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Kilroy's Slower Delaware / kilroysdelaware.wordpress.com

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The upper echelons of State government are occupied by petty vindictive personalities whose own sense of entitlement is what drives them. This is not exclusive to one party or the other. BOTH parties and members of both parties are responsible for this urgent need to self-aggrandize and diminish any and all challengers to the status quo crafted by wealthy and powerful corporations willingly assisted and enabled by powerful lobbying interests. There is a nasty smell emanating from the bowels of Dover and no one in power will open a window or door to air out the stench. The unmitigated gall of someone in Auditor Wagner’s office to engage in falsifying facts, casting false aspersions to tarnish the reputation of an individual of the highest integrity such as Kathleen Davies (aided by the sensationalist tabloid media “coverage” throughout the state) is leading the State government and that cooperating media to a previously unthinkable plateau of disgrace heaped on themselves. Shame on them and pity the public who must sort through this putrid quagmire of salacious rumor-mongering to cast a ballot for qualified and honest public servants.
Representative John Kowalko
2018-08-23T20:21:05-04:00 john kowalko
I appreciate being on the side of the public and good government on this issue but I support my colleagues dislike for President Trump. I still despise Trump's attitude and hateful rhetoric. His international policy pronouncements and dealings may lead directly to a rendering of the economic fabric of America and the global stability of the world. His willingness to use/abuse his office to promote schisms throughout American society pitting Americans against Americans, fomenting a false nationalistic resentment toward others is a foul debasement of true American patriotism and further obscures his own personal failings. So thank you Kilroy for your tacit support of this issue but please do not let it distract from Trump's well-earned resentment among my peers.
Representative John Kowalko
2018-07-26T13:16:43-04:00 john kowalko
Just too show you the respect you've earned and deserve I will be concise. "you are an idiot"
John K.
2018-02-14T12:23:22-05:00 john kowalko
·
I would gladly sit down and have a dialogue about creating a legitimate recall process with a serious due process contingent on the fact that it would apply to “ALL DELAWARE ELECTED OFFICIALS” not a limited number of office holders who could be intimidated or coerced by this fanciful offering that appears to seek control over the electorates wishes. It has to involve input from the public (eg. petition signatures), due process guarantees and apply to all elected offices and “all” appointed school board members, eg. Charters and State Boards.
Representative John Kowalko
2017-12-14T17:19:41-05:00 john kowalko
Here is my statement made at the CSD board meeting last night and followed by my challenges to the Carney/DOE plan presented, in person, to Governor Carney at a meeting he called about a week ago.
Rep. Kowalko
I and 9 other legislators attended a meeting called by Governor Carney less than a week ago purportedly to discuss the proposed Wilmington school reform plan and MOU proposal. Since we weren’t given copies of the MOU and it doesn’t seem to be available any longer at the link the Administration provided I cannot offer or challenge some of the specifics. At this meeting the Governor suggested that the MOU draft submitted by DOE would be changed and this board is not bound by it and should draft its own MOU proposal. The deadlines for Board action that the Governor and DOE appear to be imposing are substantively unrealistic and impractical for such a complex consideration with so many unanswerable questions.
Having examined some of the initial proposal and the details and expectations it held has led me to conclude that this is not a well thought out plan, that raises more questions and challenges then it has answers for.
I distributed some of my points of concern to the Governor and DOE and have copies for you that I will distribute. Due to time constraints I will try to focus on only a few of my concerns that I hope you will consider at this time.
I find it particularly harmful and hurtful to the “Southbridge” community, families and children to propose closing Elbert Palmer, one of the true neighborhood schools in walking distance and accessible to this Wilmington community. I hope that this Board’s counter-proposal would support closing that tired old monolith known as Bancroft and refurbish Palmer, Pulaski and Bayard to use for the suggested K-8 reconfiguration.
I also implore this Board to pay heed to the massive costs (which the Governor personally refused to speculate on) in refurbishing or renovating in order to make these consolidations. You should be acutely aware that any promise of funding cannot be guaranteed. In fact I would urge you to recall this Administration’s recently passed budget with concurrence of this current General Assembly cut traditional public school revenues by more than $36 million. Restoring that $36 million in cuts and adding even a small percentage of the proposed renovation costs would be much more beneficial and effective for Wilmington students if allocated to create smaller classroom ratios and hire reading and math specialists.
As I’ve looked at this reform proposal and its details and drawing upon my 11 years of experience as a legislator I am forced to conclude that this is a no-win situation for Christina, this Board and the children of Wilmington. Its predisposition to fail will be used to scapegoat the district and further stifle opportunities for Wilmington students and their families.
Finally I would suggest that this Board consider that traditional public school funding has received reduced funding since 2009 now totaling over $65 million per year. Ask the DOE and Governor:
Who is going to pay for the renovations?
Who is paying for longer school days and school years?
Who is paying for vacation academies?
Who is paying for after-school programs?
And why aren’t Reading Specialists and funding for them part of this plan?
Points of disagreement to Carney:
1) If CSD does not approve MOU, more money will be taken from the District further harming prospects of Wilmington students and families. (“If it rejects the plan and fails to come up with an acceptable alternative, the agreement would be terminated immediately, resulting in the loss of any additional financial support for the district”).
2) Bayard/Bancroft are not appropriate buildings for little children even if renovated. Bancroft too old to make usable with renovations.
3) Trauma Training not necessarily (research?) effective but investing/funding 1 to 15 class size ratios would effectively improve the learning environment and outcomes.
4) Palmer became the first equity lawsuit in Delaware when Christina District (at Lowery’s behest) tried to close it 10 years ago.
5) Leaves no “Neighborhood Schools” for city children and in fact may violate the “Neighborhood Schools Legislation”.
6) Bancroft is far away from Palmer and Southbridge children who now walk would be unable to continue that practice.
7) Distinguish more specifically between renovate, refurbish and reconfiguration.
8) Why don’t we do things like “successful” districts? The most successful programs such as in New York and Massachusetts fund “reading specialists” and lower class ratios.
9) When the plan refers to “potentially” establishing “early childhood education” and “centers for students and families learning English” at a vacated Palmer are the planners aware that there are no ESL students at Palmer?
10) Have you considered neighborhood “gangs” being integrated from across Wilmington into the same building?
11) The suggested “Co-leadership” model re principals and assistant principals belies the reality that these two jobs have never had the same duties and have always had designated responsibilities and functions.
12) “Loan forgiveness stipend” to young and “inexperienced” teachers does not reflect any benefit to already established teachers who have devoted their careers to inner-city education and “Who” is paying for these loans?
13) “Who” is paying for “longer school days/year”?
14) “Who is paying for “vacation academies”?
15) “Who is paying for “after-school programing”?
16) Why aren’t reading specialists part of this plan and therefore WHO IS PAYING FOR “READING SPECIALISTS” SO THAT CHILDREN ACTUALLY LEARN TO READ?
2017-12-06T13:01:48-05:00 john kowalko
Gee, do Charter Schools need permission to spend millions of dollars on well-heeled and powerful lobbyists who roam the halls of Dover in ever increasing numbers specifically engaged in charter protection and benefits (at a hefty cost to "traditional school" needs. (read 90% of students), and "gee" does some of that money come from taxpayer funded referendums. Answers #1: NO (and they do) and #2 YES (and it is)
Representative John Kowalko
2016-02-17T13:31:57-05:00 john kowalko
LastDEconman,
I guess that your fitfully ineffective run for public office has embittered you against all of us who are talented enough, intelligent enough, dedicated enough and successful enough to keep getting reelected. Don't forget to close your basement/bedroom door lest those three blind mice you lead escape.
Representative (and you're not) John Kowalko

P.S. please, please guide the "ferret" to 8th and French and lend him enough to file.
2016-01-27T23:06:16-05:00 john kowalko
LastDEconman,
Close your browser and don't forget to close your basement door. All that smouldering resentment you harbor might spontaneously combust and shutting the door to your room could prevent rapid spreading of those flames
John Kowalko
2016-01-25T12:45:09-05:00 john kowalko
Guest,
Anonymous bloggers and commenters forfeit their right to respectful dialogue especially when (behind their cowardly mask of anonymity) they issue demands and unsubstantiated challenges to honest and intelligent public servants like Rep. Williams. Get a grip on your own feeling of self importance and accept the reality that maybe you are not so important or informed. Most of the anonymous commenters on this site have an agenda of disruption and ego driven self-regard. If you (or they) wish to be respected I'd suggest that you drop the facade of some "author unknown" or "unwilling" to take credit or suffer the embarrassment of their own thoughts and pronouncements. I owe friend and foe, ally or opponent total respect and give it willingly and ungrudgingly. I do not owe one ounce of respect or regard for the graffiti artist who spray paints his or her philosophical whimsies on the nearest bare wall in the middle of the night. If you choose to email or call me with your list of requests I will certainly attempt to address your concerns in a respectful manner as will almost all of my colleagues.
Representative John Kowalko
2016-01-25T10:29:55-05:00 john kowalko
Yes M Ryddenout,
I think you are quite serious about requesting a law that "distracts" all

John Kowalko
2016-01-24T19:08:27-05:00 john kowalko
Oh Pubie you're just being "petulandt"
John K.
2016-01-18T23:22:08-05:00 john kowalko
Pubie,
You poor misguided and uninformed scold. November hosts a recall event. It's called an election. That's the time when engaged thoughtful people exercise their right to recall or reinforce their choice of who will represent them. Why don't you and your foursome/posse sit down and choose one of you favorites to run for office (any office). Maybe drag the lastDE.conman out of the confines of his basement to see what the world is like offline. May have to be a little careful with his witticisms if they are directed at anyone face to face however. Anyhow, good luck with your little sewing circle of friends. Perhaps you can collect enough for the "G"-man to file.

John Kowalko
2016-01-17T14:56:54-05:00 john kowalko
Once again the "ferret" emerges from its hole. 8th and French, 4th floor bring your check "G"-man. And bye the bye M. R. I'm already accountable to the people and less than a handful of nitwits such as you can't change that reality. Declare your opinion and "nefarious" interest at the ballot box this November. If indeed you do vote. Fortunately, for you, idiocy does not disqualify your right to cast a ballot.

John Kowalko
2016-01-16T20:27:31-05:00 john kowalko
Pubie,
You are most assuredly the epitome of an attention seeking, mournful voice of frustration (with your own insignificance) crying out in the wilderness of your own loneliness yet to realize that anyone within hearing range doesn't care about you or your meaningless existence
John Kowalko
2016-01-16T10:27:23-05:00 john kowalko
Rep. Hudson’s quote in the Delaware State News:
“Some of what was in that bill to me is just old, and I just thought it was a political game between (the speaker) and Kowalko and the governor. Stop. I mean, it hasn’t been done in 40 years, obviously it’s not a professional thing to do.”
My reply to Rep. Hudson's total lack of respect for the voting public is as follows:
Rep. Hudson thinks that challenging a bad decision by the Governor who represents a totally different branch of government and has decided to usurp the authority of the general assembly is somehow unprofessional. What is unprofessional is Representative Hudson's failure to support suspension of the rules and allow debate and a vote for or against the bill on the floor. Maybe Representative Hudson's theory is that getting reelected is her "profession" and if ignoring the public's wishes puts her at risk in that regard she should not allow herself to be held accountable to publicly vote on policy. That seems unprofessional and irresponsible to me.

Representative John Kowalko
2016-01-15T13:50:57-05:00 john kowalko
On behalf of all parents and children in Delaware, thank you Mike Matthews and the RCEA. See you on Thursday in the march to victory.
Representative John Kowalko
2016-01-11T21:38:28-05:00 john kowalko
One can only imagine that the Washington Post editorial staff is so satisfied with those failing DC schools which have been marginalized, charterized and characterized as improving despite the fact that they are pretty much mediocre at best and failing at worst. Where are the children and grandchildren of the WaPo editorial staff and owner attending? WaPo owner Bezos and his "bozos" (another gang of corporate shills supporting the RODELS, Chambers of Commerce, Gates, Pearsons, TFA, DOE, Arnie and Obama and our own Chief Executive) will support anything that has the potential to put a dollar in their failed media pocketbooks trickling down from the privatizers/destroyers of public education. Writing and supporting speculators and snake-oil salesmen who offer unproven solutions (speculations) to real problems is a convenient road to navigate guaranteeing a 50-50 chance of being right or wrong while sucking up all of the spare change (taxpayer money) littering that road.

Representative John Kowalko
2016-01-09T12:19:55-05:00 john kowalko
Pubie,
You have absolutely no idea what you're talking about. Even your tortured and conflicted alter-ego should be able to see that. I don't know whether to laugh at or pity your willingness to be oblivious to the truth in some desperate attempt to be consequential.

John Kowalko
2016-01-07T23:30:57-05:00 john kowalko
I can forward some "smarter balanced tests" as attachments by email if any of you are interested in posting on your site. My IT skills are those of the typically older male who still has trouble (occasionally) with the TV remote

John Kowalko
2016-01-07T18:36:05-05:00 john kowalko
Sayonara petty little man. You've made quite the impact (on no one of consequence) and that just gnaws at your feeble/fractured psyche I imagine. No more time for fools and haters
John Kowalko
2015-11-17T17:26:36-05:00 john kowalko
Last reply to an obviously uninformed, bigoted and irrational defender of himself. There is no state provided PC, no state provided iPad, no state provided internet access (at home) none of the useless points that you think you are making. The only conclusion one can draw from your attitude and woeful lack of knowledge and honesty is that you are a consummate provocateur of dissent and resentment for others. Often ones attempts to explain to a deranged person that persons own inadequacies becomes nothing more than an exercise in futility. With all due respect (and I am hard pressed to see that you merit or have earned any) I will head out to Dover to attend a meeting on behalf of all of the children and parents in Delaware. Somehow that becomes a much more rewarding experience than listening to your envious drivel. Bye, bye
Representative John Kowalko
2015-11-17T09:10:15-05:00 john kowalko
Hey Arthur aside from the fact that you have no idea where the money I spend comes from (savings from my 37 years as a union machinist, investments etc.???) and actually do not deserve a reply, I will promise you that I will pay for your beverage and any of your friends out of my wife's income. I'll even have her write me a note that it has come from her earnings if that will help you feel less like the ******* you obviously are.
John Kowalko
2015-11-16T20:53:02-05:00 john kowalko
Actually I pay for everything out of my pocket and that's why I offered to buy any or all of you bigots a meal on me. I wouldn't think of spending taxpayer money on the "haters, race-baiters and nonsense regurgitators such as you seem to be.
Representative John Kowalko
2015-11-16T18:28:11-05:00 john kowalko
Tuesday offer still stands Mr. "I got mine screw everyone else". Special one time deal. I'm buying breakfast for bigoted cowards who eschew their sheep-like cloaks of anonymity. I believe you'd qualify for the deal if you can muster up the guts. See you then?
John Kowalko
2015-11-15T17:59:00-05:00 john kowalko
Pubie,
I am not cherry-picking which constituents I wish to represent. Try to get this through your mindbogglingly dense advocacy for a caste type of system that you and your partners in hate advocate. You can rest assured that I will NEVER, EVER represent a consistently resentful, self-absorbed constituency that chooses to attack and vilify those downtrodden, less fortunate and differently complected people because they are seen as some type of threat to their bigoted standard of living. You can dance, all you wish, around the truth and depth of your ill-will towards others and try to obscure your insecurities with nuanced and self-serving arguments but do not ever propose that I will put my imprimatur of approval on such despicable considerations. By the way, I will use any state provided assets that are provided me as a duly elected official and quite frankly people like you are not in any position to question that. In fact you are an unelected member of a board who chooses to represent his own opinions and judgements of other elected officials and "elected" boards so I would first look in that mirror, if I were you, before making your unsolicited demands of others. Are you (or any of your multi-issued yet close-minded cabal) free Tuesday to discuss these issues in person. I'll be there.

Representative John Kowalko
2015-11-14T13:57:16-05:00 john kowalko
Pubie and Lastde you both are also invited any Tuesday with or without your identities.
John Kowalko
2015-11-13T20:43:44-05:00 john kowalko
I host a coffee every Tuesday at 7AM (early enough for you to still get to work) at the Friendly's on South College Ave. I pay for the beverages and invite you and all three of your allies and any others you can seduce with your charm to join me and the others that come out. One rule "no ski-masks" to preserve your cowardly anonymity. You have expressed your hate-filled and bigoted views on this site consistently with a seething sense of anger toward the FRL students and POC children and apparently all those different then you, exposing your total disregard for those less fortunate. The specific targets of your anxiety driven insecurities as described in your plaintive wailing above makes it quite obvious what kind of person you are. Your implication that you and yours are being forced to sacrifice what you believe you're entitled to in order to help others exhibits an insensitive and immoral selfishness. So yes, please come to Friendly's, show your face and spew your vitriol to me personally if you have the guts. I'll even spring for one of your PB&J sandwiches or a big breakfast for you if you can convince me that you aren't a cowardly, bigoted hate-monger.

John Kowalko
2015-11-13T20:42:02-05:00 john kowalko
Decon,
What a pathetically lonely existence you must lead. Sitting in your little private space, living a friendless and almost pointless existence. Knowing, in your heart, that you have no reasonable or inspirational cause to dedicate yourself too. Left with only your self-absorbed willingness to deride and ridicule anyone who would champion equal, just and honest agendas and causes. My words must be like a breath of fresh air in that vacuum-like environment you choose to inhabit. Befriended only by your own loneliness and your imaginary wit you must welcome when I post a message that you can only hope and assume was directed somewhere in your general direction so that you might respond somewhere other than to your mirror. Pitiful is surely a word you're well acquainted with in describing that reflection.
John Kowalko
2015-11-12T16:20:56-05:00 john kowalko
It's never "out of the way" to defend private and necessary businesses who provide a nurturing, loving and caring environment for children of families who are struggling and must work for pittance wages (unlike you) from unnecessary, unsubstantiated and belligerent attacks that are markedly bereft of facts. Conjuring up stereotypes to disguise and harbor your personal insecurities at the expense of the innocent is hardly defensible behavior. Your "number" has been posted and noticed for awhile now.
John Kowalko
2015-11-12T08:47:15-05:00 john kowalko
You put down all daycares that take purchase of care children payments and their staffs and management. You don't even have the basic knowledge that ALL daycares are licensed by the state to legally operate and they are ALL required to maintain a certain ratio of teachers, workers and management per number of students (also determined by age groups which cannot be co-mingled) or lose their licenses. There are no daycares that can afford to pay enough staff that they can maintain an over-staffing. Also there are many home daycares with waiting lists that do take purchase of care because that money only supplements the fee for service with the difference made up by the parent. Usually 65% POC and 35% from the parent. Your defensive posturing and total lack of knowledge of how these private businesses work and what they are forced to comply with simply fortifies the presumption that you have drawn some type of stereotypical conclusion that use see as self justification. Nothing in my attempt to educate you on this matter resembles a put down such as you seem to be exercising in your world of generalizing and stereotyping your opinion of others.
John Kowalko
2015-11-12T00:04:16-05:00 john kowalko
Pencadermom,
Your ill and uninformed attitude toward daycares that are of a provable high quality but still embrace their moral obligation to admit and care for those less economically fortunate than you shows you for what you are and how you feel about those who are different than you. Call me or email me and I will personally accompany you to a half-dozen wonderfully constructive and instructive daycares that take, care for and love "those" children who are "purchase of care" eligible. Most of "those" parents of "those" children are gainfully employed and make very little money but have to leave their children to earn enough for food, clothing and shelter for their families. Maybe you're reflexively responding to your less than enthusiastic willingness to have your children in school with "those" people that you are so willing to stereotype and demonize. I'm not a cat person but I think the average cat, despite their reputation for aloofness, would be more willing than yourself to accept different cats and people. These words may appear harsh and accusatory but an attitude borne of ignorance and unwillingness to not educate oneself to be less ignorant often deserves a harsh rebuke. You have my number if you wish for me to arrange those visits.

John Kowalko
2015-11-11T21:30:03-05:00 john kowalko
Dear all please read and seriously consider the harmful effects foisted on our children by these "education reform" salesmen. The NAEP test is one of the most widely used, highly respected and proven (over decades) accurate assessments of education results. If this latest development doesn't strike a warning chord in any of you that consider themselves as advocates for children and public education than I'm afraid it's time for an introspective look we all should take.

Representative John Kowalko


Here is part of my response to a media interview regarding my feelings as to why NAEP scores went down and my conclusion why that occurred.

​Very simply put Markell’s, Arnie’s, RODEL’s, Gates’, and all of the other (for personal profit) “education reformists” have foisted a failed system on our children with a horribly harmful result under the guise of a “common core” system that is ruining America’s and Delaware’s public education structure and willfully hurting children. Brief statement follows:







Scores down for NAEP
They’ve changed the curriculum. When they are now teaching algebra and geometry (under common core) in 3rd grade what are they not teaching or no longer teaching. If kids don’t truly understand and know multiplication, how are they going to perform the higher level skills required?
The NAEP is a generalized test given to kids all over the world. It is a consistent and reliable measure of comparison. You can’t “study” for it. So when we look at countries that do well (i.e. Finland/New Zealand) and see that their curriculums are nothing like what we have just adopted/imposed we should ask “what are we doing”?
Common Core is not a curriculum but it is so specific in its standards that it becomes a de-facto curriculum. Covering those prescribed “standards” forces teachers to teach only those skills. This presents two significant problems. There is no time for anything else and teachers are being handed a curriculum and much like the “Balanced Assessment Test”, it is being written (and profited from) by the same people who wrote common core who are (in most cases) not qualified teachers in these fields.
2015-10-29T13:29:05-04:00 john kowalko
Gregy-boy

8th and French Department of Elections,
2014-12-26T20:24:57-05:00 john kowalko
Warning, Warning, Bitter, desperate man posting above. He claims he can read minds and is sure to expose everyone's failure to recognize or understand public education that doesn't correspond with his "virtues". "Freedom of School Choice" = "Priority Schools" = "Public/Taxpayer funded private schools" = "Admissions Exclusion" NOT! 2014-12-24T20:35:47-05:00 john kowalko
Nancy Willing proudly takes ownership of her blog and Kilroy doesn't hide his identity and the others you mention own their blogs and their blogs opinion while the anonymous commenters Kevin and myself refer to have offered little other than feverishly contrived nastiness that they refuse to publicly own because their personal circumstances dictate their agenda and their afraid that some of their self-aggrandizing motives might be exposed. Reasonable associates and colleagues of theirs may not see the value of inexcusable nastiness as beneficial and even feel that it could diminish their position by association. You completely misread every criticism I've leveled at the "anonymous cowards" who travel this and other sites. I don't criticize disagreement but will challenge name calling and denigration of groups that support a legitimate value or purpose. If you can't or refuse to differentiate those anonymous writers than that's on you. 2014-12-24T16:19:36-05:00 john kowalko
Kevin,
Bravo to you and your concise and honest assessment of a truly meaningless personality, afraid to take ownership of his own failings.

Anonymity, the perfect refuge for the cowardly to offer their criticisms of all those identifiable around them with no moral inhibitions such as honesty and fairness guiding them. Accountable to no one and never risking exposure to their own self-absorbed reality and existence. Merry Christmas to all the corporatist agenda driven frauds who move so easily in the murky shadows of anonymous blog posts rather then risk exposure of their personal stake and interests in the real world.

John Kowalko
2014-12-24T13:29:51-05:00 john kowalko
Last De,
Wrong again. I did not vote to enable or enact. You obviously know less about me than I thought.
Representative J Kowalko
2014-04-05T19:34:56-04:00 John Kowalko
My, my lastDe,
Did I detect a not so subtle hint of racism and sexism in your remark? Are these self identifying personal characteristics of yours or merely a poorly worded attempt to distract from your own obvious insecurities? Since you don't know me, at all, nor know what motivates me or what I have accomplished or attempted to accomplish on behalf of all people; I'm left to presume that you are consumed with your own inadequacies and have allowed some of your own hatreds to percolate into the dialogue. Good luck with that.
John Kowalko
2014-04-04T11:06:15-04:00 John Kowalko
This policy shift is the most "in your face" avoidance of any food and health safety regulations (already weak) in the United States. This disregard for food safety regulations and a thinly disguised attempt to garner cheaper labor in China is an affront to common sense and the consumer. 2014-03-13T14:46:07-04:00 John Kowalko
Kavips,
You win. I'm now relegated to practically begging to meet with, (disguised if you'd like) I am rarely impressed or willing to concede another persons ability to understand, appreciate and evaluate circumstances as well as or better than me. But, open invitation, we should sit and talk (breakfast or lunch-my treat) about public education in Delaware. Open invite!
John Kowalko
2014-03-02T19:40:46-05:00 John Kowalko
excuse me forgot to add: reality, truth and "credibility"
Regards,
John Kowalko (a real person for all to see and challenge)
2014-02-21T10:33:01-05:00 John Kowalko
Congrats LDC your consistent use of the cloak of anonymity has completely freed you from the shackles of reality and truth. At this rate you're sure to capture the figment of someone's imagination, albeit your own.
John K.
2014-02-21T10:20:48-05:00 John Kowalko
"One thing that I find amazing is, with all the PhD’s calling the shots in education, I can only wonder why things are so fucked up"!

Sorry Kilroy, it's all of the "Masters in Business" (not a PHD among them either) calling the shots in education and there's your answer.
John kowalko
2014-01-24T18:14:11-05:00 John Kowalko
There were no satisfactory or legitimate answers given to me so I debated against and voted against the awful piece of legislation and was joined by 8 or 9 colleagues. I think it's obvious what I've said and contended before, during and after HB 165 being introduced, passed and signed into law and my opinion of many parts of that bill is unchanged. You can refer to my op-ed in the NJ on the subject.
A separate fund (of taxpayer money) established by the Gen. Assembly and accessible to only 8% of the public school students in the state is an unfair distribution of that taxpayer money which should be available to all public schools and students. There are other major components of that law that will contribute to an exclusivity of admissions and an unfair lack of diversity and resources available to public education in Delaware.
2014-01-10T12:54:57-05:00 John Kowalko
Mike O.
You should ask those questions of the sponsors (Scott, Jaques and Sokola) the Governor and DOE and perhaps the chairs of the JFC who put that money in the budget. I promise you I've queried that same information in committee and on the floor and was left to voting against the bill as my only option.
2014-01-09T17:34:31-05:00 John Kowalko
I guess Arne Duncan's mom is one of those who must be realizing her child is not very bright let alone brilliant. 2013-11-16T23:15:57-05:00 John Kowalko
Delacrat,
Because labor construction costs to build the facility were probably much cheaper and manufacturing labor costs are much cheaper than in the good old USofA marketplace (where the product is being sold), thereby assuring maximum profit for Dupont and its execs. Can you imagine all of the well-paying construction jobs that would have been here in Delaware to build a $200-$250 million facility. Can you say "Buy American" or how about "America love it or leave it" or at least support it.
John Kowalko
2013-10-31T18:52:13-04:00 John Kowalko
In regards to this platform on education, I believe I'm Libertarian.
John Kowalko
2013-06-30T00:08:33-04:00 John Kowalko
Also fascinating is the fact that Bolden, Kowalko, Osienski, Potter and Kim Williams who represent a majority of Democrats on the Education Committee saw their wishes to keep the bill tabled in committee overturned and their legitimate concerns with the bill disregarded by their colleagues.
John K.
2013-06-28T11:58:16-04:00 John Kowalko
Congratulations to Rep. Don Blakey for listening to the concerns and voting to table. 2013-06-05T21:54:01-04:00 John Kowalko
lastDE
Congratulations you have somehow missed the point of the discussion (deliberately I hope) to such an extent that you have become irrelevant to the discourse.
2013-06-03T12:40:36-04:00 John Kowalko
Cab and Calloway, as traditional public schools (albeit magnet) are provided by the district but the district receives the Traditional public school per-pupil allotment. 2013-06-03T12:36:43-04:00 John Kowalko
Publius,
I am including a part of the letter I sent to the JFC regarding transportation funding for public school pupils. Please note the proportional increase in charter school per-pupil funding relative to traditional school funding and please note the actual dollar amounts per pupil. I will send you the entire letter if you wish so you might understand that I am not trying to change and/or lower transportation allocations per-pupil to Charters, Vo-Techs or traditional schools but dispute the actions of the JFC to include epilogue language that directly contravenes existing Delaware Code that requires traditional and charter schools to return funds (specifically allocated for transportation of students) and keep those excess (specifically dedicated, in code and regulations), taxpayer for whatever purpose they choose. This is the violation of code and not a debate or attempt to change any transportation formulas. I hope you will take the time to assimilate this information and if there is an asking by this site manager for all of the written correspondence to post I will gladly send it.
Following is an excerpt which contains the actual numbers.


Just to clarify. Charter Schools have not asked to be given what Traditional schools are allocated for per-pupil transportation funds. In fact that would be a dramatic cut in money now given. See excerpt from my letter to JFC in the epilogue discussions here:

“Second, you concluded in your response to me that the epilogue language is appropriate because it counters the decrease in transportation cost funding for charter schools. However, the epilogue language does not reference this theory, and the actual facts belie that point. The actual dollar figures for school transportation costs show that charter schools not only already receive far beyond the amount that traditional public schools receive per pupil, but also that this disparity continues to rise. Charter school transportation allocations are $908.75 per pupil in New Castle County, $843.85 in Kent County, and $964.88 in Sussex County, while the K-12 transportation funding in traditional public schools is $579.30 per pupil. This means that charter schools are, on average allocated 1.56 times the amount allocated to traditional public schools. Last year, charter schools were allocated 1.44 times the amount allocated to traditional public schools. This significant increase is due to the fact that transportation costs per pupil in traditional public schools have decreased, while those costs for charter schools have increased in every county during that same period”.

The charters were not asking for a change in per-pupil amount but (by Delaware Code), money allocated for transportation of public school students by the state that is not used for that purpose is to be returned by both traditional and charter schools but the epilogue language imposed by the JFC violates that code’s intentions and the specificity of purpose for that (transportation) allocation. I can post the entire letter I sent to all members of the JFC and General Assembly which identifies the situation and offers a remedy that would not contravene existin code.
John Kowalko
2013-06-03T12:21:09-04:00 John Kowalko
Just to clarify. Charter Schools have not asked to be given what Traditional schools are allocated for per-pupil transportation funds. In fact that would be a dramatic cut in money now given. See excerpt from my letter to JFC in the epilogue discussions here:

"Second, you concluded in your response to me that the epilogue language is appropriate because it counters the decrease in transportation cost funding for charter schools. However, the epilogue language does not reference this theory, and the actual facts belie that point. The actual dollar figures for school transportation costs show that charter schools not only already receive far beyond the amount that traditional public schools receive per pupil, but also that this disparity continues to rise. Charter school transportation allocations are $908.75 per pupil in New Castle County, $843.85 in Kent County, and $964.88 in Sussex County, while the K-12 transportation funding in traditional public schools is $579.30 per pupil. This means that charter schools are, on average allocated 1.56 times the amount allocated to traditional public schools. Last year, charter schools were allocated 1.44 times the amount allocated to traditional public schools. This significant increase is due to the fact that transportation costs per pupil in traditional public schools have decreased, while those costs for charter schools have increased in every county during that same period".

The charters were not asking for a change in per-pupil amount but (by Delaware Code), money allocated for transportation of public school students by the state that is not used for that purpose is to be returned by both traditional and charter schools but the epilogue language imposed by the JFC violates that code's intentions and the specificity of purpose for that (transportation) allocation. I can post the entire letter I sent to all members of the JFC and General Assembly which identifies the situation and offers a remedy that would not contravene existin code.
John Kowalko
2013-06-03T12:07:51-04:00 John Kowalko
Guest,
That is absolutely untrue.
2013-06-02T22:32:51-04:00 John Kowalko
I will try to answer your questions. I have earned the right to be engaged in any attempts to reform charter school law. I was the only legislator who stood in front of over 250, somewhat hostile, citizens at the public comment session to discuss the NCS expansion. My comments are a matter of record and I never attacked NCS but I did enumerate and specifically call for a comprehensive reformulation of Charter Law. Since that time I have worked with my good friend Rep. Jaques to craft and write legislation to address the many flaws in the Charter Law. The many flaws included but were not limited to, impact on existing schools, failure of charters to offer innovations and ideas that could be replicated in traditional schools, lack of socio-economic diversity in charters comparable to their geographically located sister schools. Geographical and ability restrictions that seem to exclude members of the reflective public school community. It became apparent that we would not be able to move this legislation through last year so we focused on a rejuvenation of efforts this year. In between last year and this a mysteriously secretive task force was formed to study, and by their own account "NOT" offer legislation to reform charter law. I asked formally to be allowed to serve on the committee??, which was heavily weighted with pro-charter and business interests to the real exclusion of supporters of the needs and negative effects on traditional schools, and my request was denied. That brings us full cycle to the current legislation that has taken on a complexion of giving a peanut butter sandwich to traditional schools needs while offering filet mignon to charters. The efforts of Rep. Jaques in this matter have been responsible and well-intended and he has managed to get a few good and necessary items into this variation. The reality, however, is that our original bill was only a few pages and this construction is 20 pages long filled with many obscure, nuanced and ambiguous passages that have caused me concern. Not to mention one very clear stipulation that creates a fund accessible only to charters that will be doled out by DOE and funded with money we should be returning to traditional public schools that we have imposed draconian cuts on.
Specifically, I know I've proved my legitimacy and right to prime co-sponsorship on this reform legislation and that does not preclude any considerations or questions I may have about this variation of the original intentions of legislation. If you are responsible for decorating your home and you want to be able to move the furniture and pictures and paint the walls you will find in the political world that you better stay in the house and not outside on the porch looking in the window and trying to have your suggestions heard through the shutters.
2013-06-02T13:27:12-04:00 John Kowalko
Charter Schools get (per pupil) in New Castle County -$908.75
Kent County--------$843.85
Sussex County-----$964.88

Traditional public schools get (per pupil) ------------------$579.30

Traditional schools (by law) must return all monies appropriated for transportation costs back to the General Fund except that this administration has cut their transportation allocation so dramatically that there is no money to return and the difference is made up from local funds (taxpayers- charter/traditional and private/parochial parents and non-parents).

Charter Schools are also required (by law) to return unused transportation specific funding allocations:
DE. CODE Title 14 sec. 508:
"In lieu of payment from the State specified, if a charter school utilizes a contractor for student transportation the charter school shall publicly bid the routes, and the State shall reimburse the charter school for the actual bid costs only if lower than the payment specified above (see per pupil numbers above). "Local school districts and charter schools shall cooperate to ensure that the implementation of this chapter does not result in inefficient use of state appropriations for public school transportation".

The epilogue language allowed to be inserted yesterday and throughout the last four budgets reads

"Notwithstanding Title 14 Del. C. Sec. 508 or any regulation to the contrary, a charter school may negotiate a contract for contractor payment for school transportation up to the maximum rate specified, or may publicly bid the transportation routes. (Drum-roll please, to announce code/law violation via epilogue language).

"If the actual negotiated or bid costs are lower than the maximum rate specified above, the charter school may keep the difference".

Now hang in there with me on this:

Newark Charter (5 mi. radius) received (per formula) the highest transportation fund allocation provided. $1,224,086 and reported to the controller general an actual contract total of $1,224,086 (coincidence??) the actual checkbook balance issued for transportation by Newark Charter School was $1,008,733.86. Obvious discrepancy of $215,000+ and the fact remains and will always remain that this allocation and all transportation allocations are specifically identified by law as for the purposes of providing public school transportation to public/charter school pupils not (as Sen Bushweiler wrongly and deliberately suggested) as charter school pupil/academic funding. In fact as wrongly stated in a Delaware Online comment Charter Schools (Capital funding aside) receive the same funding per pupil as traditional public schools and (if you calculate the total compensation package) in some cases receive more.

To summarize "this (transportation funding) is not what they asked for", nor is it allowed to be given by law as a "slush fund unaccountable to the taxpayers and violating the specificity (by law) of its intended use. Furthermore the 12 member Joint Finance Committee has no right to overturn/subvert/contravene code that has been implemented by 62 members of the General Assembly. And that, quite frankly, is the point.

To be perfectly honest if you think a headline and picture in the local paper is worth the four months of my life spent documenting and explaining this to my colleagues than you may take my place in line, the food isn't that good anyway.

Regards,
John Kowalko, State Representative
2013-05-29T19:36:10-04:00 John Kowalko
Joanne,
I would suggest that your comment, concisely and accurately expressing a reality should be submitted as a stand alone topic to be posted on Kavips, Delawareway, Transparent Christina and this site. Please consider that and a letter to the News Journal. High time to enlighten the under and uninformed with facts.
Regards,
John Kowalko
2013-05-22T14:41:21-04:00 John Kowalko
Joanne,
Superbly accurate comment. This is the reality of the capital funding situation that is often intentionally glossed over in the world of uninformed and disinterested politicians who seem to have an agenda limited to being seen as a "mover and shaker" without moving or shaking. There are rarely simple solutions to complex problems and it requires an inordinate amount of hard work to compose those complex and meaningful solutions. The bane of successful lawmaking is the inherent instinct of people to become comfortably lazy.
2013-05-22T10:30:14-04:00 John Kowalko
John Kowalko

Kavips,
With all due respect, I didn’t have to be awakened to the horrors of this poorly written and intended piece of legislation. I argued against it in the House Committee to no avail and spoke with some of the supporters, (DSEA), to attempt to alert them of its flaws.

The reality of this is that the administration, through its DOE policy head, was not honest, (on the floor, or in any of discussions leading up to the bills disposition), about the support it had from “higher ed. institutes” in Delaware.

The DSU Provost’s response (on the House floor, during debate) to the question “did your institution participate in crafting this legislation” was an unequivocal “NO” and my investigations lead to evidence that none of the institutions of higher learning participated in crafting this ill-conceived piece intended to reflect positively on the DOE and administrations abdication to RTTT compliance.
If you paid close attention as to how the alleged support was phrased/explained you can see the reality of the situation. DOE implied/suggested that a lack of pronounced objection implied “full” acquiescence to DOE’s contrived policy and this is at the least “intellectually” dishonest. If you ask yourself why none of the higher ed institutions voiced any trepidation in the matter I advise you to look at The calendar and note that starting this week the Joint Finance Committee meets to rule on recommended and suggested budget money increases for these institutions and only a fool would feel confident in challenging anything that might put them at a disadvantage in that arena.

As for the DSEA, I tried to make them understand that this legislation can and will be used as the first (and perhaps only) validation of “component 5″ test score evaluations of teacher effectiveness but I imagine I wasn’t convincing enough.
So I am copying you and your readers some of the talking points raised in support of the Potter/Kowalko amendment and in opposition to the bill.
Feel free to post or send this comment and content anywhere you please.
Respectfully,
rep. Kowalko

SB 51 purports to be a method to set high completion requirements, high-quality teaching experiences and ongoing evaluation of teaching program participants and to prepare prospective elementary school teachers in age-appropriate literacy and mathematics instruction. The bill also requires new educators to pass both an approved content-readiness exam and performance assessment before receiving an initial license.

While these ambitions are laudable, (and when we address the bill we can speak to its ability or lack thereof, to do that), this bill, as written intrudes into the arena of subjectively judging, with no verifiable proof or proven data, the ability of students to succeed in the programs of education studies. It contrives to prematurely eliminate students from entering into their chosen career path by legislating away their choices and options. All schools of higher education have relatively strict requirements and acceptance standards merely to be accepted as students and some have even more rigorous standards for acceptance to education pathway courses. We might presume that a quantifiable measure of success in the matters of teacher preparation and certification and educator evaluation can be achieved by this legislation but the chapters that prejudge and preclude individuals from participation in these programs should not be a matter of the imposition of laws that deny opportunity and access and violates the principles of individual rights. The schools are well positioned and qualified to make those judgements that best serve their own programs and those impositions should be removed from this bill before passage.

The current system works. Between the entrance and exit requirements, Ud and DSU already winnow out over two-thirds of the students interested in teaching careers.
2013-05-19T14:07:33-04:00 John Kowalko
John Y.
They wouldn't know what to do with it. That's an embarrassing position they would never put themselves in since they, (deep in their heart of hearts), know they don't know what to do with it. It's easy to pull the con of proclaiming how things should be when you don't have to be responsible for making them be. They'll never overestimate their own commitment or capabilities because they have no intention to commit and no abilities to perform successfully if they ever rose to the challenges and work required to fulfill a commitment.
State representative John Kowalko
2013-05-17T22:03:49-04:00 John Kowalko
John,
Respectfully, State regulation, especially State BOE, can and will be ultimately subservient to the will of the General Assembly.

John K.
2013-05-17T20:33:34-04:00 John Kowalko
Please correct to read "will not and will never be" 2013-05-17T20:04:23-04:00 John Kowalko
Having been an eyewitness and engaged participant to much of this dialogue/debate I can reassure you there are absolutely no justifiable or legal grounds for any attempted takeover and, to be frank, that kind of effort (although only a hypothetical musing) will and will never be tolerated or allowed by the General Assembly. Let me make myself perfectly clear here; I have heard nothing nor sense nothing that would give any credence to that type of scenario playing out or being considered but in the interest of easing anxieties--"It ain't going to happen".
John Kowalko
2013-05-17T20:03:07-04:00 John Kowalko
My offer to testify to what I eye-witnessed and personally heard in two meetings I attended with DOE and Governor's staff regarding the dispute with Christina stands. I am absolutely willing to do this under oath if that is required.
Representative John Kowalko
2013-05-11T16:18:28-04:00 John Kowalko
No, that amendment failed.
John K.
2013-05-07T23:44:12-04:00 John Kowalko
John Kowalko

“transforming Delaware into one of the leading charter school systems in the nation”

This language, direct from the DOE website, is an affront and insult to every single parent and citizen and legislator who have been willing to confront the many flaws and shortfalls in the “charter school experiment” under the delusion that they were participating in an objective and open-minded dialogue with this administration. I find the very wording insulting and dismissive of the legitimacy of any other point of view or perspective and I would respectfully ask that it be removed from the site unless, of course, it is the intention of the DOE to transform our “public” school system to a publicly funded “charter” school system. If that is the case I would remind that agency that the General Assembly will be the ultimate arbiters of that ambition.

Representative John Kowalko
2013-04-26T18:00:03-04:00 John Kowalko
Actually, lastDEconservative, (one could only hope that were true), I had nothing to do, whatsoever, with creating, operating and especially "DIRECTING" the activities of DOE or its Secretary or employees. If you had the slightest intimate knowledge of government you would know that. Also please note that I am not condemning the agency but I am indicting and condemning its behavior and dishonesty in this particular instance and will continue to exercise my sense of responsibility toward fairness and truth. This will be my last response to you on this subject that you know nothing about. I find it too "tiring"
Regards,
Representative John Kowalko
2013-04-22T00:20:47-04:00 John Kowalko
I have studied the matter, in depth, as part of my elected responsibilities to all taxpayers, families, educators and public school children and agree 100% with Ms. Jenner. Her points re the TFA are spot on and until we see statistics that prove otherwise we are asking the taxpayers to prolong a failing experiment with already stressed funding and no credible evaluation of the efficacy of the program. The previous statement also applies to the ridiculous assertion that "standardized testing" can and should be used to evaluate teacher performance/effectiveness. teacher preparation and student/school achievements.

John Kowalko
2013-02-26T10:32:24-05:00 John Kowalko
Dawn,
If you were referring to me than you need to upgrade your reading comprehension skills. I have never nor will I ever say that admissions tests/standards that exclude any children from access to taxpayer funded schools is appropriate or shouldn't be addressed. If any parent wishes to enroll their child in any school that excludes any children for any reason (race, socio-economic status, culture or religion) than I suggest that they enroll their child in any of the wonderful private or parochial schools available and not expect nor demand that the taxpaying public foots that bill.

Rep. Kowalko
2012-12-16T21:38:55-05:00 John Kowalko
Citizen,
Taxpayers provide 100% of student costs to Charters by unit count formula and more than traditional schools for transportation (somewhere around $850 per charter student to $570 for traditional. Do not try to mix capital expenses with operational expense when calculating funding per student. Traditional schools cannot use capital funding for operational expenses so do not pretend that Charter schools get less funding/dollars per student. That is an absolutely incontrovertible falsehood used to mislead and is an unacceptably falsehood promoted to make it look like charters are sel-sufficient. The taxpayers pay for charters whether or not they are defacto segregated or admissions tested exclusive.

State Rep. John Kowalko
2012-12-16T20:20:01-05:00 John Kowalko
creative/interpretive math, fill in the answer than create the equation. 2012-10-22T18:26:39-04:00 John Kowalko
Finland's children's poverty rate is less than 5%. Good old US of A over 40%. among its public school children. Dr. Okagaki, next time save the University's travel budget some money and ask UofD to lower in state graduate tuition (now equal to out of state) back to where it was relatively for our Delaware residents. 2012-10-17T22:13:23-04:00 John Kowalko
This bonus component is an illusory technique resulting from the major flaw in RTTT. It (RTTT) is a contest to pit schools and teachers and parents against each other for a reward not necessarily earned. As long as money is spent on competitions than money will be denied the "losers" who inevitably need the most resources to improve their plight. Be very, very aware that a system of rewards given on the basis of unproven evaluating techniques which rely on a paucity of accumulated data will inevitably be used as justification (unfair and wrong) to punish those teachers at the other end of the "spectrum" who will be branded and marked by the likes of the big money winners (innovative schools, edison learning and all the other private consultant charlatans) and a failed testing system with no basis in education reality. Beware the measurement of teachers is already committed to today, (for reward) and a year from today (for punishment) you only have to pull up the transcript from Dr. Lowery's Joint Education meeting testimony a couple of months ago. Beware all of you wonderful teachers, DSEA and all true education reformists (not Skippy). It's not a secret path to public education reform if you are willing to look at the top 3 countries worldwide performance assessment and consider that less than 5% of their children live/exist in poverty while the U.S. approaches a 50% childhood poverty level. Enough of the smoke and mirrors snake-oil salesmen with their magic elixer. They tarred and feathered them in the old days and rode them out of town on a rail. Beware, beware and follow the money.
Rep. John Kowalko
2012-05-13T14:59:26-04:00 john kowalko
I guess my invite got lost in the mail
John Kowalko
2012-03-23T21:46:03-04:00 John Kowalko
Dear alsonewarkmom,

I don't often write on blog sites but I had to tell you that your comment is one of the most astute and honest observations I have ever read. I want to thank you for your work on behalf of the child you mentor and all of the children who too often fall between the cracks. I want to thank you for the intellectually honest perspective you've taken and for your ability to see the heavy and serious obligation we have to ALL of the children in ALL of our public schools. I hope your remarks are read and considered, (not only by those parents of charter school children--they are good people worried about their children and rightfully so), but also by those leaders who choose to demonize existing public schools as failing all students and who so willingly fill the minds and hearts of those concerned parents with a trepidation that something horrible will befall their kids if they are relegated to having to attend a Newark High. It strikes some as an unjustified fear-mongering that borders on the immoral to ensure the success of their agenda at all costs and perhaps they owe an apology to all those good teachers and hard-working students and parents who depend on society to provide the opportunity of a public education. Maybe a little introspective soul-searching by some of those Charter School leaders is in order.

John Kowalko
2012-02-17T15:57:58-04:00 John Kowalko
Uninformed and inappropriate remarks made by Baker and Duncan do not contribute to any constructive dialogue. I stand by all my previous remarks that the Christina School Board cast a legitimate vote that stayed within the transformation and Partnership Zone requirements. Their vote corrected a unilateral action taken outside the MOU that disaffected legitimately qualified teachers and denied them due process. I support the Boards action as legal, propoer and in the best interest of education reform proposed under the RTTT. Please feel free to forward this comment to Sec. Duncan and the libelous spewing Mayor Baker.,
Representative John Kowalko 25th District Delaware. Let me repeat "DELAWARE STATE Reprentative"
2011-04-26T19:26:29-04:00 john kowalko
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Blue Delaware / bluedelaware.com

Comment Date Name Link
Jack Markell was the guiltiest of the guilty in giving massive amounts of money to major corporations without any strings attached or identifiable return on investment to the taxpayers. During his eight year tenure his Administration gave over $250 million to some of the wealthiest corporations in the world. Astra Zeneca, DuPont, Chemours, JP Morgan, Johnson Controls among others, some of whom built and man factories (not subject to any tariffs or surcharges for importing the finished product shipped back to American markets) in China. Literally hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars in construction jobs to build those recently completed new factories and many thousands of Chinese hired there to man them. Dupont (Solar Panel manufacturing) Johnson Controls (Battery Mfg). Yeah Jack write another article attacking your favorite practice of taxpayer giveaways to corporations and take those articles and thoughts and bury them next to your "legacy" in Potters field.
Representative John Kowalko
2018-08-21T18:03:54-04:00 John Kowalko
How many involved Delaware authorized LLCs
Rep. John Kowalko
2018-08-07T23:33:19-04:00 john kowalko
So let's get this idea of taxing for mileage versus gasoline taxes sorted by logic. It will allow large Tractor Trailers to minimize expenses while still maximizing road damage. It will penalize people that make the proper decision to protect the planet and resources by using less fossil fuels (that have an irreversibly damaging effect on the climate) by buying and driving fuel efficient hybrids and other advanced vehicles that consume much less gasoline. It will reduce costs for those individuals who feel the need to drive gas guzzling vehicles without reservation. In conclusion it is a bad plan, bad idea, and bad policy encouraged and pushed by the fossil fuel companies and the Koch brothers. Also supported by vehicle manufacturers who enjoy huge profit margins on their truck/SUV sales who will see profits jump while no longer needing to invest in fuel efficiency production. Sorry Mother Nature, you should have gotten listed on the stock exchange if you wish to enjoy serious consideration for your plight.
Representative John Kowalko
2018-07-02T12:36:32-04:00 john kowalko
Finally some good news for electric users. A recent settlement brings good news to Delmarva Power and Light electricity consumers. I chose to intervene in PSC Docket # 17-0977 in order to join the Public Advocate, Drew Slater, in trying to mitigate the proposed increase in electric rates requested by Delmarva Power and Light. The original rate increase request was for $31 million. That would have resulted in a $65 per year (4.7%) increase for a typical user. As the hearings on this matter progressed the recently passed windfall tax cuts to corporations became a reality and the Public Advocates office filed a petition to capture that windfall and give it back to the ratepayers. I and Representative Kim Williams circulated a letter of support for this petition amongst our fellow legislators. We managed to accumulate 38 signatories of support and filed the letter with the PSC. The petition was granted by the PSC and the ruling was made to return the windfall to the ratepayers. As the original case was being negotiated, the Public Advocate, myself and other interveners decided that it would be most beneficial to the individual ratepayers and business electric consumers to have the tax cut applied to this rate case. After months of negotiations a settlement was agreed to that resulted in the original $31 million rate increase request being reduced entirely and a $6.8 million credit be given to the customer base. The credit amounts to a $15 per year (1.4%) decrease in the typical customers bill. This reversal totaling nearly $38 million is extraordinarily good news for ratepayers and a special note of appreciation should be extended to PA Drew Slater for his remarkable efforts in this matter. I would like to also extend my thanks and appreciation to Representative Williams and all 38 General Assembly members who signed the letter of support.
Representative John Kowalko
2018-06-29T12:10:20-04:00 john kowalko
The piece on budget smoothing is live here: https://www.delawareonline.com/story/opinion/contributors/2018/06/19/dont-buy-spin-budget-smoothing-means-budget-cuts/713676002/ 2018-06-19T20:48:26-04:00 john kowalko
HB 460 was introduced on a Tuesday, will have a committee hearing on Wednesday and be brought to the House floor for a vote on Thursday. It is the first leg of a proposed constitutional amendment and one might ask why such a matter of utmost significance is being rushed through in the final days of a session. Why is there no time for a fair assessment of the ramifications of a constitutional change. The woefully lacking excuse from the sponsor is that this bill will have to be passed again in its current form next session. That is a ridiculously disingenuous excuse to push a piece of legislation through a mostly uninformed (on this particular bill) legislature. In fact HB 460 is an attempt to pass a Grover Norquist conservative dream known as a ‘balanced budget amendment”. The reality of such constitutional amendments is that they will establish a certainty of budgetary constraints that will place the services and programs of the most vulnerable Delawareans on the chopping block and establish regressive taxation policies that will hurt the working families, small businesses and poorer workers. The bill itself refers to the “Advisory Panel to the Delaware Economic and Financial Advisory Council (DEFAC) on Potential Fiscal Controls and Budget Smoothing Mechanisms (Panel) as supportive and integral to the process. You may recognize the work of the “Panel” in its previous 2016 report that resulted in corporate tax cuts and the unforgettably damaging repeal of the “EstateTax” at a tremendous cost to taxpayer revenue resources. The most recent report of the Panel, referred to in HB 460 (lines 11-12) released 6/1/18 once more fails to even consider creating additional PIT brackets. It has the audacity to suggest taking away deductions from Delaware taxpayers as a way to reform Personal Income Tax. This is one of the most regressive taxation reform proposals that I’ve ever witnessed. It should come as no surprise considering the make-up of the Advisory Panel consisting of Chamber of Commerce and various conservative lawmakers and government agency heads. This bill should not be passed at this time and a serious consideration of its intended and unintended consequences ought to be discussed with the entire General Assembly and the public over the course of the summer.

