The Unofficial Bill Lee For Governor page

Monday, November 01, 2004

Tick Tock

Well, I don't know what's left to say. I have heard that the polls show Judge Lee up by one point, and though I'd rather be up one than down one, it's not the most comfortable place to be.

As a humble observer, I'm proud of what was done on this website. Though I was frequently smarmy, I tried to educate. I tried to inform. Occasionally, I succeeded. Ruth Ann Minner made the job very easy at times. She has been easy to make fun of - sometimes too easy. It has always been my goal to hold the office of Governor in high esteem, though I held no such feelings for its occupant.

I'm proud of many things. I'm proud of the candidate I'm backing. He has fought a great, issue-based campaign. He has been a dedicated campaigner. He was worked very hard to achieve what I hope will be a victory for the citizens of Delaware tomorrow.

I'm proud of the work I did on this little blog. When the Governor tried to mislead the voters of Delaware, I explained her falsehoods. I found the conflicting quotes and I shared them with you. Research is a demanding mistress, and a boring one as well. To try and make the work entertaining - and I did try to do that, if you couldn't tell - was an additional challenge. I hope you got as much out of reading this as I did writing it.

Most of all, I'm proud that I didn't do any "Done!" jokes. It was a crappy commercial, and the jokes were too easy. Do you go with "Not Done!', or "She's Done!"? Either way, it isn't that funny.

There are only 23 hours until voting will be completed, and Delaware will hopefully have a new Governor. So with that, I suppose, this blog - like the Minner administration, is...









wait for it...











Finished.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Teach the Truth

Ruth Ann Minner has been beating her own drum again speaking about the "great improvement" within our schools. Saying "great improvement" would have been a nice, if unprovable, way of tooting her own horn. After all, who is to define improvement?

Here are a few refutable statement Governor Minner made in tonight's debate regarding education, and a few outright lies.

"Our children are doing better... Every grade level, every subject, our children are improving."
The testing doesn't show that to be true. In 1983, Delaware had an SAT average of 1016, which was 29th in the nation. In 1993, we had an average of 997, or 36th overall. Between 1993 and 2003 the scoring model was amended slightly, so in 2003, our scores went up to 1002. That ranking was good enough for 43rd overall. This year our scores dipped to 999 and our ranking to 49th in the country. Frequently, the good citizens of Alabama, Arkansas, and West Virginia are the butt of jokes proclaiming them uneducated bumpkins. They have consistently beaten us for over ten years. The public school scores this year were 968 on average. This is not improvement - it is a catastrophe.

"The NAEP scores - the one test that's given nationwide, and all children participate in - our children are doing well. We're in the top five in the nation."
In 2003 the State of Delaware had the following NAEP results:
  • 2003 4th grade Mathematics - Average Score 236 - Percent at or above Proficiency 31% - National Rank 20
  • 2003 8th grade Mathematics - Average Score 277 - Percent at or above Proficiency 26% - National Rank 30

Our scores in this test contradict the Governor in two ways: They aren't in the top five, and they don't show improvement.

Our educational record is abysmal. This all comes despite the fact that Delawareans pay the sixth highest Public School Expenditure Per Pupil, $10,270 - over $2,500 more than the National average. That exorbitant price tag didn't stop the American Legislative Exchange Council from giving Delaware a National Ranking of 34 out of 51 (including the District of Columbia).

I request that the Governor explain how this is "excellent". No, I demand it.

Now, I could "pull a Minner" and expect you to take my word as fact, but I'll report all my sources.

A.L.E.C. Report Card on Education

Delaware Dept. of Education Press Release - 2004 SAT Scores Released by the College Board

The Taxpayers Network

The Taxpayers Network is an amazing resource. It was there I learned that Delaware was #1 in the country in per capita spending on Corrections. Pretty amazing statistic when you consider we don't pay our CO's a living wage. But that's another column.


Monday, October 25, 2004

Live Blog - WHYY Debate

7:56 pm I don't know why British people think they are so funny.

8:00 pm If Nancy asks for money, I'm outta here.

