Friday, July 12, 2013

USA Swimming hires two mercenaries to "Kill Bill" - or more specifically California Senate Bill 131

Before the California Senate is a Senate Bill numbered SB 131 - This legislation would extend the statute of limitations for child sex abuse victims to file lawsuits against their abusers. It is wonderful legislation and California elected officials up and down the state in some pretty serious swimming communities are all for it.

Jim Beall, a Democrat from San Jose, is SB 131’s principal author. Ricardo Lara, Democrat from Long Beach, and Assembly member Nancy Skinner, a Democrat out of Berkeley, are both co-authors.

Why is this bill important? Diana Nyad said it best, sometimes children are not allowed to come forward or are afraid to come forward. In Nyad's case it was both:

From Out Magazine:
"... Her anger was no tantrum played out on a tennis court. “I was swimming every stroke with anger at that man and that sexual abuse,” she says. “That man” was her high-school coach back in Florida, an Olympian and Hall of Fame vet, and “that sexual abuse” was the four years of rape she endured under his tutelage. “I was so na├»ve. I hated him and loved him and felt humiliated and denigrated and so afraid, so terrified to be the last one left or the first one there in case I might be taken or attacked. ..." 
Now here is where USA Swimming comes in: Two political mercenaries, otherwise known as lobbyists, have been hired by USA Swimming to help "Kill Bill SB 131. Their names are Jim Gross and Gene Urbin from renowned lobbyist firm Nielsen Merksamer.

Instead of endorsing this bill, USA Swimming wants it erased. One has to question why would they want child victims to summarily lose the right to seek the justice or compensation they so deserve? This bill is between victim and abuser yet USA Swimming wants to get into the middle of and run this bill of the California Senate floor. One must ask why?

The short answer is that they fear liability but why do they feel liability? The only logical answer I come up with is that there are individuals or a specific individual at the "top of the food chain" at USA Swimming that is directly involved or directly knew such abuse was occurring.

Correct me if I am wrong.


Anonymous said...

I would question your sources. That a tax-exempt youth sport membership organization could dedicate resources to such an effort seems to stretch believability. Honestly, I do not believe that they could use their budget process to hire lobbyists for anything, much less something like what you claim. How could they get something like this past their board of directors and their membership?

Tony Austin said...

It so got through but I suspect most people did not see it.

Why don't you ask Chuck or several executives and see if they give you a definitive NO or a clear answer. If they say NO send it their answers to me and I will rebut it.

The sources are rock solid that is why I put the names and firm. There are so rock solid that if subpoenaed I would reveal the sources. But as they say, the truth is the best defense.

I would also like to add that I found out that the Catholic church wants to kill it too.

Anonymous said...

Here's a story I can't see SwimSwam stealing from Swimming World. :)

Anonymous said...

This doesn't surprise me at all. There is something rotten in California and it seems that USA Swimming helps shield the abusers.

Tony Austin said...

I looked up the law on 501C (3) organizations and they do have a right to lobby if the percentage of funds allotted for lobbying is reasonable or a small percentage of their budget.

What needs to be determined is if USA Swimming wants to amend the bill or kill it. I heard they want to kill it. The fact that they hired a lobby firm that specializes in representing the opposition party to the members those proffering the bill is a red flag.

If they want to amend the bill - the members should ask to see the amendment they want to make. That perhaps could settle it.