Friday, June 29, 2012

Did anyone just hear what Ravi didn't say?

It's 5 days since I responded to Ravi's defense of Milgraaaaaaaam

And still no response

Here's another question to add to the list Ravi - What time does Milgraaaaaaam get to work in the morning?  And who does he report to?

Anyway since they've muzzled Ravi let me move on to what will be a regular Friday feature this summer.

What is in those Financial Disclosure Reports?

I've got a summers worth of reading and I haven't even asked for employee reports yet.

So I think I will post one issue every Friday from the reports.

Lets start today with the fact that none of the electronic reports have submission dates so there is no way to tell if they were submitted in a timely fashion.  Did you redact the submission dates Milgram?

I'll send you a letter asking for your explanation.

Under the heading CONFLICT - Did anyone know that Biben's husband is not only employed by a registered lobbyist/client (JP Morgan) but is also a director of another lobbyist/client, the NY Lawyers for the Public Interest.  Why she felt the need to identify that group as a non profit on her Financial Disclosure Report is beyond me, probably an indication of the limousine liberal mentality prevelant with her crowd, that if you are involved with a not for profit it can't be an ethical issue.

Stay tuned we will bring you another conflict next week   There is gold in those reports.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


What am I waiting for?

Ravi's answer to the questions I posited several posts ago.

At least he could let us know that he asked Biben or Difiore or MilgrAm the questions.

I am in a word surprised.

I've never known Ravi to be at a loss for words or action.

Perhaps he has taken Abraham Lincolns words to heart that it is " better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt"

On the subject of Abraham Lincoln quotes might I suggest the following action plan Ravi? "Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the ax"

Tick tock Ravi Tick tock

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

JJOKE sets a record

Todays JJOKE meeting set a record.

It was the fastest commission meeting in modern history.  From the chairwomen's welcome (utterred while the crowd, all 7 of us were still filing in) to the motion for executive session . . . 4 minutes, thats 240 seconds for those of you keeping count at home.

And in those 240 seconds Biben announced the hiring of 2 more staffers, and neither was a women from the IG's office or from the chairwomen's husband's law firm.  As of now I do not know if they are Albany based or NYC but I would guess one of each and neither is a chief economist.

The chair announced that source of funding rules and regulations are being worked on, whoopee, but would not be released until some unspecified time in the future, but for all those affected rest easy because "no one will be relieved of their obligation to file under the law" according to the chair.

As to business relationships no guidance but the chairwomen pronounced that all should follow a plain reading of the statute LOLOLOLOLOLOL.  They don't know what to tell the lobbying community so read the law yourself.

And then there was Ravi.   Did he answer any of my questions?  Nope but he did state that he hoped the commission would pass rules and regulations that maximized disclosure . .  just before the JOKE went into top secret executive session.   You have to love Ravi's sense of irony and comedic timing.

On a positive note Ravi was not dropped off in front of the building by his chauffer driven Maybach, I saw him actually walk in from at least a block away and I could find no sign of the chairwomens security detail or her westchester county vehicle at an expired meter.  Who says you can't teach  old dogs new tricks.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Ravi Response

So it took awhile, a couple of dictionary’s, a thesaurus and but I think I figured out what Ravi was saying in his comment.

Boil it all down and Ravi thinks I should delete from the blog my opinion that John Milgram is an asshole.

Ravi would also like me to apologize to John Milgram for calling him an asshole.

Let’s start with the apology.  Not going to happen.  I used to actually like John.  But my experience with him over the last 4 months has changed my opinion of him.  I now truly believe he is an asshole.

Best I can do Ravi is the following – with all due respect I think John Milgram’s actions at JJOKE make him an asshole in my humble opinion.

Now John’s not the first person I’ve called an asshole in my life and I am sure he will not be the last.

And to be fair I am sure there are plenty of people I interact with that believe I am an asshole . . . many of them are correct.

And judging from the folks that have told me how John has acted at the JOKE I’m not the only person that thinks John is an a**hole (is that better Ravi?).

Now as to the deletion on the blog I see no reason to delete my reference to John as an asshole.  It  was the whole point of the piece to present to people what John had done and let them decide for themselves whether John was an asshole or merely incompetent.