8:01 pm Long discussion period (8 minutes) - this is going to drag.

8:02 pm Frank Infante sells out with a necktie!!

8:03 pm I can't wait for Ruth Ann to dig her way out of this hole.

8:04 pm Why do we train firemen?!? This is better than I thought!

8:06 pm Interesting point. Why does it take three months to become indignant about this statement?

8:08 pm They were not fully staffed that day. Her report shows that one person was not there.

8:09 pm Infante is right. COAD has spoken - they endorsed Lee.

8:11 pm Final comment - slam dunk.

8:12 pm Infante gets to set Minner up on this question, Lee gets to knock her down.

8:13 pm Sat Test? Doesn't Minner read my stuff? S. A. T.

8:14 pm First I've heard of the 36% of college age kids in college. Great stat to throw out.

8:16 pm Minner telling us about English as a Second Language, in a stilted dialect that isn't quite English.

8:20 pm Is Minner claiming now that saving flu shots for the elderly is her idea?

8:24 pm Lee has a novel idea - someone other than the State paying for drugs.

8:25 pm Hey Ruth Ann, if the idea Lee just mentioned was yours, why didn't you say it first?

8:27 pm Good idea Mr. Infante, asking for more prescription drugs than you need. Who wants Vicodin?

8:28 pm DSTP is graded on a curve!!! Dodge that!

8:30 pm Did Infante just say people in Sussex County don't live the same lifestyle as other people?

8:31 pm Minner is rewriting history again. She fought like a wet cat to keep the three-tier in place.

8:33 pm Excellent point. Giving a test unique to the state of Delaware doesn't show us how smart we are compared to other states.

8:34 pm How is it every question asked turns into table gaming for Frank Infante?

8:38 pm Does Ruth Ann know she can't take credit for the General Assembly?

8:43 pm State Police? This is a little juicier...

8:44 pm This is a stunning admission from the Governor, who in the past has said she had nothing to do with the hiring processes at the Delaware State Police. She now says that hiring and promotions have gone through her strict guidelines.

8:46 pm Finally, someone recognizes that the state is an ATM for Police Officers.

8:49 pm Crushing blow from Infante - the Minner administration is blowing taxpayer money with every lawsuit they settle.

8:51 pm How could Minner have cut $350 million from the bureaucracy and still had a budget increase every year? Where are the results?

8:53 pm Ruth Ann's closing has been the same for every event I've seen - and she's lost every event. Not good planning.

8:55 pm Hey, where's the Infante Story? I wouldn't mind hearing what his crazy relative has to say.

8:57 pm Wow. Where's your endorsement now, Ruth Ann?

Televised Debate tonight!

On WHYY Channel 12 statewide at 8 pm - also broadcast on 1450 WILM and WILM.com

I will try to live blog the event.

Saturday, October 23, 2004

To Tell the Truth

"As governor, Ruth Ann Minner had to make the difficult decision of how to disarm the hostage taker. She decided the prison crisis team was best qualified.''

If the statement made in Ruth Ann Minner's latest radio ad is true, then she is admitting the "exhaustive internal investigation" is a complete sham. The Governor has contradicted herself, yet again, and justice is not being done.

When Governor Minner rebuffed all pleas for an independent investigation - from the media, the Corrections Officers, the public, and from the victim herself, she told us that the internal investigation would shed light on the events of the day. What we the public got was a cold recitation of facts, without any findings of cause or solutions to the underlying issues that turned the Delaware Correctional Center into Cassandra Arnold's personal house of horrors. It would now appear that the eighty-five days that the internal investigation wasted weren't even enough time to find out that the Governor herself made the decision of how to disarm the hostage taker.

Curious detail to leave out.

