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The Long Arm of The…Lobbyist?

But there are those whose sole job is to influence our lawmakers – funded by special interest groups, ranging from funeral homes and casinos to title companies. They are relentless in their pursuit of laws not aligned with the best interests of our community associations. For example, if special interests can shove taxes, fees and costs onto our backs and off of their corporate benefactors, the lobbyists win. These lobbyists use many tactics, not all of them savory, and none of which we want in our sausage!

Left to Right: Rep. Thad Altman, Devon West, Senior Legislative Aid to Thad Altman and CAN Chairman, Alan Garfinkel Esq.

Left to Right: CAN Chairman, Alan Garfinkel Esq., Rep. John Cortes and Rep. Mike Miller.  

The citizens of Kissimmee (District 43) put their trust in Representative John Cortes, who has the responsibility of many diverse legislative issues on his plate. Attending the Orlando Town Hall last week, Representative Cortes was surprised to learn how leaders of community associations truly felt about some important issues. For example, title companies aggressively pushed HB 611 and SB 736, the so-called “estoppel bills,” title company lobbyists misrepresented to our legislators, that community associations wanted the estoppel bills passed. Tack on more fees to our not-for-profit associations? Absolutely Not!

Our legislators attending the Town Halls were misinformed that the amendments to the estoppel bills made the proposed law acceptable to community associations. That simply was not true. Your neighbors attending the CAN Town Halls were sure to make very clear that the next time the title companies attempt to shove that law down our throats, they will be met with greater scrutiny from our legislators.

“I found the meeting [CAN Town Hall July 24, 2015] to be very informative and appreciated the chance to discuss constituent issues with attendees,” said Representative Cortes.

We thank Representative John Cortes of Kissimmee and Representative Mike Miller of Orlando, along with key staff from five other legislative offices who attended our most recent Legislative Town Hall this past Friday, July 24th, 2015. These legislators and staff spoke directly with community leaders, answering questions, asking questions of their own, and hearing out concerned citizens who attended. 

The special interests, their lobbyists, and their deep pockets failed this last time around. At CAN’s Legislative Town Halls, we are working hard with our elected state representatives to shift the balance of power and encourage our neighbors to voice concerns to our state lawmakers. The best way to do this is face-to-face meetings and set the record straight!

With our community association and neighborhood coalition partners, we at the Community Advocacy Network (CAN) are holding Legislative Town Halls across the state to provide you a seat at the table with your legislators. 

If you wish CAN to organize a Legislative Town Hall in your area, please let us know.  We will do all the organizing and groundwork, you bring your friends and neighbors!

Thank you again so very much for your interest and comments-keep them coming. We will write you back as quickly as possible; remember CAN works for you! The special interests don’t sleep, we do….barely. 

Keep informed, stay involved, protect your neighborhoods, and be happy.

Wishing all a safe and peaceful weekend.

Yours in Community,  

Alan B. Garfinkel, Esq.

Katzman Garfinkel, Founding Partner

and Community Advocacy Network, Chairman

Source: Can FL Alerts

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