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Most of you don’t attend these…  Like LG you have other obligations, and that’s ok.

Because here is what happened…. More or less.

Castle looked good.. O’Donnell came in late so he spoke by himself, then stood by himself after the process was done…  Shortly afterward he ducked out….

Gates was speaking, or trying to.  A decent looking guy, he should have been a Bollywood star, but public speaking was not his forte…  He is running against the Delaware Favorite: John Kowalko.  His campaign signs are lapis and lime green.  If you live in Newark you’ve seen them… Since I wasn’t planning to write anything, I didn’t take notes.. But he came across as a typical Republican with typical Republican answers, at a time when we know Republican answers don’t work…  When asked by a petitioner of his views on taxing pension benefits (I think), his answer was to leave it to the market place… (Huh?)  His time ran out and no one bothered a follow up, as we were all anxious for Kowalko to speak…

Kowalko, gosh darn I love him, but he needs someone to help him with his public speaking… I sympathize.  He and I share the same affliction of big ideas rushing out through a small hole, unfortunately making as much sense as jet engine….  Having bragged about him highly, my partner turned to me with a quizzical eye, and raising the left eyebrow, said “really”?  ” I was left to repeating the old adage, one uses anytime events don’t correlate with ones expectations… Bush uses the phrase a lot….  “Trust me,” I said. “He’s a saint…”  It’s obvious John cares about those who are victims… But I should volunteer my speech writing skills to him; even one of his constituents with whom John worked to remove a crack house in a neighborhood, required some clarification by John….

Of course John was most proud of his efforts to bring Bluewater Wind to Delaware… as well he should be…and that is where John, gosh darn I love him, is at his finest….and the reason why his constituents as well as those from the rest of the state, should be praying that John is returned to office.  Gates just does not have the capacity to decipher a thick folder thrown down by someone like Delmarva power, full of nothing really.  John on the other hand, can read throught their gobbly-gook, absorb that it is garbage, and tell them so… “sir, your facts make no sense!”  And what paid consultants who made stuff up thought would sail right past the legislature…… never got past the House Committee on Energy etc.  And so six years from now then all of our out of state friends read about our low electric bills, and turn green with envy, we can thank John.  We can thank him now, if living in the 25th, by voting for the better man…

Stephanie Ulbrich was ironically sitting across the aisle from him…  It must have been uncomfortable for her to be so close to the one who beat her down two years ago…  She is probably a much better person than she appeared to be tonight…with all that emotional baggage she was carrying around… But her snippety question (I forgot what it was about, but will forever remember the tone of her voice) sent a chill throughout the room… John was gracious and answered it…  The other note of interest was that upon returning to his seat, John gave Gates somewhat of an ackward hug…(maybe just a misplaced pat on the back)  Gate’s face turned radish.

Next up was Amick’s old seat… the tenth.  Weldin went first… a gracious man, schooled in emergency technicalities, he did not embarrass himself… In a rather likable presentation he slowly laid out his candidacy and why he was running… If I could put a theme on it, I would say he was running on Law and Order, based on his experience… But on other issues, he would follow the Republican line all the way… yawn…zzzz

The next speaker was like jumping from the complacent eye of a hurricane through the eyewall into peak winds.  Bethany Hall-Long suddenly brought the room to life..  Excitement in her voice, interesting modulations of her voice, zapped the room back to attention… In the short time she had to speak, she covered a lot of ground… so much that I can’t remember anything she said…  but if it was good, she said it… Now some may call me partisan because I whitewashed her speech, describing style and no substance.. But that friends, is just the way it stuck.. others who were there could fill in those details…  All I can remember is that there was a lot of substance there, but none of it sank in…..  I do remember being puzzled by one thing that took place during the Q & A session…  When answering a question on open government, she danced around quite a lot; too much…. Enough to make me who of course knows nothing about HB4, SB4, or any other open government bills, go hmmm…….  The dancing was like that of a marionette,… one where Thurman Adams was pulling the strings… It was as if she was afraid to step on his toes.  In what was a golden public opportunity to say that bills should not be locked in drawers  but voted on up or down…. she hedged….. Why I wonder?   Hmm…..

The announcer (timekeeper) mentioned a scheduled change as someone with a Brady sticker on his lapel edged along the side of the far wall.   That doesn’t look like  John Brady I thought… it wasn’t… Dave Jones, Republican spokesperson for Pencader High (charter school) showed up to speak in John’s behalf… His message was this… John is a lawyer, John is not rich, John does pro bono work for those who cannot get legal help and therefore are victimized, John will work the same vein as insurance commissioner..  John wants to make Delaware the insurance capital of the world, just as Wilmington became the credit card capital of the world…. As old manufacturing jobs leave, insurance jobs come in….

