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Archive for the ‘Jack Markell’ Category

This brings us to Al Gore.

Earlier this month the Washington Post’s Carol Leonnig reported that the former vice president’s wealth is today estimated at $100 million, up from less than $2 million when he left government service on a salary of $181,400. How did he make this kind of money? It wasn’t his share of the Nobel Peace Prize. Nor was it the book and movie proceeds from “An Inconvenient Truth.”

Instead, as Ms. Leonnig reports, “Fourteen green-tech firms in which Gore invested received or directly benefited from more than $2.5 billion in loans, grants and tax breaks, part of President Obama’s historic push to seed a U.S. renewable-energy industry with public money.”

That’s nice work if you can get it—at least if you’re on the investment-management end of the deal. But what if you’re on the worker-bee end?

The Post story mentions one of the beneficiaries of Mr. Gore’s investment acumen, Milwaukee-based Johnson Controls, JCI -1.34% which won a $299 million award from the federal government in 2009 to make electric-car batteries. Here’s how that worked out:

“The company has dramatically scaled back, after executives concluded demand for electric cars was far lower than the administration forecast. The factory outfitted with stimulus funds is nearly idle, and plans to build a second plant have been postponed.”

via Stephens: Barack Obama and Other Has-Beens – WSJ.com.

Compare this to:

Johnson Controls Breaks Ground on New Automotive Battery Distribution Center in Delaware

MIDDLETOWN – Johnson Controls, Inc., the world’s largest supplier of automotive batteries, today broke ground on a new 400,000 square-foot distribution center in Middletown, Del. The company is investing more than $75 million in the facility, which will perform the charging, packaging and distribution of automotive batteries for the Northeast region of the United States.

The groundbreaking was attended byGovernor Jack Markell, U.S. Senator Tom Carper, U.S Senator Chris Coons,Delaware Economic Development OfficeSecretary Alan Levin, Middletown Mayor Kenneth Branner and Johnson Controls Vice President and General Manager for the U.S. and Canada Kevin Pasqua and Middletown Plant Manager Rick Thompson. Several other company leaders and state officials joined the celebration.

“Johnson Controls could have relocated elsewhere but decided to stay in Middletown and expand in Delaware,” said Governor Jack Markell. “It’s great to see a business here succeed and be confident that expanding its work will lead to even greater success. This project puts Delawareans to work producing and distributing products for the region. As Johnson Controls moves forward with its expansion, Delaware’s job market moves forward as well.”

http://governor.delaware.gov/news/2011/1105may/20110506-JohnsonControls.shtml

Add the $2.06 million received by Johnson Controls to the tens of millions received by Fisker Automotive and Bloom Energy as companies that have received special treatment in Delaware because of their connection to the California Venture firm of Kleiner Perkins, whose leadership consists of Markell donor, John Doerr, and Green-energy profiteer, Al Gore. Oh, and Johnson Controls purchased the remaining assets of A123, the failed battery developer for Fisker Automotive. And the Wall Street Journal article speaks to the success of electric car batteries.

In the Governor’s defense in the case of Johnson Controls, it is an existing company with an existing supply chain, existing expertise, and they received significantly less money. But this payout continues a dangerous trend in Delaware. Send Jack the money, and he gives it to his friends…

Al Gore has profited nicely from the public. Will anyone else?

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So the DSEA weighs in with a mailer for Doc Mike Katz. Doc Mike is, evidently, the “right decision”. Frankly, I think that you should call Doc Mike per the instructions of the mailer @ 302-735-1781. The problem is that when someone picks up the phone, it is likely going to be Darryl or Carol Scott, because the number on the mailer is not Doc Mike’s number. Check the link to the White Pages

Oops, but that’s just poor proof-reading and kind of funny. It’s that the piece is out-right wrong that is the problem…

The piece says that Doc Mike:

  • Supported necessary school funding to prevent teacher layoffs and keep class sizes at reasonable levels.
  • Voted for uninterrupted construction of new schools

However, Doc Mike voted against the Bond Bill in 2011 (The only NO vote in the Senate), and against Budget bills in both 2011 & 2012.

Therefore, Doc Mike did NOT vote for uninterrupted construction — to the contrary, he voted against it! And, unless the DSEA is now endorsing no salary increases or program expansion, he voted against the “necessary funds to prevent layoffs & keep reasonable class sizes”…

So I guess that means that the DSEA is now either 1) endorsing no pay increases for their members; 2) they’re just lying about Katz for political reasons or 3) they just replaced Darryl Scott’s name with Doc Mike without updating the copy to reflect Doc Mike’s actual voting history.

In truth, I have to assume that it was item 3 in the list, but the piece is still outright wrong.

Is being fraudulent in a mailer a campaign finance violation??? Call Doc Mike and ask? Oh, yeah, you can’t not only because the number on the mailer is wrong, but Doc Mike has an unlisted number (How’s that for constituent service?)…

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The following is from the political news website, Politico. Should President Obama win a 2nd term, could Governor Markell leave Delaware to take a cushy role in DC? His frequent TV appearances, push to get a national role with the DGA, and his active travel schedule certainly imply that Delaware is too small of a pool for his many talents.

