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Show Notes

Our Guest
Kevin Mahmalji

H.R. 841

Mitch McConnell – Donors/Lobbyists

Florence City Council

Canon City City Council

County Board of Commissioners

City of Florence Meeting List

City of Canon City Meeting List

You can look up everything about legislation, members of congress, their voting records and bills they sponsored.
Information on top donors to members of Congress.


Sage: [00:00:00] Welcome back to It's Not a Tiny House Podcast where your host, Wayat Reed and Bana Kasa talk about all things housing while working on creating a unique and affordable housing solution in rural Colorado. They cover everything you need to know from city code to financing by interviewing experts and sharing their personal experience so you can have the knowledge to overcome the problems nobody else is talking about. And now onto the podcast.

Kevin: [00:00:26] So this is a true story, so I was I was having, I mean, this went on forever and because I was saying we needed to maintain a more neutral position that was appealing to independents, Democrats and Republicans, and that's small government, for the most part, people say, yeah, I don't want the government telling me what to do, but. But, yeah, they you know, they insisted. And so I went and ran a Twitter poll from our main account. And we have like, I don't know, 300000 followers, quite of quite a few.

Wyatt: [00:00:54] Yeah, that's a reach.

Barna: [00:00:55] And I've put it out there.

Barna: [00:00:57] For like like our podcast.

Wyatt: [00:00:58] Yeah, it's slightly larger.

Kevin: [00:00:59] Slightly larger. So I put this little survey out there and 70 percent responded that they support legalization for personal freedom. The other options were social justice. And I think the other one. But but anyways and again, I was just trying to demonstrate, like, look, like people don't want to get into the weeds on these other these issues, you know, so.

Barna: [00:01:21] The weeds.

Kevin: [00:01:22] Yeah. Yeah, exactly. And I've hated that. Like any time I had an interview and someone saying, well, let's not get in the weeds. Me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me, me.

Sage: [00:01:30] Sage, you I ruined it.

Kevin: [00:01:31] Yeah, yeah. I mean, I hate to be blunt here. Excuse me. Pun intended. Me, me, me, me, me.

Wyatt: [00:01:37] Were in charge of this joint. That's funny.

Kevin: [00:01:44] Get off your high horse. I mean, not literally.

Wyatt: [00:01:49] So what do you guys talk about? Well, I was six or seven minutes of weed references and laughing.

Barna: [00:01:55] Nothing else was discovered, nothing.

Kevin: [00:01:57] Nothing, nothing.

Wyatt: [00:01:58] But really, I think the point the point of the discussion where you're heading with that is it's like stop A telling me what to do. And B, the government is not your savior. You're responsible for your, you should be.

Kevin: [00:02:07] Right. Right.

Wyatt: [00:02:09] Have some level of accountability inside of it. And not to like steer it back to housing specifically, but in this conversation.

Barna: [00:02:16] Well, that's why we're here.

Wyatt: [00:02:17] That's why. Well, in this conversation like recently and it's probably worth saying, like the governor of Colorado shared an article written on our project. Right. And the backlash that was received seemingly from certain people were all very undereducated, probably didn't even read the article. Right. And it was a political rebuttal versus actual attack on what we've created. Right. Is that I mean, you've been through the comments, and I think that we've we've actually sat and laughed in this conversation before Sage hit record about some of the questions, because very clearly the article was not read by certain people. They were just disagreeing with the Governor Polis.

Kevin: [00:02:58] Absolutely. And Sage and I talked about that. I mean, just a few days ago, like literally we had a conversation about how, for the most part throughout my political career, I've seen people move away from identifying as one party or the other because of their true belief system, to say I oppose this party's ideology or their belief system. So I'm going to align with this party to be opposite of whatever issue I disagree with. Right. So you add that political element. I mean, you look at what you guys are doing. We talked about this, you know, just a few seconds ago, the conservatives, the conservatives that took issue with Polis sharing this article. Right. They took it as a political thing. And but if you drill down into their belief system, they should be praising it.

Wyatt: [00:03:43] Exactly.

Kevin: [00:03:44] Like the I mean, if you want to talk about limited government and self responsibility and sustainability like this, The Industrial, it speaks to that, right. Like. Moving off the grid, supplying your own, you know, electricity and not being dependent on the on the grid and the government, you know, controlling your water system and everything else, I mean, that's what troubled me was like, take the governor right out of the conversation and and look at what's going on. Right.

Barna: [00:04:17] Hashtag freedom.

Wyatt: [00:04:18] Yeah.

