The League of Women Voters forum at Delaware State University this evening was the perfect showcase for anyone who might be on the fence about the State Auditor position. Kathy McGuiness scowled and complained her way to absurdity tonight.
While most of the crowd came for the Tom Carper/Rob Arlett matchup, the most salty party of the debate was McGuiness going after Spadola with her holier than thou attitude. State Treasurer Ken Simpler and his Democrat opponent, Colleen Davis, showed up late.
The forum was for many races: State Auditor, State Treasurer, Attorney General, and U.S. Senator. It would have also included U.S. Representative, but Lisa Blunt Rochester had a prior commitment. The State Auditor gave their introductions first. No sooner had James Spadola given his intro when McGuiness started squirming in her seat. She got up and went to the moderators and complained about a citizen filming the forum on Facebook live. While, technically, that isn’t allowed based on LWV guidelines, the way McGuiness went about it was just caddy. The fact that McGuiness knew it was a well-known Spadola supporter threw her credibility out the window. Spadola did get a good jab in when he said “If you’re afraid of transparency…”. God help anyone who crosses McG’s path!
It got worse later in the forum when McGuiness went on a tear against Spadola over State Auditor Tom Wagner picking Spadola to be his Deputy last week. Yes, I had some serious reservations about that move. I felt Spadola should have said no. My biggest concern about it was that it would cause Democrats to rally around McGuiness, including the ones that can’t stand her and wanted Kathleen Davies. But that pales in comparison to the extreme heartburn I get at the thought of McGuiness becoming State Auditor. As I watched her pout and whine up there my mind thought of what she would be like in that office.
As McGuiness blasted Spadola about not being partisan and her worrying about politicizing in the office, the sheer hypocrisy of her statements filled me with such a feeling of unease I couldn’t stop my eyes from widening. As she went after Spadola talking about owing favors, I couldn’t help but think about the MANY favors she will owe if she wins. And the usual faces sprung to mind- Schwartzkopf, Longhurst, and all those endorsements she received and boasted about last summer like they were an all-star baseball team. When she talked about every state agency having fraud and waste, the first thought that came to my mind was “and so does the City of Rehoboth Commission” which she has served on since the early 2000s. I just don’t believe a word that comes out of her mouth.
One of the truly agonizing moments was when ALL the candidates were asked a question about veterans in Delaware. McGuiness used the pulpit to talk about how the Auditor’s office would be helpful to all Delawareans. Then she talked about all the non-profits she works with. There were some really heartfelt answers from the other candidates on the stage. But McGuiness… she turned it into something else that seemed fake and not genuine at all. She didn’t look like she cared about vets at all.
Her continual scowls at Spadola turned me off. She kept looking at the Facebook live citizen with a look of triumph, like she won some battle. That was when her head wasn’t buried in her cell phone. It came across as elitist and petty. I don’t see that with Spadola. I see someone who truly wants to make that office a better place. I don’t see him as a hungry Republican who wants to be Governor one day. I don’t see him as unable to relate to everyday people. I don’t see him getting pouty when he doesn’t get his way. I see all those things in McGuiness.
I also fear what that kind of power would do to someone who already seems drunk on it. We don’t need that in Delaware. We have enough of that already on both sides of the aisle. Anyone reading this blog knows how much I believed in Kathleen Davies and I still think she was by far the best choice for the job. But you have to deal with the cards in your hand. In the choice between Spadola and McGuiness, Spadola is by far the better candidate. I believe he can help get that office to where it needs to go. Either way, no matter who wins, I will be all over that office like white on rice anyway!
I am begging voters to not vote straight party line for this position. I get some of the Dems are ticked off about Spadola becoming Deputy. But the idea of McGuiness in that office should frighten you so bad you will do anything to stop her from advancing any further than City of Rehoboth Commission.
I asked a question about how the Auditor’s office will deal with school district and charter school theft of taxpayer money. I was hoping for some more meat from both of the candidates. But if it came down to it, I can totally picture McGuiness caving into pressure from the state to not fully investigate something. Spadola will not bow to that kind of pressure and will get the job done. I’m pretty sure he understands that if he doesn’t I will come after him no holds barred. McGuiness doesn’t seem to care.
Other highlights of the forum:
When Green Party candidate David Chandler talked about “Mr. Ohlandt” and Exceptional Delaware and brought up how I’ve written about fraud and waste in schools and volunteer fire companies. This blogger turned about three shades of red at that point!
Hearing Green Party candidate Demitri Theodoropoulos give much better answers than incumbent Senator Tom Carper or Republican candidate Rob Arlett.
Listening to Democrat State Treasurer candidate Colleen Davis talking about her childhood and how much that affected her.
Seeing Scott Walker come and sit down in the audience knowing he didn’t even have to show up.
The back and forth over the Attorney General candidates, Kathy Jennings and Bernard Pepukayi over the death penalty.
Hearing Libertarian candidate Nadine Frost for U.S. Senate calling social security the biggest Ponzi scheme in the world.
Watching Tom Carper actually give some pretty good answers and remaining coherent and seeing Rob Arlett play to the crowd.
The crowd was awesome! I will be coming out with official endorsements in the next week, but consider this article a very firm endorsement for James Spadola! Keep McGuiness in Rehoboth. We need a real State Auditor!