The anti-GMO mob is continually stating that anyone who supports biotech should follow the money. Everyone apparently is a paid shill if they are speaking out for the overwhelming scientific evidence. (I sure wish I was paid to do this but I’m not which is hard to believe.) So today’s blog is just doing that, following the money with Gary Hooser.
Let’s take a closer look at the hot topic person of the week, Gary Hooser. Where is his money coming from? If you visit the Campaign Spending Commission link, you can do a quick search of who has donated to him as well as their personal information. Some very familiar names come up on there:
Myron Berney–A frequent Civil Beat anti-GMO commenter
Denise Antolini–A former Earthjustice attorney
Bart Dame–A very well known anti-seed company commenter on Civil Beat
Jeri Di Pietro–One of the founders non-profit Hawaii SEED
Monica Evslin–Wife to the anti-GMO retired doctor
Friends of Clarence Nishihara–The senator who received the nasty calls from BABS
Alicia Maluafiti–The HCIA Executive Director
John Radcliffe–The “Monsanto” Lobbyist
Jeff Mikulina–Lobbyist from the Blue Planet Foundation
Nancy Redfeather–Founder of Hawaii SEED
Those are just a few recognizable names that have contributed to Hooser’s campaign over the years and are publicly available. Even people who are so despised by the anti-GMO mob like John Radcliffe and Alicia Maluafiti gave money but you don’t hear any complaints from them about it! Some of those names are registered lobbyists in the state. The definition is found on the Hawaii Ethics Commission site:
“Lobbyist” means any individual who for pay or other consideration engages in lobbying in excess of five hours in any month of any reporting period described in section 97-3 or spends more than $750 lobbying during any reporting period described in section 97-3.
“Lobbying” means communicating directly or through an agent, or soliciting others to communicate, with any official in the legislative or executive branch, for the purpose of attempting to influence legislative or administrative action or a ballot issue.”
The legally registered lobbyists registered with state include Jeff Mikilina, Alicia Maluafiti, and John Radcliffe. As you can see, even if you give money, the politician does not always listen to it. The latest list filed with the State Ethics commission can be found online with noted names of the seed companies listed also. Note that on Kauai, lobbyists have free range there as the county has not take any steps to regulate it despite being mandated since 1978. What does that say about the transparency issue that Hooser talks about with the seed companies but not within the county itself? Why hasn’t the county tackled this issue first before others if they care so much about the right to know?!
A group that has a strong hold and lots of playing time in the issue is Hawaii SEED. They sponsor the GMO Free groups on Kauai and Maui. Of which Hooser is a member and contributor of. Take a closer listen to Hawaii SEED’s Jeri Di Pietro talk about what they are doing with legislation here in Hawaii:
Now if these folks are trying to influence legislation, shouldn’t they be subject to the lobbyists laws like the others involved? Take a look at the tax filing that asks if they participated in lobbying activities. Their answer is no. A non-profit cannot be tax free if they are trying to influence or ask others to have an influence on legislation to be in compliance with the law. The IRS has clear rules for what lobbying is. The biotech companies have complied with the lobbying rules and why are the anti-GMO side exempt? I suspect that none of Hawaii SEEDs expenditures have been subject to the taxes that it should be paying for influencing policy and this has been going on for years. Hawaii SEED is not about educating, the video clearly provides evidence that they want to influence laws.
Let’s not forget the recent expose’ of the mainland monies being funneled into the who issue at the moment. These very wealthy activists donate money to these non-profits and get a tax write off on that and get to influence policy?! All the meanwhile the companies paying lobbyists to get some say in the legislation get taxed for the same efforts? Where’s the equality and transparency? If a non-profit is getting involved with lawmaking issues, they have to play the game fair and square. The anti-GMO mob complains about the corruption and money, but quickly hide behind bogus non-profits and skid free from the taxes that they should be paying.
I do have to question the fact that Andrew Kimbrell, Bill Freese, and Vandana Shiva have come down recently to “educate.” The fact that these people came down to provide consultations as to how to write the bill up which is influencing legislation and contacting lawmakers. That really starts to sound like lobbying to me. However, because it is all under the guise of a non-profit, it is not subject to taxes at the current moment. That needs to change!
How about the other activist groups that have been selling items likes shirts and hats? When they sell items and are using it for lobbying purposes like travel for other hearings and meeting with lawmakers, that is taxable. If you search tax ID numbers, there are none for Hawaii GMO Justice Coalition, Babes Against Biotech, or Ohana O Kauai. These groups complain about how corrupt the biotech companies are but are they really doing their fair share? I’ll have a follow up article on this soon.
Hooser is all about protecting the people and doing what is right. Is this really right that these groups are allowed to influence the issue with Bill 2491 and not playing by the rules themselves?
- Anti-GMO “leaders” (gogogmo.wordpress.com)