WASHINGTON, D.C. District of Columbia Police had their hands full today as they removed demonstrators protesting a proposed oil pipeline from the White House only to see a crush of notary publics rush in to take their place.
“Can you hurry up? I’ve got a wedding that starts at 5:30.”
“Sign the Interstate Recognition of Notarizations Act of 2010, you fascist!” screamed Maury Chirette, a property insurance agent from Natick, Mass. who could formerly count on lucrative notary fees to supplement his income from commissions. “Why are you hiding behind the phony crisis in Ukraine?” shouted Marla Blozonoviska, a second-generation Freedonian immigrant who brought her 90-year-old mother to protest along with her because she couldn’t afford in-home elder care after losing the steady stream of $2 per signature statutory charges.
“Deeds, mortgages, installment sales contracts–two dollars a pop.”
Notary publics provided the President with the margin of victory in 2008 as Arizona Senator John McCain spent precious campaign resources appealing to justices of the peace, who by law are authorized to impose fees that are often fifty times what notaries receive for comparable services. “We saw McCain as the lapdog of the rich and high and mighty,” says Norbert Hostkins of Keokuk, Iowa. “Turns out Obama only wanted us for our votes.”
The President vetoed the Interstate Recognition of Notarizations Act of 2010 out of concern that the bill could lead to illegal foreclosures. “It’s absurd to think a notary would violate his oath for a lousy $2 acknowledgment fee,” said Vernon Lusgrave of Calumet, Indiana. “I personally won’t commit fraud for anything less than fifty dollars.”
The veto has brought notaries together in a way that is heartwarming to older members of the guild, who recall the cut-throat competition that drove fees down below the poverty line during the mortgage boom of the 80s. “Used to be we’d fight over everything,” says Howell Haskell of Lake Taneycomo, Mo. “We had fisticuffs break out at the 2004 convention over whether it was ‘notary publics’ or ‘notaries public.’” Asked which formulation he prefers, Haskell says “I’m not getting into that bowl of chili again.”
Police and protestors struck a tentative deal under which the notaries would be allowed to march at the White House as long as they kept moving and remained peaceful, but that left an opening some notaries said they could drive their seals through. “I read the fine print,” says Lusgrave. “It says nothing about stamping young ladies on the thigh with ‘My commission expires August 12, 2016.’”