March 14th, 2011 by Autumn
Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) became the first Republican senator to speak out in support of Planned Parenthood last week, saying in a letter to Appropriations Committee heads Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii) and Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), “I believe Planned Parenthood provides vital services to those in need and disagree with [House] funding cuts” in the chambers budget bill.
Sen. Murkowski joins Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) as female Republicans speaking in favor of women’s reproductive rights, in vocal departures from their party’s popular rhetoric. Collins’ spokesperson said the senator believes defunding Title X, which funds Planned Parenthood and other groups, is “unwise,” because “the program has successfully reduced the number of unplanned pregnancies Cialis, therefore helping to reduce health care costs.”
Recently, the Expose Planned Parenthood Coalition, which is made up of 30 anti-abortion groups, has put significant pressure on House Republicans to make defunding of Title X a non-negotiable point in congressional budget talks. The coalition says it has sent 1.2 million petitions and emails in favor of withholding funding for the program for the remainder of the year.Planned Parenthood argues that it spends most of its time on activities other than abortions, including cancer screening for low income women, and providing contraception to prevent pregnancy.
Seven Republicans in the House opposed the provision to defund Title X during discussions.
March 14th, 2011 by Autumn
In the 3rd annual Congressional Hockey Challenge Thursday night, Team Lobbyists was victorious over Team Lawmakers, with a final score of 5-3.
The game, which was held at the Verizon Center, raised over $100,000 for Fort Dupont Hockey Ice Arena and Hockey Club. The Fort Dupont Hockey Club is a 501(c)3 charitable organization which provides inner city youth with the opportunity to play in an organized hockey program. According to the event’s webpage, the Congressional Hockey challenge is held to aid the Fort DuPont ice arena, which “is in dire financial condition, and is at risk of closing. All proceeds…go directly to the Fort DuPont Ice Hockey Club, which will share fifty percent of the proceeds with the Fort DuPont Ice Arena [to] help ensure the Arena remains on stable footing, and that the Fort DuPont Ice Hockey Club can continue its mission.”
Washington Capitals forward Mike Knuble dropped the first puck at the well-attended matchup of Capitol Hill and K. Street heavyweights. Forward/Right Wing Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) was Cialis the most well-known lawmaker on the ice. He was joined by Reps. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.), Mike Quigley (D-Ill.)—who is often touted the biggest hockey fan in Congress, and even organized a White House event held Friday to benefit youth hockey initiatives, Brian Higgins (D-N.Y.)—who joined Quigley on the South Lawn for Friday’s hockey clinic, Larry Bucshon (R-Ind.), Pat Meehan (D-Penn.), and several staffers.
Team lobbyists featured IBM’s Justin Beachnau, Ian Bennitt (Shipbuilders Council of America), Nick Bliss (New York Life), C2 Group’s Nelson Litterst and John Kline, Brooke Coburn (The Carlyle Group), Bob Filippone (PhRMA), Christian Gullott (Bridgestone Americas, Inc.), Jeffrey Kimbell (Jeffrey J. Kimbell & Associates and Magnum Entertainment Group, Inc), Melissa Lavinson (Pacific Gas and Electric Company), Nick Lewis (UPS), George Lowe (Brown Rudnick), Rick Murphy (R.B. Murphy and Associates), Sean O’Neill (Associated General Contractors of America), Mark Peterson (American Institute of CPAs), Brian Regan (PCIA-The Wireless Infrastructure Association), Kraig Syracuse (Park Strategies), Andrew Sasinowski (US Patent and Trademark Office), Seth Webb (Google), Ian Weston (Children’s National Medical Center).
March 9th, 2011 by Brittany
In identifying the issues that the organization will address, successful advocate leaders must manage both the expectations and interests of their advocates as well as the agendas of policymakers.Â As a result, they must be prepared to establish both proactive and reactive policy agendas.
- Proactive agendas are those designed to further the legislative, regulatory or other policy interests of the organization.Â They are usually comprised of specific initiatives the organization wishes to advance, such as legislation or a change to regulatory rules.Â
- Reactive agendas are developed in response to the initiatives put forth by policymakers or others.
