The Game - Clue, The Delaware Way Version
In 1944, Englishman Anthony Pratt filed a patent on a murder/mystery game he had invented to pass the time during air raid drills in underground bunkers Though it was quickly acquired by Waddington's, the game was not launched until 1949 when it was simultaneously released in the U.S. by Parker Brothers. Notably, the version that reached publication included 324 possible combinations of room/weapon/offender. The Setting - Woodburn, the Governor's Mansion where a select few have been brought together to hash out Delaware's edu-political future over a dinner. The appetizers include the Organics Valley Veggie Tray and Goldens Gourmet Veggie Strips with entrees by Panera Bread. Desserts to be supplied by Serpe's Bakery.
It should be noted that Woodburn's residents share their home with several benevolent spirits and one particularly evil manifestation - the ghost of a southern slave raider who died while hiding in a poplar tree that still graces Woodburn today. The Rooms -
The Weapons - A Candlestick, Knife, Revolver, Syringe, Wrench, Lead Pipe, and Botulism
Mr. Boddy - There is no doubt that Mr. Boddy will be played by Kathleen Davies, a top official in Delaware's Auditor's Office - subject hit piece published by the News Journal on July 30th. In May, Kathleen's name was quietly removed from the department's website as she was placed on paid administrative leave b/c someone in OMB starting questioning her absolutely legal and appropriate reimbursement method for work expenses. A footnote in the state's BAM manual states that direct reimbursement is acceptable despite the preferred method of P-Cards. She's still a state employee and has not been charged with anything. However, she has laywared up and is obviously digging in for the fight of her life and career. She's known in local circles to have a high regard for integrity as well as for her commitment to transparency. She recently testified to the legislature in support of a bill by Rep. Kim Williams that would have raised the bar for charter school audits. We also know that Kathleen was working on a charter school petty cash audit that has since been quashed by State Auditor Tom Wagner since Davies was put to pasture.
Current A.G. and former Lt. Gov. Matt Denn, rode the coattails of "change agent" Gov. Jack Markell into an office view of The Green. The two-term shadow and Education Advocate
of the Del Dem Markell, he had already mounted a quiet campaign for Governor in 2016, the heir apparent to the term-limit-bound Markell. But, a surprising announcement that our state's Prince of the Political Dynasty, Beau Biden, son of Vice President Joe Biden, would not seek another four years as Attorney General and was determined to go for Governorship derailed Denn's presumed candidacy. He filed for the Attorney General's race instead where he won hands down. Sadly, Beau passed away from cancer a year ago and the Democratic Party has been sputtering ever since. Besides, Denn has his hands full, defending the state in an OCR suit brought by the ACLU and the Community Legal Aid Society over whether or not charter schools are gaming the system to re-segregate minority, special education ,and poor students.
The Gov. Jack Markell who turned Kids into Rats was the campaigner for "change" eight or so years ago,when his successful primary split the Democratic Party wide open. He has strayed from his public platform and sold much of the state to the private interests that control the Star Chamber of Commerce and out-of-state private entities. Under Markell's reign, the Great Recession has taken hold in Delaware and the middle class has been decimated. Jack tells me that the Recession is over, yet thousands of Delawareans have yet to realize "this." With many constituents offering votes of no confidence in this politician, it is widely hoped that the outgoing governor will receive his due political appointment in Washington D.C. essentially sending him packing.
The Honorable Auditor Tom Wagner, State Auditor of Accounts, has been elected a stunning seven times. He's identified millions of dollars in cost savings for Delaware residents with a special focus on Education and Transportation. He has a 100% conviction rate for the cases he's forwarded to the office of A.G. Yet, he let his own home go to foreclosure - with a last minute save from friends at M&T Bank - and he's balked repeatedly when it comes to anonymous tips submitted by the public. A lone Republican on the Dover "hill", Wagner's best agent was Kathleen Davies - a rising star - and as the public is soon to learn - Wagner's and OMB's sacrificial lamb.
