Archive for May, 2011
Wednesday, May 25th, 2011 by Vbhotla
With every battle — be it over healthcare, transportation, Medicare, or democracy — comes lots of money to be spent (and made) to get voices heard. The conflicts in the Middle East are no different.
Pakistan – As lawmakers grapple with whether or not to rescind foreign aid to the embattled country and whether or not to allow duty-free “reconstruction opportunity zones” in Pakistan, the Pakistani Embassy is revving up its lobbying efforts. The nation which housed Osama bin Laden (knowingly or unknowingly) for the past 10 year paid Locke Lord Strategies $150,000 in the first quarter of this year to work on budget/appropriations/acquisitions, defense and predictably, foreign policy and affairs issues in Congress. According to records filed with the DOJ, the firm gets a Generic Cialis $75,000 monthly retainer from Pakistan.
Lobbying is not restricted to nations with present conflict in which the U.S. is directly involved. Jordan is paying more weekly than Pakistan is signed up to pay Locke Lord Strategies monthly. With a huge interest in seeing its embassy upgraded “strategically as a key node in a network of relationship involving state and non-state actors,” the nation shells out $77,000 each week to the Racepoint Group to help raise Jordan’s profile and support among Congressmen.
The American Israel Public Affairs Committee spent $716,615 in the first quarter of 2011 to petition for continued aid to Israel, West Bank, and Gaza, and for the Iron Dome and anti-rocket system in addition to continued sanctions on Iran.
Tags: American Israel Public Affairs Committee, gaza, israel, jordan, Locke Lord Strategies, pakistan, Pakistani Embassy, Racepoint Group, west bank
Posted in Lobbying News | Comments Off on Middle East Lobbying
Friday, May 20th, 2011 by Vbhotla
There were lots of K Street moves and changes this week.
Perhaps the biggest of these was the formation of a new Democratic firm: Democracy Partners. The firm will handle political messaging, campaign planning and management, field programs, television and radio advertising, earned media, direct mail, website development, new media, research, nonprofit organizations, philanthropies, issue campaigns, voter registration drives, labor union campaigns, fundraising, grass-tops advocacy, staff recruitment and development, organizer training, phone operations, community organizing and voter contact programs, according to Politico.
Additionally, Edelman acquired Lombardo Consulting Group, and Steve Lombardo will serve as Global CEO of StrategyOne (the Edelman company he founded in 1999).
Tommy Thompson, former Secretary of Health and Human Services and potential Senate candidate, was elected chairman of the board of Stayhealthy, Inc., which offers personalized health measurement and assessment tools.
PHRMA, in an effort to reorganize, has let go four staff members: Ed Belkin, Kevin Barbour, Diedtra Henderson and Cindy Loose.
Tags: democracy partners, lombardo, PHRMA
Posted in Industry Moves & Changes, Lobbying News, Weekly Lobbying News Round-Up | Comments Off on Weekly Lobbying News Round-up
Thursday, May 19th, 2011 by Vbhotla
There has been sharp concern voiced over provisions a new executive order which proposes all government contractors should disclose their political contributions. If enacted, the order would require officers and directors and subsidiaries and affiliates of a company bidding for government contracts to submit a report detailing any contributions made directly to candidates or third party independent expenditure groups using the funds for electioneering activities.
These new provisions have been likened to “pay-to-play” laws on the state level, though the Executive Order, unlike state laws, would not limit the number of contributions. Included would be a two year look-back, with donations for two years prior to the bid also subject to disclosure, which would be required if $5,000 or more was spent on political activities.
Critics say that the order would foster partisanship in contracting practices, damper First Amendment rights to participate in the political process, and add a tremendous burden on contractors.
It is important to note that the Executive Order would not require disclosure of contributions made by the spouses or children of the directors or officers whose own contributions would trigger reporting, nor would it include senior executives or other staff to report giving
Tags: DISCLOSE Act, Executive Order, LDA, lobbying disclosure
Posted in Lobbying News | Comments Off on ALERT: Executive Order Could Increase Disclosure Requirements
Wednesday, May 18th, 2011 by Vbhotla
As NFL negotiations drag on, it is safe to say football fans and players alike — and even President Obama — are tiring of the on-going battle between the NFLPA and the League over contracts. Top receiver and Twitter celebrity Chad Ochocinco told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution‘s D. Orlando Ledbetter, when prompted about whether or not he’d like to play for the Falcons, “It’s a lockout, man. I’m riding bulls. I don’t want to talk about football.”
On the Hill, Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, and such former NFL players as Reps. Heath Shuler, D-N.C., and Jon Runyan, R-N.J. have all met with players to discuss the impact of a lockout on the economy and the overall jobs crisis.
