Monthly Archives: April 2016

When Delawareans vote in their Rep. District (RD) Presidential Primary, some of those votes are actually counted in other Rep. Districts!

The News Journal reported that Representative District 29 was the only RD in Delaware where Bernie Sanders won — I looked up the voting data and Delaware Online reported the wrong numbers — Hillary Clinton won that district. I started looking at the voting data to see if the Election District I live in supported Sanders or Clinton – they supported Sanders. I looked throughout the data to see if any RD supported Sanders over Clinton and I saw that the 13th District supported Sanders over Clinton by only 3 votes — I thought that was odd.



20160427_135454-1 (1)

Clinton won 1,299 to Sanders 710 29th District.

If you look at the below photo of the votes from the 13th District, it shows that Sanders won that RD by 3.  While I continued to look at the data, I noticed that Election District 09 in the 19th District was missing.  I emailed the Department of Elections to ask why, here is what I was told:

Election Districts are combined in Presidential Primary if they are in the same building since it is all one ballot. Marbrook has both 02-13 and 02-19.  They both reported as 02-13 since that was the lower number.

The 13th District received votes from the 19th District RD from ED 09-19 (Marbrook). The 13th District RD 02-13 and 19th District RD 09-19  (see page 4) share Marbrook Elementary School during elections – they also share votes during the Presidential Primary election. All votes from 09-19 (Marbrook location) were entered into 02-13 – 13th District – I believe that is why Sanders won the 13th District by 3 votes.


Rep. District 13 – 02-13 includes votes from Rep. District 19 – 09-19.

Look at the 19th District vote total below,  you can see that the 19th Election District 09-19 was not reported on the State of Delaware Unofficial Election results.

09-19 voting data is not listing in the above photo.

09-19 voting data is not listed in the above photo.

There are 12 Election Districts in the 19th District and 10 polling locations – two of the 19th District polling locations have 2 ED’s on election day. When the state reports out, they do not show all the ED’s. An example:  If you look at the above photo, 01-19 includes 12-19 voters who vote at DelCastle High School and 07-19 includes 08-19 voters who vote at Stanton Middle School. The above report should reflect where 08-19 and 12-19 voting data is being reported to make it more transparent.

The Representative Districts (RD) should have only their constituents’ votes in a presidential primary election not neighboring districts.


Email from DOJ regarding DOE Charter School Accountability Committee

The one thing I learned from all of this, the laws surrounding DOE’s Charter School Accountability Committee are very loose and the lobbying laws need to be changed. The Department of Education does not seem to think the public needs to be updated on changes to this committee’s membership or do they seem to have regulations in place to appoint people to this committee.  This committee should have additional members who are not employed by the Department of Education, work for the State Board of Education and who do not serve on a charter school or who lobby for charter schools — we need a balance.

Reardon, Allison E (DOJ)
Thu 4/14/2016 10:11 AM


Williams, Kimberly (LegHall);
Dear Representative Williams:
Please allow this to respond to your additional concerns following receipt of our letter dated March 30, 2016. First, you provided an e-mail from David Blowman to you dated July 15, 2015 in which you were advised that  Chuck Taylor stepped down from the Charter School Accountability Committee “for the current major modification application under review.”  We followed up with the attorney for the CSAC and she confirmed that Mr. Taylor did in fact step down from the CSAC in July, 2015. However, he was invited to rejoin the committee and agreed to do so in January 2016 after Providence Creek Academy had completed its renewal process. Along these same lines, you also advised that Paul Harrell participated in the CSAC, made the motion to recommend closure of the Delaware Met School, and voted  at the CSAC convened in December 2015 when he was not a member of the  CSAC. Again, the attorney for the CSAC confirmed through DOE that Mr. Harrell was on the committee at the time he participated.  Membership on the CSAC is apparently somewhat fluid and the website apparently does not keep pace with changes in membership, but those are not issues for the Office of Civil Rights and Public Trust to address.
Also, you submitted that the calculation of time one spends lobbying should be based on the amount of time an individual spends lobbying while the Legislature is in session. However, our analysis is based on the specific language in the applicable statute which requires us to look at the amount of time spent lobbying “ in relation to the usual duties of [the person’s] employment.” 29 Del. C. § 5831 (b)(3).  Hence, our calculation arrived at the percentage of the person’s total work days in a year, not a percentage of days the legislature meets.
We hope this additional information is of assistance to you.

School Board Bill Reducing Terms from 5 Years to 3 Years

Below is a copy of the bill which would reduce the number of years someone can serve on a school board from five to three years. Every three years a school board member would have to run for office. I am not sure how I feel about this bill. I served on the Red Clay School Board and it really takes a full year or more to really understand what is going on in a district, especially a larger district. Five years is really a long time for someone to commit to serving on a school board.

Super Delegates Must Go

The super delegate needs to be removed from the Democratic party presidential primary process. Our party’s platform has a long history of fighting for voting rights. The current presidential primary system makes it more difficult for an individuals’ votes to count. It seems the party only wants the voters’ voices to be heard during a presidential election when the candidate has already been chosen for us through the use of super delegates – which flies in the face of everything our political process stands for. We have a system that allows certain people in our party to cast a vote for a presidential primary candidate who the people did not support. They commit to a presidential primary candidate before the election has even taken place. You talk about suppressing the voters’ voices!

