Former Governor Ruth Ann Minner was a failure for Delaware. During her tenure, the State was on cruise control. Legislative & other cronies ran the show — spending money where and on whom they wanted. The “piece de resistance” was NKS Distributors & the Tigani family. DelDot cut them a sweet heart deal. Now we find out that a little later in the Minner Administration, the Tunnell family reached their own deal. This was to be expected. To paraphrase our former Governor, with Governor Minner “you almost expect these things to happen.”
But, with Jack Markell — businessman, consultant, MBA, former Treasurer — we expected better. Now we find out that, according to the News Journal (The article can be found here):
The Tunnell deal was struck in the closing days of Gov. Ruth Ann Minner’s administration but renewed under Gov. Jack Markell. The Schell deal was struck this year.
Markell said he became aware of deals this week — weeks after The News Journal began asking questions. [Emphasis added]
You mean that after two budget cycles, that after the Federal audits of the weatherization program corruption, that after the publication of the Tigani deal, that the Governor’s Cabinet Secretaries are not telling him where they are spending taxpayer money? Or that he is not demanding (or receiving) openness and accountability?
Now, instead observing a clinic on crisis management, Delaware’s taxpayers are receiving another demonstration of the benefits of campaign donations — from the News Journal article:
Markell said he knew his campaign received contributions from “Mr. Tunnell and members of the Schell family,” adding that political contributions do not affect his decisions.
Schell has proved a reliable contributor to Markell since his 2008 campaign, contributing $1,200 to Markell’s election and another $1,200 to Markell’s campaign fund in 2009. Other Schell family interests brought the total contribution to $10,300. Robert and Mindi M. Tunnell gave separate $1,200 contributions to Markell’s primary campaign in 2008.
This blog has pointed out other influential “investors” in the Governor and the beneficial response that they’ve received from DelDot (Check the blog post here).
Whether the Governor is making these decisions deliberately or through ignorance (it is his administration and so they are his decisions), the end result is the same, and we expected better.