California Assemblywoman Celebrates The RIAA Giving Her A Gold Record For Exempting Musicians From Her Terrible AB5 Law

from the that-seems-hellishly-corrupt dept

For a year now we've been writing about the disastrous impact of California's AB5 law that was designed to "protect" gig workers by basically outlawing nearly all freelance work in California, and requiring much of it to be only done by salaried employees. It has impacted many industries very hard, including freelance journalists. The author of the bill, Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez has been insultingly dismissive of those who have highlighted how much harm her bill has done.

Though, as the complaints got louder and louder, she finally admitted that she might be open to some changes of parts of the bill. But, that's not what actually happened. Instead of fixing the larger bill, she just agreed to duct tape on a bunch of exemptions -- including for many of the industries that were most vocal about how much damage her bill was doing. This included freelance writers, photojournalists, freelance editors, copy editors, youth sports coaches, landscape architects, cartographers, and musicians among many others.

Now, normally, if you have to go back to the drawing board to add a dozen and a half exemptions to the bill you just passed, it would be a sign that perhaps the bill itself is a problem. Indeed, lawyers are already saying that this "may be just the start of amendments to AB5 that will carve out other industries and occupations." And even the journalist exemptions are not complete and still have many journalists worried that they won't be able to freelance under the law.

But what's really disgusting is that Lorena Gonzalez took to Twitter this weekend to celebrate the fact that the RIAA sent her a gold record as a "thank you" for carving musicians out of AB5. Of course, that's not the way she put it in her tweet about it:

She says:

I never imagined that my only “gold record” would be a thank you from the Recording Industry Association for working to right-size Dynamex & AB5 for musicians. But, I’ll take it! (Have you heard me on Karaoke though??)

"Right-size" is a funny way to say "oops, we fucked up your ability to make a living, and then had to rewrite the law to exempt you from my own disastrous law." And that's not even mentioning just how corrupt it seems for her to then be showing off that the lobbyists for the recording industry sent her a gold record as a thank you. Are other industries looking for an exemption from her damaging law now supposed to send gold plated awards as well? The whole thing is unseemly. AB5 was a bad bill from the start that has harmed a ton of people. Instead of creating exemptions, we should get rid of it -- or, even better yet, write a law that fixes the Dynamex decision that Gonzalez insists requires AB5 in the first place.

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Filed Under: ab5, awards, california, exemptions, freelancers, gig workers, gold record, journalists, lorena gonzalez, musicians
Companies: riaa


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  • icon
    danderbandit (profile), 3 Nov 2020 @ 10:06am

    Apparently she doesn't want to hear about it.

    I live in SD County, not the assembly woman's district tho. I tried to send the article to her to see if she would comment. I didn't expect to get any response, but because I don't live in her district I can not even communicate with her through her office at all.
    Just because I can't vote for/against her shouldn't I be able to communicate with her office? Her work certainly effects more than just her district.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 3 Nov 2020 @ 10:19am

      Re: Apparently she doesn't want to hear about it.

      Based upon her response to criticism in the past it's pretty clear she's not interested in hearing from anyone who isn't gushing with praise for her, whether in her district or not, so you're very much not alone there.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 3 Nov 2020 @ 10:16am

    Either way not someone who should be in office

    An 'award' for exempting a particular industry from a law, making crystal clear that the law is damaging to those that aren't so lucky to get those exemptions, and she brags about it...

    She is either cripplingly delusional, literally unable to see or admit that she screwed up, or unbelievably corrupt and shameless about it. Either way, not a good look.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Nov 2020 @ 10:53am

    Interesting

    In most elected bodies, receiving a 'gift' from a lobbyist after authoring a law is at least forbidden, if not a bribe.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Samuel Abram (profile), 3 Nov 2020 @ 11:32am

    Not to mention…

    The RIAA doesn't even represent most musicians nowadays, they only represent major labels, and there are so many alternatives to major labels that this tweet is like bragging about receiving a bribe from the horse-and-buggy-whip makers. In other words, it's not only corrupt, but hilariously stupid.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    bob, 3 Nov 2020 @ 12:07pm

    How much value does the award have? Could be breaking ethics laws.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 3 Nov 2020 @ 2:37pm

      Re:

      About $5 for the record, plus however much some metallic paint costs... no collector value since its not actually a "real" gold record. Assuming that the frame was part of the gift, that would bump it up to maybe $100 at most, depends on what type of glass they put in.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Glenn, 3 Nov 2020 @ 1:10pm

    So, by her estimation her law works as she intended... really.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Nov 2020 @ 1:27pm

    If you recieve an award from the riaa you have nothing to boast about,
    It's like a recieving an award from buggy whip makers or
    Betamax vcr manufacturers , eg you are not exactly on the forefront of helping people who use tech or software made after 1985 and are maybe loved by old legacy corporations

    My bill is so bad and damaging to freelancers that I reviewed a medal for letting freelancers opt out from it
    But maybe it makes sense in 2020 a year of chaos and riots and looting

    I hope she does not recieve an award from the kkk
    for advancing the cause of minority and human rights
    and racial equality

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Nov 2020 @ 2:29pm

    I'm not personally a fan of so many people getting pushed into the 'independent contractor' category, but I don't know enough about this particular law to be for or against it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 3 Nov 2020 @ 3:14pm

      Re:

      You can check the previous articles on TD relating to it to get an idea about how bad it is, but the fact that an exemption to the law was considered worthy of an 'award' should give you a good idea about which side of the good law/bad law dichotomy it falls on.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 4 Nov 2020 @ 5:38am

        Re: Re:

        Not entirely, you also have to consider who is giving the award. If anything, the RIAA opposing the law is a strong indication that it is a good law.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Matteste, 3 Nov 2020 @ 11:58pm

    Nice way to flaunt your corruption.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Nov 2020 @ 4:14am

    Why would anyone be exempt from a law?
    Is there any case that makes sense?

    I would think it is not a very good law if you have to exempt people.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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