This is a follow on to the article published this morning, to understand the context please read:
On the Virginia Beach Republicans Facebook page he left the following comment:[read_more]
I took one check from a union – my employer. It was $5k, and that was less than 1/4 of what I raised. He’s included money from friends I work with and my boss as union money. I don’t make $330k a year – I wish I did. He’s using the entire total that my guys spend on lobbying, which includes all our staff, three lobbyists and our expenses and assuming that’s my salary. The PLA stuff doesn’t make any sense to me because I can’t recall ever taking a public position on PLAs and the Board has nothing to do with PLAs. I’m not aware of any PLAs in Fairfax – that’s something MWAA did, not us. My guys are maritime. They’re supporting me because they’re my friends, not because they expect anything. That’s just ridiculous.
A response to Mr. Schoeneman’s critiques:
There are three areas as noted in the comments that come straight from Mr. Schoeneman. The first has to do with his pay from the SIU, the second has to do with the sources of donations, and the third has to do with the role that the Fairfax Board of Supervisors plays in opposing or supporting PLA’s.
I accept Brian at his word that there are multiple lobbyists for SIU paid from the $330,000. Had it been obvious that this was the case* I would not have published the earnings amount as I do believe he is entitled to some privacy on this issue, unless the information was already out there. Because I believe in this privacy I will presume his compensation to be a mere $100,000.00 which he is free to refute.
Sources of donations that I counted as union funds:
The SIU gave $5,000.00
The President of the SIU gave $500
The EVP of SIU gave $200
A VP of SIU gave $200
Sarah Chamberlain of the Republican Mainstreet Partnership gave $500.00
This is union money.
If Mr. Schoeneman wants to claim it was only one quarter of what he raised came from unions than he can share the individual donor information as well in a non-public manner.
Regarding PLA’s in Fairfax
Please note the following instances where one or more of the Fairfax Board of Supervisors have had cause to opine on PLA’s
Letter to MWAA from the Fairfax Board
Letter to MWAA from the Fairfax Board
Acknowledgment by Supervisor Herrity that the Fairfax Board had power to stop a PLA, but did not exercise that power
Letter from multiple local governments opposing a PLA incentive
A PLA was also used for the hotlanes
The issue of PLA’s will come up.
Mr. Schoeneman is free to contact me for clarifications and corrections. A comment on a local facebook page for an area of the state where neither of us live is not the most effective way to engage and if there is a factual error it can take me a long time to correct it. Not as long as Rolling Stone…
*According to Mr. Schoeneman his salary is less than $330,000 and the $330,000 figure represents compensation for three lobbyists and expenses. As I went to publish I utilized the following database do determine the amount spent on Mr. Schoeneman to provide lobbying services: http://soprweb.senate.gov/index.cfm?event=selectfields
This database, although it has every registered federal lobbyist tied to a particular organization, does not list those lobbyists names. Instead it lists the organization that spent the money and how much it was. If you search for Schoeneman in the database you get $330,000.00 in 2014. If you look at OpenSecrets (an unofficial database) for 2014 where they gather information directly from the lobbyist filings and publish more than we can access through the Senate’s online system you can find the following information: https://www.opensecrets.org/lobby/clientlbs.php?id=D000000145&year=
When looking at the three entities, Open Secrets gathered the names of more than one lobbyist for one of the three entities lobbying on behalf of the SIU. This makes it logical to conclude that if there were more lobbyists for the SIU they would be listed, but they were not.
Based on this information I came to an incorrect conclusion and have adjusted the article.
Mr. Schoeneman’s compensation is apparently listed in a publicly available form 990 for 2013. I had not considered that labor unions would be identified as non-profit’s and subject to public disclosure of tax filings as I am not an expert on non-profits, and I have never represented or sued a labor union.
The total spent on lobbying by SIU in the lobbyist registration database for 2014 IS NOT $330,000. As indicated in the post above if you look up Mr. Schoeneman in the Senate lobbying database the amount that appears is $330,000.00 for 2014. The total amount spent on lobbying according to the lobbyist registration database for 2014 is $490,000.
I have great respect for Mr. Shapiro’s intellect, and I agree with the sentiment “If I had realized his employer was tax exempt, I would have immediately looked up that form to determine his salary.”
Due to my alleged incompetence, I will now be losing out on all the business representing labor
unions in processing their non-profit filings.
An honest mistake is an honest mistake and everyone of us makes them in the daily course of our lives but too few like yourself have the honesty of character to admit your error upfront publicly and forthrightly. You have my respect and for those that need to continue to condemn and smear be aware this is more telling regarding your character then that of Mr. Prados’.
The other $160k is from other lobbying firms hired by his employer, not his employer itself, SIU directly paid their in house lobbyists $330k. You knew Brian was employed directly by SIU, not another firm, so you just assumed that the total amount they directly spent was equal to his salary. Given your response I’ll just chock this up to being too eager to find data points to support your article. I doubt you will lose any union business, but I wouldn’t be so quick to hire you to reduce my tax liability if you don’t know the full range of entities that qualify as tax exempt and must file a 990 form. Not that anyone would ever hire you for it, but I wouldn’t try professional opposition research either. When you are going to do a hit piece, do it right.
