The Sussex County GOP…Something’s Up and We’re Reporting It Here-The 3/15/16 Edition

It’s plastic bags and their importance along with a touch of chaos and a soupcon of confusion. All at the Sussex GOP meeting on 3/15/16

IT was a rainy and dreary night on 3/14/16 when the Sussex GOP met as per normal on the second Monday of the month.

As background, let us state that there has been an ongoing contretemps at the Sussex GOP what with Treasurers being held hostage, Bloggers writing rants, Women’s Clubs attempting takeovers and on and on.

But hey, it’s great stuff for a political junkee like myself.

The current chair of the Sussex GOP is a good fellow and for the most part he runs a good meeting.

The bigger issue with the monthly Sussex GOP meeting is a)the purpose of the monthly meeting and b)how to fit that purpose, if anybody ever defines it, into a meeting that won’t either confuse everyone or put them to sleep.

For last night’s meeting, at differing times, was either very interesting or it was a confusing hot mess.

Do not despair….I have some ideas.

First, let’s go over the meeting activities.

It began with an introduction of two new candidates in various districts, the names I provide might not be spelled right.

There was a candidate for the Representative of the 19th district, which is in Kent County.

Another fellow steps up to the podium and announces he is going to run against Pete Schwartzkopf of the 14th district. His name is James DiMartino and I gave him my card. Hopefully we will be arranging an interview with this dare devil as soon as possible.

So here we get to the first confusing part of this meeting, at least as I saw it.

First, why were these two fellows given prime time during this meeting? Not that they were not perfectly fine speakers and not that it was a waste of time but I’m out there, in the audience, I am, indulge me here, smarter than most people in this sort of thing, and I didn’t understand where this meeting was going.

While the two candidates for Insurance commissioner, Jeff Cragg and George Parish got stuck in at the end of the meeting. Because I was so confused by the order of this meeting that I left about 3/4 of the way into it because I thought the meeting was over. That and my leg was killing me with that wet weather.

Chairman Billy Carroll then gave the Treasurer’s report and it was a good story but I didn’t understand a word of it.

Something about the Treasurer that the executive board held hostage against her will quit, then another one agreed to run but in order to nominate him or her they had to change the rules, so they changed the rules but they shouldn’t of hadda changed the rules.

If the above seems too mocking, understand it is just my tongue getting stuck in my cheek. I’m sure Carroll’s narrative made sense but the bigger problem here is you got all the RDs and the Eds and a whole bunch of people from the general public in attendance and maybe the Sussex GOP needs to re-think their meetings.

Do we really need Treasurer’s and Secretary’s reports at these meetings? Couldn’t email handle this kind of thing and keep the attendees at the monthly Sussex GOP meeting abreast of the candidates, upcoming events….that kind of thing?

sussexgop3.15.16colinboninisfThe two Republican gubernatorial candidates spoke and I must say I was more impressed by Colin Bonini that I thought I would be. He gave a lot of statistics and handed out a folder full of documentation and good for him.

Lacey Lafferty is Sussex county’s own candidate and we do love her. First, the woman works it. She walks the state and attends the events and in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost, God bless her. For that reason alone she deserves a shot. sussexgop3.15.16lacylaffertysf

She looked great and I’m guessing that Lacey took some kind of public speaking class.

Because she gave a great speech and showed all the signs of someone who was working the audience, which is not a bad thing. I’ve heard Lacey speak before and she used to talk too low and too fast. Last night she showed an eloquence that was very impressive. And she looked terrific, did I mention this?

Lacey also gave out free ice cream, how cool is that??

So let’s talk about the Secretary of the Sussex GOP and I know she’s going to hate this. But there is no way to stop that time-waster of her having to read every potential attendee to the state Republican convention?

Don’t tell me it’s in the rules. Speaking of, Linda is also knee-deep in evolving those rules…this woman deserves a crown.

The absolute most fascinating thing that took place last night was the email opinion solicited by Linda and that was glossed over entirely too quickly.

Covered on this Blog HERE.

Let me explain….HB202 is some absurd bill that would require us all to pay five cents a plastic bag to pack up our groceries and such.

It was sponsored by Rep. Debbie Hudson and I spoke to Rep. Hudson, a lovely woman….more on this later.

So Linda sent out an email to all the Sussex county legislators and she compiled their responses and printed them out for the attendees of last night’s meeting.


Below this part of my narrative I will include the comments as Linda compiled and hey, if the Sussex county GOP doesn’t hold our elected guys to their words what the hell is their job?

And Debbie Hudson got a copy of all these responses, you got to smile, so let them all fight and spit up there at legislative hall, let us all sit here like a happy cat licking the milk off our lips.

Lookit, Debbie feels like the public has to be made aware of this plastic bag thing. She said she gets exasperated when she purchases one small item and automatically they ask if she needs a bag. “No!” she said, “I can carry this.”

Rep. Hudson wants, more than anything, to make people pay attention to this problem.

We discussed the problems with the vagueness of what happens to the money, how plastic bags DO rot in the landfill, and quicker than you might think, how the biggest problems with plastic bags is how stupid human beings allow them to blow all over the landscape and it just looks ugly.

Anyway, below, the quote of the Sussex guys approached about their loyalty to this law. Somebody call Steve Smyk and ask him what the hell is he thinking.

Rep. Danny Short (Co-Sponsor: “I signed onto this bill to get engaged in this conversation of the plastic bag issue. During that time I have had great feedback all across the board to include an idea that actually suggest that we might want to consider giving a person a 5 cent credit for every bag they don’t use to downright just do away with them. It is certainly a great way to learn as constituents become engaged in a constructive dialogue on any issue we have before us. Ultimately I would like to see trash cleaned up greatly along our roadways and open fields and everywhere in Delaware.”