If this claim is true, the Governor has a great deal of explaining to do.
  • She needs to explain how an exhaustive internal investigation that she has endorsed as a finding of fact could possibly omit her presence in the decision-making process.
  • She needs to explain how she can be the person who names the members of an "independent" investigation if she is a principal in the investigation.
  • She needs to explain how someone so entwined in the decision-making process could have allowed the standoff with a violent convicted rapist and his female hostage to last seven hours without (according to her own internal reports) a hostage negotiator with a psychological background to determine the likelihood of violence or sexual assault to the hostage - both of which occurred presumably while Ruth Ann Minner was making "the difficult decision of how to disarm the hostage taker."
  • When Correction Commissioner Stanley W. Taylor submitted his internal report which was to detail exhaustively the circumstances of the crisis yet never mentioned your name in association with the decision to end the situation, did you believe his omission to be due to loyalty or incompetence?
  • When Joseph Schoell, the chief counselor to the Governor's office, advised against including her in the now-filed lawsuit, was he aware of your pivotal role in the crisis? If he made statements of fact ignoring evidence, will you be firing him, or asking for his resignation?

If the claim is false, she needs to explain just one thing. Does she think the voters of the State of Delaware are idiots? That's certainly how she's treating us.


Monday, October 18, 2004

Commercial Endeavors

Defying all conventional wisdom, Ruth Ann Minner has released a new commercial - and she appears in it. The newest ad places the Governor in what appears to be the Joker's hideout from the old Batman TV show, because she's perched at about a 15° angle throughout the commercial. She talks about how proud she is that she has fought against cancer - I suppose the other candidates are for cancer - and how she intends to continue the fight. She reminded us that she lost a husband to lung cancer. She told us this fight was the most important thing she had done as Governor.

A new nonpartisan, nonprofit, unincorporated political organization - Environmentalists for Truth - lists the many egregious breaches of trust that the Minner administration has perpetrated on the people of Delaware.
  • How dedicated to the fight against this horrific disease can the Governor be if the number of carcinogens released to the environment has increased by 9% under Minner's stewardship?
  • In her 2004 State of the State address Gov. Minner bragged about the “unprecedented” plan that she had negotiated with the Motiva refinery (now Premcor), which included a “mandatory plan for improvements in the operations” of the DE City refinery that would require plant-wide changes in order “to prevent a future” accident. There have been over 100 air emission releasing accidents at the refinery since Gov. Minner reached that agreement. Premcor said as much as 21,000 pounds of hydrogen sulfide and 60,000 pounds of methane and other pollutants escaped from a smokestack after two related breakdowns beginning on Sept. 25.
  • The Minner administration has allowed an unprecedented exclusion of public questions and comments at hearings designed solely for questions and comments - effectively muting any watchdog groups from protecting the state's environment.
If Ruth Ann was selling a product, she could be sued for false advertising. Banning smoking in public buildings was a good thing for a lot of people (but not so good for others), and the money she has earmarked for treatment and prevention are nice - but Delaware's environment is at critical mass, and the Governor can't be bothered to enforce the laws on the books that would punish polluters. She would rather silence the voices protesting the release of carcinogens than stop the release of carcinogens.

Clearly this was an attempt to change her image into a gentle caretaker - rather than an incompetant boob. It isn't working.

Friday, October 15, 2004

She bobs, she weaves...

After looking at Ruth Ann Minner, many adjectives come to mind. In the interests of decorum, I will simply say that evasive and nimble aren't on the list. They should be.

Despite being sued by members of the State Police a record nine times in her first (only) term, the plaintiffs haven't laid a glove on her. They were too busy counting the taxpayer's settlement money.

The latest dodge is taking place right in front of us. A trial scheduled to begin just days before the November 2nd election has been delayed - in the interest of one person's justice - the Governor's.

Minner's lawyers successfully argued that the Governor's duties, in addition to the rigors of her re-election campaign, left her with an undue burden.

Translation: She couldn't be bothered right now. It is unclear whether the same argument will continue to be used to avoid televised debates in the future, as it has in the past.

The attorney's for the plaintiff in this case (a Corporal who claims she was harassed and denied promotions because she is a woman) are unhappy with the delay in the proceedings, stating that a 30 or 45 minute deposition shouldn't upset the Governor's schedule in any way. They are apparently unaware that Governor Minner's schedule only allows her to speak with pre-screened constituents after 4 pm on prescheduled days for five minute intervals. No, seriously. That's her policy.

