Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Only in Delaware

Governor Jack Markell spoke today at the Delaware Chamber of Commerce luncheon. The event reminded me (as a transplant to Delaware)that the "Delaware way", truly is unique.

First, in other states it would not be likely that I as a Labor activist would attend a Chamber event. However, in Delaware, I and other Labor people were present at the event. Why? Because in Delaware, the Chamber is not obsessed with the destruction of Labor.

Second, the keynote speaker, Governor Markell, a pro-business, smaller government Democrat, gave a speech that was pro-union and pro-public employee. Governor Markell said that some other Governors speak of their public employees in a way that "makes me sick". He went on to explain that as businessmen they would not speak ill of their employees because they know that therein lay the value of their businesses. In the same way, Governors should not speak ill of their employees who teach kids, or do any number of other difficult jobs. The Governor went on to give praise to the state employee unions who just finished a challenging process of finding cost savings in their benefit plans. He singled out Jeff Taschner of DSEA for good work on the project. Additionally, Markell returned to one of his common themes, the need for good, forward-looking schools to make Delaware economically competitive.

In conclusion, and with my "only in Delaware" mindset firmly in place...Only in Delaware could an old Labor radical like me, go to a Chamber event, listen to a fiscally Conservative Democratic Governor, and go away truly believing that we have turned a corner with this same Governor and that we will be able to walk down the road with him to better times.

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