Attracting notice across the border

While the border in question is just about five miles north of me, thanks to my friend Elbert (who “stumbled” onto the post I’ll refer to) I’ve found out that our First District race is attracting commentary in Delaware as well; specifically at the Delaware Liberal website. However, writer “delawaredem” couches his (or her) argument around the fact that the Club For Growth supported Andy Harris when he toppled longtime incumbent Congressman Wayne Gilchrest back in February, so the wish was for the Club to “train their self destructive lasers on (Delaware at-large Congressman) Mike Castle.” It’s a supposition that anyone the Club For Growth deems worthy of the seat would be too conservative for Delaware voters to elect. Of course, delawaredem forgot to throw in the Eagle Forum, which has become a favorite whipping boy of Harris’s Democrat opponent Frank Kratovil. Both organizations stand firmly on the conservative side of the spectrum; naturally, they’d want more in Congress who are in tune with their views. Certainly delawaredem would prefer someone who has the favor of George Soros,, Emily’s List, and like groups.

Being on the periphery of the state, I know only enough about Delaware politics to be dangerous to myself. However, one complaint levied by commentors on the Delaware Liberal post was that Mike Castle, like Wayne Gilchrest here on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, hadn’t done a tremendous amount for the Delaware GOP. Given the fact that the field for the 2008 Governor’s race on the Republican side in Delaware originally featured the same players who slugged out the 2004 bid to unseat Governor Ruth Ann Minner, the criticism may be a valid one. Similarly to Maryland, the electoral politics in the First State is dominated by one small geographic area of the state and the rest suffers because of this oppressive tyranny of the majority.

Further restraining the growth of the Delaware GOP are instances where their caucus cannot remain united to accomplish the goals they can attain. The most recent example is failing to override Governor Minner’s veto of eminent domain reform, a move that greatly disappointed the property rights advocacy group Castle Coalition. With property rights being a pet issue for me as well, that little news item piqued my interest and apparently Delaware government retains its free rein to take property as needed for the purely fiscal purpose of increasing the local taxation base.

Returning to my original point, I have to wonder why the Club For Growth instills so much fear in liberal circles. To be sure, those of the progressive stripe have the own club for growth but as I alluded to in the last paragraph, that growth involves the amount of power and influence government at all levels exerts over one’s life. Furthermore, the ideological “purity” that the Club is being tagged for definitely extends across the aisle to the Democrat side – remember, this is the party that dropped its support of Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman just six years removed from being their Vice-Presidential nominee because he didn’t follow the liberal orthodoxy on the Long War (e.g. “Bush lied, people died.”) Nor can you get too far on a national level in that party if you’re pro-life or in favor of school choice, for example.

I think what bothers the left most about those candidates who have gained the support of the Club For Growth is that they’re not really Washington insiders. While it remains to be seen how things will bear out with candidates the Club supports if they’re elected, these hopefuls seem like the type who aren’t going inside the Beltway to amass a power base and probably loathe the place and process enough that they wouldn’t want to be there unless they had to be. Quite simply, they’re not angling to be part of the DC culture, and fortunately for State Senator Harris he lives close enough that, while maybe not commuting daily, he would have ample opportunities to get out into the district on a regular basis and stay grounded with real people conducting real lives.

It truly is unfortunate that those who live just a few miles north of me in Delaware apparently won’t have a real conservative choice for Congress as we do here across the Mason-Dixon Line. As in Maryland, the GOP needs to work back to the grassroots level and begin holding the Democrats accountable for the taxes they raise, the private-sector jobs they fail to retain, the schools where academics start to slip because kids are being taught improper environmentalism rather than proper English, and how all of this comes at the expense of those counties who see through the slick packaging liberals try to sell them and vote for limited government.

All this can be done, as evidenced by a governor of some repute you folks in Delaware had a couple decades ago named Pete DuPont. Something tells me that had the organization been around in that era, the Club For Growth may have supported him too.

Crossposted at That’s Elbert With An E.

A roundhouse kick to the pump?

I think this video was a little on the strange side, but the guy is everywhere now…

It makes you wonder what Chuck Norris is going to be running for in the next few years. After all, he wouldn’t be the first actor who went into politics. Certainly he got his share of face time (when he still had the beard) standing behind Mike Huckabee during the Huckster’s Presidential campaign.

