When is a registered lobbyist not a lobbyist? If powerful NRA lobbyist Marion Hammer gets her way, it’s when she says so.
Hammer has been the National Rifle Association’s Florida lobbyist since at least 2006, yet despite being paid handsomely – $270,000 last year alone – she hasn’t filed with the Florida Senate any of the quarterly compensation reports that lobbyists are required to file.
Florida Bulldog first reported that apparent lack of compliance in May. Later that month two state legislators – Sen. Perry Thurston, D-Fort Lauderdale, and Rep. Anna V. Eskamani, D-Orlando – filed formal complaints with the State Ethics Commission and Senate and House oversight authorities seeking investigations.
Since then, the Florida Senate has flouted its own rules regarding how to conduct such an investigation, steering the matter for “review” to an obscure office under the Senate president that processes lobbyist registrations. The review is being handled by Office of Legislative Services General Counsel Audrey Moore, who has declined to comment on its status to a reporter.