Also you should always look for secondary confirmation of numbers from a different source. All OpenSecrets does is take raw data from the filings and make it easier to browse, so going to the Senate and Opensecrets is like going to SBE and then VPAP.
I agree here OpenSecrets is an aggregator and I’ve been lead astray a couple of times in the past by their data dumps, its always prudent to try to use original sources but not always possible so you need to be wary.
You do realize that I had nothing to do with the article or rebuttal comments as this comment is replied to to me.
Sorry I should have clicked reply to Mr. Prados’ comment. I apologize for the email alert you probably got. I know I get annoyed when I get those alerts for people not really responding to something I wrote.
If you were intelligent you would’ve looked at the Union’s 990 form with the IRS. Rino Cinnamon makes $151k
He is intelligent and given the type of law he practices, I see no way he wouldn’t know of the existence of such a form and what it contains. The only logical explanation is he deliberately posted something he knew wasn’t true to make Brian look bad. I’m sad to say Mr. Prados looks to be just your average run of the mill hack devoid of ethics.
Ain’t the intertubes magical? information gets posted, critiqued, and corrected. But then we anonymouses get to pass judgement on the subjectives. DYR and Max get to play armchair behavior analysts.
I’m using my real name. I’ve been following his blog posts for a while. He’s been named a rising star in the legal community. He does trusts, estates, and other business litigation. I’m not even a lawyer and I know what a IRS-990 form is because my dad’s worked for non-profits my whole life. If I had realized his employer was tax exempt, I would have immediately looked up that form to determine his salary. Either Prados is a complete idiot or he deliberately posted something that he knew was not true. Neither explanation is very good. I can’t possibly believe he’s dumb enough to take a total amount spent on lobbying for an organization as the salary of their head lobbyist, but that’s what he did. If he wants to make a post explaining that he really was that stupid, then I will take him at his word that he wasn’t deliberately trying to mislead people. But the damage to his reputation will remain.
BTW, I’m not using my real name, although having a secret identity in this day and age is fighting a losing battle (TBE PTB know all).
Your either/or is disingenuous, your faux disbelief as well.
This is a quasi-public forum where messy unprotected free speech takes place, there will be misstatements, inaccuracies, invective, and rhetoric. There will be lots of info correcting and calling foul on insinuendo. It’s the infoflow in our brave new digital world.
But, Max Shapiro is a cool name and would make for a cool pseudonym as well.
Mr. Prado’s reputation is reflected by his statements and corrections. Your reputation gets colored by your attacks and inferences. The stakes are higher for real names — we pretend pseudonyms have no reputation other than that which our posts and arguments give us.
I’ve used pseudonyms that are real names in the past because it definitely is the best way to fool someone. But Max Shapiro is my real name and a good number of people who comment on this blog know me personally.
I write for a website called AltDaily.com, you can see everything I’ve written there at the link below. I’ve got a photo to and a listing of people I’ve worked for because I believe in full disclosure.
I’d like to believe the correction was in good faith, but I still just can’t fathom how someone with his experience could mistake a total amount spent on lobbying for an organization the size of the Seafarers International Union as the salary for their head lobbyist. I guess he was just in such a tizzy to smear Brian that his logical faculties momentarily lapsed.
Max, I’m trying to give you the benefit of the doubt but you seem to be concern trolling here with weasel words ‘I’d like to believe’ = ‘I don’t believe, but will pretend that I have an open mind to do so’ and ‘in such a tizzy to smear,’ and ‘logical faculties momentarily lapsed’
Your concern oozes out from each ‘observation’ — But we know better right?
So, what’s your connection to Brian from Norfolk, and why the Prados stalking and attention to our friendly neighborhood TBE? Slow news day in Norfolk?
You planning to move to Sully just in time to vote for him? (I guess that is the carpetbagger way.)
Or, perhaps a Union connection?
I read his Mr. Prados’ posts all the time and always thoroughly enjoy his point of view and legal analysis which is always spot on. That’s why I have a hard time believing he would make such an amateur mistake. He’s a first rate lawyer and should have known better. For the last 7 years I did consulting, opposition research, and GIS analysis for political campaigns, so the mistake he made is just hard for me to fathom.
I like Brian because he always operates off of the level of information I feel neccessary to make an informed decision. Unfortunately I have too often found that people who agree with me on issues lack the depth of knowledge or even the desire to be educated enough to make informed decisions. After 7 years of working for candidates and elected officials, I’ve decided I’d rather support a competent candidate I disagree with than an incompetent candidate I agree with.
That being said, I’m now trying my hand at farming because I’m sick of interacting with elected officials who see illegal things being done on a regular basis and refuse to say word one about them. So it’s not a slow news day in Norfolk, just a wet day on the farm in Northampton County.
I have a really hard time believing that you are capable of the level of incompetence necessary to take a total amount spent by an entity for lobbying as the salary of their lobbyist. That’s so stupid it boggles my mind. You really must not like Brian to make such an amateur mistake.
Don’t be so shocked my brother tribesman. You should expect nothing less from one of Jeanine’s lackeys.
Wait, who is my lackey? I wasn’t aware that I even had lackeys.
We lackeys, bootlicks, lickspittles, functionaries, mandarins, and minions truly need to form a union to get the recognition we deserve. Then WE’LL get to try to buy a supervisor.