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“’Legislators aren’t scared of Marion Hammer. They’re afraid of the people I represent,’ Florida NRA lobbbyist Marion Hammer said ‘They’re afraid to try to take away the rights of their constituents. I’m their voice.’ Hammer’s latest crusade: pass a law to prevent elected sheriffs from testifying while on duty, in uniform and at taxpayer expense. This would prevent them from lobbying against the NRA’s agenda, or what she calls ‘the rights of the taxpayers.'” – NRA’s influence with Florida lawmakers is powerful [via miamiherald.coml

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  1. Something else I oppose is when police officers go out, in uniformed, with badge and gun, “collecting for charity” or making phone calls in the name of police organizations to raise money.
    Two days after police responded to our alarm going off at 2AM, I got a phone call from the Lowell Police “charity” soliciting a donation.
    Isn’t using the call log for fund raising illegal?

    • The popo are so underfunded. Ever heard of a pancake breakfast or chili supper to raise money to fix the cop car (as the local vol FD has to do for fire equipment/repairs)?

    • Why the heck can police give their political opinions in uniform but military can’t? Its the exact same problem as military, the impression that these wannabe jackboot thugs represent all police. Its crap and should be stopped.

  2. If subpoenaed in their professional capacity, I have no problem with them testifying in court or before a legislative body while on duty. But, if they are testifying of their own accord or in a personal capacity, they should not be doing so while representing themselves as public servants or being paid as such (unless they want to use vacation time).

    • Nailed it.

      That’s the kind of law I think I could get behind on a national level.

      If you’re in uniform and on the public’s payroll, it’s reprehensible to push agenda politics…

      • Everybody in Congress is on the public payroll. What are you suggesting?

        And the House and Senate both have dress codes which I suppose could be called uniforms.


        • “Everybody in Congress is on the public payroll. What are you suggesting?”

          Everyone on in Congress is an accredited law enforcement officer?

          In an LE uniform, there is *implied* authority…

        • Our Sheriff showed up for numerous campaign events in uniform in the last cycle. The other cadidates were definitely at a disadvantage, which is bullshit. He lost anyways.

        • Sheriffs are elected. Chiefs of Police are appointed…. so yes, a sheriff is exactly like a legislator or chief executive. Your tax dollars pay for those salaries and those clothes, and your votes pay for those opinions.

    • Their statist buddies in the legislature will just make sure to subpoena them to testify then, so all the legalities are covered.

      There might be some way to combine a ban on lobbying with existing bans on using government resources for political campaign purposes. Even then, though, there are probably too many gray areas and the lines too blurry to make such a law enforceable.

      Only surefire method of shutting this stuff down is to vote out of office the freedom-infringing sherrifs and mayors who appoint such police chiefs.

      • That is a possibility, but it there really aren’t any workarounds. You could request that they come in Class B, but the expectation is that those testifying do so in a suit (or equivalent) – class A. And if called to testify in a professional capacity, they are speaking on behalf of their office, and should be dressed as such.

        Yeah, people are going to trot them out in support of their cause, but I figure the GOP will do the same – can’t remember the last time I saw Sheriff Milwaukee-What’s-His-Face wearing anything other than his uniform.

  3. And let’s not forget this is an elected official. The voters are free to not vote him back into office next time around (given a few assumptions).

  4. All for this. As a government official you should not be expressing opinions on legislation. In TX, state employees in an official capacity are considered as a witness testifying ON the bill – potential impacts to state agencies. Not for or against. Nothing aggravates me more than seeing Police Chiefs like Art Acevedo testifying in uniform, on the clock for or against legislation.

        • That’s because Austin was sick of his dumb liberal ass! Believe it or not. ??

    • If he’s a sheriff, then he’s elected. Chiefs of police are apointed by the chief executive (mayor). Sheriffs offices arent state agencies, they are a county office. Somebody made mention above that Dave Clark is rarely seen expressing an opinion out of uniform, but he’s elected by the people because of his opinions…. so to answer your question: Who decided we need Art Acevedo as the chief of police?…. your elected mayor is who. New mayor = new chief of police.

  5. Re the comments above, let’s distinguish between elected officials who are elected into a legislative capacity, vs those into an executive capacity.

    We elect the former specifically to legislate.

    I don’t think the latter should be testifying for or against legislation in what could be construed as an official capacity; that’s not what we elected then for, and it’s not their job.

    For LEOs like elected sherrifs that means leaving the uniform at home. For all of them it means taking vacation or leave-without-pay as a part of public record.

    Testifying in an official capacity as to the possible pros, cons and other impacts of a piece of legislation is another matter, and is fine, so long as both the testifying officials and the legislators asking them questions know where the line is.

  6. This is not a law that I could get behind unfortunately, especially as it targets elected sheriffs. Elected officials are elected to represent their constituents, including elected law enforcement. There is no difference in the sheriff going before the county commission or the state legislature to discuss impact of legislation under consideration and they need to be free to do so as part of their duties. The same applies to anyone in government who has an appropriate and direct relationship to the issue under consideration and who is able to represent their agency or offices official position on relevant issues.

    What I would support is legislation that prevents them from going to outside advocacy groups in uniform and on the clock. Sheriffs (and Police Chiefs for that matter) have no place speaking at the local NRA fund raiser any more than they do speaking at the local MDA event while on the public dime or in uniform. If they are invited to speak it needs to be on their own time and their own dime.

  7. Sarcasm ahead.

    Pfffffft. This so-called lobbyist and her so-called rights for her so called taxpayers. We really know she just wants blood money from the NRA to buy votes off the great and powerful legislators to prevent them from doing the noble work of legislating others to keep us all safe.

  8. Anti-speech laws are as onerous as gun laws. Haven’t we got 500,000 laws already?

    “If you make 10,000 regulations you destroy all respect for the law.” — Winston S. Churchill

  9. “This would prevent them from lobbying against the NRA’s agenda…”

    Yeah, sure. It would also prevent them from lobbying FOR the NRA’s agenda. And the majority of sheriffs are pro-2A.

    Federal and state laws affect local governments. Local elected officials can, and should, testify before state and federal legislative bodies as to the effects of proposed legislation. They can and should do so in their official capacities, and wearing their uniform drives home the fact that they are representing constituents.

    It may surprise many of you to know that associations of local governments (municipalities, townships, counties, school districts, etc.) routinely hire lobbyists to advance their legislative agenda and those lobbyists are funded with local tax dollars.

    • Fine for the lobbyists. The city’s LEO are supposed to have a job, which they should resign from prior to becoming a lobbyist.

      • I don’t know about Texas, but in Illinois, lobbyists are heavily regulated and I’m pretty sure holding public office while being a lobbyist would be a definite no-no.

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