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Multiple sources working for current Republican Senator Gerald Hocker have confirmed to Federal authorities that they are working 60-70+ hours and not getting minimum wage. As told by multiple foreign workers, it appears that what G + E and Hocker’s Super Center are doing, is issuing multiple checks based off different classifications…

You work 40 hours in the deli.  You get one check.  You then work as a cashier 40 hours you get one check… The shortage is the overtime pay that second check is supposed to provide….

40  X  $8.25  =  $330.
40  X  $8.25  X  1.5 (time and a half)  =  $495
Essentially a $165 dollar illegal shortage every week

Yes, they’re all “furiners” (Sussex County accent) who signed up without knowing better. Yes they all came from Turkey this summer to work at a beach and meet Americans and make money while experiencing American culture. Yes, they were not contracted to work over 80+ hours a week, but as denizens in a foreign nation, once here as captured labor, have no choice.

They work 8 hours in the deli, then 6 hours as cashier… every day, and get paid $8.25 for every hour they work…

Make no mistake.  This is absolutely, unequivocally, and entirely illegal.

I have always supported Hocker because of his great bill to keep the school year between Labor Day and Memorial Day.  That would be the biggest boost to improving education in Delaware which could ever occur. (It would cut out 3  full school weeks full of nothing but R-rated movie watching).  In fact, I thought hard about not passing this on because this may unfortunately  overshadow that now and keep his fantastic great bill from passing.

In the end, wrong is wrong and I couldn’t sit on it much longer….

Recommended action:

Get one of the 11 Turkish grad students at University of Delaware to interview all these employees in their native language and then, file the necessary charges…

If a voting member of the Delaware State Senate is willing to violate this sacrosanct law which applies downward pressure to the cost of labor for EVERYONE, it behooves us all what else his party, the Republican Party is willing to tolerate…

Perry Mitchell, Democrat, you need to own this….   Delaware Unions, you shouldn’t be sitting on your hands here…  Delaware Department of Labor, we don’t care if he votes money for your department, wrong IS wrong.

Student Body ActivityDave Sokola, who is trying to hang on to his seat in the 8th Senatorial District against Meredith Chapman, has long been a defender of Newark Charter School. Back when it was ruled that Wilmington School District would be dissolved and its students bused to the more affluent suburbs, many wealthy sought to keep their children separate.  Most put them in parochial and private schools costing up to $20,000 a year…

But some wanted to escape black culture and could not afford $20,000 a year. Charter Schools were born to fill that gap. A charter is a school that is not bound by the Federal and State regulatory bodies.  They cherry picked their students, and if they do it correctly, they get themselves an all-white school.  Newark Charter in its early years had only one minority student.

Dave Sokola frequently uses this line.  “People need a choice if they are not happy with the quality of their schools”.  Many people interpret that as being not happy academically. But that line takes a whole new sinister tone, when you interpret it racially.

In searching Newark Charter School’s purchases one sees some interesting things. First, in fairness I should say Newark Charter along with Wilmington Charter have the best rankings in the state.  They also have the lowest levels of low incomes, Blacks, Hispanics, Special Ed, Non English Speaking. Something public schools cannot control.

There is a reason for their good scores and the Online Checkbook shows it…. Here are a few of their perks….

BERMUDA INSTITUTE OF OCEAN SCIENCE…………… $44,400

BOATHOUSE SPORTS………………………………………..$3380

CAMDEN AQUARIUM………………………………………..$3108.15

COLONIAL PA PLANTATION………………………………..$1200

CREATIVE COMPETITIONS………………………………….$162

CUTTING EDGE ENTERTAINMENT………………………..$600

DEERFIELD COUNTRY CLUB MGMT………………………$7000

DELAWARE 87’ERS…………………………………………..$5387

DELAWARE NATURE SOCIETY……………………………..$4772

DNREC P AND R SUPPORT…………………………………..$1652

GETTYSBURG FOUNDATION………………………………..$433

HERSHEY ENTERTAINMENT………………………………..$5690.50

HISTORIC ODESSA…………………………………………….$1425

INFLATABLES R FUN INC…………………………………….$450

LIVING CLASSROOM NATIONAL CAPITOL REG………….$5700

MARYLAND SCIENCE CENTER………………………………$5593

MEDIEVAL TIMES………………………………………………$8131.65

MR JOYNER ENTERTAINMENT………………………………$7718

ORIGINAL WORKS YOURS INC……………………………….$2919

PHILADELPHIA ORCHESTRA…………………………………$624

STANLEY M AND ROBERT D HART………………………….$15,194.51

STAR ARMY AND NAVY……………………………………….$4062

Sullivan Specialties…………………………………………….$6478

THE ERITREAN EXODUS……………………………………….$300

THE FRANKLIN INSTITUTE…………………………………… $4381

THE GRAND OPERA HOUSE……………………………………$1350

=========================================================

Ok, there is a lot of good going on here.  First: exposure to a lot of things is happening simultaneously.  It is no wonder this school scores well. Their students are given  the full breadth of opportunity to pursue and grow.  Secondly a lot of this money is funneled back into the local economy providing jobs and paying bills in each of our neighborhoods.