Ann Visalli is Gov. Markell's former cherry picked leader of the Office of Management and Budget. Her appointment was no surprise, she's served now served the gov for a total of 17 years, dating all the way back to his Treasurer's years, when Jack was a mere speck on the political radar. Anne's claim to fame is that she has built the Gov's budget annually since 2008. She was his number's gal, his Wonder Woman. She was also State Employee Public Enemy Number One for her efforts to redesign the state's left her Governor for the private sector just before the Davies squeeze-out began. What did Ann know? And how many licks does it take to get to the center of tootsie roll pop? The world may never know...
Brian Maxwell is Markell's replacement for Visalli. Brian is no noobie - he's Visalli's male counterpart. He, too, dates back to the Gov's years as State Treasurer and prior to that he was an Assistant Vice President at Citigroup. You can read his letter to the public here: http://omb.delaware.gov/letter.shtml This guy is so loyal to Markell, he sticks to him like sweaty underpants. The Delaware Charter Network is one of the state's strongest lobbies. Which is quite remarkable given its small staff of three. But, it's efficient, fending off countless efforts to reform charter school law to level the playing field between charter and traditional public school systems. What's often forgotten is that the choice law and the charter system was never meant to be equal to the traditional system - it was designed to create laboratories of innovation that would lead to new practices that would be shared with the traditional system. But, in-fighting between the pro-charter and anti-charter factions has greatly impeded these conversations. At the end of the day, all charter's are experiments and parents who engage them (this writer includeded) must accept responsibility for enrolling his/her child in a great experiment. It's also notable that Charter's appear to be the only schools that the state can successfully close - Moyer, Pencader, Reach, and Met have all met demise at the hands of the Delaware Department of Education and the state's Gov-Appointed Board of Education. It's also notable that a slew of charter schools have come under fire for financial mismanagement - Family Foundations, Academy of Dover, Providence Creek, Thomas Edison and more. It would be foolish to think that Davies didn't have her hand in the audits of these schools, putting her high on the Network's Hit List.
New Castle Counties Collective Traditional School Districts, with the exclusion of Red Clay, have long shunned charter schools. NCCo districts have often cried foul on charter's, lamenting how they take funding away from traditional districts. The problem with this argument is that the funding follows the students to whichever school he/she attends, absent home school and private and therefore, it's not really all that fair that traditional districts claim the money ever really belonged to them. It belongs to the students. The traditional's have also denounced charters for creaming and re-segregation of schools through selective enrollment processes and counseling out - which bolsters that ACLU OCR challenge. But, none of this has ever actually been proven with the exception of Charter School of Wilmington's famed "test." Although the OCR finding might finally be the decisive opinion. Conversely, Charter schools are the only schools the state has successfully closed in decades. With a nod to the neighborhood schools law it is nearly impossible to take out a traditional public school. But, that's not why the Collective makes the list of suspects - it's this: it's the number of CFOs who proclaim he/she could steal money right out of first state financials -FSF, the state's accounting software - in a wink of an eye, if he/she really wanted to and no one would ever know better. Was this what Davies was about to learn? Friends, the question is: Who did it and with what? I'm guessing Markell with a Visalli and Botulism in Woodburn's Basement! Leave Your Guesses in Comments and We'll see how this political mystery plays out in the coming months!
Hey Kevin, I got a few you missed - cut off the list because they were released in 1978, but survey worthy nonetheless! Hey Readers, here's the link to KO's post: https://exceptionaldelaware.wordpress.com/2016/07/03/the-best-ballad-between-1979-1987-which-is-your-favorite/
C&E's Greatest Hits of All Times Don't always trust the screen counter, it's there for fun, but internally we can track every individual and unique hit by country. And these hits represent the countries watching Delaware through my sad little blog. United States 149352 Russia 13221 Ukraine 12545 Germany 9027 France 8928 China 4905 Japan 4000 Poland 2693 United Kingdom 2266 Turkey 1608 Total 249,595