October 5, 2022 •
I met Nathan Gonzales several years ago when he spoke at a Public Affairs Council conference. I am a political geek and could listen to him for a long time. In 2020, State and Federal Communications subscribed to his Inside […]
I met Nathan Gonzales several years ago when he spoke at a Public Affairs Council conference. I am a political geek and could listen to him for a long time. In 2020, State and Federal Communications subscribed to his Inside Elections with Nathan Gonzales and started sending it to our clients. I have received a number of comments from our clients about the information he provides on federal House and Senate races along with up is going on with State Gubernatorial races.
Nathan will address the State and Federal Community at 3 pm EST on Thursday October 6th. He will be in Chicago and I will be in Ohio but with the magic of Zoom, we will have a fabulous conversation well before early voting starts in several states. We have all read Inside Elections but let’s look behind the scenes and learn more about Nathan Gonzales.
He is exclusively represented by Leading Authorities speakers bureau, and is full of enthusiasm, and thought-provoking insights about politics. His recall of facts and figures is incredible, and he is natural, energetic, and engaging on stage. Nathan interviews nearly all the candidates personally – from congressional and gubernatorial to state races, and using poll numbers, economic data, historical information, trends, demographics, interviews, and entertaining stories and analogies, he analyzes the current political environment, shares what you need to know about the races you didn’t even know about and performs an election “autopsy” on the latest races, projecting what the results mean for you. In presentations, he takes a “descriptive” rather than “prescriptive” approach to the politics of the day, saying Inside Elections describes what is happening in the world of politics to project the results.
On Election Night 2016, Nathan was an on-air analyst for Newshour on PBS after working as an off-air consultant for ABC News on their Election Night Decision Desk for 14 years. Previously, he was an editor, analyst, and writer for The Rothenberg Political Report for more than 13 years before taking over the company in 2015. Additionally, he worked for CNN as a political analyst and as an associate producer for Capital Gang.
Gonzales has appeared on NBC’s Meet the Press and NBC Nightly News, C-SPAN’s Washington Journal, NPR’s All Things Considered, Fox News Channel, and MSNBC, and has been quoted in The New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, and USA Today. His work has also appeared on FiveThirtyEight, NBCLatino.com, and in Campaigns & Elections magazine. Wait, Campaigns & Elections? That’s where I cut my editing chops when I moved to DC in 1982.
Gonzales grew up in Oregon, earned his Master of Arts from The George Washington University’s Graduate School of Political Management (Washington, DC) and his Bachelor of Arts from Vanguard University (Costa Mesa, California). He arrived in Washington, D.C. as an intern in the White House Press Office and now lives in the city with his wife and four children.
September 29, 2022 •
A time for many that is marked by a return to work from that much needed summer vacation, as well as preparation for the multitude of conferences and other events that are taking place throughout the country. Here at State […]
A time for many that is marked by a return to work from that much needed summer vacation, as well as preparation for the multitude of conferences and other events that are taking place throughout the country.
Here at State and Federal Communications, staff professional development is a priority for our President & CEO Elizabeth Bartz, who makes it a point of offering to ALL staff members a variety of opportunities for learning, networking and connection. It is especially rewarding when we get the chance to engage with our clients at these events – what a wonderful way to continue to strengthen relationships!
This month, you’ll see various State and Federal Communications’ staff members attending: Practicing Law Institute’s Corporate Political Activities 2022; Public Affairs Council’s State and Local Government Relations Conference; and the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation 2022 Annual Legislative Conference.
In addition to in-person gatherings, State and Federal Communications’ staff also participates in a number of online events throughout the year – we are always seizing opportunities to know more, particularly about the subjects we love the most – ethics and lobbying compliance!
I do hope that professional development is a priority for your organization, and that you are not only encouraged to take full advantage of these unique opportunities yourself, but that you are also an advocate for your colleagues’ professional development as well! A well-rounded employee (no matter their level within an organization) is a huge asset to any company – we look forward to seeing you out and about this month!
What are you doing today to help create change within your organization?
September 15, 2022 •
Meet Ellen Murray, Compliance Assistant II! What are your areas of expertise? I am a proactive problem-solver with strong organizational and communication skills. How long have you been with State and Federal Communications? I have been at State and Federal […]
Meet Ellen Murray, Compliance Assistant II!
What are your areas of expertise?