Wyatt: [00:04:18] Well, right. That's been our new joke, right, where where we were attacked quite openly by more conservatives than anybody else. And we're literally sitting here going, I thought I thought we would have all wanted personal property rights. And so I should be allowed and Barna and I should be allowed to do what it is that we want to do. Right. And bring up and bring not only a business into a town that's going to create revenue. That's capitalism right there. Right. Like so we're going to create a product that it can't be for everybody. You think I'm holding the silver bullet and you just heard me right now. Right. Like it's an option. Not the option.

Kevin: [00:04:53] Well, and it's it's. And you touched on this a little bit earlier. The idea. You guys have a concept, you introduce this concept. Some people are totally on board, some people, of course, are taking issue with it. But to a point you made earlier, you're not forced to live in this.

Wyatt: [00:05:11] Right.

Barna: [00:05:12] One of the comments is, oh, now you're going to shove everybody in these containers. And, you know, it's we're creating an option for the list of people who are who you want to live in these. We didn't just go, you know what, let's just do.

Wyatt: [00:05:27] Everybody's got to get one.

Barna: [00:05:29] And everybody we're going to tear down every other house. And we're just going to do shipping container houses from now on.

Kevin: [00:05:36] Are you sure you guys are not running a bill to the legislature to force people into metal homes, like The Industrial.

Wyatt: [00:05:39] Yes, and I'm really sure that we're not doing that. Well. So the conversation.

Barna: [00:05:43] Have you been to like Home Depot and seen like they have metal siding and they've been selling metal buildings for. I don't know, ever.

Wyatt: [00:05:49] Yeah. Yeah. And the funniest part about that and only like I saw one comment on there, he's like actually it's one of the most durable buildings that you could that you could build. I'm like one builder chimed in and said that because he's 100 percent right, it's just a steel box that we built inside of. Right? Right. But this is the conversation of the Prius versus the Suburban. And I'm giving each other a hard time. And I'm like, don't be mad if you own a Suburban and somebody has a Prius. And vice versa. Shut up and move on.

Barna: [00:06:16] Mind your own business.

Wyatt: [00:06:17] Yeah, exactly. You know. Oh, well, you know, your Suburban is going to, you know, crush my Prius.

Barna: [00:06:23] Unless it's more than 200 miles. You're you're you're on the side of the road and the Prius is going to be way down there.

Kevin: [00:06:27] So I guess the conversation is like where do we lose this live and let live? I don't I don't want that mortgage. I don't want that house. And I don't really want you like telling me that it doesn't look aesthetically pleasing to you. Right. I'm warm and cool because they're quite insulated. Thank you very much to the folks that miss that point. That's awesome. But it's like you guys, like Barna said too, we're not forcing anybody inside of one of these. You know, it's forcing people to make desperate moves. The current economy. The housing market. Debt loads that people take on like these are the landscape realities and like not reading into that or not. I always I always feel like we get it from maybe an older generation of people that just want things to be normal. The same. It's like. You guys, you can't remember Elvis Presley and the fact that he was the first guy that like moved his hips on television like progress is OK. Just accept it, move forward. And we're not asking you to live in one.

Kevin: [00:07:27] So we just got confirmation that Wyatt is a cat guy.

Barna: [00:07:29] Yeah

Wyatt: [00:07:29] It's the cat thing.

Barna: [00:07:36] Today, our guest is:

Wyatt: [00:07:38] Introduce yourself.

Barna: [00:07:40] Kevy M the rapper.

Wyatt: [00:07:47] Little Kev.

Kevin: [00:07:48] So Brad has this this introduction. Whenever he does tours, things like Kevin's like Superman and then this and that. And I'm like stop.

Wyatt: [00:07:54] I know exactly.

Kevin: [00:07:55] Stop, everything just stopped right now.

Wyatt: [00:07:57] Yeah, he does that to us too.

Kevin: [00:07:59] My name is Kevin. I'm just a guy. I do. I'm the founder and principal consultant with Two Rivers Consulting. So I do a lot of work here in the area. My I guess primary responsibility right now is the Tor project. It's the upper Arkansas retail or tourism and retail sector partnership. So kind of what Brad did and Sage and others with the tech partnership here in Fremont County, that's what I'm doing. So but other things also do some hemp lobbying, working on another congressional issue with the FDA. And so, yeah, just.

Wyatt: [00:08:37] So lobbying right. You go to bat at state? Federal?