Years ago, Chuck began to make the transition from an actor in front of the camera to the television and movie producer behind the camera and in the latter stages of his Hollywood career appears to be moving into the realm of political media. Not only was he a well-known Huckabee backer, but he’s also parlayed his name recognition into becoming a weekly columnist for the WorldNetDaily website and apparently becoming a recognizable face behind the “Drill Here, Drill Now, Pay Less” political movement. (Unfortunately, in his most recent WND column Norris shows he’s not quite in sync on the ethanol issue. But I digress.)

I’m still glad he’s on our side, though, because I’m sure Chuck can still deliver a pretty mean shot to the chops. But I have to ask – not only did he lose the beard but what is Chuck doing filling up a Honda Ridgeline?!?!? I still associate him with Dodge trucks after all those years of Walker, Texas Ranger.

Despite all that, the good news is that the DHDNPL count has climbed over 800,000 and soon Congress may be feeling the heat from more than just the July weather. If you haven’t done so, sign the petition today and join me in standing for a sensible solution to our energy woes.

Finally, this item from the American Solutions blogsite makes me ask the question: how quickly can Andy Harris sign this pledge? Would Frank Kratovil risk losing his environmentalist base to appeal to the larger number of voters who have had it up to here with $4 a gallon gasoline? And my crossposted friends across the border in Delaware may want to ask this question of their Congressman, Mike Castle. Where’s his John Hancock on this pledge?

Sometimes the strangest event can be the spark for a revolution. I’m beginning to think the ’10’s are going to be scary yet exciting years to be an American because a day of reckoning is bound to come on a number of issues. Let’s hope we can resolve them the right way.

Crossposted on That’s Elbert With An E.

Too bad the Supremes took so long

Yesterday the Supreme Court in a surprise 6-3 ruling upheld Indiana’s voter photo identification law. Michelle Malkin is one commentator who weighed in on this decision as many others have or will in coming days, terming it “victory.”

And while Justice Souter whined that, “the law imposes an unreasonable and irrelevant burden on voters who are poor and old,” (no it doesn’t) he was outvoted in a rare common-sense move by our highest court; one that hopefully will be the impetus for additional states to enact similar safeguards to the electoral process. While I’m going to send the bat-signal out to an expert like Elbert to chime in about Delaware’s procedures (or other experts from other states who happen to frequent monoblogue), I can certify that Maryland has no such law and all efforts to bring a measure of fraud prevention to our electoral process have steadily been beaten down by majority Democrats in our General Assembly.

But since the folks on the left seem to believe that courts, rather than legislators, should decide what’s proper and correct in jurisprudence, it should now be a no-brainer for the General Assembly to pass a law similar to Indiana’s – voter photo ID has the seal of approval from the highest court in the land. (Now if the Supremes would do something about that McCain-Feingold garbage we may really be on to something here.)

Unfortunately, this decision comes about 45 days too late for legislation that could’ve passed in our General Assembly session this year, so we have to wait until after the 2008 election unless by some miracle a Special Session to address this defect is called by Democrat Governor Martin O’Malley. (Yeah, and the sales tax will go back to 5% and pigs will fly, too.) And with Maryland voters also slated to decide the fate of early voting this November, a quicker decision may have impacted that balloting as well.

So the task of those of us in the Free State who still believe that the ballot is sacred is now threefold:

  • Defeat early (and often) voting this November. Absentee ballots are easy to get and achieve the same purpose without needing additional funding for ballot and voting machine security in remote locations during the early voting period.
  • Hold legislators’ feet to the fire, particularly on the House Judiciary Committee (that means you, Delegate Vallario) when a new version of this year’s HB288 is reintroduced next year. This is important since the Board of Elections doesn’t check citizenship and the MVA hands out voter registration cards like candy to whoever wants a drivers’ license.
  • Also, make sure your Delegates are made aware that this Supreme Court decision paves the way for something along the lines of this session’s ill-fated HB1199, and especially pass the word on to Delegate Hixson, who chairs Ways and Means.

We need this three-prong effort to maintain and improve the electoral process because every vote cast illegally may just negate the one you cast. It’s food for thought on this lunchtime post.

