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HB 306 is a bill that will silence the voices of any public citizen’s group but will enable corporate interests to wine and dine legislators without allowing any contrary position to set forth inside the General Assembly…..

It tells legislators… you can only listen to “these” people…..

It is an anti-lobbying bill that primarily affects those who don’t lobby too often, but when they do it is for causes benefiting regular citizens, and not those corporate interests trying to minimize their rights…

Again, it is a progressive bill sponsored by progressives unaware that in Delaware, everyone has to sign up as a lobbyist if they want to visit a legislator in the General Assembly and discuss pertinent legislation….

Although some lobbyists are indeed “fat cats” with multiple clients with much net worth, by numbers most lobbyists are just lobbyists for certain causes… If you missed a previous post illuminating those causes, please go here… 

This bill sets fines for late reporting….  Fines which are steep and not in line with those who most likely will fall short.. Most likely the fine will be $100, but it is set for $25 the first day, and $10 for each subsequent day…

Under the description these fines are supposed to cover costs caused by late filing.  But the system is computerized… there are no costs!!!  The computer erases access for any lobbyist not current until he makes himself current….  So the only costs involved are the same as your computer has at home… zero…  Your computer cost is the same whether you are looking at lobbyists transactions or watching something on YouTube…

Apparently legislators envisage hundreds of people pouring over paperwork, checking boxes to see who is current or not…. The administrator can find that out with one quick click….

Dismissed:  the notion there is any cost associated with late fees. Which is why this portion of the bill is silly:  “The fee(s) is payable through the Public Integrity Reporting System database maintained by the Commission.  All revenue generated by the late filing 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 29 Del. C. § 5835.”

Translated…. this money goes into the general fund.

Secondly, is whom is hurt….

If you make your business lobbying, chances are you have alarms, bells and whistles informing you of the approaching deadline… If you have kids in school, a demanding boss, teenagers at home, pets that pee on the carpet, there is a pretty good chance that if I asked you when the window for re-registering as a lobbyist, you might respond with at the end of every quarter, but I would be that without a calendar, you couldn’t recite each of the dates.

For those that don’t know, here is how the process works.  If you are an public advocate, you sign up as a lobbyist… Under the law you have to report how much money you spent each quarter and for you… it is always zero… … So in the midst of your daily life,  you have to wait for the window of access to open, and then look up your  login or password since it has been 3 months last since it was last used, then find the right page, type in 3 successive lines of zeros, log out and you are done…..

So the entire procedure for advocates of We, the People, is very Kafkaesque….   You have to wait for a certain moment of time, and then report that you did nothing, … If you miss the window, you are not a lobbyist any more….   It used to be you were not a lobbyist until you logged on and filed a report.  Now, you will pay, … probably $100 dollars … for not being able to jump through that window during the short time it was open…..

Every lobbyist gets an email reminding them of their responsibility… Depending on your daily traffic, it is one of 250 a day, or 7500 a month…. On the email there is a link…. you click the link and get notice the website will be active starting the 20th of this month… Crap! You have to now wait 10 days…. The window is from the 20th to the 1st of the month…  If there are two weekends and you file from work, you have only 6 days in which to remember to file…  If you remember on the second of the next month 30 days after your reminder… you have an outstanding balance of $25 dollars… (Now will you have to report this on the next quarter as an expense?)… If you remember on the third, the aggregate total is then $35 dollars.  If you remember on the fourth…  (July 4th weekend is right after a lobby reporting time)… $45 is what you owe… The 5th, $55 dollars….

Most people who advocate for causes, perhaps their autistic son, can better spend $55 dollars…..  If what is most likely to happen, they can’t afford $55 dollars, they can no longer talk to any legislator about autism or any connected bill affecting their child… They are expelled….

That is why this is a bad bill….  the people we need to hear from the most… are the ones who will be punished…

There are changes that can be made….  Amendments…  One saying this only applies to lobbyists who will be shown to have had expenses…  That is fair, whether of public advocates or fat cats.  Because chances are, if you are spending money on legislators,… it is on top of your mind…   it is not like getting fined for not reporting in a timely fashion, you had no activity.

Or one can do the same, but with a threshold…. This requirement only applies to those lobbyists reporting expenses over $1000 a quarter…. 

