Posted: Sept. 14, 2012


By Celia Cohen
Grapevine Political Writer

Voting is the original flash mob. The people come out, they have their say, and poof! They are gone. All that is left of Primary Day on Tuesday is the gloating over what they did.

DOWN WITH DOUBLE-DIPPING. The economy is still woozy. The last thing that legislators should be doing is gobbling up an extra public paycheck for themselves. It could only remind the voters that the unofficial motto of the Delaware General Assembly is, "Where's mine?"

Two legislators did it, anyway, and now they will be ex-legislators.

One is Joe Booth, a Republican state senator. He did not let on until after he had squeezed to re-election two years ago he was taking an administrative job at Sussex Tech. Oops.

The other is Tony DeLuca, the Senate's Democratic president pro tem who also maneuvered himself into management at the state Labor Department. Not only that, but he ran the Senate with all the tenderness of a bouncer. Not only that, but he had his Legislative Hall office remodeled on nobody's authorization but his own.

It looks like the voters had enough of DeLuca's new door to show him the door.

KAREN PETERSON THE ENFORCER. Peterson, a Democratic state senator, was not on the primary ballot, but she had quite a day, just the same, adding to a record she has accomplished through sheer grit.

More than anyone else, Peterson was responsible for prying open the legislature by putting it under the Freedom of Information Act. More than anyone else, she was responsible for lifting the statute of limitations here and holding the Catholic Church accountable for the sex-abuse scandals. More than anyone else, she stood up to DeLuca until he was chucked out.

Now Peterson is saying she might want to run for pro tem herself. If so, she has unloosed the fateful lightning of her terrible swift sword enough times to be taken seriously. Very seriously.

ONE IN TEN DEMOCRATS CANNOT STAND TOM CARPER. The most surprising name on the primary ballot was Carper, the Democrat who is running for senator for the third time, after running for governor for two times, after running for congressman for five times, after running for treasurer for three times.

That is 13 times. It is not like he has to prove himself to his own party anymore.

Even so, Carper drew a challenge from Keith Spanarelli, whose claim to fame is he had $10,000 to blow on the filing fee for a vanity campaign.

Carper beat Spanarelli by about 9-1. Funny thing about that. When Carper had primaries back in 1990 and 1992, he also won them by about 9-1. Whoever those dead-ender voters are, they are hanging in there.

WHO IS SORRY NOW? One of the biggest turnarounds in Delaware politics now belongs to Tom Gordon, the once-and-all-but-assuredly-future New Castle County executive, whose tenure ended eight years ago in an indictment blitz by Colm Connolly, then the U.S. attorney.

It was ugly. Gordon eventually pleaded to a couple of misdemeanors, not enough to keep him out of politics, and he resurrected himself by taking out Paul Clark, the accidental incumbent, in the Democratic primary for county executive.

It inspired a former county official to pose a waggish Q & A:

Q: Who feels worse than Paul Clark about Tom Gordon's victory?

A: Colm Connolly.