These issues are not exhaustive, but they will be the primary focus of my efforts and outreach throughout my campaign and throughout my term in office if I am elected.
Jobs, Regulation, Favoritism
Jobs. Of course. Unemployment is STILL a problem. We have not gotten the jobs we were supposed to be getting from those elected in 2010 or in 2008. We've gotten band-aids. We've even gotten steps in the wrong direction. The biggest tragedy of our current approach to creating jobs is that it presumes that government better knows what we need than we do. Rather than leaving entrepreneurs, small businessmen, and young people to find a role for themselves, and a place for them to earn a living and contribute to our community, our government at both the federal and state levels has been taking our money away from us and using it to give loan guarantees, tax write offs, and outright subsidy checks to well connected businesses in politically popular industries. It is Karma when these misadventures fail. Politicians can never have perfect information. No one can. All too often their decision making is influenced by the interests surrounding them rather than the communities in need of real, economically productive work.
Not only do these interests dominate the spending decisions and economic development policies of our state, but they also influence the tax and regulatory policies affecting everyone who lives in Delaware as well as the businesses hiring them. Legislation passed by incumbents from both parties created additional regulatory hurdles to young workers just starting out in a new career. Legislation passed by incumbents from both parties has worked to create a tax environment where businesses spend so much time on red tape and tax preparation, they can't stay in business. These are additional regulations being created every year.
I will work to repeal these onerous and arcane tax and regulatory policies. I will level the playing field between the big companies with in house lawyers and accountants and small businesses without the overhead budget to fund these departments full time and comply with politically motivated regulatory nonsense. We need real jobs that create real wealth for the people of Delaware, not make-work jobs circumventing red tape. We need a regulatory environment that encourages hiring, not firing. Most importantly, we need to STOP MAKING THINGS WORSE!
The Race To The Top has become the Race To The Bottom. The federal government provides a miniscule amount of our state's education budget, yet they attach so many strings to that funding and require so much paperwork as to cost more than we get in compliance costs. Imagine if asking for $5 required you to spend $10. You're being robbed.
What we need to do is stand up for teachers in the classroom. We need less administrators in charge of regulatory compliance and more teachers in charge of educational brilliance. We need to give teachers the freedom to teach and the accountability to recognize their success. We need to expand the network of charter schools as experiments in education to help develop techniques to better serve those our public education system is leaving behind. We need to accept and recognize the value of homeschooling and private schools to further expand the educational array available to the people of Delaware.
Open, Honest, Accessible Government
Since the last election, I have spent a great deal of time at Legislative Hall in Dover familiarizing myself with the process and occasionally making efforts to lobby a legislator or two to support my point of view on a particular bill. What I have found is that for an average citizen to learn what is going on with their government and react to it is actually pretty difficult. Many of Delaware's public and publicly funded agencies are immune to Freedom of Information Act requests. Many of our legislators have conflicts of interest relating to the issues they are voting on. Committee hearing agendas are changed at the last minute. Bills are introduced, heard, and passed in days sometimes and months or never other times. There is no process for recall, initiative, or referendum. The Constitution of the State can be amended without consulting the people about the proposed changes.
Legislators are paid $43,605/year. Not only do I think that is too much, but that is plenty for me to live on. This will be my full time job. The legislature is only in session from January to June, with 6-8 weeks off for Joint Finance Committee hearings and Easter, not to mention 5 day weekends. They don't even start until 2pm. While most other legislators have jobs, at least nominally, and other responsibilities and agendas that relate to them, this will be my only focus. The time I am not in the legislature, I will be devoted to working with my constituents to keep them informed of what is happening. I will be meeting with other legislators, executive agencies, and Delawareans to learn about the issues facing our State and work out solutions that protect our freedoms. I will be investigating the true motives of every bill which "must" pass before I let it sail through the General Assembly without a fight.
There are many other issues that are important to me besides the ones listed above. Please post any questions you have in the comments section and I will be happy to discuss them with you. You can also email me, call me, or contact me via Facebook if you'd prefer. Thanks for reading, and please let me know what's important to you.