Sounded good, but without John’s charisma to sell it, I began to wonder where Delaware would  be as banking consolidation begins worldwide because of the current financial crises… And since the liberal credit laws were passed in Delaware, the amounts owed by citizens here and out of state, has soared…  So if we were to make Delaware an Insurance very-very friendly state…. what kind of protections would we have covering ourselves? Weak?  I will need more information.  On the other hand, if as with banking we could get a twenty year ride out of it before the floor caves in…..( and being smarter now, were we to elect in our future, Democratic internet inventors over Republican cowboy oil strikers, our floor may just stay intact…)  As I said, I wasn’t sold.

Biden spokeperson, Meg Stapleton??, next took the mike and read Joe’s message to us…  A reverent silence came over the room… I’ve had that feeling just once before.  It was after 9/11 when we were ready to do anything, anything for our country.. And back then it was Bush who was talking…  Some belittle what was said, but the emotion of that Bush televised conference, was suddenly resurrected in that room.  I am sure a copy of this letter will turn up, so I don’t want to massacre Biden’s words here, but instead discuss the emotion I felt as it resonated through me…  I would almost say it was similar to what a Revolutionary battle captain would read to his men on the field, as penned by the Commander George Washington..  I am not good with words, but I got the feeling that our country was fighting for its survival in this banking war; and as of yet, the outcome is not decided; it could still fail; and that our efforts were needed, and only through them, could we prevent that from happening…  It was a beautiful moment.  Biden has moved on from just being a Senator.. He has become a part of the history of this great country…  And I decided then, that this election is not about the little things… it is about who can better lead this country….

Christine O’Donnell grabbed the mike, and began touting that Biden wasn’t there… How COULD he care, if he was not there?  And if he is elected Vice President, Ruth Ann Minner will appoint the next Senator… herself?  Why not?  In her best Fox talking heads voice, with energy and excitement, she tried to pull the room back into the present.  Unfortunately a good reporter I am not… for while she was talking I turned to look at Mike Matthews who was sitting three rows behind me.  His face went from light rose, to red, to crimson, to scarlet, and held for a couple of minutes before it gradually returned to its natural color.   Delaware Talk Radio should have more about that tomorrow afternoon when he is on.  Please call and tease him…  it was my highlight of the meeting.  Oh my goodness, even I felt somewhat embarrassed for him…  When he stood up and asked her a question, and the rest of you turned around, his facial color was back to normal by then… but yep, it was scarlet.  lol

Being an expert of the bailout, I was surprised that she beat the bailout drum…. we shouldn’t be doing it… Apparently she as many others who do not understand the consequences of NOT doing it, insisted on calling bailing out banks worldwide, a slide towards socialism… “Sorry Honey, but we are already there… In case you didn’t know, the Fed’s today bought a majority of preferred shares of the top 9 banks…guaranteeing they will not fail… and at a 900 Dow Jones stock points rise in one day, investors worldwide cheered the advent of socialism…  In truth, if it weren’t for socialism, every bank would be broke today, every stock market would be stalled near the bottom ..  So during uncertain times, socialism is not a bad thing… it occasionally saves our ass.  Christine, bless her, is still not on top of her financial facts.  Constituent concerns… maybe; but facts… no.  To be honest, as rapidly as things moved forward this past week, it would be a reasonable assumption that very few people are economically up to speed….

But most of what she said was covered up by her make up… By that I mean I kept thinking about her makeup, and lost focus of what she said… Too much dark around the eyes honey.  Girl to girl, you look better with lighter shadow.  I looked at your on line images and nowhere, nowhere do you use the dark like you did this night…  Maybe it was the position of the overhead light, which accented the shadows of your eye sockets, hiding your eyes entirely,  maybe it was the black Gothic outfit you wore… maybe being late, you didn’t primp as much as you could have… but just between us, lose the dark?… But even despite that…girl… you can still light up a room…

But honestly, you are not yet the stature of Biden yet.  But I was able to figure out where you could be most effective…  After this election, start gearing up for a primary run against Castle…. Don’t worry about party hierarchy… pull a Markell.. If you run against Castle you will get every Democratic male pulling for you in the primary, maybe recapturing those who left your party to side with Markell,  and with that buzz pulling in your direction,  you will win among Republicans, and then ride that wave of good fortune over the next two months through the election…  That is your niche.