I am a proactive problem-solver with strong organizational and communication skills.
How long have you been with State and Federal Communications?
I have been at State and Federal Communications, Inc. for three years!
How do I help our clients?
I support the professional staff of our compliance consulting department with keen attention to detail and a high degree of accuracy.
September 6, 2022 •
Everything I know about podcasts, I learned from Eric Nuzum’s book Make Noise. Eric is a friend I met when he worked at WKSU, once the NPR station at Kent State University. He has done a lot of podcasts and […]
Everything I know about podcasts, I learned from Eric Nuzum’s book Make Noise.
Eric is a friend I met when he worked at WKSU, once the NPR station at Kent State University. He has done a lot of podcasts and original programming for NPR and Audible. Now, he is co-founder of Magnificent Noise, a podcast and creative consulting company in New York City.
State and Federal Communications held a reception for Eric shortly after the publication of Make Noise, and before the pandemic halted all in-person events for the better part of two years. Since then, I kept saying to my team “I wanted a podcast.” It really isn’t as easy as that, but we finally have created LobbyComply Pod, which will begin September 7, 2022.
Why a podcast?
Because State and Federal Communications has things to say, and we want to be heard in the government affairs community.
Because we track thousands of legislative bills every year and many do not see the light of day and we want the government affairs community to hear the news so they can be compliant.
Because we work with corporations and trade associations who WANT to comply with the laws, and we want to be the one who is telling them what is going on in the states, municipalities, federal government, Canada, and European Union.
This will not be the Rosetta Stone of podcasts. Our programs will be three (3) minutes long. Long enough for you to sit back and relax with a cup of coffee.
We will make noise, but you will see, we will tell you things you do not know. We are not recreating Schoolhouse Rock.
The inaugural podcast is from me with an introduction for our program. If you like them, let me know…If you don’t like them, let me know. If you have a suggestion for a podcast, let me know. We are ready to send State and Federal tchotchke to those of you who communicate with us about our podcast. We aren’t paying you to do it…we just have a closet of branded items and this is part of downsizing and not having to rent storage.
In the meantime, the summer months are ending, and Labor Day has always been the start of school—back in the day when we started after Labor Day. Always a time for fresh and new beginnings…such as introducing LobbyComply Pod.
If you pick up Eric Nuzum’s book, Make Noise, send him a tweet at @ericnuzum and tell him @elizabethbartz sent you.
Elizabeth Z. Bartz, @elizabethbartz
August 30, 2022 •
To the Good Morning Man – For nearly a decade here in Washington, D.C. on the corner of 15th and K Streets sat a man who would blow his whistle very loudly and proclaim “Goooooddddd Morninnnggg!” to everyone that walked by […]
To the Good Morning Man – For nearly a decade here in Washington, D.C. on the corner of 15th and K Streets sat a man who would blow his whistle very loudly and proclaim “Goooooddddd Morninnnggg!” to everyone that walked by – I’m telling you he blew that whistle about as loud as it could blow! You could hear him yell, “Good Morning Young Lady!” or “Good Morning Young Man!”. It would have been almost comical to see this had it not been for the fact that I suspected that he was a homeless man who just decided to pass his time away engaging with folks via his whistle and his cheerful voice!
You’ll notice that I’ve written this piece in the past tense, because, yes, unfortunately, I found out that “The Good Morning Man” passed away on July 29th from liver cancer. A news alert came through my phone noting this, along with the story of the man who once was known as Larry Tutt – a Vietnam Veteran who suffered from PTSD and lived a life that was plagued by drugs, mental illness and a decade in jail on a burglary conviction. As it turns out, according to a Washington Post article on Mr. Tutt, he was not homeless, but in fact rode the Metro each morning at 5:00am to head down to the corner of 15th and K Streets, an area in the heart of Washington, D.C.’s lawyer and lobby district, to bring a little cheer to everyone who walked by…
A few weeks ago, I was walking by that area and noticed that Mr. Tutt wasn’t there… There is scaffolding around the buildings located there, so I figured he just moved himself to another corner, though in the back of my mind, that explanation never really did seem comforting. Now, in the interest of full disclosure, I will admit that sometimes I would avoid walking passed 15th and K Streets because I would say to myself, “I don’t feel like hearing that loud whistle in my ear this morning!”. Little did I know how much I would miss hearing those sounds now that I’ll never get the chance to hear them again, nor to engage Mr. Tutt outside of just a friendly “Hello” as I kept on walking about my business – what I would do now to have one more opportunity just to talk to him and hear his story!