Representative John Kowalko 25th District
2018-06-14T10:35:11-04:00 john kowalko
I apologize that my Rep. Committee is meeting tonight to consider endorsements and I cannot make it. I hope a question will be asked of all candidates gauging their reactions and thoughts regarding Governor Carney's presumption (in the Rodney Square Hub debate) that he (or his office) is exempt from Delaware's FOIA laws, (they are not), by declaring a "executive privilege" argument. I would also like all of the candidates how they would handle the appeal that will be made to the Attorney General's office regarding this decision by the Executive branch.
Representative John Kowalko
2018-06-04T15:25:52-04:00 john kowalko
Bennett is not a Senator
Rep. Kowalko
2018-05-11T12:49:40-04:00 john kowalko
The link is very interesting

https://www.forbes.com/sites/chrisladd/2017/10/06/ten-lies-distort-the-gun-control-debate/#4f1d2bb1fad8
2018-03-26T13:41:00-04:00 john kowalko
"I’m not saying that they don’t care about these kids" Well I was and still am saying it. Ripping children from the comfort of nearby neighborhood schools and warehousing them into two barracks like monolithic structures that are unsuitable for those age groups and offering pennies on the dollar without even attempting to fund smaller classroom sizes and/or Reading and Math specialists allows me to think and say it with plenty of conviction and confidence.
Representative John Kowalko
2018-03-21T19:13:03-04:00 john kowalko
Let’s do a reality check on the March DEFAC report before all of our palms get itchy counting and spending that “windfall”. The $30+ million shortfall in corporate revenue is not a result of the federal corporate tax cuts. It is, in fact, a result of the “Delaware Competes and Delaware Innovates” corporate welfare legislation rushed through during the first week of the final (Markell) General Assembly session and there is no relief in sight.
And before the average Delaware income-taxpayer rushes out to buy that Rolls Royce they should take a deep breath and taste the reality in the air. When the average Delaware state taxpayer opts for the increased standard federal deduction he/she/they will be precluded from itemizing on their State tax return. Since there has been no increase in Delaware’s standard deduction they will probably be losing significant state deduction rights and paying a higher tax to the State. That is why DEFAC has predicted an uptick in PIT revenue. That extra money will hit the lower brackets more severely and disproportionately.
Representative John Kowalko
2018-03-21T14:27:13-04:00 john kowalko
Now what? Now we wait until all of these young children are comfortably/uncomfortably crammed into these two aged, monolithic, barracks-like structures far from their current walking distance homes, immersed in an antagonistic culture of neighborhood allegiances and conflicts, forced to confront the social challenges of substantial age differences and still without any reduction in class-size, lacking any Reading or Math specialists and then have RODEL, Carney, DOE and the Chamber of Commerce proudly pronounce "MISSION ACCOMPLISHED".
Here is the statement of opposition to the MOU that I made at the CSD board meeting last night.

In anticipation of your vote tonight on the DOE/Governor proposed MOU I felt it was my responsibility as a State Legislator to thoroughly study the proposal and make my opinion public. Drawing on my twelve years as a State Representative, nearly a decade serving on the House Education committee and almost 30 years of attending hundreds of board meetings I feel fairly comfortable in my ability to judge this proposal for what it may or may not be worth to the educational opportunities of the Wilmington school children and their parents.
Unfortunately I’ve been unable to discern practical and provable advantages for students or educators in this MOU. I find it frighteningly sparse on monetary investment going directly into the classrooms and more likely to disrupt the lives and community of the Wilmington students and their families.
Ripping young children from the smaller and more welcoming neighborhood schools and herding them into two monolithic structures better suited as barracks can hardly contribute to a welcoming atmosphere for young students and integrating them with older and unfamiliar classmates would probably be an intimidating experience. This sleight of hand portion of the MOU has been portrayed as a $15 million injection of funds into Wilmington schools and while not even guaranteed has been viewed as such even by the News Journal’s editorial board and other inexperienced and naïve members of the business community.
The case is often presented as “we have to do or try something” and I take offense at that cynical approach. Do we propose that the kids in Wilmington see $15 million unnecessarily flushed down the drain while they are forced to endure unwieldy and over-crowded classrooms with no money for more teachers and smaller classrooms or Reading specialists or Math specialists?
If this MOU is not hocus-pocus or a hoax about to be perpetrated on the children of Wilmington than I would expect that some proof, any proof, that removing these kids from their local and easily accessible schools and warehousing them in these two unattractive and formidable appearing buildings has a record of improving educational opportunities or student proficiencies for any students anywhere.
I can show you proven and indisputable evidence that smaller classroom ratios and Reading and Math specialists assigned to schools positively impact students and achieve significant proficiency improvements in all children’s’ performances.
If this board wants to partner with DOE and the Administration to honestly improve educational opportunities for inner-city public schools than I suggest that you counter with an MOU proposal that would take that $15 million and spend it in the classrooms. Hire more teachers and aides to reduce classroom sizes, hire Reading specialists and Math specialists and invest in necessary structural improvements in the more welcoming neighborhood schools that are being threatened with closure.
No gimmicks, no propaganda for media to chew on just plain and simple better education for the children of Wilmington.
2018-02-14T12:37:02-05:00 john kowalko
Public Advocate Drew Slater has petitioned the Public Service Commission contending that the cash windfall from the recent lowering of corporate taxes that would directly benefit utilities, such as Delmarva Power and Artesian, should not be added to those companies’ coffers but should flow directly to electricity and water consumers.

http://www.delawareonline.com/story/money/business/2017/12/29/trump-tax-cut-should-mean-lower-utility-bills-says-delaware-advocratepayer-advocate-calls-lower-powe/989814001/
This is a petition that should be granted without any hesitation and is another example of the dedication and thoughtfulness exhibited by Mr. Slater who takes his responsibilities to the consumers as Delaware’s Public Advocate more seriously than any other that I have worked with. Simply stated, Mr. Slater’s position is one of the most responsible, honest and just advocacies on the public’s behalf that I have had the pleasure of witnessing.
I hope all members of the public will recognize that they have finally been blessed with a true champion of their interests when Drew Slater was appointed as the Public Advocate. I've worked with a number of Public Advocates over the last dozen years and none of them have had the dedication and focus on behalf of the consumer's interests like Mr. Slater. I couldn't be more proud of a public servant like Mr. Slater whose grasp of his responsibilities is beyond comparison. Good job Drew and keep it up. The people need more public servants like you and I personally applaud you for everything you are doing.
Rep. John Kowalko
2017-12-30T14:13:57-05:00 john kowalko
I would gladly sit down and have a dialogue about creating a legitimate recall process with a serious due process, contingent on the fact that it would apply to “ALL DELAWARE ELECTED OFFICIALS” and not a limited number of office holders who could be intimidated or coerced by this fanciful offering that appears to seek control over the electorates wishes. It has to involve input from the public (e.g., petition signatures), contain due process guarantees, and apply to all elected offices and all appointed school board members (e.g., charters and State Boards).

Representative John Kowalko
2017-12-19T23:03:55-05:00 john kowalko
I agree with John Young's assessment. Here are the points of discussion I presented to Governor Carney at the meeting he called with 9 State legislators a little over a week ago. I personally asked him for answers (that I did not receive) on approximately 6 of the [oints and left him the sheet. No responses have been forthcoming from Carney or DOE.

1) If CSD does not approve MOU, more money will be taken from the District further harming prospects of Wilmington students and families. (“If it rejects the plan and fails to come up with an acceptable alternative, the agreement would be terminated immediately, resulting in the loss of any additional financial support for the district”).
2) Bayard/Bancroft are not appropriate buildings for little children even if renovated. Bancroft too old to make usable with renovations.
3) Trauma Training not necessarily (research?) effective but investing/funding 1 to 15 class size ratios would effectively improve the learning environment and outcomes.
4) Palmer became the first equity lawsuit in Delaware when Christina District (at Lowery’s behest) tried to close it 10 years ago.
5) Leaves no “Neighborhood Schools” for city children and in fact may violate the “Neighborhood Schools Legislation”.
6) Bancroft is far away from Palmer and Southbridge children who now walk would be unable to continue that practice.
7) Distinguish more specifically between renovate, refurbish and reconfiguration.
8) Why don’t we do things like “successful” districts? The most successful programs such as in New York and Massachusetts fund “reading specialists” and lower class ratios.
9) When the plan refers to “potentially” establishing “early childhood education” and “centers for students and families learning English” at a vacated Palmer are the planners aware that there are no ESL students at Palmer?
10) Have you considered neighborhood “gangs” being integrated from across Wilmington into the same building?
11) The suggested “Co-leadership” model re principals and assistant principals belies the reality that these two jobs have never had the same duties and have always had designated responsibilities and functions.
12) “Loan forgiveness stipend” to young and “inexperienced” teachers does not reflect any benefit to already established teachers who have devoted their careers to inner-city education and “Who” is paying for these loans?
13) “Who” is paying for “longer school days/year”?
14) “Who is paying for “vacation academies”?
15) “Who is paying for “after-school programing”?
16) Why aren’t reading specialists part of this plan and therefore WHO IS PAYING FOR “READING SPECIALISTS” SO THAT CHILDREN ACTUALLY LEARN TO READ?
Here is the statement I delivered at the CSD board meeting on the subject.

I and 9 other legislators attended a meeting called by Governor Carney less than a week ago purportedly to discuss the proposed Wilmington school reform plan and MOU proposal. Since we weren’t given copies of the MOU and it doesn’t seem to be available any longer at the link the Administration provided I cannot offer or challenge some of the specifics. At this meeting the Governor suggested that the MOU draft submitted by DOE would be changed and this board is not bound by it and should draft its own MOU proposal. The deadlines for Board action that the Governor and DOE appear to be imposing are substantively unrealistic and impractical for such a complex consideration with so many unanswerable questions.
Having examined some of the initial proposal and the details and expectations it held has led me to conclude that this is not a well thought out plan, that raises more questions and challenges then it has answers for.
I distributed some of my points of concern to the Governor and DOE and have copies for you that I will distribute. Due to time constraints I will try to focus on only a few of my concerns that I hope you will consider at this time.
I find it particularly harmful and hurtful to the “Southbridge” community, families and children to propose closing Elbert Palmer, one of the true neighborhood schools in walking distance and accessible to this Wilmington community. I hope that this Board’s counter-proposal would support closing that tired old monolith known as Bancroft and refurbish Palmer, Pulaski and Bayard to use for the suggested K-8 reconfiguration.
I also implore this Board to pay heed to the massive costs (which the Governor personally refused to speculate on) in refurbishing or renovating in order to make these consolidations. You should be acutely aware that any promise of funding cannot be guaranteed. In fact I would urge you to recall this Administration’s recently passed budget with concurrence of this current General Assembly cut traditional public school revenues by more than $36 million. Restoring that $36 million in cuts and adding even a small percentage of the proposed renovation costs would be much more beneficial and effective for Wilmington students if allocated to create smaller classroom ratios and hire reading and math specialists.
As I’ve looked at this reform proposal and its details and drawing upon my 11 years of experience as a legislator I am forced to conclude that this is a no-win situation for Christina, this Board and the children of Wilmington. Its predisposition to fail will be used to scapegoat the district and further stifle opportunities for Wilmington students and their families.
Finally I would suggest that this Board consider that traditional public school funding has received reduced funding since 2009 now totaling over $65 million per year. Ask the DOE and Governor:
Who is going to pay for the renovations?
Who is paying for longer school days and school years?
Who is paying for vacation academies?
Who is paying for after-school programs?
And why aren’t Reading Specialists and funding for them part of this plan?

Representative John Kowalko
2017-12-08T19:59:56-05:00 john kowalko
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delawareliberal / delawareliberal.net

Comment Date Name Link

So let’s get this idea of taxing for mileage versus gasoline taxes sorted by logic. It will allow large Tractor Trailers to minimize expenses while still maximizing road damage. It will penalize people that make the proper decision to protect the planet and resources by using less fossil fuels (that have an irreversibly damaging effect on the climate) by buying and driving fuel efficient hybrids and other advanced vehicles that consume much less gasoline. It will reduce costs for those individuals who feel the need to drive gas guzzling vehicles without reservation. In conclusion it is a bad plan, bad idea, and bad policy encouraged and pushed by the fossil fuel companies and the Koch brothers. Also supported by vehicle manufacturers who enjoy huge profit margins on their truck/SUV sales who will see profits jump while no longer needing to invest in fuel efficiency production. Sorry Mother Nature, you should have gotten listed on the stock exchange if you wish to enjoy serious consideration for your plight.
Representative John Kowalko

2018-07-02 16:37:01 john kowalko

In a dramatic example of a petulant personality that cannot get his way (HB460) through the legitimate legislative process, Governor Carney has chosen to emulate a Trumpian tactic that shows a healthy disdain for democratic principles of separation of powers. Please share and post with all as you see fit.

Representative John Kowalko

From: David, Emily (Governor) [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: Saturday, June 30, 2018 1:30 PM
To: Kowalko, John (LegHall)
Subject: TODAY: Governor Carney To Sign Executive Order on Budget Smoothing

FOR PLANNING PURPOSES:

June 30, 2018

MEDIA CONTACT:

Jonathan Starkey

Cell: (302) 256-8364

[email protected]

Delaware Governor John Carney

MEDIA ADVISORY

TODAY: Governor Carney To Sign Executive Order on Budget Smoothing

DOVER, Del. – At 4:30 p.m. today at Legislative Hall, Governor John Carney will sign an Executive Order to implement recommendations of the DEFAC Advisory Committee on budget smoothing. Following the signing, Governor Carney will be available for media to answer questions on the final day of the 149th General Assembly.

WHAT: Governor Carney will sign an Executive Order on budget smoothing, and hold media availability on the final day of the 149th General Assembly.

WHO: Governor John Carney

Mike Jackson, Director, Office of Management and Budget

Rick Geisenberger, Secretary, Department of Finance

Jeff Bullock, Secretary of State

Michael Houghton, Chair, Delaware Economic and Financial Advisory Council

WHEN: Saturday, June 30

4:30 p.m.

WHERE: Governor’s Office

Legislative Hall

411 Legislative Avenue

Dover, DE 19901

###

2018-06-30 18:18:27 john kowalko

Finally some good news for electric users. A recent settlement brings good news to Delmarva Power and Light electricity consumers. I chose to intervene in PSC Docket # 17-0977 in order to join the Public Advocate, Drew Slater, in trying to mitigate the proposed increase in electric rates requested by Delmarva Power and Light. The original rate increase request was for $31 million. That would have resulted in a $65 per year (4.7%) increase for a typical user. As the hearings on this matter progressed the recently passed windfall tax cuts to corporations became a reality and the Public Advocates office filed a petition to capture that windfall and give it back to the ratepayers. I and Representative Kim Williams circulated a letter of support for this petition amongst our fellow legislators. We managed to accumulate 38 signatories of support and filed the letter with the PSC. The petition was granted by the PSC and the ruling was made to return the windfall to the ratepayers. As the original case was being negotiated, the Public Advocate, myself and other interveners decided that it would be most beneficial to the individual ratepayers and business electric consumers to have the tax cut applied to this rate case. After months of negotiations a settlement was agreed to that resulted in the original $31 million rate increase request being reduced entirely and a $6.8 million credit be given to the customer base. The credit amounts to a $15 per year (1.4%) decrease in the typical customers bill. This reversal totaling nearly $38 million is extraordinarily good news for ratepayers and a special note of appreciation should be extended to PA Drew Slater for his remarkable efforts in this matter. I would like to also extend my thanks and appreciation to Representative Williams and all 38 General Assembly members who signed the letter of support.
Representative John Kowalko

2018-06-29 16:09:22 john kowalko

I received the following email from the McGuiness campaign and wanted to share the message with my response.

John Kowalko
8:22 PM (0 minutes ago)
If this is any kind of example of the direction your campaign is headed than I respectfully request that you remove me from your email list. I do not appreciate negative conjecture, hypothetical queries intended to cast aspersions or any other type of negative campaigning. You should be ashamed of yourselves and correct this misguided course immediately with full and public apologies. THERE IS NOT NOR EVER HAS BEEN A “WAGNER-DAVIES” AUDITOR’S OFFICE.

Representative John Kowalko

On Tue, Jun 26, 2018 at 4:30 PM, Quinn Ludwicki wrote:

McGuiness Calls on Davies to Release Independent Investigation Report and Allow Her Hearing to Be Open to Public

Kathy McGuiness, Democratic candidate for Auditor, responded to today’s News Journal report detailing the latest developments in Kathleen Davies’ dismissal from her post as Tom Wagner’s second-in-command and issued the following:

“In two months, Democratic primary voters will be choosing their nominee for this critical state office and deserve to know what was found in the independent investigation leading to Kathleen Davies’ initial dismissal from the Auditor’s Office. Based on the News Journal account, the Wagner-Davies Auditor’s Office operated without leadership for years.

The decision allowing her to receive unemployment insurance is only the first step of the investigation into Ms. Davies’ professional conduct while working for Tom Wagner. The Auditor’s office has to operate transparently and maintain the public’s trust. To have critical investigative information about a candidate for State Auditor withheld from the public and to have a hearing closed to the public, where serious accusations about her professional conduct while on the job is a disservice to voters and undermines the public’s confidence. Because she is a candidate for public office, I call on Ms. Davies to authorize the Auditor’s office to release to the public, the content of the Grant Thornton investigation as well as any other pertinent information relating into her conduct as Tom Wagner’s top assistant, and permit her July hearing before the Merit Employees Relations Board to be open to the public, so voters have all the facts.”

For more information about Kathy McGuiness for Auditor, please visit http://www.votemcguiness.com

Friends of Kathy McGuiness
235 Rehoboth Ave Rear Office
Rehoboth Beach, DE 19971

2018-06-27 00:26:13 john kowalko

News Journal op-ed

The piece on budget smoothing is live here: https://www.delawareonline.com/story/opinion/contributors/2018/06/19/dont-buy-spin-budget-smoothing-means-budget-cuts/713676002/

2018-06-19 17:50:53 john kowalko

Agree with Alby and ElSom but here is some additional conjecture as I see it.

I hope that all parties will consider and conclude that HB 460 and the use of the phrase “Budget Smoothing” is nothing more than regurgitation and relabeling of a textbook Balanced Budget Amendment. Balanced Budget Amendments set strident benchmarks for spending and revenue considerations. These benchmark plateaus may severely limit what services can be available subjecting them to a constitutionally required cut if the appropriations benchmarks are exceeded. The necessary social services and support programs for the neediest are often the first to be cutback or suffer the most severe consequences if there are across the board cuts.
This bill should not be passed at this time and a serious consideration of its intended and unintended consequences ought to be discussed with the entire General Assembly and the public over the course of the summer.

2018-06-13 19:01:33 john kowalko

HB 460 was introduced on a Tuesday, will have a committee hearing on Wednesday and be brought to the House floor for a vote on Thursday. It is the first leg of a proposed constitutional amendment and one might ask why such a matter of utmost significance is being rushed through in the final days of a session. Why is there no time for a fair assessment of the ramifications of a constitutional change. The woefully lacking excuse from the sponsor is that this bill will have to be passed again in its current form next session. That is a ridiculously disingenuous excuse to push a piece of legislation through a mostly uninformed (on this particular bill) legislature. In fact HB 460 is an attempt to pass a Grover Norquist conservative dream known as a ‘balanced budget amendment”. The reality of such constitutional amendments is that they will establish a certainty of budgetary constraints that will place the services and programs of the most vulnerable Delawareans on the chopping block and establish regressive taxation policies that will hurt the working families, small businesses and poorer workers. The bill itself refers to the “Advisory Panel to the Delaware Economic and Financial Advisory Council (DEFAC) on Potential Fiscal Controls and Budget Smoothing Mechanisms (Panel) as supportive and integral to the process. You may recognize the work of the “Panel” in its previous 2016 report that resulted in corporate tax cuts and the unforgettably damaging repeal of the “EstateTax” at a tremendous cost to taxpayer revenue resources. The most recent report of the Panel, referred to in HB 460 (lines 11-12) released 6/1/18 once more fails to even consider creating additional PIT brackets. It has the audacity to suggest taking away deductions from Delaware taxpayers as a way to reform Personal Income Tax. This is one of the most regressive taxation reform proposals that I’ve ever witnessed. It should come as no surprise considering the make-up of the Advisory Panel consisting of Chamber of Commerce and various conservative lawmakers and government agency heads. This bill should not be passed at this time and a serious consideration of its intended and unintended consequences ought to be discussed with the entire General Assembly and the public over the course of the summer.
Representative John Kowalko 25th District

2018-06-13 15:53:33 john kowalko

I also agree that Charter of Wilmington is the least of the problems with charters. I also concur that Delaware DOE has been swinging the wrecking ball at the public education “building” with absolutely no idea of what they are doing. I believe their motivation, like many other government agencies is in self-preservation, job security and providing a haven for incompetency and cronyism. I also agree with much of your appraisal of my colleagues but most of these failing agencies in Delaware are the direct responsibility and obligation of the Executive branch tasked with ensuring their usefulness and effectiveness. Does the General Assembly and many of its members warrant criticism for their own attitudes of self-preservation and ballot-box appeasement whatever the party label? ABSOLUTELY! I have consistently pointed that out to my colleagues on both sides of the aisle and in both chambers and I will continue to criticize leadership at the GA level and at the Executive level. It is no small coincidence that I was unceremoniously removed from the Education Committee by Speaker Schwartzkopf despite my angry protestations and my nearly decade long experience on that committee. It is no small coincidence that I lost two chairmanships from the Energy Committee and the Joint Sunset Committee. It is no small coincidence that Delmarva Power and Light (Exelon’s child) has gotten Senator Harris McDowell to pass SS1 for SB80 (a potential giveaway to DP&L) through the Senate and fast tracked through the House Energy Committee ready for a floor vote in the House. It is no small coincidence that I am filing an amendment (supported by the Public Advocate) to SB80 that will ensure a bit of transparency and force DP&L to divulge their plans for the ratepayers money in advance. It is absolutely no small coincidence that DP&L lobbyists have been stalking members of the Energy Committee (My former Chair) and GA members to convince them to oppose the amendment. I’m not trying to relay a “poor me” message here but Delaware has literally become out of touch with its taxpayers and citizens and entirely focused on self-preservation at the ballot box with the capability of rewarding the supporters of its status quo power base.
Rep. Kowalko

2018-05-12 18:20:51 john kowalko

Al
I agree that putting his kids in a charter school was not motivated by saving tuition costs but I wanted to point out the reversal/hypocrisy in his attitude toward Charters as displayed in his pre-primary/post-election positions. Markell’s budget and other policies that (in my opinion) threatened the viability and health of Delaware’s public education system are being emulated and expanded by Carney and his administration. At least Jack had a personal interest (his kids) in creating havoc within the system.
John Kowalko

2018-05-12 16:12:41 john kowalko

Many of those kids go to parochial/religious schools that do not have nearly as high a price-tag. The more expensive and successful private school enrollments have gradually shrunk and the consequences of a free charter/private/public system are disaffecting the bottom lines of those schools and many Diocesan schools.
Rep. Kowalko

2018-05-11 17:47:52 john kowalko

Investment= Markell’s previously expressed opinions on tempered enthusiasm for Charter School expansion/funding (during the primary season as a matter of taped record) transitioning into a full blown support for Charter expansions and additional monies at the expense of traditional schools. Return= the $25,000 +* per year savings (*I believe his son also transitioned from private to charter/public).
John K.

2018-05-11 17:42:31 john kowalko

Alby
With all due respect Markell’s daughter was in a $25,000 per year private school and went to a free, taxpayer funded “public” school. A handsome ROI.
Rep. John Kowalko

2018-05-11 16:21:58 john kowalko

Exactly
J.K.

2018-05-09 19:46:51 john kowalko

Senate Substitute NO. 1 for Senate Bill No.80 (McDowell) is being heard at 4 PM in the House Energy Committee today. A giveaway to Delmarva Power/Exelon is an understatement. This Bill is giving a blank check, signed by ratepayers, to DP&L and its parent company/monopoly Exelon. I intend to fight it on behalf of the ratepayers and small business community but I do not feel confident that I will prevail. Horrible bill presented with a plethora of disingenuous motives and consequences presented.
Representative John Kowalko

2018-05-09 19:39:54 john kowalko

Some of the reasons why Kim and I debated and voted against HB 310.

This seems to be a useless bill that does nothing and then gives applicant businesses a certificate that is actually completely meaningless but that they can use to try to claim gives them some kind of beneficial status as sustainable or responsible without any requirements that they actually be so. This type of system would be rife with abuse, and would cast the state of Delaware as the entity enabling that abuse with its seal of approval. If companies want to report something, then they can go ahead and just do it, or start a trade association or other entity to do this, or incorporate as a public benefit corporation. It is entirely inappropriate for a state to literally certify that companies have some kind of sustainability or transparency measures when it is purely on the basis of what the company claims, regardless of importance, impact, or even truth.

I think some analysis seems like a good theory. Getting a state to certify that you are a good company when you don’t have to actually do anything sustainable, transparent, or responsible is great, right?

I think you may want to consider submitting an amendment to remove the name of the certificate. The title, “Certification of Adoption of Sustainability and Transparency Standards Act,” is a lie since there is no oversight at all. Maybe replace the words “Certification of” with “Voluntary” in the bill and then remove any mention of a “certificate” and instead just list the companies on a state website, including the last time their application or renewal application was submitted. The companies would still be able to say “we participate in this voluntary program,” but without the deceptive and misleading title of a “certificate” (when the state is “certifying” nothing other than that the company sent meaningless paperwork to the state).

The stock exchange name is a good example of how businesses do this. “DBOT” and “Delaware Board of Trade Holdings” almost sound like official government entities, This is business language meant to trick people. Why would the state be the one doing this? Go to the Better Business Bureau or the State Chamber of Commerce if you want some meaningless “certificate.”

If these entities want some kind of state recognition of their efforts to be responsible or sustainable, they should just incorporate as a public benefit corporation, which is already law and REQUIRES them to actually do these things.

Compare the b-corp law:

(a) A “public benefit corporation” is a for-profit corporation organized under and subject to the requirements of this chapter that is intended to produce a public benefit or public benefits and to operate in a responsible and sustainable manner. To that end, a public benefit corporation shall be managed in a manner that balances the stockholders’ pecuniary interests, the best interests of those materially affected by the corporation’s conduct, and the public benefit or public benefits identified in its certificate of incorporation. In the certificate of incorporation, a public benefit corporation shall:
(1) Identify within its statement of business or purpose pursuant to § 102(a)(3) of this title 1 or more specific public benefits to be promoted by the corporation; and
(2) State within its heading that it is a public benefit corporation.
(a) The board of directors shall manage or direct the business and affairs of the public benefit corporation in a manner that balances the pecuniary interests of the stockholders, the best interests of those materially affected by the corporation’s conduct, and the specific public benefit or public benefits identified in its certificate of incorporation.
§ 367 Derivative suits.
Stockholders of a public benefit corporation owning individually or collectively, as of the date of instituting such derivative suit, at least 2% of the corporation’s outstanding shares or, in the case of a corporation with shares listed on a national securities exchange, the lesser of such percentage or shares of at least $2,000,000 in market value, may maintain a derivative lawsuit to enforce the requirements set forth in § 365(a) of this title.
With the bullshit new proposed law:

5005D Limitation of Liability.
Neither the failure by an Entity to satisfy any of its Standards, nor the selection of specific Assessment Measures, nor any other action taken by or on behalf of the Entity pursuant to this chapter or any omission to take any action required by this chapter to seek, obtain or maintain status as a Reporting Entity, shall, in and of itself, create any right of action on the part of any person or entity or otherwise give rise to any claim for breach of any fiduciary or similar duty owed to any person or entity.

What is the point of this new law? It adds NOTHING beyond what could already be in the B corp law, and yet allows them to say they are doing something in the public benefit when, even if they are PURPOSEFULLY LYING, they face NO CONSEQUENCES.

I have a theory for the purpose of HB 310. This bill could be used by startups to help raise venture capital by demonstrating a “seal of approval” via the “Certificate of Sustainability/Transparency,” or whatever from the State of Delaware, in which the startups write their owns rules for compliance. The problem, of course, is that there is no/little oversight – Welcome to Delaware.
In addition, Delaware has a new stock exchange for small cap companies: the Delaware Board of Trade. I wonder if this bill was written to assist the stock exchange by enhancing a company’s prospectus for an IPO, or an offering memorandum/documents for a Reg A+ company. See quote and link below

2018-05-09 15:51:07 john kowalko

I would suggest that Rep. Kim Williams has proven to be a solid 5

Rep. John Kowalko

2018-05-07 16:22:55 john kowalko

Well Delaware could start by replacing the $36 million taken from Public Schools in last years budget. Also restoring the funding for Reading Specialists and Math Specialists stolen from public school funding by the previous governor in 2009 and never restored might, by many expert accounts, help in educating our children appropriately. That was another $30 million per year lifted from the “kids” futures. You don’t need to look at those Red States and criticize their insensitive attitudes toward education when we have our own “petri” dish here in Delaware growing failure.
Representative John Kowalko

2018-04-14 19:52:42 john kowalko

T.K.
I knew we’d finally agree on something. Yes you are.
Rep. Kowalko

2018-04-11 22:48:00 john kowalko

Government funded and guaranteed student loans shouldn’t come with an 8+% interest charge allowed and collected by banks that get their money to loan out at less than 1%. This is another banking scam allowed by both Dems and Repubs at the federal level.
Representative John Kowalko

2018-04-03 20:20:07 john kowalko

Fair enough. I withdraw any premature foregone conclusions I have made. But be aware that Rep. Williams works, efforts and dedication is a steep hill to climb for anyone hoping to be held in that regard. In my 12 years as a sitting representative I hold her in the highest regard and her performance as a true-blue public servant has not been surpassed by anyone I’ve worked with.
Representative John Kowalko

2018-03-31 19:40:56 john kowalko

Gary McNally,
I’ve spent the last couple weeks fielding emails, (sometimes very nasty, sometimes threatening, always uninformed and never based in any reality or honest reflection of the crisis we are facing) from every Tom, Dick, Harry and Mary that sent a dollar or two to the NRA or their affiliates. The words that are used on Ms. O’Donnell’s site are repeated often enough in almost all of those emails (in between nasty references about communist, constitution violating scum such as myself wanting to take their guns, bazookas and/or flamethrowers) that I can recite them by rote. Don’t bother trying to lecture me or enlighten me about left or right or sides. I am on one side and that is the side willing, at any cost, to stop the slaughter of men, women, children, church-goers, movie theater customers, night club visitors, 5year olds, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, sixteen year olds and every breathing and living soul whose lives I value much more than the Greg Gutfelds, Laura Ingrahams, Sean Hannity’s,NRA leaders and every politician who sits on their fat behinds or plays golf while Rome burns do. Spare me your criticism and suggest to Ms O’Donnell that she stake out a position and fight for it. If I thought it would stop this insanity I’d dig up the corpse of Charlie Heston and pry that gun from his cold, dead and decaying fingers and put it where it should’ve been placed.
Regards
Representative John Kowalko

2018-03-31 02:50:21 john kowalko

From Meghan O’Donnell’s story. ” I know what it’s like to survive gun violence and feel passionate about change, while also respecting the 2nd Amendment and believing that there are many, many more responsible gun owners than not. Let’s work on common sense laws- like background checks, like limiting the purchase of firearms by those with mental illness, like ensuring that, similar to driving a car, you need to pass a test to show you understand the importance of the item you’re about to take control over”. ——-This is lifted almost verbatim from the NRA playbook. I do not see a real Democrat in this challenger. Kim Williams is an honest, informed, compassionate actual Democrat who deserves the support of all of us.

Representative John Kowalko

2018-03-30 14:39:36 john kowalko

Mark
I don’t ever need or expect to need your advice on what I can and will post. Here is my retort to the emails from opponents of the legislation.
“I am listening to all of those brave and thoughtful young men and women who have gathered across America demanding that we political leaders show a willingness to protect them and their families. They are calling for common sense. They are asking us to respect the dignity of human life. They want to be safe at school, safe at a concert, safe in a movie theater, safe in church and safe wherever they may choose to go. I’ve heard them loud and clear. I am proud to stand with them and honor all victims of gun violence with my efforts as a political leader.
I will be considering all sides of the debate and make an informed decision at the time”
Respectfully
Rep. John Kowalko

https://www.forbes.com/sites/chrisladd/2017/10/06/ten-lies-distort-the-gun-control-debate/#4f1d2bb1fad8

2018-03-27 20:56:15 john kowalko

Interesting link

https://www.forbes.com/sites/chrisladd/2017/10/06/ten-lies-distort-the-gun-control-debate/#4f1d2bb1fad8
Rep. Kowalko

2018-03-26 16:43:22 john kowalko

Governorship 2024?? Wait a minute I’ll be running for my second term in 2024.
Re. Kowalko

2018-03-20 21:59:00 john kowalko

Governorship???? Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha. Governorship? Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha
Rep Kowalko

2018-03-20 19:40:34 john kowalko

When the average Delaware state tax payer opts for the increased standard federal deduction he/she/they will be precluded from itemizing on their State tax return. Since there has been no increase in Delaware’s standard deduction they will probably be losing significant state deduction rights and paying a higher tax to the State. That is why DEFAC has predicted an uptick in PIT revenue. That extra money will hit the lower brackets exponentially.
Representative John Kowalko

2018-03-20 19:39:23 john kowalko

Anon
“Did anyone vote it down”?
I voted against it and would double down that I and a few others made the right choice in trying to vote it down
Rep. Kowalko

2018-03-04 20:03:57 john kowalko

Probably underpaid him when you consider Herdman with the non-profit (but not non-interfering) education reform organization RODEL is pulling down nearly $400,000 a year in mostly taxpayer/grant/nepotistic money. Putting a million or two into the coffers of one of the least knowledgeable and experienced corporate “Education Reform Frankensteins” to be stuffed into some politically connected hacks wallet probably ensures a lucrative career future for Mr. Foreman.
Representative John Kowalko

2018-03-04 20:01:10 john kowalko

I realize that there is certain willingness to stereotype public servants and in some cases deservedly but I want to draw your attention to past efforts by Larry Mitchell to do the right thing in the public’s interest.

It was not publicized extensively at the time but during the 147th GA (HB 58) Rep. Mitchell authored and prime sponsored a responsible piece of legislation to impact gun excesses. The bill got out of committee but was (inexcusably) never allowed to the floor. Larry and I discussed this at length and his interest and determination to bring the bill forward were thwarted by others. Rep. Mitchell is currently drafting a similarly intended piece of legislation, that I will co-sponsor, and I feel he deserves acknowledgement for his efforts.

Rep. Kowalko

My personal position (as expressed to any inquiring constituent) is —-

I never have and never will taint myself with NRA money or endorsements

2018-02-28 21:12:20 john kowalko

I realize that there is certain willingness to stereotype public servants and in some cases deservedly but I want to draw your attention to past efforts by Larry Mitchell to do the right thing in the public’s interest.

It was not publicized extensively at the time but during the 147th GA Rep. Mitchell authored and prime sponsored a responsible piece of legislation to impact gun excesses. The bill got out of committee but was (inexcusably) never allowed to the floor. Larry and I discussed this at length and his interest and determination to bring the bill forward were thwarted by others. Rep. Mitchell is currently drafting a similarly intended piece of legislation, that I will co-sponsor, and I feel he deserves acknowledgement for his efforts.

Rep. Kowalko

My personal position (as expressed to any inquiring constituent) is —-

I never have and never will taint myself with NRA money or endorsements

2018-02-28 21:11:08 john kowalko

” in concert with intellectually corrupt politicians”. One incontrovertible truth–“YOU HAVE TO HAVE SOME SEMBLANCE OF AN INTELLECT FOR IT TO GET CORRUPTED”
SPORT!
Rep Kowalko

2018-02-23 04:33:49 john kowalko

Nothing more sporting than those pigeon shoots in Pennsylvania, if memory serves me. Lift the shoe-box, take aim and fire away sport-sportsmen. Damn pigeon looked like he was going for your eyes. Self-defense I say. Exactly what our Founding Fathers would say also.
Rep. Kowalko

2018-02-23 04:28:09 john kowalko

The “Delaware State Sportsmen’s Association” is the group who single-handily defeated the Barbieri HB banning gun ownership from diagnosed persons with (intentions/interests in harming themselves) diagnosed mental problems. The bill passed the House with only one no vote but failed in the Senate. That vote record exists so you can ask all of those Senators D and R who voted against or abstained to explain their actions (nothing to do with donations recorded I assume). Fortunately David Bentz has revived and reintroduced the bill and I am proud to have the opportunity to co-sponsor with him. Maybe personally asking those No/Abstain Senators will force them to reconsider this time despite the “Sportsmen’s” ass****ciation protestations.
Representative John Kowalko

2018-02-23 03:56:14 john kowalko

Motives, reasons, agendas
1) Money
2) Money
3) More Money
4) ALL OF THE MONEY$$$$$$$$$$$$
Rep. Kowalko

2018-02-19 17:51:13 john kowalko

“MR. SPEAKER PUT HJB 106 ON THE AGENDA FOR A HOUSE VOTE NOW”!
Representative John Kowalko

Delaware ranks 9th in percentage of millionaires
Delaware Business Now

February 8, 2018

Delaware ranks ninth in the percentage of millionaires, according to a report from Phoenix Marketing International.

The report showed the first state finishing just ahead of 10th place California. Neighboring Maryland ranked first on the list, with Mississippi in last place.

Delaware has more than 24,000 millionaire households or about 6.6 percent of total households.

According to the study, the richest Americans are overwhelmingly concentrated in states that were carried by Democrats in at least three out of the four past presidential elections.

The impact of the GOP tax bill, which puts new limits on itemized deductions of state and local income and property taxes, or mortgage interest, will have a greater impact on wealthy residents in blue states, such as Delaware, according to Phoenix.

The report, which recorded a gain in the number of millionaires in Delaware since 2016, seems to show the state’s richest residents are not fleeing to states, like Florida, which do not have an income tax.

Millionaires in Delaware do benefit from low property taxes and no sales tax.

Bills have been proposed in the past couple of years to increase the tax rate for the state’s richest residents. However, the legislation has gone nowhere in the General Assembly.

2018-02-12 16:18:35 john kowalko

Bane
I’m on the blog to try to educate the ignorant folks on here (such as you). Bennett voted to release it from committee and she is willing to vote for it on the floor. In fact the other 6 votes to release were my caucus colleagues and if you had even the slightest knowledge of the system I work in you would know that the Speaker can keep it off the agenda. Since it would have the necessary 25 votes to pass in the House (with all 25 D’s voting for it) you may want to direct your queries to the Speaker and ask who he is protecting. You may also care to look at which Dems did not sign for release of the other bracket bills. And here’s a free hint on those prior votes to release the other bills. Bennett was not a “no” vote. Maybe you should get off the blogs and your lazy butt and check which committee members voted against release when the other two bracket bills were released from committee and presume they would have voted “no” on the floor. Unfortunately until the bills are put on the agenda for a vote of the full House there will be no record available.

Representative John Kowalko

2018-01-27 01:36:16 John kowalko

Mike Jackson (Director of OMB) presented Governor Carney’s proposed budget to us yesterday. He was asked if the Governor’s budget restores any or all of the $26 million in cuts made to public schools in last years budget. His answer was an unequivocal NO. This is not a good place to start claiming that we are headed to a balanced budget with no need to raise taxes or create a stable and sustainable tax bracket restructuring. $1 million for “Math” specialists in high needs schools and no proposed money for the more sorely needed “Reading” specialists in those schools. Lest you’ve forgotten, in 2009 Governor Markell cut funding for reading and math specialists (and other programs) by more than $30 million that was never restored. In fact Indian River School District (then under the tutelage of now Ed Secretary Bunting) had won a “Superstars in Education” award for its performance in reading achievements two years prior. Indian River (due to the cuts) was forced to furlough its 13 Reading specialists and the District (students) never again reached that level of success. Lots more damaging potential in this “balanced” budget with existing revenue expectations and “no taxes”.
Representative John Kowalko

2018-01-26 15:15:43 John kowalko

Chris
I’ve got one step to take. Put the recently released from committee HB 106 on the damn agenda and let the Governor and House leadership support passage. Two additional PIT brackets are not a panacea but a helluva lot more than sitting on a park bench (apologies to Aqualung)
Representative John Kowalko

2018-01-26 03:55:54 John kowalko

This Wednesday 1/24/18 there are two Republican bills in the Health and Human Development Committee which are horrible bills that could negatively affect food stamp and medicaid programs. HB 186, in particular, is an ALEC contrived, conservative Trumpian piece of garbage that I hope all of your readers will object to. Please call the committee members and tell them enough is enough. Demand that they vote agaionst release from committee. NO MORE ATTACKS ON THE POOR, NO MORE GOVERNMENT INTERFERENCE WITH PEOPLES RIGHTS TO FEED THEIR FAMILIES.
Rep. John Kowalko
House Health & Human Development Meeting Notice

Meeting Info

Committee:

House Health & Human Development

Chair:

Bentz

Date/Time:

1/24/18 3:30 PM

Location:

House Chamber
411 Legislative Avenue
Dover, DE 19901

Downloads:

View PDF

Agenda

Legislation

Sponsor

Description

HB 186

Hensley

AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 31 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO THE FOOD STAMP PROGRAM.

HCR 49

Wilson

ESTABLISHING THE MEDICAID COST EFFICIENCY TASK FORCE TO STUDY AND MAKE FINDINGS AND RECOMMENDATIONS REGARDING DELAWARE’S

2018-01-19 04:01:30 John kowalko

Voting rights for LLCs = Citizens United on steroids = assault on individual voting rights = political stupidity at its maximum production = supporters,endorses etc. of such legislation as unqualified for office (be they Republicans or Democrats) = a guaranteed “no” vote from this legislator on any Rehoboth Beach “Charter Change” including any such “mustard gas proposal” = “NO” support/endorsement/vote from this legislator for any individual statewide candidate who does not refute and reject such voter-usurping lunacy.
Representative John Kowalko

2017-11-28 18:51:03 John Kowalko

Yeah Nikola, very “Trumpian” of you to draw that conclusion from my statements. Suggest that you seek out a course in reading comprehension
Rep. Kowalko

2017-10-11 03:32:50 john kowalko

Let me be clear about my previous statement. I am not in any way shape or form questioning Cerron’s integrity or honesty. It is a shame however, that individuals in Delaware government agencies are effectively muted by a climate that prohibits open dialogues and discussions that can lead to better understandings and decisions being made.
Representative John Kowalko

2017-10-10 23:27:22 john kowalko

This is merely a continuation of this Governor’s policy to have a closed minded and closed door attitude. When I debated this terrible bill on the House floor before it flew through I questioned Cerron Cade and his assistant’s contention that “over 35 business had considered coming to Delaware but withdrew because of the CZA restrictions”. I specifically asked Mr. Cade to name me one, just one, of these companies and he insisted that “privacy privilege” was given them. When I scoffed at the ridiculousness of the premise that he wasn’t able to give the House chamber one (no details, no plans, no promises made) only one name he reiterated his vow of silence. When a reporter interviewed me afterward about what had transpired on the floor I suggested that I would have preferred that Mr. Cade (acting head of DEDO) be hooked up to a polygraph in light of his response. This obviously insulted Mr. Cade and he sent me an email protesting my remark as unkind. There are a host of questions still to be answered by this Administration and its agency heads regarding the environment, the budget, public education (and the funding cuts to it), economic development and health care costs. As long as this current leadership chooses to stifle transparency and conduct matters of public importance in a closeted environment of secrecy it will never adequately represent the interests of the taxpaying public.
Representative John Kowalko

2017-10-10 22:43:21 john kowalko

Just a slight correction. Public education funding was cut by a total of $36 million this last budget and that does not include the reduced state share to transportation costs which results in a higher local taxpayer share for those needs. Also the roughly $1.3 million in transportation funds given to charter schools that is not being used for transportation costs is once more being kept by those charter schools although Delaware law explicitly forbids the keeping of those monies. The charter schools who benefit from this outlandish and costly misuse of “Epilogue Language” permissiveness can send their thank you cards to JFC Chairs Melanie Smith and Harris McDowell and a special bouquet to Senator Bushweiller who has presented some of the most remarkably inane and unreasonable arguments to continue this legally questionable practice.
Representative John Kowalko

2017-09-28 16:20:58 john kowalko

@stan merriman

“But then, many progressives are not about winning, but are about being right”.

Correct Stan. That’s exactly why I’d never sacrifice being right for winning. Until one can accept the moral obligation of never sacrificing what’s right for everyone as opposed to compromising for the “WIN”, they can never bear the full weight of being a true progressive. Since Markell continued to ignore many things that were “right” in order to prop up his “creds” as a leader/winner for eight disastrous (to the middle-class) years it is certainly not appropriate for me to forgive and forget because of one self-serving attempt at a mea culpa appearing in the N.Y. Times. In fact the eight years of belligerence absorbed by Delaware Public Education and educators at the hands of Markell and his corporate allies leaves little to no room for the hollowness of “poor me I wish I could have a do-over” as proof of remorse or regret. I know I’m a progressive and I know I will always do and say what I think is right. I make no apologies for my attitude or agenda. And quite frankly I believe that the public appreciates that and has rewarded me and others who have made that choice with “WINS”
Representative John Kowalko

2017-09-24 18:55:56 john kowalko

Last paragraph should read $27 million in cuts you made in 2009….
John Kowalko

2017-09-22 22:09:16 john kowalko

AN OPEN LETTER TO FORMER GOVERNOR MARKELL
Dear Jack,
I’ve just finished reading your N.Y. Times op-ed and I feel it’s my obligation to Delaware’s taxpayers to respond. I’d like to think that your most recent missive has merely added to my disappointment in you but I think I’ve already passed the minimum expectations level in regard to your performance and legacy. I will try to be objective in my analysis and critique.
First, I find it unbecoming for you to use “revisionist history” as a crutch to support your crippling economic decisions. That pejorative explanation has become the trademark of Trumpism and the Republican Conservative ideologues and should be an embarrassing reference for any legitimate public servant who wears a “D” after his title. I’d suggest that you cease evading responsibilities, casting blame and rewriting reality or remove that “D”.
Your statement that “I was as guilty as any elected official at playing this game” fails to adequately express the reality that you were much more “guilty” then other Delaware elected officials. You blithely dismiss the seriousness of this ongoing “economic/corporate welfare” threat by writing “And I don’t blame public officials, either, for their efforts to attract businesses with enticements, since they otherwise would risk losing out on new jobs, the transfer of old ones elsewhere and the bad publicity that could come with abandoning efforts to entice or retain companies”. That attitude and admission would be better relegated to a confessional for your personal “mea culpa” and forgiveness ask.
In your article some of the revisions you make to your economic tenure as Governor are merely omissions, others are misrepresentative of reality and others seem to be deliberate distortions. So I will attempt to briefly summarize what you’ve conveniently forgotten. During your 8 years as Chief Executive your DEDO/Strategic Fund doled out over $250 million (in grants and subsidies) in taxpayer money. Approximately 37% of the recipients where huge fortune 400 companies. This number does not include the more than $80 million in lost corporate revenue from your hastily contrived “Delaware Competes Act” (House Bill 235 quickly ushered through the Delaware General Assembly during the first few weeks of 2016 session) along with the “Commitment to Innovation Act” (SB 200). You mention the failed Fisker debacle but choose to ignore/deny your other expensive yet failed economic enterprise the “Bloom” subsidy. Not only has the cash grant/sunsidy failed to produce the promised jobs but you’ve ensured that 300,000 individual and commercial Delmarva ratepayers would be burdened with an additional 20 years of subsidies to a private speculator/entrepreneur at a cost of $12-$15 million per year. Your remarkably optimistic speculation that the two of three Dow/DuPont spinoffs was a victory belies the reality that a preponderance of the research jobs are gone and Delaware is left with a comparative handful of jobs at the two headquarters. This type of Pyrrhic victory should not be heralded as the sign of an economic boon to Delaware. You also failed to mention the layoffs of 1700 (six-figure) DuPont researchers especially in light of your Secretary of Finance Tom Cook’s testimony on the House floor (in response to my query) that those jobs are gone and not coming back despite the Competes/Innovates corporate tax cuts and the 13 million cash giveaways that Ed Breen publicly said would not affect DuPont’s plans for job cuts. To paraphrase Mr. Breen’s remarks in the News Journal article “that money won’t make a difference in our plans but I’m not going to turn it down”. And lest we forget Jack, $10 million to JP Morgan (declared $24 billion in profit the year before) $2.5 million to Sallie Mae ($71 million profit 2nd qtr. 2017), $70 million infrastructure improvements to the Astra Zeneca campus (dramatically improving the value of their property now being sold) housing an ever dwindling workforce.
I do agree with your sentiments expressed as such> “but it would be better for taxpayers if these kinds of cash incentives could be invested instead in such things as schools and infrastructure”. Maybe that will happen under your successor’s tutelage via the newly minted taxpayer giveaway mechanism named the “Delaware Prosperity Partnership”. Perhaps that corporate dominated cabal will accept applications for funding to restore the $27 million in cuts to education that have continued to date ( under the guise of flexible spending block grants) or the additional $31 million in cuts to public education in this year’s budget or maybe some of those poor and elderly former pharmaceutical assistance recipients could make their anguished cries heard.
Representative John Kowalko

2017-09-22 21:59:46 john kowalko

@Chris
There were 6 good government types who debated against and voted against this latest Chamber, Business Roundtable, Corporate legislative lackey inspired taxpayer swindle. They certainly deserve some thanks and the aye’s deserve letters of disgust. The nays were:
Bennett
Heffernan
K. Williams
Kowalko
Lynn
Matthews

Rep. Kowalko

2017-09-22 16:14:54 john kowalko

Hm Alby. I wonder how I am able to write a book about self-absorbed idiots since I know nothing about Rusty Dils.
Representative Kowalko

2017-09-22 03:33:30 john kowalko

Please note the passing of Dr. Floyd E. McDowell on Sunday September 10th. I considered Dr. McDowell a friend and a worthy champion of economic justice for all. Floyd was truly the original pioneer of the idea and concept of a single-payer health care system. My most appreciative memory of Floyd was his relentless effort to enlighten the politicians and the masses of the need for “health insurance” reform and his remarkable adaptation of his “single-payer” legislation. My most disappointing memory of Dr. McDowell was my own failure to move this needed reform to the forefront of my colleagues and the public’s minds. Rest in Peace Dr. McDowell. You made a difference.
Representative John Kowalko

2017-09-20 19:28:15 john kowalko

Let’s not forget the Delaware “Competes” act and “innovates” act that have cost to state over $80 million in corporate tax cuts with absolutely no job creation or preservation resulting. Despite the erroneous reporting in the News Journal that these giveaways of needed revenue facilitated the alleged “win” with the DuPont merger. Total layoffs of 1700 research positions by DuPont remain gone and not recoverable through either of these “reform” bills. This is a matter of public record that appeared in the NJ interview with Ed Breen (his own words can be found in the papers recent archives). Crediting the spinoffs as a victory for this ongoing economic insanity policy is also a deliberately deceptive distortion of reality. The preponderance of actual jobs (formerly in Delaware) well over 350 have traveled to Iowa and Michigan while the 40 or 50 headquarter jobs will remain here as our reward for the $80 million in corporate welfare donations and not even including the cash grants to DuPont, Chemours et. al. Can you spell Pyrrhic victory class?

