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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.

 

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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 June 18, 2021

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

Senate

Georgia:  It appears that former University of Georgia football star Herschel Walker (R) is getting ready to enter the US Senate contest against freshman incumbent Raphael Warnock (D).  Mr. Walker remained a Texas resident after staying in the Lone Star State once his professional football career concluded with the Dallas Cowboys.  He released a video depicting him standing next to his car as the camera zeroes in on its Georgia license plate, suggesting that he is in the process of moving back to his home state.  

Currently in the GOP race are state Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black, construction company owner Kelvin King, and financial executive and ex-Trump White House aide Latham Saddler.   

Missouri:  On the heels of Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-Harrisonville/ Columbia) announcing her run for the Senate, Remington Research released a new Missouri Senate Republican primary poll (6/9-10; 1,011 MO likely Republican primary voters; interactive voice response system), the first such study testing the three major GOP candidates.  The results find former Gov. Eric Greitens still leading the group, this time with 34%, followed by Attorney General Eric Schmitt with 25%, and Rep. Hartzler trailing with 14% support.  Incumbent Sen. Roy Blunt (R) announced in March that he will not seek a third term.

US Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-St. Elizabeth/outer St. Louis suburbs) then announced that he will not enter the open 2022 US Senate race, choosing to remain in the House where he is an apparent contender to chair the House Financial Services Committee if the Republicans regain the majority in the 2022 elections.

North Carolina:  According to a new Meeting Street Insights survey for the Ted Budd for Senate campaign (6/9-10; 500 NC likely Republican primary voters; live interview), former Gov. Pat McCrory’s (R) early lead dissipates once voters become aware that ex-President Trump has endorsed Rep. Budd for the open Senate race to replace outgoing incumbent Richard Burr (R).  

The poll’s initial ballot test finds Mr. McCrory leading the pack of candidates with 45%, followed by US Rep. Ted Budd (R-Advance) at 19%, and former Rep. Mark Walker (R) trailing with 12 percent support.  Only 20% of the respondents indicated that they are aware of Mr. Trump’s endorsement of Rep. Budd.  Once fully educated, the respondent sample flips to the point that Mr. Budd has a 46-27-8% advantage over Mr. McCrory and former Rep. Walker.  

Pennsylvania:  Days after two-term Pennsylvania Rep. Chrissy Houlahan (D-Devon) announced that she would forego a US Senate run in order to seek re-election to the House, neighboring Rep. Madeleine Dean (D-Jenkintown) has followed suit.  Rep. Dean this week made known her decision not to enter the Senate race but will seek a third term in the House next year.  

The leading Democratic open seat announced candidates are Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta (D-Philadelphia), and Montgomery County Commissioner Val Arkoosh.  Rep. Conor Lamb (D-Pittsburgh) and state Sen. Sharif Street (D-Philadelphia) are possible candidates.

 

House

SC-6:  House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-Columbia) emphatically replied that he will seek a 16th term next year from his expansive South Carolina congressional district that stretches from the capital city of Columbia through some of the Charleston suburbs, and then south to the Georgia border including the territory leading into Savannah.  When a local news reporter asked if he would seek re-election, Rep. Clyburn retorted, “not just yes, but Hell yes!”  The Congressman, who will be 82 years of age at the next election, had been the subject of retirement speculation.

SC-7:  State Rep. William Bailey (R-Myrtle Beach) who was the first Republican primary challenger to US Rep. Tom Rice (R-Myrtle Beach) after the Congressman supported the second effort to impeach then-President Trump is now the first to drop out of the race.  He announced earlier in the week that he is exiting the congressional contest but will seek re-election to the state House.  He says there are plenty of other conservatives in the race that will prove strong opposition to Mr. Rice.  

A total of 11 announced Republicans remain in the primary contest.  The top two appear to be Horry County School Board chairman Ken Richardson and former Myrtle Beach Mayor Mark McBride.  South Carolina features a runoff system, so Rep. Rice will have to obtain majority support among all dozen candidates to avoid a secondary election.

TX-28:  Attorney Jessica Cisneros, who held veteran Texas Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Laredo) to a 52-48% primary victory in March of 2020, released a new video that suggests, without actually announcing, that she will return to launch another run at the Democratic Congressman who she once served as an intern.  Mr. Cuellar went onto win a 58-39% general election victory in one of the Texas-Mexico border districts that tilted somewhat away from the Democrats in the November election.  President Biden carried the 28th CD that stretches from the San Antonio area to the Mexican border through Laredo and then east to capture the city of Mission but with a significantly reduced percentage.

 

Governor

Arizona:  Former Arizona Congressman Matt Salmon, who was the 2002 Republican gubernatorial nominee, formally declared his intention to enter the 2022 open Governor’s race a full 20 years after he first ran for the position.  Mr. Salmon lost a close plurality gubernatorial election to then-Arizona Attorney General Janet Napolitano (D) by less than one percentage point.  He served five non-consecutive terms in the US House and a pair of two-year terms in the Arizona Senate.   

