District 19 candidates speak to SCCOR group

Three candidates are officially running for Delaware’s District 19 Senate seat, which was left vacant by the recent death of the late Sen. Thurman Adams of Bridgeville. The special election to fill the seat will be held Aug. 3.

The three candidates who have announced their candidacy thus far are state Rep. Joe Booth (R-Georgetown), Gwendolyn “Wendy” Jones of the Delaware Libertarian Party and Polly Adams Mervine, the daughter of the late senator, who will be running on the Democratic ticket.

Just this past week, the Democratic caucus of the 19th State Senatorial District nominated Mervine for the seat, after an emergency session, because of the resignation Eddy Parker, who had been nominated by the caucus.

Jones and Booth both participated in a recent question-and-answer session at a Sussex County Community Organized Regiment (SCCOR) membership meeting, held in Oak Orchard on July 7. SCCOR describes itself as a non-partisan political action group committed to bringing “conservative representation back to local, state and federal government.”

Both spoke before the backdrop of a van draped with the message “Get rid of Obama and his Congress,” to a crowd of about 100 people at the meeting.

They touched on subjects including the proposed Del Pointe race-track and resort, the prevailing-wage law, the current administration and congress, homosexual marriage, gun control, immigration and education spending.

Both candidates said they were open to “what the people want” regarding Del Point. Booth said he voted against the prevailing-wage law three years ago and said his opinion is that it should not be attached to school projects – an amendment he proposed but that did not make it out of committee. Jones said it seemed “like a government rip-off” and that she was “absolutely against it.”

Asked about the “10th amendment, concerning states’ rights,” Jones said, “States rights must prevail. Peoples’ rights must prevail.” Booth said it would be interesting to see how a state such as Texas would work it. “Delaware is a state 30 miles wide. I can understand the state of Texas’ frustration with the federal government. I don’t think Delaware is in the position to be the first one out.”

Booth talked about his reservations on the way stimulus funding is being handled and the current administration. “They are gambling on the economy to pick up,” he said.

Jones commented about how close she thinks the country is to the book “The Communist Manifesto.”

Both agreed the size of government needs to be smaller. The original question from the audience was how to balance the budget with no stimulus while reducing taxes and the size of government.

Jones proposed having income taxes at the end of the year. “Let’s make it hurt. There is way too much waste and expense. You don’t notice a noose when it is gradually tightened, but when you yank on it…”

Jones referenced Nazi Germany in her position on gun rights, saying, “The first thing Hitler did was confiscate the firearms.” She quipped, “Gun control is a steady aim,” to a round of applause. Jones is a member of the NRA and the Delaware Pink Pistols, and she was speaking to the choir. The SCCOR flyer and logo reference the Second Amendment, saying “The second amendment is not a suggestion, it’s a right!”

Booth said he had had the opportunity to vote against both SB 121 and HB 5 this legislative session, the bills being the Senate and House versions of legislation adding sexual orientation to the state’s list of types of discrimination that are against Delaware law.

Saying he hadn’t “seen a need for that particular legislation” and that it wasn’t small-business friendly, Booth said he’d been opposed to passing the legislation, which was signed into law on July 2.

Jones said she was against the changes of the new law, saying there were problems with extending protection to “this group, or that group,” and that doing so it tells them they are handicapped. “How does that make them feel? You can’t legislate morality. If you want to succeed, do your best.”

Amendments to the law that would have clarified that it does not change the definition of marriage in the state of Delaware and does not authorize sexual orientation-related curriculums in public schools, and that would have protected people as being immune from civil or criminal liability from perceived violations of the act in the name of religion, were all defeated in the senate.