A note about a Delaware guy

No, not the one you’re probably thinking of. I just wanted to point out for my friends north of the border that I added a link to a GOP candidate for the U.S. Senate seat from the First State (held currently by Joe Biden), Tim Smith. (hat tips: Elbert for the post and John Rittenhouse for the actual link). At some point I’ll get around to adding the incumbent, but I’ll make him wait for now.

may have something to say about that other Delaware guy in the next few days but I’m still debating whether it’s worth my time on a weekend that promises to be a busy one for me (somewhere there’s a rack or two of ribs calling my name and I’m working a booth there too). So don’t hold your breath.

Yes, that is called a tease. Guess you’ll have to come back and check things out, won’t you?

A draft movement

Pity the Delaware Republican Party. It seems that no one wants to run for Governor there under their banner even though this year the governor’s chair is an open seat because current Governor Ruth Ann Minner is a lame duck due to term limits. At the moment there are two GOP candidates in David Graham and Mike Protack, but neither seem to have much chance if you believe this blogger. Since Terry Spence, who was mentioned in the piece, decided not to run and both Graham and Protack were also-rans in the 2004 GOP primary to eventual nominee Bill Lee, perhaps it’s time for someone else to throw his hat into the ring, and I know just the guy. His name is Joe Albero.

You may say, but he does the Salisbury News website…yes, but he actually lives in Delaware. And think of all the advantages he could bring as Governor of Delaware.

First and foremost, with the relatively small population in Delaware and all the millions he’s made and is making with the rush orders for his products, he certainly could self-finance his campaign. That would save the Delaware GOP a ton of money that they may be able to use on shoring up Mike Castle’s chances as well as building the party for future races. You know, Senator Biden can’t live forever.

Secondly, he’s on a first name basis with our own Governor, Martin O’Malley, so he has that leg up. After all, he has claimed that Martin reads Salisbury News on a daily basis. And while he may not be familiar with Mike Castle, Joe Biden, or Tom Carper he certainly knows the odds-on favorite for Congress on the Eastern Shore of Maryland in Andy Harris and has been hedging his bets by getting to know Frank Kratovil a little bit too. I understand that neither of these two would represent Delaware but that is where we in Maryland go to buy our big-ticket items and play the slots so we sort of know you already, kind of like kissing cousins.

Most importantly though, Joe is an expert on everything. If he would only run for Governor, citizens of the First State would never have to worry about overspending at local fire departments from sending too much apparatus to a scene, or driving at excessive speed to arrive. Citizens could also sleep much better at night assured that the workmanship on construction jobs would be first-rate, especially when it came to concrete slabs. The wastewater in Delaware would be the cleanest in the country since Joe knows his way around those plants and could point out all the flaws which would need to be corrected.

Furthermore residents of the First State would be the most prepared in the country for the next Great Depression sure to come since he keeps predicting it! Between his business expertise and his economic forecasting, soon Delaware would reach new heights as a job magnet. And as the population grows, particularly with refugees from the Salisbury area who are already familiar with his attributes and move across the line to bask in his leadership, he could easily week after week capture the award for the most influential political blog in the state.

Yes, Barrie Tilghman, Jim Rapp, Louise Smith, and others would become fond memories for Joe as those who got him started on his political career. After all, why mess with a small town when you can use your website to take on an entire state’s worth of politicians? Anyone who crosses him in Delaware’s legislature would be certain to incur Joe’s wrath and would soon deduce the error of his or her ways – soon every piece of legislation Joe favored would pass unanimously lest they receive an unfavorable mention in the redubbed Delaware News. Within months he could have the newspapers in Delaware straightened out as well, but eventually they’d fail because all they’d deliver is old news while Joe could have an entire state government of contributors to work with.

Citizens of Delaware, think of the possibilities! It’s not too late to draft Joe Albero and save not only the Delaware Republican Party but the state itself from a bland menu of politics-as-usual as practiced by those already in the race.

All that and more is the promise – even better is that I managed to express it in a small enough number of words to satisfy even his criteria. The end of this sentence is word number 750.

Extension of remarks

After my lunchtime post, I had some additional reaction from reader J.M., discussing in more detail Delaware vs. Maryland energy policy. This is just slightly edited for brevity:

I don’t know if you are keeping abreast as to what is going on in Delaware regarding Renewable Energy initiatives.

But DE has been paying for a number of years now $31,500.00 maximum or 50% per each residential installation for photovoltaic(s). In addition, they are paying 50% of the entire installation (with) a maximum of $250,000 for commercial.

