The big news, as determined by the Daily News, is that the New York State Catholic Conference hires lobbyists to push for desired legislative outcomes. Of course, it has been doing so all along. Moreover, it hardly has a monopoly on lobbying: virtually every secular and sectarian organization in New York State that is in any way impacted by Albany lawmakers hires lobbyists. However, it is rarely headline news when they do so. There is a veiled message here: Just how kosher is it for the Catholic Church to lobby Albany?
One of the articles, “Child-Abuse Law Reform Died in 2009 Senate Power Struggle,” is startling for its grand omission: it never mentions that in 2009 the teachers’ unions spent a small fortune trying to kill a bill that included public entities; it would have made it easier for kids raped by public school employees to sue, no matter how long ago it occurred. Usually, these bills on the sexual abuse of minors never blanket the public schools, so it was interesting to see the public school establishment jack up its efforts once it was included in the legislation.
How much do the New York public schools spend on lobbying? A whole lot more than the Catholic Church. Between 2007 and 2016, the New York Catholic Conference spent $2.1 million. In the first six months of 2014, the public schools spent more than $10 million!
One of the principal organizations opposing the Catholic Church’s efforts to stop unjust legislation—it is unjust because it gives public schools a pass and its purpose is to stick it to Catholics—is the Stop Abuse Campaign. I tried to find out who is contributing to its coffers, but when I got to the webpage, “Financial Information,” up popped, “Coming Soon.” How cute. That, too, should be of interest to the Daily News, but it isn’t.
Contact Ken Lovett: firstname.lastname@example.org