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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 December 3, 2021

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

 

Senate



New Hampshire:  A new Tarrance Group poll for potential US Senate candidate Corky Messner, the 2020 Republican Senate nominee, finds that the GOP continues to be competitive against Sen. Maggie Hassan (D) even without Gov. Chris Sununu (R) as the party’s nominee.  According to the poll (11/14-17; 500 NH likely 2022 general election voters; live interview), Sen. Hassan would lead Mr. Messner by only a 47-45% margin, only slightly worse than when Gov. Sununu was paired with the incumbent. 

Pennsylvania:  As expected, television personality and physician Mehmet Oz joined the open Republican primary hoping to succeed retiring Sen. Pat Toomey (R).  Dr. Oz only recently moved to the Philadelphia area after residing in New Jersey for approximately 20 years.  Dr. Oz says he will partially self-fund his campaign.  In the GOP contender fold are ex-US Ambassador Carla Sands, former Lt. Governor nominee Jeff Bartos, and 2020 congressional candidate Kathy Barnette, among others.  Lt. Gov. John Fetterman and US Rep. Conor Lamb (D-Pittsburgh) are the leading Democratic candidates.

House



CA-34:
 Movie executive David Kim, who held California Rep. Jimmy Gomez (D-Los Angeles) to a 53-47% re-election victory in the 2020 double-Democratic general election, announced that he will return for a re-match next year.  Mr. Kim spent only $84,000 in his 2020 campaign, so we can count on seeing a more robust effort in the current cycle compared to his previous performance.  The 34th District will substantially change as the seat must add 56,933 people just to meet the state’s new population quota.

FL-20:  It appears that the South Florida special Democratic primary, which ultimately ended in a five-vote victory for businesswoman Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick, isn’t yet over.  The losing candidate, Broward County Commissioner Dale Holness, has filed a lawsuit against Ms. Cherfilus-McCormick.  He claims her support of the Universal Basic Income proposal that would provide $1,000 per month to the general public constitutes an illegal bribe.  Therefore, Mr. Holness is asking the court to retroactively disqualify Ms. Cherfilus-McCormick from the ballot.  

While this approach is unlikely to deny Cherfilus-McCormick a ballot slot for the January 11th special general election to replace the late Rep. Alcee Hastings (D), it does signal that Mr. Holness will be back in the regular 2022 August primary.  This means the pair’s lengthy South Florida political fight will continue at least through next summer.

GA-7:  The Georgia redistricting surprise was US Rep. Lucy McBath (D-Marietta) leaving her 6th District constituency that the new map made more strongly Republican to instead challenge freshman Democratic Rep. Carolyn Bourdeaux in the new 7th CD.  Now, we see another unexpected development.  Explaining that neither US House member actually lives within the confines of the 7th District as newly drawn, state Rep. Donna McLeod (D-Lawrenceville), who does represent the 7th’s anchor population region, this week entered the congressional primary.  The election is scheduled for May 24th.

Illinois:  Now that the Illinois congressional map has become official, incumbents and candidates are making their political moves.  Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Taylorville), despite representing only about a quarter of the new 15th District’s constituency, announced that he will not enter the Governor’s race, but intends to seek re-election to the House from this newly configured district.  

In Mr. Davis’ former 13th District, drawn as a new open Democratic seat that stretches from Champaign to the St. Louis suburbs through Decatur and Springfield, former Obama Administration official Nikki Budzinski (D), who had originally declared against Rep. Davis, announced that she will run in the new 13th and immediately becomes the favorite to capture the seat.

NY-3:  Long Island Congressman Tom Suozzi (D-Glen Cove) has turned down NYC Mayor-Elect Eric Adams’ (D) offer to become one of the city’s Deputy Mayors and instead will run for Governor.   This will be the second gubernatorial campaign for Mr. Suozzi.  He lost the 2006 Democratic gubernatorial primary in a crushing 82-18% landslide defeat to then-Attorney General Eliot Spitzer.  

At this point, Rep. Suozzi opposes new Governor Kathy Hochul, Attorney General Tish James, and New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams in a growing semi-open Democratic intra-party election battle.  Gov. Hochul assumed the state’s top office when Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) was forced to resign.  She had been his running mate for Lt. Governor.   

NC-2:  Saying, “I’m not a far-left liberal Dem, and this is not a far-left, liberal-drawn district,” state Rep. James Gailliard (D-Rocky Mount) declared his congressional candidacy for the state’s new open 2nd District that sits in the northeastern part of the Tar Heel State.  Veteran Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D-Wilson) has announced he is not seeking re-election next year.  Rep. Gailliard becomes the fifth Democrat to enter the race in what is now a competitive political domain. 

NC-4:  State Rep. Charles Graham (D-Lumberton), who had  originally announced his congressional candidacy against two-term Rep. Dan Bishop (R-Charlotte) earlier in the year, has switched districts.  As a result of the new North Carolina congressional map creating a competitive open seat anchored in Fayetteville, Mr. Gray announced yesterday that he will instead compete in the new 4th District.  Already in the open Democratic primary is state Sen. Ben Clark (D-Cumberland County).  Six Republicans have announced, including a state Representative and a former Fayetteville Mayor.  The seat leans Republican. 