Both of these would maintain the character of the bill, which is to make sure Mr. Byrd reports all his dealings while the General Assembly is in session, and not months after it has closed up shop, at which point we then find how Darryl Scott was bribed to sponsor all those horrendous pieces of educational legislation he and Dave Sokola have introduced regarding Charter Schools…

And it would protect those who only got involved because a school bus needed to have a stop sign that unfolded when its red lights came on and an extension bar out front so a driver could see if all children had crossed in front of his vehicle…. or other similar pieces of legislation….

Many long past their active involvements ….   Imagine that one day they get a bill from the state saying they owe $100 for failing to say they did nothing during he course of these past 3 month….  And that because they did nothing without reporting they did nothing, they now must pay $100 they have in arrears…

Amend this bill, or vote it down……

AS is, this is a bad bill for the following organizations…..

  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

Most likely if this bill is passed, they will have a hard time getting anyone to take up their cause… unless that person has very deep pockets already….

This is a bad bill.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Over $4 billion will be spent in campaign ads.  Depending on whether it is taxed or not, will depends on a gray area decision: are these ads political.

These ads are called 501(c)(4) based on the classification in the IRS Code that deals with them…..  the tax-exempt status under IRC  501(c)(4) of civic leagues, social welfare organizations, and local associations of employees…..

Civic leagues or organizations not organized for profit but operated exclusively for the promotion of social welfare.

Local associations of employees, the membership of which is limited to the employees of a designated person or persons in a particular municipality and the net earnings of which are devoted exclusively to charitable,
educational, or recreational purposes……..

These exemptions were sought after and got… by the US Chamber of Commerce when the Tariff Act was voted upon 99 years ago in 1913.

An organization that primarily benefits a private group of citizens cannot qualify for IRC 501(c)(4) exempt status. A political party is a private group of citizens. This line of code gives the IRS the right to disqualify any group sponsoring any political ad that can be reasonably deemed to be pro one party or another. It would not affect something like Clint Eastwood’s Superbowl Commercial, although Republicans always afraid of truth, tried to spin that as a Democratic campaign commercial.

In Erie Endowment v. United States, 316 F.2d 151, 156 (2d Cir. 1963), the court, in defining a civic organization, summed up the matter by stating that “the organization must be a community movement designed to accomplish community ends.”

The ad depicting Obama leaking secrets… does not accomplish community ends. The ad correctly depicting Mitt Romney killing a man’s wife by driving head on into a Bishop’s car, … does not accomplish community ends…. Both should be taxed….

The IRS is currently deciding. It will be called out unfairly no matter what its decision will be…

It has the duty to follow the law. If Republicans disagree with the decision, whenever they get enough Republicans inside the Senate to make a change, they may change the law. If Democrats disagree with the decision, whenever they get enough Democrats inside the House to make a change, they… may change the law….

The IRS does not have that option. Their option is to uphold the law... And there is no way, no person unbiased, can realistically say political action advertising, is within the realms of the definition of tax free organizations…..

So, Doug Shulman? Tax them.

Have you heard of it???

Neotane…. Crazy… neither had I….

Looking it up here…. this is what I found….

“Aspartame can step aside. There’s a new sweetener in town and it isn’t saddled with the inconvenience of having to be listed on labels, so it can be sneaked into any prepared food, even USDA so-called Organic. So sayeth the FDA. Neotame is a Monsanto-created chemical similar to Aspartame, including its neurotoxic properties.”

Monsanto’s Aspartane patent is about to run out.. Neotame is far more toxic, but supposedly just as safe…. because less will be used in diet soda…. (we hope)….

Oh, well you say… one more item to look out for when you read labels at the grocery store….

Or, I never worry.. I only buy organic……..

But, even though this is far more toxic than anything ever put on a grocery store shelf (gigantic doses of formaldehyde)… it received exemption from labeling by the FDA….

(By the way, it IS in organic food)…. too…

WHAT?

The food labeling requirements required for aspartame have now been dropped for Neotame, and no one is clear why this was allowed to happen. Neotame has been ruled acceptable, and without being included on the list of ingredients, for:
USDA Certified Organic food items. Certified Kosher products with the official letter k inside the circle on labels.

