Who is Kathy McGuiness? Yes, she is running for State Auditor. But who is she really? Is she true Blue or is she Red for convenience sake? Who are her best friends and why would that make it VERY dangerous for her to win this election? She wants to be a state auditor. Someone whose job is making sure other state agencies don’t break the rules. But her alliances and allegiances beg the question and puts her on a very slippery slope. And I’m not just talking about the slopes in Park City, Utah.
On Memorial Day weekend, McGuiness was peppering public roads with campaign signs down in Sussex County. She knows the deal: you can only put signs on state roads 30 days before or after an election, whether it is a primary or the general election. The “aw shucks, I didn’t know that” doesn’t work. Especially when she ran for Lieutenant Governor just two years ago! I’m sure it wasn’t actually her braving those busy state roads but rather her campaign lackeys who drank the Kool-Aid. While her defenders claimed it was private property and didn’t violate any laws, others said they saw signs on public roads covered by Del-Dot which has very strict rules about sign placement.
On May 22nd, McGuiness wrote an opinion on Delawareonline. What she said gave me heart palpitations. When talking about developing an app for cell phones to increase the ability of citizens to lodge complaints or suspected fraud, she said:
It also allows the Auditor to monitor offices and agencies that receive high complaint volumes, which could indicate a special cause for concern.
Hmm… I would think one call or complaint would cause the Auditor’s office to begin investigating. Is she trying to tell us it would take multiple calls for that agency to act? I would think one complaint from an employee in a state agency would get the ball rolling. So the next time some whistleblower from a Delaware charter school decides to tip the Auditor’s office about fraud and theft of taxpayer money, you would wait until there were multiple complaints? Oh wait, you just want to be an elected office manager! You wouldn’t know the steps to take from that point. I get it.
I have to admit I’ve enjoyed watching this campaign. I need more popcorn. The whole 14th Representative District endorsement fiasco is one for the ages! Even the Cape Gazette seems to be unfamiliar with election law because they posted McGuiness got the 14th’s endorsement. Their chair, one Richard Byrne, seems to have some hazy memory issues. Because he doesn’t use the words “recommend to endorse” in the Cape Gazette article.
“The 14th RD Democratic Party Committee endorsed Kathy because we have seen firsthand how hard she has worked as a member of our committee, and how qualified she is to be auditor of accounts,”
To which McGuiness responded:
When reached for comment, the candidate could not be more excited or humbled. “I am grateful to my fellow 14th RD Democratic Committee members for this unequivocal endorsement of my candidacy for auditor of accounts,” McGuiness said. “I am dedicated to serving them and all citizens of Delaware because the state’s good credit and taxpayers’ dollars are too important,” she said.
Of course folks in the 14th RD are now saying they have “fixed” the issue. That was on Saturday night. As of yesterday, McG was still tweeting the same tweet:
While the 14th Rep. District did fix their Facebook posts, it seems McGuiness is too busy driving up and down the state following Governor Carney’s public schedule to notice…
This wouldn’t be the first time McGuiness got caught with her hand in the cookie jar, according to Blue Delaware:
But there have been two other incidents were it appears McGuiness has been playing fast and loose with endorsements. First, McGuiness’ Endorsement page previously listed John Starke, Chairman of the Kent County Democratic Party Executive Committee and Jane Hovington, Chairwoman of the of the Sussex County Democratic Party Executive Committee. However, both had not endorsed McGuiness and they had their names removed from the page.
In the same article, it show’s another blunder. This one over a fundraiser:
Second, the Delaware Democratic Party’s event page listed a fundraiser for Kathy McGuiness as follows: “IBEW Local 313 Fundraiser to Support Kathy McGuiness for State Auditor.” However, Local 313 President Darren Scott has stated that neither he nor the Local had not endorsed McGuiness and were not sponsoring the fundraiser. McGuiness was just renting the hall space at the Local 313’s facility for the fundraiser. The listing on the Party’s event page has been changed once that was pointed out to them.
Let’s talk about those qualifications. McGuiness would have you believe it doesn’t matter if you have any, you know, actual auditing experience. She is perfectly okay with hiring an office manager and calling it a day. Her “certified fraud analyst” certificate doesn’t mean a lot. I can bake a cake in an EZ-Bake oven but it doesn’t mean I’m a baker. This comment from Delaware Liberal hits the nail on the head and it should be seen by every single Delawarean in the state:
The Auditor’s Office is by its very name an office made up of auditors to do audits. The auditor needs to not only understand the auditing process, but needs to be neutral of political affiliations–this is paramount to the proper functioning of the office. To say your candidate is not a qualified auditor nor does she need to be in order to effectively run her office is fraught with problems from the start. Mitch, by your own definition, she isn’t a qualified auditor, but a qualified manager, so what are her qualifications as a manager? Wouldn’t the citizens of Delaware be better served to elect someone who is both a qualified auditor and a qualified manager, like Kathleen Davies? You stated that the auditor only needs to be able to hire qualified personnel to run the office. If Kathy McGuiness wins the election is she going to hire Kathleen Davies to manage and run the office? I would assume that Kathleen Davies won’t be hiring Kathy McGuiness to run the office for her. I’m not an auditor (my math teachers would attest to that), but I find it concerning that the whole premise of the McGuiness campaign is to get elected and hire someone else to do the job. I find that policy to be economically unsound even with my limited auditing skills. On the first day on the job, is she going to say “it was nice meeting all of you if you have any questions direct them to the person I just hired to oversee the office, I’ll be home if you need me call after 12:00 and before 3:00 thanks don’t forget to send the check.” We currently have that now, why on earth would we repeat that? Endorsements don’t make the voters feel warm and fuzzy, it just shines a white hot light on whose interests will be best served after election time.
