Following a review of campaign financial disclosures and after the distribution of partisan campaign literature, Senator Gerald Hocker (R - Ocean View) on Monday, October 12, 2020, demanded the immediate resignation of the Delaware Economic and Financial Advisory Council’s (DEFAC) chairman, Michael Houghton.
“DEFAC was set up to be a bipartisan, non-politically affiliated council that projects Delaware’s financial well-being,” Senator Hocker stated. “Unfortunately, Mr. Houghton is a major contributor to both Democrat candidates and Democrat-affiliated political action committees.”
According to public reports filed to the Delaware Department of Elections, Mr. Houghton made significant monetary donations, including an opening contribution of $3,500 to PAC302 on August 14, 2018 and a $10,000 payment to Facts Matter PAC on September 24, 2020. Per its stated purpose, PAC302 was set up to “Provide financial support to Delaware Democrat candidates”. Facts Matter PAC recently distributed highly misleading literature attacking a sitting Republican senator.
Additionally, Mr. Houghton has contributed thousands of dollars directly to Democrat candidates’ campaigns.
“This routing of funds to partisan organizations and Democrat candidates calls into question DEFAC’s credibility, particularly during a time when we are to trust its financial projections during a global pandemic,” Senator Hocker added. “Mr. Houghton is certainly allowed to donate personal money to whatever and whomever he pleases, but he shouldn’t do so while chairing a bipartisan and apolitical committee. To restore faith in the Council’s work, Mr. Houghton should step down immediately. If not, Governor Carney must replace him.”
DEFAC was created by former Governor Pete du Pont in 1977 to act as an independent and bipartisan council to project Delaware’s annual revenue. Governor Carney reauthorized DEFAC via Executive Order #26 on November 26, 2018.
Senator Hocker serves the 20th Senate District and is the Minority Leader in the Delaware State Senate.