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Old 04-26-2016, 10:41 AM
R. Dale Flick R. Dale Flick is offline
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S.A.
Posts: 1,550
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*Lobbying/'60 Minutes'/'Steering' cruise passengers*
Morning, Steamboating colleagues:
Thanks to Mike Washenko for providing the links above and his information on current events. We're talking big money here with no doubts. People learning fast the ins and outs of political action and lobbying going back longer than we think with it being legal whether we like it or not. Other monies also steered into PAC funds now in this election year. Any of you who viewed '60 Minutes' on Sunday learned plenty how both parties set big money goals for present congressional representatives in both houses for elections and relections. This demanding hours of their time with both 'hot and cold' calls to raise millions $. One disgruntled rep from Florida disclosed the "boiler room" tactics with hours demanded from vital congres<script id="gpt-impl-0.4900545680391134" src="http://partner.googleadservices.com/gpt/pubads_impl_85.js"></script>sional work and bills expecting a cool $18,000 per day in donations. Representatives from BOTH political parties either fessed up or hid behind their 'speak' to justify. I later gasped hearing that just one congressional senate seat from Florida could cost up to $100,000,000.

Mike, I'm also at a loss how to 'worm in' to read the actual statements on the ACL lobbying efforts with the DELTA QUEEN initiative on the table. Do you, or your colleagues, have evidence just how much of ACL' lobbying flatly states how much and does it appear in clear print with us knowing? I think a company like ACL, and a zillion others, have other issues than just one on their agendas. Many other companies on the rivers also have lobbyist. The tough reality here is that when a lobbyist works FOR an initiative we all like and want then that's fine. It's the opposite representating AGAINST that we decry. The sword cuts both ways. If you can't lick em' then join em' with the same. Tough talk...tough love...but true.

I did some legal digging, rooting around here finding direct statements on what we discussed about possibly "steering cruise passengers." Fact is a cruise line [Any cruise line] is free to choose whih distributors get the most favorable pricing or sales terms...also free to set different commission or override for different sales agents. Antitrust laws protecr consumers [cruise passengergs] not company competitors. Try to prove a "discriminatory" practice and see where it leads you. Getting a definition of a "discriminatory" act has different meanings to different parties.

It's hard to prove flatly any price-fixing or other deals. Just to allege or state this hoping the evidence will turn up in a case, the courts will dismiss it. Cruise lines [And steamboat lines fit the category] do offer blocks of rooms or cabins so some agencies at rates to encourage sales. For years even our steamboat lines and others did offer to a booking individual or 'free home agent' a free cabin for so many cabins booked as an incentive. For some years on the DQ one free room was offered for every 15 booked by that party. This changed in recent years with many dropping the practice. I have no idea if it exists now with companies like CUNARD LINE but think it may.

Looking back now all these years I'm 'foggy' on what Betty Blake and the company did with lobbying for the first DQ exemption. She didn't do it alone with outside help from faces and names--and I new a few. During the initial planning of the then newly proposed AMERICAN QUEEN, Betty did beat the bushes hither and yon seeking 'investment' sourcres from companies and even private individuals. She even made luncheon appeals and talks to members of more than one country club and business here. And they were, for the most, wary or not wanting to invest in an enterprise outside of their central business core of services and products. Don't think you're going to write/phone XYZ for an investment with any success.

The prevailing use of E=Mail, calls, letters to congressional representatives continues. Use of web sites, social media like FACEBOOK fine--to a point. Studies of social media and 'hits' on sites studied with stastical data revealing they may not be as productive as people think. If you doubt me then go on line and call up: Internet 'hits,' what do they mean? I learned plenty. Again, what do I know?

R. Dale Flick
OIld coal Haven Landing, Ohio River, Cincinnati
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