The near-inevitability of either a settlement or a loss by the State (Delaware has never failed to pay out in a State Police discrimination lawsuit under the Minner administration) in this case make you wonder why the Governor hasn't just signed the check already. The whole affair actually makes me place great weight upon the Fraternal Order of Police's endorsement of Bill Lee - by doing so, they are closing a bottomless ATM machine for their members.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Who? Nope, never met her.

There's been an interesting dynamic in the Lieutenant Governor's race in the past few weeks. As the polling numbers closed in the Gubernatorial race to the statistical tie it's at right now, John Carney, current Lt. Governor and dashing bon vivant has released a new radio ad. In it, he speaks of the great success he had as Tom Carper's Finance Secretary, and pledges to continue his good works. Nary a mention of his "running mate", the sitting Governor, Ruth Ann Minner. He's made an effort to distance himself from her policies, as well. On several occasions, he's come out strongly against the three-tiered diploma, calling for its abolition.

Come to think of it, shouldn't other Democratic candidates and elected officials be standing nearer to their Governor? I can't remember any candidates pledging to give Governor Minner the support she needs - which is odd. I mean, she's the incumbent favorite, with money to burn. One would think a candidate would want to associate themselves with the presumed winner.

It strikes me that most of the politicians in this State realize that the Governor comes up lacking: in leadership, in stature, and - come November 2nd - in votes.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

www.delavoice.com

Filling the tacit void - and they were prepared (where I wasn't) and taped the WILM debate.

www.delavoice.com


The only time I'm voting for Ruth Ann Minner

I'm not sure why it upsets me when journalists miss the point. So much of newspaper writing is based on quantity rather than content. It isn't coincidence that the editorial pieces that run down the right-hand side of the Opinion page stop at the bottom.

Still, I find that certain writers have their hearts in the right place. Al Mascitti is usually one of them, and I suppose that's why I'm a little disappointed in today's piece. What appears to be an indictment of the lax conditions which led to Cassandra Arnold's rape could have been much more.

Al details some of the institutional problems that plagued the Delaware Correctional Center, but, like the 93 page report that was 85 days in the making, he draws few conclusions as to the cause of the problems. He even states that "(t)hough the internal report avoids assigning blame for the rape of Cassandra Arnold by inmate Scott Miller, it isn't quite the whitewash some of us expected. It encapsulates the interviews that were conducted, allowing readers to form their own judgments."

Allowing the readers to form their own judgements shouldn't be the job of the State's Report. In theory, that's the job of Al's colleagues at the News Journal. The report should have made definitive conclusions and did not. This isn't a Rorschach test, where there are no wrong answers. This is a criminal investigation. The facts should lead us to an evident conclusion. This report should have been part of a quest for "how" and "why" - it ended up being a regurgitation of "who", "what", "where", and "when".

From his piece, Mr. Mascitti purports that further review of this incident should be broadened to include the underlying conditions that led to the assault and not the specific assault itself - and he's absolutely right. The existing report mentions that many of the interviewed C/O's were either "frozen" or returning to work after an eight hour break. This is not coincidence. Fatigue will diminish the observational abilities and skills of anyone. The lapses in security are an inevitable by-product of officers who need their energies focused on the dangerous inmates around them, and have those energies drained from them by sixteen hour workdays.

Since the Minner administration made the conscious choice to avoid a conclusion to this matter (or chose to delay it until the voters couldn't hold it against them), we are left to decide who is accountable for these problems. In this matter alone, I proudly cast my vote for Ruth Ann Minner.

Friday, October 08, 2004

Rapid fire remarks on the WILM debate

* It's the SAT, not the "Sat test", Governor Minner. "Ess-Ay-Tee". By the way, the "T" in SAT stands for test. It's not the Scholastic Aptitude Test Test.

* Did the moderator just call Judge Lee "Governor"? I like the way that sounds.

* How does Frank Infante jump right to gambling on the education question?