I will have a booth on the Green at Community day tomorrow and welcome any and all Chamber of Commerce, Business Roundtable, Corporate execs, corporate biased legislators of either party who wish to debate/discuss their point of view. Spot number 308 outside Mitchell Hall.
Representative John Kowalko

2017-09-16 16:23:26 john kowalko

Corporate “Welfare” is Delaware lawmakers and policymakers crime perpetrated on Delaware’s taxpayers.
Corporate “Extortion” is a corporate criminal conspiracy against those same taxpayers in collusion with politicians.
Neither of these criminal activities are permitted in other industrialized, capitalist countries (BECAUSE IT IS DETRIMENTAL TO THE ECONOMY AND THE PUBLIC GOOD)
At the end of this extravagant meal the check is left to be paid by the poor, elderly, middle-class, small business community without so much as a thank you.
Representative John Kowalko

2017-09-16 14:41:55 john kowalko

As recently as 8 years ago the pharmaceutical industry declare that their research and development costs had been eclipsed by the budget for marketing and advertising. Think gifts to doctors, free samples, lobbying and those absolutely expensive and tasteless commercials that currently abound on your television. Most industrialized companies forbid that type of product shilling on their airways. The admission that they were spending exorbitant amounts of money to convince the average American that the blue pill will cure your cancer/lumbago/bad-breath and lack of sexual imagination hearkens back to the old west “snake-oil” salesmen who at least were ridden out of town on a rail. More importantly, to the discussion of protecting that “dwindling” profit margin of poor AZ, Phizer and a host of others is the reality that American taxpayers (you, me and many of those poorer people who must choose between affording medication or food) actually subsidize (PAY) over 35% of research and development costs for these conglomerates. When any honest thinking person considers the tax breaks and the tax-evasion gimmicks employed by these (moving facilities overseas, merging with overseas companies) price-gougers their contribution is well over 35% of costs. Please do not be blinded by the obscenity of these practices and overlook the immorality and cruelty that this industry wallows in.
Representative John Kowalko

2017-09-14 15:15:30 john kowalko

Dear Hillary,
You are the “Typhoid Mary” that afflicts the Democratic Party. Your apoplectic rantings (in order to assure more book sales and money then you could ever possibly spend) will rend the remaining fabric of the Democratic Party if left unchallenged. You have displayed many of the same paranoid and delusional symptoms that many feel are obvious in Trump. Your egotistical musings that someone/everyone else is to blame for your obvious and consistent personality and defective judgements would certainly qualify you for an audition with one of those stupid reality shows. How about a spinoff of “DIVAS” (without a clue).
Dear Madame Secretary, get a grip. You’ve used up your 15 minutes of fame and a lifetime of humiliation. If you had shown the slightest sign of Democratic idealism and confronted your corporate allies and sponsors by exposing their lack of concern for economic justice you may have sparked a bit of enthusiasm among progressives. If you had, even once, confronted some of the flaws in Obama’s ACA and offered suggestions to improve it such as “single-payer” or “public-options” or reigning in Big Pharma you may have ignited a fire in progressive attitudes. If you had expressed even the slightest interest in staunching the flight of jobs and manufacturing to other countries (challenging your corporate masters to help solve that woeful state of affairs) you could have fanned those flames of progressives and ordinary middle-class working people into a conflagration that would have defeated this sorry excuse of a president. But you chose not to speak against, preach about or condemn this Wall Street, Chamber of Commerce, Corporate America that Trump moves so comfortably in (leaving only that snail-like trail as evidence of his presence). Please stop attempting to categorize Senator Sanders as a plagiarizing and blustering voice “crying in the wilderness”. His genuine concern for the rights and fairness and dignity that middle-class Americans of all creeds, ethnicities and socio-economic status deserve is a matter of record
Representative John Kowalko

2017-09-14 02:41:22 john kowalko

Now see Stan. Isn’t self-reflection a marvelous tool? You’ve managed to forego the “F” word in your latest missive. Now you can move on to an honest assessment of your anger management needs (if you have any). Seriously Stan.
Rep. Kowalko

2017-09-09 20:22:10 john kowalko

Not “presumptions” without evidence of Hillary’s motivations and intentions but rather an accurate depiction of her performance or lack thereof as a candidate. Get a grip Stan. You’re the one proclaiming some sort of “revisionist history” conspiracy is taking place. I am neither asking you to “answer” to me nor do I care to hear how you would “justify” your “interest”. Quite frankly I’m not at all interested or impressed by your logic but I see you’ve expanded your vocabulary downward to the level of your (corporate/conservative) “third-way” philosophy. Good luck with that in moving a political dialogue forward.
Representative Kowalko

2017-09-09 18:29:17 john kowalko

@Stan
If Hillary had showed the slightest sign of democratic idealism and confronted her corporate allies and sponsors by exposing their lack of concern for economic justice she may have sparked a bit of enthusiasm among progressives. If Hillary had, even once, confronted some of the flaws in Obama’s ACA and offered suggestions to improve it such as “single-payer” or “public-options” she may have ignited a fire in progressive attitudes. If Hillary had expressed even the slightest interest in staunching the flight of jobs and manufacturing to other countries (challenging her corporate masters to help solve that woeful state of affairs) she could have fanned those flames of progressives and ordinary middle-class working people into a conflagration that would have defeated this sorry excuse of a president. But Hillary chose not to speak against, preach about or condemn this Wall Street, Chamber of Commerce, Corporate America that Trump moves so comfortably in (leaving only that snail-like trail as evidence of his presence). Please stop attempting to categorize Senator Sanders as a plagiarizing and blustering voice “crying in the wilderness”. His genuine concern for the rights and fairness and dignity that middle-class Americans of all creeds, ethnicities and socio-economic status deserve is a matter of record. This champion of the people has never claimed credit as an originator of single-payer or health care reform or as the only challenger to the Wall Street cabal (that other politicians so warmly welcome). Give us all a break and keep your obvious disdain for Bernie to yourself but be careful that your anger doesn’t consume your humanity.
Representative Kowalko

2017-09-09 16:25:17 john kowalko

By my calculations JP Morgan can afford 16.6 Hillary speeches paid by Delaware taxpayer money alone. DuPont/Dow can buy about 20 H. C. inspirational talks. Sallie Mae can afford about 6 sessions. The list goes on and on. So if you’re looking for job and business creation from the Chamber of Commerce’s Corporate extortion/welfare extraction of taxpayer money (eagerly and equally supported by Republican and Democrat politicians alike) look no further than the opportunity for a newly created Clinton venture. Godamighty can you imagine all the hall-rental, catering and logistics support jobs that will be created if those motivational/inane speeches are scheduled for Delaware. Maybe that’s the criteria that the Governor can insist that his newly created (albeit extremely secretive) public/private job development include as a prerequisite for filling those greedy little corporate mitts with your money. Happy days are here again. Step right up to the (“$$$ buffet”) trough Chamber and friends. Your waitstaff for the evening will be a bi-partisan group of dedicated (to their reelection?) legislators and your meal will be creatively crafted by the improved and freshly funded son of DEDO. Sponsors of the event include the 5,000 seniors and poor who have gladly donated their pharmaceutical assistance money to help fund the activities, the local public school districts, teachers and students who are contributing an additional $36 million of their expected revenue this year and those poor wretches on General Assistance (cash money) who have historically received nearly $3 dollars per day until that item was removed from the budget. We could go on and on here crediting the 300,000 Delmarva ratepayers who are generous enough to pay $15million per year to subsidize private businesses such as Bloom. Next year those ratepayers may take heart in the fact that they will be able to each contribute an additional $120 per year when DP&L (re-birthed as EXELON) receive its recently applied for Gas and Electric infrastructure increases. No need to conclude with the standard politically ingratiating “God Bless America” he apparently already has blessed (Corporate) America and that blessing should trickle down any time now.
Representative John Kowalko

2017-09-07 18:39:37 john kowalko

Sean Lynn is one of the most intelligent and caring people that has ever served as an elected in this state. He is highly qualified, cerebral, progressive and realistic about the limitations of pure idealism. He would make a fine AG who supports and does not surreptitiously oppose fairness and transparency. An AG who would not be reluctant to render opinions when requested by the General Assembly and I know for a fact that he understands and appreciates the separation of powers. He understands the limitations of DOJ to independently spend taxpayer money without regard for the constitutionally guaranteed rights of the General Assembly to vote on all such disbursements. He knows and has practiced the law of Delaware in Delaware. The cops and the eye for an eye, (put them all to death) seekers would fight tooth and nail against him. The status quo party apparatus would vigorously oppose him, but he is of that special character that could prevail. I would endorse him for that office in a heartbeat if he chooses to do so. No purity test here, just good old-fashioned appreciation for an intelligent and genuinely caring public servant.

Representative John Kowalko

2017-08-30 00:59:16 john kowalko

I hope your readers might appreciate this much needed and welcome development in Delaware. Hopefully Governor Carney’s Executive Order creating an Offshore Wind Working Group will result in establishing a serious plan and direction that can move Delaware back to the forefront as a notable pioneer in renewable energy generation and offshore wind development.
A decade ago I was at the center of efforts to bring Offshore Wind Generation to Delaware’s coast. In fact, as a legislator, I was privileged to help authorize the “Bluewater Wind” project and helped craft and pass a Power Purchase Agreement that would guarantee a 25 year price stability. Unfortunately a total lack of cooperation by the Federal government manifested by an almost deliberate slowness to issuing permits and a reluctance to authorize subsidies and loan guarantees helped stifle the investor commitments and the agreement expired.
Since that time, I have spent the last decade as an elected Representative pursuing the necessary, game-changing initiative of offshore wind generation. I have participated in numerous summits and discussions, both as a panelist and an audience member. In February I was invited by the British Embassy to travel to the United Kingdom for an extensive week long series of meetings on the subject of offshore wind generation. We visited various government and private agencies that are at the cusp of making the United Kingdom the biggest wind generator in Europe. More recently in August, I attended the National Caucus of Environmental Legislators (NCEL), the Nation Conference of State Legislators (NCSL) in Boston and the Council of State Governments (CSG) in Connecticut to participate in numerous meetings regarding renewable electric generation highlighting offshore wind capabilities on the East coast. In my capacity as an active member of the Energy committees of these organization I was impressed by the renewed dedication to renewable energy generation in which “offshore wind” is a serious component being considered and pursued.
I have contacted Governor Carney and asked to be included/involved in this “Wind Working Group” due to my track record and knowledge of this particular subject. My decade-long involvement as a legislator and citizen who is aware of the benefits, challenges and limitless potential of this renewable energy generating resource will hopefully be a useful tool for this group.
I hope all of you will forward this advisory to your outlets and contact Governor Carney with your messages of support and encouragement.
Representative John Kowalko

2017-08-27 17:45:17 john kowalko

Many, many visits to Margherita’s on Main street and it is top quality but try the Wood Fired Pizza at 140 E. Cleveland Ave. As a Philly transplant and pizza/hoagie aficionado (or glutton) it is impressively delicious with an excellent crust.
Rep. John Kowalko

2017-08-25 19:23:06 john kowalko

All;
Let me apologize for my intemperate words and sarcastic remarks that reflect a personal resentment with individuals who post in disagreement with my policy stances. That practice surely impedes the legitimacy of any argument I might make. So I am offering my sincere regrets for that attitude I have conveyed.

I do, however, feel very confident that my economic considerations for the taxpaying public, working families, the elderly and the poor versus the interests of wealthy corporations and private businesses (when it comes to allocating sparse taxpayer dollars) is a legitimate and ultimately fair/just way to grow and sustain Delaware’s economy. We cannot afford to outbid our neighbors with dwindling available revenue reserves nor can we justify that money merely fattening the bottom line of corporations and satisfying shareholders. But perhaps more importantly we cannot afford to ignore the needs of all Delawareans and the certainty of a “return on investment” that putting those same dollars into the pockets of lower-asseted families will produce. No economy can survive without a strong base of consumer spending that stimulates and sustains economic growth.
Representative John Kowalko

2017-08-18 17:59:50 john kowalko

@bane
Quite honestly you are either devoid of any reading comprehension skills or a complete idiot. I have not said or implied in any way shape or form that your relative is looked down upon by myself, the Dem. party or the Newark “elitists” I find it particularly interesting and peculiarly stupid for you to not be able to distinguish between giveaways of taxpayer money to wealthy corporations and/or private businesses and support for a senior and elderly population of Delawareans who have contributed to this state and your families existence. Let me put this as simply as I can to penetrate the obvious bias and envy you have for hard-working families who have made Delaware successful and what obligations our government owes them.
MOST OF “THEM” WERE NOT GETTING CHECKS FROM DuPont (and the small group that did “EARNED THEM”). THE STATE IS “NOT” GOING BROKE BEING THE “SENIOR STATE”. THE STATE IS GOING BROKE SUPPORTING CORPORATE WELFARE AND SUBSIDIZING PRIVATE (and often unproven) BUSINESSES. Get your selfish head out of your dark area and understand that Delaware cannot economically benefit from tossing hard-earned taxpayer money into the coffers of the Wall Street elites and subsidize every private business that asks for taxpayer money while denying necessary supports to its own citizens, families and seniors.

Representative John Kowalko

2017-08-18 00:55:26 john kowalko

@bane
So is your family member now a “state employee” since they’ll be paid with taxpayer money?
“And please, not the “Solve poverty and and education” answer which can neither be achieved by putting $3 million into anything that is listed above”.

Are we (the taxpayers) “solving poverty”? by keeping your family member employed.
And lastly:
“Well hopefully they can bring some young people in here, because paying for old people and further making Delaware a senior destination state has to have an impact on healthcare costs. Their fixed incomes don’t provide much revenue via personal income tax or gross receipts tax. Without encouraging a younger workforce to come into the state, I fail to see how busting open the piggy bank to pay for increases in senior medicaid and property tax deductions ($25million) for a bunch of PA, MD, and New Jersey transplants, does anything but make me feel warm and gooey inside”.

How about those old people and seniors who lived and worked here all their lives to help support your family with their taxes and the small business community with their spending. I know, let’s ship them out or euthanize, starve or fail to make pharmaceutical needs available to them. Better yet let’s implement the higher tax brackets for the wealthier earners who have feathered their nests thanks to those “old people” and “seniors”
Representative John Kowalko

2017-08-17 21:30:47 john kowalko

@alby: Maybe one of those start ups will produce “Soylent Green”. Solves the reduced and free lunch situation and can offer a painless alternative to starvation, diabetes complications, strokes and heart attacks resulting from failure to medicate.

2017-08-16 20:43:54 john kowalko

Received from DHSS by Representative John Kowalko. It doesn’t get much more obvious than this re who will be the big “winners” (Chamber, Business Roundtable, every shameless, wealthy corporation, every politically connected entrepreneur who had a wet-dream about getting rich) or “losers” every poor, elderly or disabled citizen who must now choose life-saving medication or life-giving nourishment.

From DHSS Chief Policy Advisor Joanne Finnigan:
“DPAP is the Delaware Prescription Assistance Program. It was established with Tobacco Settlement Agreement funding to provide prescription assistance to older individuals and those with disabilities at a time when Medicare offered no prescription coverage for its beneficiaries. The program offered a capped benefit ($2,500 annually – later raised to $3,000 annually). Medicare Part D now offers a prescription benefit to Medicare enrollees. Consequently, the DPAP program now primarily assists with premium payments and some prescription costs for individuals who reach the Part D ‘donut’ hole. As the donut hole is phased out prescription spending in DPAP has lessened and the purpose for which it was created has largely been eliminated. In fact, 25% of enrollees received no benefits in 2016. The program is ending on August 31, 2017 because it was eliminated from the FY 2018 budget.”

About 5,100 seniors and people with disabilities were enrolled in the program in 2017 before the program was eliminated. About 25% of those enrolled received no benefit, and 50% received $500 or less in 2016. The program will cover premium payments in August 2017, and previously enrolled individuals will be responsible effective September 1, 2017. Individuals assessed a Late Enrollment Penalty will still be responsible for this amount. For information about deductibles, DHSS says to contact Medicare and ask for the current status of your deductible and whether you have met it for the year.

DHSS has informed recommended that individuals who cannot afford their Medicare Part D premiums: “You can change your Part D plan to a lower premium one by calling Medicare 1-800-633-4227. Tell them you are currently enrolled in a Qualified State Pharmaceutical Assistance Program (SPAP).” You are able to change your Medicare Part D plan outside of November annual enrollment because you are losing participation in a Pharmacy Assistance Program provided by your state.

For individuals who cannot afford their medications when in the “donut hole” or coverage gap, DHSS has recommended: “Contact your doctor/pharmacy for alternative solutions.”
Additional information about Medicare coverage is available here: https://www.medicare.gov/find-a-plan/questions/home.aspx
You can also contact your Prescription Drug Plan by calling the phone number on the back of the card or using one of the following numbers:

Medicare Part D Plan
Contact Number(s)
Cigna HealthSpring
1-800-222-6700
EnvisionRx Plus
1-866-250-2005 or TTY 1-866-763-9630
Express Scripts Medicare
1-800-758-4574 or TTY 1-800-716-3231
First Health Part D
1-844-233-1938 or TTY 711
Humana
1-800-281-6918
Magellan Rx Medicare
1-800-424-3312
SilverScript
1-866-235-5660 or TTY 1-866-236-1069
UnitedHealthcare-AARP Medicare Rx Walgreens
1-866-870-3470 or TTY 711
UnitedHealthcare-AARP Medicare Rx
1-888-867-5575 or TTY 1-877-730-4192
WellCare
1-888-550-5252 or TTY 1-888-816-5252

Information on Medicare plans offering Part D coverage under $50.00:

2017 Plan and Premium Information for Medicare Plans offering Part D coverage under $50.00
Organization Name
Plan Name
Contract ID
Plan ID
Part D Total Premium5
Part D Drug Deductible
Aetna Medicare

Previously, the DPAP provided the following overview of the program:

To qualify for DPAP, an applicant:
· Must be a resident of the State of Delaware,
· Must be at least 65 years of age or qualify for SSDI benefits,
· Must be at or below 200% of the federal poverty level or have prescription costs that are at least 40% of the applicant’s annual income, and
· Must not have or be eligible for prescription coverage through Federal, State, or private sources (regardless of any annual benefit limitations), excluding Medicare Part D prescription drug coverage.
Individuals with Medicare (the majority of DPAP clients) must select a Part D Prescription Drug Plan and must apply for Extra Help (Low-Income Subsidy) through the Social Security Administration. The Low-Income Subsidy, or LIS, which is paid by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, provides financial assistance (at levels of 100%, 75%, 50%, and 25%) for monthly Part D premiums, annual deductibles, and prescription coverage through the Part D coverage gap to low-income individuals. Medicare Part D is primary to the Delaware Prescription Assistance Program.

DPAP provides up to $3,000 in prescription benefit coverage per person, per calendar year. Cost-sharing, in the form of a standard DPAP co-pay of $5 or 25% of the cost of the drug, whichever is greater, is required of all DPAP clients. Medicare Part D co-pays are the responsibility of the DPAP client. For those clients with Medicare Part D coverage, DPAP benefits cover:
· All monthly Part D premiums (minus any applicable LIS),
· Prescription drug costs during the Part D deductible phase (minus the standard DPAP co-pay), and
· Costs incurred in the coverage gap (minus the DPAP co-pay) up to the $3,000 benefit limit

Delaware Prescription Assistance Program
Utilization – Number of Clients

CY 2015
CY 2016
CY 2017
No Benefits Received
1,214
21.28%
1,382
25.10%

Less than $500
3,253
57.03%
2,792
50.70%

$500 – $999
897
15.73%
976
17.72%

$1,000 – $1,999
323
5.66%
348
6.32%

$2,000 – $2,999
17
0.30%
8
0.15%

$3,000
0
0.00%
1
0.02%

Total
5,704
100.00%
5,507
100.00%
5,102
100.00%

Delaware Prescription Assistance Program
Distribution of Spending

SFY 2015
SFY 2016
SFY 2017
Administration
$534,671
23.4%
$515,588
23.0%
$368,006
19.03%
Premiums
$1,327,498
58.1%
$1,337,120
59.7%
$1,288,307
66.63%
Prescriptions
$422,718
18.5%
$387,164
17.3%
$277,269
14.34%
Total
$2,284,887
100.0%
$2,239,872
100.0%
$1,933,582
100.00%

2017-08-16 17:12:37 john kowalko

In case your readers have only gotten “Get Well” cards and never received a “Get Sick and Die” card from their local government here’s the version sent out to the eligible Pharmaceutical Assistance recipients in Delaware.

Member Name
Member Address 1
Member Address 2
Member city, state zip

MID

Dear Member,

You are receiving this letter because you are a member of the Delaware Prescription Assistance Program (DPAP). You will no longer receive DPAP benefits because the program is ending on August 31, 2017.

DPAP will no longer pay for any part of your drug costs after August 31, 2017.
DPAP will no longer pay for your Medicare Part D premium after August 2017.

You must begin to pay your Medicare Part D premium beginning September 2017. You must pay your premium to your Part D plan. Please contact your Part D plan if you have questions about your premium or other drug costs. A list of Part D plans can be found on page 2 of this notice. If you do not know what Part D plan you have or if you would like to change your Part D plan, please call Medicare at 1-800-633-4227.

If you have any questions about DPAP, please call 1-800-996-9969.

2017-08-16 16:58:19 john kowalko

Corporate extortion = Corporate blackmail = Corporate welfare = Corporate hacks (running the new improved DEDO) = taxpayer money giveaways = $3 million takeaway from Pharmaceutical Assistance Program = NO MONEY FOR POOR, ELDERLY AND DISABLED DELAWARE CITIZENS = cut your pills in half, do not fill your life-saving prescriptions or stop eating (just die already) = NO APPARENT MORAL COMPASS OR CONSCIENCE affecting Delaware’s (Corporate dominated, Chamber of Commerce dedicated loyalists) Executive and Legislative membership. “SOLD TO THE HIGHEST (RICHEST) BIDDER” should be the State slogan.
Representative John Kowalko

2017-08-16 16:36:08 john kowalko

Something and some people you can be proud of……….LOL. Say hello to Chamber shills and goodbye to clean water and coastline.
John Kowalko

Delaware Governor John Carney
MEDIA ADVISORY
Governor Carney to Sign House Bill 190 to Modernize the Coastal Zone Act
 
WILMINGTON, Del. – On Wednesday, August 2, Governor John Carney will sign House Bill 190 to modernize the Coastal Zone Act. This legislation allows for the responsible redevelopment of 14 legacy industrial sites along the Delaware coastline, which will help facilitate new job creation and additional environmental clean-up of those sites.  
 
WHO:             Governor Carney
Senator Bryan Townsend
Representative Ed Osienski
Shawn Garvin, Secretary, Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control
Keith Delaney, President of D2 Management
Members of the General Assembly
 
WHEN:          Wednesday, August 2, 2017
                        2:00 p.m.
 
WHERE:        Former General Chemical Location
6300 Philadelphia Pike
Claymont, DE 19703

2017-07-27 14:09:23 john kowalko

Incorporating is not the same as acquiring an LLC license in Delaware. For no tax burden whatsoever (that Corporations formed here must pay) LLC’s enjoy a superior protection from liabilities for a $300 fee per year. All 870,000 of those LLC’s in Delaware also enjoy an impenetrable anonymity which allows for single or multiple entities forming a Delaware LLC to conduct elicit, illegal and other inappropriate activities if they so choose. The recent ongoing expose of the Manafort, Ukranian, Russian etc. money laundering scheme reveals that those parties have collaborated and joined assets and influence via Delaware LLC licensing. El Chapo had his ongoing criminal enterprise legitimized as a Delaware LLC and there are countless others (including Milken types, terrorist funders, drug smugglers, money launderers and your average, everyday, fraudulently intended businesses) who wear the cloak of secrecy provided by current Delaware LLC laws. When I submitted legislation (HB57) to change a minuscule portion of the current LLC law to require agents forming LLCs on behalf of certain businesses to crosscheck their clients backgrounds and other affiliations with the Federal watch lists I was met with a firestorm of resistance from the Corporate Bar Commission (a group of Corporate Law firms that earn millions of dollars acting as agents for LLC licensees). These firms are among the most prestigious and influential law firms in Delaware and the requirement would have been a matter of visiting the federal web site to cross check listings of actors and countries that are on this list. When “Richard, Layton and Fingers” (in the till???) and other notable corporate law firms manage to have their own employees elected to the general assembly you can literally smell the influence peddling being exuded. When a noted corporate bar member elected to the Senate personally resists efforts to reinstate banking reform measure such as “Glass-Steagall” you have to question where their loyalty lies. When a noted corporate lawyer with the aforementioned Layton and Fingers firm enjoys the privilege of sitting on the House Judiciary committee and nearly singlehandidly prevents HB 57 from emerging to the floor for a vote of the full House, one must ask where her loyalties lie. I suspect that Rep. Smith must have had a good reason to not recuse herself from the vote but I cannot fathom what it might be, just as I cannot fathom what harm, if any, this bill would or could cause to Delaware. Here is the synopsis of HB 57:
To obtain obedience to federal laws protecting national security, with the help of registered agents, this Bill will prevent the use of our Limited Liability Act by persons and nations identified by federal agencies as a threat to this country. The bill also seeks to prevent existing limited liability company owners who are on the lists of prohibited persons or governments, but may have formed a Delaware LLC already, from getting involved in industries in which the federal government has placed restrictions on certain investments. Requiring clearance from the Committee on Foreign Investments in the U.S. for their plans will enable the Secretary to waive this provision when it is received. Registered agents must be the parties to screen for identified threats because those with a contract with the Department of State enter applications on its computers on a regular basis. CFIUS seldom prevents investments, (two since 1989 to be precise) but it may ask for mitigation in some way to reduce the potential threat involved. This Act will not impact the ability of almost any applicant to easily form an LLC nor does it require any companies to disclose more information to the Secretary of State in its application for certification than is now required.
Representative John Kowalko

2017-07-26 14:15:36 john kowalko

Regarding the Sallie-Mae extortion attempt please see my remarks posted on Delaware Online:
I’m outraged and have been every step of the way for my entire 6 terms in office. I’ve expressed it publicly, criticized it in the media and on my Facebook site and begged and cajoled my colleagues and the three Governors I’ve served under to cease and desist. It’s time for the public to step up and be outraged. When you became aware (unless you’re living in a rabbit hole) that $70 MILLION in taxpayer money was spent on roads and egress to the ASTRA-ZENECA site to enhance its sellable price-tag tenfold where was the outrage. It’s been reported on in the major media sites and I’ve written extensively about this state’s corporate welfare (including Astra-Zeneca, JPMorgan, Dupont, Chemours) policies apparently to a deaf, dumb and blind constituency. Bring the outrage please, bring it.
Representative John Kowalko

2017-07-18 16:25:17 john kowalko

This effin’ human turtle should be impeached along with that simpleton who occupies the Whitehouse and they should jail his family, in-laws and corporate oligarchs and put them in a maximum security facility….NO CLUB-FED. They’re destroying the fabric of this nation and any neanderthals that still support these treasonous buffoons should be forced to join them.
Representative John Kowalko

2017-07-17 23:55:46 john kowalko

Some of yesterday’s House activity needs further explanation and clarification. There have been excuses made, and aspersions cast. I will not attempt to justify or excuse the failures of the entire General Assembly, its leadership and the Governor throughout this self-created crisis. However, I do think that the public and all Delawareans deserve to be made aware of all of the options available to our elected officials and how we abdicated and continue to abdicate our responsibilities by not putting all alternatives into consideration. In the matter of HB 240, the personal income tax bill that failed to pass in the House by the narrowest of margins one of my amendments, supported by K. Williams and others of my ilk, would have capped the itemized deductions at a $20,000 total thereby trading for some additional revenue from the wealthier but it was defeated by Republicans and some of my Dem. colleagues. In addition both HB 107 and HB 109 (out of committee and wasting away on the “ready” list) have a phase out of itemized deductions starting at the $125,000 individual taxable income level and completed at the $250,000 individual level while allowing current itemized deductions to be used by those lesser income levels if they so choose. Apparently not acceptable to some of my own caucus members, leadership and Governor Carney. Of course we will never know since my (and many other caucus members) numerous pleas and formal requests to place the bills on the agenda for a full House vote have gone unheeded and been rejected multiple times. We have the sufficient 25 vote (3/5 margin required) in our caucus and if either were brought to the floor for what would be a successful vote I guess the naysayers (democrats????) would be forced to choose a clearly defined side. I also implored leadership and the Governor to put the Grant-in Aid bill back into consideration with HB 101 (the LLC license fee increase raising $21.5 million or with the amendment $43 milion) attached to provide the necessary funding required to offset the $37 million in Grant-in-Aid cuts in Rep. Smith’s budget proposal. That idea was also dismissed because of outspoken opposition by a very few (3???) Dem. caucus members whose self-interests seem to obscure our obligations to provide necessary services to the poor, middle-class, disabled and all Delaware residents.
Representative John Kowalko

2017-07-01 20:30:32 john kowalko

FBH
One of my amendments, supported by K. Williams and others of my ilk, would have capped the itemized deductions at a $20,000 total thereby trading for some additional revenue from the wealthier but it was defeated by Republicans and some of my Dem. colleagues. In addition both HB 107 and HB 109 (out of committee and wasting away on the “ready” list) have a phase out of itemized deductions starting at the $125,000 individual taxable income level and completed at the $250,000 individual level while allowing current itemized deductions to be used by those lesser income levels if they so choose. Apparently not acceptable to some of my own caucus members, leadership and Governor Carney. Of course we will never know since my (and many other caucus members) numerous pleas and formal requests to place the bills on the agenda for a full House vote have gone unheeded and been rejected multiple times. We have the sufficient 25 vote (3/5 margin required) in our caucus and if either were brought to the floor for what would be a successful vote I guess the naysayers (democrats????) would be forced to choose a clearly defined side. I also implored leadership and the Governor to put the Grant-in Aid bill back into consideration with HB 101 (the LLC license fee increase raising $21.5 million or with the amendment $43 milion) attached to provide the necessary funding required to offset the $37 million in Grant-in-Aid cuts in Rep. Smith’s budget proposal. That idea was also dismissed because of outspoken opposition by a very few (3???) Dem. caucus members whose self-interests seem to obscure our obligations to provide necessary services to the poor, middle-class, disabled and all Delaware residents.
Representative John Kowalko

2017-07-01 19:50:13 john kowalko

Manafort has a couple of those Delaware LLC’s with his Ukranian chums that the Corporate Bar Association and Representative Melanie Smith (atty with Fingers, Layton etc big LLC agent for hire) feel should not be required to report or crosscheck LLC they are hired by for money laundering, terrorist connections, drug smuggling and arms dealing. HB 57 that Rep. Smith fought tooth and nail to successfully bury in committee would have required transparency and exposure of the Manaforts and ElChapo’s
Representative John Kowalko

2017-06-29 01:45:08 john kowalko

“If you make $60k a year your personal income tax is going up and you lose the deductions you depend on every year. What are middle class people going to do if the only provider left in Delaware’s health care exchange gets a 33% premium increase and then you can’t even write off your stack of medical bills?”
Exactly. Those are some of the reasons I cannot support HB240 and have introduced, filed and gotten released from committee HB 107 and HB 109. They should be allowed to come to the floor for a full House vote and everyone Democrat and Republican alike can have their votes publicly acknowledged and recorded. I have formally requested that they be brought before the full chamber (along with HB101) and now all of you who agree with that must inundate house leadership with calls, emails and letters demanding it.
Representative John Kowalko

2017-06-25 16:34:44 john kowalko

Phil
Officially confirmed that you are the “joke”. Meandering every which way without the slightest attempt to quantify apples to apples, taking words out of context and deliberately misrepresenting the point of the discussion does not qualify you as either an anonymous victim or someone from whom I will accept criticisms of my comments. We can always meet if you so choose. My weekly constituent coffees are well publicized and you are welcome to a cup or two on me. Cream and sugar available but you’ll have to bring your own snark. I stand by all of my provable statements and concerns of the harmful effects to the poor and middle-class working families and individuals in Delaware that “WILL” result with passage of HB 240. I don’t own a “horse” high or otherwise but I am not going to stand by silently when any government or government official chooses to let their horse s**t on those that have much less than those special interests they support. “Trickle down” does not work, will not work and will never, ever have my support and will always earn and deserve my criticisms and disdain as will the people who peddle that bull.

Representative John Kowalko

2017-06-23 16:43:40 john kowalko

My bad. That was pointed out to me previously and I am having corrective amendments drafted now
John K.

2017-06-22 20:49:47 john kowalko

In a pleasantly surprising turn of events the House Revenue and Finance Committee release both HB 101 (Kowalko) and HB 107 (Kowalko) to the floor. It shouldn’t have been surprising since HB 101 minimally raises the annual fee on LLC licenses by $25 per year raising well over $21 million or if the amendment passes the fee increase of $50 per year raise over $42 million. The current $300 yearly fee is the price willingly paid by nearly 870,000 businesses who enjoy the generous protections and advantages of Delaware’s LLC license structure. The bill was originally considered a couple weeks ago but was tabled as a result of an ill-advised and unjustified procedural motion by a democrat member of the committee. Chairwoman Keeley graciously allowed the bill to be rescheduled for a vote to lift it from the table and that succeeded by an eight vote to five margin. After a lengthy and healthy dialogue the bill was released by a majority of the committee and can now proceed to the floor for consideration. I am going to formally request that Speaker Schwartzkopf put this important and necessary revenue bill on the agenda for a full house vote. HB 107, a bill that creates two new higher brackets while leaving all of the existing brackets unchanged also was released from committee and should also be placed on the House agenda for a vote on the floor. I will once again request that the Speaker allow HB 107, HB 109 and HB 101 to be brought to the floor for a full vote of the House in order to achieve an economic statewide stability that will require additional revenue without disaffecting the working families, middle class and the impoverished.
Representative John Kowalko

2017-06-22 15:33:34 john kowalko

Phil
857,000 LLC licenses issued yearly in Delaware are not comprised of very many small businesses. The super majority are issued to corporate entities, worldwide conglomerates and individuals and entities. A $25 per year increase generates over $21 million in additional revenue and does not break anyone’s (financial) back. The amendment if chosen raises the fees by $50 additional dollars per year which would raise over $40 million per year. The joke is in you trying to claim that you care about those mom and pop businesses that will suffer much more damage if HB240 passes and raises taxes on the poorest, the poor and the middle class working families in Delaware. That’s when you are sure to lose enormous consumer spending capabilities by taking those dollars out of the pockets of the class that spends nearly every dollar it earns. It spends those dollars in the small business, mom and pop stores and stabilizes the economy. The classes of people that will have their tax burden raised by HB240 do not tuck their money under the mattress, buy Berkshire Hathaway or Microsoft stocks or invest in DuPont’s recently opened Chinese factory that produces solar panels to be sold back here in the good old USA. They cannot afford frivolous or sometimes necessary purchases and are often forced to apply for food stamps, medicaid and other government assistance. AND THAT’S NO JOKE.
Representative John Kowalko

2017-06-21 17:44:54 john kowalko

The $850 number is perfectly accurate as a calculation of the newly created tax bracket (taxable earnings in excess of $150,000) which intends to tax those earnings at a rate of an additional .15%
Representative Kowalko

2017-06-16 03:52:09 john kowalko

No Jason, I do not expect total tax fairness in my lifetime or my grown children’s lifetimes with the Capitalism first last and always agenda that is corroding the morality of Delaware and America. I respectfully submit however that I cannot and will not support the additional economic ruination of the middle class and impoverished families that is deliberately written into this bill. This bill’s tax increases for those lower bracket earners combined with the previously submitted cuts to those same earners is unconscionable and destructive to the health of Delaware’s economic stability. Taking more and giving less to these lower earners erodes the most direct consumer spending capability of these families. They do not put their extra money under the mattress or buy Microsoft or Bershire Hatthaway stock. They spend every stinking penny that they have left into the local business community. There is no victory in the additional bracket other than Pyrrhic which is a path to destruction of an entire class of people.
Re. Kowalko

2017-06-15 19:56:48 john kowalko

Under this “PROGRESSIVE” (sic) tax restructuring plan a quqrter million dollar earning individual will pay an additional $150 per annum on the added earnings. A half million dollar earner will have to churn out an additional $350 per year and a millionaire individual will suffer the burden and bankruptcy threatening additional burden of $850 per year. Maybe we should establish a Go-Fund-Me account for those poor folks.
Representative John Kowalko

2017-06-15 18:48:35 john kowalko

This proposed “bracket” bill is akin to stealing the sunglasses from a blind man and when you are caught saying that you thought he would see better without those dark glasses. Only doing him and Delaware’s poorest (who suffer almost all of the proposed budget cuts ) a favor
Representative John Kowalko

2017-06-15 18:31:05 john kowalko

“By what measure do we evaluate and trade the health of the environment, the health of the ecology and the health of our citizens for business opportunities that profit and enrich the shareholders of these corporations. This has certainly become the mantra of the current regime in Washington. Profits are the only important factor”
This was my closing statement to the Natural Resources Committee members immediately before they voted to release HB 190. Scores of concerned individuals, environmentalists and environmental groups publicly testified that they were not invited to publicly engage in the dialogue with other stakeholders as HB 190 was being conceived and written. Most only asked that the process be temporarily halted so there could be a series of public meetings up and down the state where opponents and proponents could have a face to face civil dialogue on how to proceed. I concluded my comments prior to the final motion to release by asking the sponsor, Representative Osienski, to please consider the following request. “Representative Osienski I would respectfully request that you consider tabling this bill and hosting a series of public meetings involving all stakeholders where supporters and opponents can both have the opportunity for a measured and civil debate”. That request went unacknowledged.
Information I had sought earlier in the hearing further clouded the issue of this bill’s necessity. This arose when I asked the sponsor to name me one legitimate company which had sought to develop on these sites that withdrew their request because of the existing Coastal Zone Act restrictions. He could offer none and called DEDO officials as witnesses. I posited the same question to these two officials and they proceeded to contend that there were 36 companies that expressed interest in the sites. I reiterated that I asked the sponsor to name me one legitimate company that withdrew their interest because of the CZA and the DEDO officials responded that names and circumstances of all of these suitors were covered by confidentiality agreements that would not allow their identities, plans, motives or resources to be publicly divulged. I once again asked if there was a single legitimate investor among these 36 companies who expressly said that they were withdrawing their offer or locating elsewhere due to the restrictive nature of the Coastal Zone Act’s protection. Again I was unable to secure an answer to my very specific question from the DEDO representatives which forces me to conclude that there were and are none. I received a call from the acting DEDO head today who took exception to my characterizing their testimony as untruthful and I still have received no response to my inquiry nor should I be expected to withdraw any of my conclusions reported by the News Journal in its online article (removed from the print edition) that follows.
“However, officials with the Delaware Economic Development Office said they have worked with 36 potential projects at the 14 proposed sites over the last five years.
“All selected locations outside of Delaware due to the concerns and perception of high risk associated with the Coastal Zone,” said Cerron Cade, Carney’s former campaign manager and the acting director of DEDO”.
State Rep. John Kowalko, D-Newark, said he does not believe that claim to be true.
“They don’t exist,” he said. “I would love to put them on a lie detector test when they say that.”
Still, Kowalko – who cast the lone vote of dissent Wednesday – said he expects the bill to ultimately pass the General Assembly.
“Everybody is afraid to challenge the chamber of commerce,” he said. “They own this process. They own the House of Representatives and the Senate chamber.”
Passing this legislation could spell disaster for Delaware’s environment, ecology and the quality of life that its citizens enjoy and have far-reaching and disastrous consequences for our billion dollar tourism economy. Please call all of the House members and demand that they oppose this legislation at this time.
Representative John Kowalko

2017-06-08 17:59:09 john kowalko

Good catch Chris

Rep. John Kowalko

2017-06-05 22:42:19 john kowalko

Please share,forward and post everywhere. It is urgent that you help stop another Bloom debacle that will add millions to the electric bills of Delaware customers of DP&L. Please note and call the prime sponsors (who also Chair the Energy committee’s in the House and Senate) of this assault on the middle class, poor and small business community. The public will be the victims of another greedy corporate taking and you must call and email all of the General Assembly now to stop this. I need your help now and your neighbors need your help now.
I agree 100% with the Public Advocate, Drew Slater, and am engaged with all of my Caucus members to discourage any support for this horrible proposal. In fact this proposal represents a backdoor “Decoupling” attempt, a system that was defeated years ago prior to Mr. Winslow rejoining the PSC. I hope that this ill-advised attempt to reach into the ratepayers wallets by Exelon (et-al) is rejected by my colleagues on behalf of their constituency. Please continue to reach out to your legislators to reject this bill. In my time working with the Public Service Commission and as the former Chair of the Energy Committee, I cannot recall a proposal more specifically designed to squeeze profit out of our constituents without providing any improvement in service.
Subject: Fwd: Delmarva wants more $$$ — Time to speak out against corporate greed.
Delmarva wants to add another surcharge to our bill. And some of our legislators are ready to give them the increase without checking with us.
Senate Substitute 1 for Senate Bill 80 (SS1/SB80) will allow Delmarva to impose a Distribution System Improvement Charge (DSIC) between the regular rate increases that happen about every two years.
This DSIC is a surcharge and has nothing to do with the amount of electricity we use. It will produce approximately $17 million for Delmarva’s parent company, Exelon — whose revenue in 2016 was over $30 billion.
We are already paying a number of surcharges, including the one to Bloom Energy that was supposed to bring 900 jobs to Delaware. (900? Not even close!) We Delmarva customers have paid Bloom $130 million in the first four years of ‘our’ contract, and we’ll keep paying Bloom until 2033. News Journal
And let’s not forget the surcharge facing us when the Artificial Island project starts. Delaware customers are slated to pay 60% of that one.
Back to the current corporate greed issue…
We are grateful that the Public Advocate for Delaware, Drew Slater, opposes SS1/SB80. He is fulfilling his “role is to advocate for the lowest reasonable rates for consumers consistent with the maintenance of adequate utility service and principally on behalf of residential and small commercial consumers.”
Please speak out now against SS1/SB80. The lobbyists for Exelon and Delmarva have been in Legislative Hall for weeks building support for this bill. Talking points below.
1. If your senator or rep is a sponsor, contact them and ask them to take their names off SS1/SB80.
Sponsors: Senators McDowell (primary), Poore, Cloutier, Hocker
Representatives: Paradee, Longhurst, Brady, Carson, Heffernan, Hudson Q. Johnson, Smyk and Wilson
2. Testify at the Senate Environmental, Natural Resources & Energy Committee hearing for SS1/SB 80 on Wednesday, June 7 at 1:30 in the Senate Majority Caucus Room. Prepare a maximum two-minute speech.
3. If you cannot be at the hearing and your Senator is on the Committee, please contact him or her and ask that they represent you, not Exelon.
Committee members are
Harris B. McDowell
Stephanie L. Hansen
John Walsh
Gerald W. Hocker
Ernesto B Lopez
4. Pass this on to other Delawareans.
If you are a member of the Delaware Electric Cooperative, please contact your legislators in support of your neighbors who are forced customers of Delmarva.
Talking Points
Some of the arguments you will hear from Delmarva are:
1. The need for less rate cases, which are costly
2. Less volatility in consumer bills
3. The water utilities have a DSIC
In a News Journal article, Delmarva Power’s vice president, Glenn Moore said, “If the plan were implemented this year Delmarva would postpone a request for a full rate increase from this August until next year.” (Notice that Delmarva still plans to ask for a rate increase. But they’ll be nice and wait a year if they get the surcharge this year.)
Public Advocate: “Exelon says it is only asking for what the water utilities have had since 2001; however, it is my opinion that the water utilities companies should not have a DSIC either.”
(Artesian, the largest water company in Delaware, has had a DSCI since 2001 and yet they still come in for rate cases every 2.5 years.)
Public Advocate: “Exelon is not requesting this legislation because it needs more money for reliability investment; if it really needed the DSIC funds for that, it would not have agreed to cap its reliability spending from 2015-2019 to $225 million. Rather, it is requesting this legislation because DPL is not currently earning its Commission-approved 9.7% return on equity, but instead is earning around 7%…. I do not believe that company and shareholder profit should be subsidized by Delaware’s captive residential, small commercial or industrial consumers.”
Public Advocate: “This generous grant of money would come with significantly less oversight and examination….The base rate increase is an important way for regulators to make sure utility companies have a justification for increasing rates. And the process sometimes leads to companies getting less than they asked for. In its last electric rate increase, Delmarva asked for an increase of $64 million but settled for about half that amount.”
Public Advocate: Regulated utilities are given the opportunity to earn the returns on equity awarded by the PSC, but they are not guaranteed they will earn it. Allowing any utility to collect revenues from captive customers without the oversight that comes through the rate case proceeding is the antithesis of good regulatory policy and serves as a disincentive to control costs in the manner that competitive businesses do. Delaware already has some of the highest rates in the south-Atlantic region. Delaware’s high electric rates deter large commercial and industrial concerns from considering Delaware. Moreover, there is a very real likelihood that DPL’s ratepayers’ rates will increase substantially when the Artificial Island project commences. If this legislation passes, DPL’s low-income residents will be even less able to afford their bills, and economic development opportunities will be further stifled – to the benefit of the Chicago-based headquarters of Exelon Corporation.

2017-06-05 18:21:37 john kowalko

Jason
Please post this urgent matter on your site.

Please share,forward and post everywhere. It is urgent that you help stop another Bloom debacle that will add millions to the electric bills of Delaware customers of DP&L. Please note and call the prime sponsors (who also Chair the Energy committee’s in the House and Senate) of this assault on the middle class, poor and small business community. The public will be the victims of another greedy corporate taking and you must call and email all of the General Assembly now to stop this. I need your help now and your neighbors need your help now.

Representative John Kowalko
From: Joanne Cabry
Sent: Sunday, June 4, 2017 10:09 PM
To: Joanne Cabry
Subject: Fwd: Delmarva wants more $$$ — Time to speak out against corporate greed.

Delmarva wants to add another surcharge to our bill. And some of our legislators are ready to give them the increase without checking with us.
Senate Substitute 1 for Senate Bill 80 (SS1/SB80) will allow Delmarva to impose a Distribution System Improvement Charge (DSIC) between the regular rate increases that happen about every two years.
This DSIC is a surcharge and has nothing to do with the amount of electricity we use. It will produce approximately $17 million for Delmarva’s parent company, Exelon — whose revenue in 2016 was over $30 billion.
We are already paying a number of surcharges, including the one to Bloom Energy that was supposed to bring 900 jobs to Delaware. (900? Not even close!) We Delmarva customers have paid Bloom $130 million in the first four years of ‘our’ contract, and we’ll keep paying Bloom until 2033. News Journal
And let’s not forget the surcharge facing us when the Artificial Island project starts. Delaware customers are slated to pay 60% of that one.

Back to the current corporate greed issue…

We are grateful that the Public Advocate for Delaware, Drew Slater, opposes SS1/SB80. He is fulfilling his “role is to advocate for the lowest reasonable rates for consumers consistent with the maintenance of adequate utility service and principally on behalf of residential and small commercial consumers.”

Please speak out now against SS1/SB80. The lobbyists for Exelon and Delmarva have been in Legislative Hall for weeks building support for this bill. Talking points below.
1. If your senator or rep is a sponsor, contact them and ask them to take their names off SS1/SB80.
Sponsors: Senators McDowell (primary), Poore, Cloutier, Hocker
Representatives: Paradee, Longhurst, Brady, Carson, Heffernan, Hudson Q. Johnson, Smyk and Wilson

2. Testify at the Senate Environmental, Natural Resources & Energy Committee hearing for SS1/SB 80 on Wednesday, June 7 at 1:30 in the Senate Majority Caucus Room. Prepare a maximum two-minute speech.