Maybe he should be asked if he’ll “sign the pledge” to serve for 4 years.

Some other possible picks:

• Michelle Rhee, the former D.C. schools chancellor, is rumored as possible education secretary but is such a lightning rod that she likely will not get it. Delaware Gov. Jack Markell, chairman of the National Governors Association, is a possibility.

via Obama second term: Team of insiders – Mike Allen and Jim VandeHei – POLITICO.com.

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Cesspool. That’s the best word that I can come up with.

I think that the political leadership embroiled in the Delaware Department of Corrections scandal is best defined by the term cesspool. In a cesspool, even the clean and neat end up dirty. Commissioner Danberg is, I think, a fairly decent guy. But, he and the Governor are allowing a scandal to simmer on their watch. Scandals have a way of eventually becoming public, and even decent people get dirty. Just ask the Paterno family.

Commissioner Danberg was, under the previous Corrections Comissioner, Stan Taylor (another decent guy), in charge of “special projects” (whatever that means). He then moved to the Attorney General’s office. When Jane Brady, three time elected Attorney General, was nominated and confirmed as a Superior Court Judge, Mr. Danberg was named Attorney General by Governor Minner under the agreement that he would NOT run for Attorney General, but leave that spot for Joseph R. (Beau) Biden, III. When AG Biden narrowly won his race against Ferris Wharton, Governor Minner appointed former AG Carl Danberg to be Corrections Commissioner. Commissioner Danberg has also served loyally and well, as far as I know, in Delaware’s National Guard. Something for which we should all be thankful and proud.

So that’s the Commissioner’s brief government bio — extensive experience at all levels of Corrections as well as the Attorney General’s office.

So, we know that he has served in the Department of Corrections and been familiar with the leadership of the Department of Corrections for over a decade. We also know that Beau Biden owes the Commissioner a debt of gratitude as does the whole Democratic Party establishment. The Commissioner has been very loyal and well rewarded for his efforts. Nothing wrong with that, until it turns wrong, and it is turning wrong.

We now know, through the actions of the mendacious Rep. John Atkins and related News Journal coverage, that Sussex County Correctional Institution has been providing undocumented, low cost labor to the politically connected (I might add that this probably includes some Republican politicians, as well). The law of the State of Delaware requires that when a prisoner makes money that he/she must report those earnings to 1) pay taxes, 2) pay victims compensation, 3) pay other court ordered/required expenses. If a private citizen or a released former prisoner refused to make these payments, the Attorney General’s office would investigate and prosecute to the full extent of the law.

But, the Attorney General has refused to prosecute or investigate. Why? Because the AG knows that the politically connected in Sussex County will not support him for his next election, and if the Attorney General decides to take on U.S. Senator Chris Coons in 2014, General Biden will need Sussex County support.

Charlie Oberle, U.S. Attorney and a decent guy and former Delaware Attorney General, has also declined to investigate. Could working for Beau Biden’s dad, the U.S. Vice President, be connected to this political decision to ignore the clear violations of federal tax law if not potential due process violations?

Why would these simple political decisions rise to the level of “cesspool”? Because there are more allegations than just sending out some guys to cut the grass of the Sussex County politically-connected on the cheap. Delaware’s Corrections Officers have long been an under-respected component of keeping Delaware safe. They have been forced to work with low staffing numbers and low investment in equipment and technology. However, they have been required to provide for the political handlers who control the system.

What hath the Delaware Way and One-Party rule wrought? Over-worked government employees being forced to provide benefits for the political class, but the Government worker is the one who is exposed. The political elite? Protected. When it blows, Delaware again will be an embarrassment across the nation. What should the political elite do? Come clean — get out of the cesspool.

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Delaware’s Treasurer, Chip Flowers, squeaked into office in 2010 and promised to give Delaware a “heads up” before the next economic crisis hit so that we’d all be prepared. Since taking office, he’s left his rating of Delaware’s economy as “Fair”.

From his own July 1, 2012 review,

  • How is Delaware’s Consumer Sector holding up?    — “Delaware ranked 42nd in yearly job creation.”
  • How is Delaware’s Business Sector doing?   — “Regional Manufacturing activity slows.”
  • How is Delaware’s Financial Sector working?  — “Delaware stock index declines by 2.42%.”

Golly. I wonder what it would take to earn a “Weak” Rating?

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Dr. Lovelock seems to confirm much of what this blog has written about on “Global Warming” or “Climate Change” over the last 4 years. It is nice to see when people of different backgrounds and knowledge can come to the same conclusions. Sadly, Delaware’s Governor and his “Warmist” supporters are hurting Delaware’s economy by forcing high energy prices on Delaware’s businesses as well as promoting a regulatory regime that makes high-paying manufacturing jobs difficult to create…

The following is from the Toronto Sun.

Two months ago, James Lovelock, the godfather of global warming, gave a startling interview to msnbc.com in which he acknowledged he had been unduly “alarmist” about climate change.