Matt Denn stepped up to the microphone… He mentioned four things he wished for in that room four years ago in 2004.. All four were accomplished… Insurance rates are not tied to credit scoring. Your housing insurance could not be dropped from a claim caused by a freak storm.  Retired doctors could work around malpractice clauses and assist at the Veterans Hospital in Elsmere…Foster children could get car insurance after all.  On education, Matt says we need to keep focused. Graduation rates are the statistic that is truly important.  Equally important, although not politically expedient, helping those with disabilities to achieve a better life, is just something that Matt Denn likes to do…  As Lieutenant Governor he will work with Markell to improve governments role in our daily lives.. Things are changing rapidly, making it hard to deal in specifics, but keeping Delaware’s options open, would be a primary focus in the Markell/Denn administration.  But, Matt… you need to wear a lighter suit.. With your red hair and light skin, a stiff dark suit takes away way too much from you… You are at your best in a pair of khaki’s and blue chambray shirt…  if you have to wear a suit, go with a double breasted navy, left open, undercut by a blue oxford and colonial buff tie… But despite that small distraction, you are a man who fights for little people.  Which in corporate coded Delaware, makes you a hero…

I should mention that Stephanie Ulbrich stood up during Matt’s Q & A to comment that all schools were public, both charter and public schools, since they all relied on the state stipend per student… The difference was in who paid the capital costs…  private or taxpayers…  The rest of us exchanged knowing glances, like “yeah…ok… so just why are you bringing that up?”  She might as well have stood up and stated that “the moon is 240,000 miles from earth..”  The fact checks out, but the relevancy does not….  umm… ok… Afraid people had forgotten who you were, Steph?

Next was Charlie Copeland, and wow, did the negative energy level go up… Not by Copeland himself, but from the room in front of him.  He gave a generic speech worthy mostly for its unworthiness.. His approach was biographical.  Duke, physics, computers, family business, AGS, from 10 to 80 people, won a software award in Germany…. can grow jobs, only person running who’s run a business and made a payroll.  When done he took a question on his view of charter schools… He spoke of cutting spending.  I couldn’t help but think of Red Clay’s students, using the facilities and afterward just rinsing their hands under plain water then going back to class, putting their hands all over their desk…bell rings, class changes, and a new person sits down.. How much more can we cut?  He spoke of need for new jobs, new sources of energy, and not once, not one single time, did he mention Bluewater Wind building an offshore wind farm off Rehoboth, bringing 500 start-up jobs, with 100 remaining over the twenty five year period.. I wonder why… Then John Kowalko, slowly stands up to ask a question…and I think “oh, boy.. here it comes… History will be made…” but John asked about Copeland’s vote on an insurance bill instead… Lastly someone asked how he stood on minimum wage bills… ” I’m one for three” Copeland responded back.. “when the economy is good, I voted for one, when it is bad, I didn’t vote for two.. Most likely you are referring to my “no” vote on the tipped wage minimum upgrade.”

And that’s the difference, ladies and gentlemen, between these two candidates.. “When times were bad”  Matt Denn sided with the people… Charlie Copeland sided with big businesses.  That… Is… The…  Difference.  In a nutshell…  It is only when times are good according to Charlie that we should say, ” Oh darn it, let the people have something… throw them a bone…”

Wow.  Just curious as to how you feel;  since we have bad times coming… who do you want to be in charge”…( ok, ok, yeah I know it’s an office that does nothing).  But that doesn’t mean you still can’t vote your conscious now, does it?

Markell couldn’t make it, another engagement previously arranged. But Bill Lee could….. almost… He staggered up to the podium, after putting a hand on Matt Denn’s sturdy shoulder to keep from falling in his lap.  ( no, no, it wasn’t THAT… he tripped on the carpet! ) lol  Lee is no Jack Markell.  I got the impression Lee was like a prom date that said yes,  knowing the outcome wasn’t going to be pretty.  He’s a nice guy, but is not up to running a state.. We’ve had eight years of that.. (nice guy not up to running a state).  He got some flack from one member of the audience for when he said “he didn’t care if he was running for governor” implying win or lose, it didn’t matter to him…”How can anyone take your run for office seriously, after hearing a statement like that?”  Bill laughed it off..  :”it’s good for Delaware if I don’t care”  he said… huh?  (what he was trying to say was that someone who cared deeply would try dirty tricks to make sure they one, but not he, since he didn’t care, dirty tricks were not in his agenda… just bringing up Markell’s Nextel Lawsuit…)  Bottom line, Republicans should have left both the governors and Lieutenant Governors spots blank this year, considering the damage those two candidate may do to their party…  But watching it made me realize that in politics everyone is a nice guy… our job is to elect the smarter nice guy, or the nice guys who are selfless, instead of selfish….

