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-   -   ACL is still at it. (http://www.steamboats.org/forum/save-delta-queen/5539-acl-still.html)

Mike Washenko 04-23-2016 11:02 AM

ACL is still at it.
 
I just downloaded the lobby report for the 1st quarter 2016 filed by Blank Rome for lobbying activity on behalf of American Cruise Lines. It shows that ACL paid them $30,000 to stop the Delta Queen exemption from happening.

The report issues detail states that the bills Blank Rome lobbied on were: H.R. 1248; S. 1717 - To amend title 46, United States Code, to exempt old vessels that only operate within inland waterways from the fire-retardant materials requirement if the owners of such vessels make annual structural alterations to at least 10 percent of the areas of the vessels that are not constructed of fire-retardant materials; H.R. 4188/P.L. 114-120, Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2015; S. 1611, Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2015; H.R. 2029, Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016.

As you can see from this activity they are working against every way that the exemption could be squeezed through. We've got to keep up the fight against ACL to get the Queen's exemption passed.

Please contact your Senators and Representatives and ask them to support the exemption bills.

David Dewey 04-23-2016 02:26 PM

So, that makes $160K they've spent so far?? And this is just the first quarter! They are pretty serious about keeping the DQ "dead."

Mike Washenko 04-23-2016 04:53 PM

Lobby Disclosure Search
 
In case any of you would like to check for yourself the Lobby Disclosure Search website is [url=http://disclosures.house.gov/ld/ldsearch.aspx]Lobby Disclosure Search[/url]

I did my search by using the Client Name Search Field then American Cruise Lines in the Criteria field. I also tried bill numbers in issue data but the system returned data for more than just the current session of Congress. I'm not an expert at using the system so please don't ask any questions on doing searches.

Jo Ann Schoen 04-23-2016 09:26 PM

Greed is certainly an ugly thing. What a very unhappy man he must be.

R. Dale Flick 04-26-2016 11:41 AM

*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

R. Dale Flick 04-26-2016 11:46 AM

*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 congressional 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

Jim Reising 04-26-2016 12:13 PM

As I'm typing this just below the quick reply box is an ad for American Cruise Line with a check box to request a brochure, right here on "Save The Delta Queen" web site.
I did an extensive search on ACL and found that it is a family owned company with the founder Charles A. Robertson President and CEO, his sons are also in management positions (not unlike the old Greene Line).
Robertson is a licensed master who also has a first class pilots license. According to the bio I read he is an expert on Coast Guard regulations and has appeared as an expert witness for the Coast Guard and the NTSB...so he is no "light weight".
Here is an inconvenient truth that none of us agree with, some people, and apparently Mr. Robertson is one of them, really believe that the DQ is inherently dangerous, a fire hazard...I know this is true because once I was escorting some visitors at the Howard Museum and we came to the model of the DQ and I was talking about the boat a lady in the group said "that boat is dangerous".
I believe that Mr. Robertson is not so much worried about the competition the DQ would pose (he says he welcomes Viking on the river) as he is that a disasterous fire would hurt the entire river cruise industry.
Like Dale, What do I know???

R. Dale Flick 04-26-2016 01:57 PM

*Correction 'typo'/Deleting posted facts*
Steamboating colleagues:
A 1,000 pardons for a 'typo' above when I meant MISSISSIPI QUEEN and NOT AMERICAN QUEEN. So much for typing without my post cataract eye surgery glasses.

Jim, interesting 'findings' you've uncovered, posted above. I was taken aback by the lady's comment on the DQ model at the Howard Museum. But what can we expect with various media sources who don't go for the full story with usually youngish reporters who know nothing of river/maritime affair to make the story fit the news deadline with that certain 'twist.' I know we all love the DQ--no doubt about that. Years back I happened to invite a group of people to go down to 'walk' the DQ, see her off. On the landing two turned to me, "You may like that boat but I wouldn't take a trip on it." Then, steaming into Cincinnati on a Tall Stack's' cruise on the MISSISSIPPI QUEEN, a fellow passenger from out-of-town stood on deck as we came up the river seeing the skyline, Suspension Bridge etc. With a dry tone he turned to me, "I know you like this river and boat but it doesn't do a thing for me." OUCH! Another here in town said, "This 'Tall Stacks' is like watching ice melt." I thought of Capt. C.W. Stoll's statement, "You either GET IT about steamboats or you don't.

I also note some 'cyberease' above deleting financial facts so stated on TV/s '60 Minutes' RE: a congressional rep stating about "having to raise $18,000 a day." What's going on here? Was this from an outside 'lurker' or within this web? To delete something like this clouds other possible 'discussions' on the DQ initiative casting doubts. There is no official party line here. 'Deleters' can't have it both ways. Again, now I know what I see.

R. Dale Flick
Old Coal Haven Landing, Ohio River, Cincinnati.

Mike Washenko 05-01-2016 11:38 AM

Dale,
If you pull up any of the reports look at item 16, Specific Lobby Issues. You can see that the only issues lobbied on dealt with the direct exemption bills or a bill where the exemption could have been added in.

I think it's safe to assume Blank Rome didn't Lobby on anything else. Taking it one step further since the issue was the exemption does anyone think that ACL would be supporting a issue that would give them competition? I doubt it but I cannot prove it other than by what I was told happened.

I was also told about some interesting debate on the House floor back in 2014 when that bill was passed but I haven't had time to research the Congressional record to read if what I was told is true.

But what do I know.

R. Dale Flick 05-01-2016 12:55 PM

*Proof of the pudding/Thanks, Mike*
Hi, Mike,
Thanks for your clarification and pointing me/us in the right direction. I will later today go on, type in and look. My question initially was to guarantee/prove that these statements or plain rumors along with wishful thinking about what ACL is or isn't doing correct with all in black/white. Too many rumors, statements, more added to 'those people we love to hate' when not actually involved with hands on as you, Phil Johnson etc. are down at Houma. Nothing like "being wrong at the top of our voices." I also think Jim Reising nailed down some very interesting, revealing information on he who heads ACL. I agree he is "no lightweight" for sure. All I'm asking is for clear, direct information on these issues from those who are involved and who know for the right reason at the right time for the right purpose.

Now I'm hearing noises for a "boycott of ACL." People can boycott whomover they wish but I daresay those who have the money for those cruise tariffs aren't hanging on to each word on this web site or even FACEBOOK. Suggesting any "boycott" easier said than done sounding noble with "free speech and expression." That is until your words come back on you legally. Again, what do I know?

R. Dale Flick
Old Coal Haven Landing, Ohio River, Cincinnati


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