JJOKE thinks the Sheriff of Albany is a lobbyist.
Now if Preet should register as a lobbyist is a separate question I'll address later in this post but lets explore the first question
DID PREET LOBBY?
Preet was all over the news yesterday, his every movement tracked and reported on as if he was a visiting rock star.
Actually we know more about Preet's travels than we do about Bruce Springsteen's.
Which brings a series of questions to my inquiring warped mind, the Times Union is reporting that Preet went to the Springsteen concert and I have no reason to doubt the accuracy of that reporting. I know Casey Seiler was at the concert . . . hell I even know how he got his tickets and who he brought with him but how did Preet get his tickets? Who paid for his travel? Is this a Spitzer fucking a whore trip to Washington DC? No one will ever ask those questions and quite frankly Preet has given us no reason to ask other than he is human and is therefor capable of corrupt behavior. But I digress the question before us is did Preet lobby?
Because his travels were so completely reported (other than the concert) we know that he met with the Times Union editorial board.
OOPS this is precisely the type of activity that JJOKE has opined is lobbying if he encouraged the editorial board to "deliver the clients message to a public official".
Now who is Preet's client and what message did he want the editorial board to deliver?
Lot's of possible answers there and that highlights the main problem with JJOKE's opinion. How do you ever know the real reason someone tries to get media attention.
Preet may have gone to the editorial board merely at their request to answer questions or he may have gone to raise his own profile for a future run for elected office or he may have gone there at the request of good government groups to try to get the TU to advocate for one of the many lame ethics reform proposals that are floating out there. He may even have been trying to get the TU to push for the introduction of a bill on ethics reform that no one has heard of yet. He may have been there at my request to get the TU to support legislation eliminating JJOKE. We will never know. And yet JJOKE could decide that they do know and investigate and prosecute on their subjective belief or more likely upon direct orders from the second floor (I can see Berlin Rosen's paranoia already)
And I can hear the good government groups now "it doesn't apply to Preet, he is a government official above reproach he is not a lobbyist" Remember the JJOKE opinion speaks to actions not titles. Is Jeff Klein a lobbyist when he accepts campaign donations from the anti Herbalife hedge fund crowd? or political advice from Mirram Global and then visits an editorial board to support his anti Herbalife position? How do we know his motivation?
If you think about it maybe that is the next evolution of lobbying we cut out the middleman (lobbyist) and have the elected get paid directly by the clients to advocate for the clients position. You know just like our current campaign finance system.
Was Preet acting on his own behalf? on behalf of campaign donors? on behalf of the good government groups that sponsored his speech that day with blinking lights on a theater marquee? What would a candidate pay for the type of media exposure, very positive media exposure that Preet got yesterday? Someone should ask the PR consultants what they would charge to get a client that type of media and editorial board support. Maybe Preet did have a client that provided him over $5000 to encourage the editorial board to deliver a client's message.
I know I am using a very unlikely case that Preet is a lobbyist to make a very serious point.
How do we know who the client is without registration and disclosure? That's right we have to trust JJOKE to investigate, regulate and enforce so they can tell us.
JJOKE can not be trusted with any type of subjective evaluation of motive or motivation for classifying someone as a lobbyist.
Therein lies the real problem with JJOKE's opinion on grassroots lobbying. How do we know if it was issued because the folks at JJOKE are too stupid to understand what they did or if they knew exactly what they were doing? It's the Marco Rubio vs Chris Christie debate all over again.
I am comfortable that JJOKE will ultimately be told by Cuomo to walk back this opinion even further than they already have the only question is when and how far.
Let me suggest to any editorial boards that read the blog . . . you should encourage your readers to contact the elected officials and pass a law that eliminates JJOKE. There I did it I engaged in lobbying. Of course as a member of the media I am exempt from lobby registration no matter how much I am paid to lobby. Preet doesn't have that exemption unless he has a blog or some other indicia of being a member of the media.
By the way how would JJOKE define the "media". I can't wait to read that opinion.
And why do I have to do the lifting here to get rid of JJOKE? Where are Blair Horner and the rest of the good government crowd?
JJOKE is on the ropes. They have stepped squarely on their dicks. It has never been easier to get JJOKE eliminated, modified, changed whatever you need to advance ethics reform and not a peep from Blair.
It's almost as if he is ready to give Kevin Gagan his stamp of approval for the executive directors job at JCOPE.
To quote President Lyndon Johnson "I know the difference between chicken shit and chicken salad" and you Blair have turned into chicken shit.