Moreover, they are paying $600/ton for installation of high efficiency HVAC 15 SEER or more (with) a maximum of $3,000 per residence. 

The story gets better, I guess you’ve heard of Bluewater’s proposal for the offshore windfarm. They are also moving briskly towards electricity generation on a grander scale.

Now as for Maryland – once again, I have been invited to testify on numerous energy bills during this past legislative session, but I’m happy to report that I’ll not be attending any of them. Why, you might ask? Because this would have made the 4th consecutive year that I would have wasted my gas and time to speak (to) deaf ears.

It isn’t any one party’s fault for lack of an energy policy. I tag the…fault to a totally dysfunctional State as it relates to implementation of Renewable Energy Initiatives. (Emphasis in original.)

So we have a good idea of what J.M. thinks. However I also wanted to take the opportunity of this post to extend something I remarked on this afternoon as well. As I stated:

I don’t have a lot of objection to HB377…except for my longstanding objection to tax legislation being used to pervert market forces.

After writing that I decided it may be a good idea to further this thought. There are a number of ways that business can take advantage of the government and by extension the taxpayer. In this case, government is using the incentive of a grant or tax rebate to shift the playing field of home energy sources toward the use of solar collectors or geothermal heating and placing a disadvantage on electric and natural gas providers. Somewhere there was a lobbyist for the solar and geothermal industry who talked a legislator into introducing this bill originally in order to secure an advantage for the lobbyist’s client company or group.

Similarly, every day government at all levels works at the behest of a particular business or industry to create some sort of advantage for themselves. A couple years ago my adopted hometown of Salisbury created a controversy for itself by allowing tax increment financing to a developer in order to redevelop the site of the former Salisbury Mall – while the mall has recently been demolished as promised, the new construction has not yet begun while the tax increases endured as part of payment have commenced.

We also see this on a regular basis when a large corporation such as an automaker decides it would like to build a large assembly plant someplace in America. States trip over themselves to secure these plants by offering up multi-billion dollar packages which include tax incentives, making the bet that the plant will not just employ thousands of wageearners whose payroll taxes would make up for the lost corporate taxes, but spinoff entities then create thousands more jobs and even more revenue. Sometimes these packages pan out magnificently, but oftentimes the jobs created fall short of expectations and taxpayers get stuck holding the bag while the corporation adds to its profitability. It also skews the market to some extent as other competitors who didn’t get those sweetheart deals have to find a way to make up for the disadvantage, perhaps holding one of their plants as hostage to local governments with a threatened closing if they don’t get a similar pact.

Corporate interests sometimes choose another angle to gain advantage. Similarly to the solar and geothermal bill above but without the individual tax incentives, companies try to game the system through regulation, a practice called rent-seeking. Fellow Red Maryland contributor and Maryland Blogger Alliance member Mark Newgent has been doggedly looking into this in recent weeks on his website The Main Adversary, with an emphasis on the “Global Warming Solutions Bill” scam (a recent example is here); while a good, quick primer on the concept by Thomas Firey can be found on the Maryland Public Policy Institute site.

Sometimes government can create a disincentive as well. Last week a story ran in Business Week (I found it on the MSN site) that talked about “Why Exxon won’t produce more oil“. While the story charged that Exxon/Mobil is being managed solely to maximize profit, one point I saw as key was that Exxon simultaneously was predicting more production in regions like Russia, Africa, and the Middle East but less production in North America and Europe. Where are the most onerous restrictions for exploring? You guessed it, North America and Europe. (By the way, as an XOM shareholder I don’t mind them making a profit, not that the whole nine shares I bought would allow me to retire on the dividends tomorrow.) Some of those restrictions have been placed by entities interested in alternative energy in order to hamper efforts at utilizing the oil we have. (I know oil companies get breaks here and there as well, so don’t start with the conspiracy theories. You all should know where I stand on oil drilling though.)

In a perfect world, all governmental entities would stay out of the free market but we know that’s not realistic. Even by the Constitution (Article I, Section 8 ), Congress is allowed “To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises” and “regulate Commerce…among the Several States.” They certainly have taken advantage of that power, and those Several States followed close behind. But to the extent that it’s possible, trying to put this genie back into the bottle is worth attempting because with a more level playing field innovation is encouraged, benefitting all of us.

