NY Catholic leaders spent more money lobbying bills tied to their child rape scandal than marriage

From Duncan Osborne at Gay City News, a fascinating analysis shows what the Archbishop’s lobbyists were most worried about in Albany:

While the New York State Catholic Conference spent some cash to oppose gay marriage in New York and Roman Catholic leaders made statements against making such unions legal, reports filed with the state agency that regulates lobbyists show that the bishops spent far more money lobbying against bills extending the statute of limitations for bringing civil lawsuits or criminal cases for sex crimes against children.

According to reports filed with the Commission on Public Integrity, the Conference hired three lobbying firms in the first six months of 2011. Two firms worked exclusively opposing legislation that would give child sex crime victims more time to bring lawsuits or criminal charges. The third firm spent most of its time on such legislation.

Collectively, the Conference paid the three firms just over $111,000 in fees and expenses. The firms lobbied the governor, the State Senate, and the Assembly. The Church is concerned with limiting its financial liability in lawsuits resulting from allegations of sexual abuse of children by priests.

The NYT’s City Room has published the lobbying disclosure report for New Yorkers United for Marriage. The coalition, created at the direction of Governor Cuomo, spent $1.8 million for the victory.

So, clearly this coalition worked — and it had the resources needed, plus the backing of the Governor. And, we need to help survivors of child rape with their legislation to extend the statute of limitations. It’s the right thing to do and ties up the Catholic hierarchy’s lobbyists.


On October 27, 2010, Joe was one of five bloggers who interviewed President Obama. Joe is a DC-based political consultant with over twenty-five years of experience at both the state and federal level. Joe has managed political operations and legislative efforts for both candidates and issues-based organizations. For seven years, he was the Director of State Legislation at Handgun Control, Inc. He served as that organization's first Political Director during the 2000 cycle. Joe is a graduate of the University of Maine School of Law. In addition, he has a Masters in Public Administration from Lehigh University and received his B.A. from the University of New Hampshire. Joe also has a fun dog, Petey, a worthy successor to Boomer, who got Joe through eight years of Bush and Cheney. Joe likes to think he is a world class athlete having finished the 2005 Chicago Marathon in the time of 4:10. He has completed six other marathons as well -- and is still determined to break the four hour mark.

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