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How to Lobby

I want to share some knowledge with you that I received from John Magnum - lawyer, political advisor and lobbyist - from when I was a White House delegate. The following should prove useful.

What are your goals?

  • Abolish the Office of Pest Management (OPM).
  • Put our industry under the Arizona Department of Agriculture.
  • Expose any OPM corruption and find out where our money went.
  • Review the laws and rules and decide which laws and rules to abolish and which laws and rules to carry forward.

Know your opposition.

  • Where is your opposition going to hit you?
  • Anticipate your opposition's next move.
  • We might have won the last battle but the war is not over.

Know all of your legislators.

  • Contact me if you have trouble and need assistance.
  • The Arizona legislative web site.
  • Your Senators can be found here. The second column is the Senator's district.
  • Your Representatives can be found here. The second column is the Representative's district.
  • If you are not sure of your district, click here.

Know your time-line (time-frame).

  • HB2449 to abolish OPM was submitted in mid-January 2010.
  • Bills can be viewed here. We will post the bill number here as soon as it is available.
  • Read From Idea To Bill To Law The Legislative Process in Arizona (PDF)

Understand the problem and present a solution.

  • We are discussing the issues in Frequently Asked Questions. Please read this.
  • What problems do you think deregulating unrestricted chemicals will cause you? How can you use this to your advantage to expand your market? Read Frequently Asked Questions to see how.
  • How can we still protect the public safety while deregulating unrestricted chemicals. Read Frequently Asked Questions to see how.
  • Education is good for everyone, not just people who are licensed to use restricted chemicals. Read Frequently Asked Questions to understand why.

Educate your legislators.

  • Be specific about your issues.
  • Provide a detailed logical reasoning for why your solution should be adopted.
  • Keep your letter short and simple. One issue per letter and three main paragraphs is good. Write additional letters if needed.
  • Provide a phone number or e-mail address so your legislator can respond and ask questions if needed.

Understand the difficulty of the issue and what regulation can and cannot provide.

  • Realize that some solutions are just not practical or cannot be implemented immediately due to reasons beyond your legislator's control.
  • Try to look at the problem from a variety of angles - yours and your opponents.
  • Ask a lot of questions and don't take things at face value. Verify all of your information with multiple sources.

Changing the Committee's attitude on an issue.

  • Professionals are not afraid of competition because the professionals can market their education, experience and resources.
  • Public safety can be addressed through public education.
  • Public safety has improved through the development and use of new low-risk chemicals that are available over-the-counter to anyone.

Prepare a solution using all possible allies.

  • Fix the problem before it becomes law. Once the law is passed, it is much harder to make things right.
  • Help write the new rules or forever hold your peace. Your opponents will tailor the rules to their benefit and your demise if you let them.

Decide who to lobby and how to lobby.

  • The committee chairs have the ultimate power to consider the issue.
  • Educate your trade association to not fear change.

Beware of the priority of legislators in a joint decision.

  • The majority voice has one vote.
  • The minority voice has one vote.

Start early; campaign on your issues; get time with your home town legislators.

  • The process has been going on for many years now, starting with a meeting in Casa Grande in 2005 with the governor's staff.
  • We started sending out flyers about the Sunset Review starting in May 2007 where we asked you to write letters.
  • The Sunset Review hearing ended with the vote on October 30, 2007 to recommend abolishing the SPCC. HB2822 was submitted in January 2008, and seriously amended by the Senate giving us the OPM.
  • The Auditor General reviewed the OPM's performance in late 2009 and recommended that they be abolished and pest management move under the Department of Agriculture.
  • HB2449 to abolish OPM was submitted in mid-January 2010.
  • Your support is still critical. Review the new bill and laws and continue to write letters. This is a sample letter that you are free to copy or to use as a basis for your own letter. Please write Representative Rich Crandall and your legislators.

Use ALIS Tracking (Arizona Legislative tracking system).

It may seem like you are trying to move a mountain with a teaspoon but no man's liberty or possessions are safe while the legislators are in session. Until the law is passed, the power hogs will be trying to gain control of the new legislation. Annoy the power hogs - represent yourself - stand up and be heard.
 
 

Copyright © 2010 by Phyllis M. Farenga.  All rights reserved.
Updated January 2011

It's Our Turn
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Marana, Arizona 85653

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