3. If you cannot be at the hearing and your Senator is on the Committee, please contact him or her and ask that they represent you, not Exelon.
Committee members are
Harris B. McDowell
Stephanie L. Hansen
John Walsh
Gerald W. Hocker
Ernesto B Lopez

4. Pass this on to other Delawareans.

If you are a member of the Delaware Electric Cooperative, please contact your legislators in support of your neighbors who are forced customers of Delmarva.

Talking Points
Some of the arguments you will hear from Delmarva are:
1. The need for less rate cases, which are costly
2. Less volatility in consumer bills
3. The water utilities have a DSIC
In a News Journal article, Delmarva Power’s vice president, Glenn Moore said, “If the plan were implemented this year Delmarva would postpone a request for a full rate increase from this August until next year.” (Notice that Delmarva still plans to ask for a rate increase. But they’ll be nice and wait a year if they get the surcharge this year.)

Public Advocate: “Exelon says it is only asking for what the water utilities have had since 2001; however, it is my opinion that the water utilities companies should not have a DSIC either.”

(Artesian, the largest water company in Delaware, has had a DSCI since 2001 and yet they still come in for rate cases every 2.5 years.)

Public Advocate: “Exelon is not requesting this legislation because it needs more money for reliability investment; if it really needed the DSIC funds for that, it would not have agreed to cap its reliability spending from 2015-2019 to $225 million. Rather, it is requesting this legislation because DPL is not currently earning its Commission-approved 9.7% return on equity, but instead is earning around 7%…. I do not believe that company and shareholder profit should be subsidized by Delaware’s captive residential, small commercial or industrial consumers.”

Public Advocate: “This generous grant of money would come with significantly less oversight and examination….The base rate increase is an important way for regulators to make sure utility companies have a justification for increasing rates. And the process sometimes leads to companies getting less than they asked for. In its last electric rate increase, Delmarva asked for an increase of $64 million but settled for about half that amount.”

Public Advocate: Regulated utilities are given the opportunity to earn the returns on equity awarded by the PSC, but they are not guaranteed they will earn it. Allowing any utility to collect revenues from captive customers without the oversight that comes through the rate case proceeding is the antithesis of good regulatory policy and serves as a disincentive to control costs in the manner that competitive businesses do. Delaware already has some of the highest rates in the south-Atlantic region. Delaware’s high electric rates deter large commercial and industrial concerns from considering Delaware. Moreover, there is a very real likelihood that DPL’s ratepayers’ rates will increase substantially when the Artificial Island project commences. If this legislation passes, DPL’s low-income residents will be even less able to afford their bills, and economic development opportunities will be further stifled – to the benefit of the Chicago-based headquarters of Exelon Corporation.

Contact information attached.

Thank you!

Joanne Cabry
Chair
Progressive Democrats of Sussex County
302.228.4210 (cell)
302.226.5019 (home)

2017-06-05 17:41:49 john kowalko

25 Dems doesn’t seem to equate to 25 votes for bracket creation. We hear more excuses from leadership than even the public can imagine. I regard a super majority of those excuses as bogus bulls**t.
Rep. Kowalko

After reviewing the press advisory (below) from Delaware’s House and Senate leadership regarding the unanticipated postponement of the Joint Finance Committee meetings I felt compelled to analyze what message was intended by this action. In light of the fact that I consider most of the DEFAC revenue subcommittee report as a regurgitation of economic ideas and a further redistribution of wealth to corporations at the expense of the needy and literally taken from the ALEC playbook. This report based almost solely on the concerns and wants of the corporate world has been literally transposed in to the current budget proposals. A few examples are found on these pages of the report.
Pg. 51) Personal Income Tax: “higher tax brackets were considered as alternative means to increase elasticity, but they were not included as recommendations given that they would increase Delaware’s reliance on an even narrower portion of volatile revenues and raise questions relating to economic competitiveness”
Pg. 44) Estate Tax repeal: “The Council chiefly discussed this revenue source as it relates to wealthy households’ incentives to retain Delaware residency”
Pg. 34) Bank Franchise Tax: “Delaware banks are exempt from Gross Receipts and Corporate Income Taxes. The Council assessed the BFT with great care, given the potential competitive impacts of any changes since the BFT is credited with preserving jobs and enticing banks to locate in Delaware”.
Review the entire report and you will see how many times the unproven and false mantra of “businesses and the wealthy will flee Delaware are threatened to preserve the corporate welfare state status enjoyed by Delaware. I have sent the following email to all of my legislative colleagues.
Dear colleagues,
The following message suggests that leadership is finally considering the reality that revenue has to be raised to pay for necessary services that benefit the economy and the most vulnerable people in Delaware. Mu optimism fades and my enthusiasm wanes when the announcement refers to the DEFAC revenue subcommittee report as a recommendation for moving forward. This report generated by and on behalf of corporate interests by the Chamber of Commerce, Business Roundtable and more than a few corporate attuned legislators represents the exact attitudes and plans that have gotten our economy into this mess. Trickle-down economics is a phrase we have all grown familiar with over the years and nothing about any incarnation of it can be honestly viewed as other than a regressive, pro-corporate, pro-affluence agenda that will diminish necessary services for the most needy. I raised objections to the attitudes and harmful economics embodied in this plan in 2015 when it first surfaced and hope all of my colleagues will see the potential for economic and social injustices that will result from embracing it.
Representative John Kowalko
———- Forwarded message ———-

Delaware General Assembly
State of Delaware

For Immediate Release: Contact: Drew Volturo
May 31, 2017 Work: (302) 744-4001

Contact: Jesse Chadderdon
Work: (302) 744-4282

Legislative Leaders Issue Statement on Budget Process

Joint Finance Committee to cancel Thursday session; Legislative leaders
to meet to discuss revenue measures

DOVER – House Speaker Pete Schwartzkopf and Senate President Pro Tempore David McBride issued the following joint statement regarding Joint Finance Committee:

“Legislative leaders have instructed the Joint Finance Committee to cancel its meetings for the remainder of the week to allow the leaders of all four caucuses to meet and continue discussions regarding raising additional revenue.

“We understand that JFC already has completed a first round of budget cuts, which drew on Governor Carney’s recommendations. Yesterday, the committee began a second round of deep cuts that could have serious long-term consequences for Delawareans. These include slashed education and public health programs – programs that provide the stability and foundation for middle class families to thrive and help grow Delaware’s economy.

“We heard loud and clear from legislators, community stakeholders and affected residents about these potential cuts and we understand those sentiments. For that reason, we have asked JFC to take a step back and give legislative leaders the opportunity to meet and see if there is room for compromise to raise additional revenue so that we can balance any cuts we might have to make to the budget.

“This is a simple mathematical issue: Solving our budget issues requires both parties to work together and reach consensus. Budget issues are not partisan, and neither are the solutions. We must use this opportunity to fix the structural problems with our budget so we have sustainable revenue to maintain important services to all residents. We must fix those structural issues that the DEFAC revenue subcommittee identified so we don’t find ourselves in a similar position in future years.

“We are optimistic that both sides can work together to produce a responsible, balanced budget that protects services for Delawareans and puts us in a better position for the future.”

2017-06-05 14:50:53 john kowalko

After reviewing the press advisory (below) from Delaware’s House and Senate leadership regarding the unanticipated postponement of the Joint Finance Committee meetings I felt compelled to analyze what message was intended by this action. In light of the fact that I consider most of the DEFAC revenue subcommittee report as a regurgitation of economic ideas and a further redistribution of wealth to corporations at the expense of the needy and literally taken from the ALEC playbook. This report based almost solely on the concerns and wants of the corporate world has been literally transposed in to the current budget proposals. A few examples are found on these pages of the report.
Pg. 51) Personal Income Tax: “higher tax brackets were considered as alternative means to increase elasticity, but they were not included as recommendations given that they would increase Delaware’s reliance on an even narrower portion of volatile revenues and raise questions relating to economic competitiveness”
Pg. 44) Estate Tax repeal: “The Council chiefly discussed this revenue source as it relates to wealthy households’ incentives to retain Delaware residency”
Pg. 34) Bank Franchise Tax: “Delaware banks are exempt from Gross Receipts and Corporate Income Taxes. The Council assessed the BFT with great care, given the potential competitive impacts of any changes since the BFT is credited with preserving jobs and enticing banks to locate in Delaware”.
Review the entire report and you will see how many times the unproven and false mantra of “businesses and the wealthy will flee Delaware are threatened to preserve the corporate welfare state status enjoyed by Delaware. I have sent the following email to all of my legislative colleagues.
Dear colleagues,
The following message suggests that leadership is finally considering the reality that revenue has to be raised to pay for necessary services that benefit the economy and the most vulnerable people in Delaware. Mu optimism fades and my enthusiasm wanes when the announcement refers to the DEFAC revenue subcommittee report as a recommendation for moving forward. This report generated by and on behalf of corporate interests by the Chamber of Commerce, Business Roundtable and more than a few corporate attuned legislators represents the exact attitudes and plans that have gotten our economy into this mess. Trickle-down economics is a phrase we have all grown familiar with over the years and nothing about any incarnation of it can be honestly viewed as other than a regressive, pro-corporate, pro-affluence agenda that will diminish necessary services for the most needy. I raised objections to the attitudes and harmful economics embodied in this plan in 2015 when it first surfaced and hope all of my colleagues will see the potential for economic and social injustices that will result from embracing it.
Representative John Kowalko
———- Forwarded message ———-

Delaware General Assembly
State of Delaware

For Immediate Release: Contact: Drew Volturo
May 31, 2017 Work: (302) 744-4001

Contact: Jesse Chadderdon
Work: (302) 744-4282

Legislative Leaders Issue Statement on Budget Process

Joint Finance Committee to cancel Thursday session; Legislative leaders
to meet to discuss revenue measures

DOVER – House Speaker Pete Schwartzkopf and Senate President Pro Tempore David McBride issued the following joint statement regarding Joint Finance Committee:

“Legislative leaders have instructed the Joint Finance Committee to cancel its meetings for the remainder of the week to allow the leaders of all four caucuses to meet and continue discussions regarding raising additional revenue.

“We understand that JFC already has completed a first round of budget cuts, which drew on Governor Carney’s recommendations. Yesterday, the committee began a second round of deep cuts that could have serious long-term consequences for Delawareans. These include slashed education and public health programs – programs that provide the stability and foundation for middle class families to thrive and help grow Delaware’s economy.

“We heard loud and clear from legislators, community stakeholders and affected residents about these potential cuts and we understand those sentiments. For that reason, we have asked JFC to take a step back and give legislative leaders the opportunity to meet and see if there is room for compromise to raise additional revenue so that we can balance any cuts we might have to make to the budget.

“This is a simple mathematical issue: Solving our budget issues requires both parties to work together and reach consensus. Budget issues are not partisan, and neither are the solutions. We must use this opportunity to fix the structural problems with our budget so we have sustainable revenue to maintain important services to all residents. We must fix those structural issues that the DEFAC revenue subcommittee identified so we don’t find ourselves in a similar position in future years.

“We are optimistic that both sides can work together to produce a responsible, balanced budget that protects services for Delawareans and puts us in a better position for the future.”

2017-06-03 17:34:01 john kowalko

Steve
The money for it comes from the pockets of the poorest, lower middle class families that are barely if at all above the federal poverty level themselves. They will lose SUBSTANTIAL amounts of money and they cannot AFFORD it. That is nothing less than substantially IMPERFECT and a START toward having those families join the most destitute. Let me explain as clearly as I can. These FULL-TIME, HARD-WORKING FAMILIES do not have money in their pockets now and this legislation will take more from them while allowing the richest corporations and the wealthiest families to keep every damned red cent that they can get their hands on. It’s important that you understand the realities and ramifications of these bills before you anoint them as benefits to the salvation of the poor.
Representative John Kowalko

2017-05-31 23:51:14 john kowalko

Please note that the EITC expansion bill (Rep. Baumbach) creates a refundable Delaware EITC to some working families who never received it previously. Please also note that this state EITC expansion had a fiscal note of over two and a half million and to avoid the appropriations committee Rep. Baumbach is funding that lower bracket expansion by dramatically cutting state EITC refundable tax credits from families (with children) earning a mere $40,000 per year. These working families are barely above the federal poverty level and in some cases below it who have averaged a state tax credit of approximately 20% of their federal credit. The current legislation being offered (that I strenuously opposed on the floor and in caucus) would permanently reduce that 20% from those lower income families to 6%. Once again we are shifting burdens from the poor working families to benefit the poorer working families while failing to pay for these items with any corporate or wealthier taxpayer assistance.
Representative John Kowalko

2017-05-31 17:19:04 john kowalko

Tom Kline is a democrat like a boil on the ass is a beauty mark.
Rep. Kowalko

2017-05-29 19:45:05 john kowalko

Trump, Kushner and their surrogates may not ever be held accountable as treasonous underminers of this great American Democracy even if that is the ultimate result of their conspiratorial actions with Russia and other fascist governments. That does not absolve them of blame or responsibility but unfortunately I do not see their agendas and goals as intended to affect such an action. I believe that Trump, Kushner, Flynn, Manafort, Tillerson, Mnuchin and all the rest of that cabal are venal, mercenary, greedy, soulless, and repulsively selfish individuals that are only interested in accumulating an obscene amount of money and the power to make more. They have no virtues or consciences, so dismissing the plight of others and disregarding the destitution and carnage they leave in their wake is not even an afterthought to them. The rest of the people in America and on this planet do not exist in their world and they probably do not acknowledge those people even to themselves. I wouldn’t be surprised if you put a stack of currency and and a starving child side by side in a small room with any of them that they would exit that room posthaste with the cash stuffed in their wallets and not the slightest acknowledgement of that child’s plight (even subliminally) touching their hearts or that void where their soul should reside. There is a certainty and certain amount of viciousness in the hearts of the totally mercenary and greedy soulless individuals (like them) that are defined, albeit only genetically, as human beings and I find it intolerable and disgusting that they are accepted as leaders. Shame on all of us for not recognizing this cancerous infestation and protesting loudly and often that America should and must do better.
Representative John Kowalko

2017-05-27 15:09:56 john kowalko

WHO ME?
Yes you. If your asking if I’ve encountered any total a**holes lately

Rep. Kowalko

2017-05-24 19:25:31 john kowalko

Actually it’s over $5.45 million and all exempt if your leaving it to your spouse.
Rep. Kowalko

2017-05-23 18:23:40 john kowalko

Lots of other cuts coming. Call and mail all of the Joint Finance Committee members and express your opinion, thoughts and demands. These are economically disastrous policies that mirror the Trump economic policies with just as much disregard for the poorer, working class Delawareans.

http://www.delawareonline.com/story/opinion/contributors/2017/05/22/kowalko-estate-tax-repeal-victimizes-needy-delawareans/337258001/

2017-05-23 12:41:57 john kowalko

Draconian cuts=gifts to the wealthiest.

http://www.delawareonline.com/story/opinion/contributors/2017/05/22/kowalko-estate-tax-repeal-victimizes-needy-delawareans/337258001/

John Kowalko

2017-05-22 23:47:31 john kowalko

Tom better an old communist than a Trumpian, rabid dog conservative who gets his jollies watching elderly people forego food or medicine so some wealthier than God family can avoid its fair share. You are committed to relentlessly pursue your ambition to be totally irrelevant to society (like your hero- the donald) and a complete a-hole. Congratulations, you’ve made the finals. Soon it will be time for you to wipe or maybe change your depends.

By overstatement I presume you mean disclosing the actual $9.3 million in revenue recovered although it was originally projected at $3-$3.5 million the last time the recommendation to repeal came from the Chamber of Commerce, the Business Roundtable and some suspect Dems. who play in the same sandbox. Or perhaps you can assure that the revenue will be in line with the estimates of $3 million lost. You may wish to check out the DFAC report of $24 million less in revenue from PIT then originally projected. Hello— higher brackets, (so sorry),- not allowed on the agenda under suspension of rules or otherwise. But let’s assume that you mean my “Chicken Little” persona will hurt the argument so let me just offer some actual proposed cuts that probably will be made despite the assured loss of $3million and up in actual revenue.
1) Elimination of the General assistance fund (saving $5m) that provides a whopping $3 per day to a few thousand qualified recipients (including homeless and single moms) who are unemployed and do not qualify for other (S.S. etc) benefits.
2) Elimination of the Delaware Prescription Assistance Program (saving $2.5 m) available for a means tested destitute senior population that cannot afford their food and medicine at the same time.
3) $2.6 M saved by reducing the Medicaid Dental reimbursement (say goodbye to your rare dentist who is willing to see those poor children and pregnant moms)
4) $1.4 million reduction to TANF
5) $5million reduction in school tax credit currently allowed to seniors (approx. $100 each—means test you say? heaven forbid just cut across the board and that medicine or food choice for Auntie Destitute will solve itself when she starves to death or has a fatal stroke.
6) $3.5 million Pupil Transportation increase for traditional schools–shifting State/Local share from 90:10 to 85L:15. And if you are curious at all then rest assured that Rep. Melanie Smith and Sen. Bushweiler will be placing epilogue language into the budget to allow Charters to keep unspent transportation money (they’re not getting cut) despite taxpayers losing $1.25 to $1.5+ million each year. And the sop offered is that they will do the same for Districts. I reiterated a dialogue I’ve had with the esteemed representative that “THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO MONEY LEFT OVER IN TRADITIONAL SCHOOLS BUDGETS AND IT MUST BE SUPPLEMENTED WITH LOCAL TAXPAYER MONIES” Even though TPS get approximately $550 per student while Charters get approx. $850 per student.
So Chicken Little, alarmist or unduly harsh critic “that’s the facts Jack”
Representative John Kowalko

2017-05-18 16:34:46 john kowalko

By overstatement I presume you mean disclosing the actual $9.3 million in revenue recovered although it was originally projected at $3-$3.5 million the last time the recommendation to repeal came from the Chamber of Commerce, the Business Roundtable and some suspect Dems. who play in the same sandbox. Or perhaps you can assure that the revenue will be in line with the estimates of $3 million lost. You may wish to check out the DFAC report of $24 million less in revenue from PIT then originally projected. Hello— higher brackets, (so sorry),- not allowed on the agenda under suspension of rules or otherwise. But let’s assume that you mean my “Chicken Little” persona will hurt the argument so let me just offer some actual proposed cuts that probably will be made despite the assured loss of $3million and up in actual revenue.
1) Elimination of the General assistance fund (saving $5m) that provides a whopping $3 per day to a few thousand qualified recipients (including homeless and single moms) who are unemployed and do not qualify for other (S.S. etc) benefits.
2) Elimination of the Delaware Prescription Assistance Program (saving $2.5 m) available for a means tested destitute senior population that cannot afford their food and medicine at the same time.
3) $2.6 M saved by reducing the Medicaid Dental reimbursement (say goodbye to your rare dentist who is willing to see those poor children and pregnant moms)
4) $1.4 million reduction to TANF
5) $5million reduction in school tax credit currently allowed to seniors (approx. $100 each—means test you say? heaven forbid just cut across the board and that medicine or food choice for Auntie Destitute will solve itself when she starves to death or has a fatal stroke.
6) $3.5 million Pupil Transportation increase for traditional schools–shifting State/Local share from 90:10 to 85L:15. And if you are curious at all then rest assured that Rep. Melanie Smith and Sen. Bushweiler will be placing epilogue language into the budget to allow Charters to keep unspent transportation money (they’re not getting cut) despite taxpayers losing $1.25 to $1.5+ million each year. And the sop offered is that they will do the same for Districts. I reiterated a dialogue I’ve had with the esteemed representative that “THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO MONEY LEFT OVER IN TRADITIONAL SCHOOLS BUDGETS AND IT MUST BE SUPPLEMENTED WITH LOCAL TAXPAYER MONIES” Even though TPS get approximately $550 per student while Charters get approx. $850 per student.
So Chicken Little, alarmist or unduly harsh critic “that’s the facts Jack”
Representative John Kowalko

2017-05-18 14:45:53 john kowalko

I’m sure of two things. The deals have been cut and no one, absolutely no one, has offered rhyme, reason or revenue plans to address what could be a massive additional revenue shortfall with estate tax repeal. Special thanks to Representative Ramone and some Dems. who would not allow HB 101 (minimal increase in the current $300 per year fee paid by the 857,000 LLC licensees in Delaware that could raise over $40 million in additional revenue) out of committee while getting this repeal bill for the rich out of that same committee that same day. Bueller, Bueller anyone?

Today 5/18/17, a bill to repeal the “estate tax”, has been placed on the House Agenda by Speaker Schwartzkopf. It will require a suspension of rules due to notification inadequacies but more importantly it will guarantee less revenue for the state and amounts to a giveaway to the Republicans and the wealthy. This tax garnered $9.3 million in revenue in 2016 and to date there have been no suggestions from leadership of either party or the JFC as to how that revenue loss will be replaced. I have asked this question of all of my Democratic colleagues and have not received one suggestion. This bill should not receive one Democrat vote but it will as deals have been cut to the detriment of Delaware’s taxpayers to ensure passage. This is irresponsible and abhorrent behavior that contradicts true Democratic party principles and ideals and all Democrat legislators should reject this or be held accountable.
Representative John Kowalko

2017-05-18 13:18:00 john kowalko

Today 5/18/17, a bill to repeal the “estate tax”, has been placed on the House Agenda by Speaker Schwartzkopf. It will require a suspension of rules due to notification inadequacies but more importantly it will guarantee less revenue for the state and amounts to a giveaway to the Republicans and the wealthy. This tax garnered $9.3 million in revenue in 2016 and to date there have been no suggestions from leadership of either party or the JFC as to how that revenue loss will be replaced. I have asked this question of all of my Democratic colleagues and have not received one suggestion. This bill should not receive one Democrat vote but it will as deals have been cut to the detriment of Delaware’s taxpayers to ensure passage. This is irresponsible and abhorrent behavior that contradicts true Democratic party principles and ideals and all Democrat legislators should reject this or be held accountable.
Representative John Kowalko

2017-05-18 04:11:56 john kowalko

Time to impeach and repeal this aberration.

John Kowalko

2017-05-17 01:57:20 john kowalko

“he amendment to exclude the Wilmington portion of Christina is every bit as racially discriminatory as the provisions of the 1968 Educational Advancement Act that barred Wilmington schools from merging with suburban districts”. Absolutely true which is why I offered the House Amendment 1 to repeal the entire 5 mile radius language. It is also accurate to posit that the current preferences of entitlement especially absent any other choice/lottery circumstances like other traditional choice feeder openings currently required at Kindergarten, sixth grade and ninth grade ( all absent at Newark Charter K-12) assures a closed enrollment like private schools enjoy WITHOUT tuition that private schools require.
Representative John Kowalko

2017-05-16 19:17:34 john kowalko

No it’s not a good bill without the amendment since it still excludes and precludes Wilmington matriculating 8th graders (Christina District) from access to Newark Charter’s lottery. Since those Christina families in Wilmington pay the same taxes as those Christina families in the Newark area and those taxes pay the expenses of all the public schools in Christina District than those Wilmington families are taxed to support an asset that they cannot avail themselves of. It also has been regarded as de-facto segregation when you consider the reality that Christina/ Wilmington matriculating 8th graders are bused into Newark to attend either Newark High, Christiana High, or Glasgow High as their only Christina high school choice options but are effectively barred from Newark Charter High School (currently within five miles of those high schools). Rep. Williams has made a valiant and honest effort to bring an equitable solution but I’ve been made aware that one of the Senate prime sponsors will not move the legislation forward if amended thereby protecting and preserving Newark Charters significant lack of diversity.
Representative John Kowalko

2017-05-16 18:04:50 john kowalko

http://www.wdel.com/news/video-rep-kowalko-house-leadership-takes-advantage-of-trooper-s/article_62822978-309c-11e7-90a3-a7efaa746830.html
Rep. Kowalko

2017-05-04 17:41:51 john kowalko

Gee Tom Kline you really are a complete a**hole aren’t you? And proud of it too. Damn that’s some fined tuned stupidity you’re mucking about in.
Representative John Kowalko

2017-05-04 04:06:27 john kowalko

Actually Tom Kline,
The PA income tax is not 3.07 if you decide to use your brain for more than sitting on.
Read the last sentence from the PA code and try to have your feeble. little brain wrap around the actuality that the final rate is much higher than advertised without any deductions or personal exemptions. Oh! and don’t forget to add in the additional median municipal tax rates that grow that 3.07% to 4.07% without deductions or exemptions allowed. Then calculate the 3x percentage of property tax (more than De) that PA owners so gladly pay and your everyday sales tax and even your dim-bulb of a brain can see the number/percentage growing. Hope I haven’t warned you off of your proposed move and don’t let the door hit you in the ass. Bye-bye
Rep. John Kowalko

Personal Income Tax

Pennsylvania personal income tax is levied at the rate of 3.07 percent against taxable income of resident and nonresident individuals, estates, trusts, partnerships, S corporations, business trusts and limited liability companies not federally taxed as corporations.

Pennsylvania taxes eight classes of income: (1) compensation; (2) interest; (3) dividends; (4) net profits from the operation of a business, profession or farm; (5) net gains or income from the dispositions of property; (6) net gains or income from rents, royalties, patents and copyrights; (7) income derived through estates or trusts; and (8) gambling and lottery winnings, including cash prizes from the Pennsylvania Lottery. Noncash prizes from the PA Lottery are not taxed. A loss in one class of income may not offset against income in another class, nor may gains or losses be carried backward or forward from year to year.

The commonwealth employs three primary methods for collecting personal income taxes:

estimated and final payments from individuals;
employer withholding; and
estimated withholding from nonresident partners or shareholders by partnerships and S corporations.

“The Pennsylvania personal income tax does not provide for a standard deduction or personal exemption”.

2017-04-29 03:04:39 john kowalko

Sad, misguided commentary from a sad misguided man. Clint Eastwood’s character (not necessarily known as a philosophy major) once said “A man’s got to know his limitations” Murphy’s a prime example of an inept education bureaucrat influenced by an inept organization (RODEL), marching to the beat of an equally (educationally) inept governor, reading from a poorly written script of an inept State Board of Education who failed to even sense his limitations let alone know them. Sad indeed.

Representative John Kowalko

2017-04-13 21:59:34 John Kowalko

Tom K.

The Bill or your Brain?

2017-04-06 00:28:42 john kowalko

Lawyers are aware and changes will be made imminently
John Kowalko

2017-04-06 00:26:45 john kowalko

HB 109 was successfully released from committee. Special thanks to Chairperson Helene Keeley and members of committee who voted to release it. Now on to the agenda and a floor vote where it becomes put up or step out time in full public view.
John Kowalko

2017-04-05 21:27:49 john kowalko

Still elated
Not even close to true or factual.
Representative John Kowalko

2017-04-03 22:12:34 john kowalko

What the h*** is the News Journal doing dedicating a front page headline and two full inside pages to some senility inspired, teabaggery spewing piece of nothingness. You can’t find one article about the progressive tax bills (HB 106, 107, 108 and 109), the LLC license reform measures (Hb 57), the “draconian” cuts proposed to public education (proposed by this Governor and supported by the JFC), the lack of transparency in almost every government agency, the fact that cuts are looming for those who can least afford them, or any other needed local information. Instead you are presented with distorted information (by the News Journal) such as “DuPont will save 600 jobs with sale” propagandizing on behalf of a company that cut 1700 good paying jobs recently. Here’s a headline for this ill-informed media arm for corporate lobbyists. “THOSE 1700 JOBS (by DuPonts and Delaware’s Secretary of Finance own public admissions) WILL NOT BE SAVED AND ARE NOT COMING BACK TO DELAWARE AND WILL NOT BE RESTORED”. Print that N.J. and save your trumpeting of a “trumpites” singularly insignificant and stupid existence for the comic section.
Representative John Kowalko

2017-04-02 17:05:37 john kowalko

If you wish to show support or comment on one of the bills creating additional tax brackets on the higher earners please note the following committee meeting scheduled for this Wednesday. This bill is going to need a display of people support to get voted out of committee. John Kowalko

House Revenue & Finance Meeting Notice
Meeting Info
Committee:
Revenue & Finance
Chairman:
Keeley
Date/Time:
4/5/17 3:00 PM
Location:
House Majority Hearing Room
411 Legislative Avenue
Dover, DE 19901
Downloads:
View PDF
Agenda
Legislation
Sponsor
Description
HB 109
Kowalko
AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 30 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO PERSONAL INCOME TAX.

Sarah Wootten
Policy Director

2017-04-01 14:26:05 john kowalko

House Revenue & Finance Meeting Notice
Meeting Info
Committee:
Revenue & Finance
Chairman:
Keeley
Date/Time:
4/5/17 3:00 PM
Location:
House Majority Hearing Room 
411 Legislative Avenue 
Dover, DE 19901
Downloads:
View PDF
Agenda
Legislation
Sponsor
Description
HB 109
Kowalko
AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 30 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO PERSONAL INCOME TAX.
 
 
Sarah Wootten
Policy Director

2017-04-01 00:24:57 john kowalko

Just a word of advice. Political advocacy/lobbying or supporting candidates is only allowed for a 501(c) 4. which can be an offshoot of a 501(c)3 but separately filed and licensed.
representative John Kowalko

2017-03-30 00:35:26 john kowalko

Jersey,
Hope that’s where you live since you haven’t an inkling of what you’re talking about. There are no corporate tax increases proposed there is proposed a lifting of the maximum tax cap that companies/corporations/public firms incorporated in Delaware with “MORE THAN $750M IN REVENUE OR ASSETS AND NO LESS THAN $250M IN REVENUE OR ASSETS” currently enjoy and avail themselves of. Take your uninformed false-alarmist attitude with you back to Jersey or better yet to Nevada.

Representative John Kowalko

2017-03-24 22:41:08 john kowalko

Perfectly logical and sensible idea. The closet may be overflowing with a preponderance of “EFFECTIVE” (as opposed to the INEFFECTIVE minions like yours truly) leadership members leaving little to no room for others but you have to gradually empty the closet of moldy residue (with a $$ quarter million threshold mop) before you can repaint and add the mothball ($500 million) refurbishment. Perhaps my favorite quote is “this will require shared sacrifice”. Small consolation to someone with a severed femoral artery when he/she is asked to appreciate the sacrifice of the (one pint) wealthy blood donor.
Representative John Kowalko

2017-03-16 18:55:15 john kowalko

Puck
“Gov. Minner asking school districts to “voluntarily” return money to the state from their current budgets”.
You should be aware of state law (Section 508 of Title 14) that requires Charter schools to give back extra money (allocated for transportation costs) that they do not use for their transportation costs (upwards of $1.2 million unused each year). And be further aware that every year the Joint Finance Committee adds epilogue language to the budget/grant-in-aid/bond bills that contravene (for that fiscal year) the clearly stated intent of Delaware code and permits the charter schools to keep any unspent money.
Example from 2010-2011 Budget, Section 367: “Notwithstanding 14 Del. C. 508 or nay regulation to the contrary, a charter school may negotiate a contract (multiyear, if desired) for contractor payment for school transportation up to the maximum rate specified…or the charter school may publicly bid the transportation routes” Here’s the kicker to the taxpayers’ groin. “IF THE ACTUAL NEGOTIATED OR BID COSTS ARE LOWER THAN THE MAXIMUM RATE SPECIFIED ABOVE, THE CHARTER SCHOOL MAY KEEP THE DIFFERENCE”. Every year, every budget (like clockwork) the JFC leadership imposes this maneuver to contravene existing code. Every year I have proposed an amendment to the budget to remove this aberration and abdication of accountability and every year both caucuses have refused to support that amendment with enough votes. The “piper” has been paid over $1.2 million in taxpayer dollars yearly, none of it used for the specificity of allocation that law and the constitution requires. Call the JFC members individually and demand that they stop this irresponsible practice.
Representative John Kowalko

2017-03-16 18:37:29 john kowalko

Arthur,
I am suggesting and introducing legislation that will create additional PERSONAL INCOME TAX (not property tax) brackets for adjustable gross income in excess of $125,000 per year and in excess of $250,000 per year. Read my facebook posts or any of the dozens of other posts on the subject that I have created. If your conspiratorial little mind can uncover any posts I made regarding raising property taxes or reassessing property values (a needed and worthy consideration indeed {reassessing}) than feel free to reproduce. Your hallucinatory imaginings do not count as documented evidence.
I am also proposing raising the maximum franchise tax cap on the richest (obscenely by some measures) global corporations incorporated in Delaware. They have acknowledged that it is not an unbearable burden. You can find the details of that initiative posted in many places and on my facebook. So stop trying to use that Trumpian, Bannonesque POLITICS OF DISTRACTION favored by some of you conservative corporatist shills under the false guise of protecting the poor.
Representative John Kowalko

2017-03-16 17:59:48 john kowalko

Arthur,
You constantly and consistently show how uninformed and unwilling to speak the truth you are. It is a fact that I never, ever hemmed and hawed about removing the senior tax credits. I will not support removal. In fact I have often publicly pronounced that I will not support repeal of that tax break since the ripple effect would be to lessen consumer spending capabilities and assets that would ultimate lead to a recessive effect on the economy and those seniors. You can have and express your opinion about me but I will not allow your lies to go unchallenged.
Representative John Kowalko

2017-03-16 13:44:04 john kowalko

Tom Kline,
My apologies for lowering myself to your level but I must refer to you as Dear Dimbulb.
At 0.54 percent, Delaware has the fourth-lowest property tax rate in the country, according to a report earlier this month from wallethub.com.
while Pennsylvania does so at 1.53 percent.
The national average is 1.12 percent.
Let me try to reach those outer extremities of your limited intellect. If you pay $2500 in property taxes in Delaware you will pay $7500 in property taxes in Pennsylvania for the same assessed property. Please move to Somalia, Trump-land or elsewhere where your 85 IQ will be appreciated as genius by comparison.

Re[presentative John Kowalko

2017-03-16 01:09:04 john kowalko

Arthur,
Your cynical acceptance of the status-quo is all to common and breeds an apathetic subservience among many voters. Your comments certainly contain a fair amount of legitimate frustration with a system of government that is often dominated by powerful people who wish to retain their power and rich entities that wish to become even richer (with little to no regard for those less fortunate). I must however try to answer some of the misperceptions and misconceptions regarding politics that you express here.

!) “Kowalko is like a quadruple amputee yelling and screaming that he’s going to kick your ass. He has absolutely no political power”.

Response: Political power is not the exclusive purview of any politician. It is wielded most effectively by the public and eventually the public will prevail (if it chooses to exercise that power). If I can alert the public to enthusiastically embrace their circumstances and use their “political power” then I’ve become their conduit for change to the system.

2) “well you need someone other than Kowalko”

Response: You need others in addition to Kowalko, created by the voter and responsive to that voter who are beholden only to the public’s interest and will show the public the amount of power they can wield.

3) “conviction and courage have nothing to do with politics”.

Response: It takes no special courage to have convictions but to dismiss and stifle your own convictions takes a certain amount of cowardice. If you feel there is no room in politics for “courage of convictions” then I feel a fair amount of pity for you.

3) “my point still stands that he can tilt all the windmills he wants but he has no way of pulling anything off”

Response: You couldn’t be farther from the truth in this comment. “Pulling anything off” will be the direct and measurable result of informing the public of alternatives to the status-quo and reminding and assuring that same public of their ability to “pull anything off” they choose to.

4) “if he’s not effective then why keep electing him”?

Response: Never underestimate the ability of the public to appreciate what’s in their own best interest. If you keep informing them and assuring them that you will be their voice and “prove” it everyday by working hard for them (and only for them) then they will “keep electing” you. It’s not rocket science.
Representative John Kowalko

2017-03-13 20:55:33 john kowalko

Posting it would be fine with me. Exposing the insincere hand-wringing of both the right and left about the plight of those less fortunate than us might incite some necessary changes at the ballot box. The current message sent by Republicans, Corporations, and the Chamber of Commerce seems to be that the middle-class should bear a disproportionate share of of the cost of necessary government services while the wealthier corporations and individuals can avail themselves of the benefits. Unfortunately there are enough pseudo-progressive and corporatist Democrats in leadership who support such disparities or condone them by inaction.
Representative John Kowalko

2017-03-13 14:37:31 john kowalko

“So the progressive approach is to raise property taxes on the middle class and those who can’t afford it”
NO! The “progressive”approach is to create higher tax brackets (for example a minimally higher .5% on earnings OVER $125,000 and .75% on earnings OVER $250,000 per year. Putting it more simply, a higher bracket for those individuals earning more than a quarter million dollars in taxable income in one year (after exemptions and any other loopholes have been utilized). I have previously introduced and will reintroduce that specific legislation as soon as we return to session. Last session that legislation successfully emerged from committee with bipartisan support but House leadership would not allow it to the floor for a vote of the full house. That “progressive” tax bracket legislation would have cost an individual earning $250,000 (a quarter million) in taxable income an additional $675 (six hundred and seventy five dollars) per year in taxes.
“Progressive” taxation is recovering some of the taxpayer funded corporate giveaways by raising the “franchise tax” cap enjoyed by the richest (minimal stock asset value of approximately $660 million) global conglomerates incorporated in Delaware by $60,000 per year. This would raise $108 million with no duress suffered by these multi-billion dollar corporations. I will be reintroducing this legislation once again this session.
“Progressive” taxation is not unfairly burdening those more fortunate with a disproportionate asking or taking. It is making sure that the necessary services provided by government (roads, police, education etc.) are adequately funded without any unintended harm to the economy, working people, and business community of Delaware. “Progressive” taxation policies promote economic growth and economic stability that are necessary to serve any civilized society and its citizens.
Representative John Kowalko

2017-03-11 19:54:36 john kowalko

My thoughts (for what they’re worth) on tomorrow’s election and the respective candidates as posted on my facebook page:

Dear voters in the Senate District 10,

There is a very important special election this Saturday, February 25, at your regular polling locations. I cannot overestimate the importance of this election and your vote to preserve and improve you and your family’s standard of living and quality of life.

I am asking you to vote for Stephanie Hansen tomorrow for the 10th District Senate seat. I’m not asking you to support Stephanie because she’s a Democrat or to preserve a party majority in that chamber. I’m supporting Stephanie and asking for your vote because she has considered the predicaments and challenges that face your families and all of the working people in Delaware and she will work to address those problems.

Stephanie Hansen has personally shown me the willingness and attitude to face the adversities and challenges that we all face today with the ability to address these challenges without any hesitation. Stephanie is not someone who only offers vague promises and empty slogans. I am confident she will work to plan and address the future needs of our state’s economy and the working class in Delaware.

Stephanie’s opponent has almost word for word reiterated the empty and vacuous vagaries that we have heard (and continue to hear) over the last year from political ideologues. There is no place in public service for personalities that only seek power to enable prosperity for themselves and the special interests to which they are beholden. I’m asking you to reject the shallow and callous attitude of the professional ideologue and vote for Stephanie Hansen for your sake and the sake of all Delaware families and businesses.

Polling places will be open from 7:00 am until 8:00 pm.

Representative John Kowalko

2017-02-25 00:41:50 john kowalko

“or is it just claiming credit for it, right about the time of the JFC hearings?”——- That’s the fact jack. Also let’s not forget that father DuPont layed-off 1700 research scientists in that one fell swoop. Not unusual for some of those highly educated and trained individuals to be able to find work in Delaware. Let’s also not forget that many of these displaced workers are now in those “precariously placed” start-ups that do not enjoy a healthy survival rate.

Representative John Kowalko

2017-02-22 15:05:32 john kowalko

Lavelle must have been referring to himself. Most partisan ideologues (like Sen. Lavelle) are “uninformed, unaware and unwilling” and obstructionists, beholden to wealthy special interests, ignorant of the facts and the plight of our planet and hypocritical opportunists interested only in their re-election. His disparaging remarks are unfounded and hypocritically misinformed and highlight his “Trumpianesque” failures in truthfulness.
Representative John Kowalko

2017-02-21 22:24:56 john kowalko

“David Small is a plague upon the environment. I mean, just read the story and marvel at the collusion”.
“read the story”
“marvel at the conclusion”
Then ask yourself why the ridiculous, united, ideological, unjustified refusal by Senate Republicans (despite the feeble, and partisan attempt by Greg Lavelle to defend his parties stupidity in the NJ article) to confirm the gifted, environmentally concerned and knowledgeable Mr. Garvin for DNREC Secretary makes a Hansen victory a top priority for protecting the environment and health of all Delawareans.

Representative John Kowalko

2017-02-21 19:50:09 john kowalko

Sent the following to the Ellison campaign and posted it on my facebook page. I was thanked very graciously and asked to reach out to our state delegation personally. I talked to each delegate by phone and some in person and urge all of your readers to do the same.

I have decided to formally endorse Keith Ellison for Chair of the DNC (Keith for DNC). The Democratic Party can no longer support the status-quo of passive resistance while offering no help to the average American and the downtrodden. The current party leadership failed to support almost all of Senator Sander’s and the progressive proposals that would have combatted the corporate greed and insensitivity of the wealthy towards the plight of the middle class. The current party leadership has consistently displayed an unwillingness to separate itself from the well-heeled special interests and corporate banking interests that are responsible for the instability in the economy and could lead a disastrous return to financial failures which will further hurt the working class and America’s stature. This appearance and reality of subservience by the current Democratic leadership to the dictatorial ambitions of the Trump Administration can only result in a total and unconditional surrender of civil rights and a furtherance of intolerance, hatred, and bigotry. Congressman Ellison is the right person at the right time to lead our party to a revitalization of its moral obligations. I urge you all to support him.

Respectfully,

State Representative John Kowalko (25th District)

2017-02-19 02:17:17 john kowalko

“Coupe, during a live press conference the night of the uprising, assured inmates who may have been watching that their concerns would be addressed only after the hostages were safely released. Yet state officials and legislators now say the focus must only be on keeping correctional officers safe”.

“We are not going to be funding anything that is an issue that is arising out of the inmates demands,” said Rep. Melanie George Smith, D-Bear, who heads the Joint Finance Committee. “That is the same thing as negotiating with terrorists. It would reward people for killing a good man, a father, a correctional officer.”

I’m sorry Rep. Smith but it is not the same as “negotiating with terrorists” These are not terrorists and you are not “rewarding people” by treating them like humans. You certainly will not lower the rate of recidivism with that wrong-headed attitude. I’m very disappointed in this kind of indifferent and inhumane attitude toward the plight of others (incarcerated or not, redeemable or not) in order to defend the failure of the JFC and the prior Administration to adequately fund proper prison conditions (and adequate pay for its employees). Delaware’s incarceration program would shame a third-world country.

Representative John Kowalko

2017-02-18 01:59:04 john kowalko

Posted on my facebook:
Even the Republicans that control New Hampshire’s House of Representatives seem to understand the awful consequences of the wage and benefit killing so-called “right to work” bill. Soundly defeated it signals a victory for working families and fairness.

Rep. John Kowalko

*****

New Hampshire Legislature Defeats So-Called “Right-to-Work” Bill

Working families in New Hampshire received welcome news this week after a so-called “right-to-work” bill was defeated in the state legislature. Right-to-work laws lead to less bargaining power and lower wages for working Americans. “Not only did we defeat it, but we indefinitely postponed it, a rare motion, that prevents it from coming up again for the rest of the current two-year term!” said state Rep. Cindy Rosenwald.
http://www.concordmonitor.com/Right-to-work-updates-on-house-vote-day-8137054

2017-02-17 17:17:04 john kowalko

Tom Kline
Stay focused on trying to create your first and only original thought. Do not get discouraged since you’ll probably achieve that goal before those million typing monkeys complete their novel.

Representative John Kowalko

2017-02-15 01:49:04 john kowalko

Today’s headline:
“France Will Build a Glass Wall Around the Eiffel Tower”

Will Spain have to pay for it??

John K.

2017-02-14 22:53:07 john kowalko

Stat
Right, and you keep watching Hannity and Douche and the other “alternative fact” purveyors and fiction spewing defenders of the highest-level of incompetency in America’s history. Good luck trying to identify when you are actually awake or merely dreaming of your home-grown dictatorship amid the sounds of insects scurrying to hidden places to store the truth.

Representative John Kowalko

2017-02-14 21:37:04 john kowalko

Note the irony in the fact that “shining the light” is being credited to FOX News (sic), the very same cockroaches who scatter when the lights are turned on. Any network or interviewer who schedules that goofball Miller (after his rant filled, on-air ramblings) should be investigated by the FCC for poisoning the American senses. Conway should also be limited to her master’s twitter feed.
Representative John Kowalko

2017-02-14 19:48:38 john kowalko

I have decided to formally endorse Keith Ellison for Chair of the DNC (Keith for DNC). The Democratic Party can no longer support the status-quo of passive resistance while offering no help to the average American and the downtrodden. The current party leadership failed to support almost all of Senator Sander’s and the progressive proposals that would have combatted the corporate greed and insensitivity of the wealthy towards the plight of the middle class. The current party leadership has consistently displayed an unwillingness to separate itself from the well-heeled special interests and corporate banking interests that are responsible for the instability in the economy and could lead a disastrous return to financial failures which will further hurt the working class and America’s stature. This appearance and reality of subservience by the current Democratic leadership to the dictatorial ambitions of the Trump Administration can only result in a total and unconditional surrender of civil rights and a furtherance of intolerance, hatred, and bigotry. Congressman Ellison is the right person at the right time to lead our party to a revitalization of its moral obligations. I urge you all to support him.

Respectfully,

State Representative John Kowalko (25th District)

2017-02-11 19:29:27 john kowalko

Please make no mistake about it. These giveaways to the wealthiest corporations, these tax breaks for the richest global corporations and the failure to even attempt to institute a fairer, more progressive tax system in Delaware have been supported by leadership of both parties. This must change now. The ideological constraints of Republican legislators must be cast off and the subservient and self-preservationist attitude of Democrat legislators must not suppress their responsibility to all Delaware taxpayers, families and businesses. An unabashed commitment to a party ideology or re-election security should never replace the obligation and responsibility elected public “servants” have too the only special interest that counts…the people.

representative John Kowalko

2017-02-09 18:54:39 john kowalko

The recent News Journal headline “B.F. Rich closes its doors, laying off 130 workers” is an ominous yet predictable heralding of Delaware’s economic future if we refuse to acknowledge our flawed policies and priorities. The first paragraph alone, “B.F. Rich Windows & Doors is going out of business after nearly 60 years, laying off all of its roughly 130 workers”, should strike an alarm that must be heard and answered.
Our State government’s failure to even try to help this local business and its hard-working loyal employees while giving away hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars to Astra-Zeneca (130 recent layoffs), DuPont (1700 recent layoffs), JP Morgan ($24 Billion in profits last year), Incyte, Chemours, Sev-One, and dozens of other uber-wealthy global corporations that have their way with Delaware taxpayers money is the result of years of failed economic policy and neglect of Delaware’s small business community and their problems. This continuing practice of corporate welfare and tax cuts for the wealthiest corporations that consistently have their hands out and move their jobs overseas and out of state is a dereliction of economic duty and responsibility that will inevitably crush the opportunities and prospects of the small, local business community that provide over 75% of Delaware’s jobs. I have consistently and continuously written and spoken out against these corporate extortion economic policies. The loss of 130 local jobs and a once successful company, native to Delaware, is another tragic example of the last Administration’s abject economic policy failures and if we do not change we can expect many more to follow. Please contact your State Senators, Representatives and Governor and ask them to cease gift wrapping your tax dollars for wealthy corporations and start supporting and bolstering the local business community that have earned the right to be part of Delaware’s future.
State Representative John Kowalko 25th District

2017-02-09 17:40:57 john kowalko

I called Coon’s office asking/demanding that he filibuster this abomination. If this is true it’s an inexcusable betrayal of his constituency that is unforgivable and unconscionable.
Representative John Kowalko

2017-02-08 21:51:09 john kowalko

. Also note that the articles headline reading “D is for Delaware and DuPont” omits the most important “D” for the “Dioxin Pile” left by DuPont in the care of Chemours to eventually poison another “D” the “Delaware River” unless taxpayers pay to remove it.

