Picture Says It All

It was called politics as usual when Rich Krett withdrew from the New Castle County Council President’s race.

It was anything but usual.

You see, Rich Krett, is head of AFSCME Local 3109. AFSCME has 7000 Democratic employees in Delaware, … Mr Pam Scott, is head of the Realtor’s Association of New Castle County. They have 1900 agents and all of them, all of them are Republicans. Not much help in a Democratic primary….

Something had to be done to stop Rich Krett from going through with his election…. Otherwise the Realtors were out!

Somehow Rich’s signature showed up on a grant request for a new driving simulator for paramedics. He is not a signatory. He is an alternate, get that, alternate… It could have gone like this…

“This grant application is no good…”

“What? No good?”

“Yep, it’s no good.. It’s missing a signature…”

“Where? We got all the signatures…. ”

“No, we need two alternates also to sign on this form… ”

“Aw, man… Cut us a break… we are just here ourselves… ”

“Well, do you know anyone who can co-sign? You could be their proxy?”

Hey, Rich won’t mind…. Put his name down, and I’ll tell him later… (if I remember it, lol)…

“There… are we good now?”

“Yep, you are good now.”

And so a signature is attached and Rich has no idea how it got there… But, under the Hatch Act, any local officials who in any way receive federal funding are bound by the Hatch Act’s prohibition on seeking political office. Problem is: it often keeps qualified candidates out of the field… sometimes people more qualified than the current office holder….

Hats off to WDEL’s Rick Jensen. In an on air interview with Assistant attorney for New Castle County, Ed Danberg, we heard Ed dancing semantically arouhd Rick’s direct questions.

Ed sent Rich an email on March 7th informing him there could possibly be some conflict with the Hatch Act. Today, Ed sent Rich an ultimatum… “Quit your job, or quit the race against my boss (the man who could one day remove the word “assistant” from my job title if I prove my loyalty)… Paul Clark”

“Ed, you can have my damn job… I’m definitely going to take the job of your boss now!!!!!” …. didn’t happen. Rich obviously needs to work. And so Paul Clark does not have a head of the government union running against him in the Democratic Primary….

In the conversation, (which Ed was on a speakerphone with “realtors” also in the same room), Ed slipped up that whether or not this violated the Hatch Act.. was in his words… “HIS” opinion…. His opinion…

When pressed by Rick Jensen, as to what was the hurry, as to why such a short time existed between the first notice and the ultimatium: “quit your Job, or quit your campaign“, Ed fell back on the doctrine that New Castle County could lose all their funding if they violated the Hatch Act…

Although that could be true in an extreme case, it would have to go through a long series of events to make that happen. First, Rich would have to say, I’m challenging this. Then Mr. Pam Scott, would have to say, … you’re right… We are not firing you and not only that.. we are going to be sticking up for you!… Then, the Feds would have to ask the Special Counsel to look in on the situation. She would, and she would have to respond back, that things were completely out of control in New Castle County under the leadership of one Mr. Pam Scott, and that all Federal funding for everything in New Castle County should be frozen….

Rich Krett probably should have contacted the Office of Special Counsel to see if his very suspicious situation would, could, or might be covered under the Hatch Act… There is a very good chance that she would say,… “no. I determine that you are free to run….”

Ironically on the very day Rich was first contacted by Ed (attorney for Mr. Pam Scott), on the blue carpeted floor of the United States Senate, a bill by Sen. Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii) and Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md), was introduced that would… in the future, EXEMPT ALL LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND STATE GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES FROM THE HATCH ACT….

The Office of Special Counsel, wants the Hatch Act Overhauled….

Head of the Office of Special Counsel, Carolyn Lerner, said on this matter… “The law desperately needs to be updated. What we’re seeing now is unfair results and probably unintended consequences that were never meant to be part of the act,”

She is on record as being in favor of NOT holding local government employees to full accounting by the anachronistic Hatch Act…

Looks like the only people who REALLY care about this ancient piece of legislation, are a crotchety bunch of Realtors, desperate in times of changing political loyalties, to limit any competition……….

Advertisements