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Thursday, July 06, 2006


Michael Castle was complicit in the Dobrich intimidation: Part II

In order to get to the heart of Castle's feelings about the Dobrich intimidation case, I called his Wilmington office at (302) 428-1902. Here is a rough transcript.

Dave: Congressman Castle'’s office this is Dave.

Me: Hi Dave, this is Jason calling from "delaweareliberal". Does Congressman Castle have a statement for the press on the Dobrich family being driven out of Indian River School district by the intimidation tactics of the "“Stop The ACLU” Coalition"?

Dave: He does not have an official statement on it right now, if he makes one I will be happy to call you back with it. What is your phone number?

Me: Thanks. It is (302) XXX-XXXX
UPDATE: It turns out it was not just one state legislator who spoke out in favor of the Dobrich intimidation,
five of them did:

We commend the Indian River Board of Education for maintaining its tradition of prayer. This long-standing practice is a tribute to our historical heritage and a reminder to our elected officials that even beyond their own constituencies, there is a power that will hold them accountable for consequences of their actions.

- State Reps. John Atkins, Joe Booth, Ben Ewing, Gerald Hocker and Biff Lee

These elected officials were basically giving the green light to the people in Sussex who went on to make the death threats that forced the Dobrich family out.

Nothing from Castle yet.

I am going to call his office as well. Will let you know what I hear.
Awesome. I think we Democrats have depended on the goodwill and humanity of the rank and file Republicans to police their extremists.

They clearly are not doing it, so I guess we need a new strategy.
I just called, spoke to Rachel. She said she did not know if he has made a public statement yet.

She did not ask me about the case though, so I assume she has some familiarity with it.

She took down my name and number and said she would get back to me when she got more information.

Also re your comment that they are not policing these guys. I think they are creating a monster. There are many examples of this happening in history, maybe not here in the US but around the world.

Unless folsk liek us take a stand this is not going to end.

I am also thinking about following up on the suggestion made by Delaware Dem on Kos that we should write to the local newspapers. I am going to do that soon.
dorian gray emailed a letter to the school board reply yet. It is a pretty good letter. he posted it...
Great letter.

(snip) Defending the rights of minorities, both racial and religious, and even criminal defendants is an integral part of life in this republic. As educators, your shame should be immeasurable.

According to reports, another attendee at this meeting instructed Mr. Dobrich to "take off your yarmulke". That is quite a erudite remark. Maybe that individual should look down at the cross around their neck. If there was one individual who championed the rights of the downtrodden and the "criminals" more that the ACLU, it was Christ. As a man who was falsely accused and executed, my guess is that he'd be a card carrying member.

Dorian Gray

Thanks for covering this, Jason. I just read about it on Bartholomew's Notes on Religion, and I was very surprised to find almost no mentions of the issue in the Delaware blogosphere. Keep on blazing the trail!
We've covered this issue, um, when it happened. I have a few contacts down there and wrote about it here. (Another one is here.

Is there new information on this case? Where has it been noted?
The new info is the fact that the Dobrich family has been driven out of Sussex county by death threats.
Dude, that's still old news. That article offers nothing new. The Dobriches moved north quite a while ago.

The intimidation of them is indeed reprehensible. The legality of IR's actions, however, appears to remain in dispute. As does your specious claim that Castle is somehow "complicit" in the Dobrich's intimidation.
Old news meaning forget about it?
Some of us have not heard about it before, and hence it is still news to us.
And I thought the "religious right" conservatives were pro-Jewish. Oh, no...wait! They're just "pro-Israel" or anything that infiltrates the oil-rich Middle East on our behalf!
Jay: No, certainly don't forget about it. But it certainly seems like there's nothing new to report about the story, aside from Jason's ridiculous premise that Castle is "complicit" on IR's behalf.

Mike: consider the irony of your statement -- support for Israel, in order to get oil??? What're you smoking?

It wasn't an ironic was a stupid statement. But my point stands...just because a religious-right, nutcase conservative is "Friends with Israel" does not make them in any way supportive of Jews in general. Simple as that.

As for what I'm smoking, I'll have you know it's been more than a couple days since I've been on the pipe.
Are you busting on our site's "Friend of Israel" tag? But yes, I agree -- many fundie Christians support Israel only out of their own narrow self-interest.
Colossus I am curious to find out if the "so called moderate" Castle has made a public statement about this issue. Or he decided to be quiet since it's after all part of his base (he does want their votes after doesn't he).

Silence of public officials when certain groups are making deat threats is certainyl a worrying sign. This is true regardless of the political stripe.

Nope...I first saw the Friend of Israel banner on La Shawn's site. It's stuck with me since. In a vomit-inducing kind of way.
Jay: Just b/c Castle hasn't addressed the issue doesn't imply he agrees w/the morons down there threatening the Dobriches. He may not even know about the incident (at least until today based on the phone calls made). He is a national representative for the state, not a state representative. He deals w/matters of DE as related to the federal gov. for the most part.

As Firststate said at the beginning of this thread (and the others), "this is a stretch." There's stuff to after Castle about; this ain't one of 'em.
Hube, I gather that you think the treatment of the Dobriches was reprehensible and that although the lawsuit is debateable - no American should have to suffer public abuse because of thier faith in Christ (or lack of it).

Are you with me?

Give that - why is Castle not accountable on some level? Holding the highest office, of any elected Republican he is clearly the leader of the Delaware Republicans. If the party is making imoral choices, isn't he a complicit in them?

I don't see how this is not all about guys like Castle and the fact that they whip up the crazies when it suits them - and run away from them when act crazy.
ok Jason,

where is the official statement from:
baby Biden
It does seem like a good topic for the AG race.
I think you are missing the point that Castle the the LEADER of the DELAWARE REPUBLICANS and it was four REPUBLICANS that participated in creating the climate of hate that drove the Dobriches away from IR.
Jason, you are trying to make it sound like Republicans and Republican officials are making death threats. Kindly back off of that line of thinking. Supporting prayer at a school board meeting is not the same as threatening someone. That's the reach.
Jews on First seems to have run the story because of the announcement by the school board that they would revisit/vote on their religion policy after a June 27 executive meeting.

My bet is Jews on First was pushing the story to get more information, since the new policies (or even information about how or whether they voted) isn't readily found on the website. (

Getting picked up by the DailyKos raised the profile of the story, too.
reminder to our elected officials that even beyond their own constituencies, there is a power that will hold them accountable for consequences of their actions.

- State Reps. John Atkins, Joe Booth, Ben Ewing, Gerald Hocker and Biff Lee

kind of the opposite of death threats...
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