Kevin: [00:08:44] Throughout my career, I've done a little bit of everything from the municipal level up to the federal level. Right now, my time is specifically dedicated to federal issues. So not really active at the state level or local level at this point in time. So, yeah,

Wyatt: [00:09:04] But that would that would domino down, right. You change at the top, then the states have the right to accept what's come through, kind of like kind of like the marijuana thing in the state. County doesn't allow recreational marijuana. Right. For example, because like the states. Yeah, they're they're good. But then you still have county and then municipal. Right. So you you kind of follow it down the stream.

Kevin: [00:09:26] Sure. And you're I mean, that being said, like I'm even though I may not be engaged in direct lobbying on the local and state level, I am massaging those conversations to your point. Right. So in case in the event that the bill does pass and I'm working on or bills pass that I'm working on, then the local folks, at least here in Colorado or where my clients are going to be located, that's where those conversations are being had as far as giving them a heads up as with regard to implementation. Anything else like that.

Wyatt: [00:09:55] Can you speak at all at length about the hemp bill that you're talking about?

Kevin: [00:09:59] Sure. It's H.R. 841. It's the mari--, I'm sorry, the Hemp Consumer and Market Protection Act. So what that does is it, there was a bill that passed in twenty eighteen. The farm bill. So that essentially gave the green light to the production commercial production of hemp across the country. However, it didn't add any regulations as far as public health and safety. So what this bill does is it brings clarity to the table for producers, manufacturers and business owners as far as what's going to be allowed and not allowed. So the standard. Right. And I can tell you, I mean, it's it's not a complicated issue. So everything as far as like supplements are concerned, those are regulated by the Food Drug and Cosmetic Act. So that is essentially what they're trying to. What we're trying to accomplish with hemp. So we want hemp derived CBD and other compounds that are used in supplements to be classified under that same regulatory framework.

Wyatt: [00:11:04] So you don't have junk CBD entering the market.

Kevin: [00:11:07] That's exactly right.

Wyatt: [00:11:08] Poorly produced.

Kevin: [00:11:09] Right. I mean, and it's pretty...

Barna: [00:11:11] Or stuff mixed Into it, like,

Wyatt: [00:11:12] Of course. Yeah. So purities, I'm assuming.

Kevin: [00:11:15] Absolutely. Yeah. There's a testing piece to it as well. And again, it touches on both the consumer side and the industry side of things. So it's it's pretty broadly supported. I mean, if you look at the co-sponsors right now on Capitol Hill, I'd say there's like 27, 28, pretty much down the middle as far as Republican and Democrat support. So it's something that's desperately needed. And I think something that's accelerated it is what you just touched on, like the the impurities and some of the tainted products that they found. Like out in Virginia they were putting one specific company was caught putting cough syrup, the active ingredient that's found in cough syrup. They were putting it in CBD products and so.

Wyatt: [00:11:56] People were getting a little drowsy.

Kevin: [00:11:57] Yeah, exactly.

Wyatt: [00:11:58] Yeah. Knocking them out.

Kevin: [00:11:59] Yeah. So so that's the goal. Again, it's it's one of those things where as the industry matures, they have to take this step. Right. To make sure that as a producer, you're not competing with bad actors, you know, because the bad actors are the ones that are spoiling it all for everyone.

Wyatt: [00:12:16] Yeah. And that's that's been that's all the industry's right. And people think of one bad example and go, no, I don't want the Suburban because they whatever. Right? And they just they hold the line on that. And it's like I get that you had a bad experience. But that doesn't make everything bad. You know, like you guys are introducing regulations to it. Right. Which we do need on a certain level. And if it's not our government, then who would it be?

Kevin: [00:12:39] And that's one of the things is, is, you know, I mean, I don't want to sit here and preach more and more regulations for the hemp industry. But at the same time, where, when and where is the self policing going to come in? Right. When you look at manufacturers across the country and producers like I mean, there's very little self police, self policing, happening. Those that are engaged in self policing and that do have good practices that are put in place. Those are essentially ones that are operating in states like Colorado, Washington, Oregon and others that have some type of regulatory framework for marijuana and hemp or either/or so.

Wyatt: [00:13:14] And probably some competition, too. Yeah, absolutely. So the standard has to be set otherwise. Right. You know, your competition is going to have a better product than you.

Kevin: [00:13:22] Oh, sure.

Wyatt: [00:13:23] And that's that's the one thing, you know, like multivitamins. Right. That's been an interesting conversation because I'm like, I don't think I can name certain businesses. But the label looks good. The body doesn't work that way. Right. And so, you know, you're taking something that you're not getting anything out of. It's not as good as a dog biscuit. And so but they're popular.

