Democratic lawmakers will waste little time next week in going after Delaware Treasurer Chip Flowers.
The Senate Executive Committee, led by Senate President Pro Tem Patricia Blevins, D-Elsmere, will consider a bill to give an unelected board, not the popularly elected Flowers, the sole authority to make decisions on a $2 billion taxpayer portfolio.
Members of Gov. Jack Markell’s administration authored the bill last year, but lawmakers punted it on the final day of the legislative session in June after a behind-closed-doors meeting with Flowers and members of Markell’s cabinet.Let me count the ways:
1. Senate President Pro Tem Patti Blevins (D-Highmark) is going to go after someone for bad fiscal management practices, and make them accountable. This would be the same Senator Blevins who helped gin up the deal that in allowing Highmark to buy out Blue Cross Blue Shield of Delaware and establish a private insurance monopoly in the state, while also exempting Highmark from a $175 million reserve requirement and taking away most of the Attorney General's oversight powers.
2. The rest of our Senate Democratic leadership--you know, the folks who impotently watched the train wreck that was Fisker, spent millions bailing out racinos, and routinely wastes tens of millions on corporate welfare every session--is now to be considered the paragon of financial oversight!?
3. . . . or should that be the lapdogs of the Governor's office? The article admits that Jack Markell's people, not our financial genius Senators, wrote the bill. I would be willing to bet you that that before the last week of the session no more than three Senators could have even explained to you what the Cash Management Policy Board was, or what it did.
4. And this piece of serious watch-dog financial legislation was "punted ... on the final day of the legislative session in June after a behind-closed-doors meeting ...." You know what? Most of these Democrats will be out there this year running on government transparency, standing in front of a record of closed-door-meetings, illegal task forces, and secret AG opinions, and the thing of it is that they don't even have the class to be embarrassed by their own hypocrisy.
5. Chip Flowers is an easy target: from his Alaska trip to his penchant for sticking his foot in his mouth every time he gives an interview. Most Democrats don't really like him (do I hear the word "uppity" instead of "assertive" or "hard-charging"?), which is why he barely beat Colin Bonini the first time around. But the reality is that Chip Flowers is a distraction. Chip doesn't have a damn thing to do with Delaware's $150 million budget shortfall, with the losses on Fisker, with the ridiculous decision to bet future budgets on casino gambling. He's part of a package put together to keep you from noticing that the State of Delaware is not just on the financial edge, but also that neither the Democrats nor the Republicans has the slightest idea what to do about it.
Last year the distractors were marriage equality, transgender equality (both good things but nothing to do with economics), gun control, and the illegal charter school task force. This year, if the early whispers are any guide, the distractors will be Chip Flowers, gun control, and the minimum wage. What these distractors are intended to do is allow our legislators to seem to have momentum, and to throw themselves celebratory parties, while (as usual) secretly writing a budget that protects their corporate contributors at all costs.
The Chip Flowers Control Act--a new substitute for a legislative agenda.