The league spent a whooping $675,000 lobbying Congress in the first Online Blackjack quarter of 2011, including $60,000 paid to Elmendorf Ryan, which is registered to lobby solely on labor issues. The NFLPA also dished out $60,000 to Executive Director DeMaurice Smith’s former firm, Patton Boggs LLP, to petition Congress on antitrust and labor concerns. For the league, this number is up from the $545,000 spent in the first quarter of last year, though the issues petitioned remain unchanged. However, the addition of Elmendorf Ryan seems to have been solely in anticipation of a labor fight, as the firm was not registered to lobby on behalf of the league this time last year. The Players’ Association, on the other hand, spent significantly less in Q1 2011 than reported in the same quarter last year, when Patton Boggs was paid $110,000 to fight for the players’ interests.
Tags: antitrust lobbying, labor fight, NFL, NFL lobbyists, NFLPA
Posted in Just for Fun | Comments Off on Off the Hill: NFL Fight Wages on….in Congress
Friday, May 13th, 2011 by Vbhotla
A lot of groups rely heavily on email campaigns as their primary online grassroots strategy. According to congressional research reports and staff accounts, email is an effective means of communicating with congressional offices — assuming you can bust past the Spam filters and your message actually gets read.
Below are some tips for effective email advocacy:
- Omit needless words (Eliminate Repetitive Verbiage)
- Messaging over imaging: Rely on text more than images. Messages with excessive images will often be blocked or marked as a concern.
- Include an unsubscribe link. Messages without one are more likely to be blocked by spam filters.
- To comply with CAN-SPAM standards, include a physical address for your organization
- Identify yourself clearly in the message to prevent recipients from marking you as spam
- Keep your subject line to less than 50 characters or FIVE words. Either way, the message is clear. Keep it short.
- DO NOT USE ALL CAPITAL LETTERS
- Avoid excessive punctuation !!!
- Avoid excessive use of symbols (@#$%^&!)
- Avoid words often found in spam mail such as “free” and “guarantee”
- Ask recipients to add you to their address book
- Be consistent by using the same address
Tags: beating SPAM filters, email advocacy, grassroots campaigns, online advocacy
Posted in From the Eyes of the Editors | Comments Off on Best Practices for Effective Email Advocacy
Wednesday, May 11th, 2011 by Brittany
Lobby days are a good way to connect with elected officials and their staff at their offices in Washington, D.C., or at the state capital. Although advocates are ultimately responsible for making those connections, a lot of planning and effort must be undertaken by the organization hosting the lobby day – as well as the advocates!
What are they?
For purposes of this manual, the term “lobby day” is used to refer to any effort to connect advocates with policymakers through meetings, either physically or virtually, on a given day or week. Some organizations might refer to these events as “advocacy days,” “fly-ins” or “Capitol Hill days.” Members of the legislative branch are usually the target audience for these events, although some organizations arrange meetings with regulators and other members of the executive branch, such as staff of the governor’s office.
Why is it useful?
Recent reports suggest that in-person meetings from constituents are one of the most effective ways to influence elected officials.
When should it be used?
Any organization with a core of committed advocates can benefit from coordinating a lobby day event, either individually or in concert with a coalition partner. Lobbying events are most successful, however, when the organization has a specific policy agenda and core ask.
Asking advocates to get involved
Asking advocates to participate in a lobby day effort Viagra generally involves more than simply sending out an action alert and hoping people respond, particularly for those situations where advocates will be investing their own time and money. Options for marketing the event include:
- Conference marketing materials, including brochures, mailers and web site information. Marketing materials should include links to online and hard copy registration materials
- Press releases about the event to industry publications
- Outreach through coalitions
- Articles / columns in the organization’s own publications
- Web 2.0 outreach techniques, such as setting up a Facebook or MySpace page for the event
Key points to consider in developing the materials:
- Outline the value of direct constituent communications in influencing the policymaking process. Advocates need to understand why their direct participation is critical to policy success.
- Be sure that advocates know what they are agreeing to do when registering for the event. Unless advocate leaders are very specific about what the event entails, some advocates may not understand that they will be meeting individually or in small groups with their policymakers.
- Ensure that the registration form captures all relevant information, including the address to be used for matching advocates with policymakers and cell phone numbers.
- Establish an early bird deadline that allows those scheduling the meetings enough time to initiate meeting requests and coordinate schedules.
For more information or to purchase the Advocacy Handbook click here.
Tags: Advocacy, Capitol Hill, Lobby Days
Posted in Advocacy | Comments Off on Spring Forward into Lobby Days
Thursday, May 5th, 2011 by Brittany
Lobbying and Government Contracts:
What You Need to Know About Domestic Preferences in Federal Contracts and Grants
May 31, 2011 2:00-3:30 pm EST
It’s time to take a new look at government contract proposals.
