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Outside the Perimeter
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Obviously the conventions would dominate those weeks in which they take place within our local blogosphere….

Since the Democrats began their convention, the number of posts relating to just national politics were as follows.

Delaware Liberal 77
Delaware Libertarian 6
Delaware Politics.Net 26
Delaware Watch 5
Delaware Way 5
Down With Absolutes 13
The Colossus of Rhodey 20

The number of posts relating to our state races were as follows:

Delaware Liberal 12
Delaware Libertarian 5
Delaware Politics.Net 5
Delaware Watch 2
Delaware Way 7
Down With Absolutes 13
The Colossus of Rhodey 6

Of course there were some judgment calls. Most particularly with our Senator running as Vice President, that always forced a judgment on whether the post should be considered local or national.

I say it should be no wonder that most local posts remained focused on the national fracus… For these are historic times… The first person with Afro-American blood is right now, running for the White House. The first conservative female (ever) is vying to survive the achievement of the Vice Presidency…. The first Delawarean in anyone’s lifetime, is right now on the national ticket…There was even a storm that looked like Katrina all over again…and the Republican convention downsized accordingly…. Out West, the police busted up a group of drinking conservatives who allegedly threatened to assassinate Obama… The other convention’s police, not to be outdone, were able to arrest Amy Goodman….

So I don’t want to fault those who ignored local politics in order to focus on the national agenda…

I just want to debate whether that is the most effective use of our time, irregardless of whatever party we are discussing…. The underlying question begs to be asked…. Does anything we say or picture upon our blogosphere …make even the slightest difference in the National Race?

Meanwhile we have local people desperately trying to find out about their candidates, as well as candidates trying to get their message past the WNJ’s blockade……and can’t; because we are not talking about it…And it certainly wasn’t a very quiet week in local politics.

The last week before the Primary begins today. On the Republican side, we have the hard liners fighting new blood… After 8 years of Bush, Republicans must consider whether they should stay the course, or molt into a new party still sporting the same name? Protack versus Copeland-Lee is about to determine that….Should Protack upset the regular party faithful, as his state’s highest ranked candidate, he will have considerable input on the direction his party must take, at least until a new figure emerges…. Conventional wisdom considering his win, says there is no way…. But across this nation, Republicans have lost three seats in special elections, all in reportedly safe districts…. If enough of Delaware’s Republicans want to force their party to run on issues, instead of running on slander, then Protack could just get enough bounce to go over the top…..

Stranger things have happened.

On the Democratic side, the governors race is heating up. But you would never know it if you only read the blogs for information (Unless you read Down With Absolutes)… Since a majority of bloggers consider themselves not only Democrats, but progressives, this is a tragic silence. Fortunately the News Journal stepped in, and took over the bloggers role this time, and published a great comparison of both candidates. Hats of to their editing department for their picturesque face off: that put bloggers to shame.

One would think there would be some buzz over the Democratic race to pick Mike Castle’s successor. Granted, the candidate we wanted to run is either going to win or lose the governor’s race next Tuesday, but irregardless, in a Democratic year, nothing substantial has been said about any of these candidates…

Fortunately WPVI Channel 6 stepped in and carried the bloggers role by televising their debate last Sunday morning…. But none would know by just reading the blogs…. It was actually a good chance to see who was honest and direct, who was prompted with canned answers, and who was trying to toe the center by not giving specifics and speaking in platitudes…..

And our insurance commissioners are infighting among the Democrats to see who takes on John Brady…. To be honest, the only one I know anything about is Gene Reed, and that is because of Mike Matthews. There have been three debates yet no one has mentioned them in blogworld…..

But the big, really big race. ie the one affecting us (up North) the most, is the Gordon-Coons battle. Tuesday decides it; there is no Republican challenger…. Fortunately this race has gotten some mention. Before the conventions started, cassandra m wrapped up a synopsis of their debate, that was not flattering to Gordon… But where we get our hard nuggets of info, are out of comments, as one side’s supporters bash those representing the other side…. But the real question of who will better reign in our developers ravaging our countryside, has yet to be answered…..