“Don’t bother me none; all I ever eat is steak…”

Well, that cow most likely will have been fed with feed containing…..you guessed it…..Neotame! A product called “Sweetos,” which is actually composed of Neotame, is being substituted for molasses in animal feed.

The most toxic food chemical ever created is not labeled by the FDA? How could this be?

Neotane is made by Monsanto….

Perhaps it has to do with the fact that Michael Taylor was appointed in 2009 by President Obama to the newly created post of Senior Adviser to the Commissioner of the FDA. Michael Taylor, noted ‘food safety expert’ has long history of boucing between jobs as lawyer to Monsanto, working for Monsanto, being a lobbyist for Monsanto, a position at the USDA, and going back and forth from there to the FDA.

There was some protest

Republicans have dire need of a smoking gun to go after that crony capitalist Obama…. Here is is…

Of course, and Executive Order could fix the problem, if it changed both the policy on labeling and on adding an appropriate health warning… Those are the issues…

After all, Monsanto doesn’t need to make any more money…

Bottom line: in order to run for Congressman, Paul Babeu had to hide he was gay….

Why is that?

Why…. is…. that?

Why?

Here you have a good man, good enough to run for Congress, who for reasons beyond his control prefers a long term relationship with someone his same gender, and if he is to run, he has to pretend he is not gay?… Even to the point of “deporting” his former friend?

Why?

Why does someone so esteemed in society; someone who spoke before CPAC last week; someone on the front of the immigration war; someone whose image is right next to John McCain’s, for heavens sake, surely one of the best human beings that Arizona has to offer…..

Why does he have to hide the biggest part of who he is?

Perhaps you don’t see how huge this is?

We have a conservative, anti immigration sheriff, in a very conservative town, in a very conservative state, who was about to embark upon the career of his life…. who had all the qualifications, who had all the support….. IN OTHER WORDS HE WAS JUST AN AVERAGE NORMAL CANDIDATE….. except for the fact that he was gay…

While no one knew he was gay….. he was a hero… a leader…. a person looked up to?…

Point is; being gay makes not one bit of difference… If you are considered one way because you keep your gayness hidden, and then considered another way because it has come out, then the problem is obviously NOT WITH YOU….

IT IS WITH THOSE OTHERS WHO THINK BEING GAY IS NOT NORMAL….

So you have a normal guy, who, after his gayness comes out is…. still a normal guy…. it proves all those detractors who oppose any equality for gays…. WRONG…

If you don’t believe gays are people… you are wrong.
If you believe gays have something wrong with them, you are wrong.
If you believe gays are liberal commie pinko’s… you are wrong.
If you think gays can’t hold or shoot a gun…. you are wrong.
If you think gays aren’t Christian enough…. you are wrong.
If you think gays can’t be real men…. you are wrong.
If you think gays are sinners….. you are wrong.

Obviously there is nothing wrong with gays… Paul Babeau cuts that argument down forever….

From this point on… no conservative can say there is something wrong with gays.. (listening Gov. Perry?) and get away with it…

Because the truth is: there is nothing wrong with gays.. There is something very deeply, sickly wrong with a party that is… anti gay…..

Paul Babeau proves the Republican party is full of hypocrites. For it was only for the fact that he felt he had to hide who he was for his party of fake people, that forced his hand to threaten his ex to stay quiet….

Damn shame, he couldn’t have just let it all hang out….. and still run as a “so-what” Republican in high esteem…..

There is nothing wrong with Paul.. There is something wrong with Republicans…. ‘Cause Paul Babeu just proved it……

It is funny, … often the most profound statements are in an aside that the author slipped into the article…..

From the New York Times……

“He helped devise a strategy that called for his coalition to line up a strong array of legislative sponsors and supporters behind two similar laws — the Stop Online Piracy Act in the House, and the Protect I.P. Act in the Senate — and then to move them through the Congress quickly before possible opposition from tech companies could coalesce.”

Translated: how can we trick Congress into passing this law before the American People find out….

Wouldn’t it be nice if campaign contributions could ONLY come from individual donors who were actually human?

Here is a quick list of the Motion Picture/Recording Industry campaign money spread around… It will be interesting to see how each person votes to censor our internet, when all is said and done…….