Kevin: [00:13:48] Right. And you see the amount of media that's been, you know, covering the CBD, the hemp stuff, for the past few years. I mean, you go to any gas station, you know, from California to Virginia, and there's going to be, you know, right at the cash register, there's going to be some type of CBD product.

Wyatt: [00:14:04] And that's like the new five hour energy location it seems like.

Kevin: [00:14:07] Like, you know, those are largely unregulated. You know, those those. Well, I should say completely unregulated because of the lack of, you know, federal authority through the bill that we're working on. So.

Wyatt: [00:14:17] Interesting. So those would be uninsulated houses.

Kevin: [00:14:21] Yeah. Well, and that's what's funny to me is like, you know, just I guess taking a step back and just really zooming out. In order, I talked to Sage about this earlier, in order to obtain a certificate of occupancy. Right. There are certain things that are required, right?

Barna: [00:14:39] Yeah. And its on the wall right there, by the way, two certificates of occupancy for unit 1 and unit 4.

Kevin: [00:14:45] Fantastic.

Wyatt: [00:14:46] But, you know, they're awful hot in the summer. That's that's perfectly fine.

Barna: [00:14:52] So OK, for. So there's a there are industry associations for whatever industry you're in, right? And those industries have the opportunity to hire somebody like you to lobby on their on their behalf. Right. So in in California and it's kind of happening nationwide with the tiny house movement. But in California, if you like, there's a book called Golden Gates, and that kind of chronicles a person that started showing off to the San Francisco City Council and just started going off like, no, we need housing, we need housing, we need housing. And that was like, I don't know, five, six, seven years ago. And now there are multiple lobbyists employed by the pro housing movement. Is there anything like that going on in Colorado that you're aware of where it's like, no, we need to change the code? Or is it is that all fueled by like the tiny house movement? More like at a national level?

Kevin: [00:15:50] I would say it's more of a national level. I mean, I'm not aware of any trade associations that are actively engaged in trying to change laws to accommodate the tiny home model. But I know in Denver, of course, affordable housing has been, Denver metro, that's been a conversation they've been going on.

Barna: [00:16:08] It's everywhere in Colorado, like I it is I'm looking at real estate everywhere in the state. And there's very few things that are affordable. But you cross a state line like, oh, prices dropped by 100 grand. Well,

Wyatt: [00:16:22] Utah? New Mexico?

Barna: [00:16:23] New Mexico.

Wyatt: [00:16:24] For sure. You think New Mexico is any less beautiful than Colorado? I don't know. Maybe it's hotter. You got like Taos, you know. Gorgeous areas there.

Barna: [00:16:33] No, that's what I'm looking at. You go like, OK, here's the border I'm searching in Colorado. Oh, shack for 300 grand. And you go across the border, a house for one hundred and fifty. Interesting change in 50 miles.

Wyatt: [00:16:51] Well, its probably got lower taxes there as well. I don't know. But I mean, I've been there, you know, I've been through there. But Mom and I were talking about this at one point because her and her husband were looking in Wyoming. And, you know, it's like going crazy in Wyoming where they were looking for housing, like trying to get on a list of a builder or trying to X, Y and Z. Prices are crazy. And I'm like, really? Wyoming, no shade thrown to Wyoming. I think it's gorgeous, but it's not a place that you think of as far as property values skyrocketing. Right. It's just not something that you when I think of sky skyrocketing prices, I hear California. I think New York. I think Washington State, you know, like some of those more coastal areas, not the center of the country. Right?

Barna: [00:17:38] What's the statistics like? Animals outnumber people.

Wyatt: [00:17:42] I want to say I mean, between like Wyoming, North and South Dakota and Montana, those are like the four lowest, I think, you know, populated states per capita where they just have large gaps. And I'm from northern Minnesota, where it looks a lot like North Dakota and there's like a house per square mile. Right. Like farmland all around. So I got here and like I was in Westcliff yesterday, which is like one of my favorite places. And there's thirty five acre tracts there. And there's a house on like all of them like and there's no trees. You can see everybody. You can see everything. And I think like how populated the state has become, especially in the rural areas, and those people that were like really trying to go off grid or trying to get out of town, your neighbor still right there, right? It's kind of a trip. And so I don't know what I don't know what the deal is nationwide. I don't know what's going to happen. But I do know, like if we can't get smaller houses built. Because there's less material that goes into them. We're not going to have people in houses, right? And we definitely don't have an equitable solution.