Equally strategic, is whether Bill Dunn can upset Paul Clark…. Clark is better funded, but previously committed official endorsements for Clark are now dropping like flies, since Bill Dunn has now entered the race….At stake is the question of whether developers should have unlimited access to our county government? Or should they have only the same rights as everyone else? Dunn is for reform… Clark is “the way we were”……

Up North, the big General Assembly race is in the fourth… the seat previously held by Copeland…. Three Republicans, and two Democrats, are battling among themselves for the right to go to Dover… All are well funded for a Primary and the fourth is covered with election signs… However very little has been said about this race within the blogosphere. What will be done when they are elected, will be anyone’s guess….

Democrats in the 6th Senate have a battle on their hands between John McKenzie and Mike Terranova. That race has not registered in our little blogosphere…. Nor has the Republican race for the 10th….between Andrea Daley and James Weldin…. Andrea is a frequent writer on Nancy’s Blog, Delaware Way…… But has any blog covered the pros and cons of either candidate? No.

County Council 8 and 12 are up for grabs on the Democrat’s side. In the 8th, John Cartier and Carl S. Colantuono go head to head for the grand prize… Carl Colantuono was previously highly recommended during a different race two years ago… In the 12th, the new guy Thomas Scherer is giving William Bell a run for his money…. Bell has all the trappings at his disposal that come with being an incumbent, but it appears that Tom is making up the discrepancy on the ground……

In town since Republicans do not exist in the city proper, the mayor, city council president, and the members of Districts 1,2,3,4,8 are all to be settled next Tuesday… But if one were reading the blogs for news, no one would ever know…. Before he left, Tommywonk featured Campbell Hay, who has the dubious distinction of being the only city candidate featured in blogland….

Kent County has a primary in the 3rd district of Levy court, just among the Democrats… and that winner goes against blogger David Anderson, I presume? Further south, Sussex County has a three way Republican race in the 2nd District, and a two way Republican race in the 3rd. In the last race, one of our states more insightful bloggers has put his hat into the ring… To find out his stance on everything, just Google Jud’s Rants Delaware... It should lead you right there……

So all that aside, during this week of conventions, what did we learn locally?

1) We learned we are more exited about the national circus than we normally let on…. It can suck up all our energy…..

2) We learned that we did not live up to our reader’s expectations; who will walk in to the booth on primary day, still in the dark, as if we didn’t exist at all.

3) We learned that candidates need to use us by sending their info to be published, and in order to distinguish ourselves from the News Journal, we need to print it…..

4) We learned we need to apply endorsements based on our values, and adequately explain to readers why our support is forthcoming…..

5) We all have favorites. But if you read the local blogs during this past week of convention coverage….. you would never know it…..

With one week to go in the primaries, we can make some inroads. However the lesson that we take for this week, is that as thoughtful bloggers, we CAN make real impacts on local races decided by the slimmest of margins. Talking mostly about national campaigns, only helps keep things running in our state, the same way as they always have been.

And none of us would agree that running in the same way…is good…..

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Hard as it may be, as crunch time comes up, it becomes difficult to focus on Georgia, Iran, and our long term relations with China.  Even though New Castle County primary elections have little to offer rivaling the scale of dodging nuclear missiles, we as single individuals on the other hand,  have far more effect on local politics, than could we ever impact our national policy.

Endorsements, may work for some people…….But realistically, they are a waste of time….So I’m planning on going through the election season without any endorsement.  Cop out?  Could be, but does anyone really care?  But equally viable, it could also be a stroke of genius…. again, does anyone really care?

But if one steps back and thinks large scale, what may be important and more persuasive than any endorsement, would be to publish those elements that stacked up to tip my vote one way or another….

