Following a review of campaign financial disclosures and after the distribution of partisan campaign literature, state Sen. Gerald Hocker (R-20th) on Monday demanded the immediate resignation of the Delaware Economic & Financial Advisory Council’s (DEFAC) chairman, Michael Houghton.
“DEFAC was set up to be a bipartisan, non-politically affiliated council that projects Delaware’s financial well-being,” Hocker stated. “Unfortunately, Mr. Houghton is a major contributor to both Democrat candidates and Democrat-affiliated political action committees.”
According to public reports filed to the Delaware Department of Elections, Hocker said, Houghton made significant monetary donations, including an opening contribution of $3,500 to PAC302 on Aug. 14, 2018, and a $10,000 payment to Facts Matter PAC on Sept. 24, 2020. Per its stated purpose, PAC302 was set up to “Provide financial support to Delaware Democrat candidates,” Hocker emphasized.
“Facts Matter PAC recently distributed highly misleading literature attacking a sitting Republican senator,” he added, noted that, additionally, Houghton has contributed thousands of dollars directly to Democratic Party candidates’ campaigns.
“This routing of funds to partisan organizations and Democrat candidates calls into question DEFAC’s credibility, particularly during a time when we are to trust its financial projections during a global pandemic,” Hocker asserted. “Mr. Houghton is certainly allowed to donate personal money to whatever and whomever he pleases, but he shouldn’t do so while chairing a bipartisan and apolitical committee. To restore faith in the council’s work, Mr. Houghton should step down immediately. If not, Gov. Carney must replace him.”
DEFAC was created by former Gov. Pete du Pont in 1977 to act as an independent and bipartisan council to project Delaware’s annual revenue. Gov. John Carney reauthorized DEFAC via Executive Order #26 on Nov. 26, 2018.
Hocker, a Republican, is the minority leader in the Delaware State Senate.