Rep. John Kowalko

2017-01-09 20:29:07 john kowalko

Notice today’s NJ with article by Tom Wagner implying that the “Competes” and “Innovation” acts saved some DuPont jobs. Like all of the chamber sponsored missives that are now appearing in the NJ subsequent to my article (which the NJ held for three weeks while they rounded up opposing views) this one draws completely erroneous conclusions from Wagner. The recent article shows a distinct lack of knowledge of actual numbers (scary from an “Auditor General”) or a deliberate attempt to propagandize the Governor’s and Chamber’s utter failure to adequately address Delaware’s economic plight. Let me repeat very clearly for those late to the discussion or not aware of details in the matter. When DuPont announced the 1700 layoffs of (six figure and up) research positions I confronted Thomas Cook, Secretary of Finance on three different public occasions. In our caucus meeting, in the committee meeting and on the House floor and I asked basically the same direct question. “Are the 1700 layoffs a fiat-accompli and will any of those jobs be restored. The answer was “NO”. I then asked if the “Competes or Innovation” acts would prevent any of the layoffs or restore any of those jobs and the answer was no. I asked if any other states that changed their corporate tax structure (Competes and/or Innovation) saw an uptick in job creation and the answer was basically not yet and I asked if this new policy would stimulate job growth the answer was “we can’t say yet but we hope it will”. These dialogues were in public/formal meetings. Let me add one more little tidbit to expose the propaganda in the Wagner article. After the DuPont-Dow merger was announced and the three spinoffs, one being “Pioneer” seeds, were proposed the end result was a complete cancellation of the Newark site construction project (for seed research facilities) and the movement of hundreds of research jobs to Iowa, while the forever DuPont loyalists in Delaware were left with keeping a headquarters in Wilmington that probably will never house more than 75 jobs (unless you count the privatized janitorial minimum wage jobs). So there you have it. The ugly reality of removing those rose-colored glasses on a sunshine filled day.
Representative John Kowalko

2017-01-09 19:01:19 john kowalko

From the News Journal editorial: “Then, of course, there are lawmakers who worry about what supporting a tax hike will do to their chances for reelection.” Those lawmakers should hang their heads in shame and consider resigning.
One of the bills I introduced last year (and in prior years) to raise the maximum corporate franchise tax cap should be the first order of business. Currently standing at $180,000 per year and used by nearly 2000 of the very richest companies/businesses incorporated in Delaware it saves these wealthy corporations millions of dollars and the expense of having to calculate or pay a department to calculate once you’ve been obligated for the maximum amount. Since 2009 I’ve sponsored such legislation that if increased by $30,000 per year would provide nearly $60 million (for each $30k cap increase) in additional revenue garnered from only the wealthiest companies. These companies (that enjoy using the cap) have allowed that this would not be an undue or unaffordable burden on them. In 2009 the 1700 – 2000 corporations availing themselves of this cap had a minimum stock asset value of over $660 million. I intend to file this legislation again this session with a reasonable cap raise that would max out the corporate franchise tax obligation at $240K per year and that would yield approximately $120 million in revenue that would blunt the $60 million (and counting) loss of revenue due to the “Delaware Competes Act” and the “Delaware Innovation Act” passed in the opening days of last session in a hastily contrived effort to offer more corporate welfare. I believe Rep. Kim Williams and I were the only two votes against these farcical attempts to grow Delaware’s economy and I hope the other 60 legislators are now prepared to recover some of their overly-exuberant generosity toward the wealthiest corporations on the planet.
Representative John Kowalko

2017-01-08 21:18:05 john kowalko

The bill I introduced last year (and in prior years) to raise the maximum corporate franchise tax cap should be the first order of business. Currently standing at $180,000 per year and used by nearly 2000 of the very richest companies/businesses incorporated in Delaware it saves these wealthy corporations millions of dollars and the expense of having to calculate or pay a department to calculate once you’ve been obligated for the maximum amount. Since 2009 I’ve sponsored such legislation that if increased by $30,000 per year would provide nearly $60 million (for each $30k cap increase) in additional revenue garnered from only the wealthiest companies. These companies (that enjoy using the cap) have allowed that this would not be an undue or unaffordable burden on them. In 2009 the 1700 – 2000 corporations availing themselves of this cap had a minimum stock asset value of over $660 million. I intend to file this legislation again this session with a reasonable cap raise that would max out the corporate franchise tax obligation at $240K per year and that would yield approximately $120 million in revenue that would blunt the $60 million (and counting) loss of revenue due to the “Delaware Competes Act” and the “Delaware Innovation Act” passed in the opening days of last session in a hastily contrived effort to offer more corporate welfare. I believe Rep. Kim Williams and I were the only two votes against these farcical attempts to grow Delaware’s economy and I hope the other 60 legislators are now prepared to recover some of their overly-exuberant generosity toward the wealthiest corporations on the planet.
Representative John Kowalko

2017-01-07 20:22:38 john kowalko

My, my Cassandra
” I told you the other day that you weren’t anywhere near being a part of this conversation”. Wow, you are certainly going to impress a lot of people with that less than cordial disposition of yours especially with all of those logical arguments you make. I didn’t realize that this was your personal site and that you were the appointed censorship committee of one. I will certainly make a concerted effort to ignore your display of ignorance, foul temperament and feeble attempts to legitimize your points of view but I will not (and you have no apparent authority or logical reason to petulantly demand that I do) STFU. I must say you are quite the classy personality, almost as sophisticated as the typical Trump supporter. Good luck with winning arguments using that approach.
Representative John Kowalko

2016-12-15 01:23:01 john kowalko

Cassandra,
Enough with your “Bernie Bro” = Hillary defeat. She was a remarkably flawed candidate and had a remarkably inept advisory staff. To wit: “advisor Karen Finney blamed the Democratic candidate’s loss on the fact that male supporters of Bernie Sanders made young women feel hesitant to express their support for Clinton online”. What a crock. For Christ’s sake, you can’t make that kind of bull up unless you are commit-ably delusional. Karen Finney would be better served looking in a mirror for her excuses and villains. You “POORLY-RUN CAMPAIGN DENIERS” make the climate change folks arguments look credible.

Representative John Kowalko

2016-12-14 22:52:05 john kowalko

“This got started because of your boy Bernie”.
I presume by “THIS” you mean an honest and serious dialogue and proposals to address “income inequality”, “ending corporate welfare” “creating a fairer progressive tax system”, salvaging what’s left of America’s middle-class”, “bringing back jobs to America” (lost to greedy profiteering corporations hellbent on cheaper labor costs enhancing their profits and not necessarily resulting in cheaper products), “controlling the manifest greed of the banking industry by reinstating an improved version of Glass-Steagall”, “challenging the corporate henchmen and henchwomen who proliferate and grow their own incomes at the expense of working people”, “reforming an economically destabilizing ACA plan by proposing a public option”, or simply putting a progressive/purity agenda square in the public eye and thought. Yeah Bernie and his Bros are guilty as charged with losing this election to Trump’s hatefulness. Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa

Representative John Kowalko

2016-12-13 22:41:26 john kowalko

An LLC disclosure bill will not, in any way shape or form, threaten Delaware revenue. It probably will threaten the revenue stream of the half-dozen corporate law firms who currently peddle LLC licensing access at a premium price far and above the standard $250-$300 fee that can be enjoyed by any person, entity or business that wishes to achieve LLC status/protection. Why? you might ask, pay more for a privilege that you are free to avail yourself of. Answer that with the reality that any of the “corporate bar commission” firms that create the LLC license for their clients (big businesses, small businesses, non-profits, hidden interests groups, individuals or even “shell companies”) have the attorney who serviced them listed as the agent/contact and responsible go-to party for that LLC business (ever imagine that “attorney-client” privilege would be a cleverly resourceful tool for questionable activities?) When I introduced an LLC licensing reform measure last year (which I intend to refile this year) the Corporate Bar Commission was given to an apoplectic fit of indignation. Rep. Melanie Smith (a member of one of these firms) requested that before I file the measure that I meet with a group of them. I submitted myself, Christine Whitehead and Nick Wasilewski (my co-conspirators) to this inquisition and was promptly accused of undermining Delaware’s global reputation. I replied that I imagine they had not been reading any newspapers (local or international) if they thought I was disparaging an already horribly reputed Delaware system. Panama Papers, Cayman Islands and Switzerland were my references. They refused to engage with ominous suggestions that our efforts would be stopped by those in the GA who wielded more influence. Therefore I am preparing to reintroduce that measure once again in early January. Any of you that wish to discuss a more detailed account of what transpired my cell is 302 547 9351
Representative John Kowalko
Representative John Kowalko

2016-12-08 22:19:06 john kowalko

The Clinton campaign’s breathless announcement (with pinkie-finger extended as they raised the “champagne glass” filled with elitist pride) in September (after three weeks of ignoring meaningful policy pronouncements or announcements) that the campaign raised an all-time record of $130 million in the month of August would certainly resonate with those common folks attracted by her “grew up outside of Chicago and lived in Arkansas for two decades” meme. Yeah that’s totally relatable to voters suffering from the economically disastrous ACA (easily made 100x better with the promise of providing a “public option” in her first term) or the failure to publicly announce/request that President Obama not consider imposing TPP until she assumes office with a stated intent to review that mess, or any kind of promise to review the need for constraints on the banking industry or corporate welfare programs. Instead her, her campaign and the ignoramuses of the DNC decided that any “grassroots” population, working-class, or needy family would rather here how efficient and effective they are in raising an obscene/record amount of money. Bernie didn’t lose this election, the working people didn’t lose this election, the ”purists” and the liberals didn’t lose this election and Trump didn’t win this election. The Clintons, their advisors and the DNC all conspired to throw away the easiest victory imaginable. As I heard Corey Booker say yesterday at a conference “we cannot allow a finite disappointment undermine our infinite hope” So get off your self-pitying “blame-train” and do something to repair this party of ours or just shut up

Representative John Kowalko

2016-12-06 20:35:07 john kowalko

Another scheduled (with the appearance of spontaneity) performance of Trump’s “Improv Theater of the Absurd” coming to a venue near you. This is the public’s opportunity to “Gasp in Disbelief” (Fox News), “Marvel at the Courage of One Fearless Man Facing the Threats to his Country” (Breitbart), “Thrill at the Beat-down of the Communist Agitators Hellbent to Destroy America’s Chances to be Great Again” (CNN- Wolf Blitzer) Don’t miss your opportunity to see the live performance of a modern day “Profile in Disparage” coming soon to a polling booth near you. Barf-bags will be available at the door.
Disclaimer alert: No animals were harmed during the construction of these fictitious events and no sane person has actively participated. Names of the innocent were withheld pending the Donalds lawsuit.
John Kowalko

2016-11-06 14:14:22 john kowalko

Before you get on board with any new up-and-coming REPUBLICANS or Democrats, find out where they stand (and what they are willing to “publicly” avow or disavow) on charters and school funding. Promises whispered to individuals are written on “rice” paper like the old-time bookies used to use. As soon as the authorities close in to confiscate/review the evidence (of that commitment) the mere touch of a match makes it disappear into a wisp of smoke. A wise old sage once said ” get it in writing”

Representative John Kowalko

2016-10-06 14:17:44 john kowalko

Well we’ve cured the “price-fixing” and “dumping” for less than cost situation. DuPont has very recently built and opened a brand new ($200M-construction costs) manufacturing facility in China to build “Solar Panels” that provide more than 2000 manufacturing jobs (in China). Viola! No trade agreements necessary, no tariffs allowed, no livable wages required, no tax revenues to the U.S. and no American workers need apply for the jobs. This activity, combined with “Johnson Controls” newly built factory (over $100M construction costs) in China to manufacture batteries (that may be sold here) signals a newer and more palpable threat to the American economy and the American working class. Mix a dollop of the above into a bowl of corporate flight for “tax inversion” benefits and we’ll soon have reached the pearly, albeit tarnished gates of the “third world” country-club. Francis Scott might have written–” Oh say can you see the corporations as they flee”
Representative John Kowalko

2016-09-28 15:51:41 john kowalko

Steve,
Not a martyr but an unabashed defender of the integrity of representative democracy. If you choose to ignore the serious disdain for an institution tasked with representing the best interests of the public and the real threat it poses then that’s on you. Your obliviousness to the seriousness of what is written here and your willingness to exercise the “politics of distraction” is also on you.
Regards,
St. John the Persistent

2016-09-03 18:28:07 john kowalko

Heather or whatever,
No, no, no, no, a thousand times no. “The fact that you and a couple others have questioned who I must be makes me think that you realize that my comments are not without merit” is the most asinine, inane and ridiculous conclusion anyone in their right mind would even pretend to draw. Please pardon me, but that conclusion you’ve just drawn (apparently from within some deep, foreboding place in your own imagination) suggests that you have chosen to forego your meds.
John kowalko

2016-09-02 23:24:15 john kowalko

Oh “Quacko” that’s funny and original. Maybe you could buy an improv. business. Or have you tried that already?
John K.

2016-08-31 21:10:58 john kowalko

AQC
I’m sorry I didn’t know that you were host/owner of this site. Let me suggest you try not reading comments if there is too much info for you to assimilate.
John K.

2016-08-31 17:56:48 john kowalko

Heather,
Let me clarify one thing. I’m not making a statement of endorsement for or against. I am responding to your blithe dismissal of the serious harm that abuse of power can manifest. No speaker or caucus leader or chamber leader is superior to their duly elected peers/equals and to display a total disregard or condescending attitude toward those equals (who are representing their constituents and in many cases all Delawareans) is simply wrong, irresponsible and disrespectful. To go further and use a system of rewards and punishments in assigning important committee seats and chairs borders on a corrupt attitude that diminishes those leaders who engage in such. Bob Gilligan pushed open government laws to the floor despite objections from some of the money chairs. He supported the bills AND permitted them to the floor so that a vote of the entire GA could be recorded (up or down) as any responsible leader should do. Pete has assigned my bill for annual financial disclosure reports required of the Cash Management Board (working with over $2 Billion in assets) and my bill that would redeclare the University of Delaware and Del. State as public entities (which they are) because they receive taxpayer money (which they do) to the Administrative committee on which he sits and has refused to vote them out of committee for a floor vote (up or down). He assigned my bill to ban the carcinogenic and toxic Chlorinated Tris from children’s furniture (to protect their health) to a committee that deferred to the Chemical Policy Institute lobbyists and would not release it. He reassigned two of my PSC initiated bills (one that would have allowed the PSC to take action against the “transmission line” and perhaps defeat it) from my Energy Committee (that I chaired at the time) and placed it in a committee that didn’t understand the bill and was not going to release it. Finally you have absolutely no evidence whatsoever that the speaker refused to put any of the bills that I sponsored that were successfully released from committee (with republican votes) that created new higher tax brackets and a higher corporate tax cap on the floor to protect vulnerable caucus members. That is an absurd supposition and any elected official that would value their re-election opportunities over the needs of the economy and the taxpayers should look for another line of work. There are no acceptable excuses when considering the public interests against the party’s interests or the individual elected’s interests. WE ARE PUBLIC SERVANTS no more no less
Representative John Kowalko

2016-08-31 16:23:57 john kowalko

Heather,
You certainly got my attention with “Sure Kowalko’s assignments were amended” and the laughably understated “speaker made a few adjustments to committee assignments” After you read the open letter that I sent to Pete and my entire caucus (so it’s not exactly privileged) than maybe you’ll appreciate some facts. Certainly Speakers who are classy and sophisticated and give much more respect then they expect like Bob Gilligan would never think to wield the power of their position in such a surly and dictatorial way. Read it, sleep on it and if you have any questions call my cell at 302 547 9351 if you choose to berate me.
John Kowalko

Dear Speaker Schwartzkopf,

On Saturday, January 3, you called me to inform me that you were removing me from the House Education Committee despite my written submission that it was my number one choice of assignment. I realize that remaining silent on this important development would only contribute to what is best described as an atmosphere of intimidation and coercion that threatens to envelop our caucus and the entire House of Representatives. Every elected representative has a moral obligation to encourage their peers to think and act in the best interests of the public and the State without restraint imposed unfairly by use of coercive and divisive tactics wielded by those in power. Therefore, it is my duty to challenge and publicly refute those who presume to hold an ultimate right to coerce or demand an allegiance to them or their agenda without regard to the public’s needs and interests. If I remain publicly silent in this matter, then the type of political persuasion that you seem to embrace will be legitimized. Your action against me is an attempt to stifle dissent and dissenting opinions. It is your expressed attitude that the public and media should not be informed of important policy matters and business as usual should prevail. Contentious issues should be left cloaked in secrecy while conducting back-room arrangements accessible only to the like-minded and powerful. I will not support this “Delaware Way.” Therefore, Mr. Speaker, I am sending you and copying leadership and the media this open letter, hopeful that you will accept the delineation of your role as my peer selected to represent my caucus as a leader of equals and respect the relationship you are entitled to have with each of us.
The Speaker of the Delaware House of Representatives is supposed to be a leader of the House. As a leader, the Speaker should exemplify the qualities desired in the House membership. Most importantly, the Speaker should command respect by showing respect. In your phone call, you informed me of your decision to remove me from the House Education Committee because you said I have “become an activist,” and “you can’t be a legislator and an activist.” Your phone call to me included other similar criticisms of my conduct, specifically my willingness to engage the community and the media, but you refused to provide a single piece of concrete evidence to substantiate your claims that my public statements denigrated my fellow caucus members or impeded the effectiveness of the committee process. Is an activist someone who listens to his community and represents his constituents? Is an activist someone who strives to works towards the best interests of the people of his State? Is an activist someone who is willing to stand on the street corner with the working people who are fighting for their rights? Is an activist someone who speaks out against injustice and unfairness? Is an activist someone who is willing to use his elected position to engage in public dialogue about issues that are important to the public, instead of dealing with those issues in secret behind closed doors? If so, then every legislator should be an activist, and anyone who isn’t, does not deserve to hold that position as a Representative of the people.
Let’s be honest. This is about you maintaining the “Delaware Way.” The reprisals you have taken, during your time as Speaker of the House, against those who dared to challenge your leadership or political aspirations are well documented. This “Delaware Way,” where deals and compromises are inked out in private without any public input and accessible only to a connected group of “good ol’ boys,” appears to have taken on a reinvigorated tone of monolithic control by a small group who intend to subjugate their peers into supporting specific agendas or else suffer the consequences. It is a system of rewards and punishment meted out with the intent to coerce and intimidate any individuals and mute any dialogue that might challenge those agendas. This compromises the sanctity of the Separation of Powers and obscures the transparency that the public is guaranteed by our laws and our moral obligations to them. The greatest threat posed by this type of dictatorial atmosphere is to the public’s right to know and the public’s right to fair representation by their elected representative.
Based on your stated reasons to me, I can only conclude that you believe your appointment as Speaker has given you the right to impose and demand restrictions on the individual members of our caucus as regards their engagement with the media and the public in general. During the phone conversation you initiated where you informed me of your decision to remove me from the House Education Committee, you stated a number of times that I discussed politics and issues on the blogs, on the radio, and in the media. You said, “You carry your message to the blogs, to the papers, and on the radio, and you can’t be a legislator and be an activist.” You repeatedly chided me for being an “activist” and insisted that an activist could not be a legislator, nor should a legislator be an activist. When I responded that a good legislator has to be an activist on behalf of the public’s interest, your response was “I’m not going to reward that type of behavior by appointing you to the Education Committee.”
Instead of “rewarding” me for speaking out on behalf of my constituents, you are going to punish me for daring to oppose you and the specific agenda you support. I have been an engaged member of the Education Committee for eight years, and I have attended close to 100% of the committee meetings without ever having been disruptive to the process or disrespectful to my colleagues. When you asserted that, because I am an “activist,” I could not be depended on to compromise on legislation and would be disruptive to the committee process, you made that claim in spite of the facts. You also ignored the actual function of the committee process, where the point is to provide the appropriate place for public dialogue regarding both dissent and approval of issues. The process does not and never has demanded a consensus or compromise on policies and proposed bills. The obvious truth is that once a majority vote of committee members is attained, then the legislation would be permitted to proceed to the floor. It could then be placed on the agenda for a floor discussion and vote unless you, as the Speaker, refuse to place it on the agenda or refuse to allow that agenda item to be worked. No single vote of an individual committee member can, by itself, keep a bill in committee or release it to the floor, although you, as Speaker, can impede that bill from being considered or voted on. It is patently obvious to any informed observer that my eight-year history of service, and the fact that the committee rules do not allow what you suggest, show that you have a personal agenda to determine whether to “reward” or “punish” individual members of the House.
When you removed me as Chair and member of the Joint Sunset Committee after the last election, I obviously understood that it was the fact that I and others challenged your bid for the position of Speaker of the House that led you to demote and remove me and my likeminded peers. While “to the victor goes the spoils” might be applicable as a motive, the extent of your meting out punishment to those who challenged your bid for Speaker left a destructive tear in the fabric of a system that deserves to have the most qualified and knowledgeable legislators assigned to represent the interests of all Delawareans. Unfortunately, my reluctance to confront your vindictive nature at that time only strengthened your resolve to impose the dictatorial atmosphere of fear and compliance among some of my colleagues. My failure at that time to confront an unjust system of retribution may have contributed to your willingness to exercise a punitive posturing and demand allegiance that you have not necessarily earned.
I have been Chair of the House Energy Committee for six years, but in the two years you have been Speaker not a single bill was assigned to the Energy Committee. Are you going to seriously attempt to make the claim that not one single bill relevant to energy in Delaware was filed in the past two years? I know that is not true, as I filed many of them myself. Your removal of my Chairmanship of the House Energy Committee this year, indeed with no conversation or reason even given, can only be explained by your feeling that your previous “punishment” was not enough. I can only surmise that my vocal objections to the Governor’s proposed Newark Power Plant, and its well-earned rejection, was so effective that it had to be further silenced.
I have long been recognized for my effective work on energy issues in Delaware. As I stated to you, I have also been long engaged in all matters affecting public education, both in Delaware and in the national dialogue regard current reform proposals. I have substantial credentials and experience in the fields of public education and energy, and I will not allow your attempts to enforce the “Delaware Way” to stifle my ability to provide that to the public dialogue. I am proud of my accomplishments on behalf of Delaware and my constituents. I do not need your permission to continue to fight for my constituents, as you portended to provide in our conversation. As a proud resident of Delaware, it is my duty as an elected official and my moral obligation as a human being to fight for my beliefs as to what is right and what is wrong to the upmost of my ability.
Previous Speakers earned respect by showing respect, and you should not confuse earning respect with instigating fear and accepting subservience. Your blatant attempt to isolate and punish dissenting voices is an unconscionable behavior that has no place in the Democratic Party. Your willingness and commitment to the secretive, good-ol’-boy “Delaware Way,” and your stated belief that, in your own words, “Part of my job is to carry the water for the Governor and it’s just that simple,” contradicts the democratic principles of our country. Left unchallenged, your tactics will continue to damage the willingness of other legislators to think and speak freely and to publicly express justifiable criticisms on important issues. Left hidden, your tactics will continue to damage the democratic principles of our country and hurt the public’s ability to know about important issues and make up their own mind about the best ways to tackle those issues in our State.

2016-08-31 03:36:42 john kowalko

If this moves forward I will demand Secretary Godowsky’s resignation and the resignations of all involved and write legislation in January to remove this authority from the clutches of appointed (not elected) bureaucrats who currently feel that they should be allowed to risk irreparable damage to the public education system, public educators and public school children.
Representative John Kowalko

2016-08-29 17:11:09 john kowalko

My daughter also went all 12 years to Christina schools- Maclary, Downes, Shue, Bayard and Newark High. We’re very proud of them and grateful to all of those dedicated teachers and staff that made their success possible.
John Kowalko

2016-08-17 01:00:29 john kowalko

Although they have now both reached adulthood, I sent both my kids to 12 years of traditional public schooling (including busing–which they did not mind) in Delaware and they received a wonderful education from some superb teachers.
Rep. John Kowalko

2016-08-16 22:27:31 john kowalko

Giuliani obviously suffers from an “abbreviated” intellectual development syndrome.
Rep. John Kowalko

2016-08-16 20:00:21 john kowalko

Jack Markell as Federal Secretary of Education would be like using a nuclear explosive device to remove a tree stump in order to clear land for growing food crops. Bad idea to put a corporatist cheerleader at the helm of “public” education policy with access to the taxpayers pocketbooks resulting in more federal intervention and coercion ($$$) in local affairs. There is no surer way to accelerate the “common-core”, “standardized testing”, “privatization” (for profit), abuse of all public school children and their families.
Representative John Kowalko

2016-08-04 18:50:33 john kowalko

Another little interesting tidbit of info. One of the venture capitalist companies that supplied $50 million in venture capital to SevOne before their first round of layoffs and headquarters move to Boston has a very familiar name. (This week’s round of venture capital was supplied by five firms – four of which are located in Boston – including Westfield Capital Management and “Bain Capital”) Bain Capital, Mitt Romney’s hatchet company bringing you layoffs and profit for CEO’s throughout the nation.
Rep. John Kowalko

2016-08-01 19:22:36 john kowalko

“I told you so” doesn’t give me much satisfaction and it certainly doesn’t put that forfeited taxpayer money to a better use but maybe some politicians will open their eyes to the foolishness of this Administration and DEDO. Having cast one of only two votes against the Governor’s “Delaware Competes” act that allows billion dollar corporations to abscond with $60 million in Delaware revenue might give me the right to say “I told you so” but it doesn’t help Delaware’s economy unless the other 60 electeds finally say “no more” to these corporate welfare policies promoted by the Chamber of Commerce, the Business Rountable, six-figure lobbyists and this lame-duck administration.
Representative John Kowalko

2016-08-01 19:03:27 john kowalko

Too bad you can’t try to be even a little bit honest here. You never had any intention of trying to learn anything about anything. From the beginning you’ve insisted on defending the indefensible while pretending to be arguing for legitimate alternatives. Your woefully insincere attitude and words have struck the one chord with me that I do not easily overlook, a condescending attitude offered by an ignorant individual. You’ve consistently expressed a condescending attitude regarding this particular subject and other subject matter on this blog. “Condescending”–“having or showing a feeling of patronizing superiority”. Let’s call a spade a spade. You have to be superior, (or at the minimum believe you are), to be truly condescending. You fit neither of these profiles so your game has become boring and annoying and not worth my valuable time.
Representative John Kowalko

2016-07-29 02:20:45 john kowalko

I agree with your self-diagnosis.
John k.

2016-07-29 00:23:29 john kowalko

The factories built by US corporations in China have nothing to do with and are not constrained by any trade agreements with China. In fact you are obviously a shill for the Chamber, the Governor and/or the corporatists with your complete and utter ignorance of the reality that we do not have strong trade agreements with China unless you are referring to our “chicken feet” export deal or the fact that we have graciously allowed export of live chickens to China allowing re-importation of the processed product back here. Good luck with your salmonella/e-coli bout. You obviously have been pounding your head on one of those dense posts to be so addled in your thoughts. You’re one of the least impressive apologists or lobbyists for the Chamber and the 1% that I’ve had the opportunity to endure. You’ve actually done a pretty good job of enticing me to waste key-strokes in a dialogue with a mummy.
John Kowalko

2016-07-28 23:28:23 john kowalko

Puck,
Too late fro the “middle ground” and “solar panels”. DuPont built a new $200 million factory in China to manufacture/produce those solar panels and sell those parts back here in the U.S. The construction jobs alone in building such a facility would have meant an unparalled boost to Delaware’s economy and working taxpayers. We certainly could have used the more than 1000 manufacturing jobs in the good old U.S.A. The Johnson Controls nearly $2 million DEDO investment in its distribution center was also marred by their announcement that they also had constructed a $100 million factory in China to manufacture their product (batteries) for distribution here. Oh and surprise, surprise L.E. and others re these two latest offshoring of jobs and facilities, no tariffs need apply since there are no tariffs and no American workers need apply unless you relocate and study Mandarin. If everything was a simple as it appears when presented by the corporate shills and their uninformed supporters we might have a more enlightened dialogue on the matter.
Representative John Kowalko

2016-07-28 21:15:30 john kowalko

Jason,
Be aware and beware of “mortally wounded” Corporate/Chamber of Commerce inspired plots such as TPP. Dead is when it’s in its sarcophagus buried in one of those salt caverns in Utah with the nuclear waste spilling on it.
Rep. John Kowalko

2016-07-28 21:06:23 john kowalko

“A good trade agreement is much much better than no trade agreement”.
A horrible trade agreement is worse than no trade agreement. That is enough said about reality. I have studied these trade agreements, (politically and economically) for the last ten years and this is one of the more horrible trade agreements. The fact that you are so narrow-minded that you cannot comprehend reality and the fact that you think you have even the slightest right to tell me to not “keep dumping” on a pile of soiled toilet paper, that you seem to feel is some sort of sacred scripture displays a serious arrogance and ignorance on your part. To address that “directly” let me just summarize. ” I THINK (actually I know) YOU ARE WRONG”. “Yes! Yes! Yes!”, that’s more than enough of you.
John Kowalko

2016-07-28 04:01:36 john kowalko

a “good blanket trade agreement”.
“You see no problem in trading without agreements that protect our national interest and prevent exploitation??”
“The current TPP text allows multinational companies to challenge U.S. laws, regulations and safeguards through a provision called investor-to-state dispute settlement (ISDS), a private justice system that undermines our democracy. Through ISDS, foreign investors can seek compensation from the United States for enforcing regulations and safeguards designed to protect America’s working families. In fact, multinational companies currently are using ISDS to attack democratic policies and laws in Australia, Canada, Egypt, Peru and Uruguay, among many others”.
You should try reading the TPP agreement with an open mind and you would see that it is in no way a “good blanket trade agreement” and it in no way “protects our national interest” in fact and in reality it threatens many of our national interests including American court jurisdiction and absolutely allows and encourages “exploitation”. Go to any of the many links on the TPP and if you still choose to be obstinately close-minded to reality than I”ll presume that you don’t have any idea what either you or I am “rooting for”
Representative Kowalko

2016-07-27 23:51:33 john kowalko

The uniqueness of the TPP is in the fact that it was negotiated “entirely” behind closed doors with very limited stakeholder input. It became public as a finished product, non-amendable, and nothing is allowed to be added (none of the many obvious failings may be changed) and it is subject to an up or down vote of congress as it stands with no reconstruction allowed. I’m going to allow for your lack of understanding of all the intimacies for this ridiculous statement: “You want to really screw the American people at the expense of the 1%?
Then getting rid of trade agreements will do just that”. Please read the link I posted and other facts about the abusive and non-transparent process that resulted in the TPP debacle.

Rep. John Kowalko

2016-07-27 21:32:00 john kowalko

Frankly your perspective is analogous to the dark ages practice of bleeding people as a cure. Since no medical advances or cures were on the immediate horizon they continued the practice of bleeding (killing scores) when it actually would have been better to “have nothing”. Now to your next point. Having nothing in “it’s place” is a much better and less disastrous option. Your “serious mistake” is not having the foresight or vision to understand that establishing stricter regulations for American owned and headquartered corporations that build factories and create jobs in China (Dupont, Johnson Controls, Nike etc.) to manufacture products for unimpeded, unregulated and tariff free sale to U.S. consumers must be implemented. That the practice of “tax/corporation inversion” must be halted (unless their is a fair distribution of tax obligations) by our government. That unenforceable treaties and reform obligations in the context of the (“gold-standard” HRC’s recorded/written statement on TPP) Trans Pacific Trade Agreement are as useless and damaging as that aforementioned practice of bleeding. There are many, many alternatives to the disastrous “free trade” policies and every administration from Bill through Barack have neglected to even try to implement them instead conceding to the greedy corporatists who now run America
Representative John Kowalko

2016-07-27 18:45:45 john kowalko

TPP—AN ABDICATION OF WORKER RIGHTS AND AMERICA’S ECONOMIC FUTURE
All Americans should absolutely and resoundingly oppose the American worker-rights concession known as the Trans Pacific Trade Agreement. It has numerous, irreconcilable flaws and will cause much horrible damage to working families and American businesses. I will only list a few of the nearly dozen reasons that all should oppose this dereliction of duty. First, the current TPP text allows multinational companies to challenge U.S. laws, regulations and safeguards through a provision called “investor-to-state dispute settlement” (ISDS), a private justice system that undermines our democracy. Through ISDS, foreign investors can seek compensation from the United States for enforcing regulations and safeguards designed to protect America’s working families. Additionally China’s refusal to join the agreement has left them with a significant advantage to monopolize the manufacturing aspect of the TPP without any constraints or regard for fair-pay, environmental harm, worker safety, or human rights. The TPP’s weak rules of origin benefit China and other non-TPP countries. The rules of origin in the current TPP text are weak and allow China and other nonparticipating countries to reap the agreement’s benefits without having to follow its rules. In fact, the TPP’s auto content requirement allows the majority of the auto content to be Chinese and manufactured outside the trade agreement’s rules. This has the effect of promoting jobs in China while destroying U.S. auto supply-chain jobs http://www.aflcio.org/Issues/Trade/Trans-Pacific-Partnership-Free-Trade-Agreement-TPP/Ten-Critical-Problems-with-the-Trans-Pacific-Partnership. I personally spoke with individuals who participated in the creation and drafting of this proposed agreement and was told and assured that nothing in the TPP forbade any of the 11 signatories from having their products manufactured in China and sold as TPP goods to American consumers through the member nations. In fact there is no reporting or regulatory option for such behavior once the pact is signed. Finally be aware that Malaysia’s horrible human rights rating of a 3 precluded them from even being part of the negotiations until the United States and President Obama downgraded them to a less severe 2 rating with no apparent justification, that permitted them to be included in the pact. Corporate America, the President and most supporters of this agreement have forfeited the moral conscience of the United States for profit.
Representative John Kowalko

2016-07-26 19:59:26 john kowalko

As always, you are most welcome
John K.

2016-07-20 03:30:43 john kowalko

Nor yours to me.
John K.

2016-07-20 02:55:04 john kowalko

Nobody would question the humor value of some well-placed sarcasm. But it seems almost pitiful when it is used to mask or distract from one’s obvious disappointment in themselves. Best to not construct some fantasy past and risk the ignominy of being exposed for what we really are, I always say.
John Kowalko

2016-07-20 02:49:42 john kowalko

How about some facts bitter-man?
John Kowalko

2016-07-20 02:21:20 john kowalko

Didn’t mean to offend you but I have a big disdain for twitter and tweets and that type of intellectual simplification of info and thoughts. Give me some good challenging conversation or a well written essay or even an extensive blog post or comment but not a dozen or so characters that pretend to stimulate or inform as opposed to merely titillating.
John Kowalko

2016-07-20 00:16:00 john kowalko

CIC
How about you tweet me the names of those voters so I might try to make amends.
John Kowalko, AKA (“John-in-Charge” —of his own rumor-mongering via social media)

2016-07-19 21:00:02 john kowalko

Speaker Bob Gilligan was and is a leader blessed with sophistication and class that seems to be in short supply nowadays. His demeanor and political instincts that favor the voting masses over the entrenched demagoguery of the power elites is refreshing. Respect is an earned commodity and unlike others who would pretend to be leaders you’ve consistently deserved it and, more importantly, given it to all. Thank you my good friend, Bob.
Representative John Kowalko

2016-07-19 15:25:45 john kowalko

Yeah. I’m sure I lost tons of votes not engaging in some mindless, self-promotional and intellectually shallow exercise such as having a twitter account would provide for me.
Representative John Kowalko

2016-07-18 23:14:33 john kowalko

Liberalgeek,
“Tilting at windmills”, maybe but unlike Don Quixote these windmills are dragons. They are fire-breathing, money-spewing, influence-peddling, power-brokers who unabashedly represent the elite special interests (and the “Delaware Way”) with no regard for those who cannot afford their services. These dragons are also known as the lobbyists who have set up a separate shadow government that relegates the many willing elected officials to the status of a subservient “titular” representative body. Make no mistake about it. The influences they wield are not illegal or even immoral. They are doing their jobs (for some pretty nice compensation, I might add) but their effectiveness can only be measured by how many of the elected are willing to be subservient to the moneyed interests they represent. Preserving a status-quo that has become detrimental to the public at large, sacrificing the most needy to fatten the corporate feeders at the public trough, turning your collective backs on properly educating ALL children, accepting agendas that benefit the few and harm the many without even a brief pause to reflect on negative consequences—these are the` immoral decisions made by those that seem to have abandoned their consciences to retain power or influence for themselves. At least the lobbyists are getting paid to abandon their principles. What’s the excuse for that public servant when he/she looks in that mirror at night and do they sleep soundly or are they tortured by the nightmares of those dragons?
Representative John Kowalko

2016-06-30 15:14:11 john kowalko

Puck,
Absolutely correct and also note that this platform has to pass the full committee
John Kowalko

2016-06-26 22:01:13 john kowalko

Also note important example of reasons to not support “corporate extortion” and welfare:

Why I’m boycotting all Nabisco products.

The company is sending jobs to Mexico and destroying jobs for Americans because of corporate greed.

http://chicago.suntimes.com/opinion/chicagos-sweet-oreos-sour-with-corporate-greed/

2016-06-26 20:10:54 john kowalko

Please note Glass_Steagall success in platform and TPP fail in same:
http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/284888-democratic-platform-draft-shows-sanderss-clout

2016-06-26 20:09:11 john kowalko

Yes and you have and it is just as vapid a policy as his legacy
John K

2016-06-26 18:03:39 john kowalko

cassandra,
( But I still don’t get why the party — before anyone votes in a primary — gets to choose who has priority access to stuff like votebuilder.

And I *am* just talking about endorsements before the primary. Once you get to the general, you actually have the endorsement of the party, because the party’s voters have spoken.)

You are 100% right. In the 25th I and others (regardless of our personal feelings towards individuals) tried to muster a vote of no endorsement in contested primary races. We failed so we nominated multiple candidates effectively neutralizing all of them. Unfortunately the needs of the dem. party elite to anoint a successorship to all offices allows those in leadership at the upper party level to play the results. Our RD’s neutral position apparently is disregarded in the calculation and a majority of the RD’s who choose to endorse is the success measurement.

Representative John Kowalko

2016-06-17 21:59:39 john kowalko

I own a property, my former residence, in Karen’s district but have no intention of moving back. My wife and I love our current home (and she would kill me anyway). I currently reside in Senator Sokola’s senatorial district and have no aspirations to his seat.
John Kowalko

2016-06-14 22:24:19 john kowalko

Tom Kline,
Pin a tail on a Trump and you’d have the exact same children’s game that’s been around for many generations.
John Kowalko

2016-06-12 19:54:17 john kowalko

Is there a word limit? I tried to post an Op-Ed piece that the News Journal refused to publish but that the Delaware State News did indeed publish as an opinion piece. The article seems to be pertinent to some of the dialogue in this post.
Regards
Representative John Kowalko

2016-06-07 17:58:03 john kowalko

Curiously I seem to be blocked on this site.
John Kowalko

2016-06-07 17:55:01 john kowalko

The News Journal refused to publish the following but the Delaware State News accepted that responsibility and did.
Revenue Estimates Remain Flat, Better Check The Tires On The Bus

Once again, as we rapidly approach the June deadline, the Delaware General Assembly is boarding this Administration’s economic stability/budget bus. Once again the bus is fitfully careening forward on nearly flat tires. The primary reason leading to this predicament has been this Administration’s policy of deflating those tires of their revenue by irresponsibly pushing policies and laws that have taken corporate welfare to a new level. The general assembly and various agencies such as DEDO (Delaware Economic Development Office) are certainly complicit in this action and must share responsibility.
If you listened carefully you could hear the air (revenue) escaping when Delaware recently passed two pieces of legislation, suggested and supported by the Administration entitled the “Delaware Competes” act and the “Commitment to Innovation” act which will cut corporate tax obligations, (revenue to Delaware), by over $65 million. Choosing to forfeit revenue during this moment of budget needs and shortfalls cannot be rationally explained other than in terms of irresponsible economic policy. It will surely result in a blow-out on some of those bus tires.
Further compounding the exuberance to curry favor with the rapidly dwindling corporate mainstays in Delaware was the inexplicable approval of an additional $8 million to Chemours, a company that is on the brink of insolvency, and holds title to the next hazardous waste site threatening Delaware’s environment, known as the “Dioxin Pile”. The taxpayer can expect that cleanup bill soon. When one considers that this $8 million gift was approved on the same day that DFAC projected revenues were reduced by over $36 million one should expect collective gasps of incredulity from the media and even casual observers. Instead we are met with an almost stunned silence- a silence that is assumed by political leaders as a vote of acquiescence supporting this foolishness.
When the Governor’s Secretary of Finance, Tom Cook, suggests that leaks (revenue shortfalls) can be patched by additional revenue from fixed-income seniors, additional co-pays charged to the most impoverished Medicaid recipients, or benefit cuts to hard-working state employees rather than supporting legislation, such as HB 216, that would recover some of the forfeited corporate revenue from the richest companies that incorporate in Delaware, I am flabbergasted. These suggestions all came after the DFAC announcement that revenues were down as a result of falling corporate revenue obligations to Delaware.
Let’s briefly examine the term of this Administration regarding non-productive corporate giveaways. Since 2009 Delaware has granted nearly $250 million, in taxpayer money, to mostly large and wealthy corporations with the false logic that this policy will keep and grow jobs here in Delaware. Nearly $92 million (37% of that $250 million) has gone to six Fortune 500 companies since 2009. JPMorgan Chase recently secured $10.5 million in state taxpayer grants bringing its 3 year total to $22 million despite last year’s record profits of $24.4 BILLION. DuPont has pocketed $14.16 million and has paid the taxpayer back with over 1500 layoffs while moving on to a lucrative merger with Dow. That number does not reflect additional tens of millions given to DuPont/Dow to encourage the spinoff company (Pioneer Seeds) to keep its headquarters in Wilmington. As a result of the Administration’s filtering and distorting the full picture, the media has not adequately painted an accurate picture of the situation. The bulk of jobs in the agricultural spinoff arrangement consisting of most if not all of the higher paid research and manufacturing jobs are headed to Iowa while only the few jobs required to staff a headquarters will remain in Delaware. This amounts to a dramatic net loss of revenue for Delaware and its taxpayers.
A classic example of the harmful effects of such policies on communities throughout the nation is the recent Nabisco Corporation abandonment of its Oreo production facility in Chicago despite having secured over $40 million in grants to preserve jobs at this highly productive and successful facility. Nabisco chose to build its new Oreo production facility in Mexico to take advantage of the lower pay scale, resulting in a loss of 600 jobs in Chicago.
This epidemic of corporate extortion erodes the taxpayer base, forfeits jobs and eventually constricts any chance of economic growth while leaving seniors, the impoverished and all hard-working middle class families to pay for the Governor’s corporate philanthropy. I would respectfully suggest that Governor Markell refill the tires on the bus before it careens off the precipice. Supporting and passing HB 216 to recover some corporate tax revenue would be a nice start.
Representative John Kowalko (25th District

2016-06-07 17:54:17 john kowalko

What do you mean going? Abnormally biased opinions and reporting on behalf of the two -party status-quo Hillary Clinton preservationists already unveiled their willingness to preserve market-share with the political spenders.
Rep. Kowalko

2016-06-03 22:46:43 john kowalko

Gimme a break would you? This site is akin to an electronic National Enquirer. Get a grip on your own fantasies and quit grasping at non-existent straws. If you want to fantasize that Jack M. is anything other than what he actually is save those polls and articles for your bedtime readings and enjoy the wet dream that is sure to follow.
John Kowalko

2016-05-14 00:42:06 john kowalko

Not even certificates of appreciation for “new” hires. “Let them eat dirt says the Jack. No options for health care insurance and higher pension contributions. Real democratic policies from a real democrat. Check the prime sponsors of this awful, economically regressive bill being foisted on the next generation of underpaid state workers. It should turn the stomach of any true democrat.
Representative John Kowalko

2016-05-07 20:00:30 John Kowalko

Oh Tommy-boy, I’ll have to seriously consider your suggestion since i have an inordinate amount of respect for people of your ilk. Almost as much respect as I have for the Trumps and Cruz’s et al. Your ability to express your own ignorance in such an eloquent yet simple way serves you well in a society so lacking in enough classless and crudely uniformed intellectual eunuchs such as you. Ironically I also have an immense respect for the animal waste that revitalizes the forest vegetation since its passing will eventually benefit the greater good of the planet. At a bare minimum you’ve earned at least that much respect Tommy-boy.
Representative John Kowalko

2016-04-27 22:38:44 John Kowalko

Why aren’t any of you focusing on the clear and ominous economic threat of TPP which if/when approved will allow non-signer China to provide a monopoly of slave-wage, environmental and health destroying manufacturing capabilities to the other 11 countries who can sell the finished products here with no repercussions written into the treaty. This agreement is more threatening to the economy and jobs and planet than any “gold-standard” trade agreement ever written. I confirmed these facts with Obama’s deputy trade official in Seattle before the NCSL resolved to oppose TPP. Malaysia’s significantly horrid human-rights record forbade them from being a negotiating partner until our own state department upgraded their human-rights rating from a 3 (murder nuns and activists in the street) to a 2 (murder them behind closed doors) to allow them into the negotiations. More info if you wish but everything about it is disgraceful and economically immoral. We can also discuss Dupont and Johnson Controls construction of brand new manufacturing facilities in China with absolutely no tariff or trade restrictions in play.
Representative John Kowalko

2016-04-27 17:39:23 John Kowalko

“like-minded candidates” by definition should have strongly similar positions on key issues that Senator Sanders has championed during his campaign. You may want to check the opinions of the congressional primary democrat candidates on one of the most often pronounced and important issues that Sen. Sanders has embraced. The reinstatement of Glass-Steagall is of utmost importance to his economic policy agenda and has not been supported (even opposed) by some of the primary candidates. Banking reform measures such as Glass-Steagall are being resisted by all Delaware based banking entities and their lobbyists and their positions have become the positions of our current senatorial and congressional reps as well as at least one of the hopeful successors. Sen. Sanders may also be aware of the lack of enthusiasm/knowledge of the candidates as regards the Trans-Pacific Partnership and its potential to be a horribly damaging policy if passed. The specifics and commitment necessary to continue Bernie’s drive for true corporate reform and taxation on the wealthier may “not” be on some of the primary candidates’ (for Congress) to do or support list. Before you presume to pick and choose who is “like-minded” and deserving of Senator Sanders support/endorsement, get to know their positions on the important stuff.
Representative John Kowalko

2016-04-25 18:38:34 John Kowalko

My daughter, Dr. Johanna Kowalko, an associate professor in genetic biology at Iowa State who has courageously accompanied women, through protests, to planned parenthood facilities, who shared an apartment and idealism with a prominent lawyer who exclusively represents immigrants in this country, who vocally and personally stood with equal rights advocates, (just an aside: lawyer roommate was gay) who has publicly expressed genuine outrage at the mistreatment of blacks throughout this country’s sordid history in that regard and who doesn’t preen about having black friends and acquaintances because she has spent her life with hundreds of them, who has always demanded equal pay for women (including women, and men, in science and research —a category wherein the United States falls pathetically and immorally short of any sustainable/adequate funding) recently sent me this personal note. With her permission and a clear and unadulterated understanding that, in Novembers general election, Iowa “IS” an important swing state and her vote will count I am reprinting her measured response to the dialogue that seems to be consuming a lot of people.
Rep. John Kowalko

Please stop telling me to vote for Hillary Clinton in the general election.
If you read anything on social media, or if you peruse online comments to news articles, you inevitably read things that make you angry. I try hard to let these things go, and by and large I succeed. However, one refrain that keeps popping up these days that I cannot seem to let go of is the seemingly relentless instruction for Bernie Sanders supporters to vote for Hillary Clinton in the general election. People who refuse to say they she has their support if she is the nominee are, apparently, naïve, unrealistic, and responsible for the inevitable Donald Trump presidency that will be if Clinton does not get their vote.
Before I go any further, I should admit two things. First, I am an ardent Sanders
supporter and second, I will most likely vote for Clinton in the general election if she is the democratic nominee. I tell you these things so that you can interpret the rest of my comments through that lens, and because I really do want you to stop telling me to vote for Clinton in the general election.
Now, with all of that up front, here are the reasons I think you should stop telling Sanders supporters to vote for Clinton in the general election:
1) The primaries aren’t over. Yes, yes, I understand how much Sanders would have
to win by in the rest of the states, and I understand how polling predictions work. But right now, today, it is not out of the realm of possibilities that Sanders will win the nomination. We also have no idea who, whichever Democrat who wins will be running against. Because the primaries are not over. So, if nothing else, please save your instructions about who I should vote for until after we know who will be running.
2) Should Clinton win the nomination, it is not Sanders supporters who should
change, but Clinton who should. Sanders, and his progressive issues, have found a surprisingly large audience, both within the Democratic party, and among independents. If Clinton wants Sanders supporters to vote for her in a general election, she should modify her platform accordingly. Do I think candidates should sway in the wind, supporting anything that is most popular at the time? Of course not. But if it is true that she holds progressive beliefs, just believes in a different path to getting to them, it should not go against her beliefs to modify her platform, at least slightly, to acknowledge her base. If we vote for her, she will be representing us.
3) Portraying die-hard Sanders supporters as naïve, silly, or stupid is not helping your cause. For one thing, I personally know many strong Sanders supporters who are life-long Democrats, well informed, politically active, intelligent people who make very cogent arguments about their hesitancy to support Hillary Clinton should she be the Democratic nominee. I sympathize strongly, and would be happy to share with anyone actually interested my own misgivings about voting for her in a general election. Consider the possibility that other Sanders supporters do not have any ties to the Democratic party, or have a fundamental problem with the two party system. They also have excellent, well thought out arguments supporting their views. Finally, if you persist in believing that someone is simply being bull headed and short sighted in their refusal to consider voting for Clinton, consider that your talking to them like they are a silly child is probably not helping your cause.
So, before you dismiss and criticize everyone who won’t pledge their undying allegiance to a Clinton presidency, please pause and consider that these Sanders supporters might have a good reason for doing what they are doing. You could even consider asking them why.
Johanna Kowalko Trimarchi PHD (with permission)

2016-04-16 16:37:00 john kowalko

With all due respect, first things first. Reinstate Glass-Steagall as a redoubt that will dampen/arrest the ability to overextend investor money into risky businesses than rework the investment industry”s regulation portfolio. Sitting on the Affordable Care Act “dike” without a public option or a premium regulation authority will guarantee only that the inevitable economic pressure will erode and collapse that “dike” sweeping away the American economy with it. So we should beware of waiting for the inevitable house of cards collapse while the architects are drawing up schematics to support it. We don’t have to necessarily dismantle a shaky structure but it would be foolish to camp under it while we wait for the leaking roof and unstable walls to collapse as they surely will.
Representative John Kowalko

2016-04-13 21:29:07 john kowalko

Additional info:

New York State Assembly Introduces Glass Steagall Resolution, KO1192

Description

Glass Steagall Act: a resolution memorializing congress to support efforts to reinstate the separation of commercial and investment banking functions in effect under the Glass-Steagall Act and supporting H.R. No . 381

Authors:

Abinanti, Arroyo, Brennan, Cahill, Colton, Farrell, Glick, Gottfried, Jaffee, Johns, Kearns, Lavine, Lopez, Lupardo, Magee, Markey, Miller, Montesano, Mosley, O’Donnell, Ortiz, Russell, Sepulveda, Skartados, Solages, Thiele

Assembly Resolution No. 1192

BY: M. of A. Steck

URGING the New York State Congressional delegation

to support efforts in the US House and US Senate to

reinstate the Glass-Steagall Act, including the

separation of commercial and investment banking

functions in effect under the 1933 Glass-Steagall

Act

WHEREAS, An effective money and banking system is essential to the

functioning of the economy; and

WHEREAS, Under the American System policies of Alexander Hamilton,

such a healthy banking system should provide credit to multiply the

productive manufacturing, agricultural, and scientific ventures and

activities of the nation; and

WHEREAS, Such a system must function in the public interest, without

bias; and

WHEREAS, The Federal Banking Act of 1933, commonly referred to as

the Glass-Steagall Act, was written, as stated in its introduction: to

provide for the safer and more effective use of the assets of banks, to

regulate interbank control, to prevent the undue diversion of funds into

speculative operations, and for other purposes; and

WHEREAS, Since 1933, and for 66 years, the Glass-Steagall Act

protected the public interest in matters dealing with the regulation of

commercial and investment banking, in addition to insurance companies

and securities; and

WHEREAS, Under the Glass Steagall law, financial institutions were

considered “banks”, and their depositors were protected, only if said

banks met certain criteria, and could not be involved in securities and

speculative instruments; thus protecting insured-deposit banks from the

risk-taking of Wall Street trading firms; and

WHEREAS, The Glass-Steagall Act was repealed in 1999, allowing banks

to use personal investment to speculate in the market, contributing to

the greatest speculative bubble and worldwide recession since the Great

Depression of 1933; and

WHEREAS, The worldwide recession of 2007-08 left millions of homes

in foreclosure; millions of jobs were lost nationwide; and has put

severe financial strains on states, counties and cities, exacerbating

unemployment and stressing the social services systems; and

WHEREAS, Many of the financial industry entities were “bailed out”

by the United States Treasury at a cost of hundreds of billions of

dollars to US taxpayers, and were also granted “equity infusions”,

“asset guarantees”, and “below-market rate loans from the Federal

Reserve”; and

WHEREAS, Despite the cost of these bailouts, and the transfer of

savings from American citizens, and despite implementation of other
policies, financial instability has grown, such that the five major Wall

Street banks are now, in 2016, larger than in 2008; and

WHEREAS, The American taxpayers continue to be at risk for the next

round of bank failures; and

WHEREAS, The call to reinstate Glass-Steagall, has received

widespread national support from prominent economic, banking, farm,

labor, academic, legislative and business leaders from all parties, and

many of the major and respected national newspapers; and

WHEREAS, The United States Senate and House of Representatives have

been making efforts to restore the protections of the Glass-Steagall

Act, and currently in the 114th Congress, Representatives Marcy Kaptur

(D-OH) and Walter Jones (R-NC) have co-sponsored H.R. 381, the current

bill calling for the reinstatement of FDR’s Glass-Steagall, and in the

Senate, Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), John McCain (R-AZ), Maria

Cantwell (D-WA) and Angus King (I-ME) have introduced S.1709, the “21st

Century Glass-Steagall Act of 2015.”; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That this Legislative Body pause in its deliberations to

urge the entire New York State Congressional delegation to support and

enact in Congress the legislation that would reinstate the

Glass-Steagall Act, including the separation of commercial and

investment banking functions that were in effect under Glass-Steagall,

thus securing a safe American banking system, which can protect

deposits, and supply needed credit for a productive economy, protect

state finances and the well-being of our citizens, and remove any

national protection of investment in stocks, underwriting of securities

or investing in or acting as guarantors to derivative transactions or

other activities deemed “non-bank” activities under the Glass-Steagall

law; and be it further

RESOLVED, That copies of this Resolution, suitably engrossed, be

transmitted to each member of the New York State Congressional

delegation.