Kevin: [00:18:51] Well, and it impacts, you know, municipalities in so many different ways. Right. Like when you talk about affordable housing, you know, I mean, depending on, I guess, where you stand on the issue, your mind races to one argument or another, pro or against or what have you. But it's pretty much face value on the surface. Right, when you don't understand the complexity of the issue. Like, you know, I just mentioned that I'm working on the tourism retail sector partnership, Salida, Chaffee County. They're doing fine as far as offering competitive wages, attracting talent, things of that nature. But their biggest complaint is not enough housing.

Wyatt: [00:19:27] They don't have any houses for for anybody that's on the support staff area.

Kevin: [00:19:31] Right. So when you think about that, like you're literally economies are going to come to a grinding halt because you're having an influx of of folks moving into the area, you know, that can purchase homes and move their families there. But you still need that workforce, you know, that 25 to 30 year old to come and serve or work as a cook, bartender or whatever it may be. They can't find housing. Right.

Wyatt: [00:19:52] Right. And without them, everything comes grinding to a halt. Right. It's kind of. And we've talked about that like, you know, just in Florence, if the rental market for a one bedroom here is like minimum 700 bucks, if you could find one, it'd be off the market tomorrow.

Kevin: [00:20:06] Yeah. I was like, yeah,

Wyatt: [00:20:08] Yeah, I'll be gone. But but the job that supports that isn't here. And that's the low end. Right. Right. So now you've got nine hundred, lets just call it a thousand for basic math. You got to be able to clear three grand a month for that to be considered affordable housing. A lot of serving staff here, especially, I would say that they're not capable of pulling that kind of cash. Right. You know, that's thirty six thousand dollars a year. Right. And so the conversation from there as well, you know, get another job. Well, there's only so many hours in the day. Right. So how about you pay more? Right. And we stop complaining about fifteen dollars an hour because that's not where the landscape sits anymore. We just it foesn't work that way.

Barna: [00:20:50] So, just to put you on the spot as a lobbyist. Right. Registered lobbyists, just to make sure.

Kevin: [00:20:56] Yes. So as...

Barna: [00:21:01] Just want to make sure you are official.

Kevin: [00:21:02] Yeah, I'm official.

Wyatt: [00:21:03] That's great.

Kevin: [00:21:04] They do have I'm I'm mindful of the reporting guidelines and stuff. And it's all based off a dollar amount that's reported off of a within a calendar year or so. Well, within my reporting parameters. So we're good.

Barna: [00:21:14] Yeah. Your dinner your Bento box was, is that added to the tab?

Kevin: [00:21:18] No, we need to make sure and expense this, you know, so OK, this record, I can't accept any gifts or whatnot. You know, I'm just kidding.

Barna: [00:21:24] Bribing your bento boxes.

Barna: [00:21:28] So, yeah, I mean, with the lobbying, I mean, it's something that I kind of fell into because when I got into politics, I was on the electoral side of things helping people get elected to office and then just kind of learn about the the ins and outs throughout my time working in electoral politics. And then, of course, with my time at NORML, I was really exposed to it. But, you know, lobbyists, of course, when you hear hear the word lobbyists, a lot of people are like, gosh, you know,

Wyatt: [00:21:53] I don't think they don't know what that means.

Kevin: [00:21:55] Well, a lot of people are either A, they don't know what it means or to they've they've heard something bad or they already have a bad opinion about a lobbyist. And you'll see some people say, you know, we need to get rid of lobbyists, ban lobbyists from from Capitol Hill. But I mean, I think that's just not practical, right. When you look at how many bills any one member of Congress is looking at during session. It's quite daunting. Right. And you can expect some of these people, you can't expect any of them to be experts on every single issue that comes across.

Wyatt: [00:22:21] They need help.

Kevin: [00:22:22] They need help. Right.

Barna: [00:22:23] But can we expect them to read the bills that they're handed?

Kevin: [00:22:28] I you know, that's a good question. I can't speak to how many actually read the bill, but that's again where a lobbyist would come in and say...

Wyatt: [00:22:37] This is what it is.

Barna: [00:22:37] Here is the one pager for you, buddy.