What a valuable lesson! Do take the time to engage with people at every opportunity – you will be surprised at what you’ll likely learn from one another, and oh what wonderful things you’ll have in common! Rest In Peace now Mr. Tutt, “Mr. Good Morning Man” — well deserved!
For more information on the life of Larry Tutt, see the Washington Post article referenced in this piece here.
Until Next Time!
August 18, 2022 •
Our Tools for School student supply drive is in the books, and we are thrilled with the results! We asked our staff to donate school supplies, helping local groups collect materials for children to use this school year. The supply […]
Our Tools for School student supply drive is in the books, and we are thrilled with the results!
We asked our staff to donate school supplies, helping local groups collect materials for children to use this school year. The supply drive directly benefited students through two organizations: United Way of Summit and Medina, and Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church’s Philoptochos society.
Our amazing staff stepped up to the plate, and is shown with this outstanding final tally: 52 utility boxes, 1 container of Clorox wipes, 100 quart Ziplock bags, 50 gallon Ziplock bags, 110 folders, 2 notebooks, 12 binders, 750 sheets of notebook paper, 114 glue sticks, 150 washable markers, 144 highlighter pens, 72 dry erase markers, 14 erasers, 98 packs of 24 crayons, 875 pencils, 80 ballpoint pens, 44 rulers, and 48 pairs of women’s ankle socks.
See the video below to learn more about our Tools for School supply drive:
August 16, 2022 •
What are your areas of expertise? I work on computers and networks. I enjoy finding the solutions to issues, hardware or software. I learn something new each day. How many years of experience do you have at State and Federal […]
What are your areas of expertise?
I work on computers and networks. I enjoy finding the solutions to issues, hardware or software. I learn something new each day.
How many years of experience do you have at State and Federal Communications??
I have been at State and Federal Communications for thirteen years.
How do you help our clients?
I work to keep everything running smoothly and try to anticipate needs in the present and near future.
August 11, 2022 •
Q: I have taken on a new role handling our company’s government outreach in Florida. I will likely be lobbying both state and local officials. Where do I get started? A: Florida offers a labyrinth of compliance issues for state […]
Q: I have taken on a new role handling our company’s government outreach in Florida. I will likely be lobbying both state and local officials. Where do I get started?
A: Florida offers a labyrinth of compliance issues for state and local lobbyists. The decentralized nature of the regulatory landscape means you may need to register at the state level, as well as in each individual city or county where you will be active.
At the state level, registration is required prior to engaging in lobbying activities. This includes any attempt to obtain the goodwill of a legislator, executive official, or employee of either branch. Registrants must select whether they will be lobbying the Legislative Branch, Executive Branch, or both. Activity reports for the state are limited to lobbying firms, who must disclose compensation received on a quarterly basis. Gift disclosures may also be required for any registered lobbyist, but we will discuss these in a moment.
Engaging with city or county officials is where staying compliant can be complicated. Most cities and counties have their own registration and reporting ordinances. Luckily, a general theme throughout is the requirement to register prior to engaging with officials. Most locales require annual registration, for either the calendar year or fiscal year, and reporting of lobbying activities. Be careful here to note the reporting periods as they can differ from the registration period. Some cities, such as Orlando, do not require the submission of a report if no expenses were incurred during the reporting period.
Also, be sure to note additional requirements such as meeting logs, lobbyist trainings, or registrations with subgroups of a municipality. For example, Miami-Dade County Publics Schools has its own registration requirement separate from Miami-Dade County.
Finally, whether you are registered with the state or a municipality, state statutes require quarterly disclosures of gifts to certain officials and employees. These reports include gifts valued at more than $25 given to officials or employees who file financial disclosures with the state; however, no such report is required if no reportable gifts were given. And, as always, please be sure any gift is permissible according to the relevant ethics rules.
For more information, be sure to check out the “Registration” and “Reports Required” sections of the Lobbying Compliance Laws online publication for Florida and its municipalities. If you have any questions, please feel free to learn more and contact us at www.stateandfed.com
August 4, 2022 •
By the time you’re reading this article, I would have assisted in organizing my 3rd Women in Government Relations (WGR) Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Summit, and my 2nd one serving as WGR’s DEI Committee Chair! One of the things […]
By the time you’re reading this article, I would have assisted in organizing my 3rd Women in Government Relations (WGR) Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) Summit, and my 2nd one serving as WGR’s DEI Committee Chair!
