Monthly Archives: March 2016

Preemptive pledging of a delegate vote will result in voter disenfranchisement

Nothing is more threatening to a representative democracy than discouraging voters or disenfranchising them. The newest 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.

Rep. John Kowalko – 25th District

When the Charter School Accountability Committee Approved the Five Charter School Modifications Did They Violate the Law?

Williams, Kimberly (LegHall)
Tue 3/22/2016 9:12 AM
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Reardon, Allison E (DOJ);
Patterson, Gregory B. (DOJ);
Denn, Matthew (DOJ);
Siegel, Kim (DOJ);
Good Morning Allison, do you have an update with respect to our letter dated February 4, 2016 and when can we expect an answer from the DOJ? The Charter School Accountability Committee just recently approved major modifications to Delaware Public Safety and Security, Delaware Design Lab High School, First State Montessori, and Prestige Academy charter schools and a minor modification for Odyssey Charter School. Chuck Taylor, who is not a member of the Charter School Accountability Committee (Department of Education Committee), recently voted as a member of the Charter School Accountability Committee on whether or not these five charter school modifications were approved or not. Chuck Taylor is the president of the Delaware Charter Schools Network in which the News Journal reported as one of the top five lobbyists in Delaware. He is also Head of School for Providence Creek Academy Charter School. Delaware Charter Schools Network is a member of the Charter School Accountability Committee and that seat is held by Kendall Massett; she is a non-voting member without a proxy.
Members of Charter School Accountability Committee
On February 25, 2016, Chuck Taylor was a voting member of the Charter School Accountability Committee in which they approved all five of the charter school modifications even though Ms. Massett is a non-voting member without a proxy. Mr. Taylor’s votes violated Delaware code/regulations.  
It is going on two months since we sent our letter to you. We have code/regulations in place that people are abusing. The state is allowing a lobbyist group, whose mission is to expand charter schools, the power to approve charter school applications and their modifications by allowing them to sit on a DOE committee. I find it frustrating that the state continues to allow this to go on.
I look forward to your response.
Representative Kim Williams
19th District
302-577-8476 Wilmington Office
302-744-4351 Dover Office
Twitter: @kimwilliamsde

Delaware gets F’s, D’s and One C in the 2015 State Integrity Investigation

Delaware received a 56 (F) ranking 48th among the states. Delaware was evaluated on 13 categories-Delaware received 9 F’s, 3 D’s, and 1 C. Delaware’s highest grade was in Internal Auditing.

View the breakdown on Delaware.

Our Tax Dollars Being Spent on Others

Someone recently posted an article (2011) on Facebook which talks about how the Iraqi people have guaranteed health care.  When the Iraqi Constitution was drafted back in 2005, the US was involved in writing the constitution. The post reports that the US has spent and/or authorized $864 Billion in military operations on Operation Enduring Freedom, which includes Iraq and Afghanistan. The overwhelming majority of those funds have been for the war in Iraq. Additional funding has been authorized for intelligence and special operations.

I did pull up the Iraqi Constitution, the article posted on Facebook the link in the article is not working. This is what their constitution states: Article 31: First: Every citizen has the right to health care. The state takes care of public health and provide the means of prevention and treatment by building different types of hospitals and medical institutions. Second: Individuals and institutions may build hospitals or clinics or places for treatment with the supervision of the state and this shall be regulated by law.

I hear over and over how our new health care system has cost individuals and businesses thousands of additional dollars of insurance premiums and huge out-of-pocket deductibles. Carl and I received the 1095-B Health Coverage form from the federal government showing we owe no taxes because we have health insurance.  If you do not prove that you have health insurance you will be taxed. One would think if someone does not have health insurance, one of the reasons being, they probably cannot afford it.  So we are now taxing them and adding an additional burden onto them. One positive outcome from the new health care system –insurance companies can no longer turn down patients with pre-existing conditions, that should have been the law decades ago.

I just think about the billions and billions of dollars we give away every year to various counties. We have vets living on our streets, vets who are not getting proper medical or mental health care, we have children going to school hungry, more Americans are living in poverty–over 46 million Americans— were officially in poverty in 2010 an increase from 12.5 percent in 2007. We have children and adults dying from drug overdoes and no drug treatment centers. We give enormous amounts of state and federal funds (our tax dollars) to big corporations who are already making billions and billions of dollars and it seems like everything that we buy is made outside of the US–for many of us this is very frustrating. I would rather pay more for a product that is made in the US than purchase an items for less from another country.


DOJ Issues an Opinion to My First FOIA Complaint Against the State Board of Education

I filed a FOIA complaint against the State Board of Education concerning their January State Board meeting. Here is the Department of Justice’s opinion to my complaint. I still have one more FOIA complaint outstanding with regards to the February State Board meeting. The State Board just responded to DOJ yesterday with regards to my second complaint. I am sure I will not have DOJ’s opinion on the 2nd complaint for a few weeks.

House Bill 61 (Recording of School Board Meetings) Will Be Heard in the House Today!

A few folks will be happy to find out that House Bill 61 is on the agenda today. Here is a link to House Bill 61. House Bill 61

This bill requires that all public meetings of the boards of education of public school districts, vo-tech school districts, and public meetings of charter schools’ boards of directors be digitally recorded and made available to the public on the districts’ and charter schools’ websites within seven business days. The recordings will not be considered the official board minutes.

Currently the Red Clay Consolidated School District, Christina School District, and the Capital School District on a voluntary basis approved by their boards of education have been providing the public digital recordings of their board public session meetings via the district’s websites.The Delaware State Board of Education is required by the State Board of Education to make available within one business day digital recordings of its board meetings on the Delaware Department of Education’s website.


In the House Education Committee, House Bill 234 Will Be Heard

House Bill 234 (wellness center bill) will be heard in the House Education Committee today–I am the prime sponsor of this bill. Below is a letter that I submitted to JFC members with respect to the missing wellness centers at our three public high schools. I have been advocating for  wellness centers since I was first elected. There were four high schools in the state that did not have wellness centers when I was first elected–those schools were AI High School, Conrad Schools of Science, St. Georges Votech, and Appo High School–AI High School received their wellness center in 2014.