But like me I am sure the shock will hit most of you rather hard, when you glimpse the scope of how charters spend YOUR money. but this charter according to tests, is getting results for all its money spent; and one can see why that if someone has their child in this school, they will defend charters vociferously……. (And just in case you couldn’t guess so far) this was not written to force any changes to Newark Charter’s liberal use of money…..

I show you this because it explains exactly why Charters are bad for society as a whole and why we need to remove Charters completely from our educational lexicon…

All this money, all of it….. used to come from Christina School District… A district whose enrollment has lost 4000 students since 2005, all of them sucked up by surrounding charter schools. Today this district  stands at 43.8% low income and 39.6% Afro American….  It is just 30% white compared to Newark Charter, which is 65% white and has only 11.1% Afro American and 7.9% low income….  It also only has 2,140 Charter students compared to 15,556 public students for Christina…

What we have here….are two school districts…. that are indeed separate….. but they ARE not equal………………..

This is exactly what Brown vrs Board of Education was set up to avoid. This is exactly what the entire busing arrangement set upon Wilmington and New Castle County, was set up to avoid. The disclosure of this gross inequity, should make every Wilmington Council person livid, breathing fire.  It should make every Delawarean recognize the real impetus behind the Charter movement is indeed, racial. And it should make every Delaware legislator realize that any support for Delaware’s Charter Schools as they are, is support for entrenched racism.

Let me put it as blunt as I can.   We have teachers in Bancroft buying pencils out of pocket so their students have something with which to write ….(the school supplies none; the parents can’t supply any)… while the money that used to come to that school is insteadn now lavishly spent on being “entertained” (by Mr. Joyner @ $7718)…..

It is not that what is going on in Newark Charter is so wrong,… no it truly is wonderful (for those students)!… The problem is that all the money for those great things going on there, is being paid for by the likes of Bancroft, Bayard, Brader, Brennan, Brookside, Christiana, Glasgow, Newark High et al.

This illustrates precisely the HUGE problem with charters… by design they take from the poor and give to the rich… Now, even if Newark Charter School were all Black, the same problem would still occur, because it’s a charter. The money would still remain concentrated in the Charter and yes, some blacks would get to excel; but it would come as a high cost to all those other ones who could not escape their public schools…. They are doomed to fail through no fault of their own.

Charters do not work for society because they take money from the surrounding schools, making all those schools around them poorer, while collecting all the wealthy students into one pocket and giving those a great experience.

We are right back in 1950’s again… The two experiences are not equal and that is unconstitutional.

And here is the shame of Dave Sokola’s efforts and of his derogatorily remarks towards Wilmington predominantly Afro American schools and their personnel,… He says they are failing and need taken over (by friends of his who will earn excessive salaries), because “those schools” don’t compare anywhere close to the quality of those students at Newark Charter… The achievement gap is wide.

Yet if Bayard just had the $142,079 listed above for Newark Charter’s excessive recreation, imagine how broader the environment of all those inner city students would be?  One should ask, why don’t they have that money?

If Christina School District, just had the $20,000,000 it loses to charters every year, just imagine how that extra $1285 per student, could help?  (One class of 20 = $25,700)  One should ask, why don’t they have that money?

Obviously. Charters need to go. But to kill charters in Delaware, you must first remove Dave Sokola from the 8th Senatorial District and replace him with Meredith Chapman. The DSEA needs to shift some resources behind removing him and the LEA’s should work hard for that same goal….

Charters are racist… No, they are not run by racists… Not filled by racists…. Not supported by racists… But the idea that a good school which can manipulate who enters, which gets the lion’s share of resources while the neighboring schools surrounding it go hungry, have no resources, are punished, closed, whose teachers are fired for poor alleged results,…. is nothing more…nothing less…. than the perpetuation of systemic racism…

Charters run themselves exactly like a racist “private” schools, yet do so with the taxpayers’ money.  Not fair.  If you are Afro American and pay taxes, your own money is supporting the keeping of your race down as long as charter schools remain anywhere near your house.

