Last week two different states asked me about things a bail insurance lobbyist said. It was the usual shtick for this lobbyist: surety bonds are more effective than anything else, and Jefferson County, Colorado (where I’m from) is a failure.
I explained to both states how the lobbyist is intentionally misleading them on both issues. I’ve written about this before, so there’s no need to explain it now. By now this lobbyist should know what he can and can’t say. He knows and he simply doesn’t care.
But think about it for a minute, because it appears he doesn’t care much about bail agents, either. I mean, really – intentional misrepresentation. By the time I get done explaining it, people get pretty mad. And they can’t distinguish between the lobbyist and a bail agent. To them, the industry lied to them, and so that’s a couple more people – big, important people with a lot of say about how pretrial release and detention will be done – who’d rather not even bother with commercial sureties.
But I don’t stop there, because then I tell them about all the stuff the bail lobbyist isn’t telling them. Like why the so-called “Dallas Study” is so messed up ( I have a really great story about that one), how other states are issuing reports about pretrial justice that don’t include the industry and that the industry ignores, and all the slippery things they did in New Jersey to try (yes, they failed) to reverse course over there. And, by the way, I’m not the only person these states ask. There are hundreds of us, and we all have the same big knowledge base that makes these lobbyists look like they’re basically making it all up as they go along.
Bail agents, I know you probably think these guys are acting in your interest, but they’re flailing, and in the process they’re taking you down.