FL Democrats Demand Marion Hammer be Investigated for Failure to Disclose Lobbying Income

marion hammer nra national rifle association president

Marion Hammer (AP Photo/Phil Coale)

As reported here and elsewhere, Marion Hammer, former NRA President and current lobbyist for Florida is paid a six figure income for her lobbying work in Florida. This is well known to many NRA members and is disclosed at every annual meeting.

2019 NRAAM Report

Hammer has allegedly not been on the up and up when it comes to official disclosure with the Florida Commission of Ethics as required by FL Statute 11.045 and 112.3215.

The laws state that any lobbyist operating in Florida must report their income by completing a “CE Form 24” and “CE Form 6” on a quarterly basis from January 1 to March 31, April 1 to June 30, July 1 to September 30, October 1 to December 31, and that reports must be filed no later than 45 days after the end of each quarter.

There is a penalty for failure to report. The fine is $50 per report for each day late, not to exceed $5,000 per report. If a lobbying firm fails to pay a fine timely, then all the registrations for lobbyists who are partners, owners, officers, or employees of a lobbying firm are automatically suspended until the fine is paid or waived.

The NRA’s 990 tax records show that Marion Hammer has received a total of $929,000 from 2014 to 2018. But none of this was apparently reported to the state of Florida. Additionally, while Hammer is a registered lobbyist, she hasn’t filed any CE Form 24 or CE Form 6 reports since at least 2007.

Florida Democrats have now gotten wind of this and are now demanding an official investigation into the matter.

Rep. Anna Eskamani (D-FL) & Sen. Perry Thurston (D-FL) – COurtesy FL Legislature

Rep. Anna Eskamani of Orlando and Sen. Perry Thurston of Fort Lauderdale have filed complaints this with the state and Oversight Committees in the Senate and House to investigate Hammer. In an official press release by the Florida Senate minority office;

“Florida’s lobbying disclosure law was passed in 2005 to give citizens more insight into the forces driving the legislative process,” said Senator Thurston, who filed complaints with both the state Ethics Commission and the Florida Senate. “The National Rifle Association has had an outsized influence on the passage of pro-gun bills for more than two decades. Floridians have the right to know just how much money was driving that agenda, and why those payments were never disclosed.”

“House District 47 is home to Pulse nightclub,” said Representative Eskamani. “Our community deserves to know what influence the National Rifle Association has in our political process, and why the transparency lobbyists are required to follow appears to be missing.”

. . . Marion Hammer, the NRA’s influential Florida lobbyist, has failed to file any compensation reports with state authorities disclosing payments she has received since at least 2007, despite Florida law requiring quarterly reporting requirements by contract lobbyists. Tax records and internal reports obtained by the news outlet, however, showed that the NRA has, in fact, paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to the lobbyist over the years for her legislative activities, including $270,000 she collected following the 2018 Parkland massacre when students and Democratic lawmakers were pushing for an assault weapons ban.

Florida Statutes 112.3215 and 11.045 govern the requirements for non-employee lobbyists to register and disclose their total compensation for both the Executive and Legislative Branches, and provide penalties for violations. For lobbyists registered under the Executive Branch, the state Commission on Ethics retains jurisdiction.

In his complaint sent to the Commission on Ethics, Senator Thurston cited numerous instances of Ms. Hammer’s lobbying on gun-related issues such as concealed carry permits, as well as upcoming legislation with various officials with the Department of Agriculture under former Commissioner Adam Putnam. He noted that because she is not an in-house, salaried lobbyist for the NRA, she is a lobbying firm as defined under the law and state administrative code, and as such, obliged to submit a compensation report for each calendar she was registered as a lobbyist for the organization.

. . . Representative Eskamani filed the sworn complaint with the House Public Integrity & Ethics Committee, citing numerous instances of Ms. Hammer’s appearances before House committees attempting to influence pending legislation, including her own efforts to keep guns out of the hands of domestic violence perpetrators.

“This past legislative session members of the Minority Caucus filed more than 10 pieces of legislation focused on gun safety legislation, and none of our bills got a hearing, despite hundreds of advocates coming to Tallahassee to support these proactive measures,” added Representative Eskamani. “Floridians have a right to know how much money is driving the National Rifle Association’s legislative influence, and why it’s not following our rules of ethics and transparency.”

In the Senate’s case, the complaint is made with the Senate Rules Chair under Rule 9.6, and based on personal knowledge, among other requirements.

