts of his plan, and even mention his name in public again in a positive way… Will wonders never cease?

M. We seek legislation that requires utilities to achieve, by 2015, a per capita electricity consumption reduction and peak demand reduction of 15%.

N. We propose to establish a statewide priority order for new electricity generation – requiring that we look first to cost-effective efficiency measures to meet new demand, followed then by cost-effective renewables. Only after those resources have been exhausted should we look to conventional fossil fuel sources.

O. Delaware must become the center for Green energy. Not China.

P. So let’s work to encourage turbine manufacturers to make the turbines and assemble the towers here in Delaware, with easy access to the Atlantic Ocean. These wind turbines require thousands of parts and we should work to make sure they are made in Delaware.

Q. Nod to Gilliagan, DeLuca, and Carney… Hey… How are you?

R. Look folks, it’s this simple.. We’re dead in the water, the enemy ship is swinging around to rip us apart with a final broadside from 55 cannons…. Do we grapple, tie ourselves, board, and take the fight to them, or…. do what we always have done and quibble about who gets the credit and who carries the blame…

S. Damn it. I’m going aboard. Who is with me?

In typical kavipsian fashion no punches were pulled.. Our crisis is too big for subtle niceties… “Gee, Tony, what nice suspenders!”…. The effectiveness of the speech, lies in the answer to the last question: who is with him?

For one, I am. And I pity whoever gets in my way….

lol.

Delaware Biggest Polluters
Delaware's Power Polluters cont.
Courtesy of the Delaware Energy Office

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 116 other followers