A Clear Message to the Senate and House Leadership

A progressive wave swept across the Delaware General Assembly yesterday. A message was sent to Speaker Pete Schwartzkopf and Senate Majority Leader Nicole Poore: it is time to embrace your progressive membership in both caucuses rather than trying to obstruct them. The leader in the Senate, Senator and Senate President Pro Tem Dave McBride, is going home to Lewes to retire for good now, mostly because he killed the gun safety legislation last year. Longtime State Representatives John Viola and Earl Jaques also were defeated, mostly because they both were Democrats from a different party and era no longer relevant in today’s world, and both held positions completely at odds with the Democratic Party of today. You saw progressives Larry Lambert, Sarah McBride, Rae Moore and Kyle Evans Gay win their primaries as well. Needless to say, the Democratic caucuses in both Houses of the General Assembly have been revamped and it is likely that both can fashion progressive majorities in January.

Therefore, it will be tempting for Speaker Pete Schwartzkopf and Senate Majority Leader Nicole Poore to try to continue to ignore the progressives within their midst and seek Republican votes to maintain their positions in January. That is what happened in New York a few years ago.

That would very unwise. Doing so will confirm their status as the next primary targets in 2022. It will tear the Democratic caucus in both chambers apart. It would guarantee their defeats in two years.

What they should do is instead bargain with these new progressive members for their votes, so as to preempt a leadership election. Yes, you can negotiate with your own caucus. Trade floor votes on progressive legislation such as gun safety for leadership votes.

Take the hint from the voters, Pete and Nicole, or you will be gone in two years too.

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

15 comments on “A Clear Message to the Senate and House Leadership

  1. yellowdogde

    Time for DE legislators to stop cowering to the NRA supporters while in session, because they won’t show up for them on Election Day. And Moms have long memories….

  2. I’ve enjoyed your coverage this year. But I disagree with your premise that the ‘leaders’ should look to compromise. Come Election Night, they are no longer the leaders of their respective caucuses. Nicole Poore will be hard-pressed to keep any position in leadership. She is not beloved in that caucus. And there are a whole lot of strong potential leaders in the Senate.

    I also think we’re underestimating the legitimate possibility that the House leadership could change. It’s not just who is coming in, it’s who’s leaving. Q. Johnson was a go-to for Pete & Val. Earl Jaques and John Viola were dependable supporters. Ray Seigfried was not someone to rock boats. There may finally be critical mass to elect new leaders. Pete and Val are not beloved in that caucus. And Pete is the only D from Sussex County. He should no longer have that oversized influence on the body.

    • Delaware Dem

      I hope you are right. I’ve gotten pushback on any notion of a deal. What I’m trying to prevent is early leadership elections like last time and/or any shenanigans with Republicans.

    • You need a one-two punch. Clearly control the senate now and should oust Poore as a symbol. Target the moderate Ds in the House for 2022. Start identifying who will run and unify around them now, don’t split votes. A couple may have skated by because of that.

      • Adding candidates to provoke vote-splitting is the favorite tactic of incumbent politicians, not just here but everywhere.

    • It is always amusing to see Mr. Tanzer’s predictions that this legislator or that one is going to be pushed from their leadership position. Ever notice he is utterly convinced this big change is coming and the votes are there for it…. all the while he never offers up any sort of real guess about who would replace them? Here’s why – his hypothesis is not supported by facts or evidence or even a guess, educated or otherwise. He’d do just as well closing his eyes and blindly pointing to a name on their caucus webpage – that’s how clueless he is as to how any alternative scenario could be put together. And I get it, it’s hard to count. I think Baumbach would agree getting to 21 votes is much harder than it appears, as it’s all your fingers, then all your toes, plus one. Losing count is also a common practice, as Kowalko certainly has lost his count on a few bills over the years. But counting and seeing what possibilities exist are key to taking or keeping a leadership position. So Mr. Tanzer, can you maybe stop saying meaningless things unless you care to explain how this would shake out? In detail, naming names. No one cares if you end up wrong, but a convo with those pieces is way more interesting than your silly predictions.

  3. Also want to observe that you want to pay attention to the promises you make to Mom’s Demand. They are serious and relentless about their mission, and, frankly, more successful than the NRA or FOP here by several metrics.

