Citizens for a Pro-Business Delaware forms PAC that targets Carney


A group critical of Delaware Chancery Court announced is creating a Political Action Committee that will spend upwards of $1 million to hold Gov. John Carney “accountable” during his bid for a second term.

Citizens for a Pro-Business Delaware announced the creation of the PAC in the words of the group will highlight what the group said is the Carney Administration’s “disastrous response to COVID-19 which has put communities of color and prisoners in the state’s correctional facilities at significant risk.”

Carney campaign response

C.J. Bell, Carney campaign coordinator, issued the following:

The Governor listens to his constituents and tries to represent their interests. He’s not paying much mind to an out-of-state multimillionaire with an axe to grind about a decision in Chancery Court.
Governor Carney’s record is clear. When he took office, he appointed the most diverse cabinet in Delaware history. As Governor, he has made it a priority to make Delaware’s judiciary more reflective of the communities it serves, and to support students in public schools who need our help the most.
Last year, the Governor nominated the first African American Delawarean to serve on the state Supreme Court. That work will continue. For the first time in Delaware’s history, Governor Carney secured additional, targeted funding for Delaware students living in poverty and for English learners. Governor Carney will continue to advocate for all Delawareans and Delaware families in a second term.

“This sounds like a fool’s errand,”said Wilmington corporate attorney Chuck Durante. “Delaware politics are neighbor-to-neighbor, so this promises to be wasted money. This crew’s scattershot approach has been ineffective, sometimes laughably so.”

The PAC, Citizens for Transparency and Inclusion, stated that it expects to spend upwards of $1 million ahead of the coming primary in September and general election in November. The PAC will launch this week with a $150,000 commercial ad buy.

Carney faces one primary opponent from the Dover area. Six Republicans will battle it out for a spot on the general election ballot.

Chancery Court critic

The group has long been critical of Chancery Court actions regarding the sale of New York-based TransPerfect.

Citizens had earlier confined its criticism to Chancery, Court, and. the corporate law firm of Skadden Arps, but has since extended its campaign to include Carney.

The governor nominates judges and chancellors, who are, in turn, confirmed by the State Senate.

More recently, it has alleged that Carney has not done enough to stem outbreaks of coronavirus in the state’s corrections system.

The up to $1 million spending pledge comes as questions continue on the source of funds for Citizens which describes itself as a group of TransPerfect employees and Delaware residents.

TransPerfect dispute

Citizens has long been linked to Philip Shawe, who prevailed in the battle over TransPerfect, but has been harshly critical of Chancery Court’s actions in a case according to some accounts piled up a quarter of a billion dollars in legal costs.

Shawe later moved TransPerfect’s state of incorporation out of Delaware. TransPerfect and Shawe have been battling with Skadden Arps over the billing of legal fees related to the TransPerfect sale and the appointment of a custodian that supervised the sale.

Shawe and former fiance Liz Elting, 50-50 partners in TransPerfect, earlier battled over control of the company, which led to the sale ending up in Chancery Court.

Citizens identified the founder and funder of the new PAC as Kevin Obarski, chief revenue officer for TransPerfect.

Last year, the president of the Delaware State Bar Association president took Citizens to task for its criticism of the state judiciary and for alleged ties to Shawe. (See below)

Updated with Video: Bar Association president again strikes back against group critical of Chancery Court

“From his first day in office, Governor John Carney has consistently shown the Delawareans he claims to represent that the only thing he cares about is protecting the status quo that keeps entrenched interests in power, while those in need continue to struggle,” stated Said Citizens for a Pro-Business Delaware Campaign Manager Chris Coffey.

Coffey went on to say that under the Carney administration. “9 Delaware citizens have beenshot and killed by police officers with impunity during his term.

“As Governor Carney travels across Delaware looking for votes, he must be held accountable to his voters. The ‘Delaware Way’ of rich, white men ruling the state government and judiciary must end, and communities of color must be represented and supported. We’re launching this PAC to make that happen,” Coffey stated.

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