Senate Bill 155 would set back open-government initiatives

Delaware State News | Letter to the Editor | by Rep. John Kowalko A few Delaware legislators working with the Department of Justice seem to be interested in further denying the public and media access to its contrivances and methods. Lifting the shroud of secrecy and exposing the horrible underbelly of the “Delaware Way” is facing another serious challenge that threatens the public interest. It is Senate Bill 155, a thinly veiled attempt to shutter the windows from public view. My primary focus during my entire 15 years in office […]

Delaware lawmakers urge passage of D.C. statehood bill

Delaware State News | Letter to the Editor | by Rep. Madinah Wilson-Anton Editor’s note: On May 6, more than two dozen Delaware lawmakers, led by Rep. Madinah Wilson-Anton, sent the following letter to our congressional delegation, thanking them for their support of Democratic Sen. Tom Carper’s Washington, D.C., statehood bill. Representation is at the very heart of what we, as elected officials, do: We represent constituents. We represent their issues, concerns, beliefs and interests, and we take action on their behalf. It is a basic function of government that […]

Delaware inspector general would provide oversight of state agencies

Delaware State News | Commentary | by Nick Wasileski, Keith Steck, and Katherine Ward Transparency, accountability and “in the public interest” describe essential guideposts to assist Delaware state agencies and their officials when making decisions and carrying out policies for the well-being, safety and happiness of Delaware’s citizens. When state agencies dismiss these guideposts, misconduct, mismanagement and neglect of office can swiftly lead to conflicting policies and actions and even fraud. Consequently, the Delaware Coalition for Open Government (DelCOG) believes we need an independent, nonpartisan office for oversight and investigation […]

We cannot — and should never — forget Jan. 6

The News Journal | Opinion | by Rep. John Kowalko I would like to share the remarks I made to the Delaware House of Representatives on Jan. 28 regarding the passage of HR5 condemning the violence in Washington on Jan. 6: “First let me thank all of my colleagues who supported the resolution condemning the assault on the U.S. Capitol and committing to a peaceful and respectful discourse in the conducting of public business. “The tragic events in Washington on Jan. 6 cannot and should not ever be forgotten. A […]

Privatize Trump, not the USPS

Delaware State News | Letter to the Editor | by Rep. John Kowalko The recent attempts by the Trump administration to interfere with the 2020 election by falsely demonizing the use of mail-in ballots has led to a more aggressive attempt to dismantle the U.S. Postal Service. Attempts to discredit the U.S. Postal Service have been ongoing as far back as the George W. Bush presidency when the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act (PAEA) was enacted by the 109th U.S. Congress and signed into law by President Bush on Dec. […]

For Delaware, Jess Scarane is the right choice for U.S. senator

The News Journal | Opinion | by Rep. John Kowalko I am proud to endorse Jess Scarane for U.S. Senate. As an elected official, who has served seven terms, I am often asked for my opinion of different candidates vying for elected office. It would be presumptuous of me to try to define the sincerity of an individual candidate’s intentions or motives for attaining office or the ideals that motivate them. However, it is logical for me to examine the historical record of elected officials’ performances and positions and let […]

Commentary: Transparency issues would accompany Wesley-DSU merger

Delaware State News | Commentary | by Rep. John Kowalko The imminent merger/acquisition of Wesley College, a private college, by Delaware State University, a public university, has once again brought into focus the determined effort by our state government to resist the transparency and openness necessary to allow public awareness and accountability. Delaware has historically ranked near the bottom for its lack of transparency and accountability. Delaware’s shaky financial disclosure and ethics system is one big reason why the state earned a failing grade on the State Integrity Investigation, an […]

Commentary: Delaware legislators back measures against discrimination

Delaware State News | Commentary | by Representatives Baumbach, Bentz, Brady, Jaques, Kowalko, McDowell, Seigfried, Viola, and Senator Sokola We, the undersigned, submit this open letter as elected Delaware legislators who have been appalled by police actions of the last few weeks. We have been equally appalled by the attempt to shift focus to “looters,” seemingly to distract attention from the cry of racism and Black disenfranchisement. The recent events surrounding and following the brutal public murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis by four members of that city’s police force […]

Kowalko: Responsibility for all requires respect

Delaware State News | Letter to the Editor | by Rep. John Kowalko I will vigorously support reopening of the economy when the scientific data and studies dictate that the risk to the health and welfare of the public is dramatically lessened. I will not support making life and death decisions when the message to “reopen now” is delivered by those who ignore the realities of this deadly contagion and its capability to infect everyone. I am more reluctant to consider a proposal or position when the messenger presenting that […]

Kowalko: Amazon should give back

Delaware State News | Letter to the Editor | by Rep. John Kowalko Would it be impertinent of me to ask, on behalf of Delaware taxpayers, that the multi-billion-dollar corporation Amazon return the $4.5 million in taxpayer money gifted to them earlier this year by the Partnership for Prosperity and the Delaware Economic Development Office? Amazon owner Jeff Bezos is estimated to be the wealthiest individual in the world with a net worth ranging somewhere over $100 billion. The Amazon distribution center sited for the old GM location has already […]