Friday, July 14, 2006

A Brief Overview of the Delaware Republican Landscape

After a long and torturous absence from this blog, I've decided to return to examine the state of the Delaware GOP. (As a point of disclaimer, I am a registere Republican, and have been since I became voting age. To those who would label me a Kool-Aid® drinker, I will state (as an estimate) that I've voted about 85% straight ticket, diverging on races where I felt the candidate representing my party did not represent my views as well as the other.) That being said, here I go.

To begin with, the State Headquarters has received quite a bit of criticism is the past few years, some of which it deserved. In the 2004 election cycle, HQ allowed the Democrats to out-register them by a wide margin, they failed to take advantage of deep and widespread corruption in New Castle County government and allowed the Democrats to hold every major county office, and they spent their funds poorly - failing to sponsor a single ad for Gubernatorial candidate Bill Lee until the week before the election. Terry Strine, the State Chairman for this election cycle inexplicably held this office in an election in 2005, partly because no candidate provided a viable plan for change.

What he has done since then has been extraordinary.

The strength of Terry Strine has long been considered his ability to raise funds. Since his re-election, he has continued to do this, but he devoted a great deal of his energies to candidate recruitment. The results of this are statewide candidates Ferris Wharton, whose candidacy has drawn kudos not just from the predictable sources, but from across the political spectrum; and Jan Ting, a man who is so wildly qualified for the office he seeks that I wish debate-watching were a compulsory activity. Neither candidate is guaranteed victory - in fact, Tom Carper's inexplicable sway over the voters of Delaware will likely leave Ting as the most competent elective loser in state history. The two candidates, along with "Auditor-for-Life" Tom Wagner, make the best statewide ticket is recent memory. Strine should be commended for gathering these candidates - a difficult task for a popular man, a near-impossible task for what most considered a lame duck.

There are a few disappointments in local elections around the state. The retirement of Joe DiPinto leaves a hole that may be difficult to fill, although the likely primary for the Democrats in the 4th RD will give the right candidate a puncher's chance. Sussex County continues to be a Republican stronghold for the House, except for the 14th RD, where a candidate has not been located to take on Pete Schwartzkopf. Too many races mirror the 14th, where an incumbent legislator remains unopposed, to allow for any real comfort in holding the House or overtaking the Senate. While the Democratic Party seems to hold out hope for taking the House, there doesn't seem to be much of a chance at that lofty goal.

Despite my best efforts at seasoned analysis, I will not let the matter of Mike Protack pass in this posting. Since my review of his campaign website, Mr. Protack has made the... interesting choice to abandon the domain of, and I do mean abandon. The website is still there, just unchanged since late April. He has chosen to start a new website, or two. Currently, you can find (relatively) up-to-date information about Mike's Senatorial run at, and at the blog, I say relatively up-to-date because neither website nor blog has been updated in three weeks. There are, yet again, no events listed on the calendar of his official (and this time he means it) website, which we hope is prescient.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's interesting you mention Tom Wagner, Rick. I've seen sone letters to the NJ and heard some people criticize him for the Christina school district mess. What's your take on this? Do you feel he should have done a better job overseeing their finances? He is the state auditor, is he not?

7/16/2006 10:05 PM  
Blogger RickJ said...

I find it laughable that he's getting grief.

He isn't the duly appointed treasurer for the Christina school board, or any other. What he has done is, at the first sign of impropriety, thoroughly investigated the finances for malfeasance. Otherwise known as "auditing" them. His job isn't to mange their books, it's to find out how and why they were mismanaged.

7/16/2006 10:14 PM  
Blogger RickJ said...

Plus, suspenders. I mean, come on!

7/16/2006 10:15 PM  
Blogger Paul Smith Jr. said...

Hey, Rick, welcome back.

One of the topics I was looking forward to discussing with the now-departed DelaThough after the election was Strine's performance as GOP State Chairman. I think he's done a good job in the role, as you saiud, raising money and candidate recruitment has been great as well. DelaThought has a differing view, though.

Keep blogging. It's already been over a week of radio silence.

7/22/2006 1:36 PM  
Anonymous cleaning out my spam folder said...

Dear Friends,

Today I officially filed for the U S Senate and to date we have raised as much money as my GOP opponent. We opened our campaign Headquarters next to the GOP HQ and our full time consultant team is the same team that got Ken Blackwell the GOP Governor's nomination in Ohio this year when all the insiders said he couldn't win. We are prepared and commmitted to winning. Our poll numbers and organization bear this out.

Come join us in a campaign conference call on Monday the 24th at 7 PM. All you have to do is dial 1 304 848 6940 and use # 1211745. The call won't take more than 10 minutes. We must dedicate ourselves to a candidate commited to winning and the best way to control the future is to invent it!

I am not psychic, but I can tell you what is going to happen next year if the Democrats win control of the United States Senate.

They will:

X Immediately install Harry Reid as the all-controlling majority leader.

X Implement a cut and run policy on the war on terrorism. Remember, Bill Clinton had the opportunity to take out Osama Bin Laden and failed to act.

X Open the borders.

X Create new entitlement after new entitlement.

X Roll out the red carpet for the trial lawyers and repeal all the reforms passed to curb lawsuit abuse.

X Repeal the ban on human cloning.

X Repeal the Bush tax cuts.

X You name it, it won't be good for the country.

It is enough to keep you up all night worrying and offering an unfocused token opposition to Tom Carper won't win this race.

We can and must stop the Democrats and their failed agenda.

As you know many of our Republican Senators across the country are in trouble this year. That's why this U.S. Senate seat in Delaware Is so important.

If we can win this one seat, we can keep Republican control in the Senate.

But it is not going to be easy. The Democrats plan to use a win-at-all-costs strategy.

Will you help me by visiting my website today and join our team?

You can count on me to fight for common sense reforms in the Senate that include limiting the size of government, working for a better economy, providing a safe community, reducing our tax burden including the gas tax, and protecting our shared traditional values.

I’m committed to controlling federal spending and making every penny count because after all, the government doesn't work hard for money – the people do. You do!

The federal government does not have a revenue problem, but a spending problem.

Spend less, spend smarter, and spend better.

Like Ronald Reagan I will stand by my American traditional values and work for the common sense-conservative agenda in Washington.

I will defend our Constitution and stand up for our shared conservative principles:

ü Government growth is dangerous. It limits our freedom with the heavy burden of taxes.

ü Life is a precious gift and it must be protected. That includes the unborn.

ü The Constitution must be respected including the 2nd Amendment.

ü Traditional marriage and the family must be preserved.

We can do better!

There are no short cuts to winning this race. It is going to take a lot of hard work and a willingness of everyone to work together.

So won't you please help me by joining my team today? Please go to right now and let me know that you want to keep the Republican majority.

By sending a generous donation of $35, $50, $100, $250, $500 or even $1000, you will be helping me to win this critical race for the Senate.

Please consider this your personal call to action.
Every time I think of the possibility of Harry Reid becoming Majority Leader, I double my efforts because so much is at stake in this one race.

Please let me hear from you today.

Mike Protack
Candidate for U.S. Senate

7/25/2006 12:35 AM  

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