Who Is Mike Nagorski (Molaski)?

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Delaware State Representative John Kowalko has a challenger in the 25th District.  Mike Nagorski did not file in the early July deadline, but he was nominated by the Delaware Republican party last week.  But who is Michael Nagorski?

Information on Nagorski is hard to find.  According to the Newark Post, Nagorski graduated from Charter School of Wilmington in 2004.  According to his Facebook account, he graduated from University of Delaware in 2008.  He is married with a child and one more on the way later this year (congratulations).  But in May of 2014, he won a legal name change, from Molaski to Nagorski.  I’m not sure of the reason for this name change, but it is perfectly legal.  His wife is a registered Democrat.  Which is okay, my wife and I don’t agree on everything.  He lives in the heart of the Newark Charter School populace along with Kowalko.  He has a Master’s Degree from the University of Delaware, and he very recently obtained employment as a Senior Consultant at MHI Global.  The biggest thing I see mentioned of Nagorski (then Molaski) is an article from the News Journal two years ago about his weight loss and a get healthy initiative.  While this is certainly admirable, meeting the Governor at a gym doesn’t make one a State Representative.

In terms of his politics and what he stands for, that is difficult to find online.  In response to the Newark Post article, he wrote on his Support Michael Nagorski Facebook page: “Delaware has tremendous opportunity.  Now is the time to listen and act, not criticize and oppose.”  What does that even mean?  No one should question anything?  I’m pretty sure that both Democrats AND Republicans criticize and oppose.  Does this mean, if elected, Nagorski would never question anything?  I would venture to say John Kowalko was elected five times because of his ability to not only listen and act, but also to criticize and oppose.  It’s called politics!  I think every candidate running for public office in Delaware will agree that Delaware needs to get more employers in the state to increase revenue.  That isn’t a sea change in Delaware politics.  He seems to be against state incentives to attract employers, which I would assume would be corporate tax cuts.  That is something Kowalko has said for years.  He said in the Newark Post article his three main reasons for running are “healthy living, improving education and growing the economy,” but the article did not give any of his ideas in any of these areas.

In another Facebook post where someone called him “the second coming of Reagan“, Nagorski responded that “if I had to choose someone I’m closest to, it’s Castle” While Mike Castle served a long and distinguished career in Delaware and national politics from 1966 to 2010, I don’t see a lot coming out of Nagorski that would give me that impression.  In fact, I don’t see anything coming out of Nagorski that shows anything about why he is running.  No website, no stances on any subject.  Not to be too critical of Nagorski, but trashing your opponent in a newspaper article while not giving any substance or meat to why you are running, aside from an alternate voice and things every Delaware politician says, isn’t going to have me running to push your button on Election Day.

The Newark Post wrote:

“What people see is someone who’s certainly passionate and an advocate,” Nagorski said. “But what they don’t see is someone who is listening to everyone. He’s putting himself out there and not necessarily listening to everyone else.”

I would say being the State Representative for ten years would qualify Kowalko as someone who listens to a great deal of people.

I will fully admit the following things: I support many of Kowalko’s sponsored legislation, I worked with Kowalko on House Bill 50 (the opt out bill), and I have enjoyed many conversations with him about Delaware education.  Is Kowalko boisterous and speaks from the cuff?  Yes he is.  Has he said things with an angry tone in the past?  Yes he has.  Does that disqualify him as a worthy Delaware State Representative?  No, it does not.  In fact, I would go so far as to say this should be a requirement for all Delaware politicians.  We’ve had far too much of the “Delaware Way”.  Far too many closed door meetings deciding the fate of the many with little to no transparency.  If I were sitting in the 29th Representative seat at Legislative Hall, you better believe I would be very vocal about things.

I am sure as time goes on, we will learn more about Mike Nagorski.  But until then, I see someone running just to run.  I would urge all in the 25th District to vote the same as you have since 2006, for John Kowalko.  As someone who is a fervent supporter of transparency, limiting corporate windfalls, stands up for parental rights, is against discrimination of any sort, and doesn’t sell out to the Delaware Way, Kowalko is one of the best State Representatives in the Delaware General Assembly.  Perhaps if we had more John Kowalkos, we wouldn’t see Delaware’s education system in shambles and our fast reducing revenue getting lower by the year.

I would assume, based on his attendance at the Charter School of Wilmington, Nagorski supports school choice.  But does he support the very controversial enrollment practices at both CSW and Newark Charter School?  How does he feel about the Christina School District?  School vouchers?  The Smarter Balanced Assessment?  Opt Out?  Common Core?  Teachers?  Does he think the University of Delaware should be more transparent?  Does he support choice in all political matters?  I know where John Kowalko stands on those issues.  I’ve been to several of the key education conversations in Delaware the past couple of years.  I’ve seen John Kowalko at many of those events.  I don’t recall seeing Mike Nagorski at any of them.

Christina Backs Out Of Referendum Promise As Trust Evaporates

Last night at the Christina Board of Education meeting, it was announced the district would not rehire librarians laid off after the two failed referenda attempts last year.  The district passed the third referendum attempt on March 23rd, and one of the promises made was the district would restore positions cut as a result of the budget cuts last year.  Included in that was school librarians.  While there is no specific mention of librarian positions on the actual Christina website, it does appear on the CSD Paving the Way website which was run by the steering committee for the referendum.

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Even the Newark Post had an article in February where Glasgow High School principal Dean Ivory quoted:

Glasgow was one of many secondary schools that lost their librarians and though classroom teachers can still sign up to take their classes to the library, it’s not the same, Ivory said. A teacher in the school’s PATH program, whose class meets in the library, has taken on the extra responsibility of coordinating these class sign-ups, he added. If this year’s referendum does pass and schools can start adding staff again, Ivory said the librarian is one of the first positions he’d bring back. “That was a very painful cut,” he said. “But if it comes down to it, do you want to lose a math teacher or a librarian?”

So much for keeping their word!  So where will the funds promised to librarians go to now?  I gave First State Liberty a very hard time for how they handled the last referendum.  But it looks like I should have been putting some pressure on the district as well.  This news is very disappointing to say the least.  What purpose does it serve to betray not only the librarians that were cut last year, but also the taxpayers in your district?  This is why the referendum process needs to go.  It has become like a Presidential election: all sorts of campaign promises that never happen.  Social media comments regarding this broken promise are not being kind to the district.  Shame on Superintendent Robert Andrzejewski for making promises he had no intention of keeping.

The district has already been under the microscope for immediately hiring outside vendors immediately following the referendum, including Demosophia which is helping the district to create a Strategic Plan in regards to their behavior and climate.  Some felt hiring a former Title I administrator from the district as an outside consultant was a bit too much.