Tom Savage for Insurance Commissioner.  He is a one issue candidate running on a bill drawn up 11 years ago hat has not yet been passed… or perhaps even voted upon…  Tom lost the Democratic primary and is running as an independent.. After listening to him, there is a reason he runs as an Independent.  No one else can stand to be around him…  He started out with a populist approach against Thurmond Adams that was refreshing, but quickly turned into a rambling attack on all those against him… Sometimes loud, too loud, and sometimes extremely too loud, as one who has not been prevalent in the public eye, it was obvious that he had some misconceptions on how to win friends and influence people…  I guess if I were nice, I would say he just self destructed…. accusing Karen Weldin Stewart of taking money from insurers… Like an old character in a black and white movie, he refused to yield the podium when his time was up… perhaps figuring it was his only moment to publicize his cause and he was not giving an inch of it away..  Unfortunately by this time i was watching the spectacle and to be honest, I have forgotten what he was talking about….  I hope he writes in and chews my ear off so i can at least get it in writing and remember what he said…  My take away was that perhaps his cause was good, but unfortunately it was carried by the wrong messenger..  As he sat down next to his poor wife, (in a lovely green dress by the way, it really pulled out her eyes, she started the critique.)

Karen Weldin Stewart spoke about herself..  She has a hard time pronouncing her S’s… almost using the Georgian form of pronouncing it with as a “ts”.  I began to wonder if she hailed from the Caucuses themselves.  She spoke of her business expertise, but to be honest it was in vague terms, not in plain talk.  She was an interim CEO, but not a CEO..  She apparently during her reign grew whatever she was doing…  But since she was last, I didn’t pay attention as much as I would have liked… I remember thinking to myself… oh dear,… this insurance thing is going to take a lot of work, isn’t it…. But I do remember what she wore… An unnaturally bright teal blazer over a white blouse, with matching black skirt and hair…  I didn’t think of it at the time, but she was wearing Estonia’s national colors…   Maybe she was from Estonia… Unfortunately I don’t know too much about their language…. (alas, perhaps I’ll learn if they get invaded).

After taking one question from the audience, Tom Savage put up his hand… The time keeper said “he’s a candidate, he’s had his time, you don’t have to take his question if you don’t want to..”   But to Karen Weldin Stewart’s credit… she took it..  (To myself I said, “damn girl. You take it on”.  Tom savagely said, (like that?) “you took insurance money! You’re a liar!”; i think was a direct quote.  Karen responded, ” Actually it’s illegal to take insurance money when you are the insurance commissioner.  I have not taken any money from them..”  “Times up,” stated the moderator…”thank the candidates for coming, thank those of you for coming, time to go…By the way, the other candidate for Congress, Karen Hartley-Nagle has just arrived and will not speak, but will take your questions in the lobby”.

As everyone was getting up KHN trapsed in wearing the same dress she used on the televised primary debate, which she got pinged for, and I guess she had something wrong with her shoes, for her gait was rather odd.. Maybe someone will enlighten me (and everyone else) if there is something i should know, but it reminded me of walking on Acme spring shoes.. like that of the coyote on old Roadrunner cartoons…

But the event was not yet over…. as Tom passed by Karen Weldin Stewart on his way out,  “you lied, you took money from the insurance firms. It’s in your report”… pointing to a blue binder he was carrying.  Karen, gosh darn it, held her composure, saying she had not..  Keep in mind this guy is yelling at her. (What was he thinking?… Oh that’s right… he was an independant… they don’t have people skills…That’s why they are always independant.)  ” I’m going to report you; you can’t get away with this..”  To which Karen said “call the Election Board and file a complaint…  Let them look at it.”   Mr. Savage’s wife had enough.  Sliding her arm under Tom’s, she pressed his arm hard against her and pulled him off balance out the double doors…  She left him in the Embassy lobby briefly to return to Karen, and with those beautiful green eyes, I think a couple of tears were starting to well, she told Karen, “I told him..I told him… I’m so sorry….”  The guy can’t be all bad if he has a good women like that sticking to him…..

Those of us with children have all seen those nanny shows where an American family has imploded, and a nanny comes over from Britain and first teaches the father how to behave, then teaches the mother how to behave, and finally teaches the children how to behave…. She doesn’t shoot anyone, nor is physical violence utilized….

