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< Omnibus bills and controversial bills | Main | "Democratic Kangaroo Court" >

The Turtle Award

Posted at 5:26 AM on March 22, 2007 by Bob Collins (3 Comments)

I used to play in an APBA Baseball league. APBA, for those of you who grew up with electricity and videogames and all, was a dice-and-board game that was based on the previous year's statistics. You'd roll the dice, check the player card, and then find out if it was a hit or what. You could run your own league and you were the manager.

Anyway, I was in this league and I usually finished last (The Cleveland Indians are my favorite team and so I drafted lots of them. They were bad, back then. So I was too.) And the league gave the manager who finished last each year, a trophy. It was turtle. A ceramic turtle. At least I think it was ceramic. And it honored the guy who finished last.

I've been thinking about whether we should have a Turtle Award in the MFL for the two teams that finish last, and maybe also for the legislator who finishes last in the Power Rankings. I tend to think not because I like to keep the MFL a fairly positive exercise.

Still, I got to thinking about it today when I noticed that yesterday, Rep. Tom Emmer was credited with his first CP (committee passage) points of the year. He is the last legislator to have accumulated points in this category. So, congratulations Rep. Emmer!

If I were to hand him a ceramic turtle, would violate the Legislature's gift-ban law?

Comments (3)

I see. The week AFTER Caucus-O-Rama climbs out of the toilet people start talking last place awards.

Posted by David Younk | March 22, 2007 7:27 AM

Gift ban say's the gift has to have value. Basically if it is a trinket, pen, mouse pad, certificate in cheap frame, etc and has "insignificant value" (that is under about $5); you can give it to a member of the Legislature.

To steer clear, you can just announce that someone won the award, without giving them anything.

You can file a question with the campaign finance board; they already have a few that cover similar items though.

Gift bad - Advisory Opinion 218 – Trophies and Plaques of value around $40 -$85

Gift ok - Advisory Opinion 165 – Certificate in cheap frame, value around $2.99

Ask a question on campaign finance and I will have an answer and research to back it up.

Posted by Brian Hanf | March 22, 2007 9:47 AM

Or if the 'trophy' or award is a traveler, it could be considered a loan and not a gift, and therefore not violate the gift rules.

Posted by Nancy Gertner | March 22, 2007 9:54 AM