Last week I filed a sworn complaint with the Florida House Public Integrity & Ethics Committee to hold the National Rifle Association and their Florida lobbyist Marion Hammer accountable.
According to a recent news story posted by FloridaBulldog.org, Marion Hammer, the NRA’s influential Florida lobbyist, has failed to file any compensation reports with state authorities disclosing payments she has received since at least 2007, despite Florida law requiring quarterly reporting requirements by contract lobbyists.
Tax records and internal reports obtained by the news outlet showed that the NRA has paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to Ms. Hammer over the years for her legislative activities, including $270,000 she collected following the 2018 Parkland massacre when students and Democratic lawmakers were pushing for an assault weapons ban.
We deserve to know what influence the National Rifle Association has in our political process, and why the transparency lobbyists are required to follow appears to be missing.
Our sworn complaint cites numerous instances of Ms. Hammer appearing before House committees attempting to influence pending legislation. Senator Perry Thurston filed a separate sworn complaint with the Senate Rules Chair, outlining appearances she made in the Senate, too.
Ethics and transparency are critical to a fully-functioning democracy, and Floridians have a right to know how much money is driving the National Rifle Association’s legislative influence. We will keep you posted on any updates on these complaints.
Anna V. Eskamani