June 6, 2022 •
Do you know my friend Governor Tom Ridge? Of course, you do. He was this country’s first Secretary of Homeland Security after the September 11th attacks. He was appointed by President George W Bush days after the attacks to head […]
Do you know my friend Governor Tom Ridge? Of course, you do. He was this country’s first Secretary of Homeland Security after the September 11th attacks.
He was appointed by President George W Bush days after the attacks to head up the new department. This required Governor Ridge to step down as Pennsylvania’s governor. He was not a cabinet-level official until 2003…and he went right to work. Ridge developed a program of antiterrorist training, preventive technologies, and emergency responses. In addition, he was tasked with coordinating activities of some 46 different state and federal agencies related to his chain of command. In 2002 he unveiled a new color-coded system for assessing the risk of a terrorist attack.
We met him about 10 years ago when Ridge Policy Group started and we were retained to assist his team with lobbying compliance. We have worked close with his staff in ensure all state and federal reports are accurate for their clients.
On May 14, 2022, Governor Ridge was the 37th recipient of the William Oliver Baker Medal of Achievement in recognition of his extraordinary contributions to the national and homeland security of the United States. John Chames and I attended this beautiful event where he was recognized for his strong and resolute leadership in providing us all safer skies, ports and points of entry to the United States, more secure critical infrastructure, and enhanced cooperation between public and private sectors.
In 2020, State and Federal Communications moved its DC office and now we share our space with Ridge Global and Ridge Policy Group and the fine people Governor Ridge has on his staff. He is a great suitemate and we are honored he trusted us to be in his space.
We all have great friends in this industry…Take the time to let them know.
May 5, 2022 •
I had an opportunity a few years ago and I took it. State and Federal Communications had the opportunity to have Joe May oversee our Corporate Social Responsibility. He already had started our social media program and helped us with […]
I had an opportunity a few years ago and I took it. State and Federal Communications had the opportunity to have Joe May oversee our Corporate Social Responsibility. He already had started our social media program and helped us with client analytics, and it was time to consider how else he could help the company.
Joe always loved how involved we were in the community, and we worked on a great job description where he headed up our new Corporate Social Responsibility. He would find organizations looking for an extra hand and coordinated a group of staff to help. We all realized how much we have been involved in community, state, and even national.
We have now published our fifth CSR annual report, which provides you with the timeline of how long State and Federal Communications has been a part of many national and local organizations. Plus, it includes the current staff who go out of their way to help organizations around them.
It is not easy to do. It takes a lot of organization. And, it takes a commitment from everyone at State and Federal Communications.
As our 2021 Annual Report states, “We care about our work. We care about our community. We care about diversity, equity, and inclusion. Doing the right thing is just good business… and we’re not done yet!”
Let me know if you are interested in hearing what our plans are for 2022. We are happy to set up a webinar to help others jump on the CSR bandwagon.
[From May 2022 Compliance Now]
April 4, 2022 •
Every week we discuss the articles from lobbycomply.com and see which ones are opened the most often. No question about it, Ask the Experts—Employee Personal Political Contributions is the #1 blog post…Every single week. The question is easy—”Before I can […]
Every week we discuss the articles from lobbycomply.com and see which ones are opened the most often. No question about it, Ask the Experts—Employee Personal Political Contributions is the #1 blog post…Every single week.
The question is easy—”Before I can make a political contribution using my own funds, my employer requires that I obtain permission first. Can my employer legally do this?”
As is the answer—Yes.
Employers may require employees to seek preapproval before making personal political contributions. Not only can your employer require this, but it’s also smart business to do so. Employers may even require preapproval from family members of employees.
This preapproval requirement has evolved because of the increased number of jurisdictions enacting pay-to-play laws. A seemingly innocuous contribution by an employee could result in the loss of government contracts, fines, and a ban on future contracting. Criminal sanctions may apply when repeated violations occur. By requiring pre-approval, your employer can properly vet the contribution for compliance with a jurisdiction’s pay-to-play law, including disclosure requirements.
In most jurisdictions, employees covered by pay-to-play laws include officers, partners, directors, senior management, salespersons, and their spouses and dependent children. In Pennsylvania and Kentucky, all employees are covered in the instance of a no-bid contract.
Requiring preclearance of employee personal political contributions is certainly preferable than imposing a ban on employee contributions, which could result in a violation of applicable labor laws. Various jurisdictions bar employers from retaliating against employees for engaging in political activities, which can include everything from participating in a political rally to making campaign contributions. Even though an employer can require preapproval, an employer cannot directly or indirectly affect an individual’s employment by means of discrimination or threat of discrimination based on the individual’s personal political contributions.