Kevin: [00:22:39] Yes. Yes, that's exactly right. And it's not something that you know. Yeah, it's it's not something that we can do without. Right. Because, again, lobbyists, whenever you look at like constituent lobbying or when a constituent calls their congressmen and says, hey, I support X, Y or Z, that's literally just saying, hey, I support it emotionally, my belief system, whatever. Right. My political views. But a lobbyist comes to the table. Right. First and foremost, there has to be some type of relationship with that congressional office that you're working with, because a lot of what lobbyists do, it's built on credibility. Right. So you build these relationships up. And whenever a bill comes along that you do support, it's this is why you I'm asking your support. These are the implications industry wise. These are the implications with with regard to public health and safety, X, Y and Z. Right. And paint a picture for them to Barna's point. Yeah. Just basically handing them on one page and saying this is what you can anticipate if you're following the bill, or I would say heavily involved in the the authoring of the bill and offering up amendments. And stuff like that, then you can massage the the language and make suggestions along the way. But again, these are these are issues, very complicated issues that I mean, I can tell you with the hemp issue, I've been passed around congressional offices by a few staffers because they don't have a point person working on hemp. Right. Like if you look at most congressional offices, they have like someone who's focused on economics, someone who's focused on health care, someone who's focused on social issues or whatever it may be. But nobody was heading up the hemp issue. Right. And so.

Wyatt: [00:24:19] What do they take that seriously enough to hear you?

Kevin: [00:24:21] Yeah. Yeah. So they finally have started appointing a specific congressional staffer to the issue. But again, those folks are literally just being appointed, like, hey, you're now the hemp person.

Barna: [00:24:33] And it's like a kid in college. Right. Or just graduated.

Kevin: [00:24:38] And so these these folks are looking for information. Right. They're looking for credible information that you can back up with citations and other information that's going to help, you know, further that argument. But that's that's where the lobbyist comes in. Right. And I know, like I said, a lot of people hear the word lobbyist and...

Barna: [00:24:55] So it's really it's it's really you're educating people,

Kevin: [00:24:58] Educating people and connecting the dots. Yeah. Right. And that's that's that's pretty much when you when you boil it down in my day to day, I'm calling different offices. I'm making connections and saying, hey, I just talked to this office. They want to come on as a co-sponsor, but they're concerned about this potential amendment down the road. Do you know anything about that? Right. And just connecting the dots between the two offices and shoring up support, educating.

Barna: [00:25:21] And I know we're in a small community, so Florence's maybe four thousand, Canon City is 20, ballpark, on the local level. Is there still the same requirements if you're a lobbyist? Because I know there really that doesn't really exist here unless I'm wrong. Right. Because you have access to everybody. Right. But in a bigger city, if you were working in Denver and you were trying to get something achieved in Denver proper, then you start to do all the same. You get registrations and and paperwork that goes along with it.

Kevin: [00:25:55] Through the secretary of state's office and also with the. I'm trying to think of the division there in Denver. I think it might be the clerk's office, but it's like a fifty dollar registration fee.

Barna: [00:26:03] Okay. And so they know you got a record like, oh, this person's a lobbyist.

Kevin: [00:26:06] Correct. Right. Right. And the different...

Barna: [00:26:08] Do you get a bridge that where you can like walk in.

Wyatt: [00:26:10] Do you get a gun?

Barna: [00:26:12] Not, like a badge like an officer, but like a little thing like I'm a lobbyist. I can be, on the capitol hill?

Wyatt: [00:26:16] Do you get a gun?

Kevin: [00:26:18] You don't get a gun.

Wyatt: [00:26:20] Fifty bucks is my pocket then anyway.

Kevin: [00:26:22] No.

Barna: [00:26:23] Do you get haircuts?

Kevin: [00:26:24] No, no badges. And I think I think that's going to be by design. Right. As a lobbyist, like you don't want to have like I'm working for this company lobbying on this issue, right? Like on your chest. Right.

Wyatt: [00:26:36] Do you get a star to put on your shirt so we know? No, we're not going that one?

Barna: [00:26:41] How are we supposed to identify you?

Kevin: [00:26:41] Yeah, right. Yeah. Well, that's the goal you're not supposed to.

Barna: [00:26:45] We are already tracking you. We just want to make sure we can identify you in the hallway.

Wyatt: [00:26:49] Correct me if I'm wrong, that anybody working on an agenda is lobbying.

Kevin: [00:26:55] Yeah.

Wyatt: [00:26:55] So people that are like, I don't like tiny house, tiny homes, whatever is a lobbyist for the opposition to the fact that we are in favor of.

Kevin: [00:27:03] Right. And it just depends on like how sophisticated the lobbying is at that point.

Barna: [00:27:06] So if they go to city council meetings and they're sitting there stating their case that they're against whatever container houses, tiny houses, progress..

Wyatt: [00:27:18] solutions..

Barna: [00:27:18] in general, then they're they're lobbyists or they're not because they're not getting paid.