Press Advisory: Contact: John Kowalko, 302 547 9351
For immediate release Monday April 11, 2016

Delaware Legislator Files Resolution to Reinstate Glass-Steagall

State Representative John Kowalko (25thDistrict announced he has prefiled a House Concurrent Resolution (HCR 61) which will urge congress to reinstate Glass-Steagall.

The resolution will reinstate some necessary regulations on the banking industry in order to stabilize the industry and prevent future economic failures that costs billions of dollars to shareholders and consumers alike.

Representative Kowalko stated that “I hope to have Delaware join over a dozen state legislatures this year in passing a resolution urging the Congress of the United States to pass two bills, HR 381 and S. 1709, which will reinstate the Glass Steagall Act. Over the past three years, more than thirty state legislatures have filed such resolutions. Four legislatures have adopted the resolutions. Congress is now in the process of discussing this solution to the onrushing financial dislocation confronting the nation”.

“In addition, two regional Presidents of Federal Reserve Banks, Neel Kashkari of Minneapolis and James Bullard of St. Louis, have recently called for breaking up the Wall Street banks deemed “too big to fail”, which is the essence of the Glass Steagall Act”, Kowalko said.

Additionally, Glass Steagall restoration has become a “debating point” in the presidential primaries.

Candidates including Sen. Bernard Sanders and Gov. Martin O’Malley and Gov. Rick Perry and Dr. Ben Carson, have supported this measure.

Glass Steagall was implemented after the stock market crash and banking collapse of the 1930s and it worked to prevent another crash for sixty six years.

After it was repealed in 1999, another crash occurred in 2007-08. That crisis has yet to be resolved; the restoration of Glass Steagall, with its proven track record, is the necessary first step toward addressing this situation.

Kowalko stated “I hope all of my General assembly colleagues will join me in passing this important and necessary resolution to inspire Congress to take immediate action on this important issue”

NYC Public Radio Promotes FDR’s Glass Steagall

April 12, 2016 (EIRNS)–Topic No. 1 of WNYC radio Brian Lehrer’s

“30 Issues in 30 Weeks” pre-election series, which started on Monday, just a week before the New York primary, was one “at the heart” of the Democratic Party campaign, host Lehrer announced: breaking up the “To Big to Fail” (TBTF) Banks. Enter the voice of Franklin Roosevelt, telling Americans that his bank holiday proclamation “was the first step in the government’s reconstruction of our financial and economic fabric.”

So, this issue is not new to 2016, Lehrer interjects; that was FDR speaking to the nation on March 12, 1933. He asks: does this not sound familiar? And FDR continues: “We have had a bad banking situation. Some of our bankers

That opening frames a half-hour program dedicated to making a solid case for FDR’s Glass Steagall as the needed remedy for today’s Too Big to Fail banks, which Dodd-Frank does not do.

Audio clips of Bill Clinton and Obama defending the revocation of Glass-Steagall on the grounds that it was needed for the industrialized, centralized, and more nationalist economy which no longer exists; Sen. Byron Dorgan’s outraged warning in
1999 that eliminating Glass Steagall would create TBTF banks whose collapse we would rue within 10 years; and short clips from Bernie and Hillary, completed the setting for the interview with New York Times Business section writer Gretchen Morgenson which followed.

Morgenson spelled out how Wall Street was responsible for the Great Depression; argued that if Glass-Steagall had been in effect the whole economy would not have been brought down by the mortgage crisis of 2007-2008; insisted that the FDIC is not enough to protect deposits, Glass-Steagall is still needed; and dismissed Dodd-Frank as a too-long bill which didn’t end TBTF and mandated regulations which still haven’t been written, six years later.
(http://www.wnyc.org/story/30-issues-breaking-banks/#commentlist)

2016-04-13 19:53:48 john kowalko

Jason,
Sadly enough, aside from what the initials TPP (Trans Pacific Partnership) stood for no one on that stage had any idea that China has refused to join leaving the good old USA with 11 partners who (because nothing in the agreement forbids or punishes it) can have China manufacture all of their products (with no regard to wages, safety, health or environmental concerns) and sell them to the American consumers at an inflated price. No one seemed to be aware that DuPont built and recently opened a $200 million factory in China (employing thousands of Chinese workers) to manufacture solar panels under the DuPont name and sell here with no tariff or trade agreement restrictions since it’s an American company. All were oblivious that Johnson Controls had also constructed and opened a multi-million facility employing hundreds/thousands of Chinese workers in China to manufacture its batteries, just like we distribute here but do not manufacture here. Also no trade agreements or tariffs necessary and no jobs for Delaware. The list goes on and on and platitudes without any semblance of intimate knowledge will not benefit Delaware or America.
Rep. John Kowalko

2016-04-13 19:03:18 john kowalko

Jason330,
Absolutely correct and reinstating Glass-Steagall (as my recently filed HCR61 urges Congress to do) would be the first, necessary step in reigning in the bankers’ exuberance for greed. I attended the debate last night and do not think anyone on that stage had or wished to have an inkling of knowledge re Glass-Steagall, hence I posted it here. I felt like getting up on that podium and making it a more detailed conversation. Hell, when”s the filing deadline.
Rep. Kowalko

2016-04-13 18:41:55 john kowalko

It’s not Dodd-Frank, it’s the economy (reinstate Glass-Steagall) stupid!
Public Citizen’s Congress Watch Division statement to Maryland General Assembly:

Summary: Restoring the principle that monies insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance
Corporation (FDIC) should only fund prudent, socially useful goals will best serve our economy. Violating this principle, as happened through regulatory fiat beginning in the 1980s, and then completely with a 1999 congressional act, led to the financial crash of 2008. There is no question that reckless, fraudulent banking caused the crash. Consequently, the Maryland legislature should support a return to prudent banking, which can be accomplished through reinstatement of a modern Glass-Steagall act.
Unlike every other industry, the debt of the banking sector is guaranteed by the federal government. When clients enter buildings with the initials “FDIC” on the outside, they make loans to the banks that are called “deposits.” Unlike other loan-making decisions, depositors need not be concerned with the bank’s ability to repay because the government will make good on the debt (up to $250,000 per customer), even if mismanagement leads to the bank’s failure. Because of FDIC insurance, depositors expect less in interest income than if they loan to a start-up business, or even purchase a corporate bond.
Overview of the original Glass-Steagall’s demise
When it created the FDIC in 1933, Congress understood that the abundant, low-cost funding that would flow into banks because of the government’s guarantee might attract the wrong kind of entrepreneur—an entrepreneur bent on making big, fast profits by taking excessive risks. So the law that created the FDIC placed clear restrictions on what the bank could do with those funds.
FDIC-insured banks must confine their activities to safe loan making. Explains the Independent Community Bankers of America, “Banks are accorded access to federal deposit insurance and liquidity facilities because they serve a public purpose: facilitating economic growth by intermediating between savers and borrowers, i.e., taking deposits and making loans, and by maintaining liquidity in the economy throughout the economic cycle. These activities constitute the fundamental business of banking.”1
President Franklin Roosevelt signed the National Banking Act, on June 16, 1933. Known as “Glass-Steagall” in reference to Sen. Carter Glass (D-Va.) and Rep. Henry Steagall (D-Ala.), this act established the FDIC and also forced the mega-banks of the day to divorce their investment banking affiliates. For instance, JP Morgan split into JP Morgan (a commercial bank) and Morgan Stanley (an investment firm). It split the Bank of Boston into a bank and an investment bank named First Boston (which later became part of Credit Suisse). The government insured the depositors of JP Morgan and Bank of Boston, but not the creditors of Morgan Stanley and First Boston. Although the banking industry had naturally resisted the 1933 legislation, selling off securities business did not deprive the firms of substantial income immediately because the 1929 crash had soured America’s interest in stocks.
As interest in investing reawakened in the aftermath of World War II, regulatory and court decisions gradually eroded the firewall between commercial and financial services, such as investment banking and insurance. Money market funds and brokerage firms such as Merrill Lynch began offering checking account services. Commercial banks increasingly lost market share to other financial institutions. Pressure grew from commercial banks to allow them greater flexibility to compete. In the 1980s, the Comptroller of the Currency, which regulates national banks, allowed commercial banks to engage in derivatives activity, broadly interpreting a statute to declare that some derivatives are part of loan-making. Regulators approved additional powers to expand the activities traditional commercial banks were allowed to undertake. For example, in 1989, the Federal Reserve permitted JP Morgan to underwrite a certain volume of corporate bonds. In 1998, Citicorp, with the help of a temporary exemption from the Glass-Steagall prohibition on mixing banking with insurance, merged with the giant insurance firm Travelers Group to form Citigroup.3 Then Congress ratified this merger when it approved the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999. This formally repealed the Glass-Steagall firewall. This punctuation to the end of Glass-Steagall’s piece-by-piece demise most conspicuously provided the main provision that Citigroup sought, namely housing banking and insurance under one corporate roof. Nine years later, in 2008, the financial system collapsed. This is clearly because the repeal of Glass-Steagall transformed Wall Street.
Wall Street apologists who object to the restoration of the Glass-Steagall restrictions on banking routinely point out that Lehman Brothers was strictly an investment bank, not also a FDIC-insured commercial bank. It was the Lehman bankruptcy of September 15, 2008 that set off the crash. Pointing to Lehman, however, ignores the fact that “some of the greatest threats in 2008 were posed by banks – such as Citigroup – built on the premise that integrating commercial and investment banking would bring stability and better service,” notes Simon Johnson, an MIT professor. Moreover, the absence of Glass-Steagall did affect Lehman. Repeal of Glass-Steagall enabled commercial banks, with their funding advantage from federal deposit insurance, to threaten Lehman’s business. Lehman attempted to grow rapidly to protect its market share. The size of its liabilities swelled from $400 billion in 2006 to more than $600 billion in 2007 because of the investment bank’s urgent rapid-growth imperative. “Lehman Brothers was an old line investment bank … [that] now had to compete in the investment banking arena with federally insured commercial banks,” observed Robert Downey, a former partner with Goldman Sachs who once led the Securities Industry Association.
Reproduced by Representative John Kowalko

2016-04-13 17:35:32 john kowalko

This is my position and Delaware online statement on the proposal by this Administration to create an economic second-class state employee group while refusing to consider the inflated and excess costs of medical services being demanded of all state employees (by the Christiana Care monopoly and the pharmaceutical industry). New State employees are being economically abandoned by this Administration. This proposal by this Governor and Office of Management and Budget regarding health insurance costs is outrageous and punitive to working families.

Statement in response to News Journal article:
Dear DR. Nevin, spokesperson and apologist for the Christiana Care monopoly of medical provider services in Delaware, “Renegotiating hospital rates or increasing regulations will not solve the state’s budget problems”, No! but if we get a fair, comparable rate with every other neighboring state for medical provider services instead of allowing your monopoly to engorge itself on taxpayer and state employee monies we would certainly have a much less significant cost burden. Now who wants to speak up for those “poor” pharmaceutical companies, (so willing to flee to Ireland and elsewhere to avoid corporate taxes), yet so unwilling to negotiate fair prices or fair “bulk” purchase prices. A better question might be “who in this Administration has asked/demanded Christiana’s monopoly to negotiate prices or the big pharma industry to negotiate prices”? Governor? Ann Visalli? anyone? Nobody? Let’s just put a new generation of employees at economic risk by imposing a mandated “non-negotiable” deduction for their health care expenses with nothing other than the managed care (read “don’t get sick because you cannot afford it”) option. Maybe they can get a second job with a business that gives a darn about their employees.

Representative John Kowalko

2016-04-13 03:32:14 john kowalko

Well it is an accurate presumption, (in the historical context of voting), that if 450+ delegate votes are consistently and constantly added to the accumulated number despite no vote of the actual electorate having been taken (a la CNN, MSNBC etc. etc.) then there is a propensity for voters (who have yet to see the inside of a voting booth or cast a caucus ballot) to be discouraged and not bother. This is the circumstance that led all major media outlets to refrain from projecting winners until after the polls were closed. The policy of preemptively casting a ballot of support (or pledging if you wish) not only casts a pall of futility in the electorate ranks “discouraging voters and disenfranchising them” but also usurps the rights of each voters ballot to be considered after it is cast– not before. Representative democracy in America should expect nothing less from the Democratic Party.
Representative John Kowalko

2016-04-11 19:25:35 john kowalko

Not to be redundant but………..

Nothing is more threatening to a representative democracy than discouraging voters or disenfranchising them. Another incarnation of voter suppression and denial of access to the ballot box has surfaced in one of the most unlikely places. It is created within the Democratic Party by party rules and under the guise of the privileged “super-delegate” appointment. Clearly a creation of homage to a bygone era of aristocratic recognition within the party powerful it allowed those at the top of the pyramid of power, often beholden to the status quo of party politics, to be given access to the party convention and front row seats from which to preen. This mimicking of the English style of a “House of Lords” and a “House of Commons” would seem harmless enough until the “super-delegates” presumed that their appointment precluded any vote of the party faithful yet to come.
Although legally placed as a democratic party rule it is no less offensive than abrogating the party memberships’ vote or simply putting a match to the ballot box when these “super-delegates” preempt the primary election and pledge their allegiance and delegate vote to one candidate or the other before the votes have been cast and counted.
Let me make it perfectly clear that my challenge to this system is not based, in any way, on the individuals who are seeking the nomination. I do not care, in the least, about which candidate or candidates will be named or chosen for this benefit. It is the fact that preemptive pledging of a delegate vote will result in voter disenfranchisement, discourage voters from going to the polls, (viewed as an exercise in futility thereby suppressing the vote), and render the ballots yet to be cast as meaningless. It is an almost arrogant presumption on the part of those appointed “super-delegates” to think that they have the right and/or privilege to force their personal choice (or that of the party apparatus that they feel allegiance to) upon the voters of record before their votes are recorded.
They can still enjoy the honor and recognition of their positions within the party but they should have absolutely no right to pledge their delegate vote anywhere other than to the majority dictate of the people who actually vote.
Representative John Kowalko

2016-04-11 18:53:15 john kowalko

Press Advisory: Contact: John Kowalko, 302 547 9351

For immediate release Monday April 11, 2016

Legislator Files Resolution to Reinstate Glass-Steagall

State Representative John Kowalko (25thDistrict announced he has prefiled a House Concurrent Resolution (HCR 61) which will urge congress to reinstate Glass-Steagall.

The resolution will reinstate some necessary regulations on the banking industry in order to stabilize the industry and prevent future economic failures that costs billions of dollars to shareholders and consumers alike.

Representative Kowalko stated that “I hope to have Delaware join over a dozen state legislatures this year in passing a resolution urging the Congress of the United States to pass two bills, HR 381 and S. 1709, which will reinstate the Glass Steagall Act. Over the past three years, more than thirty state legislatures have filed such resolutions. Four legislatures have adopted the resolutions. Congress is now in the process of discussing this solution to the onrushing financial dislocation confronting the nation”.

“In addition, two regional Presidents of Federal Reserve Banks, Neel Kashkari of Minneapolis and James Bullard of St. Louis, have recently called for breaking up the Wall Street banks deemed “too big to fail”, which is the essence of the Glass Steagall Act”, Kowalko said.

Additionally, Glass Steagall restoration has become a “debating point” in the presidential primaries.

Candidates including Sen. Bernard Sanders and Gov. Martin O’Malley and Gov. Rick Perry and Dr. Ben Carson, have supported this measure.

Glass Steagall was implemented after the stock market crash and banking collapse of the 1930s and it worked to prevent another crash for sixty six years.

After it was repealed in 1999, another crash occurred in 2007-08. That crisis has yet to be resolved; the restoration of Glass Steagall, with its proven track record, is the necessary first step toward addressing this situation.

Kowalko stated “I hope all of my General assembly colleagues will join me in passing this important and necessary resolution to inspire Congress to take immediate action on this important issue”

HCR 61 will be on the State website after 2:30 P.M. tomorrow with sponsors but here’s the text:

WHEREAS, an effective money and banking system is essential to the functioning of the economy; and
WHEREAS, such a system must function in the public interest, without bias; and
WHEREAS, since 1933, the Federal Banking Act of 1933, known as the Glass-Steagall Act, protected the public interest in matters dealing with the regulation of commercial and investment banking, in addition to insurance companies and securities; and
WHEREAS, the Glass-Steagall Act curbed speculative activities by erecting a firewall between commercial and investment banking; and
WHEREAS, the Glass-Steagall Act was repealed in 1999, permitting commercial banks to merge with investment firms, insurance companies, mortgage companies, and other financial services firms to form vast conglomerates; and
WHEREAS, some of these conglomerates engaged in irresponsible financial practices and speculative activities which brought them to the brink of failure and contributed to the collapse of the housing market; and
WHEREAS, the collapse of the housing market helped trigger the worst recession since the Great Depression, which cost millions of jobs and hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars to bailout financial conglomerates considered too big to fail; and
WHEREAS, the worldwide recession has left millions of homes in foreclosure; and
WHEREAS, the worldwide recession has cost the loss of millions of jobs nationwide; and
WHEREAS, the worldwide recession has put severe financial strains on states, counties, and cities, exacerbating unemployment and loss of civil services; and
WHEREAS, the U.S. Congress enacted the “Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform 26 and Consumer Protection Act,” in 2010, in response to the speculative activities and irresponsible financial practices which drove the economy into recession; and
WHEREAS, although the purpose of the “Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act” was to address the root causes of the recession, the law does little to separate commercial and investment banking; and
WHEREAS, reinstatement of the separation between commercial banking and investment banking is necessary to strengthen our financial system and to put an end to the irresponsible financial practices and speculative activities that led to the collapse of the housing market and the subsequent recession; and
WHEREAS, the Glass-Steagall Act has widespread national support from such organizations as the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations; and
WHEREAS, the “Return to Prudent Banking Act of 2015,” H.R.381 and the “21st Century Glass-Steagall Act of 2015,” H.R.3054 and S.1709, would revive the separation between commercial banking and investment banking by imposing restrictions on affiliations between commercial banks and securities firms, and in a manner similar to that formerly provided in the “Glass-Steagall Act;”
NOW, THEREFORE:
BE IT RESOLVED by the House of Representatives of the 148th General Assembly of the State of Delaware, the Senate concurring therein, that the Delaware State Legislature urges the President and Congress of the United States to enact legislation reinstating the separation between commercial and investment banking that existed under the “Glass-Steagall Act,” in order to prevent American taxpayers from being called upon to fund hundreds of billions of dollars to bail out financial institutions.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that a copy of this Resolution be sent to the President of the United States, the presiding officers of each house of Congress, and to each member of Congress from Delaware.

SYNOPSIS
This House Concurrent Resolution urges the President and Congress to enact legislation that would reinstate the separation of commercial and investment banking functions that were in effect under the Glass-Steagall Act.

***

2016-04-11 17:21:48 john kowalko

The biggest threat to a Sanders’ primary victory is the taint of the “super-delegate” process, a perjorative of the status quo within the party that intends to preserve an aristocracy of power within the party that hinders any outside challenges to policies or power-brokers.

Nothing is more threatening to a representative democracy than discouraging voters or disenfranchising them. Another incarnation of voter suppression and denial of access to the ballot box has surfaced in one of the most unlikely places. It is created within the Democratic Party by party rules and under the guise of the privileged “super-delegate” appointment. Clearly a creation of homage to a bygone era of aristocratic recognition within the party powerful it allowed those at the top of the pyramid of power, often beholden to the status quo of party politics, to be given access to the party convention and front row seats from which to preen. This mimicking of the English style of a “House of Lords” and a “House of Commons” would seem harmless enough until the “super-delegates” presumed that their appointment precluded any vote of the party faithful yet to come.
Although legally placed as a democratic party rule it is no less offensive than abrogating the party memberships’ vote or simply putting a match to the ballot box when these “super-delegates” preempt the primary election and pledge their allegiance and delegate vote to one candidate or the other before the votes have been cast and counted.
Let me make it perfectly clear that my challenge to this system is not based, in any way, on the individuals who are seeking the nomination. I do not care, in the least, about which candidate or candidates will be named or chosen for this benefit. It is the fact that preemptive pledging of a delegate vote will result in voter disenfranchisement, discourage voters from going to the polls, (viewed as an exercise in futility thereby suppressing the vote), and render the ballots yet to be cast as meaningless. It is an almost arrogant presumption on the part of those appointed “super-delegates” to think that they have the right and/or privilege to force their personal choice (or that of the party apparatus that they feel allegiance to) upon the voters of record before their votes are recorded.
They can still enjoy the honor and recognition of their positions within the party but they should have absolutely no right to pledge their delegate vote anywhere other than to the majority dictate of the people who actually vote.
Representative John Kowalko

2016-04-11 16:33:15 john kowalko

First I wish to thank Kristin for pointing out so many obviously progressive issues that my friend and colleague, Bryon Short, brought to a successful and beneficial conclusion.
This site has previously cast a well-deserved reverence for Sarah McBride and her efforts to achieve equality status. The entire story has never been fully discussed nor has the courageous efforts of a legislator possessed with an uncommon humility and political courage been revealed. When it became a reality that the rights of the “transgender” community were not going to be included in the equal rights legislation pending because some members of the General Assembly felt it was too inflammatory or would endanger the package’s passage, I along with Bryon Short, Ed Osienski and Sarah McBride met in my office to discuss the next step for Sarah’s community. We all agreed that their plight was being disregarded and the situation must be corrected. I stated that my name as prime sponsor might cost votes and endanger chances of passage. Without one moments hesitation or regard for how the electorate might react Representative Bryon Short insisted that his name be placed as prime sponsor so that he could work the bill successfully. Some of the naysayers on this site may not be willing to admit this but, too me (an unabashed and staunch liberal/progressive,”socialist” democrat), that was a striking example of progressive courage on Bryon’s part. His success in passing that legislation was no less a remarkable achievement than any other social-justice issue in Delaware. I regret that my friend Bryon Short has withdrawn from the race since I know that there are none more able, more dedicated or more principled than him and all the attempts to diminish his accomplishments and sincerity appear to be mere drops of jealousy that will evaporate in the sunlight of reality.
Representative John Kowalko

2016-04-05 18:38:01 john kowalko

Actually the “refundable” EITC is Rep. Paul Baumbach’s (Dem. 23rd) creation and bill.
Rep. John Kowalko

2016-03-31 16:48:12 john kowalko

John Manifold,
No, the least democratic political operation in America is the “super-delegate” free-choice, no obligation to the will of the voters process. See the following from my facebook post:

Nothing is more threatening to a representative democracy than discouraging voters or disenfranchising them. Another incarnation of voter suppression and denial of access to the ballot box has surfaced in one of the most unlikely places. It is created within the Democratic Party by party rules and under the guise of the privileged “super-delegate” appointment. Clearly a creation of homage to a bygone era of aristocratic recognition within the party powerful, it allowed those at the top of the pyramid of power, often beholden to the status quo of party politics, to be given access to the party convention and front row seats from which to preen. This mimicking of the English style of a “House of Lords” and a “House of Commons” would seem harmless enough until the “super-delegates” presumed that their appointment precluded any vote of the party faithful yet to come.

Although legally placed as a Democratic Party rule, it is no less offensive than abrogating the party members’ votes or simply putting a match to the ballot box when these “super-delegates” preempt the primary election and pledge their allegiance and delegate vote to one candidate or the other before the votes have been cast and counted.

Let me make it perfectly clear that my challenge to this system is not based, in any way, on the individuals who are seeking the nomination. I do not care, in the least, about which candidate or candidates will be named or chosen for this benefit. It is the fact that preemptive pledging of a delegate vote will result in voter disenfranchisement, discourage voters from going to the polls (viewed as an exercise in futility thereby suppressing the vote), and render the ballots yet to be cast as meaningless. It is an almost arrogant presumption on the part of those appointed “super-delegates” to think that they have the right or privilege to force their personal choice (or that of the party apparatus that they feel allegiance to) upon the voters of record before their votes are recorded.

They can still enjoy the honor and recognition of their positions within the party but they should have absolutely no right to pledge their delegate vote anywhere other than to the majority dictate of the people who actually vote.
Representative John Kowalko

2016-03-31 16:36:53 john kowalko

Rep. John Kowalko
The morally challenged Republicans who release these headline-seeking, hypocritical plans with the regularity of a bowel movement to attract press attention and obscure from the public their total lack of solutions would be humorous if not so seriously damaging to people. It’s tragically ironic that the Republicans are interested in mending poverty gaps while continuing to lead the charge against raising the minimum wage that keeps people in the throes of poverty.
Rep. John Kowalko

2016-03-31 16:28:24 john kowalko

Very “classy” Tommy boy. “Low-class” but very much so. Don’t you have a bridge over some cesspool to hide under? Do you ooze a slime trail when you move from place to place?
Representative John Kowalko

2016-03-31 01:01:11 john kowalko

I just want to take a brief moment to thank each and every one of you who voted to support the Christina referendum and the children who will benefit from your decision. I also want to take this opportunity to invite those who opposed the referendum to contact me and allow me to be a facilitator of dialogue with Christina District administrators and board members so that together we can assure and reassure you that this success is in the best interest of public education and the children.

Once again thank all of you for exercising your civic responsibility and coming out to vote. All of you should be proud that you participated in the democratic process.

Respectfully,

Representative John Kowalko

2016-03-24 03:39:42 john kowalko

John Kowalko would reject that legislation and the “Delaware Competes Act” and craft a policy to reward (not subsidize or gift) with calculable tax credits smaller local businesses that are willing and able to expand their workforce and business footprint/facility. The result would be less tax revenue owed or collected for new and additional positions created within those local businesses and incentives to expand their model/infrastructure within Delaware. I can guarantee you that it will not be 1/10 as expensive as these current giveaways to multi-billion dollar global corporations that have no intention of committing to Delaware and no interest in rewarding taxpayer loyalty. I can also guarantee the taxpayer that an expanded local business such as your neighborhood steak shop or small machine shop or auto repair shop are not going to move their operations to China (see DuPont and Johnson Controls) or Malaysia and you will not have to wait for your pizza delivery to be fedexed from Shanghai to your door. There are thousands of service sector and small local manufacturing businesses that would willingly expand their market-share access and consumer base within the confines of Delaware netting REAL job growth and business expansion. Tens of thousands of job growth would not be a stretch of anyone’s imagination and stabilizing and sustaining local businesses is the only sure way of maintaining a stable and beneficial economy in a state of this size.
John Kowalko

2016-03-22 18:37:19 john kowalko

Some of the points I enunciated on the floor of the House Chamber in opposition to SB 200 and its predecessor the “Delaware Competes Act” follow:

Within a total of 14 calendar days, SB 200, the “Commitment to Innovation Act” was rushed through committees, voted on by both chambers (under a suspension of House rules) and signed by the Governor. This latest corporate giveaway will be funded by you the taxpayer and is the latest display of an arrogant disregard for you and your family’s dire economic circumstances. I am forced to post on this matter and the recently signed “Delaware Competes Act” to make you aware of the willingness of this Administration and legislature to forfeit over $60 million of revenue in a futile attempt to bribe multi-billion corporations to not leave Delaware when, in fact, they have already done so. Delaware’s working people and local business community do not deserve to be shortchanged by such economically irresponsible flights of fancy.
I certainly have not and will not support any of these corporate tax welfare bills. DuPont/Dow moved the majority of research and other jobs in the agricultural spinoff to Iowa and Delaware taxpayers are left with some extremely costly crumbs (headquarters only) in Wilmington. Let me point out to all that there was and will continue to be opposition to this ravaging of the taxpayers’ wallet and I certainly will do my best to expose my colleagues to the illegitimacy of such policies that offer no return on investment for Delaware taxpayers.
My point is that manufacturing a product, such as Nabisco has done for many decades, producing billions of dollars of Oreo cookies in Chicago benefits the local community and businesses with decent paying jobs. The corporation that owns Nabisco recently built a factory in Mexico and is moving Oreo production and 600 Chicago jobs to that facility, despite having extorted over $45 million in subsidies from Chicago taxpayers. This is happening to take advantage of dirt cheap wages and rueful working conditions. The only beneficiaries of such a callous move are those multi-billion dollar corporations and their CEOs (see DuPont/Dow $80 million bonuses) while idling thousands of American workers who no longer have spendable income to support the consumer spending that is needed for local businesses to survive. Ross Perot was right about that sucking sound.
For another example look at DuPont’s recently opened $200 million factory built in China employing thousands of Chinese workers manufacturing solar panels for sale back here, or Johnson Controls recently constructed and opened battery manufacturing facility ($150 million) in China for distribution from the Delaware distribution center in Middletown that taxpayers invested millions in infrastructural and road improvements. Also note the DuPont/Dow ($130 billion merger), spinoff headquarters that will stay in Wilmington, with a paucity of jobs, while a significant majority of the actual jobs of the agricultural research branch goes to Iowa. This will leave Delaware with 1700 layoffs of well-paid positions and only a promised potential for future job growth numbering less than a quarter of that if it comes to fruition at all. The price tag of that economic development mirage will be an additional $9.6 million price tag of State taxpayer money and as much as $6 million of County taxpayer funds. The list goes on and on.
Another devastating consequence of the DuPont plan is the actual amount of revenue that will be lost to Delaware by those layoffs. The adjustment of that 1700 number downward to 1150, conceding that 500 of those targeted will retire still leaves Delaware with over $92 million in lost salaries per year. This translates into a loss of $5.5 million in state tax revenue alone (at a conservative 6% rate). In addition there is the loss of tens of millions of dollars of consumer spending capabilities (needed to sustain local businesses). Add in the draining of millions of dollars in burdens to an already stressed unemployment fund and other necessary government support systems.
The “Corporate Welfare” policies of this Administration have cost the Delaware taxpayers $250 million during Governor Markell’s term. This irresponsible wasting of the taxpayer dollars has resulted in no discernible return on investment and has stopped absolutely no job losses incurred by these wealthy corporations. Further compounding this administration’s erroneous economic missteps is the recent policy that was passed, despite my and Representative Williams objections, labelled the Delaware Competes Act. This corporate giveaway will cost over $48 million in lost revenue to Delaware with absolutely no appreciable effect to retain or grow jobs. Now the Administration has signed more legislation branded as “The Commitment to Innovation Act” there will be a further erosion of revenue that provides basic, necessary services to Delawareans. Neither of these misguided economic policies will reinforce local business growth or stability and will leave a gaping hole in Delaware’s budget that this Administration will attempt to fill on the backs of state employees, seniors and the poorer families in Delaware.
Adding to the insult of these types of corporate giveaways is the actual statistical proof that these types of bribes and irresponsible economic policies have been marked by failure after failure at an unaffordable expense. Read the March 4th News Journal article and please note that $22 million went to JPMorgan which profited to the tune of $24.5 billion last year with “promises” of job growth that would inevitably have occurred without this taxpayer outlay. Note also the $11 million gift to Incyte Corp. which announced plans to move half of its Delaware workforce, nearly 300 people, to Pennsylvania this year. The Fisker and Bloom debacles speak for themselves as monuments to irrational and irresponsible wastes of taxpayer dollars.
One tenth of that $250 million diverted to supporting locally based businesses for job growth, infrastructural investments and production improvements via tax credits and subsidies would ensure a healthy and robust growth in our local communities and not end up in the pockets of corporate profiteers. You can also rest assured that those local businesses that provide the bulk of jobs in Delaware and drive Delaware’s economy will not be shipping out to China or Mexico or Malaysia.
Call your legislators and demand that they resist and reverse this callous and flawed attempt to redistribute and divert revenues from Delaware families into the coffers of wealthy corporations.
Representative John Kowalko

2016-03-22 14:51:01 john kowalko

This is not Republican economic policy in Dover. It is a Democratic Governor and leadership that crafts and sponsors and passes this harmful drivel in Delaware.
Representative John Kowalko

2016-03-20 15:14:45 john kowalko

There have been some very dishonest and disingenuous tactics used by certain groups outside the Christina community to disenfranchise and misinform you, the voting public, and sway you to oppose the welfare of the children in Christina. A pattern has emerged of persistently and falsely stating that the district is swollen with an unnecessarily large bureaucracy. The documented truth is that in recent years Christina has trimmed its administration staff by a huge number and has markedly fewer administrators than districts with smaller student populations and special needs obligations.
As of March 4, 2016 the District had 2,615 Employees, and a total of 84 administrators, the majority of whom are professional leaders of schools and programs. Here is the current list of administrators. “Special Schools” include the statewide programs at Delaware School for the Deaf, Delaware Autism Program, and REACH program for students with severe special needs. “Supervisors” oversee operational areas such as transportation, child nutrition services, financial services, and other services that are tied to students.
As a District, Christina has less Administrators this year than last year. Specifically, they have reduced the Central Office by 6 Administrators, and have 2 Senior Administrative positions authorized and unfilled. Currently they have 65 Administrators paid with a combination of State and Local Unrestricted Funds (Operating Tax). This breaks down as:
Superintendent 1
Assistant Superintendent 1
Director 3
Principal 23
Assistant Principal 24
Supervisor 7
Manager 6
Grand total 65
They also have additional Administrators funded with a combination of Federal Funds, Restricted Local Funds, or 100% State programs. These programs include the Delaware School for the Deaf, the Delaware Autism Program; REACH/ILC Programs; Adult Education; and Parent Early Education Program. This breaks down as:
Special Program Director 2
Special Program Principal 4
Special Program Asst. Principal 8
Special Program Supervisor 5
Grand total 19
You can see from the above (both tables) that the vast number of Administrators (70%) are directly tied to Schools.
These numbers reflect a very efficient and bare bones administrative staff that is absolutely necessary to ensure a quality education for all of our children.

2016-03-19 18:04:12 john kowalko

I certainly have not and will not support any of these corporate tax welfare bills. DuPont/Dow moved the majority of research and other jobs in the agricultural spinoff to Iowa and Delaware taxpayers are left with some extremely costly crumbs (headquarters only) in Wilmington. Let me point out to all that there was and will continue to be opposition to this ravaging of the taxpayers’ wallet and I certainly will do my best to expose my colleagues to the illegitimacy of such policies that offer no return on investment for Delaware taxpayers.
My point is that making a product (Oreos for instance), moving 600 jobs from Chicago to Mexico across the border for dirt cheap wages and rueful working conditions benefits only those multi-billion dollar corporations and their CEOs (see DuPont/Dow $80 million bonuses) while idling thousands of American workers who no longer have spendable income to support the consumer spending that is needed for local businesses to survive. Ross Perot was right about that sucking sound. For example: DuPont $200 million factory built in China (recently opened) employing thousands of Chinese workers manufacturing solar panels for sale back here, or Johnson Controls recently constructed and opened battery manufacturing facility ($150 million) in China for distribution from the Delaware distribution center in Middletown that taxpayers invested millions in infrastructural and road improvements. For example DuPont spinoff headquarters staying in Wilmington while a significant majority of the actual jobs of the agricultural research branch goes to Iowa leaving Delaware with 1700 layoffs of well-paid positions and only a potential for job growth with a price tag of $16 million for Delaware taxpayers. The list goes on and on. The adjustment of that 1700 number downward to 1150 (albeit questionable) still leaves Delaware with a $92+ million loss of salaries a year with a loss of $5.5 million in state tax revenue alone (at a conservative 6% rate) in addition to tens of millions of dollars of consumer spending capabilities (needed to sustain local businesses) and adding millions in burdens to an already stressed unemployment fund and other necessary government support systems.
The “Corporate Welfare” policies of this Administration have cost the Delaware taxpayers $250 million during Governor Markell’s term. This irresponsible wasting of the taxpayer dollars has resulted in no discernible return on investment and has stopped absolutely no job losses from these wealthy corporations. Further compounding this administration’s erroneous economic missteps is the recent policy that was passed, despite my and Representative Williams objections, labelled the Delaware Competes Act. This corporate giveaway will cost over $48 million in lost revenue to Delaware with absolutely no appreciable effect to retain or grow jobs. Now the Administration has filed more legislation branded as “The Commitment to Innovation Act” that will further erode necessary revenue that provides basic, necessary services to Delawareans. Neither of these misguided economic policies will reinforce local business growth or stability and will leave a gaping hole in Delaware’s budget that this Administration will attempt to fill on the backs of state employees, seniors and the poorer families in Delaware. Adding to the insult of these types of corporate giveaways is the actual statistical proof that these types of bribes and irresponsible economic policies have been marked by failure after failure at an unaffordable expense. Read the linked article and please note that $22 million went to JPMorgan which profited to the tune of $24.5 billion last year with “promises” of job growth that would inevitably have occurred without this taxpayer outlay. Note also the proposed $14.16 million to DuPont which totally dismisses the fact that there has been 1700 well-paid jobs recently and irretrievably cut by DuPont in Delaware. And the bulk of its future jobs with the newly created agricultural spinoff (Pioneer) will be lost to Iowa. Consider the $11 million gift to Incyte Corp. with the promise of creating 130 jobs in the future on the heels of the announcement by Incyte that they were laying off 137 Delawareans. The Fisker and Bloom debacles speak for themselves as monuments to irrational and irresponsible wastes of taxpayer dollars. One tenth of that $250 million diverted to supporting locally based businesses for job growth, infrastructural investments and production improvements via tax credits and subsidies would ensure a healthy and robust growth in our local communities and not end up in the pockets of corporate profiteers. Call your legislators and demand that they resist this callous and flawed attempt to redistribute and divert revenues from Delaware families into the coffers of wealthy corporations.

2016-03-18 14:56:36 john kowalko

As regards SB 200:
I certainly have not and will not support any of these corporate tax welfare bills. DuPont recently built and opened a $200 million solar panel manufacturing factory in China that employs thousands of Chinese workers and Delaware taxpayers are left with some extremely costly crumbs in Wilmington. Let me point out to the News Journal reporter that there will be opposition to this ravaging of the taxpayers’ wallet and I certainly will do my best to convince my colleagues of the illegitimacy of such policies that offer no return on investment for Delaware taxpayers. In addition DuPont has built and opened a $200 million factory in China that employs thousands of Chinese workers to manufacture solar panels that are sold under the DuPont name.
My point is that making that product (Oreos for instance) Moving 600 jobs from Chicago to Mexico across the border for dirt cheap wages and rueful working conditions benefits only those multi-billion dollar corporations and their CEOs (see DuPont/Dow $80 million bonuses) while idling thousands of American workers who no longer have spendable income to support the consumer spending that is needed for local businesses to survive. Ross Perot was right about that sucking sound. For example: DuPont $200 million factory built in China (recently opened) employing thousands of Chinese workers manufacturing solar panels for sale back here, or Johnson Controls recently constructed and opened battery manufacturing facility ($150 million) in China for distribution from the Delaware distribution center in Middletown that taxpayers invested millions in infrastructural and road improvements. For example DuPont spinoff headquarters staying in Wilmington while a significant majority of the actual jobs of the agricultural research branch goes to Iowa leaving Delaware with 1700 layoffs of well-paid positions and only a potential for job growth with a price tag of $16 million for Delaware taxpayers. The list goes on and on.​
Representative John Kowalko

2016-03-17 16:20:38 john kowalko

It’s not the JFC budget that takes out the land preservation money, it is (and has been) Governor Markell’s proposed budgets that have included and recommended this.
Representative John Kowalko

2016-03-17 16:17:11 john kowalko

I certainly have not and will not support any of these corporate tax welfare bills. DuPont recently built and opened a $200 million solar panel manufacturing factory in China that employs thousands of Chinese workers and Delaware taxpayers are left with some extremely costly crumbs in Wilmington. Let me point out to the News Journal reporter that there will be opposition to this ravaging of the taxpayers’ wallet and I certainly will do my best to convince my colleagues of the illegitimacy of such policies that offer no return on investment for Delaware taxpayers. In addition DuPont has built and opened a $200 million factory in China that employs thousands of Chinese workers to manufacture solar panels that are sold under the DuPont

My point is that making that product (Oreos for instance) Moving 600 jobs from Chicago to Mexico across the border for dirt cheap wages and rueful working conditions benefits only those multi-billion dollar corporations and their CEOs (see DuPont/Dow $80 million bonuses) while idling thousands of American workers who no longer have spendable income to support the consumer spending that is needed for local businesses to survive. Ross Perot was right about that sucking sound. For example: DuPont $200 million factory built in China (recently opened) employing thousands of Chinese workers manufacturing solar panels for sale back here, or Johnson Controls recently constructed and opened battery manufacturing facility ($150 million) in China for distribution from the Delaware distribution center in Middletown that taxpayers invested millions in infrastructural and road improvements. For example DuPont spinoff headquarters staying in Wilmington while a significant majority of the actual jobs of the agricultural research branch goes to Iowa leaving Delaware with 1700 layoffs of well-paid positions and only a potential for job growth with a price tag of $16 million for Delaware taxpayers. The list goes on and on.​

2016-03-16 03:07:12 john kowalko

Let me try to explain to some of you the Trans-Pacific Free Trade Agreement. I have attended numerous conferences with the National Council of State Legislators (who have consistently passed resolutions to oppose fast-track, CAFTA and other agreements that are harmful to the U.S. economy and workers. The recently concluded, totally secret negotiations have resulted in an agreement (to be ratified up or down with no changes or amendments by congress) with 11 countries. It was originally proposed to include a twelfth (China) who said no thank you. The discussion in Seattle include one of President Obama’s Deputy Trade Directors and the Seattle director of International Trade and Development. Both of these gentlemen carried the message for this Administration that the deal being constructed was a wonder to behold or something to the effect that Secretary Clinton had written recently. Included in those 11 countries was Malaysia. I and others questioned whether or not Malaysia’s abysmal human rights record did not in fact preclude it from being a participant in the TPP. The answer from these policy experts was that yes indeed it was but it had been downgraded to allow that countries participation. See:
“Human Rights First” All eyes were on Malaysia this week in anticipation of the State Department’s annual Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report. The country’s status would determine if the administration could engage in fast track negotiations for the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP).
Malaysia was indeed upgraded from Tier 3 to Tier 2 Watch List, allowing for fast track negotiations to proceed. Many human rights groups, Human Rights First included, warned that this undermines and politicizes the TIP report since Malaysia has not made significant improvement to its anti-trafficking efforts.
While Malaysia was upgraded prematurely, its government is making some progress. The TIP report states:
“The Government of Malaysia does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking, however, it is making significant efforts to do so. In 2014, the government consulted with civil society stakeholders to draft and propose amendment strengthening the existing anti-trafficking law…”
More importantly from an economic perspective was the answer I received from the panel when I queried whether China’s refusal to sign on would not in fact give that country a monopoly of cheap labor costs with no environmental or safety controls that could entice our newfound friends into having products that Americans would buy being produced at slave-labor costs and conditions. I specifically asked if any of the signatories would be regulated, punished or suffer any consequences if they bought products from China, declared ownership and sold them to the good old USA at any price allowed under the trade agreement. The answer was a clear and simple NO. There are no regulatory or restrictive or punitive action in the TPP to prevent this behavior so advantage China.

Guaranteed TPP effects:
1)make it easier for big corporations to ship our jobs overseas, pushing down our wages and increasing income inequality,
2)flood our country with unsafe imported food,
3)jack up the cost of medicines by giving big pharmaceutical corporations new monopoly rights to keep lower cost generic drugs off the market,

4)empower corporations to attack our environmental and health safeguards,
5)ban Buy American policies needed to create green jobs,
6)roll back Wall Street reforms,
7)sneak in SOPA-like threats to Internet freedom,
8)undermine human rights.

2016-03-12 02:03:43 john kowalko

I’ll miss Al’s show immensely since he never, ever denied any politician (including yours truly) access to his listeners whether he agreed or disagreed with their position. In fact if you were inclined to present a perspective/position openly and honestly with deference to the opposition perspective he would actively embrace that opportunity. He knew and realized that all policies and dialogues that affected or disaffected the community deserved to be aired in the public domain. I have called Chris Carl and voiced my concern and disagreement with this shortsighted policy of removing a voice in tune with and knowledgeable about local politics, New Castle County politics and national politics. A shameful display of media censorship.
Representative John Kowalko

2016-03-07 18:10:54 john kowalko

No
John Kowalko

2016-03-05 04:21:02 john kowalko

Sorry Nuttingham didn’t catch your real name, but no matter I don’t understand what you were trying to imply. Maybe a remedial writing/sarcasm course would be in order. Don’t be too embarrassed by your own shortcomings any effort to help yourself will bring its own reward.
John Kowalko

2016-03-03 04:36:50 john kowalko

Bane,
It is rare to see so many wrong, inaccurate, misrepresentations from one apparently and obviously uninformed (or perhaps agenda driven) commenter. HB 50 is not an anti-government nor anti-common core bill. Basic reading comprehension skills are all that would be required to see that it reinforces a parental right already existing to make decisions with their children on what is best for their child without suffering repercussions or punitive circumstances. It also grants those parents/children who have opted out of the Smarter Balanced Assessments to have meaningful educational opportunities during those testing times. It also protects districts and schools from the use of non-participation data to unfairly and dishonestly reflect on schools or districts actual assessments of progress. It does not reflect anywhere and in anyway on Common Core or even call for repeal of the Smarter Balanced Assessment. It is “PROGRESSIVE” to secure parental rights when they are in conflict with government and corporate agendas and mandates. It is absolutely “PROGRESSIVE” to allow a legal path for parents to challenge meaningless, unproven and harmful mandates that may not benefit and might certainly harm their children’s educational opportunities. By your flawed logic “home-schooling” as a choice option is “F” the government and anti-government. Should the “government” wrest that option back from the people? Should “private” schools and “religious” schools be forced to require these assessments and if not are they ant-government? It is ridiculous to purport that “Progressiveness” coinciding with “Conservatism” in an area mutually beneficial to the people somehow renders that intersection as “wrong” policy unsupportable by either side. Finally I must presume that your insensitive and hateful descriptive use of “wack jobs” was conceived while you were at the mirror shaving this morning and you inadvertently misapplied it out of context.

Representative John Kowalko

2016-03-02 22:12:27 john kowalko

Kate,
Probably get it up tomorrow. Snowed in here today.
John Kowalko

2016-02-02 14:34:07 John Kowalko

I just attended my first Iowa caucus. My daughter and son-in-law participated. Turnout was higher than expected. Bernie prevailed 56%-44%. 6 0f ten delegates go to Sanders 4 go to Hillary. O’Malley was not judged viable by lack of support. 485 people showed up at this one precinct. Approx. 80% of precinct voters by counts I received. Final count at this precinct in Ames was 265 for Sanders, 208 for Clinton with other deciding not to switch from O’Malley or undecided. I’ll also be trying to post video on my facebook page.

John Kowalko

2016-02-02 04:33:18 John Kowalko

I do so enjoy fiction novels and fictional recasting’s of history and reality. In this latest contrivance Delaware is emerging from the abyss of economic doldrums and lower paying jobs into the “darkness” of miraculous job replacement (albeit at half the pay) and awakening to the new opportunity of a $48 million giveaway to corporate extortioners. There should be some crumbs dropping from the “head-table” onto the floor for locally struggling businesses to fight over. That should keep them alert and ready for those everyday challenges they will continue to face. And surely we mustn’t forget the “educational reform” taxpayer giveaway knowing that we’ve strengthened and rewarded the Pearson’s, RODELS, Gates’s, TFA’s et-al. In our climb from the depths of the abyss into a murky darkness we also must now focus on translating “early-child” education and “child-care” needs into another opening of the taxpayer wallet for “quality” programs brought to you by RTTT early-child addition. Yes it’s “always sunny in Philadelphia” but cloudy and overcast in Dover. When reality becomes overbearingly depressing and frustrating, just curl up with a good fiction novel that will satisfy that impetuous desire to fix things. It’s easier that way.

John Kowalko

2016-01-23 16:52:03 john kowalko

I can forward some “smarter balanced tests” as attachments by email if any of you are interested in posting on your site. My IT skills are those of the typically older male who still has trouble (occasionally) with the TV remote

John Kowalko

2016-01-07 23:34:05 john kowalko

The SAT has never been an achievement test. It was created to predict success in the future, not specifics on what was learned in the past.
Furthermore, why would this be normed to a set of standards (common core) that are not accepted by all states, and seems to be scorned by most colleges.

John Kowalko

2016-01-07 18:27:51 john kowalko

Your no.7 good: 7. JFC cuts 10 highly-paid bureaucratic positions from the State Department of Education budget. Perhaps the only good thing the JFC did all year. belies the reality that DOE reconstructed and combined vacant position money to permanently hire 8 of those very same individuals to six figure jobs prolonging the RTTT burden now foisted on Delaware taxpayers.

John Kowalko

2016-01-05 19:21:22 john kowalko

Maybe they only polled the management teams from JP Morgan, or Bloom or Astra-Zeneca or Dupont or Johnson Controls or RODEL or Microsoft or Innovative Schools or TFA or any of the dozens of taxpayer gifted consultants and conglomerates that have one hand out begging and the other in the taxpayers wallet taking.

Representative John Kowalko

2015-11-21 21:18:47 john kowalko

“Charter School Charlie” is probably planning a significant expansion of Charter Schools in Wilmington owned by and transfusing taxpayer money to the business community that “CSC” supports and benefits from. At the Senate hearing on HB 50, the testimony from the Chamber of Commerce, RODEL and the Business Roundtable had a common theme that the business community wanted to help “reform/improve” public education and leaving the smarter balanced assessment in place and mandatory was the only answer.