Now the point that is clearly seen from the juxtaposing of the before and after scenes, is that had she had not entered the picture, things would have deteriorated rather rapidly and by teenage years, serious issues would occur… There is no way, without the force of her personality, that any changes would ever have been accomplished….

Today our nation is experiencing a crises of its own… And we are voting whether or not to send Mike Castle back as our representative in Washington… Polls taken before the crises show Castle with a lead.. The crises should change that.

Karen Hartly-Nagle has issued several statements on the Bailout. What is clear from her pieces, is that our former Congressman Mike Castle, is ill equipped to move forward in this new environment… His laissez faire attitude is the wrong approach when we need bold decisive action… He is like those parents, letting his children do what they want while doting upon them, without even realizing he is being manipulated…. They know all they have to do to get what they want, is bat their eyes while handing a check made out to Mike Castle’s Campaign committee.

“Washington experience” is the wrong trait to send at this time… Doing what we have always done is the wrong action, when what we’ve always done, has caused our world to crash down around us…

We can’t afford to send a fool to Washington…. If one reads Karen’s statements and compares them to those of Mike Castle’s, it is obvious that the tide has turned… what once was considered foolish, regulating security’s markets, is now common sense… The fool’s hat is now being worn by the Republican….

It is time to forget the past and look forward into the future… Karen Harley-Nagle is no dummy… I can’t say the same of Mike Castle.

As a loyal traditionalist, I almost hate to say it…. but based on the reality of last week, I think it is time our state change its Congressional Representative. And the clincher…. is our 401K plans. If they are ever going to grow again, they will need to do so under new management….

Karen Hartley-Nagle is not bought out by Wall Street brokers.. When they come to her for golden parachutes, she is not beholden to them, as is our current representative. It is time this state’s heavy hitters recognize this fact and endorse Karen Hartley-Nagle for Congress. I do.

Our nation needs dynamic leadership; not the bumbling of mediocre quid pro quo’s…..

A diamond in the rough is still a diamond. A piece of graphite, however polished, crumbles at first pressure. Since we are called upon to be forever known as “The Diamond State”, I call upon those who can change others minds, to do so,… and work to change our voice in Congress. From what I see, our state can ill afford to do otherwise…..

Showing a little fire and brimstone there, are we?

After one month and four days the campaign of Karen Harlley-Nagle is starting to stir…

Yesterday she received the unanimous 100% vote of the Delaware Chapter of the AFL-CIO.   Yes were also behind Mike Miller after he won his two previous primaries as well….  It is a step in the right direction with the honorable Sam Latham leading the charge… With a vulnerable Castle this season ( meaning that Republicans = Bush in most non-politico’s minds)  Sam has a good chance at getting someone in Delaware’s lone Congressional seat who is favorable to the interests of the common worker.

Secondly she also came out swinging against Castle for his snarky new-found beau known as “regulating the financial banking sector..”  He is after all a senior member of the House Financial Services sub-committee.   So who would have been in charge of all such legislation preventing this meltdown from ever happening?

Surely it would not be Delaware’s lone Congressman who accepted contributions from Goldman Sachs, Lehman Brothers, Morgan Stanley, Countrywide Financial, Bear Stearns and Merrill Lynch. the very firms Delaware’s Mike Castle was personally in charge of regulating?

He regulated them pretty well, didn’t he?

Surely it would not be Delaware’s lone Congressman who has already received as of September 2 of this year $436, 403 in contributions from many of the same contributors?

He will be overly tough on them next term, I’m sure, won’t he?

Karen slams him better than Jason330 ever could….

“Mike Castle has taken in a lot of money and, in return, he has failed in his oversight responsibilities. Despite his position on the Financial Services Committee, Mike Castle has failed to take action to protect the residents of Delaware or the country from this crisis brought on in large part due to the growing abandonment of regulation of the financial sector.”

This election cycle Delawareans need to ask… is Hartley-Nagle any different?

The answer is:

My candidacy asks Delawareans to rethink leadership. Can there be integrity in our politics when our futures are mortgaged to the financial services industry? As we slip into a depression, where is the hope?

It is time for Delaware’s voters to consider who Mike Castle represents and send the message that he no longer belongs in Congress,”

Facts are facts… Sometimes the truth hurts… You look it straight in the face, and there it is, staring back at you….

