The Culture of Corruption that John Marino Wants to Bring to Delaware

So where to start here — certainly you can take a hint from Charlie Copeland’s effort to try to win by complaining enough.    The party who insisted that money was speech and that you shouldn’t get in the way of generous people who want to fund campaigns is actually complaining that the Democrats in this race are playing by the rules the GOP fought for.  Still, one of the things that Marino has been good at is campaigning on nothing.  He is claiming to want to make changes to a school system, in spite of the fact that he actively worked against the recent Appoquinimink school referendum.  Just imagine the kind of changes that someone who is looking to deprive kids of school resources would look like.

But while Charlie Copeland is complaining about the amount of money that Democrats have raised, one wonders why he is not asking Greg Lavelle (who runs the Marino PAC) to stop taking Marino campaign checks.  Because if Lavelle is the Treasurer of the PAC and taking money for the campaign, that would be coordination, right?  Right?

But take a look at these ads for fundraisers for Marino and note where the checks go:

Senator Greg Lavelle’s house.

If you aren’t coordinating, then you are sending the checks to your Treasurer OR you are sending the checks to a PO Box.  You are not sending fundraiser checks to your PAC Lead, who can at least coordinate the Call Time List.  What else can they be coordinating on?

Top that with the Friends of John Marino FB page, where plenty of folks have been trying to get Marino or his handlers to answer questions about his agenda for Delawareans.  There are few answers, lots of railing against Democrats and deletion of questions that this page doesn’t like.  Not a good look for someone who claims to want more transparency from Government.

Out on the doors, Marino volunteers are apparently leaving literature with a hind-signed note from Marino.

Now this is not the world’s biggest deal, of course.  I’ve never knocked doors for anyone who asked us to leave literature pretending that the candidate was actually at the door, but maybe this is a GOP thing.  It is typical to write on the lit “sorry we missed you, Mr or Ms XXXX), but not sign as though we were the candidate.  But this is part of the pattern of two-facedness by this campaign, yes?

What does Marino stand for?  He says he is against corruption.  marino-corruption

Except he hasn’t dealt with his own insider deal of Greg Lavelle coordinating among both of his PACs AND the campaign.  Certainly, he isn’t interested in answering the questions of potential voters in public — questions are shut down on FB and as far as I can tell, he has been in public via the one debate in Middletown AND his fundraisers.  Because I know there are quite a few people in that District who want to know how a retired New Your police officer — with a cushy pension the rest of us certainly don’t have — squares his support of Right to Work with all of the union benefits he’s been a beneficiary of.  Wouldn’t you like him to be transparent about that?

Delaware did get an F from the Center for Public Integrity for not having enough systems in place to deter ethics transgressions. But when you look at what they graded us on, there is nothing here that Marino is proposing that even begins to address any of those issues.  Nothing.  So this is of a piece — a GOP candidate who is mainly running on having a bad attitude, but not running on any ideas that might actually help us or improve the government.

Contrast that with Stephanie Hansen who is running on ideas and a track record of getting big ideas done.

John Marino is basically looking to make sure that Delaware’s government run — joining Colin Bonini who can’t rouse himself enough to actually vote for a budget, much less be a part of the process (except to be ready for goodies for his District).  We know that the governing challenges will be huge this year — let’s make sure that the candidate with an actual track record of corruption and secrecy doesn’t get a chance to impose that on any of us.

h/t for many of these images and some of this info to Peter Briccotto.


You don't make progress by standing on the sidelines, whimpering and complaining. You make progress by implementing ideas. -- Shirley Chisolm

21 comments on “The Culture of Corruption that John Marino Wants to Bring to Delaware

  1. I’ve been asking my friends who live in the district for specifics on Marino. They’ve got nothing. I went to his issues page – whole lotta nothing. This guy brings vague to a new level.

    • He’s also not an proud and out Republican I hear. Have heard multiple stories from folks who are door knocking who simply do not know that Marino is a Republican. Which makes sense I suppose if you need Charlie Copeland to suit up and make your complaints for you. But you can definitely tell in this District that Marino does not see his GOP friends as useful to him here. And given how badly they are screwing up Washington DC and places like Kansas and Louisiana, who can blame him?

      • I haven’t heard anyone from the district say this, but other people who have doorknocked have been asked why there were two Democrats running.

  2. Marino’s supporters know the drill. Don’t mention that he is a Republican. The Republican brand in the district is poison. Sure it gets you votes below the canal, but above the canal they activate their cloaking device.

    The number of volunteers that have come out for Hansen is amazing. This Saturday I saw at least 10X as many as I saw on any weekend for any candidate in the fall. Obviously many are from outside the district, but I think the campaign has their voters lined up, and ready to send a message to Delaware Republicans. Charlie Copeland won’t be happy.

  3. Go Marino, we need real change in this State! The Dems have ruined it, with bigger government and dishing out money to Corporations, who just laugh all the way to the bank and we see NOTHING!

    • That’s remarkable, really. The entire GOP project is to shift taxpayer funds into Corporate and 1% pockets. And here you are not paying any attention. Most of us were not happy with the handouts to corporations by Markell and the GA, but there will lots more if the GOP has its way. And plenty of environmental degradation too.