That’s because recent laws like the Buy American Act, Trade Agreements Act, ARRA and rules on specialty metals change the playing field. Unless contractors change their proposals and how they execute contracts, access to money from local, state and federal agencies is simply out of reach.
Why risk it? Here’s how to align contracting strategy with today’s new “domestic preference” requirements.
Register now for Lobbying and Government Contracts: What You Need to Know About Domestic Preferences in Federal Contracts and Grants. Government contracts provide relatively Viagra Online certain income in an uncertain economy. Now, this audioconference shows you how to use a sharp and current understanding of “buy American” requirements to avoid having bids and proposals disqualified — and losing access to tens of thousands of dollars in government awards.
Govcon experts will map out exactly how proposal writing needs to change to comply with the domestic preference requirements in the Buy American Act, Trade Agreements Act, American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), specialty metals law and other recent pieces of legislation. Plus, the Q&A session at the end gives you the chance to ask about specific challenges you’re facing.
Reserve your space now to use “buy American” know-how to sharpen your procurement toolkit and your competitive edge.
Tags: Angela B. Styles, ARRA, buy american, federal, government contracts, lobbying contracts, Susan Warshaw Ebner, Trade Agreements Act
Posted in Lobbying News, Training & Events | Comments Off on NEW TRAINING SESSION: Lobbying and Government Contracting
Wednesday, May 4th, 2011 by Vbhotla
Rage Against the Machine’s lead guitarist is getting into labor advocacy with the release of a solo CD, “Union Town,” an eight song debut effort, which includes three original tracks. Morello, who has been active in pro-labor events across the nation, drew inspiration from the CD from the recent union protests in Wisconsin, and the album’s proceeds will benefit the America Votes Labor Unity Fund.
TomMorello performs at a pro-labor rally in L.A. in March (image from Flickr).
In an interview with Politico‘s Chris Frates, Morello said that he hopes the CD will help spark a debate and fuel the labor movement, “steel the backbone of an emerging labor movement with the kind of teeth that can really stand up to working class rights in this country.”
He hopes that the recent rallies in Madison and across the country will lead to a resurgence in activity around the issue. “My hope is to encourage the labor movement to not become diluted by politics as usual. This is a chance to not just stop some bad legislation but to really Buy Cialis put some wind in the sails of progressive working class issues and to take back the populist narrative from the misappropriation by the tea party,” he said.
Morello, a Harvad grad who studied political science and worked on the Hill for a short period of time, once considered a career in politics. He told Frates this anecdote about the end of his political ambitions:
“The reason why I chose a career in music instead of politics, I’ll tell you a quick story that illuminates that. I was working for a senator and one day this woman called up and she had a complaint that there were Mexicans moving into her neighborhood. And I, thinking I was standing up for all the things that Sen. (Alan) Cranston stood for, I said, ‘Ma’am you’re a racist and you can go to hell.’ And the next two weeks I got yelled at by everybody up and down the political food chain. And it was crystal clear to me at that moment if I couldn’t tell a racist to go to hell, that I was in the wrong business.”
Tags: celebrity lobbyist, labor dispute, labor unions, rage against the machine, tom morello, union lobbyists
Posted in Celebrity Lobbyists | Comments Off on Celebrity Lobbyist Alert: Tom Morello
Wednesday, May 4th, 2011 by Brittany
HLOGA did not change the manner in which lobbyists disclose the issues and matters for which they are retained to lobby. According to the LDA Guidance, for these purposes a lobbyist must disclose:
- The issues on which the lobbying activities will be focused, using the issue codes established by the House and Senate
- A brief description of the legislation, policy, or other information about the lobbying issue
- Where the lobbying activities will be focused: House of Representatives, Senate, or a particular federal agency or office
- The identity of each lobbyist employee engaged in the lobbying activities described above
It is not sufficient to just list a bill number as the description of the lobbying issue area. The instructions for preparation of the LD-1 provide:
SPECIFIC LOBBYING ISSUES: Identify the client’s specific issues that have been addressed (as of the date of the registration) or are likely to be addressed in lobbying activities. Include, for example, specific bills before Congress or specific executive branch actions.
BE SPECIFIC, but brief. Bill numbers alone do not satisfy the requirements for reporting on this line and restatement of the general issue code is insufficient. Use the following format to describe legislation: Bill number, bill title, and description of the specific section(s) of interest, i.e.:
“H.R. 3610, Department of Defense Appropriations Act of 1996, Title 2, all provisions relating to environmental restoration.”
For specific issues other than legislation, provide detailed descriptions of lobbying efforts. Do not leave line blank. No additional space is available, so please abbreviate and enter the information in paragraph format to maximize space.
For more information or to purchase the Lobbying Compliance Handbook click here.
Tags: guidelines, LDA, lobbying activities, reporting
Posted in Lobbying News | Comments Off on Spring Cleaning the LD-2: Reporting Issues