TransPerfect II: Ramone v. Kowalko

There was a story in the News Journal last week about the pulling of the stupid TransPerfect ads that I have been meaning to get to.  You remember the TransPerfect situation, right?

TransPerfect is a court reporting, translation, and document management company.  The company was owned by a couple, who were once engaged, Phil Shaw and Liz Elting. But their personal split has led to infighting in the business, which has led to litigation in Delaware’s Chancery Court.   Last year, the Chancery Court ordered the sale of the company after concluding that fighting between Shawe and Elting, created “a dysfunctional atmosphere” that could harm both clients and employees.   Noted Delaware legal scholar Rudy Giuliani criticized the decision as judicial overreach.  Those who actually work in Delaware Corporate law, however, say the Chancellor accurately applied Delaware Law in this situation.  Regardless, Senator Bonini seeks to a fix a problem by making it worse it would seem. His SB53 would require the Court of Chancery to wait three years before it can order the sale of a company. It also will include other measures including the appointment of directors to break management deadlocks to avoid a sale.   I do not see how extending business infighting for three years is beneficial to the company.  For reasons passing understanding, State Representative John Kowalko is also a sponsor of the bill.

Now, a group called Citizens for a Pro-Business Delaware is lobbying the General Assembly to pass Bonini’s bill.  Their lobbying efforts included a television ad that lied about Delaware’s unemployment rate as being “the highest it has been in years” (it’s not) and falsely implied the 2009 closure of General Motor’s Boxwood plant near Newport was a recent event, rather than being 8 years ago as a result of the Great Recession and GM’s bankruptcy.  See it below:

Rep. Kowalko’s reaction:  “They were inappropriate. When the authors tried to cast aspersions on Delaware, it was offensive to me.   I’m not going to stand idly by while they trash our state’s reputation. It bothered me very much.”

Kowalko threatened to pull his support from the bill if the ads were not pulled.   The ads were pulled, but he should pull his support anyway and vote no on this bill.  Why? Because he laid down with lying dogs and got bit.  So why reward them with his vote. Further, and more importantly, this bill is idiotic.  A dysfunctional business heads to court to resolve their dispute and the solution is to continue the dysfunction for three additional years???   No.  The Courts must have the power to force sales of companies if their owners cannot resolve their internal disputes.  It is a great bargaining power.   To take that away will lead to more disputes in businesses and more lost jobs as a result.

Rep. Ramone, being a Republican and having no issues in peddling in untruth, had a different reaction.  He acknowledged the falsehoods in the ads but then said “I wouldn’t pressure them to pull the ads. You don’t shut people up.”  Ramone then he added a dig at Kowalko: “I get his [Kowalko’s] point, but he has always been a champion of letting people’s voices be heard. I wouldn’t bully them.”

Ramone wouldn’t bully a lobbyist, but he is fine with the lobbyist bullying Delaware with lies and untruths.  Mr. Ramone, you do shut people up if they are deliberately and intentionally lying.  You do shut people up if they are intentionally deceiving your own constituents.  Otherwise there is no consequence to lying, and thus the liars are rewarded.  It is one thing to offer an opinion. Not caring about lies in the media is why we have Trump.

The ad could simply offer the opinion that this TransPerfect case could cost Delaware’s reputation in being a business friendly haven for corporate malfeasance and thus we will lose jobs as a result. That is opinion, and a perfectly valid one (I disagree with it, but it is a valid opinion).   But to support that valid opinion, it is not ok to invent facts. Ramone is fine with it. Kowalko is not.  I side with Kowalko.



Delaware politics from a liberal, progressive and Democratic perspective. Keep Delaware Blue.

5 comments on “TransPerfect II: Ramone v. Kowalko

  1. As a victim of Ramone’s bullying I find this very interesting.

  2. The thing I want to see the GA do is to make sure that Delaware gets a third of whatever the sale price is for Transperfect. For our pain and suffering.

    But interesting that we Bonini and Ramone leading the charge to pick winners and losers here. It isn’t as though they would have been at all interested in interceding for Boxwood, say. Wonder if the Transperfect shareholders could sue the Delaware GA after 3 years for devaluing their shares?

  3. Rep. Kowalko, how dare you be a champion of letting people’s voices be heard.

  4. Steve Williams

    The only people lying are Elting attorneys, Kramer Levin and Potter Anderson, they are are lying to Bouchard and his mentor Strine who controls the DSC. The Bouchard-Strine duo are just a little to eager to believe this lies and let the liars go unpunished. Most people don’t know the winning side lawyer (Kevin Shannon of Potter Anderson) is personal friends with Chancellor Bouchard, and presented NO witnesses in his case, yet won an unprecedented win. That’s right, in a 1-week trial, the winner produced NO witness. The Shawe side produced 10. The truth is, there’s no “dysfunction” at TransPerfect, and who is to say the government should decide how much “dysfunction” a private profitable company should have before the government takes it over. Its ridiculous; it plain and simple corruption; and it’s bad for business.

    How do Phil Kaufman and Kevin Shannon get held accountable for their lies?

    Check out the clear outright lying to Delaware Supreme Court? I don’t see any investigations being launched? I don’t see any lawyers for Potter Anderson losing their licenses to practice law. Watch this video and explain why there no investigation? There is no explanation and no excuse.

    • Answer the question, asswipe: How does a sale of the company equal loss of jobs? Companies are sold every day.

      Phil Shaw is the problem, and everyone knows it. He belongs in jail.

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