So we start with the Clark-Dunn race for New County Council President. Basically the choice is simple.  If you are a developer wanting to take over personal property to make a profit, then Mr. Pam Scott is your man… (inside joke)…  If you think our county belongs collectively to its citizens, and should cater to their needs as opposed to developers, Dunn is the one to vote for…

Clark has up to this point done a fairly good job on excusing himself whenever his wife’s property interests are before the Council….  that is fine.  The tipping point, however, was the email going out several months ago.  That was a mistake we were told….  But the silent question, the question never asked was this.  Why does one of this state’s top retail lawyers have bedroom access to the President of New Castle’s County Council’s computer?

One does not have to be a polar bear expert (another inside joke) to figure that out. Bottom line is this:

Why should a conglomeration of Realtors have inside information, and citizens have to wait in the dark until it is vetted in order to find out about it?  Obviously if we approve of this arrangement by voting for and supporting Mr. Pam Scott for County Council President….this trend will continue.

On to Gordon and Coons.

Obviously the black shirts of county government are rebelling and looking for a Bonnie Prince Charlie to return them to their former glory.  It’s not going to happen… and Bonnie Prince Charlie will have to dress up like a women again and slip off to France…

Gordon did some great things and I don’t want to overlook that fact.  When he authorized the temporary moratorium against development, I stood up and cheered.  He ran our County Government, granted during AWESOME financial times,  in good fashion.  But, the financial weather took a turn for the worse the very same year Coons was elected….

The cutting of all beneficial Federal Programs by both Houses of a Republican Congress, dried up a lot of money which Gordan had previously put to good use.  On top of that, the bursting of the financial bubble caused by John McCain’s chief economic officer, Phil Gramm, has recently sapped that income normally flowing in from the transfer of property……  Both these sea changes must be considered when making any comparison…..

But what does not need any extenuating circumstances to compare, is the morality between the two candidates. The Freeberry-Gordon connection is just creepy.  Her romantic involvement with him during his term of office, casts a pale shadow over an otherwise good administration.  Many within the country administration are dreading the return of the “enforcer’ and her realm of terror she brought to those whose incomes depended upon her capriciousness.

In the absence of either candidate flatly coming out for a moratorium on all New Castle County development for five years, which throws everything discussed up to here out the window; the subsequent, lower level, real but oft unmentioned activities mentioned above, will need  to be considered.

If someone offers you a free berry,….. do you take it?

The following elections I won’t comment on at this time….

County Council District 8
John Cartier
Carl Colantuono

County Council District 12
William Bell
Thomas Scherer

Mayor
James M. Baker
Robert I. Bovell, Jr.

President of City Council
Theopalis K. Gregory, Sr.
Norman D. Griffiths

City Council District 1
Nnamdi Chukwuocha
Charles Potter, Jr.

City Council District 2
Ernest M. Congo II
Michele A. Griffiths
Devon L. Hynson
Lawrence C. Smith

City Council District 3
Stephanie T. Bolden
Richard L. Dyton

City Council District 4
Mack D. Cochran
Hanifa Shabazz

City Council District 8
Campbell Hay
Stephen L. Martelli
Joseph D. Zilcosky

City Council District at Large
Darius J. Brown
Dwight L. Davis
Charles M. Freel
Samuel L. Guy
Gary E. Hutt
Loretta Walsh
Vincent M. White
Justen Wright

I could,.. but doing so, at this point would truly be done out of too little information.  Anyone can begin their own research at this site here…..

(If I become persuaded to comment on some of these very interesting races, I will post later.)

Insurance Commissioner: Gene Reed had it in his hand but that was blown by Matthew’s campaign sleuthing. In his favor, if Reed was truly crooked, he would have waited to accept those questionably donations, so that the 30 day financial statement would be our first glimpse of his records. Obviously he is a neophyte to how things are done, and possibly, (stress “possibly”) just had a great idea of how to earn money and exercised it. He wouldn’t be the first politician in this state to do so….. June calls him a “Matt Denn in progress”. But anyone who touches tainted money has the dye on his hands for a long time. Most progressives among each other whisper when party leaders are not present, that Brady, a Republican (shudder), will continue Matt Denn’s approach better than any Democrat…..

