Friday, January 28, 2011


I never thought I would say this but the state lobby folks (you know those staffers on the third floor that are treated like the poor cousins from up in the mountains) could learn a lesson from the New York City lobby bureau. This is the same NYC lobby bureau that we use to give a helping hand in the form of our internal controls and audit protocols. They were understaffed and overwhelmed and quite frankly appreciative of the help we provided. But now they are the ones that should be teaching the PIC how to run an integrity agency.

What do I mean? Well it’s simple Jamie Ekle, the city lobby bureau’s lawyer (they don’t use 6 overpaid under talented lawyers like PIC)(memo to new chair fire the lawyers and recruit Jamie you’ll save money and have a competent employee) sent out an email (what PIC would call an eblast) explaining how they interpret due dates. It’s clear and concise and answers the question I asked of Cherkasky Miccio and Ginsburg over 7 months ago. I’ve reproduced it below so PIC can copy it, that way you don’t need another 10 meetings, internal emails to cover your ass that you’ve changed how you calculate due dates and personal and confidential memos regarding THE BIG SECRET (btw wrap those personal and confidential in brown paper and have them delivered to your home address in the future) Its just a due date not the enigma codes.

Anyway kudos to the NYC lobby bureau lets hope PIC can get over themselves and tell us finally when the due dates for registrations are. It’s not fair to impose late fees when you haven’t told the lobby community when they should file.

Here are the NYC rules. All you need to do Ralph is cut and paste, take credit and hope no one notices your previous inconsistencies (I’ve got your memos thank god for plain brown wrappers)

b. Retainer date- Some retainers are in the form of correspondence, and as such are dated at the top of the document. This date is used to determine the timeliness of a statement of registration. This office considers the retainer date, the latest possible date a lobbyist will anticipate representing client and exceeding the reporting threshold, and thus, the 15-day period to file a statement of registration commences to toll on that date.[1]

c. Signature date- Practically all retainers filed with this office have signature dates. On occasion the signature date is the same as the retainer date, but at times the dates are different. If there are no defined dates of representation, the signature date in the retainer may be used to verify the start date in a statement of registration. If there is a variation in these dates, the signature date will be deemed the correct start date.

As stated above, the purpose of this announcement is not to dictate the content or form of your retainers. Nor is there any suggestion that you amend your retainers to include the dates listed above. Rather this announcement is to inform you of the implications of dates in a retainer, and how such dates are used for compliance purposes.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Okay so I’ve been away from the blog for a couple two three weeks post holiday. Quite frankly the cockroaches at PIC have been keeping me busy with so many new clients I may have to start being selective about the nonsense I fight with the insane clown posse about. Anyway let me bring you up to speed on what they did pre and post Cherkasky’s resignation.

First I got an opinion from the commission regarding special counsel Ralf’s allegations that I was violating the lifetime ban by representing clients who received late fees. Lo and behold the commission ruled that Ralf was wrong . . . yet again. But it was a close one with two commissioners writing a dissent that Ralfie was right, Commissioners Levine and Brickman. Now while neither one has a wife who is a lobbyist like Barry (at least as far as I know) Levine is of counsel at a law firm that is a registered lobbyist (a spitzer appointment the hypocrisy is never ending) and Brickman who according to his bio on the commission website is the Chairman of the Correctional Association of NY and a director of the Nassau Health Care Corporation both clients of registered lobbyists and subject to the jurisdiction of Mr. Brickman’s commission. What’s that they say about glass houses guys? Now I’m sure both these gentlemen would recuse themselves from any issue that affects their law firms or clients or boards they sit on BUT WE WILL NEVER KNOW IT because no member of the commission publicly announces their conflicts. If I get some spare time I’ll take a look at these client and lobbyist filings if there is any issues I’ll make a complaint I’m sure Barry and the rat pack will do a thorough investigation. Anyway in their dissent these two commissioners stated that I might be violating an Attorney disciplinary rule about representing a client with a competing interest to a previous client. My question was just who was my previous client? The lobby commission? You have got to be kidding me I was never the lobby commission’s lawyer just ask spitzer I was the client not client number 9 although you could argue spitzer did f**k me but that’s for another blog LOL.

Anyway the best part of the opinion is this quote from the majority “we are the guardians of public ethics not private morals” the funny part is I think Cherkasky and the lawyers at the PIC actually believe it. Some guardians.

So anyway I’m now good to go and can litigate with the commission on a whole bunch of BS they’ve been trying to pull on the lobbying community with trumped up investigations and late fees that are not authorized by statute and which provide no due process protections Let the games begin.

And on the subject of game playing it looks like special counsel Ralf got benched and a new hitter is stepping to the plate swinging her big stick. Bridget Holohan seems to have taken over for Ralf. For those that don’t know Bridgett she did the Paterson Yankee Ticket case with an assist from Cherkasky’s buddy who was brought in to babysit. Anyway Bridget’s first move was to interrogate commission employees who happened to be speaking with me when I was at the commission offices and got dimed out by mall shopper extraordinaire and commission secretary Deb Novak (would you like a little cheese with that whine?). Bridget and Barry have now prohibited program staff from answering any questions I have. The irony here is they claim to be concerned that I would contact their client about pending matters yet Barry and Ralph are the ones that did that and had to write an apology to me after the commission investigated my complaint. I don’t do that sort of thing and would never place my former employees in that situation. You see Barry you actually have to care about the folks that work for you not just the lawyers you don’t get it and never will its why you are a failure as an executive director. Anyway I have to ask Barry or Bridget the question and because they have no clue they have to go get the answers from the program staff that they have gagged. Then Barry sends me letters that don’t answer my questions but state they are frivolous (another disciplinary rule someone taught him). I’ll give you an example here’s the question why do lobbyist have to list third party beneficiaries on registrations? Simple question but no answer from Barry I got a feeling then in the next couple of weeks Barry is going to learn how frivolous that question really is stay tuned.

I still don’t have an opinion about widely attended events (remember they said no opinion until SAPA review is complete) but they issued a $5000 fine to United University professionals for just such an event. Commissioner Carpinello issued a dissent that is the most intelligent writing I have seen come out of this commission in the last 3 ½ years other than all the resignation letters, Feerick, Titlebaum Cherkasky and hopefully Ginsberg before too much time elapses and he destroys the new chairs reputation.

On the subject of the new chair, she called me and asked to meet, that makes her the first person associated with this commission that has sought my advice or input since it was created. Could a new era be on the way? And in the interest of full disclosure I told her the same thing I’ve told anyone that’s asked the only way to fix PIC is change the people that have ruined it. If they stay the Cuomo folks have to take responsibility for what they do or don’t do. And trust me you can’t retrain a lazy, ill mannered watchdog. That dog just won’t hunt