Eye On Boise

Rep. Patterson complains to Secty of State about Sheriffs Association lobbying

Here's a news item from the Associated Press: BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The 2013 Legislature's passionate debate over gun rights has been extended beyond the session, with a lawmaker whose bill was killed now complaining that his measure was torpedoed by lobbyists who weren't properly registered. Republican Rep. Mark Patterson of Boise sponsored a measure to charge Idaho law enforcement officers with a crime for assisting the federal government in confiscating newly banned weapons. The bill died. But Patterson this month complained to the Idaho secretary of state that Idaho Sheriff's Association director Vaughn Killeen wasn't registered as a lobbyist. Furthermore, Patterson contends the group's registered lobbyist, Michael Kane, didn't properly disclose his firearms-related lobbying. Killeen and Kane have since amended their filings. Killeen contends he wasn't required to register as a lobbyist, but did so May 15 to avoid future misunderstandings.

Click below for a full report from AP reporter John Miller.

Idaho rep complains lobbying helped kill gun bill
By JOHN MILLER, Associated Press 

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A lawmaker who had his firearms bill killed in the 2013 Legislature has complained to the secretary of state that it was torpedoed by lobbyists who weren't properly registered.

Gun rights were a hotly contested issue in the 2013 session, where Rep. Mark Patterson, R-Boise, sponsored a measure to charge Idaho law enforcement officers with a crime for assisting the federal government in confiscating any newly banned weapons. His bill died in the state Senate.

Earlier this month, Patterson filed a written complaint with the Idaho secretary of state saying Idaho Sheriffs' Association director Vaughn Killeen wasn't registered as a lobbyist.

Furthermore, Patterson contended the group's registered lobbyist, Michael Kane, didn't properly disclose he was lobbying on firearms-related measures.

Killeen and Kane have since amended their filings but contend they never took a stand on Patterson's measure.

The office of Secretary of State Ben Ysursa said it was still assessing final resolution of Patterson's complaint.

On Wednesday, Killeen said he doesn't believe he is required to register as a lobbyist. Typically, he said, he merely provides information to legislators without actually touting or opposing a bill.

Still, he paid $10 to register on May 15 to avoid future misunderstandings, he said.

"I understand that perceptions can cause misunderstandings and registering as a lobbyist removes all doubt," he said.

Killeen disputes Patterson's contention that he sabotaged the legislation known as House Bill 219. Had it passed, Idaho law enforcement officers who helped the federal government confiscate any newly banned firearms or ammunition could have faced jail time and a $1,000 fine.

"The association didn't take a position on House Bill 219 as it was decided that each sheriff would determine their stance on what was perceived as a controversial bill," Killeen wrote in a letter Tuesday to Ysursa. "I did not lobby any legislator on this bill either pro or con, however some sheriffs lobbied against it."

Also reached Wednesday, Kane said he has amended his March disclosure report to include a pair of concealed weapons measures on which he offered input but neglected to include in his original filing.

Still, he declined to add House Bill 219 to the report as among the measures he played a role in crafting, opposing or supporting. That's because he said he had nothing to do with Patterson's measure, other than monitoring its progress through the Legislature.

"I did not try to kill his bill," Kane said Wednesday. "I didn't speak to anybody on the committee, I didn't speak to the chairman, I didn't go to the hearing. I didn't speak to anybody in leadership on his bill, I didn't speak to anybody in the Senate."

For his part, Patterson remains concerned the situation hasn't been adequately addressed and believes Kane should add House Bill 219 to his March report.

"He didn't come clean," Patterson said Wednesday, of Kane's response. "All I can do is just point out he didn't redeem himself."

Patterson added he doesn't believe Kane and Killeen stayed neutral on firearms measures, as he believes they should have as representatives of the Idaho Sheriffs' Association.


Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.




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Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Russell covers Idaho news from the state capitol in Boise and writes the Eye on Boise blog.

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