Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Hawaii legislators see spot pot of gold in anti-ethics bill SB671
by Larry Geller
No matter how you look at it, SB671 is good news for legislators and bad news for voters.
It’s not so much about getting fat from endless free lunches, it’s about tit-for-tat support for rich corporations and organizations that can afford to throw lavish parties and hire lobbyists. Or to arrange for international junkets. The junkets also would allow corporations to entertain state workers who regulate them.
Of course, these organizations are investing in the legislators. They expect something back.
Hawaii legislators should just say No.
Here is a list, taken from Wikipedia, of organizations who will be able to spend big bucks on Hawaii lawmakers and government employees if this bill is passed into law:-
According to the IRS Publication 557, in the Organization Reference Chart section, the following is an exact list of 501(c) organization types and their corresponding descriptions.
- 501(c)(1) — Corporations Organized Under Act of Congress (including Federal Credit Unions)
- 501(c)(2) — Title Holding Corporation for Exempt Organization
- 501(c)(3) — Religious, Educational, Charitable, Scientific, Literary, Testing for Public Safety, to Foster National or International Amateur Sports Competition, or Prevention of Cruelty to Children or Animals Organizations
- 501(c)(4) — Civic Leagues, Social Welfare Organizations, and Local Associations of Employees
- 501(c)(5) — Labor, Agricultural, and Horticultural Organizations
- 501(c)(6) — Business Leagues, Chambers of Commerce, Real Estate Boards, etc.
- 501(c)(7) — Social and Recreational Clubs
- 501(c)(8) — Fraternal Beneficiary Societies and Associations
- 501(c)(9) — Voluntary Employees Beneficiary Associations
- 501(c)(10) — Domestic Fraternal Societies and Associations
- 501(c)(11) — Teachers' Retirement Fund Associations
- 501(c)(12) — Benevolent Life Insurance Associations, Mutual Ditch or Irrigation Companies, Mutual or Cooperative Telephone Companies, etc.
- 501(c)(13) — Cemetery Companies
- 501(c)(14) — State-Chartered Credit Unions, Mutual Reserve Funds
- 501(c)(15) — Mutual Insurance Companies or Associations
- 501(c)(16) — Cooperative Organizations to Finance Crop Operations
- 501(c)(17) — Supplemental Unemployment Benefit Trusts
- 501(c)(18) — Employee Funded Pension Trust (created before June 25, 1959)
- 501(c)(19) — Post or Organization of Past or Present Members of the Armed Forces
- 501(c)(21) — Black lung Benefit Trusts
- 501(c)(22) — Withdrawal Liability Payment Fund
- 501(c)(23) — Veterans Organization (created before 1880)
- 501(c)(25) — Title Holding Corporations or Trusts with Multiple Parents
- 501(c)(26) — State-Sponsored Organization Providing Health Coverage for High-Risk Individuals
- 501(c)(27) — State-Sponsored Workers' Compensation Reinsurance Organization
- 501(c)(28) — National Railroad Retirement Investment Trust
Many of the organizations are among Hawaii’s largest and best funded.
Should it be ok that HMSA, for example, is asking for a rate increase and would be able to use this money to invite legislators or members of the Insurance Commission staff to an all-expense-paid junket somewhere in Vegas, for example?
Testimony on this bill can still be submitted through the Capitol website, though time is running out. Better: call your legislator about this if it bothers you.