Thursday, November 3, 2016

If, In Fact, ABC Has Its Conference . . .

If, in fact, ABC has its inaugural affiliate conference this month, it will undoubtedly trumpet its memo on California law, its white paper on Maryland law, and its ghostwritten memo signed by one very lonely Illinois judge. I doubt, however, that ABC will mention the Chief Justice of California’s proposed study on money bail, a similar white paper written by Eric Holder about Maryland, or my memo countering that very lonely Illinois judge. This merely follows what ABC has done in the past, which is to conveniently only mention the very few things it thinks are a success and leave everything else out.

Those successes, though, are very few indeed, and yet the massive effort to achieve them is basically being paid by you bail agents. The new tactic over at ABC appears to be enlisting the help of other lobbyists around the country to essentially argue the status quo – you know, those “fight everything” arguments that have gotten you so far. But, you know, someone has to pay for them, and I believe that would be you, bail agents. On the other hand, a lot of people working on reforming the status quo are doing it for free. I know I wrote my piece for free, I’m pretty sure Eric Holder didn’t charge anyone for his most recent memo, and the Chief Justice of California isn’t likely to take a bit of money to argue anyone’s position, either. Let’s face it – it’s like a bunch of mercenaries fighting against people who think it’s a holy war. Who do you think will win?

So you’re paying for everything that ABC is doing, but it’s only telling you about a piece of what’s happening out there.  Moreover, ABC has absolutely no intention of pulling back this fight to actually help jurisdictions figure out how to include private supervision into the mix. That’s because private supervision, just like public supervision, means the bail insurance companies will be out of the picture.

So if, in fact, ABC has its conference (can you tell I think it won’t happen, or if it does, it will mostly be attended only by insurance dudes?), you should ask them how hiring more people simply to make the same faulty arguments is going to stem the tide of reform.