Poor Martin Levine got bitch slapped by a federal Judge. That has to smart.
What am I talking about? The Federal courts decision to abstain from ruling on Andy Celli's lawsuit claiming the JCOPE opinion on grassroots lobbying (that Martin wrote) violated the First Amendment. Now regular readers know how much I enjoy saying I told you so but this time it's especially pleasurable because both sides, JCOPE and Andy Celli had their heads up their asses and I told them so at the time. https://www.blogger.com/blogger.g?blogID=8012724775250138264#editor/target=post;postID=6904127879962274436;onPublishedMenu=allposts;onClosedMenu=allposts;postNum=10;src=postname
Here is the article Bill Mahoney wrote at the time http://www.politico.com/states/new-york/albany/story/2016/03/pr-firms-file-suit-over-hopelessly-vague-jcope-lobbying-definition-032090
Pay careful attention to the last paragraph "Celli said. “The good news is that we have federal courts and judges who determine these things, and I’ll let the court determine the case. I’m not going to respond to David Grandeau.”
Hey Andy the federal courts have decided I'm not the only one that thinks you just wasted a good bit of your clients money chasing a lawsuit that just wasn't ripe. LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL
And Martin don't kid yourself that JCOPE won anything here read what the Judge said about your legal acumen and writing skills: http://www.campaignfreedom.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/JCOPE.-Memorandum-and-Opinion.pdf
This is my favorite part:
First, the Advisory Opinion is an unclear state regulation that is subject to multiple,
contradictory interpretations. The Advisory Opinion states that a grassroots communication by a
consultant constitutes lobbying where it (1) “[r]eferences, suggests or otherwise implicates an
activity covered by [the Act],” (2) “[t]akes a clear position on the issue in question” and (3) “[i]s
an attempt to influence a public official through a call to action, i.e., solicits or exhorts the public
. . . to contact (a) public official(s).” Adv. Op. at 2.
However, the Advisory Opinion does not define what it means to “reference, suggest or
otherwise implicate lobbying activity.” Depending on the definition of that phrase, the number
and types of activities covered by the Advisory Opinion could be dramatically different. While
the Act defines lobbying as an attempt to influence the “passage or defeat” of legislation, among
other similar acts, N.Y. Legis. Law § 1-c(c ), “referenc[ing], suggest[ing] or otherwise
implicat[ing] lobbying activity” could mean something much broader. If a consultant helped
organize a campaign to inform legislators of their constituent’s views on an issue that is not the
subject of pending legislation, but which later could be, the Advisory Opinion might cover that
activity as suggesting or implicating lobbying activity, while the Act’s definition of lobbying
would not cover it.
The Advisory Opinion is also internally inconsistent. Its conclusion section states that a
call to action is necessary for a grassroots communication to fall under the Act, and defines a call
to action as soliciting or exhorting the public to contact public officials. Adv. Op. at 4. In
contrast, both the Advisory Opinion’s discussion section and the Grassroots Lobbying FAQ
imply that a consultant could be subject to the Act even if the relevant communication does not
include a call to action. According to the Advisory Opinion, consultants who both deliver a
message and control its content are engaging in grassroots lobbying. The discussion section and
Grassroots Lobbying FAQ both provide examples of delivering a message that do not include a
call to action. The discussion section notes that a consultant who “speaks to a group to advance
[a] client’s lobbying message” is delivering a message. Id. at 8. The Grassroots Lobbying FAQ
states that, where a consultant appears on television to support a client’s position on a
government action, that consultant is also delivering a message. Grassroots Lobbying FAQ at 1-
2. Because the Advisory Opinion states that a consultant has engaged in lobbying when the
consultant delivers a message and controls its content, it is possible to read the Advisory Opinion
as both expressly requiring and not requiring a call to action as part of the test for determining
whether an activity constitutes reportable lobbying.
In addition, the Advisory Opinion is ambiguous in light of the August 2016 amendment to
the Act. That amendment exempts press communications from reportable lobbying where a
putative lobbyist is speaking to a professional journalist about news. N.Y. Legis. Law § 1-
c(c)(B)(ii). Prior to the amendment, the Advisory Opinion included as reportable lobbying
urging a newspaper to publish an editorial that included a call to action. Following the
amendment, it is unclear whether an editorial that includes both a discussion of news and a call
to action is within the definition of lobbying, or whether communications with the press must be
solely related to current events with no additional agenda to be exempt. These ambiguities create
issues of first impression that are best resolved by a state court.
Hey Martin how many different ways can the Judge tell you that you suck at your job? LOLOLOLOLOL
I told Agata a year ago not to waste the taxpayers money on this opinion and Andy's litigation. Mercury, Heller and Berlin Rosen have not registered STOP TALKING ABOUT IT AND BRING A CASE TO ENFORCE YOUR SHITTY OPINION. Then Andy Celli would at least have a real case to litigate and bill his clients a second time for the work he should have waited to do to begin with.
And remember Martin is the same JCOPE counsel writing the new lobby regulations that JCOPE lacks statutory authority to issue. I've got that Article 78 drawn up already I'm just going to wait until it's timely to file. Unlike Andy Celli I'm not a premature litigator.