WE NEED TO REMOVE CHARTERS COMPLETELY FROM DELAWARE SOIL.. (or come up with different funding, such as line items for each school in the state budget).. They are separate. They are not equal….

 

 

 

 

 

What legislation has tried to achieve, the courts have accomplished… The current law was deemed to be in violation of the 6th Amendment role of a jury….

The sixth Amendment requires a jury, not a judge, to recommend a death penalty.  Florida lost a similar case.

All pending capital murder trials and executions for the 14 men on death row are currently on hold….

You may remember… Only two states were accepted in the first Race to The Top Competition… Delaware..*yay* and  Tennessee.   Same agenda. Same connections to the Governor’s Association and Chiefs For Change… Same influences, etc…

Let me tell you where Tennessee is now…

In three weeks, they start their school year… yes, August 3rd.   This past year they instituted a non-renewal policy that said if you’re scores were not above standard, your contract would not be renewed… AND you would be marked as ineligible for rehire. 

(Someone thought the threat of firing would cause scores to rise.)

One of their larger districts is undergoing some pain right now…

The Metro- Nashville Public School system is experiencing a teacher shortage… 

  • So far, 320 new teachers have been hired- 42 are TFA ( which is the maxamim limit of them which MNPS is allowed to hire)
  • The average # of new teachers hired each year (based upon the last 5 years) is 574
  • 19% of schools will have new principals
  • Currently, MNPS needs to hire 189 new teachers before school starts in three weeks
  • MNPS still needs to hire 7 principals.
  • There are 74  (out of 153) schools with major teacher vacancies
  • The top needs are: Exceptional Ed (22), Math (19), English Learners (10) and Spanish (9)
  • Just 21 (15 working) days to the start of school.

 

Obviously the strict discipline enforced on teachers has made the upcoming year to be one of survival; not excellence…. Just keeping open the doors will be a challenge, heaven help the test scores of 2017…

Also keep in mind that many of those teachers whose contracts were not renewed, were once considered excellent teachers before we started using Common Core’s tests.  from the district’s website:

  • Sixty-one percent of MNPS teachers hold a master’s degree or higher and 99.75 percent are highly qualified in at least one subject area

That 0.25 % not qualified matches up with the TFA candidates…..

Which proves as all have said, the folly of putting all education’s blame on teachers… Now, you have no teachers so what are you going to do?

Well the MNPS plans to contract out to a computer teaching service for its classes having no bodies in front of it… as well as wave all certification requirements for anyone willing to stand up in front of a class.

Yes.

NOW FOR THE GREAT NEWS…………………………………………………………………………..

This isn’t happening in Delaware.

Why?

Mostly because of you, who objected to insanity and would not be silenced… Though corporate money could buy out Earl Jacques, corporate money could buy out Dave Sokola, it could not buy out parents, it could not buy out teachers, and it could not tamper with the communication system set up between them…..

As a historian I am prone to look for those important moments and speculate had they gone differently, what the new outcome would be… I know that is a weakness of mine. But saying so, if one were to ask this historian where Delaware avoided the train wreak its sister is now going through, I would have to point to the pivot as being John Young of Christina’s Board of Education…

Keep in mind we are a small state.  The Metro-Nashville school district alone has 80,000 students.  That is two thirds the size of our entire state school system and they are but one district.  Therefore each citizen here has a larger percentage of a voice in their government than do almost everyone else.

We also do not have a television station all turn to for local news. There is a definite knowledge gap which most smart people have found is best adequately filled through the blogosphere.  Our blogosphere has more investigative reporters then the entire state’s news conglomeration of radio stations and newspapers combined…

As a result of all of this, here it was hard to only give “one side” of the story (though Dave Sokola certainly tried). The other story got out, sometimes too late to change legislation, but not to late to now hold those perpetrators who pushed it, accountable for the damage they have caused Delaware’s children in lost opportunities…

(Remember how our educational measurements soared, up until they hit the Common Core legislation these crooks pushed through?)

With all those kept in mind, it was John Young who pointed the direction long before anyone else publicly, that corporate schemes were behind this new “push” for improving education…  I confess, I remember glossing over Kilroy’s exclamations of Markell’s Wall Street connections with glazed eye before John passed on an illuminating tidbit on what was wrong with American education…

What struck me in that video was how on a map, it was very obvious that the diagnosis of ADHD in children starts in Oklahoma and grows exponentially as it heads to the east Coast.  Pretty much mirroring the graph for average amounts of extra disposable income after necessary expenses have been met on a state by state basis….