Senator Tom Carper: $24,950
Senator Chris Coons: $ 2,200
Rep. John Carney: $ 2,500


Right click to open full image… Pictograph Courtesy of Viral..

So, can someone tell me again, why we shouldn’t tax the rich, and instead, balance the budget on the backs of everyone else?…….

I seem to be missing that little detail where that all makes sense……

Obama could not have picked a better 2nd man.

This is classic Biden to those of us who have watched him grow over the years… There is of course much denial-ability, so it will never get proven, … but the track marks are there… and I’m beaming, I’m so proud to be a Delawarean today…

If any of you have ever been in a decision making position, most of you know that you are being asked to decide the future of events that on paper you have jurisdiction over, but in reality, are way beyond your control.

The best way to get what you want is to point those larger forces in the direction you want to go,… so they carry you along in their current….

If Democrats and Republicans do not agree to another $1.5 trillion in cuts later this year, then automatic cuts of about $500 billion in both national security and Medicare provider spending will be triggered, beginning in 2013. Republicans think the threat of cutting Medicare will force Democrats to bargain, and Democrats hope that the threat of defense cuts will force Republicans to bargain

But what is really happening is something else: Both Democratic and Republicans leaders have realized that they don’t have enough political heft on their own to cut a deal. So they are pointing a gun to the knee caps of corporate lobbyists for the defense contracting and medical provider communities and saying, “Help us, or else.”

This is the part Biden helped craft….. And this is also the part to which Eric Cantor subscribed, giving him the rare praise of being a “smart man”. John Boehner and President Obama, also joined in….

“Under the agreement, a failure to reach an agreement in December would lead to $50 billion in cuts per year in the 50% national security spending account for the next 10 years. So to save their own skin, military contractors, who spent $146 million lobbying Congress in 2010 with more than $16 million in political donations from PACs, will have to get in the game, urging Republicans to find savings in other places. In practice, that will likely mean new revenue, collected by ending corporate tax breaks and eliminating expenditures. If the plan works as Democrats would like, Republicans will be forced to raise taxes with the help of the military industrial complex.”

Ah Ha! Gotchu!

Oh, but wait a minute….. isn’t there another half?

“The other half of the trigger would cause a 2% decrease in reimbursements for Medicare providers (not recipients), pulling about $50 billion a year off their bottom line for a decade. That means lobbyists for hospitals and doctors will also have a dog in this fight. Hospitals and nursing homes alone spent more $107 million lobbying Congress in 2010.”

“Hospitals have already started running ads on cable television protesting the potential cuts, under the banner of a group called The Coalition To Protect America’s Health Care.”

“Like defense contractors, they are the hostages now, and they must advocate for Democrats and Republicans to come together on a final deal in the fall, before the trigger gets pulled. In the deficit debate, Congress has proved itself inept at fighting for the common interest. In turning the gun on special interests, they are essentially outsourcing that job to Washington’s most effective actors.”

(Btw. Hats off to Michael Scherer; I’ve quoted him rather extensively for his writing was done so well. I could find little to improve upon)…..

Somewhere in the discussion, hopefully over a glass of Maker’s Mark, came this question: how can we make our enemies (the lobbyists) be an integral part of this plan, thereby insuring it will pass?

(Note: Lobbyists are the biggest enemy to good government. Far worse than evangelists, socialists, and communists.)

So the brilliance of this agreement, is that it addresses the question: of how can we get the forces of Eisenhower’s “military industrial complex” who’ve always scuttled budget control in the past, and the forces of the AMA, hospitals, insurance giants, and pharmaceuticals, who’ve always scuttled any attempts to control skyrocketing medical costs, to work together with Republicans and Democrats on controlling the budget deficit…..

We do it by pulling the trigger on a large chunk of their change, if an agreement is not forthcoming……

It’s brilliant.

It’s Biden

His good sense didn’t come from Scranton, so it must have been Delaware, that put it in there…. 🙂

We Destroyed This Country

“It is our fault.  We started with a surplus… then pissed that away,  then started borrowing, and pissed that away, then deregulated the banking industry, which pissed everything else away…. It is the Republican’s fault…”

Kilroy Nails it Good   This is exactly what it is all about….

So How Do We Step It Up for the Third Bush Term?