As a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Senator Thurston witnessed appearances by Ms. Hammer, including on November 6, 2017 when she was introduced by the chair as “on behalf of the National Rifle Association on the bill as amended.” No payments were reported by Ms. Hammer to state authorities for her work as a lobbyist on behalf of the NRA that year, yet $134,000 was shown as paid to Ms. Hammer by the NRA for “legislative lobbying in Florida” according to one of the NRA’s internal reports.

She also made committee appearances last year as the Marjory Stoneman Douglas school safety bill was moving through the legislature. And she was active behind the scenes less than two weeks after the mass shooting rallying support against provisions in the bill with NRA news alerts such as “Help Stop Gratuitous Gun Control.”

“The failure to comply year after year with our law’s disclosure requirements calls into question what else might have been done to circumvent transparency in the legislative process,” said Senator Thurston. “The Parkland students, like most Floridians, didn’t have a high-powered lobbyist pushing their agenda. They couldn’t always know who was actively working to block them, and the price that was paid for that circumvention, without this law. They’ll never know unless it’s enforced.”

We already know that the NRA is being investigated by the state of New York and it appears that Florida is about to join the fray. As a NRA Life Member I worry about this because it’s an unnecessary unforced error, one that could have easily been avoided.

It appears that Hammer has given Florida Democrats and gun control advocates another reason to attack her and the organization as a whole, something the NRA really doesn’t need right now.

Update: She could owe the State of Florida up to $240,000.00 in penalties and if these aren’t paid or waived. Any lobbyist associated with the NRA would be barred from working in Florida.

comments

  1. avatar MICHAEL A CROGNALE says:

    If Marion is too stupid to know and follow the laws perhaps we need someone else to do her job. The last thing we need is for our organization to give the democrat traitors more ammunition to lob against us.

  2. avatar surlycmd says:

    A cynic might think good ole Marion believe the requirements are beneath her exalted status.

    1. avatar Lawman45 says:

      Beneath her. Yup. She be the Queen of NRA lobbyists.

  3. avatar Nanashi says:

    I agree. I already told my state senator to ignore all communications from her. Should tell him to support this demand.

    1. avatar neiowa says:

      troll

  4. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

    Great.
    Just great.
    Way to go Marion.

    1. avatar rosignol says:

      Kinda difficult to see how the NRA has any options other than “fire her”.

      If she doesn’t sort this out pronto, their other lobbyists in FL are cut off.

  5. avatar Forrest Adcock says:

    If she cannot be bothered to follow the law, I’m certainly not going to complain about an investigation into it. Failure to report nearly a million dollars is one of those things we should simply not overlook simply because she’s on “our side.”

  6. avatar Helms Deep says:

    Leverage.

    Florida will go light on her if she helps push more gun grabs , red flags…ect.

    1. avatar NoSir says:

      I’m sure that was her plan all along. Her and her buddies Wayne and Chris are all in the business of surrender for cash.

  7. avatar James A. Farmer says:

    https://www.thenewamerican.com/print-magazine/item/32204-american-bolsheviks-marxist-conquest-of-the-democratic-party

    Perhaps Marion Hammer should have done a better job in disclosure. However I feel there exists a much deeper sinister hidden agenda among these depraved Democrats. Are the Dems attempting to cover their own asses? Are they, the socialists, further attempting to further conceal their “LBJ/KGB” anti-gun agenda of civilian disarmament/
    gun control? What else are the Democrats attempting to conceal, censor, and hide from the public?

  8. avatar Bob Jones says:

    Marion would make a great democrat, rules are for suckers.

  9. avatar CLARENCE E HODGES says:

    I said it before, not one more dollar to the NRA till they clean house and become more intune to the grass roots members and spend the money for fighting the gun grab legislation and not the overblown salary’s
    for the big shots. They should pay it back!

  10. avatar aircooled says:

    The alternative explanation is that Marion didn’t need to file the forms because she didn’t actually do any lobbying. That $929,000 was just the usual NRA “retirement plan” for past presidents.

    1. avatar FedUp says:

      Only those who prevent the board from firing the Executive Vice President when he fails to fire his pet advertising firm as they ordered him to do (more than 20 years before he spent a LOT of our money suing that same advertising firm).

      https://www.ammoland.com/2018/01/are-we-revising-nra-history

  11. avatar MMurcek says:

    We are screwed until there are term limits for every elected official, bureaucrat and lobbyist and automatic sunset for all laws.

  12. avatar Wood says:

    I’m unimpressed, and sadly unsurprised. Don’t kid yourself, they’re all politicians who seek to pad their wallets first, then throw stones at the other side. Clearly lobbying and (whatever Wayne does) is lucrative.