That and the failure Common Core was having among children who were in the test classes for it… Failures as high as 85% in those test classes, which the DOE still as yet has not divulged. These failures included some of the previous years’ top students… Something was seriously wrong.

Bottom line, Delaware did not go down the path as did Tennessee because the people exerted enough pressure here to slow the process and force the inclusion of parents, teachers, and “active” administrators in the formulation of policy….

No, we still do not have a perfect solution… we still need to fight on… But in all glaring truth, we also do not have Tennessee…..

And that, is a victory for truth, justice, and the will of the American people…. We should be proud of ourselves for what we stopped…. and we should tip our hats to John Young in congratulatory thanks for first sounding the alarm which mobilized us into action….

In a great measure due to him, we are much better than Tennessee.

 

 

 

 

 

It is with deep personal sadness that I write this.  All of us who send our children out the door every morning, never thinking it may be the last time we see them, are deeply affected.  All of us uttered when we heard:  that could have been my child.

The tragedy has now broadened.  Three more families are having their lifelong dreams snuffed out with the arrest of those responsible for the death of that child..

Recently the talk shows were abuzz with one of the lawyers’s statements trying to woo public opinion towards sympathizing with the newest victim, the one arrested, and take our minds off the previous one, the one who died.

That man is just doing his job.  He is being paid to represent the best interest of his client and he is doing what he is being paid to do.  Getting angry at him for doing his job, though human, is not in society’s best long term interest.

The cause of death, it appears was congenital heart failure, and the lawyer’s argument that his client could not know about the flaw and was just having a little fight, never intending to kill her target, is probably accurate.

Yet, had the “little” fight never occurred, she would be alive today.

This is ultimately for the courts to decide.  What we need to decide is what will we do about this.  That is very important.  A very horrible, horrible thing happened in that school. Justice must be meted out.  In that courtroom battle we will be spectators only. We will have no impact on its verdict.

But we can do a lot of things.  One of the first, is to vow that this can not happen again. The second is after making that decision, to begin working on preventing any other occurrence.  We should do it because we know our child could be the next one.

Everyone on social media, on talk shows, in any public forum, has their opinion on what is needed to prevent the next re-occurrence.  Some ideas are good; some impractical. They’ve been rehashed over and over so there is no point in me adding the same.

Because if you sit back and listen to them?  They all start with…….”Somebody should do something about……”

Better security.  Cellphones.  YouTube.  Bullying.  Conflict Management. Better parenting. More religion.  Better teaching.

And the lists tend to go on and on…. If you are like me, you probably saw the problem was in the first paragraph, not the second…. Wanting “someone” else to do something instead of you being the force of change….

And that is where this murder or killing, for me was different than all the others… I came to the conclusion that before my child or any other gets similar treatment, I need to work of doing something to fix this problem…

This tragedy is deeply depressing… It IS a sign of hopeless times.  And there is nothing worse in the human condition, when you have exercised all your options, and know there is no hope left in you, for you.  Things so much bigger than you have brought this down upon you.  It was pointless, pointless, pointless.  There is no redeeming factor here.  A very wonderful child, who we would all be happy to have our children behave like her, is not here anymore.  And to make things worse, her killer, is not some horrible, horrible human being, a maniacal, bloodthirsty, psychopathic, destroyer of human life… She too, is very much like our some of our own children… Anyone of which could possibly make the same decision under duress as did her, and instigate what they thought would be a minor fight for whatever reason, that went horribly wrong.

Four lives ruined, because of a fight…

It is all so senseless. So pathetic. So tragic in the deepest way.

So what are you going to do about it?  Yes.  I said “you”.  What are you going to change in your own life that may at some future point in time, prevent a similar fight or argument that might also produce a similar morbid result?

Because that in essence, is what these things happen for.  Though they happen on their own, outside of our world, outside our influence, they turn out to become a reality check on how little control we have over our fate. They become a reality check on how much we coast through our lives, preoccupied with things we think are so important, but when confronted by such events they are but minuscule compared to the loss of a child’s future.

And if… “you” don’t do something, or change, or do anything different to make a difference in some small way in the future, then there is no redeeming value in the loss of Amy…. But… if you make a point, any point, some point, just something different, to change something in the future, then believe it or not, there is some redeeming value in this action.