I specifically used that word to generate debate and it worked.

It got Ravi to send in his thoughts about John Milgram and gave me an opportunity to ask Ravi some questions before Tuesdays meeting (another meeting that Milgram has failed to post notice of in a timely fashion as required by the JOKE’s own rules).

So since Ravi is so dedicated to transparency and intelligent debate let’s see if he will answer the following questions, either on the blog (I’ll post anything Ravi writes, sans edits) or at the meeting Tuesday.

1)      Did the commission authorize Ellen Biben to work in New York City prior to the New York City office being opened?

2)      If yes why? And why wasn’t that authorization made public?

3)      If no will Ravi investigate how many days Biben actually worked in the JOKE’s Albany office and explain what she was doing the rest of the time?

It’s hard to restore integrity Ravi when the day to day head of the agency only shows up to work part of the time, most other state employees would be investigated for this behavior.

4)      Can you explain why Milgram and Biben fired 4 former lobby commission program staffers earning between $45K and $55k and replaced them with lawyers Biben formerly employed at the IG at six figure salaries in New York City?

5)      Who is doing their work? – I can answer that – less talented auditors making more money which begs the question who is doing the audits?

6)      Were those fired employees good and decent family people? And why didn’t Biben interview any of them before she decided to fire them?

7)      Was there firing necessary to free up budget room to hire Biben’s New York City friends?

8)      Why does the JOKE have a chief economist?

9)      What does a chief economist do?

10)   Why is all but one of the new hires in the New York City office making a six figure salary?

11)   Why does the New York City office need an assistant director of finance and administration making over $80k?

12)   Do you realize you have more chiefs than Indians?

13)   Why did JJOKE wait until after the effective date to hold a hearing on source of funding?

14)   Why were you the only commissioner to ask questions at that hearing?

15)   What is your position on your chairwomen’s failure to pay the parking meter?

16)   What is your position on the chairwomen’s nanny gate scandal?

17)   Do you believe the chairwomen should be registered on behalf of the District Attorneys Association as a lobbyist?

18)   Do you believe the District Attorney’s Association should be registered as a lobbyist?

19)   Did the chairwomen’s husband recommend or assist your most recently hired attorney to get her job with the JOKE?

20)   Did you know that Lori Donadio has told lobbyists that there is no policy for how late fee settlements are being imposed? And that Biben et al are making it up on the fly?

21)   Do you believe JJOKE has jurisdiction over legislators for actions that occurred prior to the establishment of JJOKE?

22)   Did you approve of Mr. Milgrams actions in asking the camera people to leave the last meeting?

23)   Do you think Mr. Milgram has done a good job as an interior decorator for JJOKE?

24)   Will you inquire regarding Ms. Biben’s travel expenses for travel between New York City (her home) and Albany (her office) prior to the New York City office being opened?

25)   What was the reason for opening a New York City office?

26)   If it was “to have a presence in New York City” why is it in a secure building where lobbyists and clients can not drop off or pick up forms?

27)   When will Milgram respond to the rest of my document requests?

28)   Does JJOKE plan on responding to the opinion requests I made in February?

29)   Did Biben even inform you of them?

30)   Do you know if Biben talked to anyone in the Cuomo administration about the Libous matter?

31)   Lastly do you think John Milgram has done a good job in representing JJOKE with the media?

32)   If yes why is JJOKE a laughingstock?

33)   Oh one more thing Ravi who do you think leaked the Libous 15 day letter to the Times Union?

I could go on and on and I might after Ravi responds but I think you get the point.  The JOKE has been a failure and it is the people running it that are to blame.  Maybe it’s time Ravi to stop trying to compliment everyone, get your head out of your (anatomical reference deleted) and start doing your job and ask some tough questions and tell the public the answers.

And in summation counselor, no I will not stop the personal attacks if I believe that is what it takes to change the direction of ethics enforcement in ALBANY.

As Ice-T said


Saturday, June 23, 2012

Ravi speaks and speaks and speaks and speaks and speaks and speaks

Ravi Batra has asked if I could post his comment to my previous blog regarding JJOKE flak John Milgrams delay in providing me numerous document requests.