Crossposted on Red Maryland.

Reader feedback

Knowing that I pay attention to bills in the General Assembly, on Tuesday reader J.M. wrote to me on the subject of energy grants, noting he “doubt(s) very seriously” that an energy grant bill will come out of our General Assembly session. In his opinion, Maryland lags far behind Delaware, which offers, “energy grants for commercial (and) residential customers…(and) implementation of geothermal heating and air.”

“Maryland continues to offer nothing…but demands higher taxes!”

(By the way, the last part was all caps in the original, I decided to be nice to my readers and not yell.)

So I looked up the bill he cited, HB377/SB207. J.M. correctly notes that the bill as amended passed the House of Delegates 137-0 on March 19, so it can be brought over to the Senate for their action before sine die on April 9th. For an O’Malley Administration-sponsored bill I don’t have a lot of objection to HB377 (nor did anyone in the House of Delegates as no one stood against it) except for my longstanding objection to tax legislation being used to pervert market forces. Be that as it may, the idea’s not too radical as solar and geothermal energy are relatively practical for limited applications such as heating a home. I know some who have used geothermal even without a large tax incentive because of the energy cost savings.

Like the bill or not, J.M. is correct on one statement, noting that, “this session…can be chalked up as a defeat for the Maryland taxpayer.” While we may not agree on a lot in the field of alternative energy, he and I share similar sentiments on that opinion.

Presidential candidate love for the First State

Insofar as I know this is the first campaign stop featuring a Presidential candidate on the Eastern Shore or Delaware, but it’s not someone for whom I can vote.

As a courtesy to those on the opposite side who want to make a road trip Sunday to see Barack Obama in Wilmington, the information is here.

Hopefully after Super Tuesday the remaining candidates will make an effort to visit our region since we’ll be the only game in town for February 12th. I did notice that the McCain campaign also had rallies today in Delaware that featured Tom Ridge and Mike Castle but not John McCain himself. Seeing that Delaware has the fewest delegates at stake of any Super Tuesday state that’s not surprising but it would be nice to see a swing through our area by someone in the GOP before the 12th.

If I find out I’ll be sure to spread the word!

Gilchrest sides with Pelosi again

This afternoon, the Democrats tried but failed again to override President Bush’s veto of their larded-up and onerous version of the SCHIP reauthorization. And guess who voted for the override?

Yep, you’re right, Wayne Gilchrest. Sad thing is he had 41 other GOP partners (including Delaware’s Mike Castle), but fellow Free Stater Roscoe Bartlett wasn’t one of them.

Something tells me that there’s two First District GOP opponents very interested in that vote, not to mention an upcoming candidate forum where it just might be mentioned if a certain blogger gets to ask the question. You think?

Hat tip: the lovely and talented Marylander Michelle Malkin.

Crossposted on Red Maryland.

Another reminder: health care is NOT a right

I’m going to turn north of the border – the border between Maryland and Delaware, that is. But the topic I’m discussing here smacks of the differences between our country and the nation to our north, Canada. (That’s just a reminder for the few geographically-challenged readers who come to monoblogue. I wonder if they still teach that in school sometimes.)

Jack Markell is such a good writer as far as conveying his stance on the issues that I had to add a category to deal with Delaware politics. In this case though it also has application to our side of the fence because one aspect of the special session we in Maryland just endured was allocating $600 million in money we supposedly didn’t have to cover another 100,000 Maryland residents with health insurance. If you use that dollar figure as a guide, knowing that Markell claims that there’s about 100,000 in Delaware without insurance, that’s a whole lot to add to the budget of a state Delaware’s size (a population roughly 1/7 of Maryland’s.) I give Markell some credit for not simply wanting to throw money at the problem but coming up with a palette of ideas he sees as solutions.

What Jack wants to do can be summed up in a few short bullet points:

  • Sign up all those who are already eligible for state programs;
  • Allow families to purchase their health insurance through a market regulated by the state;
  • Require employers to either have insurance or contribute to a state fund;
  • Require insurers to guarantee coverage for individuals and individuals to have insurance of some sort.

The entire plan is here, but I think I’ll tackle these issues point by point.