Now this is a hard topic, especially for her extended family.  For them this is superfluous; nothing will bring Amy back.  Nothing will fill that hole that remains for the rest of their earthly lives.  Which brings back anger, hurt, rage perhaps, at least once every … single… day.  But the rest of us can swear that this girl did not die in vain.  The rest of us can swear that this girl woke us up. That this girl made us change in ways so that the world did become a little better for some people… The rest of us can swear that we will make positive change in our lives, her memorial… That she touched something in us that changed us; something that would still be inert, had this horrible tragedy not happened.

If I’ve lost you by this point, you are probably wondering what on earth could you possibly do to honor this person appropriately with your life choice?

So let me give one example before I close and I recognize that not everyone is the same as me, so if this rings hollow, I’d suggest you try what you feel is calling you to do…

But here is one thing.  When you have a crowd of kids in your house, throw together some snacks and call them all together… Tell them you are sad someone had to die in school but you want to teach or tell all of them how they can prevent that from happening to them…. you can tell them that if their friends say they will beat someone up, that getting an adult involved beforehand, can fix the problem of why they want to beat that person up, without having anyone get hurt as a result.  You can tell them stories of when you were little, and regrets you carry to this day. You can tell them that hurting someone just to be on YouTube is wrong; that if they watch those things, they are making others want to do it more… Best bet is for them to say doing that is stupid and to talk their friends out of it.  You can tell them how easy it is to die, and how horrible one feels if one accidentally kills someone; how afterwards their life becomes horrible and worthless when it could have been great and fun.  You can tell them that a good rule is that if they wouldn’t want someone to do something to them; they shouldn’t ever do it to someone else…

You should make it clear you love them; both your kids and their friends.  You don’t have to say it, but if you treat them with respect, they will know.  And if you did that, and followed through all the way through High School, and beyond, and you did just that little thing for Amy, …. then in a small mysterious serendipity sort of way, something good did come out of her murder whether that killing was intended or not….

And if all of you did it… there would be more good than if just one… And if you put what you were doing on Facebook or Instagram, inspiring other parents to do the same, and they did it, there would be a lot more good than if you hadn’t, and if they got results so it spread, then the possibility out there still lurks that great positive change all over, came about because of the horror of what took place in that school bathroom..

And if, when you are very tired after a long day of work… just want to put you feet up, turn on the TV and zone out for a nap, but don’t, and instead talk to your kids and their friends one more time, asking how they are, how their day went, and what they wanted to do in their future….and you did it, because something inside of you said only through your actions will redemption come through Amy’s passing, then regardless of how much you hurt, regardless of how close you were to her, regardless of how hopeless this made you feel… it was not in vain……

And if all of you can do that…. we are well on our way making sure another child, never, ever, gets killed in school. Period.

 

 

 

 

According to the FEC John Carney’s donation totals line up like this….

1 JPMorgan Chase & Co $10,000 $0 $10,000
1 American Institute of CPAs $10,000 $0 $10,000
3 Metlife Inc $8,500 $0 $8,500
4 AstraZeneca PLC $7,500 $0 $7,500
4 Investment Co Institute $7,500 $0 $7,500
6 Tiber Creek Group $6,250 $6,250 $0
7 New Democrat Coalition $5,500 $500 $5,000
8 Depository Trust & Clearing Corp $5,000 $0 $5,000
8 United Auto Workers $5,000 $0 $5,000
8 Vanguard Group $5,000 $0 $5,000
8 UBS AG $5,000 $0 $5,000
8 Ernst & Young $5,000 $0 $5,000
8 Mortgage Bankers Assn $5,000 $0 $5,000
8 Citigroup Inc $5,000 $0 $5,000
8 Capital One Financial $5,000 $0 $5,000
8 State Farm Insurance $5,000 $0 $5,000
8 CME Group $5,000 $0 $5,000
8 TIAA-CREF $5,000 $0 $5,000
8 American Seniors Housing Assn $5,000 $0 $5,000
20 National Assn of Health Underwriters $4,000 $0 $4,000
20 New York Life Insurance $4,000 $0 $4,000

*registrants, or active lobbying firm

This table lists the top donors to this candidate in the 2015-2016 election cycle. The organizations themselves did not donate, rather the money came from the organizations’ PACs, their individual members or employees or owners, and those individuals’ immediate families.Organization totals include subsidiaries and affiliates.

By category, the status is clearer….