I testified afterwards that I welcome the business communities engagement in public education. I iterated that it should involve (but not necessarily be limited to) placing their collective checkbooks on the table, disengaging from every aspect of education that they are not trained for or experienced in and step back and let the professionals make the decisions. I also advised that they take their classic “photo-op” “Principal for a Day” program and reformulate it so that two of the VP’s for Bank of America would spend one to two afternoons a week for an entire school year between 4-5PM mentoring some of the inner city youngsters in the impoverished neighborhood schools to help them learn and learn how to learn. Two or more executives from Astra Zeneca could do the same in a science subject. Two or more of the Delaware taxpayer engorged JP Morgan can come on site and mentor math ( or perhaps how to get cash from DEDO). Can you imagine how significant an effect these captains of industry would have on these students. They could even have their action photos published in their business periodicals claiming true “Superstars in Education” status.

State Representative John Kowalko

2015-11-11 22:57:01 john kowalko

Revenue Neutrality is to filling a $160 million revenue shortfall as is taking the dirt from the bottom of a hole to fill that hole. Mixing that dirt with a dollop of bull***t will not help either.

Rep. John Kowalko

2015-11-03 17:44:09 john kowalko

How is that “story” going? Will it be available in the fact or fiction department or perhaps as a childrens’ pop-up book. Who is the co-author of this novel? Is he a ghost writer, collaborator or financier of the project? My money (and unfortunately for the taxpayers, theirs) is on “financier/investor.
John Kowalkop

2015-09-26 22:31:49 John Kowalko

181, Kowalko sponsored, introduced and passed out of Revenue and Finance committee three weeks before session ended, not placed on agenda by Speaker for a vote.
HB 196, also sponsored by Kowalko, also came out of this committee with all Rs on committee voting to release and one or two Ds voting against. The bill seemed to have bipartisan support but was also refused placement on the agenda for a floor vote despite multiple requests by several caucus members.
Rep. John Kowalko

2015-07-11 00:53:11 John kowalko

More facts available if you wish to contact me after this Sunday

Rep. John Kowalko

As we discussed last night, TANF eligibility requires dependent children. GA recipients are encouraged to apply for federal Social Security benefits, some get GA while they wait on a decision and others are denied. SSI does not require a minimum number of quarters worked but often people’s applications are denied if the federal agency determines the applicant can still work or that the medical condition is not severe enough (it is not expected to last 12 months or result in death). The individual only has to be unable to work to receive GA.

In very broad strokes, our GA recipients are very indigent, with no income or resources. They are often have a disability such that they are not able to work but which is not severe enough to qualify for Social Security Disability or SSI. Or, the disability could have not been diagnosed or treated with enough regularity that sufficient medical documentation exists to determine that the individual meets the SSI criteria. Based purely on observation, we seem to frequently see older, single men who are homeless receiving the GA benefit.

Below is the GA eligibility. It is in the section of regulations which also cover the TANF program. http://regulations.delaware.gov/AdminCode/title16/Department%20of%20Health%20and%20Social%20Services/Division%20of%20Social%20Services/Delaware%20Social%20Services%20Manual/3000.shtml

3018.1 GA and SSI Recipients

An SSI recipient cannot receive GA payments for himself while receiving SSI, but may be a payee for a GA grant for others. The SSI recipient’s income and resources are not considered available to meet the needs of any other person in the household.

3019 Definitions of Unemployable

An adult is unemployable and therefore technically eligible for GA when the adult is:

1. Ill or incapacitated, and unable to perform work activities. The nature of the individual’s health problem, its expected duration, and the individual’s inability to perform work activities must be verified in the case record. The eligibility of temporarily incapacitated persons must be redetermined at the end of the period of incapacity specified by the physician.

Note: GA may be authorized or continued for a period not to exceed 90 days to an incapacitated person who is hospitalized.

An individual whose incapacity is expected to last more than 12 months is referred to the Social Security Administration.

2. For a period not to exceed two (2) months, a person whose SSI disability or SSA disability benefits have ended and who is appealing the decision. Verification of the appeal to the SSA is required. The individual’s eligibility must be redetermined at the end of the two‑ month period. GA benefits can continue only if another condition of unemployability is established.

3. Needed at home to care for another household member who is ill or incapacitated. Verification that another person is needed at home to care for the incapacitated individual is required.

4. Needed at home to care for a child under age six because there is no other person able to care for the child. The child’s age and presence in the home must be verified.

5. Age 55 or over. Age must be verified.

6. For a period not to exceed two years, a high school student who attends school at least 15 hours per week and whose educational needs render him/her unavailable for regular employment. The individual must be able to complete his/her schooling within two years of the application filing date. Students must maintain satisfactory school attendance while receiving General Assistance. School enrollment, attendance, and the anticipated date of graduation must be verified. High school status also includes students enrolled in a high school equivalency program.

Note: Individuals may receive GA based on school attendance for a period not to exceed two years. The two‑ year period begins with the original date of eligibility. GA benefits will terminate at the end of two years even if schooling has not been completed.

Married or unmarried couples who have no children living with them must both be unemployable as explained above in order for both partners to be included in the assistance unit.

2015-07-10 18:07:36 john kowalko

Joe 6

I have to respond to your comment which is based on an ignorance of the facts that you are either blissfully or deliberately unaware of. The group of Dems that voted against the budget made no demands regarding charters in our final desperate attempt to reason with the caucus and JFC leadership. You are completely in error to suggest that our efforts were concentrated on charters and charter funding and you insult, (via your ignorance of any of the dialogue that took place), those six of us who not only claim to but actually do care about the needy and desperate. You have no right to echo whatever false narrative your handlers and contacts have filled your head with while ignoring the honest effort that has and continues to be made on behalf of equal and fair government. Since you suggest/insist that we progressives are not honestly engaged in protecting those people in need then I must recount an actual occurrence not one dreamed up in the fertile imagination of those who would defend this poorly considered budget.
About four years ago when Sen. Cook and Rep. Dennis P. Williams were co-chairs of the Joint Finance Committee I attended many of the JFC meetings. When DHSS was presenting their proposal to JFC they asked to be able to impose a co-pay fee for Medicaid recipients (for doctors’ visits) and to cut the “General Assistance” stipend similarly to what this budget does. I asked for and received permission to testify and pointed out the significance of imposing an often unaffordable fee for routine doctors’ visits since it could discourage the preventative advantage of routine visits and lead to the much more expensive “emergency room” treatment. I also argued against the punishment that would be imposed by reducing the general assistance stipend since some of that pittance is used by those recipients to travel to a soup kitchen or an overnight shelter, (or heaven forbid buy a tube of toothpaste). Both of my arguments succeeded and the money was restored after serious dialogue and consideration by the JFC chairs and members, unlike the close-mindedness of this years budget writers and leadership. This illustrates the willingness of the progressive six to truly and honestly give a damn about people and your attempts to falsely malign our agendas and distort the reality of our efforts is insulting. Your stereotyping of really, really good people with exemplarily moral consciences to try to distract from actual events and facts insults these people and shows a shallowness of thought that seems to be scripted to distract from actual events. You owe these five, (I personally do not need your apology even if offered), champions of progressivism an apology and only hope that someday you can have the privilege of helping others.
Representative John Kowalko 25th District

2015-07-10 17:58:41 john kowalko

I have no ambitions other than to serve my constituents and all of the people of Delaware as a State Representative who is committed to what’s best for them, their families and their communities. The only clear path I see to accomplish that is to embrace the public’s opinions and needs and echo their concerns and wishes and entertain all perspectives to ensure that the direction I am traveling is in their best interests. Sometimes that requires a fair accounting and dialogue regarding issues and policies conducted in the publicly accessible forums such as blogs, the newspapers and the radio shows. The public, in general, is not able to afford the necessary vocal or influential communicators that are available to the more prominently and financially accoutred and I have a responsibility to fill that vacuum. I will not be cowed or bullied into silence when their voices are being muted. I will not be silent when I see the real threat to democracy and my beloved Democratic Party in the pall cast over this legislature when punitive and unjust decisions are made that intend to intimidate and coerce a subservience to the more powerful. I would be complicit if I allowed this legislature to forfeit its authority and responsibilities out of fear of retaliation or hope of reward. Those responsibilities to provide an honest and openly transparent government that is available, accessible and viewable to all Delawareans are not mine to shirk but to embrace. In retrospect I do have ambitions, and they are to be an honest, open-minded and well informed advocate who takes very seriously the title, bestowed upon me by the electorate, of “State Representative” of all the people. I have no intention nor agenda to move up the political ladder unless the only prospective candidates offered to the people are committed to their own ambitions and not the public welfare. The people deserve the best we can offer them and certainly that should be those individuals who are willing to put the peoples interests first and foremost without any hesitation.
John Kowalko

2015-01-15 22:05:26 john kowalko

A.M.
I wouldn’t insult your intelligence by disputing your toothless remark but I still have most of my teeth and I sometimes have to take a gripping bite before I can chew something up. The bill (with the amendment) should not and will not be held up as a testament to transparency especially by me. I also would ask your reconsideration of Rep. Osienski’s role in this matter. He was merely the assistant starter who was making sure the starting gate opened and I sincerely appreciate his work.

2014-06-19 20:00:19 john kowalko

Another Mike,
That is absolutely my intention and always has been. I’m too old to be taking baby steps but if the starting gate doesn’t open you’ll never have a chance to finish much less win. I’ll never apologize for what I am forced to do but I certainly will not excuse myself for those failings and there consequences. However, I will never stop trying to ultimately do what’s right and that’s a promise I can keep.
John Kowalko

2014-06-19 19:16:03 john kowalko

Steve Newton
Correct you are
John Kowalko

2014-06-19 17:19:30 john kowalko

HB 246 adds EBT abuse to a list of felony punishable misuses to Title 11 Sec: 904, 903A 905, 911, 915, and 854 although EBT abuse and fraud is currently punishable under existing law Title 31 Chapter 6. Thereby it adds the possibility of being charged, prosecuted and/or penalized for EBT abuse or fraud for one offense in two separate spots in criminal code. It does not move credit card fraud, theft, abuse, misuse into similar circumstances. Since it (EBT) is already covered under Title 31 for remedy and punishment for fraud and other abuses it suggests or might be interpreted as saying we’re going to go after those poor people living high on the hog and not allow such criminal activity to go unpunished so much so that we need specifically two sections of code that can used to charge abusers (even simultaneously for the same offense).

John K.

2014-04-02 20:46:52 john kowalko

In 2010 we passed legislation that designated the Grey Fox as the “Official State Wildlife Animal” at that time it was the chosen alternative to the red fox which procreated aggressively and caused anxiety among the farmers and rural communities. The Grey had and has none of these proclivities and in fact is quite reclusive. Unable to defeat such foolish recklessness I’ve requested several senators to remove the Grey Fox from the bill and hope all of you will join that effort just as the teacher originally involved has by email to the senators below:

Senators,

My name is Paul Sedacca, and I am the fourth grade teacher at McVey Elementary School whose class helped create the State Wildlife Animal Bill (HB 354) in 2010.

I am extremely outraged and saddened by HB98 allowing a hunting season for the gray fox. There should be an amendment removing the gray fox from the bill before it passes the Senate. As it stands, HB98, in my opinion, is an insult to the students of McVey Elementary that worked for 10 months to get the bill passed.

My class of 22 fourth graders will be writing letters to the Governor today recommending a veto if the gray fox is not removed.

I have been in contact with the News Journal and the Department of Fish and Wildlife to get their opinions on this.

Is there an accurate count of gray foxes in Delaware? If so, has a study been done to analyze the impact of a hunting season on the population of our state animal?

Respectfully,

Paul Sedacca

2014-04-02 01:04:14 John Kowalko

Extortion and abuse syndrome come to mind. In 24 states where JPMorgan is the administrator of the food stamp programs, (card issuance and accounting) it received over $546,000,000 in remuneration. Yeah let’s give them a million and a half for ashtray emptying expenses in one of their headquarters buildings.

2014-03-24 17:41:41 John Kowalko

No diatribe to see here, just musing how infrastructure might be payed for in response to Nuttinham’s query

2014-03-04 03:10:42 John Kowalko

If one’s anxieties and frustrations leads to irritable bowel syndrome, aka a “gaseous state”, then I suppose a gas tax would be used. “Hopelessness” can take an emotional toll on one’s mental stability so an increase in tolls would support that state. And don’t forget New Hampshire “live fee (sic) or die”

2014-03-04 01:40:22 John Kowalko

Let us know when you get past the step you’re at now = bitter, petty, uninformed and hatefully self-indulgent. After that take the next step to enlightenment and see if you can manage to get past your natural state of ignorance. As you hopefully move toward remission from your current state of vitriolic poisoning, rest assured I will always be there to pity your pathetic circumstances never to despise your own sense of hopelessness.

2014-03-03 19:02:08 John Kowalko

Hello AQC, are you still out there? Or have you chosen to enjoy the comfort of your anonymity a little longer. Hello! Hello! Hello! ground control to Major Tom.

2014-03-03 00:48:19 John Kowalko

Seriously AQC,
No snarky remark conjured up by your misguided and inaccurate imagination referencing me sitting at my keyboard, pounding on the keys in a near drunken stupor?
Let me be serious here. Before I’ll ever respond to your inquiries, you must contact me personally divulging your identity to me (and only me) and I will sit down with you and buy you a coffee, beer, tea or lunch and we can have a civil discussion of my failings (real or imagined). At the conclusion of that meeting I will give you my permission to divulge the content of our discussion even if you choose to remain cloaked in your anonymity. In the interest of full disclosure let me assure you that I have nothing to hide.

John Kowalko

2014-03-03 00:13:46 John Kowalko

By your comments I can guess that you might be a victim of or expert in “dumb” politics or some other such fantasy you harbor, but to even suggest that the state’s checking account was or could be in jeopardy is thinking outside the realm of any reality and suggests a touch of “out of touch” with reality. Get a grip.

2014-03-02 03:31:18 John Kowalko

Yes I do know that the Cash Management Board was scheduled for Sunset review and that’s exactly the point. SB 151 should have been deferred until the Sunset review as well. There was not and will not be any urgent or time sensitive accomplishment under this clarification of responsibilities bill. Treasurer Flowers did not ask for the disclosure, I did! And Cassandra I know full well that disclosure should and must happen and quite frankly the process was through passing that amendment which would have made it happen. To defend the vote against the amendment, because of some false sense of urgency or imminent danger to the taxpayer is a straw man argument that seems to be constructed to hide the vitriol and personal animosity you both seem to harbor toward the individual. Look under the “fainting couch” for your own agendas and motives before you choose to question mine.

2014-03-01 23:48:01 John Kowalko

What — exactly– are you holding bankers accountable for here?

A very reasonable and honest accountability asked for (and rejected) was transparency owed to the taxpayer by requiring the appointed Board members to file a yearly disclosure of their financial holdings. No requirement to divest or recuse themselves from the process, merely an access portal through which the public might view (and if so moved) question, challenge or merely seek an explanation of agendas or motives in the boards recommendations and decisions. Treasurer Flowers asked for that and I sought that very simple and harmless amendment to the recently passed legislation. Since the authors and sponsors of SB 151 stated that the proposal was merely a clarification of the Boards responsibilities and authority it is obvious that there is no reasonable explanation offered or available to reject that amendment other than certain individuals (read Delaware Grapevine account) expressed belief that this was and is a bill to put Treasurer Flowers in his place. No one has the right to disparage any effort to open government transparency and impose minimal accountability standards on people who are dealing with taxpayer monies. If there is another motive, agenda or intention to policies and legislation then all elected officials should expose those personal feelings and considerations for the general public to see. Leaders that truly believe they are deserved of their authority should do a “gut check” and commit to some semblance of intellectual honesty. The people who elected them deserve nothing less.

2014-03-01 16:43:52 John Kowalko

Are anonymous filings permitted? No head shot or website available or perhaps nothing in the head to keep it inflated long enough for a head shot.

2014-02-21 23:35:17 John Kowalko

AQC
What you heard and what are the actual facts are once again mistaken by you and your self-aggrandizing willingness to portray yourself as an intimate player. To summarize; you know nothing about the situations you choose to opine about and should heed the proverbial advice of Mark Twain:
“It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt”.
If you ever feel the need to engage with me or presume to know my thoughts or feelings on any subject, drop your cowardly cloak of anonymity and give me a call. That’s my style.

John Kowalko

2014-02-21 22:20:19 John Kowalko

Guest post for the Rusty Dils,

Chappaquiddick, Chappaquiddick, Cigars, Cigars. Monica, Monica, Marylin Monroe, Marylin Monroe–ATTICA, ATTICA

2014-01-31 22:50:06 John Kowalko

Info requested;

Is it “THIRD WAY” or “Third World” or is the latter just the direction that this group “Third Way” intends to push America toward. What a callous disregard for humanity and people this abdication of morality represents.
Dem. Reps. Schwartz (PA.), Kind (Wis) and Crowley (NY) also honorary co-chairmen “DENOUNCED” the op-ed so I gather our similarly positioned delegation would not be driven from the party if they responded in kind. Disheartening and Disappointing comes to mind.

John Kowalko
P.S.
“Social Security” is not an entitlement and does not and has not ever caused a budget crisis. Dear Chris and Tom—-“Hands off S.S.”

2013-12-13 19:09:48 John Kowalko

Also keep in mind that charters receive transportation funds (and they got to keep the surplus, while public schools had to return any unused funds. Is this still the case?). Charter students are all choice students and are the only choice students in the state to receive transportation.

“Still the case” as epilogue language is manipulated/presented each year to contravene existing code, that demands specific accounting of transportation funding (for all schools) and a return of all funds not used for transportation by all schools and charter schools. I have opposed this reinvention of existing code that has taken place for the last five years and will be offering legislation that disallows superseding existing code more than two years in a row (with epilogue language included in the budget bill). If the code needs to be changed than it should be repealed by law, not by exemptions slipped into the “Budget Bill”. Many of my colleagues promised that they would support this type of legislation if I did not attempt to amend the budget from the floor and I accepted their word as a reasonable compromise last June 30th. Now it is time to put up.
John Kowalko

2013-12-11 19:57:08 John Kowalko

As has always been the case with this Administration’s views and policies on education and early child “rearing” there is absolutely no credibility to be had there and little if any knowledge or experiences. The carnival has arrived and step right up to pay to see the freak-show.
John k.

2013-10-07 21:12:02 John Kowalko

AQC

You have absolutely no knowledge of my positions or intentions or statement of my positions or pronouncement of my positions whatsoever and I am challenging you, now, to prove any of my statements of fact as incorrect or disingenuous. If you have or have had access to my stances expressed in private, then I would be appreciative of proof of that presumption and if not please refrain from your wholly speculative and self-aggrandizing “in the know” accusations. “No-faced” (as opposed to two-faced), is certainly a more comfortable position to place oneself in then having to burden oneself with actual and reality based, verifiable facts. To simplify, I am calling “bull” on all of your innuendo and distortions and the challenge is to you to prove otherwise.

Since I am on a diatribe/roll here.
Dear “nuttingham”,

You are either deliberately and/or ignorantly unaware of the facts surrounding my “breakaway” vote on the alcohol excise tax proposal and the very real fact that I sent an e-mail to the Governor (days prior to the vote) stating, unequivocally, that I would not be supporting the “alcohol excise tax” (with explanation) and had a personal sit-down with Majority Leader Schwartzkopf to express and convey that sentiment prior to that vote.
I am not going to continue this debate or belabor the point with people who choose to pretend that they are “in the know” or personally acquainted with the facts so I will not be responding in this forum to your counterpoints bur will willingly answer to your counterpoints personally at

John Kowalko

2013-08-07 21:07:56 John Kowalko

Touche
John K.

2013-07-21 03:18:32 John Kowalko

I have had extensive and serious policy conversations with Andrea Bennett and, for what my opinion’s worth, I believe she will be a fine legislator. She is thoughtful and has a substantial courage of her convictions.
John Kowalko

2013-07-20 21:54:12 John Kowalko

I will make an attempt to redirect the course of the conversation back to the original bone of contention which is SB 151. This poor excuse for legislation is an embarrassingly obvious attempt to circumvent existing law and if you all would kindly go to the “KAVIPS” post titled “the June 30th coup, you will read a simple verbatim comparison of the existing code and the rather odious attempt (in SB 151) to corrupt the system. That should be the point of the discussion and the focus of the criticism. If this rather obvious attempt to intimidate or weaken an independently elected office by shifting the authority to the appointed board of “special interests” who might benefit the most is resurrected in 2014 I (for one) will demonstrate how shrill public criticism can become.
Here is my brief comment to the Kavips post, (please read the Kavips post it’s very enlightening)

John Kowalko Jr.

Excellent comparison of the original law and the abhorrent attempt implicit in SB 151 to corrupt the current system. Should be understandable to anyone vaguely intelligent and honestly open-minded. Good job and you should post it on DL as written here. Feel free to include my remark if you’d like.
John Kowalko (the proud father)

2013-07-09 03:20:04 John Kowalko (the father)

Not only is today’s editorial content disingenuous and rife with a one-sided misrepresentation of the situation but it was concocted from either hearsay or deliberately misleading guidance from DOE. I can say this very assuredly since I have attended and participated in three recent board meetings and a private meeting (along with two of my legislative colleagues) where I asked direct questions and received deliberately evasive answers from Chris Ruskowski, Sec. Murphy, Mary Kay McGlaughlin, Rebecca Taber and other Administration and DOE staff which I in turn relayed to Supt. Williams and the full board asking them to meet face to face with these same people. The Supt. and Board and DSEA agreed and I (along with my two colleagues)was in attendance at that meeting to attempt reconciliation and seek a compromise. At that meeting I was astounded by the total disregard given to any of Christina’s good faith attempts and the abject intransigence of Mr. Ruskowski, Sec. Murphy and Ms. McGlaughlin to even consider the obvious validity of the Districts proposal. I followed up at the next board meeting with my eyewitness, first-hand knowledge of all that transpired at all the meetings (you may listen to the Board meeting minutes.

Now, the very real point that should be considered in reading and analyzing this subjective and biased “editorial” is the absolute fact that the Editorial Board states that “the governor and some equally miffed STATE REPRESENTATIVES understand the implications of what’s at stake locally” without naming one (and I challenge them to do so) state representative that has knowledge of or personally attended any of the meetings with both parties (as I and my colleagues did) who is willing to express support for the Administration and DOE’s and the News Journal’s editorial boards position.

I certainly have taken a very vocal and firm position that the DOE and Administration position (from personal eye and ear witness participation) is wrong, incomprehensibly obstinate, dis-serving to the teachers and most importantly selfishly ignorant of the needs of the children and an insult to every fiber of intellectual honesty that seems to be woefully lacking here. So let me publicly add my name, (State Representative John Kowalko), to that editorial, (which chooses to blithely ignore the tenets of any journalistic integrity), but please pencil my name in as a “state representative” who “understands the implications of what’s at stake locally” and sides with the reasonableness of Supt. Williams and the Board and against the overreaching, bullying and disingenuous political tactics chosen by the administration and DOE.

State Representative John Kowalko

2013-04-12 16:08:03 John Kowalko

With whom does the labeling start and end? Consider “progressive purists can act just like the teabaggers” and “clinically insane”.

We are not limited to two choices, Jason. The president has limited us to just two choices.
Respectfully,
State Rep John K.

2013-04-11 23:08:51 John Kowalko

Dear Del Dem,
With all due respect and utter dismay at your inability to see clearly the very nose in front of your face, if you think that it requires “progressive purity” to see the horribly unconscionable behavior of this President in risking and suggesting to cut Social Security benefits, (an immoral act never before perpetrated by a sitting Democratic President) and to compare the legitimate reaction of people of good conscience with “teabaggery” than I would suggest you look within yourself as regards “sanity” or “insanity” of conscience. And I suggest you try to understand the distinct difference between “progressive PURITY” and “progressive HONESTY” It’s never been a matter of definition it has always been a matter of principle.

State Representative John Kowalko

2013-04-11 21:36:25 John Kowalko

I”m not sure I get the point here (in this post) but if my protests voiced regarding this unconscionable proposal by the President looks like it furthers his bluff or will put the opposition at a disadvantage or advantage then you and the President are totally missing the point. I have never been a single issue voter but if this President proceeds down this high-risk adventurous path I will absolutely work against and vote against any purported democrat who supports it.
Last summer I attended the NCSL (National Council of State Legislators)summit. This bi-partisan group of State Legislators from all 50 states and U.S. territories crafts resolutions to be sent to Congress and the President. NCSL lobbies on behalf of these resolutions representing them as what they are, policies supported by all 50 state + territory that we unanimously support. These summits are attended by many hundred individual legislators almost equally bi-partisan and these resolutions cannot pass without a 3/4 majority vote of all the states and territories in attendance. At this recent summit I authored and submitted, for consideration, a policy amendment which very bluntly stated that Congress and/or the Administration should not cut or lessen Social Security benefits in any way. This amendment passed unanimously and is now part of NCSL policy. There were no mixed signals or nuanced language and a bi-partisan group representing 50 states and territories spoke as one voice. No excuse, no game of chicken, no grandstanding gestures, no attempts to compromise on this one very specific program (not entitlement) paid for by the American people and past and present generations of taxpayers. There is no ambiguity or tolerance of interpretation. No cuts to Social Security beneficiaries Mr. President, none and that’s not a negotiation position that’s a demand.

On a personal note, President Obama, you have and have had an opportunity given you by circumstances and this particular moment in history. You have an opportunity for greatness but you’ll never achieve that if you forget that you must represent the most vulnerable Americans and their families. I hope you see that opportunity unfolding and do not squander the moment.

Respectfully,
John Kowalko

2013-04-11 17:52:22 John Kowalko

I don’t care how it is politically justified or motivated or if it is doable or a bluff or a sharp stick in the eye, it does “lay out a shocking attack on seniors” Shame on any democrat pol who would risk this adventure in playing chicken with vulnerable peoples lives. Wrong, wrong, wrong Mr. President.
John Kowalko

2013-04-10 21:58:12 John Kowalko

In Christina District there is no longer any busing of suburban students into the city. None at all. The only busing that occurs (in Christina District)is for Wilmington high school students to Christiana, Glasgow or Newark and not Newark Charter since they reside outside the 5 mile radius. The “neighborhood schools law” requires that all children go to the school closest to their home.
John Kowalko

2013-04-04 22:18:28 John Kowalko

I hope you appreciate that I object to the Port being privatized and believe there is no need for it to be leased and the point I’ve been making at this hearing and at the recent board hearing is that the State should fund and keep solvent the Port without any privatization. A used terms like “fire-sale” and “discount city giveaway” because I believe that this Port is not losing money and any economist above the pay-grade of cashier will tell you that is true despite Sec. Levin’s disingenuous remarks and analysis of the facts and because I wished to strengthen my closing remarks from this afternoon. I’ll quote ” a pessimist might view the failure to fully utilize available funds (economic development fund, strategic infrastructure funds) to stabilize the Port as a suspicious step toward making a “suitor” such as Kinder Morgan appear to be a magnanimous benefactor

2013-02-28 02:27:29 John Kowalko

“Presumptuous” is not indicative of the hidden invective, “misleading” is too kind, “manipulative” implies intellectual wherewithal, “absurd” gets us a little closer to the reality of the content of this thesis but implies an ignorance excuse so we are left with few adjectives to describe Mr. Stapleford’s fictional dissertation other than “immoral”, “unconscionable”, and “abhorrent”. (please fill in your own suggestions). I personally favor “unamerican”
as appropriately descriptive of Mr. Stapleford’s theory/explanation/tirade of ignorance. Here’s hoping Caesar Rodney’s heirs file a defamation of character lawsuit against CRI for abusing the family name.

2012-11-28 20:49:21 john kowalko

Here’s a third option. Learn how to spell Libya then give us a call and you can get back in the discussion. No cheating it’s not an open book test. Maybe you can present a third Fox News nutcase option. Ambassador Rice is a Muslim terrorist born in Kenya who was a member of the same sleeper cell as the President. Present that theory at any Trump casino and get some free slot plays for sure. In any case neither McCain nor Graham can be considered honest or patriotic or trusted to do their jobs. And that’s a fact.

2012-11-15 03:18:10 john kowalko

Thank you Mr. President for calling out and smacking down two examples of baldfaced immorality (Senators McCain and Graham) in defense of a true patriot, Ambassador Rice.
Well done sir and an aside to Lidsey and John. You have both earned every ounce of disrespect that all true Americans must have for you. Your statements regarding the Ambassador are an exercise in repugnant thought cloaked in some kind of obvious political excuse that brings your ability to serve into question.

2012-11-14 22:02:13 john kowalko

V
Correcting your spelling

Sanctimonious 2016 you guys. Sanctimonious 2016

(also consider synonyms “odious”; “self-sanctified” etc.)

2012-11-09 17:35:57 john kowalko

Does this mean I’ll be stalked by Sigler as he tries to set fire to the “single-payer” bill and if that’s the case should I get a restraining order? Word to the wise Mr. Sigler if you are watching me or my family (who support my liberal/progressive policies) too closely you might stumble into one of my windows while “watching” us and experience how harshly the penalties for “home-invasion” actually are especially if you’re carrying one of your NRA “concealed” toys.

2012-11-09 00:47:36 john kowalko

My phone number is 737 2396 cell: 547 9351. If Charlotte or her rumor affirming confidant wishes to call please be my guest. I will guarantee confidentiality but not the prospect of a major belittling response (from me personally) if it is the bull**** I believe it is. Put up or shut up.
John Kowalko

2012-11-05 16:50:34 john kowalko

Charlotte,
Your post and attitude expressed in that post (totally without basis in fact and honesty) is an insult to a person of the highest integrity who has done nothing to deserve such vitriol and lies. I know Mitch Crane personally and professionally and if my reputation for integrity is appreciated by the bloggers and commenters on this site I would ask them to reject, refute and challenge your inappropriate small-mindedness and obvious willingness to spread hate-inspired false rumors. Furthermore if you wish to discuss my challenge to your character or lack of same and maintain your anonymity you may call me personally and I will keep your identity confidential. I look forward to your gut-check.
John Kowalko

2012-11-04 19:55:11 john kowalko

The approx. 310,000 replaced meters had an average usage span of 22 years on a (testimony recorded) life expectancy of 30 years maximum. That computes to 73% of lifespan already spent. The number ($25m) depreciation value still to be recovered is intensely and intentionally inflated. When most businesses upgrade/replace equipment for more efficiency or production they forfeit any remaining unrecovered depreciation value the moment they remove the equipment. This asking by DP&L would be a laughably poor joke if it weren’t so clearly identifiable as a con being perpetrated with the acquiescence of the Public Advocates Office and the PSC staff.

Write letters to the Public Service Commissioners demanding that they DO NOT approve the proposed settlement to PSC Docket # 11-528 ASAP.

2012-11-01 20:57:46 John Kowalko

Cassandra,
Precisely the point of information I was trying to acquire when my “cross-examination” of the witnesses was objected to by the Attorney General’s appointed attorney for the “Public Advocates Office”. The transcript of the proceedings which I had to pay over $400 for shows the extent to which the “Public Advocates Office” does “not” represent the interests of the “public”. Very frustrating and very difficult work and I appreciate all supportive remarks and inquisitions.

John Kowalko

2012-11-01 17:24:54 John Kowalko

Why doesn’t the mainstream media appropriately chastise this habitual and sociopathic liar. This goes well beyond any sense of responsibility for an individual running for the highest office in the land. Romney’s crazed ambition and willingness to betray the American people with consistent and persistent lying not only disqualifies him from holding office but should deny him any remaining signs of respect he may have expected. Disgusting is too mild a description.

2012-10-29 21:53:32 John Kowalko

Please make a grammatical correction by replacing “lampoonish” with “Buffoonish” for the sake of descriptive accuracy. Lampoon implies some level of intellectually exercised sarcasm/satire and Trump has proven, many times over, that he has never had that cerebral capacity.

2012-10-24 19:26:20 John Kowalko

Oct. 16th post Pandora asked “THIS CAN’T BE TRUE CAN IT?”

Never underestimate the vulgarity or stupidity of power-hungry, greedy extremists such as Romney and his advisory group. Blind ambition will never allow self-policing of one’s moral failings and those inhumane thoughts will prevail in any intellectual debate with oneself.

Well Pandora shocking and stupid as it was, It can be true and was true and boy did the President clean Mitt’s clock on the entire subject. President Obama’s self control in regulating his demeanor when he uttered the simple word “offensive” was a tableau in anger management that I could never hope to achieve. A sterling presidential moment for the ages. Mitt’s performance proves that there are no limits to the depths of moral turpitude to which a man of greed will sink to try to gain power. Goodnight Mr. Romney and sleep well as only a person bereft of conscience can.

2012-10-17 19:00:03 John Kowalko

Well Pandora shocking and stupid as it was, It can be true and was true and boy did the President clean Mitt’s clock on the entire subject. President Obama’s self control in regulating his demeanor when he uttered the simple word “offensive” was a tableau in anger management that I could never hope to achieve. A sterling presidential moment for the ages. Mitt’s performance proves that there are no limits to the depths of moral turpitude to which a man of greed will sink to try to gain power. Goodnight Mr. Romney and sleep well as only a person bereft of conscience can.

2012-10-17 03:47:42 John Kowalko

For what my opinion’s worth, Delaware should adopt an “Early Voting” policy, responsibly and securely constructed. I feel that we have constricted voter access in recent years (by some specific legislation) and I opposed most of those constrictions (unfortunately unsuccessfully). Ballot access and rights of voters to have their vote counted (no matter the futility of their selection) is a basic tenet of an open representative democracy.

2012-10-01 16:00:35 John Kowalko

Devoter302

See Scritchy’s post? Now that’s impressive “name-calling” by any stretch. It’s all relative you know?

2012-10-01 00:30:43 John Kowalko

This Halloween I’m going to dress as “Agenda 21”. Could I get some help here for costume design. Does anyone have a photo/picture of a “figment of the imagination” that I might reference.

2012-09-29 20:38:05 John Kowalko

The people elected me to pursue and formulate legitimate policies that benefit the citizens of Delaware. They may range from economic policies that help businesses to social policies that help families survive in these often desperate times. My obligation and responsibility is to ensure that I’ve studied these policies thoroughly and have considered all the pros and cons as to their legitimacy. I certainly reject your desperate attempt to prolong any discussion on this latest “the earth is flat” type theory by wasting any of my time or my constituents time debunking or disproving an intellectual fantasy with no basis whatsoever in fact or evidence to support it. Please allow me to clarify one subtle bit of sarcasm that you seem to have missed. With all due/earned respect and in straightforward terms “I never felt the need to have “YOU” approve my level of integrity”, the people who have elected me to serve them will be the judges of that.

2012-09-28 16:38:55 John Kowalko

Devoter 302
As an elected official I take very seriously my obligation and responsibility to challenge conspiratorial imaginings when they are posited by individuals aspiring to elected office. This is especially the case when these theories/imaginings are obviously intended to provoke an abnormal and unjustified fear reflex that is intended to demonize the opposition views or policies which are crafted to address and rectify “REAL” problems. The fact that I used a subtle sarcastic approach to challenging a very seriously delusional position/theory shows a significant restraint on my part (in my opinion). Thank you for the opportunity to defend my integrity to you.

2012-09-28 14:06:51 John Kowalko

Well Jason after 37 years as a machinist I eventually learned that you have “right” hand or “left” hand threads in nuts and on screws and that some you loosen by turning clockwise and some counter clockwise. But one incontrovertible truth emerges “everyone with a screw loose can be helped with the appropriate wingnut”

2012-09-26 18:41:53 John Kowalko

I am very anxious to have the opportunity to serve in the General Assembly with Evan should he be elected. I think our first order of business would be to contrive a plan to have Delaware secede from the U.S. so that we can develop the autonomy of a separate country and seek membership in the U.N. We could then infiltrate this insidiously intended organization to cause its ultimate downfall and preserve the right of all humankind to annihilate others and themselves. Of course this plan we construct will have to be insidious itself (don’t you just love that word?) and “stealth” will be of paramount importance, like those “stealth” U.N. helicopters Evan has probably noticed hovering above, (I think they’re presence is obvious by their silence and visual undetectability), you doubters should consider that you can’t see or hear those zillions of constantly moving and colliding atoms that are everywhere either. Anyhow let me raise a toast to the “New World Order” where the sick will be able to die peacefully without those invasive/intrusive medical procedures that they can’t afford and therefore shouldn’t have, where the hungry ones could adapt a taste for those sickly who succumb, where those peoples existing under threatening and oppressive regimes can craft treaties agreeable to all (or a majority) of all who are firmly committed to a similar religion with a consistent portrait of a God we can all identify as presented on you-tube. I look forward to crafting the appropriate legislation and with the help of a communications genius (such as Jensen) working the dialogue (AKA propaganda). We could ultimately make the U.N. headquarters a mobile/transient operation, (present day location would perhaps be Syria or Afghanistan). Welcome aboard the “delusional express” bound for the town of “Oversimplification of a Complex Problem”

2012-09-26 16:56:34 John Kowalko

Please be aware of this event today and try to attend.

Notice from SEIU 32BJ that rally will be held today July 19, 2012 to protest unfair treatment of workers by OPTIMA
Meeting at 1000 N. West Street Wilmington De. at 3:30PM. I apologize for the late notice but hope you can join me to express your outrage at this mistreatment of working people. Below are some details of the situation.
Respectfully,
John Kowalko

• Optima Cleaning Systems (“Optima”) is the largest non-union cleaning contractor in Delaware, cleaning approximately 2.2 million square feet in just over a dozen buildings, according to calculations by SEIU Local 32BJ.
• Optima workers earn as low as $7.50 per hour with few, if any, meaningful benefits.
• Optima has violated workers’ rights to organize by discriminating against them in hiring and discouraging membership in labor unions.
o In 2009, Local 32BJ filed an unfair labor practice against Optima with the National Labor Relations Board, alleging that Optima had violated section 8(a)(1) and (3) of the National Labor Relations Act (“NLRA”) by discriminating against employees in terms of the hire, tenure or conditions of employment of its employees, thereby discouraging membership of its employees in a labor organization. The case was settled and although Optima denied wrong doing, Optima agreed to post a notice about employees’ rights under the NLRA, and to pay seven employees back pay totaling nearly $25,000.
o At the beginning of July, Optima Cleaning took over the cleaning contract at the Christiana Corporate Center, owned by Atapco Properties. Optima supervisors told cleaners if they wanted to keep their jobs, they could not talk to the union. We believe that Optima also refused to hire workers who previously supported the union. Workers report that after Optima took over the contract from Bravo Building Services, their personal and vacation days were taken away and their wages and hours were reduced. Paystubs show that they are now earning $8.40 per hour.
• Five building owners in Delaware use Optima – Atapco Properties, M&T Bank , Delle Donne & Associates, Pettinaro Enterprises, and the Buccini Pollin Group, Inc, according survey data compiled by SEIU Local 32BJ. Optima Cleaning Systems is owned by Thomas Delle Donne, who is the nephew of Ernest Delle Donne, owner of Delle Donne & Associates.

2012-07-19 16:54:20 John Kowalko

Will M.
Unless you’re one of those inbreds that names all their children the same I count almost 30 of your posts among the 100 and you might wish to see if you suffer from dyslexia since I count many “different” advocate comments.
Judy,
Refer to previous comment I made re cost analysis for the rebuttal of your accusation
John K.

2012-06-16 14:24:28 john kowalko

Mr. Newto,
There was no study involving Sec. of Finance and Controller Generals office done on SB 177. Rep. Jaques and I felt that the first and most difficult order of business was to see what amount of revenue would be accumulated by HB 392 and what amount of money was being spent to provide Health Care to Delawareans. Nothing was contrived or hastily arrived at and the revenue neutrality of the proposal is represented by the recently calculated facts. The analysis is NOT old and is very current and Rep. Jaques and I delayed this filing to ensure that there would be NO artificial optimism or pessimism in the calculations and projections. Since you’ll have a number of months to intimately scrutinize each characteristic of this proposed legislation I would suggest that you spend more than a few hours thinking about it to try to verify your pessimistic reasoning so that Rep. Jaques and I can seriously consider any legitimate concerns you may have. If you’ll read the press release you’ll see that we intend to seriously and responsibly take into account each suggestion, criticism, critique and “fact based” challenge to the numbers we (and others) have spent an awful lot of time accumulating and verifying.
John Kowalko

2012-06-16 03:22:52 john kowalko

Excellent, informative, factual and honest article by Representative Johnson. Good job J.J.

John Kowalko

2011-11-21 21:18:00 john kowalko

Dear John Also,

Let me add one case on point. The deadly effect of asbestos exposure was known in the 1940’s-1950’s (Johns Mansville internal memos still exist as proof). This was not publicly acknowledged at the time (by the industry’s involved in production and sales and use of asbestos based products) since the incubation periods for Mesothelioma was often decades afterwards and the other symptoms/diseases (emphysema for one) caused by asbestosis were difficult to directly connect to exposure. As an individual with asbestosis (proven to be caused by exposure when I was 17 years old working at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard) I have been forced to “educate” myself on this insidiously destructive product. Scant few of the men I worked with survived to my age (experienced medical professionals have told me that is luck of the draw—so far). But the real point of this, if I may Mr. Galt, is to point out that the Federal Government (The Philadelphia Navy Yard) cannot be legally held liable and most if not all of the companies who deliberately and knowingly doomed hundreds of thousands of people to a short, often miserable life got to enjoy bankruptcy protections and other manipulative practices to insulate themselves. Billions of dollars were awarded but pennies were paid and this was even after it was determined that these companies were well aware of the poison they were peddling. So let me summarize. I have educated myself with documents, testimony, and life experiences in these matters. It is certainly difficult to separate the emotion of watching friends and co-workers die agonizingly and slowly from the reality that families I represent can and probably will be harmed similarly by the excesses of corporate indifference and greed. But I promise you I will never allow the emotions to distract from the horrid practices that continue unchecked and unregulated in the name of “free-enterprise” and I will not allow my anger at the “uneducated” and unadulterated “propaganda” being spewed by some to stop me from trying to protect those 15 million residents, in the Delaware River Basin, who could be harmed by casting a blind eye at reality. I believe that is what is expected of me as an “elected official”
Respectfully,
Representative Kowalko

2011-11-19 03:43:36 john kowalko

Mr. Galt,
My position is, by no stretch of the imagination, uneducated. It is based on a thorough research of facts and is as far removed from sheer emotion as the CRI position is from reality. I make decisions based on educated fact-finding (I owe that to my constituents)and I hope CRI and you can find an equivalent level of honest reality in your positions before you bring them to the discourse.
Representative John Kowalko

2011-11-19 02:13:02 john kowalko

Also be aware that the “Caesar Salad Institute” has been supportive of “fracking” and a yes vote so that reasoning alone should motivate some of you to click on and sign the petition.
John Kowalko

2011-11-18 18:12:46 john kowalko

Please excuse the ommission of the site—866 signatures and counting in less than three days.

Petition site is– http://signon.org/sign/say-no-to-fracking-in

2011-11-18 17:08:16 john kowalko

The meeting has indeed been postponed but be aware that is only a temporary relief. We still have four more entities to convince to oppose Fracking in the Delaware River Basin and I respectfully request that you login to:

and sign the petition which will be forwarded to Gov. Corbett (PA),Gov. Christie (N.J.), Gov. Cuomo (N.Y.) and Colonel Christopher Larsen (Army Corps of Engineers). These are the other four voting members of the Delaware River Basin Commission and not all are predisposed to vote no. This is a matter of high urgency.
Thank you,
John Kowalko

2011-11-18 17:02:47 john kowalko

Puck,
I don’t know what perspective or agenda you’re trying to represent but you should take a long, hard look at “Geezer’s 12:40 comment and think about it for a while with an unbiased and objective demeanor.It is spot on.And pay attention to Nancy’s 9:32 AM comment about Head-Start competition for funds and be forewarned about the new politics of distraction taking place in “Early Child Care” that has absolutely no basis in proven methodology and in fact threatens the majority of families dependent on subsidized Early Child Care. These families are gainfully employed and/or seeking employment and contribute a large amount to the tax base and spendable income that is injected into our small-business economy. We should first and foremost be committed to allowing them to work by caring for their children in a safe and nurturing environment so that they may continue to be employed and contributors to the state’s revenue stream. This redistribution of funds to “highly-rated” Early Childhood Care programs will/does decimate the financial stability of the hundreds of qualified and quality “day-cares” that currently serve almost all of the low-income families.Denying adequate funding to those providers while throwing disproportionately large amounts of finite monies at the “higher rated” centers is unsustainable just like the RTTT agenda is/will be unsustainable.
John Kowalko

2011-11-12 18:55:44 john kowalko

UI and others,

Let me explain in more detail. I received some emails from a half -dozen, or so, different addresses that contained a form-letter like tirade that unjustly and unfairly attacked, mischaracterized and vilified a group of people. It was, quite frankly, insulting and obnoxious and offensive. Since the email blast did not specify a concern or suggestion that my office could make a good faith effort to address and since it was offensively worded and resonated with a generalized, unnatural resentment for people that the senders did not personally know and since the message was obviously intended to provoke the addressees into clamoring for some kind of misdirected response to these people exercising their constitutional right of assembly I felt and still feel that the group instigating such erroneous perceptions was wrong and asked to be removed from their email list. I deliberately decided not to relegate these individual senders to a spam folder since any one of them (in my district or not) might at any time have a legitimate question, suggestion or concern that I might be able to help them with in my position as a public servant. I never want to preemptively cut off an open/responsible dialogue and I wouldn’t think to ban any citizen from open access to me and my office.
Therefore I respectfully requested removal of my name from an email list that is precariously close to spewing hate speech. I also would never consider legal action since I believe my reasonable explanation for my response should be met with a responsible acquiescence to reason and common sense and decency.
John Kowalko

2011-11-07 18:25:23 john kowalko

With all due respect the Board of Commissioners should not be able to use the clause “any gathering or meeting for political purposes in any such park…” as a valid reason for denial. It is “NOT” a gathering of any “political” purpose since the purpose of the gathering is to protest the corporate greed that is driving most Americans to a destitute future for their families. Corporations may have taken advantage of a “morally suspect” Supreme Court to be declared as persons but they haven’t yet attained a ruling declaring them a political party.
John Kowalko

2011-11-04 01:43:03 john kowalko

On Monday October 24 Newark City Council will vote to raise Water Rates an additional 14.5%.
Previous recent increases were:
10/01/09—-34.9%

3/31/09—–15.5%

Cumulative effective water rate increase upon Monday approval (implementation 1/1/12) will be an over 70% water rate increase in less than three years for Newark residents and non-resident City Water customers. The percentage is higher for non-city resident City Water users.

Hey! Not doing anything on Monday evening come see taxation (under a different name) imposed.

John Kowalko

2011-10-21 19:18:07 john kowalko

For what it’s worth, I completely and unequivocally agree with the AG on this issue. To prematurely concede a settlement as fair/just to all parties is bad policy and an abdication of responsibility by political leaders. These accusations of wrongdoing by certain financial institutions are well documented and the damage to the economy, homeowners and all citizens demands a scrutiny that will assure an adequate resolution and settlement. Beau Biden has really stepped up on this one and has earned your support on this initiative.Those leaders who feel he is overstepping or misstepping or call for concessions to the industry need to hear your outrage and concern.

John Kowalko

John Kowalko

2011-09-22 15:41:04 john kowalko

As the poverty roles grow uninterrupted, I hope your readers will appreciate the fact that the determining “Federal Poverty” income level is woefully out of touch with reality. The number of people unable to afford the basics, (read–food, rent, clothing, health-care etc.) is much larger than the government issue calculations. I also hope your readers and all Delawareans with a conscience will consider the statistical growth in the “Medicade” population that will result, and not support any effort to tack on an unaffordable co-pay or deductible or limit visits since all of those options essentially lead to overuse of existing infrastructures (Emergency Facilities)at taxpayer expense and more serious health problems that come from neglecting early intervention plans. These recommendations were seriously considered last year by DHSS and the administration and are even more unjustified this year. If you agree please make your opinions known early and often.
John Kowalko

2011-09-15 16:10:42 John Kowalko

If those stations had put out notices that they were out of the cheaper/lower grades and weren’t, (as I suspect), they may have been in violation but I see no way to prove or disprove a claimed malfunction in equipment, hence my suspicion that it is bull. The huge price increase, while not illegal, is certainly testament to a greed fueled price gouging practice. I think if stores started doubling the price of milk or bread there would be a reckoning or hue and cry. The gas providers do not fear any consequences for their actions because there are most likely no consequences to fear. They drove prices up a dollar per gallon in the last year with unsubstantiated drivel about middle east in crisis and outright lies about supply and demand disruptions. The silence from political leaders was indeed deafening.
John K.

2011-08-27 00:50:53 John Kowalko

You can’t even blame “chutzpah” Charlie for this outrage. As I drove around looking at the gas lines it quickly became apparent where the right-wing inspired greed would be manifested. All of the numerous gas stations on South College between Newark and I95 have jacked up their price for regular by almost 20 cents per gallon and then to further prove their commitment to “free-enterprise” and “supply and demand” economics of the Copeland-Class variety they pasted little notes on all the pumps (I’m not kidding) that the lower grades were “out of order” (not empty)and you could only buy high-test. Imagine that coincidence, all those pumps that pump the different blends through the same nozzle had some kind of malfunction that defied scientific explanation. Unfreakin-believable and who thought conscienceless price-gouging was missing from our society. Stop asking for tax cuts you’ll all just waste it on car trips to the soup kitchens.

God bless the United States of Capitalism and its children borne of mother Wall Street.

John Kowalko

2011-08-26 21:57:58 John Kowalko

This guy is only an honest, professional diagnosis away from becoming Majority Leader in an insane asylum. Anyone who subscribes to this nutbaggery, whether a constituent or fellow member of his caucus would make up a very entertaining cast for a “Cuckoos Nest” remake. Unfortunately it’s not theater but a frighteningly sick reality show that we are experiencing.

John Kowalko

2011-08-25 22:02:21 John Kowalko

Here is a letter my daughter Johanna sent to the President. I couldn’t be more proud of her and her ideals.
John Kowalko

Dear Mr. President,

The nation is in a crisis. It is now that we need a strong president. The Republicans are
holding the debt ceiling hostage. In exchange for raising the debt ceiling, they want to
destroy the social programs that protect our most vulnerable citizens, the elderly and the
poor. This cannot be allowed, and you are the person who has the power to stop it.