I've decided to offer Ravi a regular column if he wants it (there must be a market for long winded opinions, he is driving a Maybach after all)

So without further delay please find Ravi's comment below.

I'll respond Monday after I decipher what it is he is saying.

"My dear David,

John Milgram is a good and decent family man, and has always loyally and honestly served his principal, be it a newspaper or a high public official. He deserves to be treated with honor.

I have soulfully embraced Patrick Henry’s core and vital contribution to a then young nation, “I will fight to the death for your right to disagree with me,” for society cannot be free without harnessing the power of dissent and criticism that is the First Amendment, for it, much like the separation of powers regime within government, keeps our republic honest, real, transparent, strong and vibrant. Indeed, the American Dream and American exceptionalism exist due to the twin engines of welcome-dissent: one that empowers everyday citizens and the other, for those in power, by diluting it. America at its finest.

That said, I am compelled to post this personal plea, to your better judgment, and request that before the start of JCOPE’s June 26, 2012 meeting you delete your anatomical reference for John Milgram on your blog, and dare I wish for more... that you, instead, ignore any frustration you may feel, and post a gentle apology to a good and decent man, who has a spouse and kids, and a well earned bright future. In our digital world, with instantaneous access to information, a definite boon, yet there lurks an evil: perpetuity. News and opinions remain immortal, no matter the evolution of our positions, as we get older and find out that certainty is less certain, and comprehension of the incrementally elusive nuances more difficult as we doven through life.

Help our state and nation re-embrace “sacred honor” over life, liberty and property as our Founding Fathers did on July 4, 1776. US Attorney Preet Bharara has just concluded his “insider trading” prosecution against Rajat Gupta, because Wall Street forgot that it exists for the benefit of investors on Main Street, and not the other way around. In so doing, he has become a global hero as the EU and Asia slides and we are re-buffeted by the Great Recession. Lincoln understood that identical issue and promised to curb government’s inherent improprieties and make it work for the people.

So, please refrain from personal attacks, for it denigrates your value and hinders, rather than enhances, public confidence in government. New York and Albany is functioning better than ever before in recent memory. Help enhance integrity and restore our collective sacred honor of the Empire state; we are poised for greatness - maybe even a President soon. Help it unfold with integrity so that our hard pressed neighbors find relief and the American Dream is available to all.

While I reserve the right to disagree with you or to learn from critical dissent, I hope that you will permit me the occasional use of my limited First Amendment rights, as I do now.

Dated: 6/23/12
Ravi Batra
A fellow New Yorker"

Friday, June 22, 2012

The results are in

Following up on yesterdays post about my quest to inspect financial disclosure reports before I pay for the copies (and you know I will pay because I get way more than $35 worth of enjoyment out of finding the conflicts and hypocracy), it seems about 40% of those who read the blog and commented to me in one fashion or another fell into the he's an asshole camp, 10% said incompetent and the rest voted for both.  Now remember this is a very unscientific poll, but until I can figure out a way to run a poll online it seems to be about right.

I got to wondering what could possibly be in those reports that Milgram doesn't want out.  And then I read that the chairwomens's husband is a partner in a large New York City law firm.  I wonder, do you think any of the high priced, new law talent the JOKE just hired for the New York City secure command center aka the New York office, came from the husbands law firm?

What are the odds?

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Can you use the word "asshole" in a blog?

John Milgram – Incompetent or an Asshole?

Let me share with you my recent experience with JJOKE media flak John Milgram.

I made a document request on May 16 2012 for the financial disclosure records of all JJOKE employees and commissioners.

It took about a week but John informed me that he could not fulfill the request for employee records without a specific request made for individual employees.

I told John that since the JOKE was hiring so many of Ellen’s lunch buddies in NYC at salaries in six figures I did not know the names of all the new hires in New York City and would need a list of JOKE employees required to file financial disclosure reports.

He told me to make a document request. What an asshole.

But I did.

And I specifically requested Ellen Biben’s financial disclosure report, because I knew her name.

And I waited.

And I waited.

And I waited

In my line of work that failure to provide the records told me either there is some good stuff in those reports (for me not the JOKE) or Milgram is incompetent or he was being an asshole.

