The Delaware State Auditor race has been one of the hottest tickets of the election season. There are many reasons for this in what is usually a quiet race. The biggest factor is long-time State Auditor Tom Wagner not running after a 29 year stint in office. Kathleen Davies served as Tom Wagner’s second-in-command for many years and announced her run to take over Tom Wagner’s seat. Davies faces her Democrat contenders Kathy McGuiness and Dennis Williams in the Primary next Thursday, September 6th. The winner of the Primary will face Republican James Spadola for the General Election.
Last week, News Journal reporter Jessica Bies came out with an article about a confidential report that the News Journal “obtained”. The article was rife with speculation and hearsay based on a report commissioned by State Auditor Tom Wagner concerning Kathleen Davies. That article appeared in print today. It looks like something you would see in a bargain-basement tabloid at a grocery store. Continue reading
Last night, the Kent County Democratic Committee hosted a forum for the Democrat candidates for State Auditor at the Kent County Levy Court in Dover. The well-attended debate was clearly won by candidate Kathleen Davies. Continue reading
The Delaware News Journal came out with an article today about the ongoing battle between Kathleen Davies and the Office of the Auditor of Accounts. Even though the hearing with the Department of Labor ruled State Auditor Tom Wagner terminated Davies without cause, that only determined unemployment funding for Davies. Now the battle is heating up with the Delaware Merit Employee Review Board (MERB). But the News Journal article is missing or failed to report some vital facts. Continue reading
I just caught part of the Delaware United forum with the candidates for State Auditor and Attorney General. I heard Kathleen McGuiness babbling about her qualifications. She is NOT a certified accountant. She took some crash course in NY last year to be a “fraud investigator”. She is a pharmacist and a realtor. This would be like putting a crash-course Teach For America teacher as Secretary of Education. She is NOWHERE close to being qualified.
I understand the Speaker of the House, Pete Schwartzkopf, wants her. As well as other legislators who seem to think she would be the best. They aren’t basing that decision on any amount of qualification for the office but because Pete wants her. Because they are friends. It is Delaware politics at its worst!
For this office, we need someone who is qualified. We could argue whether that would be Kathleen Davies or Dennis Williams. For my money, I’m going with Davies. She worked in the Auditor’s office. She knows exactly what to do and how to do it. There would not be a “learning curve” that McGuiness would stumble through. Williams tends to tick off a lot of people. I agree the Auditor’s office should be independent of political party. But Williams already has a ton of burnt bridges which would not be helpful in getting things done.
Yes, there is a cloud with Davies. Why was she put on leave by Tom Wagner? I still firmly believe that was due to someone wanting her to shut up. I have never bought the bogus News Journal article from 2016 suggesting she was inappropriately reimbursing herself for travel expenses. I believe whatever happened was cooked up, kind of like McGuiness’ auditor campaign over the past year. I believe we will find out in due time what happened and I also believe it will come out that something was cooked up. Davies for State Auditor by a landslide!
If you really want to learn about Kathy McGuiness, just Google “Kathy McGuiness” and “Delaware Liberal” to get the scoop. There is plenty of stuff in there to keep you reading for hours!
One of the biggest events next September will be the primary race for the Delaware State Auditor. Current State Auditor Wagner is retiring and so far, three have filed to run under the Democrat banner. Today, Kathleen Davies filed. Facing off against Kathleen McGuiness and Dennis Williams, I see Davies as the strongest candidate with experience that leap-frogs and catapults over the other two. She is EXACTLY what Delaware needs and will by far do the best job should she win.
While there are some unanswered questions regarding her paid leave from the Auditor’s office, you simply do not pay someone for that long if they did something as egregious as what appeared in the News Journal in 2016. I firmly believe there is much more to that than meets the eye and someone wanted her to shut up and took swift action. But it is a new day and a new administration in Delaware. It is past time the sun shined brightly on The First State and the best place for that is in the State Auditor’s office.
The loooooooong-time State Auditor, Tom Wagner, announced he was retiring last night at the annual Delaware GOP Lincoln Dinner. He couldn’t think of a single Republican to take his place. As many have suggested, the flip-flopper Kathy McGuiness should switch from Democrat to Republican since that is where her heart lies. Which would leave Dennis Williams as the sole filed Democrat. May I present a third option… Continue reading
Sean Matthews is awesome. I can’t put it any clearer. The 1oth Representative District in Delaware has only one choice to make on September 13th: Sean Matthews.
I met Sean in the beginning days of the 148th General Assembly when he came in as a rookie. He is always friendly and cordial. I knew he was an educator and stood for many of the same things I do. But he took the ball and ran with it. During the House Bill 50/opt out saga, he was in front of the bill supporting it all the way. This brought him in conflict with some of his Democrat peers in the House, but he didn’t give up. When there was a question if the bill would die in the original House vote, Sean added an amendment to make it just the Smarter Balanced Assessment. My proudest moment with Sean Matthews came in March of 2015. The News Journal had an opposing views column on opt out, and Sean annihilated State Rep. Earl Jaques position on the issue.
But Sean’s accomplishments go beyond just House Bill 50. He sponsored House Bill 157, signed by Governor Markell, which would change how potential patients are able to gather crucial information about freestanding emergency rooms. He helped ease some of the burdens citizens face during snowstorms when they live near a school with House Bill 129, also signed by the Governor. Matthews also sponsored a bill that may not seem important now but could save many lives down the road with House Bill 91. If a student is opted out of immunizations based on religious beliefs, that student would be temporarily excluded from school in the event of an outbreak for what that student could have received a vaccine for. That one was controversial, but it makes sense in the context of that kind of frightening scenario. Sean also signed on as a sponsor on many education bills that I pushed for, including House Bill 30 (basic special education funding for students in Kindergarten to 3rd grade) and House Bill 399 (the teacher evaluation bill that I am hearing Governor Markell will sign in the next few weeks).
As an educator in the Brandywine School District, Sean knows exactly what kind of challenges students face. He doesn’t buy into the education fixit talk we hear from so many in Delaware. He knows what teachers need to be able to reach students so they can truly succeed. Not by a standardized test, but by treating students as unique and creative kids. He knows that poverty is not an excuse for teachers to do their best with low-income students, but it plays a crucial factor in brain development. I remember hearing him on the Rick Jensen Show one afternoon when he talked about the actual physical effects of poverty on the human brain and how that can impact a student’s ability to learn effectively.
On June 30th, 2015, Sean and five other Democrats valiantly said no to the budget that year. He knew this would draw criticism from some of his peers who believe a budget vote must always be yes. But he stood his ground, and for that I respect him. I would rather see someone vote no for the right reasons than vote yes for the wrong reasons.
He was one of the key members on the Assessment Inventory Committee that advocated for including the Smarter Balanced Assessment as one of the tests to look at getting rid of. In the education arena we live in under Governor Markell, Sean consistently stuck his neck out in the face of fierce opposition. But he did so with style and grace. I don’t know if he first coined the phrase “cash in the trash” but it was the first time I heard it. This term refers to the hundreds of millions of dollars spent on education reform that doesn’t really do anything for students or educators.
He is one of the younger and newer faces at Legislative Hall, but also one of the brightest. Rookie House Reps aren’t always able to get a lot done during their first term. But Matthews will be one to watch, that I can bank on. We have only begun to see what Sean Matthews has to offer and I urge the citizens in the 10th District to vote for Sean next Tuesday, September 13th. Dennis Williams had his time. It passed in 2014 when something better came along.