      • And the Dems are not throwing big money into the Hanson camp, REALLY?

        • You’re changing the subject, Anono.

          • Of course he’s changing the subject. Once the GOP starts sending money to businesses he’ll be here justifying what’s good for business is good for us.


  4. Pingback: John Marino Depantsed : Delaware Liberal

  5. Elaine Smith

    Here’s an email I got from Coons. It’s really a way to find volunteers for Hansen but perhaps he’ll hear about your responses on the survey.

    You can complete the survey at this link:

  6. Cassandra, As the truly intelligent woman that you are, some of your points in this post are disconcerting considering the presumption that you read the laws re: PACS. There is nothing illegal or corrupt in having a state senator, Democrat or Republican, as a PAC Treasurer. Delaware Elections Commissioner Manlove’s investigative committee did find First State Strong, the PAC supporting Hansen, violated the law. “Improper ‘express advocacy’ campaigning by a special interest group was upheld by the commissioner’s preliminary investigation.”

  7. Manlove did conclude that the door hangers distributed by the Building and Trade Council “clearly constitutes” express advocacy. However, she found no base for the claims that there was coordination between Hansen’s campaign and the Council, noting that just because Hansen showed up at one branch of the Building and Trade Council doesn’t mean another coordinated with her campaign in regards to the door hangers.

    Rick, being the smart dude that I know you to be, I’m surprised that you don’t realize that it is a 2 part test. Express advocacy is OK, as long as it isn’t coordinated.

  8. There is nothing illegal or corrupt in having a state senator, Democrat or Republican, as a PAC Treasurer.

    Rick, smart dude that you are, I’m surprised that your reading skills aren’t better than this. I am not concerned with who is the Treasurer of the PAC. But I am concerned that the Treasurer of the PAC also gets the checks for routine campaign fundraisers. The ones where it says send checks (no more than $600!) to Senator Lavelle’s home address. How can there not be coordination between the PAC and the Friends of Marino when one guy is divvying up the money?

  9. Peter Briccotto

    Rick also stated the DSEA only supports Democrats on the air with Marino – not true! Cloutier received their full throttled endorsement in her past three elections at least! What can we expect from an entertainer? Marino has resorted to blocking me from commenting – simply for asking poignant and specific questions. Is he going to truly end corruption and end big money in Delaware politics?

  10. Peter: True enough re: Cloutier. I did imply DSEA endorses only Dems. Cloutier is an outlier. Shocking. As AFL-CIO Pres & I agreed, most of these suits are BS anyway. Lavelle is sincere about playing by the rules. You can tie that in with the federal free speech issue all you like, but when it comes to Greg, it’s just the way he is. Here’s something I hear from conservatives that some of you apparently don’t: corporate politics piss them off, too. Some even see them as an enemy. That was a common thread among Tea Party Delawareans. Maybe it doesn’t bother some of you so much that Hansen is likely going to be funded to the tune of a million dollars when this state senate race is over, but it touched my nerves when Sal Russo’s Tea Party Express tried to buy the election for O’Donnell. Even if the goal is to stave off Right to Work, which is truly unlikely in Delaware, the concept of having a Delaware state senator or congressional delegate beholden to outside interests is repulsive. What I like about Marino is simply that he fought against Tom Gordon’s crony land deal when few would. He seems driven by the desire to “do the right thing.” He will not single-handedly end all corruption. Hansen was nowhere to be seen in that battle. Okay, I’m done. Thanks for at least letting me have a say here. I was blocked from posting on Delaware Liberal. And you are all welcome to call the program & have your say as well. It’s not like no one is reading or listening to anyone else. It’s just that politics has been so tribal over the past few years that anyone who disagrees is “the enemy” and must be destroyed.

    Death to all who disagree with my tolerance! #snark

    I’ll be out of pocket for a few days, so I look forward to how y’all scorch me later.

    • Thanks for commenting, Rick. Enjoy your days off. It gives us time to welcome you to the very first ever Blue Delaware ritual stoning. #jk

      As you know from reading Delaware Liberals, there are plenty of us who have been railing at the efforts by corporations to buy governments and even the need for all of the money in politics. Unfortunately, the GOP has been at the tip of the spear in expanding the capability of larger donors to have almost unlimited opportunities to fund politicians and efforts to support or dismantle other legislation. So even in DE, small efforts at transparency like SB 186 a couple of years back was passed almost unanimously in the House, but passed with no R votes in the Senate. This kind of thing happens regularly — not just here but at the National level too. Democrats don’t have clean hands on this either, but certainly have tried to push forward more accountability and even tried to stop Citizens United (with John McCain). What we are living with is an effort started by the GOP to undo campaign finance restrictions because they thought that the money game was theirs. Now that it looks like Dems can do OK at this game when they need to, we hear about the problem of money in these races.

      Hansen’s campaign reports that something like 60% of her donors contributed less than $100. That strikes me as pretty good. The PACs are another story and there is no point in asking Dems to unilaterally disarm when the GOP is just trying to make space for their presumed advantage here. So if they are pissed off about Corporate money, they certainly aren’t lifting a finger to put a stop to it. And as long as that is the case, we play by the rules the GOP set.

      Everyone wants to complain about the money when it isn’t to their advantage.

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