I have to chuckle over State Representative John Kowalko, D-Newark over his being dumped as chairman of the House Education Committee by House Speaker Pete Schwartzkof, D-Rehoboth.

Kowalko has been an outspoken critic of Governor Jack Markell’s education agenda to turn around or take over 6 Wilmington failing schools.

And Kowalko is not the only Democrat to get the shaft by the speaker, long-time Representative Helene Keeley, D-Wilmington who challenged House Majority Leader Valerie Longhurst in a leadership fight last month, lost her spot on the powerful Bond Committee that authors Delaware’s capital budget.

That’s called politics or playing hardball anytime you go against the leadership you usually pay the price. That’s how leadership keeps the party ‘in-line’!

I knew last year when I testified at a House Committee hearing against the Governors proposal to restructure the State Election reorganization of the local boards that I was fighting an uphill battle.

First, Longhurst chaired the committee, and Schwartzkoph was a member of the committee as was the Democrat’s House Whip.  For all three to keep their leadership positions they had to go along with the governor; if not I am sure Markell would not look favorable on them to continue in those positions.

Unfortunately I was correct. Not only did the three have an idea what was in the bill, I was treated rudely, and not allowed to question the committee members.

I learned early on in my political career if I wanted something done or legislation passed not to bother with the sheep, but to go straight to the leadership, the sheep herder and ask for what I wanted. If they approved they would make sure the others followed, or risk the loss of a chairmanship or watch their legislation never make it to the floor.

Simple politics; 101!


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