Ten days ago, Delaware House Speaker for the State of Delaware Pete Schwartzkopf kicked State Representative John Kowalko off the education committee and removed him as chair of the energy committee. While Kowalko has been very outspoken about the decision, including having a press conference before the General Assembly convened on the first day of their legislative session, Schwartzkopf stayed silent on the issue. Until today.
According to a report from Amy Cherry with WDEL, Schwartzkopf denied his decision was based on Kowalko’s stance on the priority schools which he has made very public. According to the WDEL report, Schwartzkopf said the following:
He said “I don’t agree with the governor’s plan on the priority schools. I don’t agree that all the teachers up there should have to resign; I don’t think they should have to re-apply for their jobs. I don’t think these principals need to be moved out of their schools,” he said. “I’m directly opposed to it.”
Cherry reported the following statement: The speaker said he’s been largely silent on the priority schools plan because it’s not a Sussex issue.
Thank the Lord this stuff doesn’t happen down in Sussex. Newsflash Pete: You represent the state as Speaker of the House, not the county you live in. How many other statewide issues do you stay silent on cause they happen in your neck of the woods?
“You know, the bottom line is this, if he wants to come in and talk to me, that’s fine, I’ll sit here and talk with him. I don’t have a problem with that, but the committees aren’t changing.”
Way to be flexible there Pete. Blame the guy for speaking out on an issue that you completely agree with but manage to stay silent on for over four months.
Meanwhile, at Kowalko’s press conference, the state representative told members of the public to:
“Send letters to every member of the General Assembly and demand they give you honest answers.” “There are alterior motives at play here.” “41 people are chilled by this leadership attitude.” (speaking about the 41 state representatives)
Kowalko said he is not afraid of being marginalized in the caucus, but he does view Schwartzkopf’s decision as punitive and a punishment. He views the often phrased “Delaware Way” as a “Department of closeness” and this way of doing things is “incestuous and cronyism”. He believes the state should have an Inspector General to investigate and “patrol and police a willingness to hide things.” This new agency, according to Kowalko, should have “no allegiance to anything.” Referring to the bias of the media in Delaware, Kowalko said “If we have silence of the media, we have silence of the public.”
I will definitely say I take Kowalko’s side on this matter, and not just because I agree with his opinions about the priority schools. Cause I agree with Schwartzkopf’s newly found opinion as well. I take issue with anyone doing something punitive for being an “activist”. Someone who rallies the people is an activist. So what exactly are you doing when you are trying to get their vote Mr. Speaker?
For more information on Schwartzkopf’s side, please read AND listen at http://www.wdel.com/story.php?id=65449
2 thoughts on “The Kowalko-Schwartzkopf Battle Takes Center Stage At Legislative Hall On First Day”
Speaking of activism… Dave Sokola and Darryl Scott of last session certainly were more active for the Smarter Balanced Assessment, than Kowalko was active against it.
And in the previous year, Earl Jacques was quite active on HB 165….
Personally, i think we are better off with John off the committee than on. We can use that as a battering ram with every education bill that comes out…. “SEE, THIS BAD BILL IS EXACTLY why THEY HAD TO GET RID OF jOHN KOWALKO!” The public won’t stand for it, either.