A strange spectacle took place this week in Dover as Democrats wrestled with the issue of how to deal with the possible impeachment of State Auditor Kathy McGuiness.
Dems in both houses could not agree on a path forward and some Republicans rose to her defense.
Granted, it appears that legislators have never faced the issue of removing an indicted public official. That will guarantee McGuiness at least a footnote in future Delaware history books.
On the national stage, the GOP would be all in on the impeachment of a member of the other party.
Instead, some Republican legislators in Dover were talking about the former Rehoboth druggist being presumed innocent until proven guilty. Never mind that any activities of the Auditor’s Office will be a cloud until the case is resolved.
One exception was Newark-Pike Creek Rep. Mike Smith who joined some Democrats in calling for her resignation.
All of this would have been avoided if the State Auditor would take a leave of absence, a suggestion from state Senate leadership that McGuiness rejected.
Still, Republicans may figure that having McGuiness stay in office bolsters their chances of winning it back.
Another issue involves McGuiness’ political beliefs, which remain something a mystery. The progressive wing of the party has long distrusted the auditor and her ties to powerful House Democrats.
Prior to the indictment, some wondered if she might jump into the race for governor, given her nonstop public appearances and fund-raising.
For now, McGuiness remains an Excedrin headache for Democrats.
Regardless of whether McGuiness prevails or is found guilty, the case does not help Delaware’s business climate and a national reputation as a state with a culture of insider dealing and corruption.
For now, Republicans are content to pass the popcorn and watch the spectacle unfold. – Doug Rainey, chief content officer.