Top 20 Industries contributing to Campaign Cmte and Leadership PAC

Industry
Total
Indivs
PACs
Securities & Investment $54,250 $4,250 $50,000
Insurance $48,500 $500 $48,000
Commercial Banks $31,250 $1,250 $30,000
Accountants $24,500 $0 $24,500
Pharmaceuticals/Health Products $18,500 $0 $18,500
Finance/Credit Companies $18,000 $0 $18,000
Real Estate $12,700 $3,700 $9,000
Lawyers/Law Firms $12,500 $6,500 $6,000
Lobbyists $7,750 $7,750 $0
Democratic/Liberal $5,500 $500 $5,000
Candidate Committees $5,400 $0 $5,400
Industrial Unions $5,000 $0 $5,000
Hospitals/Nursing Homes $5,000 $0 $5,000
Retired $4,500 $4,500 $0
Misc Manufacturing & Distributing $3,500 $0 $3,500
Credit Unions $3,000 $0 $3,000
Health Professionals $2,750 $750 $2,000
Oil & Gas $2,500 $0 $2,500
Electric Utilities $2,500 $0 $2,500
Business Services $2,250 $2,250 $0
What is District Rank?View Top 20 | Top 50
===
Percent of Contributions Coded
legend Coded $249,134 (97.0%)
legend Not Coded $8,325 (3.2%)

As Congresspeople go, this really is not bad.  One should expect considerable financial interest in Delawares Congressional delegation as one should expect agriculture interest in Iowa’s.

 

Despite the current denials going around the Hillary supporters in the Democratic party, who insist that one must first show a quid pro quo vote per campaign contribution  in order to show acquiescence to ones donors, I can say with certainty, that over the past ten years, I have correctly predicted a legislators final vote based on who his campaign contributor were.

And with that, I leave you John Carney…… exposed……

If there is anything a numbers person admires or appreciates, it is someone who does state budgets 7 years in a row.  Yours was a herculean task. Like Clark Kent, laymen will never understand the super powers that lay therein, but rest assured, some of us do know.

You are a credit to our kind…..

Welcome home, soldier…….

Ann Vasalli…

 

rich monopoly man

Courtesy of The O Zone

You hear the handle turn, you here the wheels start to grind.. and then the sound.. the awful sound begins to screech… “Your taxes are going up; we can’t pay more money… Vote NO. It’s outrageous to pay more in taxes… Cut Administrators.. Blah, blah, blah”…and then the sound gets softer and softer and fades quieter and quieter into silence until the next person turns the handle and …”Your taxes are going up… we can’t…..”

And it’s a very small tiny ridiculously low amount of people who believe this crap. .. but they are highly motivated to vote.. Why?  Because they get $15 dollars a hour to hand out pamphlets, call radio stations, and write letters to the editor… They are hired by large landowners, the developers…

The developers own thousands of acres. Just $200 an acre costs them  a minimum of $200,000 dollars a year.. But, they are making hundreds of million each single year so that much money is still like losing a penny to us… But they still pay people to squawk.

The estimated average is that the increase will be around $237 a year… That means that half of the people who can afford to, will pay higher than that amount and half those who are living on tight incomes, will pay less….

Most houses sell for $240, 000 but they are assessed at 1974 levels.. Which means $60,000 for the above if an older house..   At $60,000 assessment, the current tax is $852 per year.   (Go to that site if you know your assessed value),  Your new tax will be roughly $180 dollars more… Divide that by month, it is  $15.00 more you will find added to your escrow when you pay your mortgage…

If your house is at $100,000, and the 1974 assessment is $30,000, the current tax is $426 and the increase will be $90 more per year or $7.50 per month…

If you rent, this referendum costs you absolutely nothing..

If you are on the high end and have a house assessed at $500,000, your current assessment is $7,100… Your new assessment will be $8,600 ($1,500 more).  That huge (cough, cough) jump puts you at an increase of $125 a month. Which it you own a $500,000 house, your cost increase is less than normal utility fluctations…  Big deal.

So all the screaming is not from little people owning house, unless they got whipped up by someone with big money… The screaming is by the huge landowners who lease property…

But local real-estate experts insist that good schools DO lead to higher property values, and several studies done in other cities have found strong correlations between highly performing schools and higher house prices.

So defeating the referendum can cost your home to plummet in value by $120,000 balanced against voting “no” you saving your pocketbook $15.00 a month…

It is past time to raise revenue for schools.  Many have gone years with no increase, yet costs increase every year. Just as your costs have increased, so have those of all schools. All districts must continue having referenda as often as possible until a “yes” vote occurs, simply because they are out of money.  Referenda are the only way districts can increase revenues.  Christina for example this year cut 90 teachers and raised.class sizes from 20 to 30 per class.  That does not bode well for better learning. it does not bode well for your children….

