JJOKE statistician John Milgram is at it again.
Just read the amended top ten lists found on the JJOKE press release http://www.jcope.ny.gov/public/press.html
After screwing the pooch the first time JJOKE released the list they have now updated it with asterisks (*) to account for the Robert Unger million dollar typo they missed the first time that I pointed out to them plus some kind of overreporting by the Recording Industry Association of America. Since I didn't tell them about the recording industry they either checked the list themselves after the fact or someone else brought it to there attention.
I happen to know that they did as thorough a review as their abilities and talent allowed after the fact. I know this because they asked me to come in and explain why their lists where wrong (trust me they were embarressed). They also wanted to know why the largest spender Families for Excellent Schools wasn't on their list. Now that was funny, them asking me why they screwed up the formulation of their own top ten lists. I answered because you are JJOKE and you should fire Milgram. At a mininum you should talk to Chris Bragg the reporter for Crains that was asking the same question. Instead they ignored Chris did the review internally found the Recording industry and reissued the list with astericks but without corrections, so we still don't know who the top ten lobbyists and/or clients really where. I guess every lobbyist other than Unger can now claim to be number 10.
They also put the following line in the corrected release
"The chart above reflects only expenditures reported in client semi-annual filings. Therefore, any entity that reported expenditures in a separate lobbyist bi-monthly report, but not in their client semi-annual report, may not be included."
Now I know what they are referring to since I've had several conversations with LT and Martin about how in house clients can report expenses. For over 20 years every lobby agency has allowed clients to pick between reporting expenses on the bimonthlys or waiting to report on the semiannual. Those that want to disclose sooner report on the Bimonthly just as Families did for over $6 million dollars in expenses.
But this creates a problem for JJOKE because when they do top ten lists they just run a report that provides them the top ten clients based on expenses reported on client semi annuals and the top ten lobbyists based on compensation and reimbursed expenses. If you are a client/lobbyist you don't fall into either category. Now for a minute forget that we are only talking about 10 names and forget that just 2 weeks prior a story ran in Crain's noting how much money Families spent on lobbying, a story that Milgram no commented (and this is why Milgram should be fired any competent employee would have seen the mistakes on the lists) what will be the JJOKE response to being incapable of correctly compiling a top ten list?
Will they assign competent people to compile the lists? NO
Will they change the rules and make clients only report expenses on the Client Semi Annual? NO
Will they stop press releasing inaccurate lists? NO
Will they in their paranoia accuse me of purposely filing my clients in such a way as to not show up on their internal top ten compilation? YES
With that in mind my guess is they will start requiring client/lobbyist to report expenses on both the bimonthlies and the client semi annuals, thereby resulting in more work for the lobby community but in their minds idiot proofing or should I say Milgramproofing the compilation of top ten lists.
Typical JJOKE response it's a JJOKE mistake but that will make someone else fix it.
When I had this conversation with LT and Martin (and I will give them credit for at least asking my opinion, afterall I only did it right for over a decade . . . I know I'm arrogant) They claimed over half the client/lobbyists do it this way already. Which got me thinking. The incorrect number 1 on the client top ten list is United Teachers with $2,639,657. So I checked and their in house lobbyist Stephen Allinger does itemize and report expenses on his bimonthlies, $2,310,722 to be exact. Now Mr. Allinger registers in his own name not as United Teachers so that is the correct way to report but how come he doesn't show up in the top ten lists of lobbyists his combined compensation and expenses total $2,639,657 good enough for number 7 on the never corrected top ten list, but he is not there. Do I smell another revision and asterik on the way? How did JJOKE compile the top ten lobbyist list? They say it includes compensation and expenses. But Families reported over $6 million in expenses which would have made them number 1 on the never corrected lobbyist top ten list but they are not there. Do I smell another revision and asterisk on the way? I can hear JJOKE now "well it's not really expenses it's only reimbursed expenses for lobbyists" OK I buy that but Mr. Allinger reported $2,310,722 in expenses. If they were not reimbursed expenses Mr. Allinger must be doing very well to spend over $2 million dollars of his own money on behalf of his employer. And by the way a simple review of the filings, something I'm sure JJOKE has not done, would show that Mr. Allinger did not report any reimbursed expenses nor would I expect him to have been reimbursed the $2,310,722 reported as expenses since he didn't spend it, the client did. Looks like Mr. Allinger over reported, comeon JJOKE make him amend.
Is your head spinning yet JJOKE? I told you I've forgotten more of this stuff than you and your commissioners know. How funny would it be for Renee Roth or Casteleiro or Marvin Jacobs to discuss this issue in public with me? They are better off staying in executive session even though anything having to do with the Lobby Act, like changing the guidelines, is required to be done in public under the statute which states as follows:
"Notwithstanding the provisions of article seven of the public officers law, no meeting or proceeding, including any such proceeding contemplated under paragraph (h) or (i) of subdivision nine of this section, of the commission shall be open to the public, except if expressly provided otherwise by the commission or as is required by article one‐A of the legislative law. "
I guess my conclusion is that it's easier to fire Milgram and start reviewing the lists with people that know what they are doing rather than change a policy that has worked for 20 years.
Or just start buying those asterisks by the ton.
Or here is a legitimate piece of advice take your time and think about ALL of the ramifications before you make a change, talk about it in public session with the commissioners and invite the regulated community to be involved in the conversation. I promise I'll be respectful . . at least until your commissioners show how little they know or understand then I may have to point out that JJOKE is truly a failure because of the people selected to be commissioners.