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Thursday, August 9, 2007

Back Away From the Microphone…

posted by on August 9 at 16:02 PM

Chris Leman is a longtime neighborhood and good-government activist who pushes relentlessly for more openness and transparency in government.

So you’d assume Leman would consider proposed legislation requiring folks who lobby the city to register as lobbyists a good thing, right?

Not so fast: Leman showed up to rail against the lobbying proposal at Tuesday’s public safety committee meeting, calling it a “surveillance” program that would allow the council to illegally track citizen efforts to communicate with government officials.

Well, not exactly. The legislation that put Leman into a paranoid freakout only applies to professional lobbyists and “grassroots lobby” groups (like the well-funded “grassroots” Monorail Recall campaign, which spent nearly $100,000 paying an out-of-town company to gather signatures) that spend more than $10,000 a year on their lobbying efforts. Somehow I don’t think it costs Chris Leman that much to ride the bus down to City Hall.

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So, what's your point?

Posted by Smarm | August 9, 2007 4:39 PM

And you wonder why no one wants to run for City Council. These are the people who speak at the meetings.

Posted by Fnarf | August 9, 2007 4:45 PM

Chris is a well meaning, earnest activist, but this being the first time you thought something he said didn't track is akin to acting shocked that Lindsey Lohan smokes crack.

Posted by StrangerDanger | August 9, 2007 5:05 PM

Might there be any specifics as to what the law would require?

Paranoid freakout, on that ECB is an expert.

Posted by whatever | August 9, 2007 5:47 PM

Leman is one of the reasons local government is slow. Seriously. Sometimes he is the main reason. They say one person can't make a difference? Oh, yes they can! They can make everything slow down to a crawl.

Posted by blah | August 9, 2007 5:56 PM

ECB, why not quote a line or two from the actual testimony instead of running a snide paraphrase?

Posted by Slip Mahoney | August 9, 2007 6:43 PM

Slip Mahoney's remark is well-made. I was reading this post and realized that while it knocks Chris Leman's conclusion, it doesn't give us a quote or a link to the legislation so that we can judge for ourselves.

Speaking generally, I'd generally trust Chris Leman's reading unless shown specifically where he is mis-reading the text. Of course I have no opinion in this case. But just because this is a slog doesn't mean it has to be sloppy and merely give us the conclusions as if this is FOX News (in your wildest dreams.)

Posted by David Sucher | August 9, 2007 6:58 PM

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