Friday, August 10, 2012


JJOKE is making life miserable for the lobbying community

Here are some more types of “business relationships” that will be required to be disclosed by JJOKE’s new guidelines.

Think about the amount of work that will be required to insure that lobbyists and their clients will not be at risk for $50000 JJOKE fines when they fail to disclose their “business relationships”:

CASINOS – every casino with a registered lobbyist will now have to disclose lines of credit and the action they receive from legislators and state employees.  I actually know a little bit about the type of detailed records casino’s keep.  During the Trump investigation I received data on New York legislators that had credit lines at NJ casinos from the NJ Casino Control Commission.  I still have it somewhere in my files I think.  Anyway it made for fascinating reading.

BANKS – every bank with a registered lobbyist will have to disclose mortgages made to state employees and legislators.  Come to think of it every deposit you make at a bank is a “business relationship” under JJOKE guidelines.  What a compliance nightmare.

INSURANCE – every insurance company with a registered lobbyist will have to disclose policies that state employees and legislators have with them.  That’s a lot of data their competitors and telemarketers would love to see disclosed.

COMMUNICATIONS – wireless telephone and cable companies with registered lobbyists will have to disclose customers that are state employees or legislators.  If I remember correctly Verizon wireless used to offer state employees a discount.

EDUCATION – any schools that have a registered lobbyist will now have to disclose which students are state employees or legislators.

UNIONS – Let’s see if they want to tell us which members are state employees and if their dues exceed $1000.

HEALTH CARE – this one may cause some problems.  Do you think state employees will want their identities disclosed if they go to a health care provider that employs a registered lobbyist?

And here are some specific companies that are clients of registered lobbyists that will now have to disclose which customers or clients are state employees or legislators and how much business they do:

BJ’s Wholesale house – I can’t wait to see how much business the governor's staff does with BJ’s.

EBAY – which state employees have the coolest stuff for sale on eBay?

Fasig-Tipton – any legislators buy horses?

And my personal favorite Golub Corporation – I always wanted to know what the shopping habits of certain local legislators were.

As I’ve said before I doubt that JJOKE intended to expand their disclosure reach this far.  It’s far more likely that the smart New York City lawyers that drafted these guidelines are just clueless when it comes to the real world of Albany lobbying but I would never let any of my clients run the risk of failing to disclose these types of “reportable business relationships” and face a subjective fine from Biben and whomever is telling her whom to go after.

The real question I have is how did some smart commonsense commissioners let this happen?  Wake up guys and gals or join the ranks of the former disgraced commissioners that came before you.  I’ve told many of you privately it’s not what the staff tells you that you have to worry about its what they DON’T tell you that will hurt.

No comments:

Post a Comment