So whose interest will be best served after election time? Let’s see… we have Pete Schwartzkopf, the Speaker of the House and the State Rep. from… wait for it… the 14th Rep. district. Pete’s #2, Majority Whip/State Rep. Valerie Longhurst. The brothers Paradee, Trey of the House and running for State Senate and John of the law firm of “I once represented Kathy McGuiness in a matter of potential eligibility to run for state office but I’ll have a fundraiser for her at my house”. Delaware Insurance Commissioner Trinity Navarro, you know, a state agency head which could potentially be the subject of an… wait for it again… audit! Throw in the usual lap-dogs: the Brians but written differently: Short and Townsend. And lest we forget, Senator David Sokola, who fought like a slug about to get salt poured on it when a charter school audit bill that made perfect sense came out in 2015. State Auditor candidate Kathleen Davies pushed for the original bill to go through but once it got watered down by the usual Sokola amendments, it lacked the awesomeness the original legislation had. I have no doubt these Democrat power brokers will tell their citizens “vote for McGuiness”. It will be Delaware’s job to find out fact from fiction. To look at the REAL qualifications at this job. Not someone saying “you don’t need auditing experience to be a State Auditor”. Because that is what you will hear. IGNORE IT! The sad part is I actually like some of the guys on the McG endorsement train so I am shocked they would throw their reputation on the line for her. I guess loyalty does breed strange bedfellows.
I find it very interesting that someone who once represented McGuiness is throwing a fundraiser at his house. This is from Delaware Grapevine two years ago:
“We were always confident that she would be vindicated. She has always considered Delaware her home,” said John Paradee, the lawyer who made McGuiness’ case to be on the ballot.
Yes, that was in regards to the confusion about what state McGuiness actually lived in, thus giving her the moniker of Park City Kathy over on Delaware Liberal.
On McG’s campaign website, she proudly talks about her board experiences. Aside from Rehoboth area boards, she just got on the Delaware State University Board of Trustees and that was a last-minute Markell appointee. We all know the drill and the conversation. “Hey Jack, Kathy just lost the Lieutenant Governor job. I have to give her something to chew on before she gets her eyes set on 2018. Can you nominate her for a board somewhere? Maybe a university or something? Plus it will make her look REALLY good when she talks to voters”.
Not that McGuiness hasn’t done a good job as Rehoboth Beach Commissioner. She definitely likes to increase voting from citizens. And LLCs. Yes, she wanted to give business LLC entities the right to vote according to the Cape Gazette:
The Rehoboth Beach Commissioners are considering a proposal that would allow residential property owners who own property in an LLC to vote if they own at least 50 percent of the entity. The ordinance specifies the principle of “one person, one vote,” meaning that if a person is a resident and owns property in an LLC, that person is entitled to one vote, even if the person owns multiple properties in LLCs. The ordinance also does not allow proxy voting on behalf of LLCs. The ordinance also requires those who hold property as an LLC to sign an affidavit attesting to their eligibility.
El Som over at Delaware Liberal, in covering the story, showed how McG’s allegiances benefit her over in Legislative Hall:
Guess which two legislators would be responsible for running that Charter Change in Dover. How about Pete Schwartzkopf and Ernie Lopez? Need I go into the ties that both have to Park Slope Kathy? Didn’t think so.
Eventually, the Rehoboth City Council wisely voted to delay that vote indefinitely. McGuiness did not vote on that action item.
What I was curious about though is why Kathy McGuiness didn’t write about her time as President of First State Compassionate Care Inc. While I was unable to determine if this non-profit is still in existence, I did find their bidding proposal for a Medical Marijuana Dispensary site for Sussex County but eventually the winning bid went to First State Compassion Center. I wonder how much money McG would have stood to gain if her non-profit won this bid? I know, I know, non-profits don’t make money! Just ask Paul Herdman from Rodel how much money he doesn’t make!
If we are to believe McGuiness, she is a Democrat through and through. She even said that at a recent Delaware United forum. Even though she worked on Republican State Senate candidate Ernie Lopez’ campaign in the 2014 general election. And yes, he had a Democrat candidate running against him by the name of Claire Snyder-Hall who has always been about progressive values, something McG says she has in abundance. But perhaps her helping Lopez was just a weird thing. Nope, she contributed to his campaign. Nope, according to Senator Lopez, she was an “ALL-STAR”!