    Clean up your act NRA leadership. I’m a life member. I’ll be sending contributions elsewhere until you do. We members are not your cash cow.

    I’m specifically aggravated that these democrats insist on “blaming” the “big bad NRA” for pushing pro gun laws with their “outsized” influence. The NRA is PEOPLE who want pro freedom laws passed. *I* want laws repealed which infringe upon my enjoyment of freedom and remove individual responsibility and duty. *I* want laws passed which uphold and reinforce the Constitution. *I* want the politicians forced back into their box, squarely under the thumb of the People where they belong.

    I wanted Trump to drain the swamp, not drown in it. Apparently we should take off and nuke it from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure.

    1. avatar Fudds McK says:

      Political theater. It’s safe for political antis to spar with the NRA because the NRA is impotent and on the same level of moral depravity they are. The NRA could get everything it wants politically for 40 years and new full auto would remain a memory. And they can’t debate back hard because they’ve spent 85 years admitting that “shall not be infringed” means something else. Ex falso quodlibet.

  13. avatar User1 says:

    I think it’s money that corrupts absolutely not “power.” If you throw enough money at a person, they will sign onto all kinds of things. Then they will fight very hard to keep every penny.

    There is no honor amongst thieves. Democrats will go after NRA lobbyists and NRA lobbyists will go after Democrats. They need each other because without that conflict they can’t get rich and powerful by manipulating the stupid people.

    But what do I know? According to Marion and the NRA I am a Russian-Bloomberg troll bot liberal. So don’t pay any attention and move along.

    Let the NRA self sabotage into oblivion. Americans always need things to get worse before they try to make things better. It ends up being about timing.

  14. avatar strych9 says:

    When it comes to Marion Hammer just…

  15. avatar Anonymous says:

    There is a penalty for failure to report. The fine is $50 per report for each day late, not to exceed $5,000 per report. If a lobbying firm fails to pay a fine timely, then all the registrations for lobbyists who are partners, owners, officers, or employees of a lobbying firm are automatically suspended until the fine is paid or waived.

    The NRA’s 990 tax records show that Marion Hammer has received a total of $929,000 from 2014 to 2018. But none of this was apparently reported to the state of Florida.

    Meh.

    She pays 80k out of her $929,000 and she is good to go.

    1. avatar User1 says:

      She could owe the State of Florida up to $240,000.00 in penalties and if these aren’t paid or waived. Any lobbyist associated with the NRA would be barred from working in Florida.</blockquote

      If this is true, they don't want to accept a small payment. They want every penny in an effort to make it hard for her to fix what she broke. That way they can stop all NRA activity within the state of Florida, which is a new New York in the making at this point.

      This is a nice "screw up" by the NRA.

      "Whoops! We can't work in Florida anymore because of those damn liberal commies and their Bloomberg shills. Send more money now or else the NRA will disappear and so will your rights! We need to stand and fight these criminals, 5 million strong!"

  16. avatar Gadsden Flag says:

    Never liked her.

  17. avatar Andrew says:

    Every now and then a blind squirrel finds a nut. Hammer’s been an anchor around Floridians’ necks when it comes to any meaningful lobbying. She needs to go and if this is what will do it, then fine by me.

  18. avatar Anymouse says:

    Non-payment would ban Hammer’s lobbying firm (if she’s a member of one). It wouldn’t be the NRA, which is technically a client. I also think that it’s conflict of interest that she would be on the Board of Directors and accepting a contract from them. Imagine someone on a school board or company board who was awarded contracts for themselves or their family

    1. avatar Wood says:

      Yeah that never happens 🙄
      Exactly that is rampant in government, but only at the highest levels.

  19. avatar CliffG says:

    Whew. I have read some of her stuff, and given the quality, have to presume she has pictures…barnyard animals…high ranking officials of the NRA…etc. She may be able to reduce her fines if the NRA was nice enough to differentiate between “consulting fees” and lobbying efforts. Otherwise it will be up to a court to determine the differences, if any. If the NRA tries to step in and pay her court costs, I presume some member will immediately sue for misappropriation but hopefully will sue individuals not the organization. What a cluster.

  20. avatar neiowa says:

    The progs certainly have become interested in the income of others. Covet might apply. And FOAD prog.

  21. avatar Chris T in KY says:

    It’s the motto of every gun owner to follow the law????
    Or is that only for a certain economic level of gun owner?

  22. avatar JOHN B THAYER says:

    Almost $1 million! Wow! It pays to be a cat lady in Florida, I guess! I know she worked to pass concealed carry in the state a third of a century ago, but gun rights have stagnated here for the last decade and the Repubs caved on gun control after Parkland.

