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What do you want to accomplish in Washington?

The answer to this question will guide all stages of our work for you. Our bipartisan lobbying team connects public and private institutions with policymakers at the highest levels of government, including the U.S. Congress, the White House, and federal agencies. We build comprehensive lobbying strategies aligned with your organization’s objectives and values and have decades of experience in consistently delivering successful outcomes.

 

Services

We know the paths to success and can help you navigate pitfalls along the way. We pride ourselves on being deliberate yet nimble. The rapid pace of change in today's regulatory and political environment demands continuous situational awareness and the capacity to adjust at a moment's notice.

Advocacy

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Whether you want to influence legislation, modify regulations, or retain what’s working well, we can help you navigate the volatile D.C. landscape and lead you to success.

Our firm is bipartisan, and we can connect your organization with key policymakers so you can develop meaningful relationships inside and outside government. Our team has deep experience in understanding the complex public policy that governs our given industries. We coordinate Congressional lobbying days, industry events, seminars, and briefings that position your organization in front of your target audience. Should your organization encounter heightened scrutiny from an agency of the Executive Branch or find yourself in the glare of a Congressional investigation, we can help you successfully traverse the process. 

Analysis

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Stay up-to-speed on the political issues and activities that may affect your priorities and your strategy with our customized systems for research, due diligence, and legislative tracking.

Knowledge is power. This maxim is particularly true in Washington, where policy and political changes can instantly upend an organization's long-term goals. It is critical that you have up-to-the-minute knowledge on policy trends in Washington and the capacity to distinguish between activity and action. Our customized research systems not only help you respond more effectively to pending Congressional or regulatory actions but also flag possible risks, analyze challenges, and uncover new opportunities. From ongoing, client-specific bill tracking to legislative and regulatory due diligence on an investment or transaction, our analysis can play a critical role in informing your decision-making and navigating the pathway to success.

Coalitions

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Amplify your message by linking your priorities to those of other entities. Our blended coalitions incorporate thought leaders and potential supporters from both obvious and unexpected places.

To be truly heard, your message does not need to be louder — it must be stronger. We serve as your connector to partners, pinpointing the most effective allies, securing their support, and following through with a plan for a unified front that can take your initiative to the next level. These partners could include associations, individuals, philanthropies, researchers, think tanks, government agencies, investors, NGOs, and other coalitions and can often come from unexpected places. We think creatively about building coalitions, and by linking your priorities to those of other entities, your message can be strengthened and your reach extended.

Messaging

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In the noisy political din of Washington, a clear, compelling message speaks volumes. We craft your message so it resonates with policymakers and speaks their language.

Consistency is key. Through whatever channels we push your message, it will stay consistent, track closely with your ultimate goal, and most importantly, ring true for the players you are targeting. Depending on the exact need and utilizing the full legal and policy resources across our firm, we can develop draft legislation and amendments, highly effective position papers, report language, testimony, congressional correspondence, and regulatory comments. We work with a talented team of in-house graphic designers, copy editors, and printers to produce sophisticated, eye-catching publications, leave-behinds, digital documents, and videos.

Strategy

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Our comprehensive government relations and public policy plans are client-specific and highly-focused.

We serve not just as your guide to Washington but as your strategic partner. We build our strategic plans around the values of our clients, and those values are reflected in every step of our political initiatives. Our bipartisan team can custom-tailor an approach that refines your message, targets key decisionmakers, identifies potential allies, and proactively plans for opposition. Your strategic plan could include the identification and management of PAC proposals, the development of a targeted public relations campaign, or recommendations about which boards, associations, or philanthropic causes can best support your goals.

Related Services

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BallotBoard: BallotBoard for period ending February 3,  2022

This weekly roundup of election news and notes is compiled for Thompson Coburn by The Ellis Insight

President



Michigan:  The Michigan House of Representatives approved a measure this week to move the state’s primary to the fourth Tuesday in February, just ahead of the Super Tuesday voting primaries.  Michigan was one of the states that President Biden outlined in his suggested primary schedule changes.  Dropping Iowa and adding Georgia along with the Wolverine State and keeping South Carolina, New Hampshire and Nevada as the five states with permission to vote before Super Tuesday recaps the President’s recommendations.  

The Michigan Senate has already approved the primary election measure, which means the bill will head to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) for her signature.  Republicans opposed the legislation because moving the primary would cause them to violate the GOP party rules that only allow Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina to vote early.  Such penalties could mean the forfeiting of 90% of a state’s delegate votes.  

Expect the parties and states to come to a scheduling agreement in the near future.  The first votes are scheduled for this time next year.