  4. What is utterly laughable is to think black legislators, especially in the city, give two shits about moms demand action and their agenda. Are the bills they pursue gonna have any impact on actual gun violence in this state? Absolutely not. Are black legislators tired of all the white women with too much free time on their hands sucking all the air out of the room with their inability to acknowledge the crisis they fear most is one largely existing in their own minds? I would bet my next paycheck they are. Wilmo electeds are seeing young people in their neighborhoods becoming victims of gun violence on the daily, and a magazine clip ban, registration policy, or even raising the age for purchase does dick for actually addressing that very real, deadly and dangerous challenge that’s destroying the city every day. There are plenty of democrats that would like these moms to sit down, shut up and let the focus be on something that’s actually happening here that needs our attention now. Given the number of black women and black mothers who won in the democratic primary on Tuesday, I think this disdain for addressing actual problems will be coming to a head unless moms demand recognizes their stupid agenda isn’t Delaware’s most pressing concern at this time. The GA has been sidelined by these ridiculous issues for the last several years because party leadership and the party ED have some sort of boner for gun bills. Maybe they can put that boner away and turn that energy to reform happening right now that the black caucus is leading. But knowing these Delaware Karens in Moms Demand, they will not be able to read the pumpkin spice tea leaves on their own. Heads up, Karen (and get your boy Jesse C. to pay attention as well) – no one is wasting their time on this until after you raise minimum wage, make serious progress to address systemic racism in the criminal justice arena, and improve the educational opportunities in the poverty stricken areas in every county in this state. If you get those to do items completed, and nothing real urgent comes up that needs your attention, then I suppose we can address the policies that keep your favorite outdoor concert safe from that scary active shooter in your nightmares that never comes to fruition while you are awake. But here’s the deal, if you don’t know everything your NRA enemies know about how guns work, what safeguards are and are not already in place, and you appear terrified by the sight of a gun, then the deal is off. Serious policymakers only, stop embarrassing us with how little you know or even attempt to learn on the issue that matters to you the most. The time for enacting policies as a mostly symbolic exercise is done, we are all too old to waste time on that. Rant over. Unless one of these Karens decides to pop off. Just shut it lady, pet your tiny dog, drink your starbucks, and take a break from your hard life living in the upper middle class in the house you own down the road from the great school your kids attend. Cheer up, a PTA mom will need to be put in her place soon enough and you’re just the lady for the job.

    • So your contention is that gun violence will decline only after we “raise minimum wage, make serious progress to address systemic racism in the criminal justice arena, and improve the educational opportunities in the poverty stricken areas in every county in this state.” Really? That’s all? Is this actually what you’re saying, or am I misreading that?

      This is the same crap James Baker peddled — “We can’t do anything until we solve society’s problems.” Very convenient, as we’ve never come close to solving the problems you mention — not just in this country but anywhere.

      I don’t know this Moms Against group, but your race-based rant doesn’t sound very good when you reverse the races, does it? Maybe you could advocate for your own priorities without trashing the priorities of everyone else in the process?

      And what’s with this horseshit about having to know all about guns in order to want better gun laws? That’s a right-wing meme that, unless you’re a right-winger, you shouldn’t be repeating.

      Your rant is full of assertions and projection. When you start to tell me how other people think, I know you’re full of shit.

    • Huh. Speaking of embarrassing yourself with how little you know — Mom’s Demand is working now in Wilmington. And with the support of plenty of the black legislators here. Gun violence will decline when there are fewer guns — especially the illegal ones brought into our neighborhoods. We all know that there is no need for the NRA supported warlord cosplay from these people with no sense of responsibility. Which includes you. We’ll know when you’ve spoken to a Wilmington legislator. Mainly because you’ll sound less ignorant, will be less belligerent and certainly less resentful.

      We’ll see you at the polls and we’ll be happy to watch you get a little more unhappy. I’ll be sure to tell these Karens and Jesse C that you send them your regards.

      • I have to agree with Cassandra. Stronger gun laws, like accountability for how you stored a gun that was stolen will decrease gun violence. Registration of all guns sold will increase accountability. I have served in the US military. I have over 20 firearms and compete in Nationally sanctioned tournaments. I am NOT an NRA member since 2012. The NRA is not a friend to lawful gun owners.

  5. Poore runs this year but has to again 2022 right due to redistricting correct? If so who are we thinking to primary her

    • She’s up right now but didn’t even draw a challenger. That’s why this entire exercise is hilarious – claiming she’s in danger but doesn’t have an opponent. she’s not going to be in leadership but no one can name her successor.

      Honestly – She should fear the hair dye and the Botox over anything else, too much isn’t good for anyone. Absent that she’s fine. If not, then let’s hear why?

      • She’s up again in 2022. The success of progressives this cycle should bring out more challengers next cycle.

  6. Who is in contention to take on Poore??

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