Join our Mailing List

"I believe that to meet the challenges of our times, human beings will have to develop a greater sense of universal responsibility. It is the foundation for world peace."

Assemblyman Sam Blakeslee counters China lobbying

April 17, 2009

The Tribune
April 16, 2009

The bill would force foreign delegates involved
in any influence of state legislation to register
as lobbyists, subjecting them to all requirements and restrictions

California: Still smarting from the defeat of his
resolution that the state officially recognize
the Dalai Lama and Tibet last month, Assemblyman
Sam Blakeslee has taken aim at the Chinese government.

A San Luis Obispo resident who represents the
33rd Assembly District, Blakeslee has introduced
a bill that would require agents of a foreign
government who lobby for or against state
legislation to be registered as lobbyists.

His bill, AB 1334, is in response to the
Consulate General of the People’s Republic of
China’s opposition to his resolution marking
Dalai Lama and Tibet Awareness Day. Under
pressure from the Chinese government, a vote on
his resolution was blocked and the measure was
sent back to the Assembly Rules Committee.

"This is not some theoretic issue," Blakeslee,
R-San Luis Obispo, said in a prepared statement.
"Representatives of the Chinese government
entered this building and defeated a measure.
It’s a shocking breach of the sovereignty of this
body. The public needs to know that we act solely
in their interest, not at the behest of any
special interest, foreign or domestic.”

Federal regulations cover lobbying activities by
"foreign agents," but California has no such restrictions.

Shandon rancher William P. Clark backed
Blakeslee’s bill, saying in a letter to the
assemblyman: "In my years as Chief of Staff to
Governor Ronald Reagan and again as Deputy
Secretary of State and later National Security
Advisor to President Reagan, I do not recall any
case of foreign consular officials lobbying at
our state level in such a blatant and aggressive
way. To suggest that such activity is irregular
is to state the obvious; in fact, such actions appear to be inappropriate.”

AB 1334 requires foreign agents engaged in
lobbying to register with the secretary of state
and subjects them to all of the registration,
disclosure and gift limit requirements and
prohibitions imposed upon lobbyists by the Political Reform Act.

"The Chinese government is the only special
interest I’m aware of that’s getting away with
organizing overseas junkets, hosting dinners for
legislators at the Consulate General’s home and
taking positions on bills without a single
disclosure requirement," Blakeslee said in his
news release. "All special interests should play by the same rules."

CTC National Office 1425 René-Lévesque Blvd West, 3rd Floor, Montréal, Québec, Canada, H3G 1T7
T: (514) 487-0665
Developed by plank