1. Gun control. I’m pleased with both responses. I do not support felons or mentally unstable to legally possess firearms. Biff Lee’s A+ rating with the NRA is definitely a plus for me.
2. Increased funding for Del Tech’s capital improvements. I would not support a tax hike to fund the capital improvements, rather tuition hikes will probably be necessary. Realize I say that reluctantly, having one child and my wife attending the college. Barb Hudson didn’t really rule out a tax increase but did say it would be the last resort. Biff Lee didn’t come right out and say he didn’t support a tax hike but he did support residents’ will that there be no tax increase. I will probably find out if he personally thought a tax hike would be necessary.
3. Open Government. Both candidates supported the idea. Biff Lee suported the bills introduced this year and stated a commitment to continue his support. I say open it up as wide as you can get it.
4. Balanced budget and spending. Hudson acknowledged a need to reduce spending but no specifics. Lee also didn’t provide any specifics but did say removing unproductive programs was a need. There is probably a wide difference of opinion between Dover and the citizens of Delaware on which programs are unproductive. I am glad it is at least being examined. That type of activity should continue.
5. Senior citizens and the cost of energy. (Howard actually asked this question. Despite the rumors, I have got a little ways to go before I am able to be a seasoned citizen. Notice I didn’t say “called a seasoned citizen” because I have gotten called that by my kids.) Biff Lee gave a lengthy response, covering several agencies that are able to help our older citizens. Both candidates brought up alternate fuels but no mention of using our own oil offshore. Dover doesn’t have much say regarding whether companies can drill off our shores. The Blue Water Wind project, which is sitting off our shores, was a good idea as long as some point it becomes profitable without government subsidies. Most experts say that we are still 10 years away from a real workable alternative fuel as well as being 10 years before we see any help with our own oil. Why not talk about both? I am glad to see Lee mention nuclear energy although I have to wonder where Delaware could put a nuclear power plant.
6. Shortage of quality corrections officers and problems in our jails. Barb Hudson questioned the correlation between officer shortages and prisoner problems. It would seem to me that this is would be obvious. It is easy to see that in a classroom the smaller the number of students per teacher the more effective that teacher will be with instruction and classroom order. If our prisons lack of number of security professionals then the number of inmates per officer obviously increases. Management of the prisoners would be harder when you are dealing with a larger group of individuals, thus leading to problems. Biff Lee affirms the problem with a smaller pool of officers. He indicates that the problem stems from low wages. The state does need to address these issues with our corrections department along with finding ways to keep people out of prison. Maybe we need to talk to Sheriff Joe Arpaio for some ideas. A fresh look at our problems wouldn’t be a bad idea.
7. Del Pointe. Most of my regular readers know that I oppose proposed Del Pointe horse racing track near Millsboro. Discussing Del Pointe specifically, Biff Lee points out that the original legislation allowing slots only gave it to three places, so to allow slots would not be easy. Lee opposes adding another horse track, and states that sports betting support in the 40th is not there. By her response, Barb Hudson would seem to support sports betting if allowed, but seemed to possibly oppose the Del Pointe project. Personally, I don’t want any expansion of gambling, period.
8. Delaware Psychiatric Center. Hudson comes down on certifying attendants with a board to monitor those certified. Lee says that a lack of oversight has led to the mess there and that a good house cleaning would be needed. I would agree that a good house cleaning is in order. Not knowing with any certainty, I would have assumed that there was already some type of background check for those employed there. More than likely a combination of both would be in order. In my mind a house cleaning would be mandatory.
10. Eminent Domain. For both candidates, property rights should be upheld and protected. I would agree with both.
11. Choice in education. Both candidates currently support the state’s current system of choice in schools but resist the idea of extending that choice to private schools for low income families. While families with higher incomes can usually take advantage of the private school option, most low income families don’t also have that choice. I think it would be good to examine this choice, however neither of the candidates are open to this idea.
What do you think about some of the candidates responses?