Minnesota State Capitol
by Steve Timmer
Jul 5, 2012, 1:00 PM

The scope of his expertise is, ahem, quite limited

According to a post on Hot Dish Politics, Common Cause has filed a complaint with the Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board, calling to the Board’s attention the fact that Dan McGrath and his employer, the Jim Crow League, are not registered as lobbyist and lobbyist principal, respectively.

Notwithstanding the fact that they’ve been all over legislators like ticks on a dog on hot button conservative issues like right to work (for less), gay marriage, and in particular, photo voter ID.

But, oh no, says Dan; we aint’ lobbyin’. Jes the corporate fellers do that:

“They’re making a lot of incorrect assumptions,” said McGrath, who describes the time he spent at the Capitol as simply offering expert advice to lawmakers on the topic of voter identification. “I’m not a lobbyist…A lobbyist would be somebody paid by a corporation to twist arms at the Legislature.”

You can see why Dan might be in favor of a photo voter ID test, especially in lieu of a literacy test.

Here’s the definition of lobbying, found in Minn. Rules 4511.0100:

“Lobbying” means attempting to influence legislative action, administrative action, or the official action of a metropolitan governmental unit by communicating with or urging others to communicate with public officials or local officials in metropolitan governmental units. Any activity that directly supports this communication is considered a part of lobbying.

If a person — such as Dan — finds read statutes and regulations difficult, you could go to the CFPDB handbook and find the very same thing:

You undoubtedly noticed the lack of the terms “corporation” and “twist arms” in these definitions; you don’t have to be a business corporation to be a lobbyist principal, either.

If Dan’s a lobbyist, then Minnesota Majority is a lobbyist principal. If you register as a lobbyist, you also have to file reports about what you’ve been up to. You can see, perhaps, why Minnesota Majority wouldn’t want to do that.

The Hot Dish Politics post contains a link to the complaint filed by Common Cause.

At all events, this shows Dan’s grip on anything slightly complicated is, well, light. One or more grains of salt are recommended in assessing his expert information about voting, too. Don’t you think?

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