I feel like I’ve written this blog a thousand times. The PIC ooops The JCOPE has done something stupid, foolish, asinine, tone deaf, incompetent, pick your adjective, again.
I forgot how comforting it was the last 6 or 7 months when they were forced by statute to go into suspended animation. And I hoped that a new group of commissioners would upgrade the professionalism and skill level at the commission but alas top staff never ceases to shoot the commission in the foot at every opportunity.
What is it this time? Well, probably only 2 or 3 people would notice but JCOPE is attempting to enforce one of the new sections of the law dealing with the definition of lobbying. The statute amended the definition of lobbying to broaden it by now including the introduction or intended introduction of legislation or resolution.
The JCOPE has changed its forms to now require all lobbyists to list a “brief description relative to the introduction or intended introduction of legislation or resolution”.
I can almost hear the staff meeting that resulted in this. Top administrators worried that the change in the law went into effect January 1 but the forms don’t reflect it. So they change the forms. When lower level staff asks what does introduction or intended introduction mean, they are ignored or told to do their own jobs. The forms are changed BUT
No announcement is made about the change.
No guidance is provided about what the change means.
No guideline is issued to define what an introduction or intended introduction is.
No opinion is issued to define what an introduction or intended introduction is.
No change is made to the instructions for filing it still reads exactly as it did before the change.
No change is made to educational material found on the website specifically the late filing tutorial it still reads exactly as it did before the change.
In short no one knows the what or the why just that the form says to provide the brief description.
It’s like the last four years all over again. The commission that can’t shoot straight.
And for those that say relax its self explanatory answer this question for me:
If an organization runs a television or print advertisement congratulating or criticizing an elected official for their stance on an issue that may be the subject of legislation sometime in the future have they lobbied necessitating their registration because the advertisement could be interpreted to be intended to influence the introduction of legislation?
Duh, that’s why you can’t change the forms without some forethought.
It’s a slippery slope and the duffeycrats at JCOPE are willing to give you a shove over the lip, but don’t expect them to clean up the mess at the bottom.
Ms. Biben when do you start? Someone needs to change most of the people driving this train to stupidity.