Anyone who knows how the accountability system works in Delaware should not be surprised the failing grade, (F) they received from the Center for Public Integrity (down from a C-minus in 2012) and Global Integrity knowing Delaware does not deserve a passing grade.
What is involved, what does the states Public Integrity Commission do? Well this agency receives each spring from Delaware lawmakers, judges and other top public officials including elected county and town officials a financial disclosure form listing sources of income and business affiliations to guard against conflicts of interest. A joke!
There are more than a thousand elected and appointed people in Delaware qualified for disclosure. Guess what, the state’s Public Integrity Commission has two employees, an attorney, and an administrative assistant. No way can the two of them check this number of forms and keep track of honesty in the submitted forms.
And the state legislature intends to keep it that way. Having had experience working with the attorney of that agency when I was in Dover, she has tried for years to add staff and if always turned down. To add insult to injury she was asked to cut her budget by almost 3% this year.
The reporting system is beyond flawed, lobbyists information is usually incomplete, email communication is shielded from public view. The public is supposed to be able to see the forms submitted but the state open records law is riddled with loopholes. The judges and some other agencies have their own rules.
So, while the state makes laws for us to abide by, they continue to ignore to do what is right for their voters. Another words, do as I say not as I do!