Sen. Gary Simpson: “I do not favor this legislation. It should be a voluntary decision by the individual store owner rather than another mandate from the State.

Sen. Gerald Hocker: “I have high hopes that this bill will not make it to the Senate.”

Rep. Tim Dukes: “I’m not supporting it. I have had numerous constituents that have expressed their dissatisfaction in HB 202. I know there are environmental concerns but this legislation creates another fee. “

Rep. Rich Collins: “I am opposed, in part because it puts additional burdens on businesses at a time we can’t afford them. In addition, I believe we need more freedom, not less. This bill, and ones similar to it, have been pushed for years by a group from New Castle County. Various versions were on the table while my predecessor was in office. HB 202 was introduced on 6/19/16. In other words, this is nothing new. I have asked the group promoting this bill to let our trash committee, which should start work in April, see what other solutions we can come up with. I’ve also asked the sponsor not to run the bill. At the present time, the bill has not been released from committee.”

Rep. Harvey Kenton: “I presently am receiving and looking for feedback from my constituents on this legislation. I do have my personal feelings on this but I look for what the majority of my constituents want. Majority is the key word here. Also, we as a Republican Caucus have not met to discuss this legislation and that to me is very important because then I get to receive input from 15 other legislators. Thank you for what you are doing to support us.”

Rep. Ruth Briggs-King: “I do not support this legislation for several reasons. I have met with the supporters to hear their concern. I am concerned about litter and our environment, but to make consumers pay for plastic bags (and the merchant retain the fee) is unfair on several levels. The legislation places a greater burden on larger retailers. Plus, I have experienced San Francisco where I was in a store and had to pay for a bag (a paper bag) for my miscellaneous items. I will continue my preparation to prepare for the debate. Our members should be more concerned with the obvious attempt to have organized labor control all state construction with the ‘veteran workforce bill’. It’s horrendous!”

Rep. Dave Wilson: “I am opposed to House Bill 202. I feel that the 5 cent charge/fee is the same as a tax. This ‘fee’ would come at the expense of the consumer not the business. In fact, businesses that participate in this program would keep the revenue from the 5 cent fee collected. If this program was implemented it would come at a cost, as well. Someone would have to collect and process the data and what would this part of the program cost to implement? I am in full support of protecting the health and safety of wildlife and wetlands. However, I am not in support of an increase in ‘fees’ or taxes. There are current recycling programs in place where these bags can be recycled.”

Rep. Steve Smyk: Rep. Smyk did respond via text to my request for a position statement, and did express many ideas/concerns regarding HB 202. It was evident to me that Rep. Smyk has been researching this bill extensively and has formed his own opinion on its merit. However, he has asked not to be quoted at this time, as he is awaiting feedback from his constituents prior to making any official statement. LC

Finally, about this very unpublished Straw Poll coming up at the Sussex GOP headquarters in Georgetown…

It will be from 3/29 to 3/31. The results, when tallied, will be given to the local radio stations. The tally is expected to be on 4/1/16.

The Sussex GOP has failed miserably at promoting this thing, an event that could have brought new people into the fold, influenced some voters, increased enthusiasm….so much but damn, hardly anybody knows about it.

The Sussex GOP needs to get organized. It’s like the right hand does not know what the left hand is doing.


I do not respond to comments on my posts. I certainly have no problem with such commentary and, indeed, encourage it. But I’ve written my piece and I don’t want to argue it further.
Please feel free to email me at if you want to send me a special comment or have any ideas or information you want to share.
NEXT :I am expecting to do interviews soon with some of these new candidates.

2 thoughts on “The Sussex County GOP…Something’s Up and We’re Reporting It Here-The 3/15/16 Edition

  1. lindacreasy March 15, 2016 / 9:36 pm

    OK, Pat, you’ve raised some good questions. Let me see if I can address some of them here in the order in which you raised them.

    First, the order and timing of speakers at last night’s meeting. This is ultimately left to the discretion of the Chair, who will adjust as they see fit. You may have noticed that the actual order of speakers differed from the agenda, which was decidedly more logical.

    Second, regarding the Treasurer’s Report. I know some of what you were saying was tongue-in-cheek, but it gives a bad and incorrect impression, so I wanted to clarify. Aside from the fact that that past Treasurer was NEVER “held hostage”, when she quit, the position was announced with a specific filing deadline. One person filed on time, another attempted to file after the deadline. I rejected that application because it was late. Therefore, there was only one candidate for the position as of last night’s meeting. A motion was made by a supporter of the second person that the rules be suspended in order to allow the Executive Committee to consider both for the position. A vote to suspend the rules was 24 “for” and 57 “against”. Thus, the one candidate that filed correctly, Bill Gorton, was elected by acclamation. Contrary to your description, NO RULES WERE CHANGED. In fact, the only motion was to suspend, not change the rules, and that was soundly defeated. Again, NO RULES WERE CHANGED OR SUSPENDED.

    Third, while I would love to not prepare and distribute the Secretary’s Report at each meeting, we are required by local, state and national rules to provide a Secretary and Treasurer report at all monthly meetings.

    Finally, the reading of the names of all of the delegates and alternates to the state convention. Tedious as it was, it was absolutely necessary. Per the state rules, the approval of all delegates and alternates must be done as a whole at a meeting which is publicized at least 30 days in advance. The state takes care of publishing that date in one or more papers, and announced that the Sussex delegation would be voted on at our March 14th meeting. Had we failed to do that last night, our entire delegation could have been challenged at the state meeting, all delegates and alternates disallowed, and Sussex would have lost all of our votes for anything at the state convention.

    Hope this clears things up a bit! 🙂


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