SEPT 2013 – President’s Article by Daney Bachiu

September; if the temperature and humidity would FALL, I might be able to get into the autumn season. When I look at how fast the year has gone by I feel like someone watching a fantastic magic show, with mouth open, wondering how did THAT happen?

Here is a scenario for you…

You read in the paper (probably the Daily Facts) about a new restaurant opening. As their Grand Opening special, they offer Prime Rib and Lobster with two sides and dessert for a very low price if you prepay online.. wow you think, this is a great deal and you get a group of friends together to try it out. When you go, they are out of prime rib and lobster and serve you baloney sandwiches.

Scenario #2

You decide to spend some of an inheritance on a really nice piece of jewelry. You consult with a jeweler and choose a high quality diamond to be made into a ring. You take the ring to a different jeweler to have the ring sized and find out the diamond is only a CZ.

Scenario #3

Your elected officials put together something very neutral to pass into law, like all future parking spaces will increase in width by 6” or that Wednesday will be officially designated Hump-day. The bill is named SB Bland and is indeed so mild it hardly causes a ripple as it passes through the myriad of committees to get to the floor for final vote. Somewhere along this route of approval, the bill is stripped of its blandness and replaced with teeth that are going to bite a group of people or businesses. This is a common practice called Gut and Amend. It also works in reverse, where a bill with teeth to help a group of people or businesses is gutted and amended to do absolutely nothing. A recent case study is SB 594 (Hill) a bill that attempted to silence the voice of non-profit organizations that took positions on state and local ballot measures and endorsements.

In the first two scenarios, you would immediately take action against this wrongdoing. In scenario #3, absolutely nothing will happen for a number of reasons. It is not illegal as our elected officials exempt themselves from the laws the rest of us have to abide by. Most likely we won’t even know anything about it unless we have someone close to the situation on the inside that lets us know. And we have turned into a nation of “Go-alongs” – whatever our government does we just go along with it. We do not demand honor, honesty or morality of our elected officials nor do we demand that a corrupt system of government be changed. We have become the United States of Go-Along. Fortunately the chamber caught the gut and amend bill in SB 594 and quickly moved to take a position of opposition to the egregious threat to free speech. The chamber not only joined the coalition in opposition to the bill but sent letters urging Appropriation Committee Members to oppose the bill. Before approving SB 594 the bill was amended that allowed non-profits organizations the ability to continue to be actively engaged in the political arena, to participate in both measure and endorsement campaigns without the fear of punitive action by the State or without being forever silenced.

On the LIGHT-er side, Rise N Shine returns Sept 6 after it’s summer hiatus and the chamber will be shedding some LIGHT on our NIGHT LIGHT RUN. The staff and I have been checking out a number of different runs, Mud, Color, and Light, gathering information on what we like and don’t like about each. Armed with this knowledge (I know, I know, scary thought) we are going to have a FANTASTIC RUN December 14!