OH-9:  Ohio Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-Toledo), who ranks fifth in current House seniority in serving her 24th term, has drawn two significant GOP challengers in her 9th District.  The new version of the northwest Ohio CD is much more Republican than any the Congresswoman has previously represented.  Former Miss Ohio Madison Gesiotto Gilbert (R), an attorney and political commentator, announced her candidacy during the Thanksgiving holiday break.  The race is expected to draw additional candidates.  State Sen. Theresa Gavarone (R-Bowling Green) soon followed suit.  The Ohio candidate filing deadline is February 2nd for the May 3rd partisan primary.

OR-4:  Veteran Oregon US Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Springfield), chairman of the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee, late this week announced that he will retire after completing his 18th term next year.  He ranks sixth in House seniority.  Mr. DeFazio becomes the 19th Democrat not to seek re-election to the House, and the third full committee chair to retire.  

The new 4th District was made stronger for Rep. DeFazio, thus allowing two other districts, including the state’s new 6th CD, to become more competitive.  Republican Alex Skarlatos, who held Mr. DeFazio to the closest re-election outcome of his long career, 51-46%, had announced a re-match effort months ago.  He will likely continue to be a consensus Republican candidate.  

State Labor and Industries Commissioner Val Doyle (D) immediately declared her congressional candidacy upon Mr. DeFazio announcing his retirement.  The 4th District race will be viewed as competitive, with the eventual Democratic nominee being cast as the favorite.

TX-1:  Smith County Judge Nathaniel Moran (R) announced his congressional candidacy this week.  He is a major contender vying to succeed Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Tyler), who is leaving the House to run for state Attorney General.  A Texas county judge is equivalent to a county executive in most places.  Smith County is the population anchor of the east Texas’ 1st Congressional District.  The candidate filing deadline is December 13th for the March 1st primary.  The 1st CD is safely Republican, so the GOP primary will almost assuredly determine the region’s next House member.

TX-30:  Now that 15-term Texas Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Dallas) has officially announced her retirement, we can expect to see several sitting state legislators come forward to declare candidacies in a growing field that already features eight contenders.  The newest entry is state Rep. Jasmine Crockett (D-Dallas), who announced her candidacy during the Thanksgiving holiday break.  This race will be decided in the Democratic primary and runoff, which are scheduled for March 1st and May 24th, respectively.  Rep. Johnson immediately endorsed Ms. Crockett.

WA-8:  King County Councilman Reagan Dunn (R), son of the late Congresswoman Jennifer Dunn (R) who represented the 8th District for six terms after serving eleven years as chair of the Washington Republican Party, announced his own congressional candidacy yesterday.  Mr. Dunn will join the jungle primary to oppose second term Rep. Kim Schrier (D-Sammamish).  Already in the primary is the 2020 Republican Attorney General finalist, Matt Larkin.  Mr. Dunn, himself, was an Attorney General nominee in the 2012 election.   The Washington qualifying election is August 2nd.  


Governor



Alaska:  Freshman state Rep. Christopher Kurka (R-Wasilla) announced his challenge to Gov. Mike Dunleavy during the week.  Mr. Kurka, a former director of the Alaska for Right to Life organization, is attacking Gov. Dunleavy from the ideological right.  Previously, an organized recall group was opposing the Governor over his budgetary spending cuts.  

Georgia:  2018 Democratic gubernatorial nominee Stacey Abrams, the former state House Minority Leader, this week announced that she will run for Governor next year.  In the previous election, she lost to now-incumbent Gov. Brian Kemp (R) by less than one percentage point.  There was some recent speculation brewing that Ms. Abrams, who bypassed the 2020 US Senate cycle to concentrate on a gubernatorial re-match, would also sit the 2022 cycle out in order to prepare for a presidential run.  

Now, all eyes will turn to former US Sen. David Perdue (R).  He admits to be considering a Republican primary challenge against Gov. Kemp, whose numbers are lagging among the party faithful largely due to the post-election voter fraud controversy. 

Massachusetts:  Saying he doesn’t want to go through an ideologically based Republican primary campaign, Bay State Gov. Charlie Baker (R) announced that he will not run for a third term next year.  Immediately, Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito (R) made public her plans also to retire from politics, saying she will not run for Governor.  

The Daily Kos Elections site is reporting that while a number of new potential candidates are reported to be considering the race, four prominent individuals are ruling out launching gubernatorial candidacies.  Former US Sen. Scott Brown (R), ex-Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy, III (D), Jonathan Kraft, son of New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, and Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone (D) all say they will not enter the open gubernatorial contest. 

Texas:  Actor and Austin resident Matthew McConaughey, who was considering running for Governor of Texas as an Independent, has rather unsurprisingly decided not to enter the race. 

Localities



Atlanta:  Atlanta City Councilman Andre Dickens (D) defied the latest polling that gave City Council President Felicia Moore (D) a small lead in the Atlanta Mayor’s contest.  On Tuesday night, Mr. Dickens scored a crushing 64-36% victory over Ms. Moore.  Mayor-Elect Dickens will replace current incumbent Keisha Lance Bottoms (D) who chose not to seek a second term.
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Four Corners

In Congress, legislation has a few different paths to becoming a law. One or more members of Congress can champion an issue that moves through the legislative process in the traditional way (i.e., regular order). With large bills, negotiations often begin or conclude among the “four corners.” The four corners can refer to one of two groups: the House Speaker, House Minority Leader, Senate Majority Leader, and Senate Minority Leader; or the House and Senate chairs and ranking members of a certain committee or subcommittee.