So I waited

And I waited

And I waited

And then I found out that the person that copies the reports had done her job so I knew that the delay was the result of either the fact that there is some good stuff in those reports (for me not the JOKE) or Milgram is an asshole or both.

So yesterday I sent a message to Milgram that it was time to provide the records or I would be forced to get creative.

The result? I got the following email:

Dear Mr. Grandeau,

“This is in response to your records request dated May 16, 2012 for certain Commission records. In accordance with Executive Law §94(19) and the Commission’s guidelines for accessing publicly-available records at, copies of the financial disclosure statements for the Joint Commission's 14 commissioners will be available for you at the Commission's first floor reception desk Thursday morning. The statements total 183 pages, the first 40 for which there is no charge. The remaining 143 copies at $0.25 amount to $35.75, and a check made out to the Joint Commission on Public Ethics will be due upon receipt of the documents. As previously discussed, financial disclosure statements for Commission staff will be provided subsequent to a request identifying individuals whose statements you are seeking copies of.

So I sent this response:

“Dear Mr. Milgram

As I am sure you are aware I requested to review these records at the commission’s office. I will then be happy to pay for any pages in excess of 40 that I require copied. As to the employee records as we discussed I have requested a list of employees that are required to file financial disclosure reports and would then request to review (once again at the commission's office) those reports. Lastly as I am sure you are aware I have requested Ms. Biben's financial disclosure report. Can you please advise when that report will be available for review? 

David Grandeau (Reasonable)

And this was Milgram’s next move:

“Dear Mr. Grandeau,

Pursuant to Executive Law §94(19)(a)(1) financial disclosure forms are necessarily copied for public disclosure. In partial response to your May 16 records request, copies of the financial disclosure statements for the Joint Commission's 14 commissioners will be available for you at the Commission's first floor reception desk Thursday morning, June 21. The statements total 183 pages, the first 40 for which there is no charge. The remaining 143 copies at $0.25 each amount to $35.75, and a check made out to the Joint Commission on Public Ethics will be due upon receipt of the documents.”

And my response:

“Mr. Milgram

I strongly suggest you read Executive Law §94(19)(a)(1) and the recently promulgated commission guidelines related thereto as they both clearly state in language even a public information officer should be able to understand that the listed records are "available for public inspection".

Further the guidelines state that:

"Location of records for inspection

(a) Once granted access, access to records will be arranged by the Records Access Officer, and records will be made available in a convenient and appropriate manner.

(b) Appointments for public inspection of records at the Commission's office shall be arranged on days that the Commission is regularly open for business and during the hours of 9am-4:30pm."

If you do not understand the effect of the foregoing language I suggest you ask one of the commission's attorneys to provide you guidance.

I again insist upon being provided the opportunity to inspect the records in question at the commission's office in a convenient and appropriate manner as provided for by statute and under the commission's guidelines.

Your continued refusal to follow your own commission's guidelines leads me to the belief that you are attempting to hinder my access to these records or are incompetent.

I await your response.

David Grandeau

 (Reasonable and correct)

Now understand that thanks to a long list of corrupt and incompetent ethics officials and agencies my business has prospered and the $35.75 is not the issue.  The issue is, is John Milgram incompetent or an asshole.  What do you think?

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

It's a chicken and an egg thing

From Spano to DiFiore … or Stop and Frisk This

I’m going to take note of some recent developments and make a point or two.

Start with Nicky Spano, who was sentenced yesterday for tax evasion. Spano joins the list of fallen NY pols: Seabrook, Bruno, Espada, Kruger, Monserrate, Norman, McLaughlin, Gordon, Davis, Seminerio, Hevesi, Spitzer, yada yada (I’d hate to leave anyone out).

That’s an awfully long list, and I wonder what effect reciting those names has on people? Are there any sympathies here?

There are some who think Spano’s punishment was severe – a year and a day for a charge that is usually met with a fine and community service.

Some thought Hevesi’s recent denial of parole – for doing what comptroller’s always did? -- was too harsh.

Some insist Bruno (he did soooo much for the community they even named a baseball park after him) is innocent.

There are even a few Spitzer defenders left.

Alas, I don’t share these sentiments. I’m not without compassion, but I continue to believe that people in power need to be held not to some super high standard, but to a high-enough standard that makes it clear that they didn’t get special treatment. Hold that thought.

