It should be no secret to Green Delaware’s readers that relentless harassment by scumbag officials has made in impossible for me to live and work full time in Delaware. See, for example: “Evil in a small placeâ€“harassment and selective prosecution by New Castle County.” and “Evil in a small place (#2) â€¦.future of Green Delaware.”
Now, the Wilmington News Journal, which generally specializes in covering up official crime when carried out on behalf of developers and big polluters, and also covers up harassment of ordinary human citizens, has opened a small window into the doings of New Castle County under County Executive (now United States Senator) Chris Coons.
The story, “Scott’s access to NCCo unveiled–Ex-Exec Clark’s wife accused of improper influence,” is worth reading in it’s entirety. I won’t summarize it, but here are few thoughts:
The story reveals attorneys in the County legal department discussing how not to comply with the Delaware Freedom of Information Act, and/or discovery in litigation. For example, County Atty. Greg Wilson reportedly wrote:
“It is not common knowledge that this was drafted. It seems to me that the optimum result would be to find a way to keep from producing it.”
“Optimum” for whom? Will this result in disciplinary action such as disbarment? It’s been my personal experience that New Castle County doesn’t comply with the FOIA when it doesn’t want to.
This story is only the tip of a much larger iceberg of corruption and scumbaggery, very much aided by the Delaware General Assembly and various governors. For example, the state, at the request of New Castle County, changed various laws to make it easier for the County to harass its own residents.
Former Governor Ruth Ann Minner operated under a moving cloud of improper influence. Some of this has been reported over the last couple of years. For example:
“Minner also got into hot water for making land deals through DelDOT, again involving Tigani. In 2006, Tigani was able to get a 66-year lease on 10 acres of land in Milford for just $1,500 a month. The monthly rent was thousands below the estimate of a state appraiser, who set the rent at more than $84,000 per month.”
Now, many people are saying Governor Jack Markell is an improvement. This is nonsense. Markell is running perhaps the most secretive and special-interest-controlled administration ever. He’s just more polished about it. He’s better at manipulating the media. Consider this report on the DelDOT scandal above:
“After languishing on the docket for two years, it appears a lawsuit seeking to modify a favorable land deal in Milford struck by the Delaware Department of Transportation with beer company N.K.S. Distributors Inc. of New Castle is in settlement talks.Frederick H. Schranck, the deputy attorney general representing the transportation department, has requested a confidential settlement conference with Vice Chancellor Sam Glasscock III, saying there appears to be ‘at least two viable ways to settle the differences between the parties.’
‘I have had several discussions with N.K.S.â€™s counsel regarding these options,’ Schranck wrote in a letter earlier this week.”
Note that here we have a Markell-appointed judge, a Markell-appointed Secretary of Transportation, and a Joe-Biden’s-weak-son Attorney General. Are they all getting together to further cover up the details of this scandal?
But the real biggies, to me, are Markell’s secretive deals that are trashing Delaware’s environment. Consider the reopening of the Delaware City Refinery, by far the biggest polluter in the state, without one iota of public involvement, disclosure or participation (or one iota of public objection from Delaware’s “environmental community.”) The deal apparently included rollbacks of environmental requirements put on the refinery with much effort by Green Delaware and others. For sure, the public health impacts weren’t considered.
(Markell’s minions are artfully handing out money to a Delaware City Environmental Coalition, and perhaps the Sierra Club, and perhaps others, to keep potential complainers quiet. Green Delaware is working on a story about this.)
[Note;Â A representative of the Delaware City Environmental Coalition called with a complaint.Â So allow me to clarify that there was no intent do question the good intentions of this Coalition.Â I am commenting on what I take to be the intentions of the state in passing out money.Â This is probably a mixed bag also–some state officials may be sincerely interested in helping–but that the refinery grossly pollutes Delaware City is obvious….]
Or consider the current festivities over Markell’s proposed giveaway of the Port of Wilmington to a very nasty corporation.
Just imagine what the paper trails, if ever disclosed,would look like on these.
Is improvement on the horizon? Hope springs eternal, but in a state where Common Cause, supposedly a good government org, would give an award to possibly Delaware’s most undesirable citizen, it’s hard to see where the pressure for cleaning up Delaware is going to come from.
We are a dirty state, environmentally and politically. Do we care enough to change that?
Friday was a Code Yellow bad air day. The forecast through Monday is for better Code Green air.