* Did Ruth Ann skip the WPVI debate to prepare for this one? It doesn't show.

* Is Frank Infante proposing that citizens break into schools? Sounds like it.

* This could well be the worst organized debate. We are twenty minutes into it, and they are still on the first question. We have now reach the five minute "free for all".

* Ruth Ann just said, "Do you have a plan? I don't." I'd love to see that on a t-shirt.

UPDATE: Hear a clip here!

* 7:30 - the second question - are you kidding me?

* Thank you for calling RAM on the independent inquiry coming in after Election Day. Voters should be remind of that every day.

* Infante - "Potato Farmer?"

* Ruth Ann's CO's = nurses argument doesn't fly. It is obvious she is on the defensive.

* I can't believe Ruth Ann is attacking the victim of the prison attack. Does this woman hear herself speak?

* Is this honestly a three question debate?

* Is it the "National Institute of Prisons" or the "Federal Bureau of Prisons"? Ruth Ann has said both.

* Question three is a slow pitch for Infante. I actually like that the candidates received questions in their wheelhouse: Minner-education, Lee-prisons, Infante-gambling.

* Minner seems to be unaware that Delaware could allow sports betting, she just said there could be no additional gambling without constitutional amendments.

* They almost forgot the rebuttal period. I wish they hadn't remembered.

* Thank God they waived the 'Crossfire'. This debate is plodding along.

* This format does not help the Governor. When she tries to talk on the same subject for five minutes, she drifts all over the place.

* Infante is bloodying Minner on Small Businesses. I'm glad someone remembers the license plates leaving Delaware.

* Whammo! Bill Lee just reminded the listeners that the $14 million paid to Invista weren't for new jobs, as the Governor keeps implying. It was a bribe to keep Invista from leaving.

* Governor Minner has repeatedly passed off every bad thing to another body. DEFAC, the legislature, the Economic Development Office - it's all their fault. She has no responsibility for the bad things, just pride in the good.

* Infante's closing was very good... for Judge Lee. All he did was smack down Minner. Never even said 'Vote for me."

* Lee laid her out as well. I wish debate watching and listening was mandatory. Hell, in the Governor's case, I wish debate attendance was mandatory.

* Minner on the defensive is a beautiful thing.

On the whole, great debate, but so poorly managed.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

You have got to be kidding me.

Eighty five days.

After eighty five days, the results of a "thorough internal investigation" have been released. To quote WBOC's report, "Delaware Department of Correction Commissioner Stan Taylor said security lapses and an unhappy, disgruntled inmate are to blame for the seven-hour hostage standoff that left prison counselor Cassie Arnold raped and inmate Scott A. Miller, a convicted serial rapist, dead."

Scott Miller, a convicted rapist serving a 699 year sentence for kidnapping and multiple sexual assaults, walked through a security checkpoint and held Cassandra Arnold hostage for seven hours, raping her during her captivity. He used a homemade knife, the origins of which are unknown, to threaten her life.

If this sounds like a newspaper clipping from the days following this horrific incident, I'm sure it's merely happenstance. The ugly truth is that the report says just that, and little else.

Why would the Governor and the DOC spin their wheels for nearly three months, vocally refuting the need for an outside review? I mean, unless the Governor wanted to buy time until after the election for the independent review's undoubtedly scathing indictment of the Department of Correction, and by extension, the Governor herself.

The independent review is inevitable - Governor Minner will likely call for it herself in the coming days. She is very aware that whoever conducts it - the Department of Justice, the Feds, or an outside agency - will take more than 4 weeks to determine the truth.

Unfortunately, it's very clear that the Governor is more interested in surviving until Election Day than either learning the truth or fixing the problems that plague the Department of Correction. Her ability to avoid trouble before this election has been phenomenal - dodging independent inquiries, skipping debates (the latest, a Candidate's forum this Saturday in Gumboro), and her now-famous "sending out Greg Patterson to speak with anyone". Remind any undecided voters that they should vote for someone willing to face the issues.