South Carolina:  Presidential state polls are beginning to surface, and a recently released Moore Information South Carolina survey (1/18-24; 450 SC likely Republican primary voters; live interview) finds former President Donald Trump leading the GOP field in one of the top early primary states while Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis follows.  The surprise result is that both South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott and the Palmetto State’s former Governor and ex-UN Ambassador Nikki Haley who is prepared to announce her own presidential run, fare poorly on the ballot test question.

According to the MI numbers, Mr. Trump holds a 41-31-12-5-4% advantage over Gov. DeSantis, Ms. Haley, Sen. Scott, and former Vice President Mike Pence, respectively.  While the two South Carolinians don’t score well on the ballot test, their favorability ratings among the Republican faithful are on par with the two leading candidates.  Mr. Trump has a positive rating of 83% and Gov. DeSantis 82%, while Ms. Haley and Sen. Scott score 79 and 78%, respectively.  Mr. Pence is also viewed positively with a 70% favorable rating.

Senate



Arizona:  The Normington Petts survey research firm conducted a poll (1/18-23; 800 AZ registered voters) for three progressive left Arizona organizations testing Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Phoenix) opposite Independent Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, and both 2022 Arizona gubernatorial nominee Kari Lake (R), who has not closed the door on running for the Senate, and former Gov. Doug Ducey (R), who says a Senate race is not even a point under his consideration. 

While the poll sponsors were highlighting Gallego’s performance, it is Sinema’s standing that has greatly improved since previous polls were made public.  In the configuration with Rep. Gallego and Ms. Lake, Sen. Sinema, while still running in third place, improves her standing to 24% as opposed to 14 and 13% in December and early January polls from Public Policy Polling and Blueprint Polling.  Rep. Gallego and Ms. Lake were tied at 36% apiece.

When Normington Petts tested Sen. Sinema with Rep. Gallego and former Gov. Ducey, the Congressman held a 37-31-27% advantage over the GOP ex-state chief executive, and Sen. Sinema, respectively.  The progression suggests that Sen. Sinema is coming into a competitive position as the prospective candidates begin to prepare for a three-way race.

California:  Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco), the veteran former House Speaker, said yesterday that she will support Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) in the 2024 US Senate race so long as Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D) decides to retire.  An additional 14 California US House members also publicly pledged their support to Rep. Schiff.  This, even though Rep. Katie Porter (D-Irvine) is already in the race, and Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Oakland) is a virtual certainty to also enter.  The March 5, 2024 California jungle primary is likely to advance two Democrats into the general election.

Indiana:  Former Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels (R), who was considering entering the 2024 open US Senate race from his state, this week said he would not become a candidate.  The announcement is good news for Rep. Jim Banks (R-Columbia City) who had previously declared his own Senate candidacy.  Immediately after the Daniels announcement, National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) chairman Steve Daines (R-MT) heaped praise upon Rep. Banks, whom he described as one of the party’s “top recruits.”

Incumbent Sen. Mike Braun (R) is not seeking re-election in order to run for Governor.  Republicans are prohibitive favorites to hold the seat in the general election.

Michigan:  Three-term US Rep. Haley Stevens (D-Birmingham) who defeated then-Rep. Andy Levin in a redistricting forced Democratic primary pairing last August, said this week that she would not pursue a race for Sen. Debbie Stabenow’s (D) open seat next year.  Rep. Stevens believes she “can best serve Michigan’s working families, manufacturers, students, and small businesses in my current role.” 

It had been expected that Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Lansing) was preparing an official announcement to enter the Senate race, but has yet to move forward.  Despite a flurry of early activity among Democrats examining the open race, no one has yet formally declared their intention to become a Senate candidate.

Former US Rep. Mike Rogers (R), who chaired the House Intelligence Committee during part of his seven-term congressional career, confirms that he is considering making a return to elective politics with a potential US Senate run.  The move would give the Republicans a strong contender in a state that routinely produces close statewide elections.  

New York:  Former Long Island US Congressman Lee Zeldin (R), who held Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) to a highly competitive 53-47% statewide re-election victory in November, sees his name being bandied about for many potential positions.  Some Republican leaders want him to challenge Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D) next year, which would likely be a political suicide run in a presidential year from one of the Democrats’ strongest states, while others are talking up the possibility of him running for Suffolk County Executive.  

This latter election will occur later this year and is an open race since Democratic incumbent Steve Bellone is ineligible to run for a third term.  Considering Mr. Zeldin carried his home county by a 59-41% margin in the Governor’s race and represented Suffolk in Congress for eight years, he would clearly be the Republicans’ strongest candidate for such a position.  At this point, Mr. Zeldin has been quiet about what future political plans, if any, he may be contemplating.