When McGuiness filed to run for auditor, El Som over at Delaware Liberal had this to say:
Heavy, man. Let’s cut through the crap. She is running for office because she wants to be somebody. A playa. Here are her accomplishments: She was permitted to run for office despite not having been a Delaware resident for the required length of time. (I have little doubt that Elaine Manlove, prompted by Pistol Pete Schwartzkopf, contorted herself into making that ruling.) She was a Democrat, a Republican, and even an IPOD member. She and Ernie Lopez had an affair. She and Pete Schwartzkopf are close. She has no background in accounting or auditing. To certain guys, she’s hot. Anybody have anything to add? She is precisely the type of candidate we, or, at least, I, don’t ever want to see in public office. Amoral people who couldn’t give two shits about what’s in the public interest, and give beaucoups shits about promoting themselves. Here’s what I can guarantee: Anything that Pete Schwartzkopf wants to protect will never be reviewed by Kathy McGuiness. You know, like anything pertaining to the State police. Awful, just awful. Can we please get a credible challenger? Dennis E. Williams is not credible. Just another guy who runs because he has to.
Wow, that is one very bold allegation in the section above. Not my place to determine if that is true or not.
Yes, I can see that Democrat blood bleeding so profusely out of you Kathy! But Kathleen McGuiness said she was “briefly” a Republican. Which time?
A change of heart or a chameleon depending on which way the wind blows? You be the judge! But I think Delaware Grapevine, in the above linked article said it best:
McGuiness has switched parties on her voter registration record from Republican to Democrat to Republican to — what, Utah? — to the Independent Party of Delaware to Democrat. It is right up there with the dizzying way Sarah Palin can switch subjects.
McGuiness proudly proclaims she was the “Delaware Tourism Person of the Year” back in 2001. Or was it 2000? What we do know is she said she received the award from then Governor Tom Carper. She wears this like a badge. I won a kickball contest back in elementary school. That doesn’t make me eligible to run the NFL. And good luck finding ANYTHING about this from the time she won the award on the internet. That is as elusive as her actual qualifications for State Auditor.
While looking at the Friends of Kathy McGuiness campaign finance reports, I found a veritable war chest of donations to her campaign for Lieutenant Governor in 2016. Despite all that money, she still lost to Bethany Hall-Long in the primary by over 4,800 votes. But in looking at that war chest, I saw tons of donations going out to pretty much every single Delaware Democrat campaign in 2016! I saw a lot of that on other folks campaign finance reports. More on that another day.
On primary day, I will not vote for a chameleon. Is she a pharmacist? A realtor? A certified fraud examiner? A Republican? A Democrat? An Independent? A Pete Schwartzkopf lackey? An Ernie Lopez lackey? Is she from Delaware? Is she from Utah? Will she drop all these boards she serves on to avoid conflicts of interest? I can’t tell you what she is because I don’t think she even knows. But I will tell you what she is not: State Auditor material.
I will vote for someone who TRULY understands what it means to be a State Auditor and that is to have a clear understanding of what an audit is, does, and what it means. Not someone who violates election law. Not someone who collects endorsements like they were baseball cards (even though some of those players haven’t even had their picture taken). Not someone who has others endorse her just because she is someone they can mold into doing their bidding. I want a State Auditor with honesty and integrity. Lord knows that is lacking enough in Delaware. McGuiness lacks that in spades. Her grandstanding is not enough. She can put up as many pictures of herself at this event or that event. And get real Kathy, you aren’t the only one to have a picture of yourself with Joe Biden. Pretty sure 1/4 of the state can do that. I have to agree with El Som, if Schwartzkopf and the Dem leadership don’t want you touching something, your independence goes out the window. The only time you were truly Independent in Delaware was for those three brief months in 2013 when you voted in a Park City, Utah election as a Republican.
Sure, you can call me biased. Yes, I want Kathleen Davies. Someone who won’t just manage the Auditor’s office but someone who knows how to do the job. And do it right! Don’t worry McG, I don’t like Dennis E. Williams either. He is another one who tried to make an endorsement out of nothing in his failed attempt to win back the seat he lost to Sean Matthews in 2014. I don’t mind that he is going after McGuiness though. Because he speaks truth on a lot of what he says. But I also have issues with someone who has NEVER done state accounting work.
If you are still on the fence on Kathy McGuiness, we’ve already had someone with a similar name back in 1972. We don’t need another one!
Like most controversial articles I post, I am prepared for the litany of McG defenders about to swarm social media and my comment section. Bring it on! Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think McGuiness is bad for Rehoboth Beach. Sounds like she has done a mighty fine job down there. Sounds like they love her down there. But the rest of the state? Nah. We should pass. I don’t like any candidate feeling as though they are an heir apparent to an elected position. I don’t like that arrogance and smug look in their eyes when you look beyond the fake photo-ops and canned social media thank yous to everyone and their mother.