I’m also one who believes that the people doing the prosecuting need to be scrutinized as well. And this suggestion always gets the folks in the legal community agitated. But think about it: We evaluate everyone nowadays. Why should enforcers of the laws be different?

The answer most often given is that raising questions about the integrity and performance of law enforcement personnel can undermine their credibility and undermine respect for the law itself. To that I say: BS. Its incompetence, corruption and excessive secrecy that undermine integrity, not the act of reviewing performance.

Consider teacher evaluations. Does it compromise the teaching profession to conduct teacher evaluations? I don’t think so. It might even elevate the profession if the evaluations helped weed out those who shouldn’t be teaching.

Does it undermine the cops to conduct a review of policies such as stop and frisk? I don’t think so. In fact, it might help the cops to have people understand the underpinning of (effective) law enforcement techniques.

By extension, is it a bad thing to cast a critical eye toward ethics officials? Hell no, I say. Not if it’s done in a fair way.

I doubt if anyone would disagree with me on the basic point that the conduct of such officials should be monitored closely. The problem only arises when the resulting criticism is too harsh or too personal, they say.

By this theory it’s good to review the enforcers of ethics law, but only gentle, private criticism is allowed. And by this theory, the rogue pols in the list above would have all got slaps on the wrist.

But what if the people involved in ethics enforcement are doing bad things – like leaking information to potential targets of a probe? Or leaking information to the media in the middle of a probe? Or ignoring core responsibilities in favor of headline grabbing probes where jurisdiction is questionable?

What’s the proper response to all that? Well, I certainly don’t think the answer is looking the other way.

Let me make a brief digression here. The record should note that I gave JCOPE a long grace period in which I refrained from criticism. I gave them the benefit of the doubt again and again. I defended its executive director for a long time – often to the dismay of people in the media who thought I’d somehow sold out. But now I’ve seen enough to know that this organization isn’t functioning properly and, in fact, is going in the wrong direction, which is why I call it JJOKE (with a tip of the hat to Ken Lovett for coining the phrase).

Scrutiny of JJOKE is warranted. Intense scrutiny.  Sharp, pointed scrutiny. But it isn’t criticism for criticism’s sake. This isn’t about undermining the integrity of the organization or the people involved. It’s about restoring it.

In the same way we need to hold pols to account, we need to hold those charged with enforcing ethics laws to account. Not doing so only grows the list of failed ethics panels, and hollow commitments made by elected officials and good government groups to changing things.

The best way to stop the growing list of disgraced corrupt public officials is to stop the growing list of disgraced corrupt ethics agencies in New York.  It’s a chicken and an egg thing I guess.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Duck, Duck, Goo Goose

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.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Milgram: The clock is ticking

I'm trying to figure out what it is that J-JOKE PIO John Milgram does?

I'm also trying to figure out why working for the JOKE turned John into Walter Ayers.

Actually thats not fair  Walter, while not terribly talented or necessary at least did his job.  He responded to requests for information.

Milgram on the other hand has not.

Here's a list of document requests I have made in the last month that John has ignored.

I asked for all the financial disclosure reports for JOKE commissioners and employees.

Now I am sure there is information in those reports I will find useful.

I am also sure that John is paranoid about that since he doesn't know what I am looking for.

I am pretty sure at least one commissioner must have a problem because John sent me an email that I could have the commissioners reports but I would have to request the employees by name and then did NOT allow me to review those reports.  Tick Tock

In response I asked for a list of employees since I am not familiar with all of Ellen's NYC IG lunch partners that have been hired.

John said I have to make a request for an employee list. Tick Tock

I did and have not received a response. Tick Tock

Just to start the ball rolling I requested Ellen Biben's disclosure report. Tick Tock

I have not received a response. Tick Tock

I have also requested a list of all lobby disclosure reports that contain a reportable business relationship. Tick Tock

I have not received a response. Tick Tock

I just hope I get a response before John gets promoted to some obscure State Agency in the Hudson Valley.

You see John that Tick Tock is not just me waiting for you to do your job it's also the clock ticking down on your career at the JOKE, someone has to take the blame for the horrible media you are receiving.

