I have long believed that the Democratic Party will never lead us to the promised land. The United States should not be trying to rule the world, but that is precisely what both so-called major parties are trying. Nearly all Democrats in Congress voted to invade Iraq, in the face of strong evidence that Iraq had no WMDs. In Delaware, Democrats were the leaders in gutting the Coastal Zone Act and in creating the surcharges all Delmarva customers pay Bloom Energy. The Green Party believes in social justice, environmental justice, nonviolence, and grassroots democracy.
I have a doctorate in discrete mathematics (not required for the job) and a habit of honesty (required). More important to me, the treasurer sits on the Board of Pardons, the necessary first stop before a convict can receive a commutation from the governor. Delaware has the highest rate of incarceration in the Northeast, almost twice that of New Jersey. Nationally, we have about ten times more prisoners than when Nixon was president.
Delaware’s prisons are a brutal disgrace, mainly due to too many bodies’ being crowded in there. Some should never have been sentenced to prison at all for their offenses, and others have received sentences far too long because of mandatory minima and harsh judges. In general, the shorter the time a person spends in prison, the more likely he or she will become a responsible member of society.
1. How are you qualified for this position?
The main requirements for State Treasurer are honesty and transparency, which I can provide. I have followed the financial markets since junior high school and managed my personal accounts since high school. I also have a healthy scepticism of professional management. The state currently pays 0.08%, or $1.6 million, annually in management fees to invest the state’s cash balance in low-risk, interest bearing funds, which does not include consultant fees or the pension fund. The incumbent is a main-stream corporate Republican, backed by a huge campaign chest, with a background very similar to those receiving the millions of dollars to manage the state’s affairs.
I am also very interested in ending mass incarceration and relieving the atrocious conditions in Delaware’s prisons, which led to the uprising last year. None of us condones the riot which resulted in one death, but the reason for the riot is clear. Prisoners are underfed due to budget constraints and have an uphill battle to receive any kind of medical care whatsoever. The state treasurer is one of five members of the State Board of Pardons. The Republican candidate for Attorney General has pledged to reduce the number of people sent into prison, and I will try to create a majority on the Board of Pardons to consider thousands of cases possibly deserving early release from prison based on individual circumstances. We need especially to end the war on drugs.
2. What do you feel are the biggest challenges facing Delaware, and how do you plan to address them?
The biggest challenge facing Delaware is clearly climate change and sea-level rise. I certainly do not believe the low-ball estimates of the worst case, given current policies. With the possible melt-down in Greenland and parts of Antarctica, sea level might rise 30 to 50 feet by 2100. It might rise significantly more in the succeeding centuries, even if humans are extinct or so far reduced in number as to have no further influence, based on CO_2 emissions this century. The leader of Saudi Arabia is said to be a narcistic psychopath accused of premeditated murder. We do know that he has imprisoned many of his close relatives and that his main product, petroleum, is toxic to humanity. Our strategic interest is to stand with the poor of the Earth, the Yemenis, not with the rich. The Green Party stands for Peace, Grass-roots Democracy, Environmental Justice, and Social Justice.
3. Why should voters cast their ballot for you on Nov. 6?
The national Republican Party has disgraced itself on a grand style through its solid support for a Supreme Court nominee who has demonstrably lied to Congress in 2018 and in 2006. We were not allowed to discover the extent of his involvement in justifying torture. On the other hand, the Democratic Party is at least as much the party of war. Woodrow Wilson led us into a senseless bloody war in which both sides were clearly at fault, after promising not to do so. Hillary Clinton gloated at the murder on the streets of Libyan president Ghadaffi. I would ask Delawareans not to vote any straight tickets, but especially to vote for the Green Party candidates running in Delaware. My opponents in this race are both responsible individuals. I would especially mention my Democratic opponent, who likely does not expect to win given the influence of money and the discrepancy in funding, but has thanked me for calling out the issues night after night in this campaign. Please vote to end the two-party duopoly.
David Chandler, Green Party of Delaware candidate for State Treasurer