I testified (I’m not sure if that’s the correct phrase) today at a senate forum on something called ALEC.
Now to be clear I didn’t and don’t have a clue what or who ALEC was when Senator Squadron called me the other night and asked me to attend this forum. But he said I could talk about whatever I wanted regarding lobbying in NYS and that is just too good an opportunity to pass up.
So that’s how I ended up sitting next to Susan Lerner today while she railed about this sinister thing called ALEC.
As an aside Susan, turn off the ringer on your iPad, it’s more annoying than listening to you rail about secrecy and corruption.
For me the best part of the day was Susan Lerner taking credit for getting the disclosure of “business relationships” between lobbyists and legislators passed in the last ethics reform legislation, and then having to admit that she did not know that it has been required since January 1, 2012 and further having to admit that she has not checked to see if any lobbyist has disclosed a “business relationship”.
The "business relationship" data is information J-JOKE has not disclosed although I requested the release of it from Milgram. I had to do some fancy searching on the JOKE's database to get the answer.
That in a nutshell sums up what is wrong with ethics “reform” and the goo goos and Susan Lerner in particular, they are all practioners of ethical voyeurism. They all want to see the strip show but no one wants to get too close to the strippers.
It’s far easier to talk about it than actually fix it.
Regular readers know I have preached about ethical voyeurism before (check out the February 21, 2011 blog item “Look but don’t touch”). Nothing seems to change
Best line of the forum Senator Perkins “if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck it must be a lobbyist”
Second best line was my response “No Senator if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck it must be a duck because a lobbyist is defined in the statute”
At the end of the day it’s just a big game of duck duck goose. And remember that game all depends on who is calling you a duck or a goose.
And I don’t think J-Joke can tell the difference between a duck, a goose or a turkey without direction.