May 10, 2019 •

Greater Akron Chamber’s Empowering Women Luncheon Honors Female Leader

Business women in the Greater Akron Region gathered to honor Chief Meteorologist Betsy Kling at the Greater Akron Chamber’s Knowledgeable Network of Women (KNOW) Empowering Women Luncheon on May 8 at the Fairlawn Hilton. As WKYC-TV’s first female chief meteorologist […]

Business women in the Greater Akron Region gathered to honor Chief Meteorologist Betsy Kling at the Greater Akron Chamber’s Knowledgeable Network of Women (KNOW) Empowering Women Luncheon on May 8 at the Fairlawn Hilton.

As WKYC-TV’s first female chief meteorologist and creator of Channel 3’s Weather Education Day with the Cleveland Indians, Kling addressed the daily challenges professional women face in striving to manage work and family life.

Kling narrated her journey in building her career and emphasizing the importance of setting aside occasional personal time.

She said taking time for herself strengthens the way she is able to help those around her.

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May 10, 2019 •

News You Can Use Digest – May 10, 2019

News You Can Use

National/Federal A Lawsuit About Trump and the NRA Could Upend How the Government Polices Campaign Finance Mother Jones – Nihal Krishan | Published: 5/1/2019 A lawsuit involving the National Rifle Association (NRA) is poised to act as a major test for […]

National/Federal

A Lawsuit About Trump and the NRA Could Upend How the Government Polices Campaign Finance
Mother Jones – Nihal Krishan | Published: 5/1/2019

A lawsuit involving the National Rifle Association (NRA) is poised to act as a major test for the FEC chairperson’s new strategy to force the agency to take more aggressive action to police campaign finance law. Chairperson Ellen Weintraub’s recent statements make it clear she does not plan on voting to defend the FEC in any cases involving delays in action. If she follows through, it would result in the first instance of her utilizing a new strategy to effectively sabotage her own agency in order to enforce campaign finance law, a move that one former FEC lawyer termed the “nuclear option.” It is not exactly clear what will happen in court after Weintraub decides not to use legal resources to defend her agency, but it is likely a judge will force the FEC to act and consider investigating the NRA for potential campaign finance violations.

Biden Faces Dilemma Over K Street Allies
The Hill – Alex Gangitano | Published: 5/3/2019

Former Vice President Joe Biden’s strong support from K Street poses a tough dilemma for his campaign. The influence world is stocked with former aides and supporters who have rallied around his previous bids for president. In this cycle, though, those lobbyist ties, past fundraising from corporate interests, and perceptions that Biden is more favorable to businesses could hurt his bid for the Democratic nomination. Biden has quickly solidified his Democratic front-runner status and focused his attention on President Trump. His campaign has said he will not take money from lobbyists and corporate PACs, but that is unlikely to be enough for progressive groups in the primary who have larger concerns about the candidate.

Desperate Drive to Make the Debate Stage Shakes Dem Campaigns
Politico – Elena Schneider | Published: 5/6/2019

There is a desperate scramble by presidential candidates to make it past a new threshold set by the Democratic National Committee – 65,000 individual donors – to the first primary debates in June and July. The televised debates could be make-or-break showcases, and the requirement has reshaped the strategy of candidates struggling to cross the donor mark. Such is the importance of the debates that some presidential campaigns have decided to prioritize Facebook advertising over hiring staffers in early states. Others noted the rules prioritize chasing viral moments early in the campaign over building traditional vote-getting infrastructure in Iowa and New Hampshire. But defenders of the new rules say they have just forced campaigns to prove they can compete in the 21st century before the election year.

Donald Trump Jr. Is Subpoenaed to Testify to Senate Panel on Russia Contacts
New York Times – Mark Mazzetti and Maggie Haberman | Published: 5/8/2019

The Senate Intelligence Committee has subpoenaed Donald Trump Jr., who met with Russians in June 2016 after being promised political dirt about Hillary Clinton. He is the first of President Trump’s children to be subpoenaed in the continuing congressional investigations into Russia’s 2016 election interference, and the move by the Republican-led committee is a sign some members of the president’s party are not aligned with his desire for a swift end to all of the inquiries. The committee is particularly interested in Trump Jr.’s account of the events surrounding the Trump Tower meeting, as well as his role in his father’s efforts to build a skyscraper in Moscow and comparing the testimony to his previous answers to Senate investigators in 2017.

Driverless Car Industry Luring Federal Safety Brass
Politico – Tanya Snider | Published: 5/5/2019

Driverless car companies are racing to scoop up top federal safety officials to fill out their ranks of advisers and lobbyists, creating worries that the fledgling industry will use its newly acquired influence to shape the coming wave of government regulations. Companies like Uber, Lyft, General Motors and Google’s sibling Waymo have hired a phalanx of current and former Washington officials, including Obama administration Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, several highway regulators, and two former chairs of the National Transportation Safety Board, the federal agency that investigates deadly crashes. One notable exception from the trend of self-driving companies hiring federal safety officials is Tesla.