Kevin: [00:27:25] They're citizen lobbyists. Okay. Yeah. Or in some cases, they'll be acting in the role of a constituent. But if you're receiving money, you're being compensated for it. You know, at least in Denver and at the state level, you do have to disclose. I'm not sure about like Canyon City. I don't think there is. I mean, I'd be surprised if Florence requires any type of reporting because there's not even a department to oversee that report. You know, so, be interested to see.

Barna: [00:27:51] Yeah. Just had an idea.

Kevin: [00:27:55] And again, that's where you're going to lawmakers and aides will be able to identify who's a professional lobbyist and who's not. Right.

Wyatt: [00:28:03] Sounds an awful big city.

Barna: [00:28:04] Is it with a badge?

Kevin: [00:28:05] No, no, badge. It's it's understanding like, so for example, in my position at normal. So I worked at the national level for about five years doing I did lobbying at all levels from local, state, federal. And I would have a group from Wisconsin and they would call me and they'd say, oh, man, we have to kill this bill or it's going to it's going to ruin everything. We have to do this. And it would be like a per se a marijuana DUI bill or, you know, something like that. And I'd pull up the information on the bill. And it's already passed committee. It's already passed one chamber. Sailing over to the next train to the chairman over there said that he's already voting for it. So it's too late. So so if you if you're one of those guys and you're calling your your state senator and saying you better not vote, and he's like, I voted last week and it's already moved to the House. Yep. You know, that's those are the cues that those officers would pick up on if this person is passionate, obviously, about the issue but there are citizen lobbyists or just acting on their own accord.

Wyatt: [00:29:08] But what if it moved to the tiny house?

Barna: [00:29:11] We also want to catch it early, is what you're saying like, oh, you're not going like, oh, well, 15 people came out against whatever my idea is we better, we better start doing something now. No, no, no it's too late.

Kevin: [00:29:23] Well, and I mean, there's there are committees that are referred to as kill committees that as soon as the bill is introduced, it gets sent to the the kill committee, because either the speaker of the House, the president of the Senate, or a chairman, you know, they just opposed the bill outright. And so it just goes straight to the kill committee. So and that's again, that

Barna: [00:29:42] Is that the official name?

Wyatt: [00:29:44] Do they get guns?

Barna: [00:29:45] Unofficial name?

Kevin: [00:29:46] It's unofficial.

Barna: [00:29:46] What's the official name of that committee?

Kevin: [00:29:48] Budget Committee typically.

Barna: [00:29:49] Budget Committee. Ok.

Kevin: [00:29:51] But I mean, and that's you know, it's an unfortunate situation. You you have 20 citizen lobbyists geared up, ready to go to the state capitol and you have a lobby day planned and everything, and you find out who gets sent to budget that's dead, you know. Yeah. And you got to sit them down and, you know, caress them and let them know it's going to be OK and this is politics.

Barna: [00:30:11] They had to cancel their Airbnb, unload the coolers.

Wyatt: [00:30:16] I just want to be clear. The kill committee also does not get guns.

Kevin: [00:30:19] Right. And it's not always budget. Sometimes it's veterans. Sometimes it just depends. But here in Colorado, I know budget committee has been.

Barna: [00:30:27] That's what crushes your dreams.

Kevin: [00:30:29] Yeah. Especially on the marijuana issue. So.

Barna: [00:30:32] Okay. So why would, OK, why would a budget committee be against businesses making money?

Kevin: [00:30:41] That's a very good point. I mean, I couldn't tell you. And typically as something is sent...

Barna: [00:30:46] How is that justified to the people that elected, those people? Like, OK, you're we want a balanced budget. Cool. Here's a way to make money and collect tax revenue. Right. And have a balanced budget. Nah, we don't want that.

Kevin: [00:31:01] Right. Right. Well, there's a lot of politicking.

Barna: [00:31:03] You just say you wanted it.

Kevin: [00:31:04] There's a lot of politics here, right? Like, you know, we talked about this earlier, the partisanship. So Governor Polis being the executive of the state of Colorado. You don't want anything successful to pass if you're a Republican. Right. Because it's going to make his administration shine.

Barna: [00:31:20] You don't want him looking if you don't like him.

Kevin: [00:31:22] Right. Literally a member of Congress, I forget his name, a guy down in Texas, he just came out and he said, next 18 months, our job is to defeat Biden. Every proposal, we're going to vote against it and wreak havoc in Congress. And, you know,

Barna: [00:31:35] This his named Mitch McConnell?

Kevin: [00:31:36] No, no, no. He's one of them and he's one of them, but.

Wyatt: [00:31:41] But how in how in the hell does that move the needle for a country that needs the name? Oh, it does. That's what I'm saying. Like if that's your attitude. No, because I said so. Right. Move out. Like I'm sorry. I'm so sorry at all.