Texas:  Former US Housing & Urban Development Secretary and ex-San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro (D) is reportedly considering entering the Texas US Senate race to challenge two-term incumbent Ted Cruz (R).  US Rep. Colin Allred (D-Dallas) is also discussed as a possible candidate, but the Congressman has yet to confirm that he has interest in running statewide.

House



AZ-3:  Arizona state Senate Minority Leader Raquel Teran (D-Phoenix), also a former Arizona Democratic Party chair, confirms that she is considering entering the open primary to succeed Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-Phoenix), who is now officially running for the Senate.  With the downtown Phoenix 3rd District voting overwhelmingly Democratic – the FiveThirtyEight data organization rates the seat D+44 – the August 2024 party primary will determine the next Representative.  A crowded field featuring a number of local and state elected officials is expected to form.

CA-30:  Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) running for the Senate has already led to a field of four viable 2024 candidates with two more announcements subsequently coming.  State Senator Anthony Portatino (D-La Canada) and former Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer (D) announced that they will run for the congressional seat next year.

Already in the field are state Assemblywoman Laura Friedman (D-Glendale), Los Angeles Unified School District board member Nick Melvoin, actor Ben Savage, and businessman John Bocanegra (D).  The California jungle primary will be scheduled for Super Tuesday, March 5, 2024.  It is likely that two Democrats will advance into the general election from this D+45 rated CD

IN-3:  Former Republican US Congressman and ex-Indiana state legislator Marlin Stutzman confirms that he is considering running for his previous position since Rep. Jim Banks (R-Columbia City) has declared for the Senate.  At this point, the only formidable announced candidate in what will be an open safe Republican congressional seat anchored in the Ft. Wayne area is state Sen. Andy Zay (R-Huntington).  Rep. Banks’ successor will come from the May 2024 Republican primary. 

NY-3:  While the fate of beleaguered freshman US Rep. George Santos (R-Long Island) continues as a daily media story, Democrats are beginning to position themselves for what could be a special election if Santos is eventually forced to resign or in next cycle’s regular election.  Some local Democratic leaders are reportedly attempting to convince former Rep. Tom Suozzi (D), to make a political comeback for his former position.  

Mr. Suozzi left the House last year to make a head-scratching run for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination, a race he had scarcely little potential to win.  So far, the former Congressman has been non-committal about a future District 3 race.  On the other hand, the man who Rep. Santos defeated in November, George Zimmerman (D), is preparing for another run.  Nassau County Legislator Josh Lafazan (D), who lost the congressional nomination to Mr. Zimmerman in 2022, has already announced that he will run for the seat in the next election.

NY-22:  Manlius Town Councilmember Katelyn Kriesel (D) declared her congressional candidacy at the beginning of the week.  She will challenge freshman Upstate New York Rep. Brandon Williams (R-Syracuse) in what promises to be another close election.  

In November, Rep. Williams succeed retiring US Rep. John Katko (R) with a 51-49% victory over former US Intelligence analyst Francis Conole (D) in a seat that the FiveThirtyEight data organization rates as D+2.  We can expect further Democrats to come forward for this race, possibly including Mr. Conole for a re-match.  NY-22 will likely be a national top Democratic target in 2024.

Governor



Mississippi:  Just before candidate filing closed in Mississippi, former state Supreme Court Chief Justice Bill Waller, Jr. (R) decided not to challenge Gov. Tate Reeves in this year’s Republican primary.  In 2019, the two faced each other with Reeves prevailing, 54-46%.  

At the end of last week, Secretary of State Mike Watson, another potential Reeves’ primary opponent, also said that he would not run.  This leaves physician John Witcher as the Governor’s lone GOP primary challenger.  Obviously, these developments enhance Gov. Reeves’ political standing.  It is likely he will face Public Service Commissioner Brandon Presley (D) in the general election, in what should be a competitive race.

North Carolina:  Despite his name being added to ballot test questions from some pollsters surveying the impending open North Carolina Governor’s race, Sen. Thom Tillis (R) made a definitive statement saying that he will not be a candidate for the state’s chief executive post.  Sen. Tillis did say, however, that he expects a contested GOP primary to evolve.  At this point, the leading Republican candidate appears to be Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson.  Democratic Attorney General Josh Stein is the lone major announced contender in his party.
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Discharge Petition

Legislation can follow a standard trajectory to becoming a law: the bill is introduced by a member of Congress, assigned to a committee for debate and amendment, and if it is approved by that committee and supported by the leadership of the majority party, it is placed on the House or Senate calendar to be debated, amended, and voted upon by the full chamber.