Driverless Car Industry Luring Federal Safety Brass
Politico – Tanya Snider | Published: 5/5/2019

Driverless car companies are racing to scoop up top federal safety officials to fill out their ranks of advisers and lobbyists, creating worries that the fledgling industry will use its newly acquired influence to shape the coming wave of government regulations. Companies like Uber, Lyft, General Motors and Google’s sibling Waymo have hired a phalanx of current and former Washington officials, including Obama administration Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, several highway regulators, and two former chairs of the National Transportation Safety Board, the federal agency that investigates deadly crashes. One notable exception from the trend of self-driving companies hiring federal safety officials is Tesla.

Driverless Car Industry Luring Federal Safety Brass
Politico – Tanya Snider | Published: 5/5/2019

Driverless car companies are racing to scoop up top federal safety officials to fill out their ranks of advisers and lobbyists, creating worries that the fledgling industry will use its newly acquired influence to shape the coming wave of government regulations. Companies like Uber, Lyft, General Motors and Google’s sibling Waymo have hired a phalanx of current and former Washington officials, including Obama administration Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, several highway regulators, and two former chairs of the National Transportation Safety Board, the federal agency that investigates deadly crashes. One notable exception from the trend of self-driving companies hiring federal safety officials is Tesla.

Drugmakers Will Have to Reveal Medication Prices in TV Ads
AP News – Ricardo Alonso-Saldivar | Published: 5/8/2019

Television ads for prescription drugs will soon reveal prices, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said, responding to a public outcry for government action to restrain medication costs. Azar said the Trump administration has finalized regulations that will require drug companies to disclose list prices of medications costing more than $35 for a month’s supply. Drug pricing details are expected to appear in text toward the end of commercials, when potential side effects are disclosed. The government is hoping that patients armed with prices will start discussing affordability with their doctors, and gradually that will put pressure on drug makers to keep costs in check.

F.B.I. Sent Investigator Posing as Assistant to Meet with Trump Aide in 2016
MSN – Adam Goldman, Michael Schmidt, and Mark Mazzetti (New York Times) | Published: 5/2/2019

The conversation at a London bar in September 2016 took a strange turn when the woman sitting across from George Papadopoulos, a Donald Trump campaign adviser, asked if the Trump campaign was working with Russia. The woman had set up the meeting to discuss foreign policy issues, but she was a government investigator posing as a research assistant. The FBI sent her to London as part of the counterintelligence inquiry opened that summer to better understand the Trump campaign’s links to Russia. The U.S. government’s affiliation with the woman is one previously unreported detail of an operation that has become a political flash point in the face of accusations by Trump and his allies that American law enforcement and intelligence officials spied on his campaign to undermine his electoral chances.

FDA Approves the First Vaccine for Dengue Fever, but with Major Restrictions
STAT – Helen Branswell | Published: 5/1/2019

The FDA approved the first vaccine against dengue fever, one that protects against a common disease but has generated significant controversy due to evidence it can increase the risk of severe infection in some people. The agency ruled that Dengvaxia can only be used in individuals aged nine to 16 living in parts of the U.S. where the dengue virus is endemic – in other words, where it circulates on an ongoing basis. Dengue is found only in Puerto Rico and a few other offshore territories and protectorates. Furthermore, the vaccine can only be given to children and teens who have had one previous laboratory-confirmed case of dengue. The various restrictions mean the U.S. market for the vaccine is smaller still than the already modest market Sanofi had sought. Still, the company said it was pleased by the FDA’s decision.

Foreign Agents Introduced Ukranian Politician to US Political Figures in Secretive Lobbying Arrangement
Center for Responsive Politics – Anna Massoglia | Published: 5/8/2018

New Foreign Agent Registration Act records reveal foreign agents and lobbyists on the payroll of Livingston Group, a lobbying firm run by former U.S. Rep. Bob Livingston, played a previously unreported role in former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko’s meetings with lawmakers during a December 2018 trip to Washington, D.C. That week, former U.S. Rep.-turned-lobbyist Bob McEwen also quietly introduced Tymoshenko to former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, President Trump’s attorney who joined Trump’s personal legal team amidst special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election. Giuliani is under scrutiny for his simultaneous “shadow lobbying” operations for foreign clients, including Ukrainian interests.