The implications were extraordinary.

Lovelock is a world-renowned scientist and environmentalist whose Gaia theory — that the Earth operates as a single, living organism — has had a profound impact on the development of global warming theory.

Unlike many “environmentalists,” who have degrees in political science, Lovelock, until his recent retirement at age 92, was a much-honoured working scientist and academic.

His inventions have been used by NASA, among many other scientific organizations.

Lovelock’s invention of the electron capture detector in 1957 first enabled scientists to measure CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons) and other pollutants in the atmosphere, leading, in many ways, to the birth of the modern environmental movement.

Having observed that global temperatures since the turn of the millennium have not gone up in the way computer-based climate models predicted, Lovelock acknowledged, “the problem is we don’t know what the climate is doing. We thought we knew 20 years ago.” Now, Lovelock has given a follow-up interview to the UK’s Guardian newspaper in which he delivers more bombshells sure to anger the global green movement, which for years worshipped his Gaia theory and apocalyptic predictions that billions would die from man-made climate change by the end of this century.

Lovelock still believes anthropogenic global warming is occurring and that mankind must lower its greenhouse gas emissions, but says it’s now clear the doomsday predictions, including his own (and Al Gore’s) were incorrect.

He responds to attacks on his revised views by noting that, unlike many climate scientists who fear a loss of government funding if they admit error, as a freelance scientist, he’s never been afraid to revise his theories in the face of new evidence. Indeed, that’s how science advances.

Among his observations to the Guardian:

(1) A long-time supporter of nuclear power as a way to lower greenhouse gas emissions, which has made him unpopular with environmentalists, Lovelock has now come out in favour of natural gas fracking (which environmentalists also oppose), as a low-polluting alternative to coal.

As Lovelock observes, “Gas is almost a give-away in the U.S. at the moment. They’ve gone for fracking in a big way. This is what makes me very cross with the greens for trying to knock it … Let’s be pragmatic and sensible and get Britain to switch everything to methane. We should be going mad on it.” (Kandeh Yumkella, co-head of a major United Nations program on sustainable energy, made similar arguments last week at a UN environmental conference in Rio de Janeiro, advocating the development of conventional and unconventional natural gas resources as a way to reduce deforestation and save millions of lives in the Third World.)

(2) Lovelock blasted greens for treating global warming like a religion.

“It just so happens that the green religion is now taking over from the Christian religion,” Lovelock observed. “I don’t think people have noticed that, but it’s got all the sort of terms that religions use … The greens use guilt. That just shows how religious greens are. You can’t win people round by saying they are guilty for putting (carbon dioxide) in the air.”

(3) Lovelock mocks the idea modern economies can be powered by wind turbines.

As he puts it, “so-called ‘sustainable development’ … is meaningless drivel … We rushed into renewable energy without any thought. The schemes are largely hopelessly inefficient and unpleasant. I personally can’t stand windmills at any price.”

(4) Finally, about claims “the science is settled” on global warming: “One thing that being a scientist has taught me is that you can never be certain about anything. You never know the truth. You can only approach it and hope to get a bit nearer to it each time. You iterate towards the truth. You don’t know it.”

via Green ‘drivel’ exposed | Columnists | Opinion | Toronto Sun.

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The Secretary of State is a member of the Cash Management Policy Board. This is the same Board that Treasurer Chip Flowers is attempting to by-pass so that he can play with and more aggressively invest Delaware’s short term cash. At the bottom of this post is the landing page of the Secretary of State’s website. Clicking on the link to the Cash Management Policy Board comes up with the following from the Treasury’s (aka The Treasurer’s) website:

Not Found

Apologies, but the page you requested could not be found. Perhaps searching will help.

Taking the advice given, a web search of the Treasurer’s site for “Cash Management Policy Board” comes up with… “Nothing Found.” However, a search for “Cash Management Policy” comes up with the Treasurer’s own thoughts as to how to invest Delaware’s short term cash holdings.

I guess when the Treasurer spent a bunch of money updating his office’s website into a puff-piece, he neglected to check for other State website inbound links or inform members of the Cash Management Policy Board that he was purging all details of their existence from “his” site.

Oversight? Incompetence? Purposeful? You make the call…

OFFICE OF THE SECRETARY OF STATE

The Secretary of State oversees an extremely diverse department with responsibilities in virtually every aspect of state government: economic development, finance, transportation, housing, education, culture and quality-of-life issues. In addition to providing direction such as budgetary and policy guidance to the various operating divisions of the Department, he also serves on the Board of Pardons as Secretary, is a member of the Delaware Economic and Financial Advisory Council (DEFAC) and the Cash Management Policy Board and chairs the Delaware Stadium Corporation. The Secretary of State is traditionally one of the Governor’s primary advisors.

The staff in the Office of the Secretary provides financial, personnel, training and legislative services to the Department’s divisions. In addition, the office is responsible for approving notary public applications and for providing the administrative functions of the Board of Pardons.

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