The Day Transparency Truly Died In Delaware

The Delaware Joint Finance Committee told a packed room they would not be releasing lists of budget cuts to the media or the public today.  This is truly disheartening.  Does this mean we can only rely on what is said verbally at their meetings?  Yes, I published a full list of the cuts up until yesterday.  But I assumed that information is public and never questioned once that it shouldn’t be.  I guess the Delaware Joint Finance Committee doesn’t want the public weighing in on all their cuts.  James Dawson with Delaware Public Media released the following tweet today in response to this:

As well, the JFC decided it won’t meet again this week to give the General Assembly time to come up with some revenue raising legislation.  To date, the JFC has cut $80 million from the budget with about $140 million left to go.  To say the situation is becoming serious would be an understatement.  Once again, Dawson released a tweet about this:

I attended probably the last third of the meeting today.  Since no sheets were released, I have nothing new to report.  I will rely on the mainstream media for that as they were in attendance the whole time.

When Governor Markell was Governor of Delaware, I complained about the lack of transparency constantly.  It doesn’t look like our JFC and Governor Carney’s office learned the lessons from the prior administration.  The people of Delaware deserve better than this.

 

A Delaware State Rep Told A Reporter To Look In Her Underwear Drawer

I’ve seen a lot of interesting comments from Delaware legislators appear in print.  But this one really made my jaw drop.  James Dawson, a reporter with Delaware Public Media was asking State Rep. Melanie George Smith about a home she purchased in Newark:

Public records filed with New Castle County Recorder of Deeds show Smith took out a $417,000 mortgage Aug. 19 on a nearly 4,000 square foot house on Amaranth Drive north of Newark – about 11 miles outside of her representative district.

When Dawson asked her why, this was her response:

“You can step inside and look at my underwear drawer to see that all the ducks are in a row,” she said in an interview with Delaware Public Media.

Yes, she really said that.  While Dawson was not able to obtain the reason why she may have purchased a home in Newark, I may know.  While I won’t specifically name the reason, I will give a few hints.

 

It’s not to run against Meredith Chapman one day.

Did she win the lottery to get her new home?

I wonder what might be in a 5 mile radius of her new home.

 

But wait, you must be thinking… “That’s not a guarantee”…”the process still has to be followed”…

Yeah, okay.  Funny how those things work out.  It’s not like this would be the first time.  All I’m going to say is 329…

Ah Delaware, you never stop amusing me…

 

Farewell Avi

Avi Wolfman-Arent announced on Facebook yesterday he is moving on from Delaware to greener pastures.  Avi was the education reporter for WHYY/Newsworks.  He will be joining the Philadelphia branch.  I wish him the best of luck!

This is the second education reporter Delaware has lost this year.  Matthew Albright with the News Journal is still in Delaware, but he is covering Legislative Hall.  Avi gave education a very different perspective in Delaware.  I remember the first time I came across him during the entire Family Foundations Academy debacle at the end of 2014.  We had our disagreements along the way but I always respected the Wolfman!  Some of his articles were nothing I expected but delivered in their thoroughness and research.

We still have the excellent Larry Nagengast and James Dawson here in Delaware, and Albright’s former title at the News Journal was replaced by Brittany Horn.  Like Delaware education, people come and go, but it is always interesting to say the least.