Almost all policy agendas will have both proactive and reactive elements.Â Proactive elements are often the easiest to develop, in that organization leaders will hopefully have a good sense of the policy changes necessary to benefit their stakeholders.Â Difficulties with proactive agendas may arise when there are competing priorities or stakeholders have unrealistic expectations.
The formation of reactive agendas can prove more difficult. This is in large part because it is often difficult to know what a policymaking body is planning.Â Many organizations with well-thought-out proactive agendas find themselves scrambling to manage policy changes proposed from an external source.Â To avoid surprises and last-minute policy panic, it is essential to consider what issues your organization might need to address in a reactive manner from the outset.
Options for identifying potential reactive agenda items include:
- Informal discussions with key legislative and regulatory champions
- Ongoing review of relevant periodicals, newspapers and other publications
- Discussions with appropriate state and national associations and interest groups
- Analysis of legislative and regulatory history, including existing laws up for reauthorization and review
- Intelligence from well-situated stakeholders
For more information or to purchase the Advocacy Handbook click here.
March 3rd, 2011 by Autumn
So you’re the owner of a corporation that controls a PAC and you want to host a campaign event for one of the many potential 2012 presidential candidates — let’s just say Tim Pawlenty for giggles. Should you pay for the event with your own checkbook? Expense it to the company? Maybe use PAC funds? Here’s a quick breakdown of the rules governing campaign event financing:
If the audience is limited to the “restricted class” then the corporation may pay for the event and:
•The corporation may, during the event, endorse or otherwise expressly advocate for the candidate’s election.
•The corporation may solicit contributions on behalf of the candidate; and
•The candidate may accept contributions during the event; but
•The corporation may not facilitate the contributions by collecting them or providing envelopes or stamps.
If the audience includes other employees, then:
•The corporation must allow opposing candidates for the same office to address a similar audience in a like manner;
•The corporation must refrain from endorsing the candidate or soliciting contributions to the candidate’s campaign; and
•Though the candidate may solicit contributions, the candidate is not permitted to accept contributions during the event.
A PAC may pay for campaign events if:
•The PAC pays for the use of any corporate resources, including employee time (in most cases, payment must be in advance);
Use of Meeting Rooms – A corporation that customarily makes its meeting rooms available to clubs, civic or community organizations, or other groups at a discount or for free, may also make those rooms available to a campaign on VigRX the same terms.
•The PAC notifies the campaign of all payments made on behalf of the campaign and reports them as in-kind contributions to the campaign; and
•The payments do not exceed the PAC’s $5,000 candidate contribution limit.
An individual may pay for campaign events if:
•The individual pays for the use of any corporate resources, including employee time (in most cases, payment must be in advance);
Volunteer Safe Harbor – An individual may use corporate facilities for personal volunteer campaign activity without paying for them provided that the individual’s use does not exceed one hour per week or four hours per month and does not result in any increase to the operating costs or overhead of the corporation.
Use of Meeting Rooms – As previously discussed, a corporation that customarily makes its meeting rooms available to clubs, civic or community organizations, or other groups at a discount or for free, may also make those rooms available to a campaign on the same terms.
•The individual notifies the campaign of all payments made on behalf of the campaign; and •All payments by the individual do not exceed the individual’s $2,500 candidate contribution limit.
Residential Fundraising – If the event is held at an individual’s personal residence, then the individual may pay up to an additional $1,000 for food, drink, and invitations without having to report the costs to the campaign or applying them to the $2,500 contribution limit.
For more information on PACs and campaign finance, join the us for the intensive “PACs & Campaign Finance Lobbying Certificate Program” Monday.
February 28th, 2011 by Autumn
Deputy Defense Secretary William Lynn said that “Boeing was the clear winner” in a competition for a the right to build refueling tankers for the U.S. Air Force. Boeing, which overspent EADS by over $8 million in lobbying dollars since 2008 (including $5 million spent since January), beat out top competitor EADS for the highly coveted contract in the culmination of a nearly-decade-long competition.
Despite EADS’ ally in Northrop Grumman, Boeing’s alliance with the International Machinists and Aerospace Workers Association was the differencemaker in this process. Boeing plans to build its tankers in Washington state, which relies heavily on union labor, contrasted with EADS’ plans to build in a state that does not rely on union labor — Alabama.
