Chipmunk sighting! Online dating; politicians suck
I had to fly to Springfield, Illinois last week to testify for the online dating bill there. It was written so that online dating web sites would put a disclosure on their "front" page whether or not they do background screenings (not background "checks" - the difference is that the latter is extensive, with fingerprints, SSNs, etc). If they don't do screenings, then they would put links to web sites that do them and leave it up to the person viewing their site as to whether they want to join or not.
That was it.
It should have passed.
But it didn't.
Because politicians suck.
I really, really hate testifying for bills sometime.
The representative who sponsored this bill was clueless. I met him the first night I arrived, when I had to "schmooze" with him and other politicos. He wanted to add Myspace protection to the bill. I told him it was a completely different issue. Myspace would be kid/teen related. Online dating was adult related. He didn't get it. I told him if he included that language in the bill, it would not only kill it, but I would not testify. He finally told me he wouldn't do it.
The next day was spent going to politico offices to get their vote (the Judiciary Committee). Some weren't in, but we had a lunch meeting with the Attorney General, State Police rep and the reps from Match.com and Yahoo.com. The AG and State Police were cool as long as two paragraphs would be removed. We didn't have a problem with that ("we" meaning the representative who sponsored it, the lobbyist who was putting everything together and a rep from True.com, who do background screenings as well as putting safer online dating tips on their site). Of course, the reps from Match.com and Yahoo.com were against any kind of disclosure, which I personally find ludicrous. They're worried about the almighty dollar - they would probably lose potential members who wouldn't want to join a dating site that stated they didn't do screenings. Tough bananas.
So on Thursday morning went to the session to have the bill heard. We were about 10th or so. Everything else passed, most Internet-safety related, so I thought it would be a shoo-in.
Our bill came up and I went with the rep to sit at the table. I was the only expert testifying. The rep came out of the gate spouting about criminal background checks. Not the working "background screening" as in the bill. Oy. It was worse from there. I tried several times to interject and get it back on disclosures on the web sites, but his voice began to rise, his face got red and he was on his own little merry go round.
One committee member, who will remain nameless, spouted off that adults should know better and they get what they get online. When I began to answer her, she told me, "You will NOT respond," told the chairman she gave a no vote and stomped out. She was an angry black woman. Jeez.
We got one yes vote.
I was so pissed off, I didn't even say goodbye to the rep, grabbed my things and left. Terra, from True.com and Ted, the lobbyist came after me and we went back to Ted's office. I was so mad it wasn't funny. They brought me all the way there to get this bill passed and because the stupid rep didn't even appear to read his own damned bill, it failed.
I told them both that if the bill gets rewritten and resubmitted, the only way I'd come back was if there was a different sponsor who knew what the hell he/she was doing. I really hate politicians and dealing with them. Period.
Terra and I had to fly out and good thing we went to the airport early. Springfield is a tiny town, although bigger than where I live. The airport has three regional airlines. Two had canceled all flights. United, our airline, had not, but all had been delayed due to thunderstorms and high winds from the night before that had backed everything up.
So we had a sub, talked and finally flew to O'Hare. Once there, both our connecting flights were way delayed, so we met halfway (she was on American, I was on United) and had some drinks at one of the bars and some appetizers.
I finally got home around 10:30 pm, kissed my mom and the dogs and went to bed.
The next morning I had to take mom to Concord to meet my sister for lunch, but the electrician stopped in at 7 am to give me a quote for some things I needed done in the house. Had lunch at a Japanese restaurant, headed home, bought something for downstairs at BJs, then met Rob, my construction guy (who is a hottie, LOL) at the house. He went back to BJs to help me bring my new portable sink home to put downstairs, then he went to work on my new office.
V2 came over for dinner and stayed the night on Saturday and yesterday I went shopping for printer ink and toner and some new jeans. My clothes are getting big on me, which is good. I have lost a good amount of weight and hope to keep it off.
Rob and Eric (the latter was Chris' friend) worked downstairs most of the day. Rob will be back today. I have to go to court (can't talk about it just yet) and he promised to let the dogs out while I was there. He's a sweetheart.