Why does every bill with Scott’s and Sokola’s name at the top, mean no good for the people of Delaware?  Intriguing, however, also are the names of Kowalko, Baumbach, and Townsend as additional sponsors for this same bill… ( Longhurst is there as well, but that doesn’t matter)…..  One must assume for these three to endorse such a bill,  that perhaps they are unaware of who is signed up as a lobbyist, and who, if a fee is required, will be shut out from personally making their case to Delaware legislators..

Contrary to I guess, public opinion, not all lobbyists are fat cats.  Many of them are thin cats….

Nancy Willing is one.  Darlene Battle is another.  John Flaherty is a third. For you see, if anyone approaches a legislator about a certain bill, they need to be signed in as a lobbyist….

All a lobbyist is, is an expert on piece of legislation who attempts to explain it to a legislator.  Of course, an expert on sneaking a poisonous chemical through the labyrinth of law, requires one kind of lobbyist.  But removing the” box” from employment applications, requires another…..  Whereas our legislature doesn’t need the first type of lobbyists, it absolutely really does need the second.

What this bill does, is shut accessibility to legislators to all who cannot pay.  The indigent, the middle class, the workers, don’t have  a voice, unless they can find a paid lobbyist who will do it pro-bono.  The ducks, geese, and even the gray fox who currently have school children as advocates,  get shut out allowing sportsman to dominate the conversation.  In gun control, the dead children have no voice; the paying NRA has a monopoly on legislative personal relationships….

That is why as it stands, this is a bad bill.

To those on the inside, the reason for it’s proposal is obvious in light of the education fight over Common Core.  Educational issues are not going as those responsible (Jack Markell) for pushing them through legislature think they should.  Somehow, legislators are getting other opinions beside those carefully screened for their indulgence… This bill will stop that.

I can understand how progressives could get behind a bill to make lobbyists report who pays them, and make lobbyists pay a fee…. But a close reading of the bill does not legislate how much the fee shall be, nor does it exempt anyone working pro-bono…  Yes, of course without it being specified specifically, that could still happen after this bill is passed.  … But so could the opposite!… It will be solely at the discretion of those on the Integrity Commission to determine who can play, and who cannot….

“Set that fee for Nancy at a $1000, will you” said the joker to the thief……

Below are organizations currently listed as lobbyists who probably won’t be, if the fee is enacted……

  1. Delaware Estuary
  2. Stand Up For What’s Right And Just
  3. National Popular Vote
  4. Girl Scouts of Chesapeake Bay
  5. Associated Community Talents
  6. Delaware Association of Non Profit Agencies
  7. 9-12 Delaware Patriots
  8. Kent County Progressives
  9. Center for Inland Bays
  10. Delawareans for Social and Economic Justice
  11. Delawind
  12. Delaware Repeal Project
  13. Delaware Jobs Now
  14. American Lung Association
  15. Common Cause/ Delaware
  16. Pilot’s Association for the Delaware River
  17. Burris Firm
  18. NAACP
  19. Concerned Black Men, Inc.
  20. Wilmington Tug
  21. Blue Hen, Inc.
  22. Delaware Business Roundtable Education Committee
  23. Delaware ACLU
  24. Center for Popular Democracy
  25. Council on State Taxation
  26. Marijuana Policy Project
  27. Delaware Audubon Society
  28. Delaware Sleep Society
  29. American Traffic Solutions
  30. League of Women Voters
  31. Chimes Delaware
  32. PTA Delaware Congress
  33. Delaware Rural Water Association
  34. Brandywine Sprouts, Roots, and Shoots
  35. Delaware Council on Gambling Problems
  36. Autism Delaware
  37. Delaware Auctioneer Association
  38. Delaware Police Chief’s Council
  39. Save our Society From Drugs
  40. Greenwatch Institute
  41. Sierra Club
  42. Delaware Defensive Driving
  43. March of Dimes
  44. Consortium of Non-medical Privately Owned Healthcare
  45. City of Wilmington
  46. Volunteer Hose Company of Middletown
  47. Delaware Volunteer Fireman’s Association
  48. Delaware Coalition For Open Government
  49. Delaware School Boards Association
  50. Consumer’s Union of US Inc.
  51. AIDS Delaware
  52. Delaware Nature Society
  53. Delaware River Stevedores, Inc
  54. Council on State Taxation
  55. Bridgeville Rifle and Pistol Club
  56. Delaware Ecumenical Council on Children and Families
  57. American Lung Association of the Mid Atlantic
  58. Delaware Society for Respiratory Care
  59. Humane Society of the United States
  60. Horizon House
  61. American Cancer Society Action Network and It’s Affiliates
  62. Consumer Health Products Association
  63. Best Friends
  64. Wilmington Fire Foundation
  65. Film Delaware
  66. Delaware Compensation Rating Bureau
  67. Easter Seals
  68. Rodel
  69. Mid Atlantic Education Alliance
  70. Christina River, LLC
  71. Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition
  72. Recycling Reinvented
  73. Delaware State Lodge  FOP
  74. Police Athletic League of Delaware
  75. Kind to Kids Foundation
  76. Delaware State Funeral Directors Association
  77. Delaware Tourism Alliance
  78. Commercial Industrial Reality Council
  79. Cigar Association of America
  80. Scientific Games Corporation
  81. Delaware Auctioneer Association
  82. Save our Delaware Byways
  83. Delaware Solar Energy Coalition
  84. Fort Miles Historical Association
  85. Atlantic Pawn
  86. Delaware Asian American Business Association
  87. City of Newark
  88. Alternative Energy Researching and Consultation
  89. Gift of Life Donor Program
  90. Delaware Cemetaries for Consumer Choice
  91. Gun Rights Across America
  92. White Clay Creek Watershed Management Association
  93. Rehoboth Art League
  94. WHYY Inc
  95. Delaware Association of Surveyors
  96. National Campaign to Reform State Juvenile Judicial System
  97. Sussex Technical School District
  98. National Guard Association of Delaware
  99. OSG Ship Management Inc.
  100. St. Francis Hospital/Catholic Health East
  101. Westown Movie Theater
  102. Red Frog, Events LLC
  103. Woodlawn Trustees
  104. Prestige Academy
  105. Communities in Schools of Delaware
  106. Punkin’ Chunkin’
  107. CRI
  108. Arcadia Wind Power
  109. National Association of  Professional Surplus Lines Offices LLC
  110. Teach For America
  111. Civic League for New Castle County