House Panel Approves Contempt for Barr After Trump Claims Privilege Over Full Mueller Report
MSN – Nicholas Fandos (New York Times) | Published: 5/8/2019

The House Judiciary Committee voted to recommend the House hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress for failing to turn over special counsel Robert Mueller’s unredacted report, hours after President Trump asserted executive privilege to shield the full report and underlying evidence from Congress. The committee’s vote, taken after hours of debate over the future of American democracy, was the first official House action to punish a government official in the standoff over the Mueller report. The Justice Department denounced the move as unnecessary and intended to stoke a fight. After the vote, Judiciary Committee Chairperson Jerrold Nadler swatted away questions about possible impeachment, but added, “We are now in a constitutional crisis.”

Lawmakers Seek to Curb Foreign Influence by Closing Online Political Ad Loopholes
Center for Responsive Politics – Carl Evers-Hillstrom | Published: 5/8/2019

Lawmakers introduced a bill meant to close digital political advertisement loopholes that enabled Russian actors to meddle in the 2016 presidential election. U.S. Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Lindsay Graham introduced the 2019 Honest Ads Act, which would mandate disclosure of those paying for online political ads and create a publicly available database of political ads that appear on major online platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. The bill would encourage major platforms to ensure that foreign entities are not buying political ads. It was introduced with the backing of several campaign finance watchdog groups.

Trump Endorsed a Super PAC Supporting Him – and Here’s Why That Might Not Be a Legal Problem
Washington Post – Michelle Ye Hee Lee | Published: 5/8/2019

President Trump publicly endorsed America First Action, a super PAC run by his allies that aims to raise millions of dollars to ensure his second term. Candidates and the independent super PACs that support them have increasingly found ways to work together without breaking laws barring outright coordination. But the Trump re-election campaign’s statement appeared to go further than any other. When it opened the door to super PACs with its Citizens United decision, the Supreme Court said unlimited donations for independent political spending could not be corrupting because it would not be coordinated with candidates. But Trump, advocates said, is taking advantage of a legal gray area that candidate committees and super PACs have used to stretch the legal boundaries of how much they can work in tandem with each other.

Trump Would Have Been Charged with Obstruction Were He Not President, Hundreds of Former Federal Prosecutors Assert
MSN – Matt Zapotosky (Washington Post) | Published: 5/6/2019

More than 370 former federal prosecutors who worked in Republican and Democratic administrations have signed on to a statement asserting special counsel Robert Mueller’s findings would have produced obstruction charges against President Trump, if not for the office he held. The statement, signed by myriad former career government employees as well as high-profile political appointees, offers a rebuttal to Attorney General William Barr’s determination that the evidence Mueller uncovered was “not sufficient” to establish Trump committed a crime. Mueller declined to say whether Trump should have been charged, citing a Justice Department legal opinion that sitting presidents cannot be indicted.

Trump’s Tweet Derails House Bill Opposed by Lobbyist with Close White House Ties
MSN – Mike DeBonis, Felicia Sonmez, and Josh Dawsey (Washington Post) | Published: 5/8/2019

President Trump helped derail a bipartisan casino bill opposed by a key White House ally. The intervention by Trump, contained in a morning tweet, eroded Republican support and prompted House Democrats to postpone a vote on the measure, which would pave the way for a new Massachusetts tribal casino. Opponents, including Rhode Island lawmakers, have argued the bill would harm the business of two neighboring casinos across the state line. A key Trump ally, American Conservative Union Chairperson Matthew Schlapp, is lobbying for Twin River Management Group, which operates both Rhode Island casinos. Schlapp’s wife is the White House strategic communications director. In a tweet that blindsided lawmakers of both parties, Trump urged Republicans to oppose the measure.

Watergate Had the Nixon Tapes. Mueller Had Annie Donaldson’s Notes.
MSN – Carol Leonnig (Washington Post) | Published: 5/3/2019

The notes scribbled on a legal pad captured the fear inside the White House when President Trump raged over the Russia investigation and decreed that he was firing the FBI director who led it. The angst-filled entry is part of a shorthand diary that chronicled the chaotic days in Trump’s West Wing, a trove the special counsel report cited more than 65 times as part of the evidence the president sought to blunt a criminal investigation bearing down on him. The scribe keeping track of Trump’s actions was Annie Donaldson, then-White House Counsel Don McGahn’s chief of staff, who figures in Robert Mueller report as one of the most important narrators of internal White House turmoil. Her daily habit of documenting conversations and meetings provided the special counsel’s office with its version of President Nixon’s tapes.

White House Imposes New Rules on Reporters’ Credentials, Raising Concerns About Access
MSN – Paul Farhi (Washington Post) | Published: 5/8/2019

The White House implemented new rules it says will cut down on the number of journalists holding “hard” passes, the credentials that allow reporters and technicians to enter the grounds without seeking daily permission. The new policy has been met with some confusion and even worry among journalists, some of whom suspect the aim is to keep critics in the press away from the White House and President Trump. Journalists will qualify to renew their hard passes only if they have entered the White House grounds at least 50 percent of the time in the 180 days before renewal. A nonrenewal does not preclude journalists from entering the White House entirely, but it does subject them to a more cumbersome process.