  23. avatar Jaque says:

    The comments posted to date read as if this were the HuffingtonPost and not the “The Truth about Guns.” Or are are these posts made by Leftist Trolls and not TTAG readers ?

    Hammer was an NRA President in a different era and long before the current and troubling findings of todays NRA. Hammer was the force behind Concealed Carry in Florida, quite an accomplishment. Rather than pile on and condemn her without hearing her side, wait and get the rest of the story.

    The rat is not Hammer but the gun grabber head of the Florida Department of Agriculture Nikki Fried, and her political army of Communist politicans. Fried has vowed to advance gun control in Florida and was elected to carry the water for the gun ban crowd. A link to that effect is posted below.

    The attacks on Hammer are orchestrated by the Communists hoping to end Hammers influence on Floridas Legislature and its pro 2nd Amendment majority. Its pure Communist tactics of slander and assign guilt before a trial.

    As an NRA Lifer I am pissed off at the reports of the NRA’s wasteful spending and unaccountability. I am also pissed off at the NRA’s reply to Alan West’s letter. But rather than resign my membership in disgust I will help to fix the problems of the troubled organization. In spite of the shortcommings we still need the NRA.

    I do not know Hammer, but was once a member of the Unified Sportsmen of Florida when she was director many moons ago

    https://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2019/03/luis-valdes/it-begins-nikki-fried-turning-floridas-concealed-weapon-permit-system-into-a-bureaucratic-nightmare/

    1. avatar Luis Valdes says:

      Hammer also supported bumpnstock bans, supported Sen. Bogandoff gutting the OC bill in 2011, and backed Wayne LaPierre’s coup against Neal Knox in 1997. She hasn’t attended a NRA Board Meeting for 8 years either and she doesn’t show up to legislative meetings either whe they’re right in her back yard because she claims she’s afraid.

      She’s been of great assistance to Republican Legislators who’ve screwed us over on gun rights matters by providing them cover for their actions.

      “None of our important pro gun bills failed to pass this year, they simply didn’t make all the way through the necessary committees” (paraphrased)

    2. avatar FedUp says:

      Hammer was an NRA President in a different era and long before the current and troubling findings of todays NRA.

      In that ‘different era’, Hammer prevented the firing of LaPierre. Wayne and Marion have been covering each other’s asses for the last 25 years, and in the last year or so she’s been savagely libeling critics who are trying to fix the ‘current troubles’.

      https://www.ammoland.com/2018/01/nra-2018-board-election-commentary-marion-hammer/

      Her work in Florida in the 1980s with Concealed Carry pales in comparison with her recent work against Open Carry, for gun confiscation orders, against bump fire, etc, etc.

  24. avatar David AMUNDSEN says:

    There is apparently no way to unsubscribe from emails from thei company. THAT MAKES IT A SCAM

  25. avatar Chip in Florida says:

    Maybe my tinfoil hat needs some adjustment but are we sure Mrs Hammer is working FOR us and not secretly against us?

    1. avatar FedUp says:

      She’s not working against us, she’s just working for herself, and for Wayne, which is really working for herself too because she covers Wayne’s ass and he sends her NRA members’ money in return.

  26. avatar Jaque says:

    OK. She ain’t perfect. Tell me then. Where have you been all the years you claim she failed the us ? Did any of you you step up and lead, raise money and work your assess off in support of Florida gun rights ? Where were you when she worked against bump stocks, open carry ? At the bar whining to bar mates or leading an effort against her and in support of bump stocks ? How many of the critics here live in Florida ? I do.
    Being a critic is easy. Just blog away. Leading an effort, raising money, and trying to do the best one can against an enemy opposition is not easy. The NRA ain’t perfect either. Show me any organization and I can find the graft, waste, fraud, and abuse. Man is not perfect. So do something to either fix , or destroy or rebuild the NRA. If you want to dump Hammer who is going to replace her ? But whining about Hammer and the NRA without any constructive ideas or plans plays into the enemy. And the enemy is reading everything posted here and every other gun blog, and will use what they read to try and divide us. So far the enemy is winning. I voted for Trump as did most gun owners, believing he was going to stand tall against attacks on the second amendment. The NRA loved him. He attended every convention and said the right things. So far he has done more harm to gun rights than Obama did. Now he threatens suppressors. But how has done for the country overall ? My point is that everything in business and government, life in general has trade offs. You cannot get everything you want, so you give away the least important. Any married guy knows about trade offs. So does Hammer and the NRA.

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