Archive for November, 2014

Is Your Website Advocating for You?

Tuesday, November 25th, 2014 by Matthew Barnes

Join Lobbyists.info and speaker Peter LaMotte on December 17, 2014 2:00-3:30 pm ET for a webinar  on “Is Your Website Advocating for You: Tactics to Maximize Your Legislative Impact on the Web.” This webinar provides a fantastic crash course for mastering web tactics that can fundamentally transform your existing online presence.

Peter LaMotte is Senior Vice President & Chair, Digital Communications Practice at LEVICK. He leads the award-winning digital team, bringing the richest, most diverse digital talent and resources to bear on behalf of firm clients worldwide. A proven digital marketing and strategy leader, Mr. LaMotte is well-known for his ability to help clients drive adoption, change and understanding through unique combinations of digital strategies and channels. His client experience includes success with dozens of diverse brands including AARP, NEA, Sony, Kraft, Colgate Palmolive, Yahoo!, and Audio-Technica.

Keystone and K Street

Wednesday, November 19th, 2014 by Matthew Barnes

THE SENATE FAILED TO PASS LEGISLATION which would approve the construction of the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline. The bill was narrowly defeated 59-41 in a vote Tuesday. The legislation needed to reach the 60 vote supermajority threshold in order for it to be passed.

The failure of the legislation to pass could be a fatal blow to Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) who faces an uphill battle in her reelection campaign which will be decided by a December 6 run-off election. Her challenger, Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) and his campaign wasted no time in using the bill’s defeat writing in an email, “Senator Mary Landrieu’s failure to pass the Keystone XL Pipeline this evening is a perfect snapshot of her time as Chair of the Energy Committee – a failure…Conversely, Dr. Cassidy passed the Keystone pipeline out of the House last week with wide bi-partisan support.”

A failed re-election bid by Sen. Landrieu would be another blow to the Democratic Party, which suffered a disastrous Mid-Term Election cycle in which Republicans won the majority in the Senate and have so far gained 8 seats in the Senate. Democrats now have only 44 seats in the Senate including Sen. Landrieu, while the Republicans have 53.

The change in control of the Senate has also brought about with it some changes on K Street. Lobbyists with ties to prominent Republicans stand to gain significant influence in the new congress. According to The Hill, “Lobbyists whose stock is about to skyrocket include those with ties to new leadership on the Banking, Finance, Judiciary, Commerce and Energy committees, all of which business groups will be watching closely in the next Congress.”

Moreover, the soon-to-be Majority Leader, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has indicated, that when he takes over the leadership of the Senate, he will make its “committees more active, thereby making chairmen more powerful — and connected K Streeters even more valuable.”

Political Climate Change

Wednesday, November 12th, 2014 by James Cameron

THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION  IS stepping up its efforts to combat climate change, and the GOP and industry lobbyists may not be able to do much to halt it. POLITICO reports that President Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed to carbon emissions targets for the next twenty years, and that the United States will spend considerable funds to aid developing countries in coping with climate change.

GOP leadership, of course, are none too pleased. The Washington Post notes that both Mitch McConnell and John Boehner have blasted the deal, calling it “job-crushing” and a “crusade against affordable, reliable energy.” Despite the incoming Republican majority in the Senate, it’s unlikely that Congress will be able to significantly impact the deal or the EPA’s proposed climate rules due to Obama’s veto power, although POLITICO notes that the GOP may be able to slow parts of the administration’s climate change agenda.

Industry lobbyists also expressed concerns about the Obama administration’s climate policies, in particular the EPA’s carbon dioxide restrictions on power plants. An industry-backed report claims that the rule could cost the energy industry $366 billion. The industry’s stauch opposition does seem to be having some effect; Bloomberg Businessweek reported that the EPA is now considering extending the timeline of emissions reduction from 2020 to 2029.

On the flip side, the clean energy industry as well as climate change advocates is encouraging Obama to hold his ground. In a letter organized by Environment America, groups such as the Solar Energy Industries Association and SunEdison praised the EPA rules, calling them an important step to reduce emissions and usher in an era of clean, renewable energy.

With an upcoming GOP majority in both chambers of Congress and staunch opposition from the energy industry, the fight against climate change has a bumpy road ahead, but in the short term it appears that its opponents can do little to stop the Obama administration’s agenda.

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The Professional Women in Advocacy Conference will take place Nov. 19-21 at the Capital Hilton in Washington. For details, click here. http://www.associationtrends.com/event/professional-women-in-advocacy-conference

A Red November

Wednesday, November 5th, 2014 by Matthew Barnes

Despite many close races in the 2014 Mid -Term Elections, Republicans have exceeded expectations. The GOP has become the majority party in the Senate with 52 out of 100 seats and added cushioning to their control of the House with 243 out of 435 seats so far. The Republican Party will seek to increase its control of the Senate on December 6th, when a run-off vote is scheduled for the Louisiana Senate race between Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) and Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-LA).

The competitiveness of many of the elections, POLITICO reports, drove some candidates, such as (then) Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), to enact an “all hands on deck” approach for the final stages of the campaign, reaching out to his extended network of allies and former staffers seeking as many volunteers as possible. Many of the people who answered Sen. McConnell’s call to volunteer, such as Hunter Bates, are former members of Sen. McConnell’s staff and are now lobbyists. Mr. Bates was formerly Chief of Staff to Sen. McConnell before co-founding the lobbying firm Republic Consulting.

Nevertheless, the effect the resounding GOP victory in this election will have on the lobbying industry remains to be seen. However, lobbyists with ties to prominent Republicans, like Steve Clark (founding partner at ClarkGeduldigCranford & Nielsen), are very optimistic about the future, saying “If the Republicans take the Senate in November, we feel like our firm, with key House and Senate ties, is as well-positioned as any.”

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The Professional Women in Advocacy Conference will take place Nov. 19-21 at the Capital Hilton in Washington. For details, click here. http://www.associationtrends.com/event/professional-women-in-advocacy-conference