One of the things that I have enjoyed (among many) about helping to plan the Summit each year is the Resource Workbook that we provide (electronically thus far) to all DEI Summit attendees. This Workbook not only contains general information about the event, but it also includes a list of DEI resources (books, articles, toolkits, etc.) that WGR’s DEI Committee Members find invaluable! In addition to the various resources, the Workbook also contains reflection pages where DEI Summit attendees can jot down their thoughts, ideas, questions and challenges!
Successful DEI efforts require commitment, vulnerability, and authenticity – and it is a lifelong journey, there is no “one and done” effort or action in this space. As a result, you will likely: participate in sometimes uncomfortable conversations; stumble at times as you’re expanding your DEI knowledge; and learn new things about yourself as you’re beginning to learn new things about others!
I invite you to begin (or continue) developing your own DEI Resource Workbook! Jot down all of those great resources that have come your way and don’t be afraid to share all of this good stuff with others in your network! Allow yourself some space to also write down those thoughts, ideas, questions and challenges that I mentioned earlier – and don’t be afraid to open yourself to others… We are all on a continuous DEI learning journey, moving along one step at a time – together!
What are you doing today to help create change within your organization?
August 2, 2022 •
Good morning, Denver. The State and Federal Communications team flew to town yesterday and today we are setting up our booth. In fact, this is our 22nd year at NCSL…Would have been 23 had it not been for the pandemic. […]
Good morning, Denver. The State and Federal Communications team flew to town yesterday and today we are setting up our booth.
In fact, this is our 22nd year at NCSL…Would have been 23 had it not been for the pandemic. It is interesting how things have changed in the 22 years we have been at the conference.
State and Federal Communications considers the NCSL Legislative Summit as our #1 trade show to attend and we make sure our booth is inviting for our clients, and prospective clients, and friends. There really isn’t another conference like it. I am so impressed how bipartisan the programs are how well both parties work together for the states.
This year’s team includes Jean Cantrell, Rebecca South, Gamble Hayden, Jon Spontarelli, Anthony Didion along with my husband, John Chames, to build up our booth, attend sessions, welcome guests to our booth, catching up with our government relations friends from Washington State Relations Group (WASRG) and State Government Relations Group (SGAC), and attend a number of evening receptions.
Years ago…okay decades ago…State and Federal Communications also joined the NCSL Foundation and that has instrumental in meeting so many others not only in government affairs but also state legislators from all over the country.
It really isn’t too late to fly to Denver and register for the great programs, which include Kevin O’Leary—Mr. Wonderful—from Shark Tank along with Charlie Cook widely regarded as one of the nation’s leading authorities on U.S. elections and political trends. And if you are already in Denver stop by Booth 428 and we will “stateandfederalize” you.
Elizabeth Z. Bartz, @elizabethbartz
July 21, 2022 •
Meet Michael Beckett, Esq., Associate Director, Research Services! What are your areas of expertise? I direct the Research Department and oversee website content regarding lobbying, campaign finance, ethics and gifts, procurement, and pay-to-play. How long have you been with State […]
Meet Michael Beckett, Esq., Associate Director, Research Services!
What are your areas of expertise?
I direct the Research Department and oversee website content regarding lobbying, campaign finance, ethics and gifts, procurement, and pay-to-play.
How long have you been with State and Federal Communications?
I have been with the company for 10 years.
How do you help our clients?
Overseeing the content produced by the Research team allows me to provide high-level consulting on compliance-related matters for subscribers and clients. My experience allows me to provide in-depth analysis based on over a decade of keeping up with the latest developments in corporate compliance.
July 11, 2022 •
On July 4, 2022, America will celebrate 246 years of independence from Great Britain’s rule, as the Declaration of Independence was signed in 1776. This important document professed “…that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their […]
On July 4, 2022, America will celebrate 246 years of independence from Great Britain’s rule, as the Declaration of Independence was signed in 1776. This important document professed “…that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Fast forward to 2022, however, and it continues to be evident that not everyone is seen as being deserving of these basic human rights – calling into question the lack of equality that exists, particularly amongst underrepresented populations.