We have a busy election year ahead of us…and it continues until November 2024. Protect the company and ask before making political contributions. As I always say, this is not an issue where you can ask for forgiveness first…Obtain permission before proceeding. I suggest you always plan your contributions before saying YES to the candidates calling and sending invitations. Make sure you do not exceed the limitation in the jurisdiction.
If you have questions about this, give me a call. I have a detailed Excel chart detailing my contributions so I know how much I have given per election. In fact, Nola Werren on my staff has that spreadsheet because she will let me know if I am exceeding the limit…I think my husband, John Chames, would do the same, but definitely in a louder tone!!!!!
March 2, 2022 •
Attention all political science nerds and government relations geeks. State and Federal Communications has posted the State of the State Addresses from the Governors of the United States on its website. It is available to all of our clients on […]
Attention all political science nerds and government relations geeks. State and Federal Communications has posted the State of the State Addresses from the Governors of the United States on its website. It is available to all of our clients on your dashboard.
This was a great idea from our new Senior Advisor Jean Cantrell at a department meeting. With Vice President Ren Koozer’s IT skills and Associate Director for Research, Michael Beckett, Esq. and his amazing team, the whole project was put together in no time and on our website.
Not every governor has given his/her State of the State Address and we will continue to update the site by providing a link to either the distributed Address or a link to the video of the Address being given.
I like having something interesting to do and this is perfect. [Truth be told, I have also spent time in the evening looking at candidate campaign finance reports and seeing if I notice irregularities.] This is a great opportunity when I am at the Public Affairs Council PAC Conference to catch up on what is going on in our country.
I would love to hear from you about this new addition. Please note this is only available to subscribers to our Guidebooks and to all our consulting clients. If that piques your interest, give me a call to discuss our services.
Next month I will discuss the #1 blog post at the company!! Stay tuned.
February 2, 2022 •
I am so happy to report we have a new staff person on board. Jean Cantrell has joined us, in a part time capacity, as a Senior Advisor. Jean has served in many senior government relations roles and brings more […]
I am so happy to report we have a new staff person on board. Jean Cantrell has joined us, in a part time capacity, as a Senior Advisor. Jean has served in many senior government relations roles and brings more than 38 years of experience to State and Federal Communications, Inc.
Jean brings a wealth of experience and expertise in government affairs and building relationships. We are so excited she is joining our team.
She will work directly with me to explore business development and new growth opportunities. Opportunities include thought leadership, new stakeholder engagement, market assessment, and new and emerging industry potential.
At a recent meeting with the staff Jean said, “I’m looking forward to working with Elizabeth and the great staff at State and Federal Communications. I know we can build upon the great work that has already been done as the company continues to grow.”
Previously with Dun & Bradstreet, Circuit City, EDS, and Phillips/Signify, Jean most recently completed a two-year assignment with the Commission on Presidential Debates, the nonprofit organization who sponsors and produces the quadrennial general election presidential debates.
Jean is a past president of The Washington Area State Relations Group (WASRG) and the State Government Affairs Council (SGAC). Other leadership positions include National Conference of State Legislatures Foundation Vice President, US Conference of Mayors Business Council co-chair, and Public Affairs Council board member. As an Issue expert on leadership and mentoring, Jean is a sought-after speaker at trade association and industry forums.
Originally from Oklahoma, Jean graduated from Oklahoma City University with Bachelor of Music and Master of Performing Arts degrees. She earned a Washington Representative certificate from George Washington University, is a graduate of Rutgers University State Government Relations Institute and the Public Affairs Council Institute. In December 2019, Jean received a Graduate Certificate in Arts Administration from the University of Connecticut.
You will see Jean join me out and about to conferences and meetings. In the meantime, do not hesitate to reach out to her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
April 1, 2021 •
I am pleased to share the news State and Federal Communications has acquired the lobbying compliance reporting business of MER Consulting Services, LLC, from its owner and founder, Mary Roche. MER has been a fixture in Massachusetts lobbying compliance reporting […]
I am pleased to share the news State and Federal Communications has acquired the lobbying compliance reporting business of MER Consulting Services, LLC, from its owner and founder, Mary Roche.
MER has been a fixture in Massachusetts lobbying compliance reporting and consulting, having served local organizations and leading companies in the state since 2001. She has had a very successful career in this field.
This move allows Mary to wind down her career, while ensuring a solid transition for her clients to continue receiving professional and thorough political reporting and lobbying consulting services, plus additional support from our larger research and compliance staffs.
Mary will stay on with State and Federal Communications as a consultant in the year ahead as the transition takes place to ensure clients’ reporting needs are adequately served.
I personally am enthused about this development! It will allow State and Federal Communications to continue to grow our business by doing what we do best…providing top-tier and trusted political compliance services. It is a positive endorsement Mary has put her faith in our capabilities to take care of the lobbying compliance reporting needs of her Massachusetts clients.