Throughout my adult life, I have watched a war waged on the middle class. While their
wages have stagnated, the wages of the wealthiest have soared. While they lost their
jobs during the recession, the men and woman and companies who caused the recession
got richer. The public schools they send their children to are under attack, and both
your administration and Republicans have sought to destroy what is left of organized
labor. Social security, Medicare, and Medicaid are the only things that are keeping many
working, middle class people out of the abyss.

Mr. President, while many of the wealthiest people in this country seem content to see
our society regress to one of many serfs whose labor supports the few aristocrats, we
the people, the middle class, who voted you into office to represent us, want no such
thing. I am writing to ask you to prevent this, by refusing to sign any deal compromising
the future of the social programs that the people of this nation rely on. We elected you
because we believed you could be a strong President, and could stand up for our rights.
Now is the time for you to prove to us that that is who you are.

Sincerely,
Johanna Kowalko

2011-07-08 23:31:00 john kowalko

It’s on the front page of today’s news journal as a “new inflation measure”. Read the entire article. My apologies as a senior citizen with limited intellectual growth capacities I’ve never learned to “link”.

John Kowalko

2011-07-08 22:17:33 john kowalko

I don’t care how expensive or how much wine the greedy power-barons drink but I believe standing silent while our own elected Democrat President decides to offer vinegar to those most in need is equally offensive. The offer of a manipulation of the CPI index to artificially suppress much needed minimal increases for the most impoverished is abhorrent, unconscionable and as regressive a policy that I’ve witnessed (even from the most desperate conservatives). It is poor, negligent, and shortsighted economic policy to deprive those people who spend virtually every dollar of their dwindling resources to support all businesses (large and small). It is offensive to suggest that these types of regressive cuts are anything other than an attempt to engage in political swagger that could lead to a decimation of the middle and lower classes in America while resoundingly supporting the rights of the rich to get much richer. If the President I voted for and supported continues down this sad trail I will not campaign for him, financially assist him or vote for him.

John Kowalko

2011-07-08 20:59:09 john kowalko

Phil,

My point has always been that some issues are much more important to progressive politics than others and those most progressive are usually the issues that can disaffect and hurt those most vulnerable. However, let me say it again Phil, one issue or position on an issue does not a progressive make nor does it disqualify one as a progressive. Senator Peterson has taken many a courageous stance on progressive issues and I have always supported and publicly applauded that. That does not mean that I agree with any, some, or all of her reasons on this particular subject and therefore I issued the apology to her because I never intended to single her out or impugn her progressive integrity. You are certainly excused for not understanding some of the complexities of the discussion between Karen and me.
John Kowalko

2011-06-26 19:12:07 John Kowalko

Karen,
A very fair and honest explanation of your concerns with SB 97. I apologize to you for making you feel that I was singling you out for your vote. My disappointment in the outcome stems from the last time (4 years ago when) I was co-prime on a rent justification bill with Rep Blakey and without warning watched him strike the Bill from the floor. That bill was constructed with the help of a good departed friend, the late Chris White and I have been anxiously waiting ever since to move forward with this initiative.
Again my apologies to you personally and publicly because you are one of the true stalwarts of progressiveness and I think we see more or less eye-to-eye on many issues. I know that we will always continue to work together on behalf of all the people of Delaware.
Respectfully,
John Kowalko

2011-06-24 18:05:53 John Kowalko

ElSom,
With all due respect, that is a bogus excuse for no votes and abstentions. There were supportive Senators who were as shocked as I was when I heard that roll call last night. Probably not as angry but close to it.
Let any of those no/absent/abstain votes say that was their reason and I will level the challenge that they are being disingenuous at best and flat out untruthful at worst. This bill weighs in at ten times the progressive value of any HB 75 and no excuse making analysis will change that fact. There was and is a powerful, well financed group engaged here (Strines and Tunnels) who have absolutely no regard for the plight of the poor and elderly living on a fixed income. Anyone pretending to have a sympathetic, progressive view of reality who did not support this bill have very questionable credentials indeed.

John Kowalko

2011-06-24 03:09:15 John Kowalko

Donviti,

As often as I have a point to make for the issues of those that do not have the money or organization to hire a paid lobbyist to speak/cajole/explain on their behalf.

I share these postings with the mainstream media also but they are not always determined to be “newsworthy” or sensationalist enough. Therefore I always appreciated the opportunity that DL gives me to “get the word out”. I also am grateful that so many of your readers and fellow bloggers get interested in some of the more obscure albeit important issues. For that I thank all of you.

John Kowalko

2011-05-20 16:40:54 John Kowalko

By the way I believe the cost of the canceled men’s programs was slightly under $50K per year. Help me with the math here.What percentage of $130 million is $50,000 anyway?

The taxpayers are on the hook for $120m in operating expenses another $20m-$30m in capital (Bond) money and I’m not allowed to look at how they determine to spend my taxpayers money and how they choose to operate, see HB126 for remedy. Please post this abuse of power where you see fit.

John Kowalko

2011-05-15 14:37:27 John Kowalko

Since the University chose to eliminate men’s track and field and x-country in the 100th anniversary year it would stand to reason that such recent success with the Rowing team should justify its elimination as a team sport by the university’s administration. Elimination of popular Delaware High School activities seems to correspond with the ever dwindling numbers of in-state students attending UofD.

John Kowalko

2011-05-15 14:25:04 John Kowalko
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Exceptional Delaware / exceptionaldelaware.wordpress.com

The Whacky World of Education Politics

Comment Date Name Link
Thank you, Elizabeth, for a brilliant and accurate point by point rebuttal of Mr. Atnre Alleyne. “Advocates” such as he purports to be seriously jeopardize legitimate public education reform efforts. Mr. Alleyne’s lack of knowledge and intimacy with the facts regarding this ongoing coup attempt by the current Governor and his hapless DOE suggests an unacceptable ignorance of facts or a deliberate attempt to distort the truth and reality of the situation. You’ll have to ask Mr. Alleyne what his agenda is or what his motives are but I can assure you that supporting this latest bullying tactic by DOE and Governor Carney will not result in improved educational opportunities for Wilmington children or their families. In fact it will probably further erode their situation. As I pointed out in my comment to Mr. Alleyne’s article when he opined that “Yet Gov. Carney (and Gov. Jack Markell before him) have had to expend significant energy and political capital just to get the district to sign a piece of paper committing to real action”. …There is no committment to “real” action in this MOU and never has been. I find it alarming that the author’s inability to understand or comprehend “public education” policies and needs is so starkly evident and yet he chooses to confirm his own failings throughout this meandering and inaccurate missive.
Representative John Kowalko
2018-03-04T13:58:47-04:00 john kowalko
Mike Jackson (Director of OMB) presented Governor Carney’s proposed budget to us yesterday. He was asked if the Governor’s budget restores any or all of the $26 million in cuts made to public schools in last years budget. His answer was an unequivocal NO. This is not a good place to start claiming that we are headed to a balanced budget with no need to raise taxes or create a stable and sustainable tax bracket restructuring. $1 million for “Math” specialists in high needs schools and no proposed money for the more sorely needed “Reading” specialists in those schools. Lest you’ve forgotten, in 2009 Governor Markell cut funding for reading and math specialists (and other programs) by more than $30 million that was never restored. In fact Indian River School District (then under the tutelage of now Ed Secretary Bunting) had won a “Superstars in Education” award for its performance in reading achievements two years prior. Indian River (due to the cuts) was forced to furlough its 13 Reading specialists and the District (students) never again reached that level of success. Lots more damaging potential in this “balanced” budget with existing revenue expectations and “no taxes”.
Representative John Kowalko
2018-01-26T11:23:48-04:00 John Kowalko
"I believe there is a problem" I'm sorry that does not cut it and Rep. Baumbach (in my personal meeting with him) provided absolutely no examples of problems that were imminent or probable. He was unwilling to give me any reasonable hypothetical or conjecture and that would negate any reason for this legislation to be pursued or supported. If the problem is "optics" I would suggest that "mirages" are problems with "optics" and also merit little/no legislative action. We have had numerous elected State Senators (Vaughn and Adams) and House members (Rep. Peterman) who have missed almost entire sessions due to various medical ailments and committee members who never attend committee meetings without any clamor to impose a process for their removal. This somewhat feverish impulse to challenge and police a duly elected yet unpaid branch of government (school boards) demands an explanation as to motive and agenda from the sponsor not some ethereal, hypothetical imagining.
Representative John Kowalko
2018-01-04T15:16:43-04:00 john kowalko
ANONO
He (Ruskowski) is eminently unqualified and didn't earn anything unless you count the time he spent helping Jack Markell polish that corporate welfare apple called "education reform". His plans are mirror images of the "Priority Schools" bull-crap that Charter School/Chamber of Commerce Governor Markell tried to swindle Delaware with and Ruskowski is incapable of contributing a single lucid idea to improve education for minorities and poor children. TFA is the single most overrated teaching program in America and its resume building spawn who hang around past the required two years (in classrooms) only gravitate toward administrative positions where they can maintain their incompetency level with a fatter paycheck. Before you continue talking out of place other than your mouth go check out the "Tembo" report commissioned by Jackie M. that catalogs the reality that Teach For America is the least successful alternative path to educator quality. Ruskowski was and is one of the least qualified education experts on the planet and once out of Jack's shadow he had to hide in the thickets of another corporate demagogue state.
Representative John Kowalko
2017-12-07T19:44:48-04:00 john kowalko
Publius, AKA Henry Clampitt, is a RODEL implant hell bent on infiltrating the taxpayer wallet with the corporate agenda of charterization. He is unfit, unqualified and unsuited to sit on any district school board because of his anti-traditional/public school ravings and rantings. He will undoubtedly be well funded by those massive super-pacs of the RODELS and Chamber privateers who see the opportunity to poison the influences of those honest citizen volunteers such as John Young. Clampitt/Publius would be a disgraceful addition to any school board that values its obligation to represent ALL Delaware children's best education interests. You may post this as you wish since his candidacy must be stopped for the sake of the children and Delaware's public education system.
Representative John Kowalko
2017-04-13T13:18:52-04:00 John Kowalko
Sad, misguided commentary from a sad misguided man. Clint Eastwood's character (not necessarily known as a philosophy major) once said "A man's got to know his limitations" Murphy's a prime example of an inept education bureaucrat influenced by an inept organization (RODEL), marching to the beat of an equally (educationally) inept governor, reading from a poorly written script of an inept State Board of Education who failed to even sense his limitations let alon know them. Sad indeed.

Representative John Kowalko
2017-04-12T11:01:59-04:00 John Kowalko
It has never been a conspiracy. It is a flat out, obvious money grab by the wealthiest corporatists who couldn't give two s##ts about education or children. The Gates' and others of that ilk only see those readily available taxpayer education dollars laying there for the taking and they can certainly afford to hire the Arnies', Jacks', Rhees' and other facilitators of their "conspiracy" to confiscate as much taxpayer money as they can. Time to dump the corporate "tea" into the harbor.

Representative John kowalko
2016-11-27T18:11:08-04:00 John Kowalko
It is another fluff report with pathologically propagandist intentions to mollify the legitimate criticsms of Common Core.
Representative John Kowalko
2016-02-17T14:22:48-04:00 john kowalko
Unfortunately this is a very serious matter exposing Sen. Coons lack of educational knowledge and unwillingness to learn about public education and teaching credentials. Another deliberate attempt to legitimize a six week educational training background as producing an effective, qualified and knowledgeable teacher of children. Coons is exposing his fundamental lack of public educational knowledge and experience and he should be ashamed to take such a matter so lightly and speak on subjects he knows nothing about. This displays a shameful disregard for education experts and their opinions. All he had to do was read the report on "alternative teacher certification" solicited by the governor to see how ineffective and harmful TFA can be to our childrens' educational opportunities.


Representative John Kowalko
2016-02-05T16:03:00-04:00 john kowalko
Avi,
My apologies for the harsh tone but it gets pretty darn frustrating watching these millions of dollars directed to entities that are nothing more than publicly funded private schools while this Governor strips resources from struggling schools and districts.
John Kowalko
2016-02-04T01:16:56-04:00 john kowalko
Alright Avi, point taken, now riddle me this: why are we giving $261,000 taxpayer dollars to Newark Charter for MCI when they just built a new High School that is not owned in any part by the DE. taxpayers in addition to their not very old k-8 school and in addition to the hundreds of thousands of dollars in unused transportation money they abscond with each and every year? How about calculating the percentage amount charters receive per building compared to the hundreds of traditional school buildings that are in dire need of repair, upgrades and replacement. A little honest objectivity goes a long way in the real world.

Representative John Kowalko
2016-02-02T17:33:24-04:00 John Kowalko
Maybe Rep. Heffernan thinks that the stone tablet Moses was carrying was the "smarter balanced assessment test" courtesy of God's subcontract let to Pearson Education Inc.

John Kowalko
2016-01-24T20:04:54-04:00 john kowalko
Rep. Hudson’s quote in the Delaware State News:
“Some of what was in that bill to me is just old, and I just thought it was a political game between (the speaker) and Kowalko and the governor. Stop. I mean, it hasn’t been done in 40 years, obviously it’s not a professional thing to do.”
My reply to Rep. Hudson's total lack of respect for the voting public is as follows:
Rep. Hudson thinks that challenging a bad decision by the Governor who represents a totally different branch of government and has decided to usurp the authority of the general assembly is somehow unprofessional. What is unprofessional is Representative Hudson's failure to support suspension of the rules and allow debate and a vote for or against the bill on the floor. Maybe Representative Hudson's theory is that getting reelected is her "profession" and if ignoring the public's wishes puts her at risk in that regard she should not allow herself to be held accountable to publicly vote on policy. That seems unprofessional and irresponsible to me.

Representative John Kowalko
2016-01-15T14:49:39-04:00 john kowalko
On behalf of all parents and children in Delaware, thank you Mike Matthews and the RCEA. See you on Thursday in the march to victory.
Representative John Kowalko
2016-01-11T22:38:57-04:00 john kowalko
One can only imagine why the Washington Post editorial staff is so satisfied with those failing DC schools which have been marginalized, charterized and characterized as improving despite the fact that they are pretty much mediocre at best and failing at worst. Where are the children and grandchildren of the WaPo editorial staff and owner attending? WaPo owner Bezos and his "bozos" (another gang of corporate shills supporting the RODELS, Chambers of Commerce, Gates, Pearsons, TFA, DOE, Arnie and Obama and our own Chief Executive) will support anything that has the potential to put a dollar in their failed media pocketbooks trickling down from the privatizers/destroyers of public education. Writing and supporting speculators and snake-oil salesmen who offer unproven solutions (speculations) to real problems is a convenient road to navigate guaranteeing a 50-50 chance of being right or wrong while sucking up all of the spare change (taxpayer money) littering that road.

Representative John Kowalko
2016-01-09T13:21:00-04:00 john kowalko
I can forward some "smarter balanced tests" as attachments by email if any of you are interested in posting on your site. My IT skills are those of the typically older male who still has trouble (occasionally) with the TV remote

John Kowalko
2016-01-07T19:37:39-04:00 john kowalko
1. $10 million is the fiscal note for this. Where the heck is the state getting the money for this? A decent program at just one school would be massively expensive under the proposed stipulations.
2. Schools will have to apply for grants to DOE complying with all of the stuff in this bill. Which schools do you think will be able to accomplish this?
3. Does the state pay for after care programs in any of these school areas? Will money to those programs no longer be extended? Doesn't the state already pay for afterschool nutrition programs? (The Food Bank is included on the task force.) How will these programs be coordinated?
4. Which teachers are going to do this? How will teachers be paid? EPER? This is a hard job. Where are the education majors who will be working under the certified teacher be coming from?
5. While it is lovely that there is a component in the bill for evaluation, will schools which improve have their grants renewed while schools which don't not? (Isn't there incentive then for schools to take kids whose parents will work with the school, etc?) And don't those "other" kids need the services more?
John Kowalko
2016-01-07T13:52:28-04:00 john kowalko
Do the honorable and honest thing and resign Dr. Gray and Ms. Johnson
Representative John Kowalko
2015-12-19T14:31:58-04:00 john kowalko
Terri Quinn Gray and Donna Johnson both should be removed from office. They are out of control and believe they have some authority they do not.
Representative John Kowalko
2015-12-17T22:00:45-04:00 john kowalko
Please visit my facebook page for my statement on this.
Representative John Kowalko
2015-12-10T19:02:55-04:00 John Kowalko
Maybe he's going to charge the $6m to a Family Foundations credit card. Promises you have no chance of keeping are promises you never intended to keep Jack.
Rep. John Kowalko
2015-12-09T22:02:04-04:00 John Kowalko
Oh Kendall, you are a real piece of work aren't you?
John Kowalko
2015-12-04T23:58:56-04:00 john kowalko
Probably visiting everywhere to see if he can find a place where he is not the most ignorant person in the room. Looks like an endless and fruitless quest for Jed.

John Kowalko
2015-12-03T21:29:19-04:00 john kowalko
Maybe they only polled the management teams from JP Morgan, or Bloom or Astra-Zeneca or Dupont or Johnson Controls or RODEL or Microsoft or Innovative Schools or TFA or any of the dozens of taxpayer gifted consultants and conglomerates that have one hand out begging and the other in the taxpayers wallet taking.

Representative John Kowalko
2015-11-29T15:43:34-04:00 John Kowalko
Maybe they only polled the management teams from JP Morgan, or Bloom or Astra-Zeneca or Dupont or Johnson Controls or RODEL or Microsoft or Innovative Schools or TFA or any of the dozens of taxpayer gifted consultants and conglomerates that have one hand out begging and the other in the taxpayers wallet taking.

Representative John Kowalko
2015-11-29T12:23:01-04:00 John Kowalko
Yeah and the Administration ate the "dog" and has the "pony" hauling coal out of the mine.
John Kowalko
2015-11-22T14:42:52-04:00 john kowalko
Most of you are to young to remember the "Fuller brush salesman" or the "this will your cure your lumbago, fatigue and all other cursed illness that the devil has imposed upon you, Traveling Snake Oil Salesmen", who were eventually tarred and feathered and run out of town on a rail. Time to dig up an Amtrack rail, pluck some geese, and get a bucket of pitch big enough to fit RODEL and its cronies on.
John Kowalko
2015-11-05T17:47:06-04:00 john kowalko
Here is part of my response to a media interview regarding my feelings as to why NAEP scores went down and my conclusion why that occurred. Very simply put Markell’s, Arnie’s, RODEL’s, Gates’, and all of the other (for personal profit) “education reformists” have foisted a failed system on our children with a horribly harmful result under the guise of a “common core” system that is ruining America’s and Delaware’s public education structure and willfully hurting children. Brief statement follows:
Scores down for NAEP
They’ve changed the curriculum. When they are now teaching algebra and geometry (under common core) in 3rd grade what are they not teaching or no longer teaching. If kids don’t truly understand and know multiplication, how are they going to perform the higher level skills required?
The NAEP is a generalized test given to kids all over the world. It is a consistent and reliable measure of comparison. You can’t “study” for it. So when we look at countries that do well (i.e. Finland/New Zealand) and see that their curriculums are nothing like what we have just adopted/imposed we should ask “what are we doing”?
Common Core is not a curriculum but it is so specific in its standards that it becomes a de-facto curriculum. Covering those prescribed “standards” forces teachers to teach only those skills. This presents two significant problems. There is no time for anything else and teachers are being handed a curriculum and much like the “Balanced Assessment Test”, it is being written (and profited from) by the same people who wrote common core who are (in most cases) not qualified teachers in these fields.
2015-10-28T17:25:47-04:00 john kowalko
Innovative Schools is another of the leech-like privatizers, charterizers, corporatizers that suck at the teat of the taxpayers like the RODELS and various Gates education reform speculators. They're probably upset that they couldn't get more but they have other money faucets open. For Christ sake Jack look at your go**amn video of your '08 debate and examine your conscience.
John Kowalko
2015-09-26T18:17:05-04:00 john kowalko
Yes Morris James represents many districts and that seems to be the problem. The "Board" must seriously evaluate and consider the legal representation they receive. Look at this attorney's advice re the "priority" schools/MOU etc. Time to exercise your discretionary and lawful authority Christina.
Representative John Kowalko
2015-08-22T20:34:43-04:00 John Kowalko
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I can forward some "smarter balanced tests" as attachments by email if any of you are interested in posting on your site. My IT skills are those of the typically older male who still has trouble (occasionally) with the TV remote

John Kowalko
2016-01-07T18:34:47-05:00 john kowalko
I will email you some scanned New York (Long Island) news paper articles. Note in it that the NY Board of Regents has even gone so far as to replace "Pearson", one of the top slopping at the public trough money-grubbers with no effect on the resistance to these useless and harmful tests. It will be three emails since I don't know how to put them all together on one.

John Kowalko
2016-01-05T15:32:34-05:00 john kowalko
Here is part of my response to an interview regarding my feelings as to why NAEP scores went down and my conclusion why. Very simply put Markell's, Arnie's, RODEL's, Gates', and all of the other for personal profit "education reformists" have foisted a failed system on our children with a horribly harmful result under the guise of a "common core" system that is ruining America's and Delaware's public education structure and willfully hurting children. Brief statement follows:

Scores down for NAEP
They've changed the curriculum. When they are now teaching algebra and geometry (under common core) in 3rd grade what are they not teaching or no longer teaching. If kids don't truly understand and know multiplication, how are they going to perform the higher level skills required?
The NAEP is a generalized test given to kids all over the world. It is a consistent and reliable measure of comparison. You can't "study" for It. So when we look at countries that do well (i.e. Finland/New Zealand) and see that their curriculums are nothing like what we have just adopted/imposed we should ask "what are we doing"?
Common Core is not a curriculum but it is so specific in its standards that it becomes a de-facto curriculum. Covering those prescribed "standards" forces teachers to teach only those skills. This presents two significant problems. There is no time for anything else and teachers are being handed a curriculum and much like the "Balanced Assessment Test", it is being written (and profited from) by the same people who wrote common core who are (in most cases) not necessarily teachers in these fields.
2015-10-28T16:10:48-05:00 john kowalko
I wasn't trying to be curt or dismissive but considering the statements of support and the obvious willingness of this Governor to unequivocally support the Power Plant combined with current leaderships unwillingness to challenge or question this administration and to "carry its water" an "exercise in futility" does not adequately express the improbability of success.
John Kowalko
2014-04-13T17:24:33-05:00 John Kowalko
I did introduce a bill with Rep. J.J. Johnson which declared UofD a public institution for purposes of FOIA but it was stopped from moving forward by this Administration and House leadership. I have often pushed for legislation that seem exercises in futility because powerful people tend to protect powerful interests but I do not have the time at this moment in this session to neglect other, perhaps doable, enterprises.
I cannot speak for Rep. Baumbach.
John Kowalko
2014-04-13T17:13:03-05:00 John Kowalko
CSW leader: $116368.70/970students = $119.96/student
DCPA leader: $115448.07/218students = $529.57/student
DMA leader: $111777.12/568students = $196.79/student
2014-04-06T22:10:14-05:00 John Kowalko
Newark Charter School; Director / Superintendent: Meece pay $153,788.445 per year divided by 1,760 students = $87.38 per student per year.
Appoquinimink; Superintendent: Barrows pay $152,660.02 per year divided by 9,750 students = $15.66 per student per year
Brandywine; Superintendent: Holodick pay $214,176.52 per year divided by 10,802 students =19.83 per student per year
Christina; Superintendent: Williams pay $192,088.36 per year divided by 16,721 students = $11.49 per student per year
Red Clay; Superintendent: Daugherty pay $174,931.26 per year divided by 18,295 students = $9.56 per student per year
Colonial; Superintendent: Linn pay $185,724.33 per year divided by 9,976 students = $18.62 per student per year.
New Castle County Votech; Superintendent Gehrt pay $184,433.57 per year divided by 4,548 students = $40.55 per student per year.
2014-04-06T22:08:40-05:00 John Kowalko
Please understand that the gauntlet I am throwing down is not aimed at the teachers' union leadership. But if they propose some type of compromise that would impose this absolutely unfair and dishonest system I will fight against that just as vigorously. My statement is aimed primarily at those leaders and organizations that worship at the altar of Arne Duncan, ALEC and other corporate intruders who attempt to force-feed useless and expensive structural changes to our system of public education. Those leaders' and organizations' lack of knowledge regarding anything educational is matched only by their willingness to garner a headline or curry favor (and perhaps $$ reward) with the people who can solidify their own ambitions, greed and need for power. 2014-03-01T11:17:03-05:00 John Kowalko
Merit pay for teachers will not be the death of education in Delaware. At least not as long as I and a few others are in office. No matter how powerful or popular anyone in Delaware politics thinks they might be, that is a bridge too far and anyone proposing or considering it should save themselves the embarrassment and humiliation of a sound thumping. They should use that pent-up energy to play with their corporate (not educator) friends and look elsewhere to strip mine education monies. 2014-03-01T01:16:57-05:00 John Kowalko
One of my favorite quotes about education;

"Do not train children to learning by force and harshness, but direct them to it by what amuses their minds, so that you may be better able to discover with accuracy the peculiar bent of the genius of each." Plato
2014-02-14T14:21:25-05:00 John Kowalko
I respect and appreciate all that you write and realize that you are more knowledgeable and informed than any othe blogger (in my opinion) but there are some flaws in your column (not necessarily factual flaws). I would love to discuss some of the nuances with you personally. This is not an attempt to gain your I.D. My cell is 302 547 9351

John Kowalko
2014-02-02T17:57:51-05:00 John Kowalko
MRyder,
You're absolutely right. I of all people should be aware and I am. Sorry chief, that's not Eve Buckley's report. That's a synopsis of a report given by Mr. Silber (CSD Financial Officer) and I have a copy of the full report if you'd like to send me your address. I would venture that Eve Buckley is more factual and accurate then her critics who are content to try to stereotype people such as her.
John Kowalko
2014-01-24T18:21:34-05:00 John Kowalko
This doesn't include the "slush-fund" established by HB 165 that could potentially add $2000 plus per student to some charter schools or the transportation formula and exemptions for charters.

Let's not forget Eve Buckley's documentation of CSD plight with funding these schools as follows:

While we’re discussing funding equity, here is some informative data from CSD financial officer Bob Silber’s presentation to the CSD board at their public meeting a few evenings ago. These are based on my notes–any interested party could request the ppt slides from him (and of course the meeting recording should soon be avail. online–thanks CSD).
1. From last academic yr. to this one, CSD netted a student population reduction of 86 students. Among the factors accounting for this change were Pencader’s closure (some kids returned to district) and Newark Charter’s expansion which added > 400 students to their roster.
2. CSD’s financial obligation to the charter and out-of-district choice schls enrolled in by CSD-resident students rose from last schl yr. to this by $1.5 million. So while the district’s student enrollment declined only slightly, their funds declined much more significantly. This reflects the fact that many charter enrollees (and choicing students) were previously enrolled in non-public schools.
3. The total financial obligation that CSD paid for charter and out-of-district choice by its residents was $17.7 million this yr., up from $16.2 million last yr. They owe this in July, prior to funding any in-district expenses. That is tax money paid by CSD property owners that does not support the schools linked to their properties (in fact by aiding those schools’ public competitors it helps to to diminish their perceived value).
As should be well-known, out of district choice is limited to students whose families can manage the transportation from their home to more distant districts, and some charters do not provide adequately for low-income or spec Ed students. Such students (predominately African American and Latino) are significantly underrepresented in those schools: CSW, DMA, Odyssey, Cab (magnet), NCS, and others.
The overall picture is profoundly unsavory. We squeeze resources from schools serving diverse, often quite poor and high needs, students to creat enclave public schools for more fortunate and higher performing students. Then we ask why the district schools do not meet the academic and disciplinary standards of our selective/discriminatory public schools. The answer to that seems clear–our elected leaders choose to starve districts of resources, and under serve their students, to meet the demands of the well-heeled without raising property taxes. No school system will thrive under such policies.
Luckily CSD built up a cash reserve of $11 million since its last referendum, due to careful mngmt by Silber and its superintendents (who had first to climb out of the fiscal hole left by Mr. Wise). This yr they are in deficit spending for the first time in six yrs., to cover their $1.5 million additional debt to charters without cutting programs for CSD students. In the future they may need to cut more social service and arts/extracurricular programs for CSD kids to meet their obligation to NCS etc.
2014-01-17T16:42:04-05:00 John Kowalko
Could you send me an email address so I might send you something I feel is of interest to you.
John Kowalko
[email protected]
2013-12-10T17:14:23-05:00 John Kowalko
My daughter sent this to my wife and I on Thursday and I am so grateful that you posted it. It is hard-hitting and honest and should be sent as an attachment to all members of the General Assembly, the Administration, DOE and the RODEL type interlopers to challenge them very publicly.
John Kowalko
2013-12-08T18:15:13-05:00 John Kowalko
Let me assure you of this, today was an election (the hors devours and main course ordered by the Chamber, big business, TDC and (inadequate) union leadership), but the bill to be payed by the residents of Newark.
The meal is not anywhere near finished and the main course ordered, (filet-mignon), cannot be substituted with a can of "Alpo" (apologies to dogs)

. And please don't say: "it's not how easy someone got played or caught" because it's how willing they were to get played/caught. Stay tuned for the conclusion of this epic challenge/threat to the voters and the electoral process. Also a hearty congratulations to Amy for a classy and sophisticated campaign that never sunk to the subversive level of the $45K election manipulators yet still survived with principles intact.
John Kowalko
2013-11-27T00:00:22-05:00 John Kowalko
She does and she's my wife and we are equally appalled by this latest attempt by the Chamber, Vince Danna and other special interest groups to buy/steal an election from the residents and taxpayers of Newark. No excuses are acceptable, get out of our town. carpetbaggers, and get out of the campaign, (those who would sell themselves to the highest bidder and those who support them). For shame, for shame. 2013-11-25T23:17:40-05:00 John Kowalko
This is interesting enough to get a post of its own. Look at that $$number and be appalled at outside special interests attempting to buy elections (reminiscent of recent school board elections)

John Kowalko

From: Mike Matthews, Delaware ADA
Date: Mon, Nov 25, 2013 at 7:13 PM
Subject: Tomorrow's Mayoral Election, Information on PAC Mailers
To: Connie Merlet


Dear Connie,

If you live in Newark proper, please don't forget to vote tomorrow! The polls are open from 7am to 8pm and you can find your polling place here.

Delaware ADA has a great resource to find information about all the candidates, including their answers to our ADA questionnaire, campaign finance reports, and profiles and articles by local media outlets. That webpage is available here.

Many folks may also be curious about the recent mailers from the "I Like Polly's Plan" Political Action Committee (PAC). More information has come to light about this PAC. I am e-mailing you because much of this information has only come to light today, the day before the election. I hope you find it useful.

You can check out today's Newark Post article, "Controversy arises over PAC supporting Sierer,” by clicking here.

Americans for Democratic Action believes in public financing for candidates using the clean-money model because of the role money and fundraising play in undermining public confidence in the integrity of elections and their role in distorting the political process. No elections should be for sale to the highest bidder. However, the "I Like Polly's Plan" PAC must think Newark's elections are, because according to the finance report filed near close of business today, the I Like Polly's Plan PAC spent over $40,000 this past week, due to a $45,000 contribution to the PAC from the Delaware Jobs Now! Fund, c/o Delawareans of Environmental and Economic Developments. Click here to view the filed report.

Thanks again for voting tomorrow.

All the best,
Mike Matthews
President-Elect
Americans for Democratic Action, Delaware chapter



Americans for Democratic Action
Delaware Chapter
Newark DE 19711 United States

If you believe you received this message in error or wish to no longer receive email from us, please unsubscribe.
2013-11-25T21:44:40-05:00 John Kowalko
Previous comment (on another site) re this subject in response to obvious DEDOE and Murphy disappointment in amount of failing teachers. Pertinent here I believe

John Kowalko

I hope I’m misunderstanding the Secretary’s position but it seems that he might feel disappointed that 17% of Math and Reading teachers subject to this untried and unproven “achievement measuring by test” were or could have been designated as ineffective save for the sympathetic posturing of the principals. If anyone concludes that 17% of our public school teachers, (regardless of specialty), are poor teachers or unqualified to teach our children, they should find a line of work better suited to their own qualifications. And you might consider that if they feel so strongly as to suggest that the principals used unfounded, subjective reasons to cover up those failures than they might consider that their future does not lie in “public education” administration” Quite honestly it can be seen as a thinly veiled attempt to coerce/intimidate those school leaders into helping support this misdirection of measuring abilities by tests by artificially inflating the numbers of “poorly qualified” teachers.
2013-11-24T15:06:27-05:00 John Kowalko
John Kowalko

If i were a teacher in Delaware I would be a bit wary of what direction this so-called reform movement is headed. Achievement measurements (by test) to misconstrue teachers' adequacies and abilities have long been the ALEC model intended to drive public education funding into the coffers of the private sector by misrepresenting actual needs and performances of public school. I hope I’m misunderstanding the Secretary’s position but it seems that he might feel disappointed that 17% of Math and Reading teachers subject to this untried and unproven “achievement measuring by test” were or could have been designated as ineffective save for the sympathetic posturing of the principals. If anyone concludes that 17% of our public school teachers, (regardless of specialty), are poor teachers or unqualified to teach our children, they should find a line of work better suited to their own qualifications. And you might consider that if they feel so strongly as to suggest that the principals used unfounded, subjective reasons to cover up those failures than they might consider that their future does not lie in “public education administration” Quite honestly it can be seen as a thinly veiled attempt to coerce/intimidate those school leaders into helping support this misdirection of measuring abilities by tests by artificially inflating the numbers of “poorly qualified” teachers.
2013-11-10T14:32:40-05:00 John Kowalko
For the record. I read it, I vigorously objected to it in committee and on the House floor and I voted against it after unsuccessfully trying to enlighten my colleagues to its obvious flaws.

John Kowalko
2013-10-22T16:06:32-05:00 John Kowalko
Excellent and accurate analysis of a complex (read as "deliberately misrepresented") theory to address public education "failings". This sleight of hand promoted by for-profit, "non-profits" will and does stifle legitimate attempts to improve (not reform) public education.
Good job,
John Kowalko
2013-10-16T09:33:34-05:00 John Kowalko

No mention of “properly training” prospective teachers who have no intention or track record of becoming teachers such as the Administration supported “Teach For America” which receives funding that should go to legitimate, effective teachers and paraprofessionals that work with our special needs/at risk students.
John Kowalko
2013-10-07T10:44:16-05:00 John Kowalko
Thank you for understanding.
John K.
2013-08-09T12:48:35-05:00 John Kowalko
Notwithstanding the Administration's, and DOE's efforts to reinterpret reality, you are absolutely correct the no progress/improvement was made and had in fact plateaued and receded. Equally misleading is the inclusion of the Red Clay charter numbers that elevate Red Clay to a higher status, (not to mention "North Star" with its obscene lack of diversity) that enhances the self promoting aspect of declaring success on the field of failure. You've done a good job here and you may want to look at some of the rankings in all subject matters when you are looking at Downes compared to Newark Charter. I detect some superior performance by the traditional school despite its "burden" of highly impoverished students included.
FYI, I believe a Delaware Voice I submitted regarding the horrid HB 165 will be published this week according to members of the editorial board.
John K.
2013-07-22T09:54:07-05:00 John Kowalko
Excellent comparison of the original law and the abhorrent attempt implicit in SB 151 to corrupt the current system. Should be understandable to anyone vaguely intelligent and honestly open-minded. Good job and you should post it on DL as written here. Feel free to include my remark if you'd like.
John Kowalko (the proud father)
2013-07-08T21:45:48-05:00 John Kowalko
HB 165 is a poorly written piece of legislation intended to satisfy the demands of “special interests” in the inexorable march to privatization of public schools. “Privatization” not intended to make public education better or more effective but solely intended to gain private entrepreneur access to taxpayer money to the detriment of publicly educated children. All parties who supported this effort, the Administration, DOE, DSEA, RODEL, the myriad of artificially created non-profits and those legislators who voted for passage are equally guilty of a concerted effort to undermine equal access for all Delaware children to a quality education. All government parties involved in this bill (soon to be law) are guilty of a deliberate abdication of their responsibility to the taxpayers to spend those taxpayers’ monies responsibly, with accountability, transparency and for the purposes intended (to educate). Their actions are shameful and the way the process was manipulated to stifle public participation and debate borders on the unforgivable.
John Kowalko
2013-06-26T10:19:01-05:00 John Kowalko
Clarity is that SB 27 is intended to offer limited prize money to public schools (at the expense of the "losers" in the process/competition). "Public" schools in SB 27 include traditional public schools "and" charter schools and do not think for one, exasperating moment that the charter schools don't have superior, well-trained and experienced "grant writers" that are bought and paid for by unaccounted for 'taxpayer" monies that we give to the charters.

To fully appreciate the influence wielded by this money incentivized power play, you have to look back no further than last Tuesday when every nook, cranny and office in legislative hall was occupied by one of a dozen high-priced, hired-gun lobbyist for the charter school network bought and paid in full with taxpayer money supplemented by the usual "corporate education reform" snake oil sellers to force feed HB165 to an all too willing House of Reps. I challenge anyone to find a single "traditional;" school or district that can afford these shills to sell (or even suggest) their side of the story. The most wonderful thing that happened this session is that SB 27 was justly tabled as an ill-timed and ill-advised piece of legislation. The most egregious decision was the House passing of the horribly written and grotesquely intended HB165.
Please note this is a publicly posted opinion that you are free to publish as you wish.

Respectfully,

State Rep.John Kowalko
2013-06-15T19:49:25-05:00 John Kowalko
Oh by the way feel free to share anywhere since those numbers are dead solid accurate and do not even pretend to calculate how huge the real number will be when distributed to only a handful of high-performing/well-connected charters.Shameful and unacceptable comes to mind for those that would defend this type of policy.
John Kowalko
2013-06-09T23:04:54-05:00 John Kowalko
Also note the disparity in special ed numbers and the very real fact that the costs for special ed students (especially severe needs) is much higher than regular students and the ratio demand for teacher/paraprofessional inclusion in the classrooms requires more assistance (ask any real special-ed teacher like Mike Mathews). But since it is likely that one of the apologists/stakeholders/special interests supporters of this bill will say that there has only been $2million allocated for the slush fund I've done the math for them and that number would shrink the required match for traditional schools (to compete with level conditions) to $23,105,235 ( while still ignoring the true needs of the special ed population).
Good luck to all the special interests groups (you know who you are) in justifying that to your clients/taxpayers and members as fair and equitable.
John Kowalko
2013-06-09T23:00:17-05:00 John Kowalko
$5,000,000 available to charter schools "only" (10,438 total students of which a whopping 854 are special ed {8.1%} an additional $479 per charter school pupil.

To equal that in traditional public schools (120,591 students--17,186 special ed {14.2%}) would require $57,763,089. That's simple math everyone and simply, unacceptably a betrayal of traditional public school students, teachers and support staff (eg. paras) by all parties supporting this slush fund inclusion in the woefully inadequate HB 165.

John Kowalko
2013-06-09T22:42:20-05:00 John Kowalko
Mike,
Guess those measurements of testing evaluations will ensure that the Charter School "slush fund" being created will be distributed fairly on performance measures. (Tongue firmly in cheek--gag reflex activated) Hope those DSEA leaders (again T in C) will point this out to DOE and the administration when they bring them their coffee and donuts. Shame, shame on them.
John Kowalko
2013-06-09T19:07:20-05:00 John Kowalko
Your headline should read "Cons and con-artists of standardized testing"
John K.
2013-06-07T20:47:31-05:00 John Kowalko
The most offensive aspect of the $2 million giveaway is the real fact that the percentage of public education funding provided by the state has consistently declined from approximately 68% in FY 1990 to 59.7% in FY 2010 and this reduction in the state percentage has resulted in a larger burden being placed on local funds and local property taxpayers. Since FY 2008 State funding has been completely eliminated for a number of programs to the tune of $58,497,600 dollars (Ref. Controller General report I received) in addition to these 10 program eliminations, districts have also experienced several reductions in base funding levels in the amount of $7 million. The Administration's Educational Sustainment Fund budgeted to replace these $65 million in cuts totals $27,424.100, a woefully inadequate proposal.
But when and if the public decides to vocalize its anger I hope they consider that these enormous strains on the traditional school budgets is causing dramatic cuts and layoffs of paraprofessionals, (where are you on this DSEA), who are sometimes solely responsible for ensuring that "special needs" children have adequate and effective ratio counts in these classrooms. Also consider the very real and painful fact that "charter" schools have nowhere near the inclusion rate of our "neediest" special needs children in their facilities and to deny money to traditional public schools while establishing a slush fund which has no legislative oversight or public accountability to enrich charter schools is incomprehensible and abhorrent behavior and the public needs to raise a hue and cry to stop this ill-advised adventure.

Representative John Kowalko
2013-05-24T12:54:06-05:00 John Kowalko
Kavips,
With all due respect, I didn't have to be awakened to the horrors of this poorly written and intended piece of legislation. I argued against it in the House Committee to no avail and spoke with some of the supporters, (DSEA), to attempt to alert them of its flaws.

The reality of this is that the administration, through its DOE policy head, was not honest, (on the floor, or in any of discussions leading up to the bills disposition), about the support it had from "higher ed. institutes" in Delaware.

The DSU Provost's response (on the House floor, during debate) to the question "did your institution participate in crafting this legislation" was an unequivocal "NO" and my investigations lead to evidence that none of the institutions of higher learning participated in crafting this ill-conceived piece intended to reflect positively on the DOE and administrations abdication to RTTT compliance.
If you paid close attention as to how the alleged support was phrased/explained you can see the reality of the situation. DOE implied/suggested that a lack of pronounced objection implied "full" acquiescence to DOE's contrived policy and this is at the least "intellectually" dishonest. If you ask yourself why none of the higher ed institutions voiced any trepidation in the matter I advise you to look at The calendar and note that starting this week the Joint Finance Committee meets to rule on recommended and suggested budget money increases for these institutions and only a fool would feel confident in challenging anything that might put them at a disadvantage in that arena.

As for the DSEA, I tried to make them understand that this legislation can and will be used as the first (and perhaps only) validation of "component 5" test score evaluations of teacher effectiveness but I imagine I wasn't convincing enough.
So I am copying you and your readers some of the talking points raised in support of the Potter/Kowalko amendment and in opposition to the bill.
Feel free to post or send this comment and content anywhere you please.
Respectfully,
rep. Kowalko

SB 51 purports to be a method to set high completion requirements, high-quality teaching experiences and ongoing evaluation of teaching program participants and to prepare prospective elementary school teachers in age-appropriate literacy and mathematics instruction. The bill also requires new educators to pass both an approved content-readiness exam and performance assessment before receiving an initial license.

While these ambitions are laudable, (and when we address the bill we can speak to its ability or lack thereof, to do that), this bill, as written intrudes into the arena of subjectively judging, with no verifiable proof or proven data, the ability of students to succeed in the programs of education studies. It contrives to prematurely eliminate students from entering into their chosen career path by legislating away their choices and options. All schools of higher education have relatively strict requirements and acceptance standards merely to be accepted as students and some have even more rigorous standards for acceptance to education pathway courses. We might presume that a quantifiable measure of success in the matters of teacher preparation and certification and educator evaluation can be achieved by this legislation but the chapters that prejudge and preclude individuals from participation in these programs should not be a matter of the imposition of laws that deny opportunity and access and violates the principles of individual rights. The schools are well positioned and qualified to make those judgements that best serve their own programs and those impositions should be removed from this bill before passage.

The current system works. Between the entrance and exit requirements, Ud and DSU already winnow out over two-thirds of the students interested in teaching careers.
2013-05-19T13:00:55-05:00 John Kowalko
"transforming Delaware into one of the leading charter school systems in the nation"

This language, direct from the DOE website, is an affront and insult to every single parent and citizen and legislator who have been willing to confront the many flaws and shortfalls in the "charter school experiment" under the delusion that they were participating in an objective and open-minded dialogue with this administration. I find the very wording insulting and dismissive of the legitimacy of any other point of view or perspective and I would respectfully ask that it be removed from the site unless, of course, it is the intention of the DOE to transform our "public" school system to a publicly funded "charter" school system. If that is the case I would remind that agency that the General Assembly will be the ultimate arbiters of that ambition.

Representative John Kowalko
2013-04-26T16:52:27-05:00 John Kowalko
Could you send me your email address for a suggested guest post of high importance? Specifically the article that was published in today's NJ re DP&L
John K.
2012-11-01T11:44:21-05:00 John Kowalko
Comment by John Kowalko

Why doesn’t the mainstream media appropriately chastise this habitual and sociopathic liar. His remorseless. unabashed and continual lying goes well beyond any sense of responsibility an individual running for the highest office in the land should have. Romney’s crazed ambition and willingness to betray the American people with consistent and persistent lying not only disqualifies him from holding office but should deny him any remaining signs of respect he may have expected. Disgusting is too mild a description.
2012-10-31T16:32:43-05:00 John Kowalko
Kavips,

Absolutely, flawless economic conjecture. Well put but no one will read it. think about it or consider the unalterable truth in it and those that object to this sound economic logic will construct some false talking points that they will iterate and reiterate until it appears as truth. President Obama will be complicit in the messaging to protect his re-election prospects for 2012. Very, very sad future for the needy and the U.S. economy.
John Kowalko
2011-08-01T09:15:42-05:00 John Kowalko
It was with some dismay that I read the NJ article on the Bluewater Wind Project. Although it may be convenient to criticize NRG's reluctance to financially commit to start up of this proposal I feel we should be concentrating on the failure of the Obama administration to honor its promises and commitments to renewable energy growth.

The loan guarantee programs and energy credit discussion has been ongoing for years now. It was acknowledged by the current investor, NRG, and previous investors, BWW as a sole owner and BWW with Babcock and Brown as financial support, that it was necessary to secure and keep investor commitment by having these guarantees/subsidies in place or at least in place for extended years.

The Obama administration and even the previous Bush administration were well aware of this. (I personally talked to one of President Bush's Undersecretary of the Interior some four years ago in New Orleans about the need for an accelerated Federal Permit process and extended loan/subsidy guarantees). The current administration failed to act when it had a numerical advantage in congress and it continues to fail to exert any pressure to wean our energy commitments/policies from the big oil companies and place our national policy on a true renewable energy path.

It's not unaffordable but requires some political courage and acumen that I see lacking in this administration.

Thank you,

John Kowalko
2011-05-26T08:40:51-05:00 John Kowalko
Believe me it wouldn't have been as much fun without them.

Send me your email to my state site and I will forward you some interesting reports that side made on the hearing and result.
John
2011-05-15T18:13:00-05:00 John Kowalko
Actually there was no return or step toward a return to the dark ages.

As Chair of the Energy Committee I sent invitations to all players involved on both sides of the issue. In fact I ensured that notification which resulted in turnout was sent to Chad Tholman, Joanne Cabrey, John Flaherty, Tom Noyes (Sierra Club), League of Women Voters, DNREC (Collin Omarra), Nature Conservancy, Delaware Nature Society, and a myriad of others. They showed up and over 22 individuals testified against the repeal attempt and a like number for HB 86.

All of my Committee meetings are well-noticed and well attended to ensure a fair and deliberate consideration of facts. Please do not misinterpret this as denying anyone credit but credit those members of the Energy Committee who endured over two hours of conflicting and often contentious testimony in a large meeting swollen well past capacity with an enthusiastic crowd.

"No one person" was the only reason this bill was defeated in committee.

So please save your apprehensions and concerns for other instances of committees that do not reach the high standards of transparency and notice that my committee members expect from me.

John Kowalko
2011-05-15T15:32:36-05:00 John Kowalko
Also the News Journal did not have my full remarks so let me record them here. I disagreed with prematurely cutting back on the tax increases since they are due to sunset in 2013 and I further remarked that after 8 consecutive tax cuts (predominantly during the Carper era) there was hardly an ounce of political courage to increase them by anyone (we were lucky to get 1 pt. over 60K) and if we hit a double dip going into an election year nobody has demonstrated the willingness or guts to raise taxes on the wealthy moving forward.
John Kowalko
2011-05-06T16:09:21-05:00 john kowalko
Correction,
The tax increase was on Gross Adjusted Income "IN EXCESS" of $60,000. Any individual who earned less than $60,000 taxable income did not pay a red cent more to the state than at the previous bracket. The .2% cut would be on any income over that individuals $60,000.

For example someone making $70,000 taxable income (after deductions) would have been burdened with an additional $100 in taxes for a full year and under the administrations proposal that will drop to an additional $80 per year.

A person making $100,000 per year taxable had been crushed with an additional $400 obligation that will be reduced to an additional $320 compared to last year if the tax cut package passes.

Please post as you see fit
2011-05-06T16:00:08-05:00 john kowalko
If the President would release a significant amount from the strategic reserves now, although in no way justified by supply shortfalls or inordinate demand, he could undercut the futures speculators, scare the bejeebers out of them and maybe cause some of them to fail on margins. This could temporarily ease the crisis and send a much needed message to the greed feed on Wall St.

John Kowalko
2011-03-12T10:47:35-05:00 john kowalko
One simple answer to artificial inflation of gas prices and food prices.

Reimpose "position limits" on the commodities market that currently allows Wall street speculation to artificially drive up wheat and crude oil prices without regard to supply (currently more) and demand (stable). The current commission tasked with doing that (effective this past January) has been at impasse with one Democrat member refusing to sign off. he is retiring shortly and Pres. Obama must nominate someone who will reimpose these restriction to halt the unfettered speculation driven artificial inflation of gas prices. This was long a bi-partisan issue and the President cannot abdicate his responsibility to nominate and force confirmation of an individual willing to make this change. If he chooses to compromise a weaker, questionable choice under the guise of needing confirmation votes he will lose whatever remaining support I was willing to give him.
John Kowalko
2011-03-10T15:07:55-05:00 john kowalko
Great accumulation of PIT numbers on those other states. Could you send me the breakdown including other near misses in the area.
Says volumes for a real progressive tax structure needed.
Thanks,
John Kowalko
2011-03-08T08:52:32-05:00 john kowalko
Existing home sales are up because more people are losing homes to foreclosure and bargains abound. If the Obama administration dedicated half the effort and money targeted to first time buyers with any semblance of organization and directed it to those hapless foreclosure victims many homes could have been saved. Where do the newly created homeless class go? A five year waiting list for subsidized housing throughout Delaware. A shrug of the shoulders and many tut tuts from the Chamber of Commerce, a wringing of the hands from Realtors whose commissions have dropped commiserate with the values of homes, furrowed brows from budget balancing pols who face dwindling transfer tax revenue and a symbolic utterance of "what a shame" offered to those families now residing in their cars seems to be the portrait of the future. You'll have to pardon my lack of exuberance over signs that the housing market is in recovery.
John Kowalko
2011-02-03T22:15:05-05:00 john kowalko