Posted: Nov. 22, 2013


By Celia Cohen
Grapevine Political Writer

Chip Flowers made the New Castle County Democrats another stop on his "no apologies" tour.

This follows the state treasurer's "no apologies" trip to Alaska, a visit that has fixated people's attention on travel more than anything since the craze for Flat Stanley.

It also follows Flowers' "no apologies" meeting with a state board in a prolonged tug-of-war for oversight of the state's investment practices. Also a "no apologies" budget hearing and its mirror-image encore of an "owed apologies" letter he sent afterwards.

The problem with a "no apologies" tour in politics is it means there must be a lot of people out there sorry Flowers was ever elected the Democratic treasurer in 2010 and inclined to make something of it when he is up for re-election in 2014.

It is no doubt the reason Flowers stopped by the New Castle County Democrats' meeting on Wednesday evening. He is making the rounds of local party gatherings, and from the accounts of Democrats in attendance, he is letting them know he has no intention of going away.

"He came. In his brief remarks, he's gearing up for re-election," said Betsy Maron, the New Castle County Democratic chair.

Actually, not just for re-election, but for the possibility of a primary, perish the thought.

It has been axiomatic among Delaware Democrats they did not want the angst of a primary against the only African-American statewide official, but that is changing. If the prospect of a primary makes people unhappy, Flowers makes them unhappier.

As a high-ranking Democratic official huffed, "We cannot afford not to primary him, because if we don't, we will lose that seat, because there are a lot of Democrats like me who won't vote for him."

No Democrat has come forward to run yet, but it may just be a matter of time.

The Republicans do not have a candidate, either, although there is talk about Ken Simpler Jr., a financial professional from Newark with a diploma from Princeton in political economics and advanced degrees from the University of Chicago.

Flowers, by the way, did not return a telephone call seeking a response. This was only to be expected. It figures he would be in "no comments" mode, too.

Who knows where else Flowers' "no apologies" tour will take him? Probably Dover early next year, because it looks like the legislature is lying in wait for him.

There is already a bill that would let Flowers know once and for all that the Cash Management Policy Board is supposed to oversee the investment of the state's money, and not him.

The bill was left undone last year with the hope that Flowers would get the message and back down. It was a strong message, considering the bill was co-sponsored by Patti Blevins, the Senate's Democratic president pro tem, and Pete Schwartzkopf, the House's Democratic speaker, but never mind. It was a forlorn hope.

"I have talked to the pro tem, and we are looking at moving that bill forward," Schwartzkopf said.

"The treasurer assured us he would try to resolve the differences. That has not happened. This board was put in place so no one person would have control over our money. It protects our state. Why does he think it should be the other way around?"

There is a funny thing about a "no apologies" tour. Sometimes it just gets sorrier and sorrier.