For these individuals, what equality looks like in the workplace can be especially challenging. For some, equality may mean having a fair opportunity to compete and apply for a desired position; for others, it may mean that they are not discriminated against based on any multitude of characteristics that make them the unique individuals whom they are. I would argue that equality in the workplace should include both of these things, in addition to other elements, such as: providing everyone with a safe and hostile-free working environment; allowing everyone to take advantage of opportunities for additional growth and professional development; and providing a space for all employees to come to work as their true, authentic selves. For me, this is equality in action – “walking the talk” as I like to say!
I invite you to think about what equality currently looks like in your own workplace? Are your company’s policies, procedures, and overall office culture conducive to an atmosphere that champions equality for all who work there? I hope the answer is Yes! If your organization, however, is not where it wants or needs to be, it may be time to take a step back and reassess its core mission and values – there may be some tough questions to answer, but in the end, the organization in its entirety will be better and stronger for it!
July 7, 2022 •
Question: I am hiring an outside lobbying firm soon. What sorts of compliance issues should I be watching for? Answer: You no doubt have a list of criteria you use when evaluating an outside firm’s ability to advocate for your […]
Question: I am hiring an outside lobbying firm soon. What sorts of compliance issues should I be watching for?
Answer: You no doubt have a list of criteria you use when evaluating an outside firm’s ability to advocate for your company, but there are other issues you should be looking for.
Many lobbyists are former government officials and staffers, which means they are likely subject to revolving door provisions. While those restrictions will have expired for the majority of lobbyists if there is a new hire at the firm they may still be subject to time or subject matter restrictions and unable to lobby on your behalf. Revolving door restrictions can be a general ban on any lobbying in that jurisdiction, a ban specific to a particular issue in which the former government employee was heavily involved, or a ban only on lobbying their former government agency. If your firm is recommending a lobbyist who recently left government employment, you will want to confirm the lobbyist has no restrictions that will affect their work.
You will also want to ensure the firm is properly filing required registrations and reports. This information is publicly available on state websites, so it is not difficult to determine if the firm is meeting its obligations. Look for reports that are past due and reports that were filed after the due date. This is especially critical if you are going to be relying on the firm to file your company’s principal reports for you.
Finally, search the state’s website for fines, penalties, and reprimands issued to the firm. Again, your company’s reputation, both with the public and with the government officials contacted, will be tied to the firm.
More information about these topics can be found in the Lobbying Compliance Guidebook on the State and Federal Communications subscriber website. Specifically, information regarding revolving door restrictions can be found in the Important Features of the Law section, report due date information can be found in the Reports Required section, and the Contact Information section has links to state ethics websites.
July 5, 2022 •
July 1, 2022 is the 29th anniversary of State and Federal Communications, Inc. Yes, 29 years! I wanted to see the percentage of small businesses who are still around for 29 years. What is the average age of small business […]
July 1, 2022 is the 29th anniversary of State and Federal Communications, Inc. Yes, 29 years!
I wanted to see the percentage of small businesses who are still around for 29 years. What is the average age of small business CEOs? What percentage of businesses succeed?
Let me just say we have outlasted the percentages. Most research talks about businesses around for only five years. I am far older than the average 44-year-old small business owner. Do you know 70% of small businesses fail after 10 years.
Enough of all that bad news.
The team at State and Federal Communications works together for our clients. That is the most important part of the work we do. We understand each of our clients have different needs and we work with them to help with compliance. Our website has grown and grown because we listen when our clients want additional reference information, want additional municipalities included, and adding additional countries to our growing International Guidebook.
There is a lot we need to do for the future. I am not getting any younger and I want to protect our work and our staff. So, what are we doing?
We are working together to find a new home in Akron when our lease expires in 2024 to be more efficient for the way we operate.
Our senior team will begin the EOS—Entrepreneurial Operating System—which integrates a complete set of simple tools and process to produce powerful business results.
And the largest is to plan to integrate an ESOP—employer stock ownership plan—which gives the staff ownership interest in the company.
There is a lot we need to do even before we start these programs…And we are up to the challenge. If there is something you would like to see us do, please reach out. We are open to your ideas.
Stay tuned…We will have a lot to share.
In the meantime, enjoy your summer. Please continue to be safe and protect yourself from COVID. #MaskUp
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.