Delaware's Old Guard Way'in In
Courtesy of State of Delaware

Mike Castle is up for re-election again… Wasn’t he running just this past year? No? It was two years ago?… My how time flies… Who was he running against last year time?  Sorry it’s on top of my head, but I can’t remember… Who is running against him this time?  Sorry it’s on top of my head, but I can’t remember…

Karen Hartley-Nagle has her work cut out for her… Since her win in the Democratic primary a week ago tomorrow, there has been no newsworthy mention of her, nor change to her website… except for the national debt counter which rises $25,000 every second…..One wonders what she is waiting for… the Election is just 50 days away…  She has squandered 7 of the past in silence.

She did get good marks for her comments after her win….But, she will need more than comments to take down Mike Castle… She will be going against the News Journal, against WGMD, against 1/2 of the talk team on WDEL, against the Newark Post, against the Delaware State News, against the downstate chatterbox on Newszap…..  Her views are too liberal for 1/2 of the state… too conservative for the other half…

She has received endorsements. Two of those Senators endorsing her, voted to sustain Minner’s veto over SB 245, the eminent domain law, which would have given property owners some protection against having their land seized for development at bottom dollar.

But fortunately for her the election will not be a referendum on her abilities.  It will be on whether or not voters think that Mike Castle can still speak for them in Congress…

Mike Castle voted with George Bush 93% of the time on the Iraq War….  Will Delawareans on November 4th think that was the right direction to move our nation?

Most voters think that Mike Castle has experience… and feel reluctant to send someone else in to fill his shoes…. Whoever goes, will need platform shoes to stand with his stature…  But sometimes when probed, myths are not the gospel they are often taken as by unsuspecting listeners…

No, Mike Castle is vulnerable, but only if Karen can use her position to exploit and define exactly why a voter would be better off throwing him out, than keeping him in…

Here is how Karen needs to frame it….

“There may be those out there who believe a session in Congress requires an expert to navigate around…  Obviously those out there… do not watch C Span..  It’s available to anyone with cable, and anyone watching Congress in session, can readily deduce that most of those speaking have not clue about what they are saying….

Speaking for myself… I have a clue…  I know what I want to accomplish,… I know to whom to speak in order to get it done….  What do I not know?….. Well, I am less of an expert than my opponent, in how to get foreign chemicals sneaked into this country  without receiving the proper tariffs…  I’m less of an expert in how to use the tax code to send jobs overseas…  I’m less of an expert in how to waste government spending to the tune of erasing a projected surplus of 5 Trillion Dollars, and complicity replacing that bonanza with a 9 Trillion Dollar deficit?  And to spend 14 Trillion Dollars more yet get far less services than we got before Gore Got More…

But in what matters most to you… I think I’m a better expert than Mike Castle… Sorry, I don’t have a Net Worth ranging from $2,161,139 to $6,324,000, which out of 435 members, which ranks 64th among all members of the House.

But what I do have experience in is raising a family through periods of domestic violence.  We need more government oversight and help there.  Unlike my opponent, I do have experience in trying to replace my insurance before it is dropped, and waiting 45 minutes for someone at my insurance company to answer the phone…only to get transferred and cut off.  Matt Denn is right.  We need more government oversight and help there…  Unlike my opponent, I do have experience in owing bills more than I can pay, and robbing Peter to pay Paul, hoping the American Dream does not fail before I can climb out of a hole …. Unlike my opponent, I do know children in public schools, and do know first hand how pathetic the educational process has become… as schools do away with text books, with heat in the classrooms, with the extracurricular activities which we adults grew up with and always took for granted…

I ask Delaware voters, are you better off then you were two years ago?  Four years ago?  Eight years ago?  If not, you don’t decide now, but think on this until election day…. If not, why would you vote to take us in the same direction we have been going in during the last eight years?…  Why?

Would you do it because he is a nice guy?  He is, and I want to make that clear… But does being a nice guy leading us in the wrong direction, make your lives and your children’s lives any better?

