Carper isn’t forever. Vote for Kerri Harris

First, some basic info if you aren’t used to voting in Delaware.

Delaware’s 2018 Primary Election is Thursday, September 6, 2018.

Polls are open from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m.

A polling place locator and other information is here:  https://elections.delaware.gov/voter_tools.shtml

The candidates running in a primary are listed here:  https://elections.delaware.gov/reports/prim_fcddt.shtml

Note:  Delaware makes it more difficult to vote than some other places.  You have to register in advance.  The primaries are “closed,” meaning that you have to be registered as a member of the party whose primary you want to vote in.

There is a state Board of Elections, a state Commissioner of Elections, and (apparently) a state Department of Elections as well as one in each county.  So you could be confused as to whom is responsible for what.

A 2018 Delaware Election Calendar is here:  https://elections.delaware.gov/calendar/2018ElectionCalendar.pdf

An important deadline is October 13, 2018 the last day to register to vote in the November 6, 2018 general election. (October 22nd for uniformed services members and citizens living outside the U.S.

OK, election technicalities aside,  who deserves your vote?

Most of our readers likely recognize the importance of upcoming elections to getting trump under control and removed.

There is a low probability of a Republican U.S. senator or congressperson being elected from Delaware.

(Green Delaware is non-partisan.  There was a time when many of the more thoughtful legislators in Delaware were Republicans.  Those days are long gone, sadly, and with a couple of remaining exceptions no Republican candidates would deserve consideration.)

Elections in Delaware sometimes have a feel of futility about them.  A sense that whichever party or candidate wins, special interests and secret dealmaking with prevail regardless.  And that Delaware voters passively re-elect incumbents regardless of their performance.

The present good news in Delaware is that some people-oriented candidates are challenging the usual corporate-oriented candidates.  These include Kerri Harris for US Senator and Chris Johnson for Attorney General.  All that’s needed is for people to have the sense to vote for them.

Carper vs Harris

Green Delaware has been dealing with Tom Carper for over two decades and we feel we know him.  This piece, originally published in the Delaware State News, gives our views:  Carper no friend of the environment

Carper has inhabited the far right of the Democratic Party for decades, selling his services to whatever big-business interests are up-and-coming at any one time.  That he’s gotten away with this for four decades is impressive in a morbid sort of way.  Carper is a skillful and hard-working politician.   Example:  Carper campaigned for “bankruptcy reform,” mainly on behalf of MBNA and other big credit card banks.  One of his staffers told me “The Senator believes in personal responsibility.”  I pointed out that a great many personal bankruptcies resulted from medical bills and asked what this had to do with “personal responsibility.”  No response was forthcoming.  One more tale:  I ran into a bunch of Pacem in Terris (the peace and justice org) people out leafletting for Carper, who was and is a former naval aviator, defense whore and warmonger.  I asked they why there were out working for a candidate so opposed to what Pacem claimed to stand for.  The answer was more or less that “the other guy is worse.”

For more on Carper’s sorry environmental record see this.

So, the explanation for Carper’s four decades of incumbency, without every losing an election, is some combination of skill and hard work, failure of Delaware’s media to report meaningfully,  lack of political education, and that he’s mostly been opposed by Republicans who wanted to screw over the people even more.

Now, for the first time that I can recall, Carper is opposed by a talented and credible candidate coming after him from the left.

Carper and his Democratic primary challenger, Kerri Lynn Harris recently debated and this is worth watchingLivestream here.

(A Republican primary contender, Gene Trono, but not his opponent Rob Arlett, was also present and answered questions separately.  As is usual with Republicans these days, his views and opinions made no sense.  In response to a question about reducing the cost of higher education, he suggested that people should give up seeking four year degrees.  He said he was opposed to rolling back Citizens United and that he liked the idea of Brett Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court.)

My overall impression was that Carper, at 71, is showing signs of cognitive decline.  He was slow in responding to some questions.  He tended to respond with attacks on trump rather than visions of his own.   He doesn’t really support, of course, any of the fundamental reforms, such as universal, single-payer, access to health care, that the US go greatly needs.  He’s essentially Republican-lite.

Kerri Harris, on the other hand, performed well.  She comes off as a sincere and articulate progressive, who would like to refocus government on helping the people.  Take a look at her campaign websiteCarper’s campaign site for comparison.

Other primary candidates

The complete list of Sept 6th primary candidates is here.  Only the Harris campaign actually sought Green Delaware’s support–and has it.

But several other candidates are worth a look:

Chris Johnson is running for Attorney General and this is an office in great need of change.  Rep. John Kowalko’s endorsement of Johnson.

There is also a competitive primary for state Auditor of Accounts, as a longtime incumbent is retiring.   In a state as filled with scandal and impropriety as Delaware, a truly motivated auditor could make a difference.

We do not know any of the candidates, but here is Rep. Kowalko’s endorsement of Kathleen Davies.

Dear Friend,
There is a primary election on September 6th that is of utmost importance to you and Delaware. I do not often choose to make an endorsement in a primary election, but sometimes a candidate stands out from the rest and earns my recognition and support. An individual of impeccable integrity, experience, and intelligence best describes Kathleen Davies. I am proud to endorse Ms. Kathleen Davies as the Democratic candidate for the office of State Auditor.
Ms. Davies stands above the others in my opinion and will administer the affairs and responsibilities of the Auditor’s office with an exceptional consideration for fairness and honesty. Kathleen has more than 25 years of experience in state auditing including six years as the second-in-command at the Office of Auditor of Accounts. Kathleen has the expertise to perform critical independent investigation of state funded programs. She will work to identify recommendations for process improvements, to support quality education, and to advance public health and human services. Ms. Davies has the qualifications, experience, and commitment to providing transparent public reporting and fiscal accountability.
Kathleen Davies is the person you, your family, and the taxpayers of Delaware deserve to have watching over their interests.
I ask you to vote in the September 6th primary for Kathleen Davies.
Respectfully,
Representative John Kowalko

The New Castle County Council is likely the most scandalous public body in Delaware.  Two incumbents have challengers.  Dave Carter is running in the 6th District and and Jordyn Pusey in the 1st district.  Either would likely be improvements.

There may be some other excellent candidate whose qualities we aren’t aware of.

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