Governor: Despite his flaws it is obvious that Protack is the better choice. He wanted the nomination and has worked diligently towards achieving it. If some can be believed, perhaps too diligently…. That enthusiasm has to be balanced with the lackluster attitude of his opponent. First he is not in, then he is in, then not, then in Florida, then after a draft is compiled from a few Protack haters, we get a rousing “well, I guess so… if no one else will do it…. ok….” Imagine if he were elected governor? “Wow… Look at me… I’m a governor…. Time for vacation.” If one does not have a workable agenda, how enthusiastic will be be? We have just gotten through 8 years of a chief executive hailing from Sussex County who had no plan? Why would we want another four? Protack had a plan as far back as 2007. It actually has many good points.

On the other side we have a repeat of a Danello-Shipley match… Bad blood will be spilled, giving Republicans a huge shot in the arm starting on September 10th….. Democrats have no choice but to start slugging in the next few days…. Vision is what is at stake…. Old tricks are stale…..

Jack was first on wind. Carney along with (almost) every other party Democrat lined up behind NRG’s clean coal….. That is fine at first suggestion, but as certain bloggers started turning out real facts to counter fossil fuel’s “fake” facts, Carney wisely switched. Carney seized the high ground by out-flanking Markell and winning Babcock and Brown’s promise to make Delaware a hub for a new industry. He followed that announcement with another: Del Tech would become a center for Off Shore Wind technology….. courtesy again of Babcock and Brown…. Markell was sidelined. With the final passage of a very weakened version, constructed by Tony DeLuca, Carney looked as if he had hit a home run……

Then it hit. Eminent Domain…. He backed the version that allowed developers to seize property to make a profit….. The obvious thought flashed across all Delawarean’s consciousness….. Ok, despite his words, he is really in bed with the developers. Hmmm.

So left with a choice of a Democrat in favor of wind, who is totally independent from developers, and the opposite: a Democrat who is in favor of wind, and incapable of overriding the developer’s wishes, the answer simply presents itself for those willing to see with unfettered eyes.

Delaware collectively (Burris the exception) is tired of Castle… Compromised by his party affiliation, he has lost effectiveness. Oh, he can still show up and cut ribbons, but Delaware deserves more. Oh, he can get tariff exemptions of certain chemicals, but Delaware deserves more. Mike Castle has run his course and the tired, old campaign signs of his, show the same side he first ran in 1992.

Any of you still drive a car from 1992? Any of you still have a computer from 1992? If so,,… how well does it work? There is nothing wrong with longevity, as long as it is productive. But with a Democratic leadership running both Houses of Congress, just how much positive good will a Republican moderate, shunned by his own party’s leadership, be able to provide?

Therefore to remove him, care must be taken to position someone in that other party, who does not make Castle look better in comparison.
KHN did well two years ago. But two years are a long time in the losers chair….

Mike Miller did not do well in his previous two attempts running against Castle. Even though Castle is vulnerable, it is hard to imagine him doing any better this time around. Obviously his run was orchestrated (by someone) to water down any real candidate from gaining traction, by stealing votes from one of Delaware’s minority populations away from someone who actually had a real chance.

Jerry Northington has had a local website up for a good while. He was a regular contributor on the Daily Kos before he tossed his hat into the ring. One can see where Jerry stands and his stands are admirable. No candidate in Delaware has kept the pressure on Castle as well as has Northington. Northington, a veterinarian, summed up the health care crises with the most succicnt remark I have heard on that topic:

“We have for over 100 years known in veterinary medicine that preventive health care is the way to go. If we have known and can do that for animals, why in hell’s name can’t we do it for people?”

That is a good question, and one Mike Castle would never ask.

He who fights harder, wins better.

And I need someone to fight for me for a change.