Catholic Church spent $2M on major N.Y. lobbying firms to block child-sex law reform

The people who are concerned about their children’s safety from child molestation should worry a lot less about transgender folks using restrooms and more about their clergy.  Every week there is a story about some child molesting clergy member or other.  Why those stories are so common comedians make jokes about them.

From The New York Daily News:  http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/catholic-church-hired-lobby-firms-block-n-y-kid-rape-laws-article-1.2655010

BY
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS ALBANY BUREAU CHIEF
Monday, May 30, 2016

ALBANY — Not leaving it to divine chance, the state Catholic Conference has turned in recent years to some of Albany’s most well-connected and influential lobby firms to help block a bill that would make it easier for child sex abuse victims to seek justice.

The Catholic Conference, headed by Timothy Cardinal Dolan, has used Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker, Patricia Lynch & Associates, Hank Sheinkopf, and Mark Behan Communications to lobby against the Child Victims Act as well as for or against other measures.

All told, the conference spent more than $2.1 million on lobbying from 2007 through the end of 2015, state records show. That does not include the conference’s own internal lobbying team.

Filings show the lobbyists were retained, in part, to work on issues associated with “statute of limitations” and “timelines for commencing certain civil actions related to sex offenses.” Other issues included parochial school funding and investment tax credits.

“They are willing to spend limitless money in order to basically keep bad guys from being accountable for their actions,” said Melanie Blow, chief operations officer of the Stop Abuse Campaign. “I think they’re doing it because they don’t want to have to pay out settlements.”

Added Kathryn Robb, an advocate and survivor who says she was abused by her brother as a 9-year-old: “If they need to spend that much money on lobbying, clearly, then, they have some pretty big secrets to hide.”

While a far cry from the millions in lobbying top special interests spend in Albany each year, advocates for child sex abuse survivors say the $2.1 million spent likely represents a worthwhile investment to the Catholic Conference if it can continue to block legislation that would eliminate the statute of limitations on child sex abuse civil cases and open a one-year window to bring lawsuits for victims who can no longer sue under current law.

Continue reading at:  http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/catholic-church-hired-lobby-firms-block-n-y-kid-rape-laws-article-1.2655010

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