Only one candidate in the State Auditor race has the tenacity, patience, grit, resolve, willingness, and heart to perform the role of State Auditor. She has soul and a love for auditing second to none. She has been put through the wringer by those who didn’t want her to do her job. But she has come through that ordeal a stronger and better person. For that reason alone Kathleen Davies deserves your vote.
With the exception of this one race, I will not be making endorsements for this Primary. But the State Auditor race coincides with so many levels of what I write about. The Auditor of Accounts office is so closely tied with Delaware public education. They are the enforcer of sorts for education funding. If there are issues, they are tasked to find it. For that type of job, you need someone to lead that office independently and who has the qualifications to do so. That person is Kathleen Davies.
I first wrote about Davies in 2015 in the midst of the many charter schools that were having investigations in the Auditor of Accounts office. I listened to her testimony in support of a charter school audit bill. I was shocked, as were all the legislators, when she announced it wasn’t just three charter schools under investigation but more. I knew then Davies had the chops to do what was right. After Family Foundations Academy and the Academy of Dover were put in the position of firing their biggest leaders for financial fraud, charter schools in Delaware were under the microscope.
Over the next year, I submitted tips to the Auditor of Accounts office. I learned, usually through charter school board minutes, the office was conducting a petty cash investigation of charter schools along with a unit-count audit of all charters and districts. One day, shortly after the unit-count performance audit came out, Kathleen Davies disappeared. No reason was given. She was off Tom Wagner’s website. It wasn’t until the News Journal announced she was put on leave in May of 2016 that I immediately became suspicious. The reasons given in that article were completely bogus, but Davies was still gone.
I have spent an ungodly amount of time this Spring and Summer attempting to make sense of what happened in the Auditor of Accounts office. This was a case where someone was doing their job. But Republican employees in the office decided to make a federal case of this and stabbed Davies in the back. They didn’t do it with one thrust, but several. The back-stabbing got very loud when Davies announced she filed for State Auditor as a Democrat. Despite an unemployment insurance hearing clearing Davies of the charges against her, the News Journal inexplicably began attacking Davies. It reached the point of absurdity but, in the end, it did nothing but help Davies. It turned her from the dark horse of the race to the frontrunner. This odd thanks to the News Journal is tongue-in-cheek because their intelligent readers were able to discern the fact from the fiction. But when a blog has to be the voice of reason against a media giant in Delaware, it is symptomatic of a much bigger problem in The First State.
My support for Davies has been open. I will take every chance I can to support her campaign. That is because I believe in her. And take it from me, this is coming from a blogger who doesn’t believe in much! So for me to have that much hope in someone is a rarity. By nature, given what I write, I am very skeptical of state officials. For me to give 100% trust in someone is almost an impossibility. But Kathleen Davies has that.
I believe Davies has been falsely labeled as someone who goes after charter schools. That is not honest whatsoever. She didn’t wake up one day and say “I hate charter schools.” She went after them because her office received tips about them. Had she stayed at AOA, I firmly believe much more would have come out in the Indian River audit investigation and Patrick Miller would be facing a sentence now. The same with Sussex Tech’s Allen Lathbury. We would have seen more fire company investigations and other agencies that had state employees or recipients of taxpayer dollars who think it is okay to use state funds for their own benefit. Because of this, she made enemies. Enemies who were able to capitalize on employees at AOA who didn’t like that they had to do their jobs. Employees like John Fluharty, Andrena Burd, and Tammy Smith. They recorder her and leaked confidential information to the press. They twisted things and put Davies in a position where she couldn’t talk about it due to hearings Davies initiated to save her name. Davies is a hero in Delaware and the voters need to realize that.
I do not trust Kathy McGuiness. I do not believe her one iota when she says her many endorsements will not affect how she does her job, should she win. She is a great campaigner, I will give her that. She travels around like nobody I’ve ever seen. But when she sends out a mailer with a list of her endorsements as opposed to why she should be in that office, we have a serious case of bad optics. Meeting everyone and their mother up and down the state is great, but other candidates do that as well, including Davies. Posting every single picture of yourself with some person and bragging about your endorsements reminds me of a high school council election. People aren’t endorsing McGuiness because of who she is. They are endorsing her because the power structure in Delaware wants her in that office so McGuiness can continue the ineffectiveness of that office.
And a note to McGuiness: having your campaign people stuff flyers in mailboxes up in Wilmington today is against the election laws in Delaware. I’m pretty sure with your campaign treasure chest from all those unions (not DSEA) and elected officials, you can afford to send mail out for Jordan Hines campaign if you wanted to. As well, it is against the law to put mail in a mailbox without paid postage on it. That’s a federal offense. For someone who promises to be the steward of taxpayer money, you have no issue having your campaign people wearing YOUR t-shirt to commit postal fraud. Not good and I have no idea why you would risk your own campaign for a Senate candidate. But that is your bizarre choice and clearly shows why you should not get one single vote for State Office.
Davies is the Real Deal in a State that has far too few of those who fit that caliber. It isn’t about how much money you can collect or how many endorsements you get. It isn’t about the big signs and photo ops. It isn’t about pretending you know what the job is. It is about the soul of what Delaware needs. Delaware needs Kathleen Davies.
It is for all these reasons and more that I endorse Kathleen Davies 100%. If this doesn’t sell you on Davies, I urge you to read every single one of these articles before you vote on Thursday: State Auditor Race