Already in the open Republican primary are state Treasurer Kimberly Yee, State University System Regent Karrin Taylor Robinson, and former television news anchor Kari Lake.  Gov. Doug Ducey (R) is ineligible to seek a third term. 

California:  The Moore Information Group conducted a survey of the California recall election for the John Cox (R) gubernatorial campaign and reports a tightening of the recall position from previous polling.  According to the just released Moore data (6/1-3; 800 CA registered voters; 684 CA likely recall election voters; live interview), Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) would face a tougher going to survive the effort to remove him from office.

The Moore results portend, among the 684 tested likely voters, that a plurality, 49-46%, would vote to remove Gov. Newsom from office.  Among the larger registered voter universe, the balance tips back in favor of state chief executive retaining his position, 50-44%.  Even this latter ratio, however, is closer than the previous surveys that projected the Governor as surviving the recall by a spread of between 9-12 percentage points.

If the recall is successful, and the special election still has not yet been scheduled, the Moore poll finds Mr. Cox leading the large group of candidates, but their roster includes former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and billionaire Tom Steyer.  The latter man has said he won’t run, while the former has not indicated that he will enter the race.  

Florida:  The Listener Group just released a Florida Democratic gubernatorial poll (6/9-11; 660 FL likely Democratic primary voters; live interview) that sees US Rep. Charlie Crist’s (D-St. Petersburg) lead over state Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried (D) diminishing.  In late May, St. Pete Polls (5/24-26; 2,572 FL registered voters; online) found the Tampa Bay area Congressman and former Governor leading Ms. Fried, 56-22%.  The Listener numbers find the spread to be only 41-31%, suggesting this race could be much more competitive than first thought.

Iowa:  State Rep. RasTafari Smith (D-Waterloo) announced this week that he will enter the Democratic primary for purposes of challenging Iowa Republican Governor Kim Reynolds next year.  She will be on the ballot for a second full term in 2022 after winning election in her own right three years ago.  She served the balance of former Gov. Terry Branstad’s (R) previous term.  As Lt. Governor, she ascended to the office when Mr. Branstad became US Ambassador to China in the Trump Administration.  

Virginia:  Late last week, the Glenn Youngkin for Governor campaign released a WPA Intelligence survey that found the Republican nominee pulling to within just two percentage points, 46-48%, of former Governor Terry McAuliffe (D).  This week, in the first post-Democratic primary poll, the JMC Analytics firm basically confirmed those results.  According to their latest Virginia poll (6/9-12; 550 VA likely 2021 general election voters; live interview) Mr. McAuliffe leads Mr. Youngkin by a similarly small 46-42% margin.

 

States

Texas:  Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) has been under a federal indictment cloud since 2015 and is now besieged with new accusations of him having an extra-marital affair and ex-aides claiming he accepted bribes.  Unsurprisingly, these charges and attacks have already drawn Mr. Paxton serious Republican primary opposition, and now another has come to the forefront.  

Stepping down from the Texas State Supreme Court to oppose Mr. Paxton in the Republican primary is Justice Eva Guzman, who began her service on the high court in late 2009.  She not only joins the incumbent in the race, but also Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush, son of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, and nephew to former Texas Governor and US President George W. Bush.

 

Cities

Cleveland:  Former Cleveland City Councilman, Mayor, City Councilman again, state Senator, US Congressman, and presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich (D) formally announced his new Mayoral campaign yesterday.  In doing so, Mr. Kucinich is running for an office that he first held 44 years ago and would then lose two years later to Republican George Voinovich, who would later become Governor and US Senator.  

New York City:  Three media entities, WNBC television in New York, Telemundo 47, and Politico joined to sponsor a Marist College poll of the New York City open Democratic mayoral primary scheduled for next Tuesday, June 22nd.  The pollsters (6/3-9; 876 NYC likely Democratic primary voters; live interview) carried the ranked choice voting system to its extreme, which is a complicated undertaking, and again found Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams eventually leading the group of 13 Democratic candidates vying to succeed term-limited Mayor Bill de Blasio (D).  

Two more polls are reporting slightly differing results.  The Public Opinion Strategies survey (6/9-13; 500 NYC potential Democratic primary voters; live interview) returns numbers that are similarly close to Marist’s.  The POS study agrees that former NYC Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia, civil rights activist Maya Wiley and former presidential candidate Andrew Yang together with Mr. Adams form the top tier of contenders.  At the end of the laborious ranked choice process, POS, like Marist, finds the race evolving into a two-way battle between Mr. Adams and Ms. Garcia that tilts toward the former.  

Change Research (6/11-14; 822 NYC likely Democratic primary voters; online) also found a compatible result in their most recent poll, though they project a different winner at the end of the ranked choice process.  Change sees Ms. Garcia edging Mr. Adams in an 11th counting round by a scant 51-49% split.

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Conference Chair

In this month's Wonkology, our Lobbying & Policy team discuss the House Democratic and Republican leaders who oversee their caucus’ messaging, meetings, and organization.