Last week, Senators Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), and Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) held a joint press conference to urge President Obama to consider the dramatic subsidies European-owned EADS receives from the French government, which enable the company to Pokies beat Boeing’s bottom line. Gulf Coast Governors drafted a letter to the president on EADS’ behalf asking him to ensure “parochial interests” did not impact the decision.
Rep. Norm Dicks (D-Wash.), Ranking Member on the Appropriations Committee, said Thursday was “one of the happiest days of my professional life,” lauding his efforts to change the Air Force’s price evaluation process as a possible contributor to Boeing’s success. Boeing estimates the contract will allow the company to support 50,000 jobs in the state.
Boeing’s planes will burn 24% less fuel than those EADS would have made, a difference in long-term cost that was discovered after evaluating the 40-year, versus 25-year cost, a measure proposed by Dicks.
Rep. Jo Bonner (R-Ala.) said, “This competition has been challenged before, and it’s not unlikely it will be challenged again. It will ultimately be up to EADS to determine whether they will protest this decision, and I will fully support whatever decision they make.”
February 28th, 2011 by Autumn
Tom DeLay, the former House Majority Leader convicted on conspiracy to launder money in state elections, and who has often been listen in connection with the Jack Abramoff trials, has established a new legal defense fund to appeal a January conviction.
According to the, in fact, he can now “accept contributions of any type or amount.”
In addition to catching heat for receiving contributions to his defense fund by lobbyists, several Congressmen, including fellow Texan Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Tx.) were also noted as having contributed to DeLay’s first legal defense fund, in what some considered a breach of House Ethics rules.
Craig Richardson, a key fundraiser for DeLay while he was still in public office, has been listed one of two trustees of the fund. DeLay was sentenced to three years in prison, which he evaded by posting $10,000 bond, and ten years of community service in lieu of an additional five years on a related charge.
February 28th, 2011 by Autumn
The Department of Justice has some concerns about a pending merger between internet giant Google and ITA, a flight information software company. Google announced the acquisition July 1, 2010. Initial reactions around the business community were that the deal merely increased Google’s business; it did not threaten the existence of other travel sites. But members of FairSearch.org, an organization comprised of top internet travel sites, including Expedia, Hotwire, TripAdvisor, Kayak, fear that Google may try to leverage its dominance in the internet search industry to promote its product, thereby damaging their own.
The Department of Justice is threatening to block the merger, and the parties are in negotiations. Insiders are unable to predict whether a deal is within days or whether it will fall apart completely. Google spent nearly $12 million on in-house lobbying around anti-trust, privacy, and competition among other issues between 2008-2010. The company spent an additional $5.4 million on retained firms over the same time period.
Though Google contends that it does not intend to set prices or sell tickets, and that its acquisition will make airfare searches easier and drive “more potential customers to airlines’ and online travel agencies’ websites,” Bing, which is in direct competition with Google, relies on the software for its travel site as well.
Sen. Herb Kohl (D-Wis.) wrote to Attorney General Christine A. Varney last year from his position on the Antitrust subcommittee to outline concerns over competition and antitrust issues raised by the acquisition, and saying it “warrants a careful review.” Consumer Reports said it is “concerned that the Google-ITA acquisition has the potential to limit consumer choice in the already complex marketplace of online travel, particularly after such a deal were to be finalized.”
February 28th, 2011 by Autumn
Cari Guittard, former executive director of Business for Diplomatic Action, is the new vice president of global affairs for the Howard Consulting Group.
Former Rep. Allen Boyd (D-Fla.) has been named senior adviser at Twenty-First Century Group.
Andrew Halataei, government affairs consultant and former Legislative Director for Congressman Randy Forbes (R-VA), has joined the Information Online Pokies Technology Industry Council (ITI) as director of government relations.
Stacey L. Douglas has been selected to assume the position of Executive Director at the Used Textbook Association (UTA) Board of Directors, effective March 1.
New Mexico Democrat and one-time presidential candidate Bill Richardson has been named as chairman of Global Political Strategies by APCO Worldwide.