Barna: [00:31:54] I think we need to reframe local politics. I think people watch the federal level pretty intensely. I think state level gets really glossed over, like nobody's really paying attention. Right. Local level. There's a small group of people who are like typically typically retired or or whatever who have the time and the energy and and the finances to go. And they're involved with the local politics, but why don't we reframe it that your local politics is as exciting, if not more than...

Kevin: [00:32:24] Oh, absolutely.

Barna: [00:32:25] ...than you federal. So let's have everybody show up. I mean, I just want more involvement.

Kevin: [00:32:30] Oh, absolutely.

Barna: [00:32:31] How do you get that to happen?

Wyatt: [00:32:33] I think they have to see the importance of it and the effect of it. And that's that's the one thing that people feel like they're still a student in school and that your opinion doesn't matter, because I'm the teacher, because I have the podium position. And and I think that the people sitting at the podium need to realize that they are working for the people in the audience, not sitting on a on a tyrannical higher horse like we've witnessed. That's what I see. Well, they have to show up just

Kevin: [00:33:01] Their level of apathy that we have to deal with. Right. People that are just under the impression that we can't do anything. You know, the machine is just too big. It's you know,

Barna: [00:33:09] No, the machine is like your neighbor.

Kevin: [00:33:12] Right, no, hundred percent.

Barna: [00:33:13] In this town and in Canon City the the system is your neighbor. They live two blocks from you. Right. Whoever. Right. Like you can go whatever fishing with the mayor or mountain biking with somebody on City Council. It's a small town.

Kevin: [00:33:28] I mean, if you think about it, it's kind of a twisted system, because if you're elected, I mean, in some places like in Florence, I don't think there's any compensation to the

Barna: [00:33:37] City council gets, I think mayor and city council gets a couple hundred bucks maybe.

Kevin: [00:33:42] So. But in some places you look at. The city of Denver, they're making 110-15 thousand a year. That's a full day, it's a full time council position.

Barna: [00:33:49] I'm moving.

Kevin: [00:33:50] Yeah. No great money. And the best part is they get to vote themselves a raise.

Barna: [00:33:54] I can live in a cardboard box. I could afford that a 100 grand in Denver.

Kevin: [00:33:56] They get to vote themselves a raise. I sat in on a committee meeting and they voted themselves a raise. They're already had like a hundred and five thousand. Several years ago. And one of the council members got up and was like, well, you know, this is necessary because we need a livable wage.

Wyatt: [00:34:09] Hundred grand.

Barna: [00:34:11] What about what about everybody else?

Kevin: [00:34:12] Yeah. No shit. He said he said he said that I was like, oh, wow. But...

Barna: [00:34:17] What about everybody else that lives there?

Kevin: [00:34:19] Oh, no, I know. I agree. But I mean, it's a beautiful thing.

Barna: [00:34:22] Listen, it's socialism when everybody else wants a livable wage. But when I want a livable wage, that is capitalism. Right? Right. Just to clarify that.

Wyatt: [00:34:34] Always.

Barna: [00:34:36] Just to identify that for the political beginners out there you understand how things work. If everybody wants it it's socialism. If I want it, it's capitalism...and freedom.

Kevin: [00:34:44] And at the same time, you know, I mean, there's that lack of desire to be involved in the process on the constituent side. But at the on the other side of that coin, elected officials aren't. And I'm not saying all, but for the most part, elected officials are fine doing what they're doing without the extra input. The trouble making, the having to respond to 100 constituent emails that came in overnight. Right. Like if you think about it, there's there's. They're fine with the way it is.

Wyatt: [00:35:09] Well, nobody gets involved, not nobody, but very few would get involved to do a bad job of it. Right. Like but very few, at least in, you know, the lens that I'm seeing it through right now are willing to go become informed enough. But a real topic and a real issue that's relevant now, not was or wasn't relevant 10 or 20 years ago. Right. So it's like you need to listen instead of argue. Right. And we need to figure out how to have a conversation with one another and not hate one another, because we disagree.

Sage: [00:35:41] Thank you for listening to another episode of our podcast, go to our web site, for show notes and how to contact us. You can find us on Facebook and Twitter @notatinyhouse and on Instagram @notatinyhousepodcast. If you listen this far, you probably enjoyed the podcast and found the content valuable. Go ahead and share it with your friends. And on social media, please, rate or review our podcast and follow us to get notified about our next episode. And we'll talk to you next time on It's Not a Tiny House.