That makes this a no-brainer.  Vote Yes for the referendum…

I forgot to tell you something… Even though at the top I said these “NO” voters were a small sliver of the population,… they all vote.  And even though parents of school children can easily overwhelm them 1,000 to one, they don’t every referendum because only 5000 of those 50,000 parents supporting children even bother to go out and vote… Just 6000 “NO” votes were able to derail the last referendum, because only 5000 yes votes bothered to show up…

If you don’t vote, the no’s win… That simple. Everybody who cares about Delaware, needs to vote to make Christina District a better place for all.

Bottom line, this extra tax is not a burden and you have so much benefit to gain for your yes vote.  Don’t be dissuaded from voting in YOUR best interest by some fly-by-election-night outfit that is paid for, owned, and controlled by the wealthy landed class of citizens who can easily afford to give up billions for our schools, but cry over giving up 30 additional cents per $100 dollars of assessed value… For a nice $200,000 home, you pay $15.00 a month more for the privilege of living in a district with great schools…

People lie, lie, lie… Math never does.

 

 

  • Increase Taxes substantially on the top 1% of Delawareans by increasing incrementally the top marginal tax rate.
  • Override the Opt Out veto, giving parents the ultimate role in their child’s education.
  • Remove and replace the  crony Smarter Balanced Test with a test that can actually help students with immediate feedback.
  • Remove charter schools from being funded per student and have them paid by line item in state budget, bringing them under tighter public scrutiny and control.
  • Quickly pass HB 217 (Keeley) which is designed to require that firearms which are recovered from crime scenes be entered into the National Crime Information Center firearm database system.

We have a tough session ahead.  All of these are no-brainers and should quickly be put to rest so attention can be focused outward towards new things.

It comes with a caveat.  To succeed he must return to his liberal roots. The ones he ran on in 2008 and before.  I often hear newcomers praise Matt Denn and in the same breath curse Jack Markell. They probably do not know that at one time they were like butt-buddies in philosophy and direction. Both early supporters of Blue Water Wind over the evil Delmarva Power. (only 8 years ago). Both were against the Death Penalty.  Both were for extending rights to Gays. Both were for helping the little guy. Both were against Charters. And both were against man made Global warming, and those corporate extremists who made it happen.  Both were pro-business but it had to be ethical business. neither supported being for business so it could continue its unethical business practices…. Both were pro-FOIA, opening government to the scrutiny of its citizenry. Both were against Thurm Adams and his desk drawer veto.

it’s funny when newcomers try to take the current Markell back through his role as Treasurer as proof of his evil ways. For he wasn’t evil back then at all.  He was a champion for reform, so much so that he challenged and won the governorship over the Democratic Party’s pre-chosen candidate, John Carney, who was seen as less the progressive.

It’s funny what a few years can do.

But Markell’s track record puts him in very good position to be a leading progressive candidate if he were to try. What better argument against Conservative counter punches could be made than this?

When I was governor and ran a state, I tried exactly what you propose…and it didn’t work.. What would have worked better would have been this:  and then list progressive policy….

Still skeptical?  Try these then make up your own…..

“When I was governor I tried cutting back on state spending by attempting to cut to my state employees salaries by 8% and my legislature held it to a 2% decrease.  One would think that such a streamlining of expense would decrease taxation and cause businesses to move in and create growth. Instead, as the state’s largest employer those cuts had a 1.6% multiplier aggravating the economic damage.  Fewer revenues then expected were generated the next year because it hurt those who lived on those earning government salaries as well. With hindsight, the proper approach would have been to keep them the salaries continuous, and to apply a tax on the top echelon who survived the depression rather well, and  use that new revenue as the funding for the existing government…. As the economy improved, taxes could be lightened…  That would have worked faster than the conservative approach I took.”

When I was governor I pushed Common Core hard.  I led the nation in its implementation, though held off on being the first to use the test. I still believe some things in Common Core are good for society but with hindsight, I would divorce Common Core tests from being used as the sole ranking of teachers and schools. We found that no matter how hard we pushed accelerated learning, that having one standard set high for all, was defeating.  A lower standard set for all works better because there is some realistic chance for all to achieve it.  Those on the bottom CAN become proficient with lots of hard work. We found that even our best teachers in our worst schools still gave us the worst scores in our state. We found that mediocre teachers in our best classes still had the best scores.  In essence we found no correlation between test scores and quality of teaching.  All test scores do we found, is measure the quality of prenatal and infant care. With hindsight, I would say that to do well for our students, all of our students, we need to focus mostly on increasing the human element of education, and particularly in schools of high risk, where the poverty level is over 50% of the student body, we must guarantee an 11:1 student/teacher ratio, insist that it happens and willingly pay for its expense.