Here is what has to happen… We have to stop bleeding money on the Federal Level… Much of that is going into Iraqi contractors hands… But we just can’t go on borrowing $25,000 dollars every second from the Chinese?  We have to get more money into the treasury, and stop spending it faster than we are bringing it in…

Secondly, we have to stop bleeding money to oil rich countries to feed our own addiction to oil…. We have the technology to run our cars with water as fuel… and when not driving, we can plug them into our houses and feed their energy back into the grid, reducing our own home electrical costs as well..  That technology was available years ago.. but no one wanted to take on the power of Big Oil.  We also have the technology to reduce your electric bills to levels 5 years back, down to where they were before Delmarva jacked them 60% back in May 2006….by using wind power (what else?).  We need to build offshore.. and build enough Megawatts fast enough, where we can finally close down those cancer causing establishments, and replace them with alternative sources…

Third, we need to stop bleeding money from out of each of our pockets, into our necessities… our mortgage, our food chain, our insurance, our pharmaceuticals, our medical services….  My opponent has backed deregulation… But “regulation” is what once kept watch over us… We save a little in taxes, but wow, what a cost that little savings has bestowed upon us…

When my opponent cut taxes, he was forced to cut services… Those services that were absolutely necessary,  got made up by another government agent…  Since the Federal Government is not paying for public works, for instance, the state has too…   Or by use of tolls, the consumers have to…  My opponent by stressing the Republican platform of deregulation, is responsible for the mess your lives are in…  if we had had government agencies doing their job properly, watching over financial transactions in a timely fashion, we might not have had today’s drop in stock prices…. whomp… Mike Castle’s complacency is too blame…

I will close by reminding voters that experience is a double edged sword… Where it counts, living the life as a regular citizen, I have tons more experience than does my opponent……..”  The real question is whether you still want the same out=of=touch policies shaping your future, as you got during the past 8 years.…. If, that is what you truly want, then my opponent will be certainly happy to take your vote….?

Delaware's Best Chance for A Clear Voice

Across the state voters are wondering who is Karen Hartley-Nagle?

If they are Republican they are pursuing the angle of how Mike Castle stacks up to her across the board…

If they are Democratic, they are wondering who did I just vote for?

Here is her website: Here is criticism from the other side….

No matter who you are or which party you represent, the “elephant” in the room is this: Has Mike Castle outlived his usefulness?

Now I am loathe to throw an old man out on the street… I mean this is America… We take care of our veterans, and our corporate executives who have lost their jobs… We are not one to turn a blind eye to those in need…

However, for one example, one has to understand why we impose strict testing on our state’s driver’s licenses, as one grows older… It is not out of disrespect, although those old may resent being told what needs done by a “young-un”. Such requirements are necessary to insure the lives of others on the road… Sometimes our rights do need curtailed when we can no longer control our own actions…

As with a driver’s license, age should not be the determining factor… It should be ability… A sharp ninety-two year old who still functions better than a sixty-five year old, should certainly not have their rights taken a way….

So from here on out, whenever the local political conversation turns to Mike Castle’s age, be it understood, by all readers everywhere, that we are discussing his ability… Age is just a typing shortcut to describe whether he has the ability to best lead Delaware during the next term… Two years….

Now age is a relative factor… I saw someone sixty two finish a marathon in relatively good time….. That person is better qualified to run than I am… The proof is there…

So as the campaign heats up it would be foolish for all to ignore the elephant in the room, which is why I am posting this so “it is now out of the bag.” You know, the usual talk about how he was a good governor, how he came to speak to your club, about how nice and polite he was in treating everyone around the room, about the letters someone in his office personally sent, and he of course signed….. Those are distractions… This is not a vote for a “Lifetime Achievement” Award… it is a vote for who will best represent us. That in plain talk, means who will best translate our voices into legislation that get’s done….

Karen Hartley-Nagle has to fill big shoes… She has a powerful voice to do just that…. but there is no doubt, that her diminutive little feet would not fit into Mike Castle’s glass slipper…. She needs to shatter that glass slipper and create a new one… one her size…

Delawareans need to open their eyes and watch the details of this race very closely… They need to make the determination of whether an “old fogey” or an upstart “whippersnapper”, can better represent those citizens who are forgotten as one voice out of 435 others in the House of Representative… 1/435.

It is a vote for a voice that we need to remember… During the lackadaisical past 8 years, just as our state government did much about nothing, so has our lone Congressmen…

Delawareans only have 54 days to make up their mind….

As with Carney, sometimes when you know what you are going to get, you have to take a chance on getting something better… It’s a chance, but you have to take it….

You have to.

Delaware’s primary is over.  The candidates have been decided.  We may not agree with the public’s choice, but there it is….  They, the public, after all are the ones who must suffer if they got it wrong….

There are three races that need our attention to make a difference.. The first is the House of Representatives.  The second is the Joan Deever race in Sussex County, Third is the Atkins race in District 41.  There are other races, of course that could use our attention, but these three, have the greatest bang for the buck….  These three will have the greatest impact of how livable our state will be during the next decade…..