Monday, October 04, 2004

Conflicts of Interest

I will require the assistance of any readers with legal knowledge to settle something I've been arguing with myself about. What clearly defines a conflict of interest?

I was thinking about Gregory Patterson. Though he is frequently referred to as "the Governor's spokesman" in the newspapers (and derisively called "Governor Patterson" by newspaper writers), his actual position is Communications Director for the Executive Office of the Governor. In other words, though he reports to the Governor, he is paid by the citizens.

I have no idea what the Communications Director for the Executive Office of the Governor makes in salary. It has long been said that no one gets into government to get rich, but this is a position of some prestige and power. A salary.com report of jobs in the area with the title "Communications Director" lists a median base salary of $117,476 - but I think it's safe to assume that Delaware pays less than that. Let's pretend Mr. Patterson makes half that, or $58,738 before taxes. Not too shabby.

If Mr. Patterson is a real go-getter, he might find a second job. A lot of guys I know sell things on eBay. Greg found something a little more lucrative to do with his spare time. He is the campaign manager for Ruth Ann Minner's re-election bid, according to insider Celia Cohen. Though salaries in political campaigns vary greatly, he is listed as receiving $33,970.10 as wages in the 2000 campaign - and the Minner Campaign wasn't as wealthy then as they are now.

So Mr. Patterson has two jobs, and does fairly well with both of them. Are we to begrudge him that? Not exactly.

It would be next to impossible for him to perform the job of a campaign manager in the hours left for him after what I must assume is a 40 hour a week job. I sincerely doubt that the campaign manager for the incumbent Governor of Delaware is working on the campaign 4 hours a night, plus weekends (although it would explain a lot).

I have seen Mr. Patterson at debates. In Dewey Beach, when an attendee asked a question that would require additional information to respond, Governor Minner called for Greg, literally across the room, to find out the information. Was she asking her campaign manager, or the Communications Director for the Executive Office of the Governor? I'm helping pay the salary of one of those guys, and I'd like him working on the matters of government while he's on my dime.

Can Gregory Patterson, the Communications Director for the Executive Office of the Governor, co-exist with Gregory Patterson, the campaign manager for Ruth Ann Minner? Is the money that Gregory Patterson, the Communications Director for the Executive Office of the Governor earns helping pay the salary of Gregory Patterson, the campaign manager for Ruth Ann Minner?

Is this a conflict of interest?

Other websites of interest (besides leedelaware.com)

Three very cool things I found on the web today (while delatacit is in exile).

  • NewsTalk PM also noticed the conspicuous absence of the Governor in the debate for her office. Though we had never noticed the Infante/mob funeral vibe, we have no specific argument against it.
  • Blogolution is as concerned about it as we are, and even linked to our page! It's so nice to see your own name in print, without any reminders that it's an attempt to collect a debt.
  • Publius of the aforementioned MIA Delatacit has set up a temporary board at http://www.delatacit2.blogspot.com. At the time of this posting, it consists of little more than a pagemark, but didn't we all start that way once?

I'm waiting for word on new polling numbers, secure in the knowledge that Ruth Ann isn't going to gain ground by blowing off the WPVI debate due to an alleged "scheduling conflict". If this race isn't a statistical dead heat, I'd be very surprised.

Thursday, September 30, 2004

The Day the Earth Stood Still

or, Dude, Where's my Delatacit?

I guess it was around 8:30 last night. I was just reading a riveting post in the comments section of Delatacit, and comparing it to a similar comment on Al Mascitti's blog. The much-derided poll that the Lee campaign took which shows them within 6 points of the Governor in an increasingly two-person race has been proven incorrect by a poll that the Minner campaign has run. It appears that the race is closer than that - Ruth Ann has it a 5 points. Shocking numbers if you are a Minner fan. The Lee campaign hasn't had any mass mailings, radio ads, or television since the primary election - Minner is running ads around the clock.

I was preparing a glorious comment to lay on the readers of Delatacit explaining all of that, when the internet went quiet.

Delatacit was gone.