You take the blame John I'll take the credit.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

The response has been overwhelming

Over 60 people have viewed the blog in the last 10 minutes.

Must be a lot of folks that are starving for information on the source of funding debacle.

My clients had already been briefed before the hearing.

For the media and those not in the know we all have to wait to see what the JOKE comes up with for draft regulations.

And I wouldn't hold your breath, the level of interest from the commissioners and staff was apparent from their participation.

I'm not sure how many J-JOKE mucky mucks even know what source of funding means.

Here's a freebie.  Be careful with the definition you may just end up requiring clients to register as lobbyists.

More Appropriate

This might better capture what really happened today.  And for anyone expecting real analysis as soon as the JOKE issues draft regulations and/or guidelines I will publish my thoughts.  Until then only a fool tries to anticipate what another fool is going to do.

Todays JJOKE

what does this picture have in common with todays JJOKE hearing?

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The inmates are running the asylum

Eight Ball Corner Pocket

As has been heavily covered by the media, JCOPE has a hearing scheduled Thursday to receive comments about the source of funding law that went into effect June 1st and also the requirements to disclose business relationships which went into effect January 1st.

Where to begin?

Let’s start with process.

I think it’s wonderful that a New York State disclosure agency is offering the opportunity for the public’s comments.  But what is the public supposed to be commenting about?

For better or worse, the law has already been passed.  Unfortunately, JCOPE has not yet issued their rules and regulations.  Had they done so in a timely fashion, public input about those rules and regulations would have some merit.

Does JCOPE already have draft rules and regulations that the public can review?

If yes, then they should have already been issued.

This is the single largest change in New York disclosure laws in a generation and I see no evidence that JCOPE has thought about how to implement the change.  It makes one wonder what has actually been going on there these last few months.  It certainly wasn’t a surprise that the source of funding disclosures were to go into effect June 1st.

Now as to the policy implications, any thoughts that JCOPE has about implementing their tardy rules and regulations retroactively should be immediately quashed.

James Madison in the Federalist papers wrote that ex post facto laws . . . “are contrary to the first principles of the social compact, and to every principle of sound legislation” and that laws should “give a regular course to the business of society.”

JCOPE must seriously consider the effect imposing a disclosure requirement retroactively will have on the lobbying community.

What effect could it realistically have?

People made donations (source of funding) with an expectation of privacy, to now “out” those donations is in a word unfair.

Going forward, if, after their highly anticipated hearing, JCOPE issues clear rules and regulations, donors will be able to weigh the pros and cons of a donation against the disclosure of that donation.

There are lots of legitimate reasons folks might not want their donations disclosed including not ending up on some organization’s fundraising list in the future.

Get the point?

And that’s before we ever get to the debate about definitions, a debate we cannot have until terms are defined by JCOPE.

Clearly the impact that this change would have on the lobbying community has not been a priority to JCOPE.

Since the hearing has already been set and I didn’t RSVP by May 18th, all I can do now is offer the following advice to JCOPE.

Step 1 – Issue draft regulations so we have some idea what you are considering.

Step 2 – Provide an opportunity for comment regarding those draft regulations.

Step 3 – Issue regulations that go into effect prospectively.

I have to agree with what Common Causes Susan Lerner said in the Times Union, “Because of the way the body was constituted, they’ve been behind the eight ball since they got started.”

This hearing could be a golden opportunity for JCOPE to turn things around and start pocketing some balls.

Rack ‘em up, JCOPE.

Disclaimer – this is a heavily edited version of my original piece.  I have tried to be dispassionate in my analysis and critique so as to avoid my normally snarky personal attacks.  For those that enjoy the old style stay tuned it will be back.  I am sure J-JOKE will provide more material for the old style blog.

Sound economic policy at JJOKE

The Apocalypse has just confirmed from sources inside the JOKE (specifically from inside the Chief Economist's department that the JOKE is using an auditer making over $54,000 to do the work of one of the staffers let go three weeks ago who was making less than $46,000. 

Now I'm no chief economist but thats pretty stupid.

By the way this auditer used to do this work until she made so many errors she was transferred to the audit department where they follow procedures that were idiot proofed a long time ago.  Thats why auditers end up becoming auditers (and remember Ellen I told you so)