We can pay attention to the Markell-Lee race, the Denn-Copeland race, the Nixon Brady race, all of which have importance…  But most of those are foregone conclusions… They are going progressive… (Tyler is more progressive than Brady).  But those have other media supporting them and really do not need our talents…

Therefore the time we spend discussing them simply adds to the echo’s bouncing off the walls…

But by focusing our aim against Mike Castle, and pulling up alongside Karen Hartley-Nagle with all guns firing at 5.6 second intervals…. we have a chance to make a difference…. Our country needs another democrat on the floor, a good one, no matter who the president eventually becomes…

The Joan Deaver/Mark Baker fight is over how Sussex County will be run for the next term. Whatever is decided in this term, is what will lay the groundwork for the next half a century… If we get it wrong, Sussex County can never go back….  At risk is who will control the future of Sussex County?  The developers? or the house owners?  We will know come November.

Third, all bloggers have a moral duty to propel Hastings again over Delaware’ version of Mayor Barry… No matter how much crack Mayor Barry smoked, he was put right back into office by his slag constituency…  By rumors, tht 41st District is interested in doing the same….  Hastings, a Sunday school teacher is drawing a moral line in the pavement right down Main Street, a line between good and evil……(driving while intoxicated and hitting your wife is still evil these days, isn’t it?)  “Oh, no” Atkins supports say…”down here, everyone does it…”  (“Still don’t make it right….”)

I certainly expect to see Atkins escapades rehashed across all state blogs… (Perhaps Delawonk will return to back a fellow “party man”. )  I expect to see all blogs backing Joan Deaver (Bluewater Wind famous) as she begins the last ditch defense against encroaching development…. And all Democrat blogs, and some Republican, will be looking for a Markell type of change to sweep through our lone Congressmen seat….

In all these cases the proper question to ask ourselves, is not whether these candidates are up to the job… It is far to late for that now…  What we need to ask is how much of ourselves can we afford to give up, to bring the change we so disparately need….?

Outside the Perimeter
Courtesy of Department of Defense

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…..

Nagle received an op-ed piece in the News Journal. Northington’s response was buried.

Here is what he had to say:

In a recent op-ed article, my opponent in the Democratic congressional primary, Karen Hartley-Nagle, listed a series of problems facing the United States and the world. What she did not do was suggest solutions to the problems we face. Delaware voters deserve more than a restating of challenges; we deserve ideas and solutions. We need a new direction for this state and the nation.

For most Delawareans, the top issues are the state of the economy and the Bush administration’s disastrous foreign policy adventures. Nearly eight years of Republican mismanagement of the economy, including an utter lack of any energy policy, has left many Delaware families on the edge financially.

Add to that the increasing cost of health care, food and fuel and the financial pressures on the men, women and children of this state are overwhelming. Clearly, we need a new direction in these areas.

Much of the economic crisis facing Delawareans stems from two dramatic errors made by the federal government: the lack of a comprehensive energy policy, and no regulation whatsoever in critical financial markets.

My economic solution calls for the creation of a national energy policy that will incorporate new and sustainable long-term energy sources with a steady decline in U.S. reliance on foreign oil. While the notion of complete energy independence is laudable, to get there we must fully exploit existing and emerging technologies.

Delaware is uniquely poised to be on the forefront of these technologies. For example, converting the soon-to-close Chrysler plant in Newark to build wind turbines would not only create a new industry for Delaware, it would play an integral role in energy policy and benefit the environment.

Without doubt, the federal government must play a more substantial role in regulating the financial industry, especially those segments that touch people directly, such as the mortgage industry. That is why once in office, I will submit legislation to ensure Americans never again are the victims of predatory lending by mortgage companies or other financial institutions.

American foreign policy has led to us being less secure. Our military is facing exhaustion. The war of choice in Iraq has cost lives, resources and strength, making it nearly impossible to respond to crisis spots around the world.

Contrary to what Republicans such as President Bush and Congressman Mike Castle believe, going to war does not make a nation stronger. It just puts us in greater jeopardy.

As a Vietnam veteran myself, I support bringing the bulk of our troops home as soon as possible and rebuilding our military so we can defend ourselves from credible threats, such as terrorism.

In a short newspaper article, it is difficult to touch on all the critical issues facing Delawareans and all Americans such as health care, crime, the environment and property rights. That is why I have a comprehensive list of issues and solutions at my campaign Web site, www.

I am asking for your vote in the Democratic primary Sept. 9. Together we can turn Delaware and the nation in a new direction.

Posted by Jerry W. Northington,

This was too good to keep “under a bushel.”

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

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.