For the full story, please read the media press release announcement.
March 1, 2021 •
One of the best things about having Gamble Hayden on our staff is she gets out there to learn. This year she is the chair of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee for Women in Government Relations (WGR). And […]
One of the best things about having Gamble Hayden on our staff is she gets out there to learn. This year she is the chair of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Committee for Women in Government Relations (WGR). And there is no better place to spread the word than with her employer, State and Federal Communications.
We made the decision to create a committee to address DEI, create a mission statement, and hire a consultant to create a culture of change, not just have a “one and done” event. Our committee developed the mission statement before and shared it with the entire staff.
State and Federal Communications, Inc. strongly supports and strives for greater diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) amongst its staff. We value different perspectives and strongly believe that these viewpoints not only greatly improve our client relationships, but also society at large.
The entire staff at State and Federal Communications, Inc. work to create, implement, and sustain a culture of DEI by incorporating DEI practices into the company’s leadership activity, dialogue, hiring, policies, and communications. State and Federal Communications, Inc. always strives to ensure its staff and clients are encouraged and supported regardless of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, political affiliation, marital status, personal appearance, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or family responsibilities.
We recognized the need to grow in this area and create a safe and honest space for DEI conversation and learning. WGR’s DEI 2020 Summit included books, articles, podcasts, movies, and documentaries, which helped us prepare a variety of options.
Then we connected with Jeremy Lile, executive director of Heart-to-Heart (H2H) Communications, who works with the Akron community to cultivate purpose-driven, values-based, and community-minded leadership. For more than 30 years H2H has inspired and developed the heart of leaders to lead and the capacity to build strong relationships.
H2H is helping us discover and develop our strengths and culture. It provides a leadership training pathway to discover and develop the characteristics and strengths, which enable individuals to follow a higher calling to include organizational and community life, bringing along the staff of State and Federal Communications to also experience greater impact.
Follow our program. We will blog about it regularly on www.lobbycomply.com and post it on our website. Our goal is not to just bring this to our staff but also to our State and Federal Communications Community.
I walk the walk and talk the talk. It starts at the top. People will not follow if the belief is not two ways. Join us.
February 2, 2021 •
Last week, State and Federal Communications received the bronze award from the Healthy Business Council of Ohio (HBCO). In fact, it is the second year we have won this award. This is great since we have only had a formal […]
Last week, State and Federal Communications received the bronze award from the Healthy Business Council of Ohio (HBCO). In fact, it is the second year we have won this award. This is great since we have only had a formal wellness program for two years. The HBCO requested a photo of us with our plaque so I joined HR Generalist Anastasia Drescher and Director of HR Beth Mullen for our “Charlie’s Angels” photo.
Why is this important? Because I finally got it stuck in my head, I had to do something. I have been around for a long time and many might remember when I weighed 52 pounds more than I do today. In fact, I am finally down to my 1997 wedding weight, which is great, and NO I have not pulled out the dress to try it on!!
This did not happen easily. It is something I have worked hard to do. It did help when we were told we were going to be grandparents.
I knew I wanted to be an active grandparent.
So, I did three things:
- Went back to WW,
- Hired personal trainer and started yoga, and
WW—Let me make this clear: I have been a WW member for a long time, but I took it more seriously in the last year and have lost almost 25 pounds since the pandemic. The program is easy to use with my iPhone and there are a variety of program choices.
Personal Training and Yoga—When we received the baby news in December 2018, it came with a yoga mat as my Christmas gift. I had just started Yoga Nidra and was using the studio’s mats. Even before COVID it was not a great idea. I attend a weekly program, Relax and Restore, to prepare for my busy weeks. This is a program that deals with stretching and breathing. My legs and back stay on the floor. I also have personal trainer and meet with her twice a week for 45 minutes training with weights along with rowing, using the tread mill, and stretching so I can easily pick up my 25-pound grandson.
Self-Care—Last but not least, self-care is important. Though I do keep track daily of my weight, my sugar levels, oral care, flossing with my new Waterpik sonic-fusion flossing toothbrush (my Christmas gift to myself). I also listen to the Calm App and read for 20 minutes. I am reminding you how important it is to have a PCP—primary care physician—and see the physician at least once a year. Now, at my age, my physician wants to see me twice a year. I also make sure I see my dentist twice a year—which is free with our dental insurance. There are other parts of our bodies we need to take care of, and I make sure those are done, too. At my age, I have had two colonoscopies, as caring for all parts of the body and preventative care is important. My suggestion is to schedule it for a Monday morning so you can drink the pre-procedure fluids on Sunday when you are home. You will know what I am talking about the first time you schedule it. Plus, as we learned in our 2020 Wellness Program, sleep is important. Where I used to settle for five hours a sleep, I have increased it to seven or eight hours a night.
