Sometimes just sitting back to watch can be illuminating. From the comments leading off a Delaware Liberal article illuminating the difference between Copeland’s words and Copeland’s actions, came this dialog between leading power brokers of both parties, which show above all, that things need to change THIS NOVEMBER on both sides of the aisle.


Um, to get back to Charles Von Copeland and Open Government. Ya see, the minute he was elected Leader of the Minority Caucus he walked out of the caucus room and announced that all eight of the Senate Republicans would be voting for Thurman “I’ll-Never-Pass-An-Open-Government-Bill” Adams for President Pro Tem. Copeland knew that Adams had desk-drawer-vetoed every open government bill for the past four years when he corraled his caucus to support Adams. The eight R’s plus the three D’s from Sussex made up the majority of eleven votes that Adams needed to bludgeon any well-meaning Democrats into line. Copeland enabled Adams and now he’s got the nerve to complain.


Two points. First, Thurman Adams was the only person running for Pro Tem, so voting for him was not a leap.

Second, all of the Senate Republicans voted against the Senate rules, and so did Karen Peterson. Had one more Democratic Senator – ONE MORE – voted no, there would be no more desk-drawer veto. ONE MORE. But none did. THAT was the watershed moment, and the Dems failed.

It is YOUR party that is holding up progress on open government and lying about it to win elections, and it is MY party (not one or two people, but the whole crew) who are trying to change things for the better.


There was no time for anybody else to run for Pro Tem because Copeland announced his eight votes for Adams within minutes of being elected Minority Leader. It was a done deal, the tail was going to wag the dog. It was also incredibly craven, or incredibly dumb. Either way, Copeland is responsible for the mess he’s in. And all the pain the Republican caucus is having to endure under Adams’ reign. Maybe next January they’ll think twice about which Democrat would be a fair pro tem. As you say, Senator Peterson has demonstrated a lot of integrity in the past.


You can’t dance around the fact that the Senate Democrats voted in near-unanimous fashion to approve the current rules. Ignore it if you want, but having Thurman Adams as pro-tem is not the problem. The rules are.

Also, Copeland’s not stupid. He wasn’t about to cross Adams. Peterson and the 8 GOP votes wouldn’t have elected her speaker (and won’t in 2009 either), and Thurman would have had his revenge. So Copeland was just protecting his caucus.

You’re wrong either way. Why don’t you try to fix your own party instead of clinging to straws concerning mine.

Democrat: (excerpts)

That is … a lie … I told him myself of an offer to back another Dem Senator for Pro Tem on the condition that the Repubs back the person. I also told Feroce. I agreed to be the person to pass along the message.

The offer was made at the very end of Still’s leadership. In short order Copeland became the leader and, as Mascittti said, he **immediately** threw his arms around Adams.

I wondered why until this moment the offer wasn’t taken up (although I suppose it’s possible it was never communicated). The person who was willing to stand for Pro Tem would have changed the rules the Senate Repubs claim they find offensive and open govt bills would have received committee hearings and a vote.

Selander asked Copeland the other day, Why did you start these bills in the Senate knowing they likely wouldn’t see the light of day. Why didn’t you start them in them in house?

Copeland gave some non-answer to the effect that we thought it was proper to do to start them in the Senate.

Wow. Maybe none of this is about passing these bills. It’s about staging scenarios where they know Adams will kill them so they can use it for their leg races. They are setting this up to maximize failure for purely political purposes. They are not trying to maximize success.

Perhaps that’s why the Senate GOP never took up the alternative to Adams. They wanted Adams as Pro Tem so they could run on the platform it’s the Dems who are denying you open govt.

I know this for a FACT: the Repubs had a chance to dump Adams. They had an alternative to him. But Copeland then because the minority leader and FIRST THING he said he supported Adams as Pro Tem.

And we don’t have open government. We have a GOP campaign strategy instead.

Impartial Observor:

What we have here is more than a failure to communicate. It is an attempt to con you into believing open government is possible in Delaware……Of all those clamoring, only Karen Petersen has the credibility to do what she says and open the General Assembly to the people it represents.

She is held up by an archaic system of rules designed by a majority to stay as a majority, no matter what political party they hail as their inspiration.

Ultimately, our mission, should we choose to accept it, is to trounce these two faced liars out of office and hold their successors accountable for representing us……

The majority of the public cares little about who proposes legislation that opens government. They just want it done.