In the first case, there’s a lot of people who would be considered underinsured. They may have insurance through their employer but do not make enough to be past the threshold that the state uses to determine eligibility. It seems to me that what Jack is suggesting is similar to a move Wal-Mart was castigated for – encouraging people to use the state as their insurer rather than their employer. That point is reinforced when Markell talks about “presumptive eligibility”, when those who apply will be presumed to qualify and allowing schools and preschools to screen children to determine whether they qualify. (Another reason kids may be geographically challenged, since that process takes money away from what schools are supposed to do.) Further, as I’ll argue regarding subsequent points, the incentive for insurers to do business in the state will wane despite the additional pool for coverage.

The second point would add a number of hitherto uninsured people to the market; however, the market would not be a free market that just anyone can jump into. As Markell writes:

Standards for health care plans offered through the Marketplace would be set by a Delaware Diamond Board. There would be a benchmark comprehensive plan that would cover primary, preventive, acute, and hospital care, with an emphasis on preventive care and disease management. Health care plans would vary in the level of benefits offered and out-of-pocket costs. The out-of-pocket costs for the benchmark plan would be capped to ensure affordability and designed to encourage smart preventive health practices and treatment. (Emphasis mine.)

In other words, the amount that an insurer can be reimbursed by the user is limited, so the profit margin either has to come from the caregiver or the state. While most think HMO’s and health insurance companies are purely evil, they do have a right to a return on investment too. And chances are they’ll put the squeeze on hospitals and other providers.

The third point has already been tried in Maryland. Anyone remember Fair Share? I know I do, and in the early days of monoblogue it was a frequent subject. But instead of a statewide edict affecting only companies who employ over 10,000 and don’t devote a certain percentage of their employee costs to health care, Markell goes for pretty much the whole enchilada:

To level the playing field, employers with 10 or more employees will be required to pay a fair share fee for each full-time-equivalent employee who is not covered through the employer or through another insurer.

Not only is that a job-killing idea, he even uses the same term as Maryland did! While he claims that he’ll start with companies with 100 or more employees, it may behoove you if he becomes governor and you have, say, 12 employees, to lay off 3 pretty quickly. True, he may level the playing field in Delaware but all that may do is drive business someplace else.

Finally, Markell decides to channel a portion of Mitt Romney’s Massachusetts plan, requiring all to have health insurance. It’s not clear whether Markell would use the same tactic on scofflaws (an additional fee paid yearly with their income tax) but what Jack wants to do is apply the force of government to what should be an individual decision. Not only that, he also places the restriction on insurance companies who now would be forced to cover all who apply. That is sure to drive insurance companies away from the Delaware market, and eventually when no one is left to provide private insurance it will fall on the shoulders of the state government to do so. It may take a couple decades or so, but incrementalism is how the liberals have played this game for the last 70 years.

And I haven’t even gotten to how Markell plans on paying for this. You should already know that, being a liberal Democrat, he has one target in mind:

An additional 50 cent increase in the tobacco tax would raise nearly $38 million in additional revenue, result in over $85 million in long-term health care savings, and save 1200 Delaware kids from an early smoking-related death.

It’s a tobacco tax increase – for the children, of course! After all, Delaware “only” ranks 21st among the states in their cigarette tax rate, and I honestly don’t think those on the “progressive” side are satisfied with their tax rates until they hit number one. He also thinks that Delaware doesn’t hit up the feds for their rightful share either. Much as Maryland’s budget, a large chunk of the First State’s comes courtesy of taxpayers in all 50 states.

But a post of this nature isn’t complete to me unless I suggest some alternatives. Here’s some of where I think this issue should go. In that piece, I did suggest that each state should be its own laboratory for change, so Jack Markell is within his right to suggest changes occuring within Dover and not by some bureaucrat a few dozen miles west in Washington, D.C. 

What’s missing from his plan in my view are measures to bring more competition to the marketplace. Nor is there room for something I consider as more of a common-sense portion of the solution, health savings accounts. Instead, Markell chooses an incrementalist approach where eventually incentives for insurers to enter or stay in the Delaware market will dry up, leaving taxpayers and employers – those who create the jobs he vows to bring to Delaware – holding the bill.

It’s too late for us in Maryland to change the path we’ll be on until at least 2010. But those of you in Delaware would be wise to learn from our mistakes. I often note that Maryland is the canary in the coal mine when it comes to so-called progressivism run amok, so you folks north of the border need to pay attention and take the opportunity you have to keep your state more free than the Free State.