When I was governor I tried wooing companies into my state with bribes.  I offered no taxes. state loans. even support fees tacked to citizens electricity bills.  This was done primarily to develop jobs which were much needed in my state. With hindsight I would have focused more on making sure economic demand remained high instead of trying to get new business to come in.  If the demand had stayed at pre-depression levels, jobs would have stayed and remained  Instead we gambles on a few temporary jobs involving construction and then when they evaporated we were left continuing to pay the costs, which even today drag down the economy.

When I was governor, we had a automobile plant close up and a possible buyer for it needing some money up front to purchase it.  We helped them but they went bankrupt.  We lost our loans which we thought were guaranteed to be refunded from sale of its assets.  Turns out corporate raiders were ahead of us in line.  That points out a discrepancy in law needing adjusted.  There is no way private investors putting up money at risk, fully knowing the risk, get first dibs of return over a government who puts up the people’s money to benefit its people.  That was just plain wrong and an inexperienced candidate will fall into the same trap as did I. I know ahead of time it does not work.

When I was governor I tried to put in a toxic power plane in the middle of our college town.  i thought that any reason to create jobs was reason enough.  We tried very hard to engineer the town council and the electorate in order to get proper votes and we succeeded there. However the university walked away from the deal and the deal died.  With hindsight, I would not put in a dirty power plant just for jobs.  Oil, gas, and coal are done. There are always other options and anything that destroys the atmosphere and our climate, though helpful in the short run, cost far more in the long run than other cleaner alternatives.  In truth we misjudged the sophistication of our electorate and their ability to counter our claims with scientific fact, which turned the population against us.  The answer I can tell you to America’s future energy is in pursuing the clean energy options and by increasing their efficiency, we lower the cost per kilowatt. Any other way just does not work.

When I was governor I tried getting rid of our Port which is run by the state, by selling it to a private company Kinder Morgan. i thought we had negotiated a very good deal guaranteeing wages at current level for 3 years, and keeping everyone employed the same length of time.  However, anytime one privatizes something that is state owned, it is an economic loss to the surrounding area.  Private companies hire less than state because they run more efficiently. However, that also means less income and less tax pours into the city.  With hindsight, I have learned that privatization is good if the public receives a benefit from better efficiency.  But that it is bad, if the service being privatized is something that belongs to all, or requires constant upkeep and maintenance, in which case state ownership is better than private.  When our state legislature passed legislation making them the final arbiter of decision, my client pulled out of the deal and the port is doing fine still under state control.  I’m here to tell you that privatization of public works only benefits those who buy the operation at a low cost…. There is a reason they were originally state run and that is they are there to serve you first.

When I was governor i tried to weaken our environmental policy in order to bring in jobs.  Some companies were used to not having to comply to environmental regulations and they were the only ones who seemed interested in our properties. So we catered to them.   We were able to hide most environmental problems and get approval by most local governments.  But with hindsight, I would argue now for the other extreme. Protect the environment at all costs.  We can always pass on jobs. They are temporal; they rise and fall. But damage to the environment is almost generational, lasting as long as humans are alive. There are always new jobs being created; every day something new is created. But environmental damage is very harmful and lasts a long, long time, It continues doing its damage long after whatever company that caused it has folded and those jobs are now three states away….   I have learned by being governor that the most important thing we have is our environment and that never should we let temporary jobs blind us to the loss of many future jobs because of our polluted lifestyle..

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As a Presidential candidate these arguments would be hard to bust with theoreticals.  Nothing works as well as saying I tried that, it doesn’t work.  it would also focus the argument on policy instead of personal traits, something our media is scared to do.

The combination of a sharp younger looking candidate saying the right things people are dying to hear, would do well for our current governor if he ran as a liberal in 2016… And if he rigged the Delaware primary to be on January 2nd, ahead of all others, he would be the leader for a while with three delegates.

I know many are skeptical. But seeing Markell in action readily shows he can be presidential material. but only if he runs now, and only if he uses his mistakes to burst the bubbles always painted for Democrats by their Republican opponents.  He plays a room well.  He only gets in trouble by those outside the room who don’t appreciate what he is doing.  If he just return to his own roots, and ditch the pro-business persona he has taken on, he could go far, possibly being offered the Vice Presidency on a winning ticket if he just would be more liberal.

The very reasons his detractors are calling for his head, would make him a great leader if he was only on the right side of the issues for a change…..

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