By Erik Sine
Some interesting news for Californians directly from the CA License Board in the form of a newsletter and more reassurance to what I've been explaining on illegal activity, or illegal execution of contracts and illegal hiring of subcontractors.
It was discussed some time ago (many times) about illegal subcontracting and I was trying to find the thread by someone from the California Sign Association who said it was okay for any lesser status sign contractors to upsell or up subcontract electrical work which is above their status because they were already a contractor. There was a brief debate because I knew it was still illegal.
Anyhow, in California we have three types of sign contractors
C-45 (illuminated & non)
The CSLB has received numerous complaints of the C61 & D42 license carriers of executing and subcontracting out electrical signs, they go in to verify that this is illegal activity.
It appears this statement takes it even a step further. If I'm reading this right unlicensed C-45 shops can't even build a sign, and sell it to a consumer. I wonder if that is right.
But back to my original point, contractors of a lesser status cannot "subcontract" to a contractor of a higher status even though they themselves are a licensed contractor.
A new law Senate Bill 315 is giving more whip cracking power to the CSLB for anyone unlicensed contracting work over in combo of labor & materials of $500. It goes into to say their starting to crack down on Craigs List and other online bulletin ads.
The new law also gives them the power to issue "Notices to Appear in Court"
This is just the beginning but glad to see it surface here in from the CSLB, but the contractors board has been getting more complaints on the over hype of solar power sales, false marketing, deceptive practices,and false return on investment claims resulting in "under-delivering".
Sounds familiar with our own industry, maybe this should be raised with them as well.
Something to chew on over for #TBT
By Erik Sine
Here's something interesting coming down the pike. What does it mean for The International Sign Association? Will this new proposed law benefit our Industry? Will this new law benefit our industry by not benefiting our Sign Associations, or is it a dis-benefit and dis-service because it doesn't serve our Associations?
Well here is what's coming, when it comes to inviting government employees and appointees to WAGs, Widely Attending Gatherings (of diverse opinion or position, not just one)
Proposed OGE Regulations
Widely attended events (the name given under the House and Senate Gift Rules) and widely attended
gatherings (the executive branch’s version) are exemptions from the gift rules restrictions. Government
officials may attend events featuring a number of different people (more than 25 non-Congressional
attendees for the legislative branch) when the government attendee is either speaking at the event or his
or her attendance will further the government’s interest. These exemptions allow officials to attend events
such as trade shows, social gatherings, roundtable discussions, and other similar events where
government officials have the opportunity to interact with the private sector.
Since the beginning of the Obama administration, however - political appointees have been barred by
Executive Order 13490 from attending widely attended gatherings unless speaking at those events. This
order requires political appointees to sign “ethics pledges” that promise, among other things, that
appointees will not accept gifts from entities that employ or retain lobbyists. Therefore, events such as
tradeshows, panel discussions, and social events are off limits unless the political appointee is speaking
(attendance is limited to the day of the speech), or if the appointee pays admission.
OGE or Office of Govenment Ethics proposes to extend the EO to all executive branch employees. This will mean that organizations,
particularly associations (which often have events that fall into the widely attended category), will not be
allowed to invite executive branch employees to their widely attended events unless the employee has a
speaking role. This could have a major impact on associations that wish to interact with government
employees at their events.
Some are of the opinion that this will "Stifle" relations/eschange of information between government and the public sector. The OGE is quoted as saying:
Under the new proposal another issue being addressed is the "Registered Lobbyist" or "Lobbying Organization". While trade associations are calling on the OGE to categorically exempt Trade Associations from this definition, many believe this exemption is NOT justified. The OGE is quoted as saying:
The proposed rule did add some exemptions of lobbyists, and that's for Institutions of Higher Learning, Nonprofit Professional Associations, Scientific Orgs and Learned Societies. The OGE has said it acknowledges that certain WAGs provide educational and professional developments that may further agency interests, ” there is often a cozy relationship between these organizations and industry groups"
More than 400 Trade Associations have sent their comments and concerns similar to ISA's Letter attached.
Many business's are outraged with the Obama Administration for the proposal, "its a slap in the face" to business. This is odd, I thought Earlier in the year Lori Anderson of International Sign Association who wrote this letter to reconsider was orgasming over Obama's Apperance at Gelberg Signs, AND quoted as saying.
What happened? Many that run this Association have been for government meddling in the public sector, OSHA, Cap & Trade. Why the outrage?
What else does this proposal prevent?
• limits on the amount of money lobbyists and their employers can spend on public officials
• Gone are free tickets
• golf outings
• social trips
• regular one-on-one dinners with lobbyists
The Lobbying culture is upside down right now.
What will this mean for our Sign Industry, for you and I?
Well, if we look at the history of Associations and Legislation in the bigger picture outside our associations fighting signs codes and EMC's for their constituents fellow board executives. It might not mean a Damn Thing! It might be better for us as a industry, and as a country?
If you think about it, what will it do? What have our associations done for us except the two points listed above when it comes to regulation? In the past our Associations like International Sign Association, California Sign Association just roll with CA Title 24, Demand Response, the Energy Commission Decisions, OSHA and have just about managed to turn all of those into programs and seminars. Now we see a promotion of UL-E or UL Green Leaf as something of Non-Fiction.
You're all a bunch of children, get in line. They will make you a lunch, a snack, pat you on the head and send you off for schooling, and whatever else is to come.
Maybe some distance from government and bureaucracy and undoing of some cozyness will somehow benefit US! I can't say for certain, but if these associations just attend meetings with government to figure out a way to turn it into a program instead of doing what's right and fighting for freedoms and liberties then this new proposal/law from the OGE, can't hurt. Maybe something they don't like is somehow a benefit for you and I? I mean, if you're not going to make useful, with the time and resources you have, what loss will it be?
We live in an age where there it too much cozyness between public and government sectors, whether it be crony capitalism, Government and insider trading, bailouts. Just my opinion, but I think it will benefit us all not just our trade if we all just stay on a first name basis, and not cozy up.
We live in an a age where money talks, and ethics walk. Sometimes membership money drives, program profit farming are more important that our own ethics of doing what's right when it comes to protecting the reason why you're there in the first place. Oh I don't know, disciplining board exec/chair members and assoc. members who are in ethics violations.
Now, don't get me wrong, this new proposal may have some negative effects for us, but does it out way the possible benefits?
Just my thought for the day, I thought I'd share