Just to name a few…  You see, lobbyists are the oil inside the engine.  They reduce friction, and are what keep legislators capable of staying ahead of multiple issues at any given time….  So, yes, some may be paid very well. But quite a few of the above will not be back if this law is passed and signed….

I have included lobbyists for both sides, to show that they are indispensible to the operation of government as we know it… This bill will affect the postions held dear by both Republicans and Democrats.  Essentially those hurt will be all those who cannot afford to pay for representation … Those helped will be all those who can easily pay for the privilege of meeting with a legislator….

That is why I am not surprised to see Sokola and Scott at the top of this bill.  I am surprised to see Townsend, Kowalko, and Baumbach as additional sponsors….   Someone should tell them…..

 

And here is the meat of the bill…..

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Section 1.  Amend § 5832, Title 29 of the Delaware Code by making insertions as shown by underline as follows:

§ 5832. Registration of lobbyists with the State Public Integrity Commission.

                (b) The information recorded in the Commission’s lobbyist docket shall include for each separate employer:

(6) Whether the employer pays or promises to pay compensation, as defined in § 5831(a) of this title, to the lobbyist.  The amount or value of compensation is not required.

                (e) Upon registration, and between January 1st and January 15th of each subsequent year, each lobbyist shall pay an annual registration fee per employer paying or promising compensation to the lobbyist.  The fee is not prorated for compensated lobbyists or their employers who are registered for only a portion of the year.  At the beginning of each calendar year, the Commission shall establish an annual registration fee which shall approximate and reasonably reflect all costs necessary to defray the expenses of administering § 5832, § 5833, § 5834, § 5835, § 5836, § 5837, § 5838 of this title.  The Commission may not impose a fee on lobbyists who are not paid, or who are not promised, compensation from the employer of the lobbyist.  The fee is payable through the Public Integrity Reporting System database maintained by the Commission.  All revenue generated by registration fees shall be deposited in an appropriated special fund account for the Commission.  These funds shall be used to fund all costs necessary to defray the expenses of administration of § 5832, § 5833, § 5834, § 5835, § 5836, § 5837, § 5838 of this title. Nothing in this section shall relieve a lobbyist from the registration requirement in subsection (a) of this title, whether required to pay the annual fee or not.

                Section 2.  Amend § 5838, Title 29 of the Delaware Code by making insertions as shown by underline as follows and by redesignating accordingly:

                § 5838. Violations and penalties.

                (d) Any person who fails to pay a registration fee required by this subchapter shall be deemed to have voluntarily cancelled registration as a lobbyist and shall be prohibited from reregistering or acting as a lobbyist until all delinquent registration fees are paid.

                Section 3.  This Act shall become effective on January 1, 2015.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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