Yesterday on Morning Joe, they spoke about this issue with our party. They commented on how they thought the Democratic primary system is rigged against voters. It is a system in favor of the rich, powerful and politically connected.  Watch Morning Joe’s video. Bernie Sanders wins Wyoming by 12% points but he loses Wyoming to Hillary Clinton, how is this system not rigged? The people voted for Sanders — yet Clinton walks away with more delegates. Does the party only want our votes to count in a General Election for the candidate that they choose for us?


Click here, to see every Democratic super delegate in the nation.

Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Florida congresswoman and Democratic Party chair, made it clear as to why the party has super delegates.

Unpledged delegates exist really to make sure that party leaders and elected officials don’t have to be in a position where they are running against grassroots activists.” 

If we want all voters’ voices to count, then we need to change our election system.

Response from DOJ regarding DE Charter Schools Network Lobbying Efforts

On February 4, 2016 a letter was sent to the Department of Justice expressing concerns with regards to Delaware Charter Schools Network and their lobbying efforts in Dover.

On March 30, 2016, we received a response from the Department of Justice with respect to our concerns.

On page 3 of the letter it states that Ms. Massett accounts for the time she spends lobbying and estimates she spends 3% of her time as Executive Director on the direct lobbying. The records from 2015 showed that Ms. Massett signed in at Legislative Hall 17 times in 2015. The state goes on to say assuming for the sake of rough calculation Ms. Massett spent half of the work day – or 4 hours – at Legislative Hall each time she signed in, that would account for approximately 3% of Ms. Massett’s work hours for all of 2015.

My response back to the DOJ is in 2015 when we were in session, we were in Dover 53 days. Ms. Massett spent 17 days in Legislative Hall–so she was in Legislative Hall 33% of the time that we were there. We are not in session 365 days a year, we are only in Dover for a short amount of time with very limited hours. Most of my work as a legislator is spent with my constituents in the 19th District, working on constituent issues, researching legislation, meeting with people outside of Legislative Hall, and so on. I work as a legislator 40 + hours per week for 52 weeks (minus vacation that my family may take) per year and we were in session 53 days in 2015. If you calculate the time an average legislator is actually in Legislative Hall, we spend about 12.5% of our time actually in Legislative Hall. If a legislator serves on one of the money committees the percentage would rise a bit. How can the state justify that Ms. Massett does not spend a large amount of her time in Legislative Hall since we are only there 53 days out of the year?  When we are in session that is the only time that bills are heard, debated, voted on and signed into law.

On the last page of the response, DOJ responded to the concern about Mr. Taylor serving on the Charter School Accountability Committee (CSAC). The CSAC decides if a charter school  opens, closes, if modifications are approved etc. As of January 30, 2016 (see below photo) Mr. Taylor was not listed as a member of the CSAC–but Mr. Taylor was permitted to vote on five charter school modifications in February 2016 (see CSAC final reports dated February 25, 2016.)


Mr. Taylor was not a member of the committee, he was removed from the committee back in July 2015 because of conflicts of interest. I have an email from the Department of Education stating this.

From: Blowman David <david.blowman@DOE.K12.DE.US>
Sent: Wednesday, July 15, 2015 4:23 PM
To: Williams, Kimberly (LegHall); Nagourney, Jennifer (K12); Haberstroh, Susan (K12)
Cc: May, Alison (K12)
Subject: RE: Chuck Taylor
Rep Williams, you are correct that Chuck Taylor will be the acting head of PCA.  He called Jenn a couple of weeks ago to let us know that he would be stepping down from the Charter School Accountability Committee because of conflicts of interest that will arise with the upcoming renewal applications of PCA and Campus Community. He has been removed from the list of CSAC members on the DDOE website ( and is not serving on CSAC for the current major modification application under review (report to be published tonight).
I hope this is helpful,
Best David

When DOJ recently questioned counsel for the CSAC about Mr. Taylor, CSAC counsel told the DOJ that the website was out of date and, more importantly, that Mr. Taylor did not vote on any matter before being appointed to the committee. According to the CSAC reports, Mr. Taylor voted in February on all the modifications before the CSAC. The website has just been updated showing the that Mr. Taylor is now a voting member  of the CSAC. 

The CSAC does not appear to have any regulations that they must operate under as far as who serves on the committee, how someone is appointed to the committee, how long is their term, etc. Back in December 2015, CSAC recommended closure for Delaware Met Charter School, in the report one of the people present who was not a member of the committee recommended closure was Paul Harrell (see page 2 under voting committee members). Mr. Harrell made the motion to close Delaware Met Charter School–he was not a member of the CSAC, yet he was allowed to sit on the CSAC and cast a vote.

I reached out to the DOJ after reviewing their response. They requested that I forward the email from DOE to them showing that Mr. Taylor was stepping down from the CSAC–the DOJ informed me that they will get back to me.