Let's see--Governor Ruth Ann and the General Assembly couldn't manage to do eminent domain reform, and decided to balance the budget by cutting summer school funding for kids who couldn't pass the DSTP.
But--on the plus side, apparently--they came together to outlaw copycat bands.
And another victimless crime hits the books, much to the bemusement of club owners throughout the state:
Vicky Walls, who oversees booking national bands for the Bottle & Cork in Dewey Beach, said she has never heard of an instance when a band claimed to be an act it was not.
Walls said in addition to the real acts, the popular beach establishment sometimes has cover bands and tribute bands perform.
"Everyone knows that's not Fall Out Boy on the stage because the next song is a Duran Duran song and the next song is someone else," Walls said.
Walls said if bands seriously tried to impersonate famous acts, most people would think they were crazy.
"People know that the Beatles aren't here," Walls said.
Chase Hartwig, general manager of the Deer Park Tavern in Newark, said his establishment has live music six days a week during the school year and have never encountered a band claiming to be an act it was not.
Hartwig said he regularly attends concerts in the area and could not think of an instance he encountered or heard of that would fit into the new category of illegal impersonation.
"Most respectable bands would pay tribute and respect to the original band and wouldn't try to pose as someone they weren't," Hartwig said.
Of course, Nanny Roof Ann was ready to tell us all how she was protecting us from evil:
"This legislation arrived in a timely manner with our summer beach season in full swing," Gov. Ruth Ann Minner said at the signing event. "As many of you know, we have a number of musical performing acts that come to Delaware during the summer, so we will have to make sure now that all of them are abiding by this newly enacted law."
The irony, as usual, is that Senate Bill 45 potentially makes club owners in Delaware criminals for advertising a now-illegal copycat band (even if they don't know the band is a fake) because:
(a) No person shall advertise or conduct a live musical performance or production in this State through the use of a false, deceptive or misleading affiliation, connection or association between a performing group and a recording group....
A person who violates §3302A of this Chapter is liable to the State for a civil penalty of not less than $5,000 nor more than $15,000 per violation, which civil penalty shall be in addition to any other relief which may be granted under §3303A of this Chapter. Each performance or production shall constitute a separate violation.”
Now, being a not-so-bright Libertarian, I'd have to wonder why the lost business, civil suits, and bad press of, say, advertising that the Rolling Stones have decided to play the Bottle and Cork wouldn't be penalty enough--both for the club owners and any customers idiotic enough to purchase tickets to watch Mick french-kiss Keith.
I'd also have to wonder at the motivation of Senators Connor, Amick, Sorenson, and Still, as well as Representative Thornburg and Maier--along with all the other happy idiots in the General Assembly who thought this was more important to do than protect my right and Ed Osborne's right to our own property.
You know what? I don't care who wins the Governor's race this year, whether it's John Carney, Jack Markell, Bill Lee, Mike Protack, or even (I swear) Rob Foraker.
With any of them we'll have a less embarrassing governor than we do right now.