When I was seven, I had a tropical fish, an Oscar cleverly named Oscar. He was a compromise between a boy who wanted a pony and a father who didn't want a shovel. He died after about six months, something about tapping on the glass.

It's a similar loss.

Almost as though the rest of Delaware's internet community felt the same heartache, they remained quiet. Mascitti added nothing, Blogolution spoke about Delatacit in respectfully snarky tones, even Delaforum was silent - for about thirty seconds.

From my crack investigation staff (me), it appears Delatacit was upgrading their system, and require an indexing file to get back on line. If I could rip my own indexing file out and give it to them, I would. But I'm told that's not how the internet works.

Come back, Delatacit. I want to read comments about the lack of civil discourse in the Insurance Commisioner race peppered with F-bombs. I want to find out who was slashing tires. But most of all, I want to find out what you think about the Governor slipping so quickly in the polls that she's skipping out of scheduled debates.

UPDATE: It would appear I'm not as clever as I believe, though I'm sure that's no shock to anyone reading. Larrimore and Flynn, of WILM posted this beauty to mark this same solemn occasion, with the title "Dude, Where's My Delatacit?" I could claim we independently parodied the movie title, but I honestly just forgot seeing it. In the words of TV's Hank Hill, "I'm so honest, while playing football for Arlen High I once called a penalty on myself for illegal motion."

Friday, September 24, 2004

Learning about elections is hard work...

...especially if your only textbook is the News Journal.

Today's above-the-fold headline - the news you need to know - was about an Elsmere woman whose yard has been unkempt.

Let me type that again, it doesn't look right. Today's above-the-fold headline - the news you need to know - was about an Elsmere woman whose yard has been unkempt.

Gripping stuff. I'm sure it was a slow news day with the election only 39 days away. Let's keep reading, in case something happened with regards to the Governor's race.

Let's see...stripper's pole at a Florida university on A3, SpongeBob SquarePants on A4, dogs can smell cancer on A10, and we're at the opinion page. How about the "Local" section?

Wait a minute.

Prison officers union is for Lee

A little helpful advice for the editors of the News Journal. When a labor union endorses a Republican, it's a big freaking deal. You may, in fact, want to assign someone to see if the apocalypse is nigh.

This endorsement should come as no surprise to even the casual reader, though. Governor Minner has gone out of her way to insult the CO's union, going so far as to insist in recent debates that they have received a "12-15% raise" recently. This should come as a relief to the many corrections officers whose families are on food stamps, and are unable to get a second job because they can't guarantee they won't be frozen to their posts. It was noted in an earlier post that with the proposed raise that the Governor would implement next year, the beginning wage for CO's would be about $13/hr. - nice money to wash cars, not so nice to risk your life to protect citizens from convicted violent felons.

The News Journal hasn't yet added this article to its web page devoted to the Governor's race, or to the main election 2004 page. Look really hard at today's headlines. It's the sixth one down.

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Time for Executive Accountability

The Sunday News Journal (9/19/2004)

Ms. Arnold, you have lived through a terrible ordeal - not only surviving the horrible rape and assault in your workplace last July 12th, but in the months that followed. You were attacked by a monster, and abandoned and marginalized by those sworn to protect you.

Like many, I recoiled in horror at hearing about your attack. Hearing the response of the Governor made me sick to my stomach. The continuing stance of the administration - to not allow an outside investigation, and to do nothing to improve the hiring situation except attempt to silence the correction officers protesting the poor working conditions - enrages me. I can't begin to imagine how it affects you.

It angers me that such a tragedy should have to be mentioned in relation to a political campaign. The reactions of Governor Minner and her administration defy both logic and decency. Ruth Ann Minner has chosen her course. She began by adding insult to grievous injury in her statements to the press. She aggravates the situation by allowing those whose actions and inactions contributed to this horrific attack determine their own culpability. The Governor should be ashamed.

I am inspired by your strength today and every day. By choosing to work with inmates in prisons, you showed courage and fortitude. It is again exemplified by your stance today. Not only should the courts hold the Governor and the administration accountable, the voters should.

In Delaware, you expect this to happen.