Ranking the rankings in Delaware

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Good morning,

At least once a week, a business-related ranking for Delaware appears in our Email In Box.

A few gain attention. Others await the delete button. Many clearly lean to the left or right and skew the weighting of responses to their side of the fence. A few are cut and paste jobs with little research or quick mining of census info.

Typically, the surveys are used to bolster the case of current administrations, opponents and other factions.

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Typically, the state gets slammed for its debt load, income taxes and sometimes schools. Bright spots are the lack of a sales tax and low property taxes.

Last month, a survey from a company known as ThumbTack ranked Delaware as No. 2 in the nation in small business friendliness.

The survey was comprehensive in that it surveyed 13,000 small businesses, rather than sampling several hundred.

That’s important for Delaware, since the number of responses from of a state of less than a million souls are often statistically insignificant.

The administration of Gov. John Carney ran with the ranking and quickly posted a release on the state website.

The Carney folks had ample reason to do so. Earlier, the state had seen its No. 1 ranking in the corporate friendliness of its courts drop to 11. The survey is posted every year from an arm of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Those opposed to court-ordered sale of TransPerfect pointed to the ranking as evidence that Chancery Court and its appointed custodian were mishandling the sale of the company.

The latest development in the dispute comes with the departure of key staff of the New York company.

Secretary of State Jeffrey Bullock, perhaps the most powerful figure in the state other than the governor, thinks another factor was at work.

In a recent interview, he pointed to the courts or General Assembly not going on with the “loser pay” reform sought by the chamber.

Meanwhile, a couple of additional rankings have made their way to the In Box. It’s time to check them out.

Have a great week and the newsletter will return tomorrow barring any technical glitches. – Doug Rainey, publisher.

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