I know I am not a model wellness person, but I am not done. As I persevere, I urge you to take the time to fit in planning for meal preparation in your house. We organize our plan every Friday night. What else are we doing these days? Many people have treadmills in their home. Recently, John Chames put our treadmill in front of the family room television. This is a great decision because we can be on it while watching the news or watching John’s favorite show, American Pickers.
Remember, you only have one body, take care of it.
January 11, 2021 •
Another new batch of states are going in session this week! Are you ready? Arizona Arkansas California Colorado Delaware Georgia Idaho Illinois Iowa Maryland Michigan New Jersey South Carolina South Dakota Tennessee Texas Virginia Washington West Virginia Wisconsin Wyoming It’s […]
Another new batch of states are going in session this week! Are you ready?
- New Jersey
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
It’s another big week in a busy legislative year. Stay in touch with lobbycomply.com to see when the other starts will convene.
January 4, 2021 •
In 2021, every state—along with the District of Columbia, Federal Government, and Puerto Rico—will be in session…but not at the same time. A good number of them are starting this week…but which ones? Federal Connecticut District of Columbia Indiana Kentucky […]
In 2021, every state—along with the District of Columbia, Federal Government, and Puerto Rico—will be in session…but not at the same time.
A good number of them are starting this week…but which ones?
- District of Columbia
- New Hampshire
- New York
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
It’s a big start for a big year. Stay in touch with lobbycomply.com to see when the other starts will convene.
November 20, 2020 •
First, we are all in good health at State and Federal Communications. For the most part, we are working one day a week in the office and the rest working from home. The staff is also social distancing and wearing […]
First, we are all in good health at State and Federal Communications. For the most part, we are working one day a week in the office and the rest working from home. The staff is also social distancing and wearing masks when in the office. We have only had one staff member who tested positive and is back in the office after the required quarantine period.
I do have to say, this pandemic has affected an important publication. After 21 years, the quick desk reference, State and Federal Communications Guidebook, will not be printed. Due to the pandemic, our clients are not in the office and we are already in possession of the 2020 Congressional Directory we ordered for everyone and received in May, when offices closed and people started working from home.
The information in the Guidebook is included in the very robust State and Federal Communications website, www.stateandfed.com, which will have a redesign unveiled on December 1, 2020.
Jon Spontarelli and Kristi Hadgigeorge will be alerting the State and Federal Communications Community about the updates and upgrades on our new website and, especially where you can continue to find the valuable materials from the Guidebook.
We will continue to make sure you have all the valuable information you need for your work and please do not hesitate to give us a call if you need guidance along the road to compliance.
April 20, 2020 •
Wondering how to vote in the 2020 Ohio Primary election? Curious about how the decennial census affects you? The Greater Akron Chamber, our President and CEO Elizabeth Bartz, and Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose have you covered!
Wondering how to vote in the 2020 Ohio Primary election?
Curious about how the decennial census affects you?
The Greater Akron Chamber, our President and CEO Elizabeth Bartz, and Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose have you covered!
July 29, 2019 •
On July 24, The New York City Charter Revision Commission released a final draft report on proposed amendments to the city charter. The commission proposed Ballot Question 3 relating to ethics and governance including extending the post-employment appearance ban for […]
On July 24, The New York City Charter Revision Commission released a final draft report on proposed amendments to the city charter.
The commission proposed Ballot Question 3 relating to ethics and governance including extending the post-employment appearance ban for elected officials and senior appointed officials.
Additionally, the question limits political activity and donations by members of Conflicts of Interest Board.
The proposal would increase the prohibition of city elected officials and senior appointed officials from appearing before the agency or branch of government the official served in after leaving service from one year to two years.
The amendment would also prohibit members of the COIB from participating in campaigns for local elected office and reduce the maximum amount members can contribute in each election cycle.
Voters will be presented the proposals on the November 5 general election ballot.
If passed, the proposed post-employment ban would become effective January 1, 2022.
July 26, 2019 •
On July 22, the Connecticut General Assembly convened and adjourned a special session. During the special session lawmakers passed Senate Bill 1210 authorizing state grant commitments for school building projects. Senate Bill 1210 also made changes to the procurement processes […]
On July 22, the Connecticut General Assembly convened and adjourned a special session.
During the special session lawmakers passed Senate Bill 1210 authorizing state grant commitments for school building projects.
Senate Bill 1210 also made changes to the procurement processes for school building construction, architectural services, and construction management services.
The bill was signed on July 23 by Gov. Ned Lamont and most passages went into effect immediately.
However, changes to the procurement processes become effective on July 1, 2020.
State and Federal Communications, Inc. provides research and consulting services for government relations professionals on lobbying laws, procurement lobbying laws, political contribution laws in the United States and Canada. Learn more by visiting stateandfed.com.