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Posted on 04-07-2016

Worst Boss in Sacramento?

As many of you know, I’ve been an adjunct professor teaching introduction to American Government at Diablo Valley Community College for most of the past twenty years.  I taught four hours on Saturdays, so as not to interfere with my career in the Capitol, and now I teach it as an online course so as not to interfere with my work for CCA.

One element of the on-line course involves my positing questions in a discussion forum for my students to answer.  A recent question dealt with if they thought California’s new term limit law was good or bad, and should it be applied to Congress?

As you can imagine the responses ran a gamut of perspectives.  My students range from high-school to middle age, to active military serving overseas, and their perspectives are often illuminating.  Despite the disparity in ages and life experiences there was a single common thread when it came to this subject: distrust of people possessing power for long periods of time.

The Good, Bad and the Ugly On Term Limits

I bring this up because your GA team is in the midst of a concerted campaign to expand our influence in the political/legislative domains under the tenure of California’s new term limit construct. Twelve years in one house of the legislature instead of six in the Assembly or eight in the Senate, theoretically means they aren’t immediately worried about their next campaign for office.  It provides us an opportunity to build strong relationships with new legislators that will be around for a while.

But this is a mixed bag of sorts.  I started my career under Speaker Willie Brown’s reign.  No term limits at all, and I saw firsthand the arrogance this level of power produced.  Some used it to try and do good, and some simply used it for their personal benefit.  The worst were busted by the FBI, but so much bad behavior didn’t rise to the criminal level.  The abusive treatment of staff, sexual harassment, etc. was common place and had no end in sight.  I didn’t like the first term limit law enacted, and yet I honestly was euphoric to see some of those people forced out of office.

My students' concern about power and the length of time one possess it rings true.  There’s an Assembly person who burned through 42 staffers in just two years and was deemed Worst Boss in Sacramento by that legislator’s local weekly newspaper.  Termed out under the old term limit law, this person was reelected twice in spite of her constituents being aware of those behaviors that would produce such massive turnover in staff.

Campaign 2016

I’m broaching this subject this week because I think it important we have context for our challenges and our efforts to enhance and protect chiropractic in California.  Your GA team is comprised of your CCA staff (every one of us pitches in to help all), leadership team, committees, Key Doctors, all members, PAC contributors, contract lobbyist and anyone else we can convince to assist us.  Sounds like a lot because it’s always all hands on deck, but you know our resources pale in comparison to others in the field of health care.

We will support first and foremost pro-chiropractic candidates/legislators.  But I’ve seen the different kind of people who seek these offices.  Some are more susceptible to the negative trappings of power and others are unaffected.  It makes the process of advocacy…complicated.

For the House of Cards fans out there you may remember one of Kevin Spacey’s lines after one of his staffers left to take a high paying lobbying job.  He essentially said he didn’t understand how the staffer couldn’t see the difference between money and power and why one would give up power for money?  We understand the distinction between the two and will continue to work assiduously to attain power to enhance and protect chiropractic in California.

AB 2407 and AB 1992 New Lobbying Materials & Online Advocacy Advertisements 

Our sponsored bills will be heard in policy committees this month, so we are supremely focused on our efforts to get votes.  We’re producing new lobbying documents with the help of our committee members and lobbying staff and legislators.  To take a look at these documents check them out here!

We’ll be launching our first ever online advocacy ad for these bills soon.  We’ll be able to track through analytics how many hits the ads get, thereby ascertaining their penetration into the marketplace.  We’ll be running the ads in four in-side-the-beltway online publications.  We can run them for a month at half the cost of one full page ad running one day in a newspaper.

CCA-PAC Yacht Cruise - Thursday, June 2nd!

In the midst of all this activity, we continue to put the finishing touches on our first ever PAC Cruise at the 2016 CCA Convention and Marketplace in San Diego.  We have limited seating and registration is already off to a strong start, so don't miss your opportunity to take part in our inaugural PAC Cruise.  Click here for details and to register now!

As mentioned earlier, there may be a distinction between power and money, but we all know it starts with money, and this a seminal election year.  After this election, nearly all legislative seats will be running incumbents who can serve for a decade of reelections.  Let’s send a strong message to the legislature that we care about these elections through influencing the outcomes of this year’s campaigns with our PAC dollars!  If you can’t attend the PAC cruise, please donate to the PAC here.

What's Ahead

We’re hyper focused on what’s immediately in front of us, but we’re also always making the time to think strategically.  Currently I’m contemplating a focused effort on launching a statewide public affairs campaign for chiropractic.  I was rereading the Gallup Poll commissioned by Palmer College of Chiropractic and shared with CCA by Palmer West President Bill Meeker which revealed 61.4% respondents believed that chiropractic care was effective at treating neck and back pain, 52.6% thought DCs were trustworthy, and 24.2% thought chiropractic care was dangerous; however, as respondents' likelihood to use a DC increased, perceptions of effectiveness and trustworthiness increased, and perceptions of danger decreased.

It seems worthy of our time to investigate what it would entail to design, pay for, and execute a public affairs campaign that would reassure and encourage that 24.2% to avail themselves of chiropractic.  In the process we’d be helping our GA advocacy efforts, membership recruitment, and membership retention.  It’s all interrelated.

That’s all the news that’s fit to print, and some that probably isn’t…for now.

Cris' Corner is now featured in the bi-monthly CalChiro Connect - look for it in your email! 

©2016 California Chiropractic Association. All rights reserved. Please do not disseminate in part or whole without prior permission. Questions or permission to disseminate? Contact Cris Forsyth at cforsyth@calchiro.org.

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