From the States and Municipalities

Florida Florida Legislators Agree to Limit Felons’ Voting Rights. Critics Call It a New Poll Tax.
Washington Post – Amy Gardner | Published: 5/5/2019

The largest expansion of voting eligibility in the country since the elimination of poll taxes and literacy tests in the 1960s suffered a setback when Republican legislators in Florida voted to limit the scope of a new constitutional amendment restoring voting rights to most convicted felons. The measure, which would require felons to pay all court-ordered fines, fees, and restitution before their eligibility to vote is restored, quickly drew accusations of voter suppression. Supporters of what is known in Florida as Amendment 4 said the law effectively reinstitutes a poll tax by requiring felons to satisfy financial obligations before they can vote again.

Georgia A Mayor Reportedly Said Her City Isn’t Ready for Black Leader. A Council Member Went Further.
Washington Post – Michael Price-Saddler | Published: 5/7/2019

Hoschton Mayor Theresa Kenerly is facing calls to resign following reports she dismissed a candidate for a top city position based on his race. Racist remarks from one of her defenders further inflamed the controversy, revealing what some say are outdated racial attitudes long pervasive in a small, predominantly white city in Georgia. It was reported that Kenerly withdrew the application of Keith Henry for city administrator, “because he is black, and the city isn’t ready for this.” Councilperson Jim Cleveland defended the mayor then delivered an unprompted opinion on interracial marriage. “I have black friends, I hired black people. But when it comes to all this stuff you see on TV, when you see blacks and whites together, it makes my blood boil because that’s just not the way a Christian is supposed to live,” Cleveland said.

Indiana Casino Company Turned to State Lawmaker for Title Work. He Voted for Massive Gaming Bill.
Indianapolis Star – Tony Cook and Kaitlin Lange | Published: 5/2/2019

When gaming company Spectacle Entertainment bought two casinos in Gary last year, it turned to a state representative for title insurance and closing services. That same lawmaker, Indiana Rep. Jerry Torr, then voted in favor of legislation that could allow Spectacle to move those casinos to new, more lucrative locations in the state. The business ties are the latest to raise questions about Spectacle and its possible attempts to influence elected officials at the statehouse. The company also paid for at least two private jet flights for Gov. Eric Holcomb and one of Spectacle’s principal investors arranged a contract for House Speaker Brian Bosma last year with Vigo County.

Kentucky ‘He Is a Whiny, Off-Topic Social Media Troll.’ Why Bevin Banned Critics on Social Media.
Lexington Herald-Leader – John Cheves | Published: 5/1/2019

Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin has banned almost 3,000 people from his Facebook and Twitter accounts, sometimes reading negative comments online in the middle of the night and directing his communications staff to act against his critics. Among the keywords Bevin’s office uses to flag Facebook posts for possible deletion and banning are dictator, weirdo, crook, jerk, narcissist, nimrod, and hypocrite, according to documents produced by the state. According to screen shots of their comments recorded by Bevin’s staff, all have been critical of the governor or his policies at some point since he took office three years ago. A lawsuit alleges Bevin’s policy of banning individuals from state-run social media forums constitutes an unlawful prior restraint on speech.

Maryland Baltimore Mayor Pugh Resigns After Month on Leave Amid Investigation into Her Business Deals
MSN – Ian Duncan, Jean Marbella, and Luke Broadwater (Baltimore Sun) | Published: 5/2/2019

Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh resigned, ending her tenure that unraveled amid a scandal over payments for a self-published children’s book series she sold to customers including a $4 billion hospital network she once helped oversee and companies with business before the city. FBI and IRS agents had searched her City Hall offices, homes, and other locations. Pugh came to office contrasting her clean image with her main opponent, Mayor Sheila Dixon, who was forced to resign in 2010 as part of a plea deal for misappropriating about $500 in gift cards meant for needy families. A federal grand jury has been empaneled and state and local inquiries are also underway into the roughly $800,000 Pugh made over the years in exchange for her “Healthy Holly” paperbacks about health and nutrition

Michigan Unlike the Rest of America, Michigan Lawmakers’ Personal Finances Are a Secret
MLive.com – Lauren Gibbons and Taylor DesOrmeau | Published: 5/6/2019

Michigan is one of two states – and the only one with a full-time Legislature – with no requirement for public officials to disclose basic financial information, including income sources, business investments, gifts, and travel compensation. Without any legal requirement on financial disclosures, Michigan residents only know about potential conflicts-of-interest if their lawmakers choose to reveal them. The lack of financial disclosure requirements is one?of the biggest?reasons?Michigan ranked last in a survey that rated each state’s transparency laws.?Potential conflicts or corruption in the state “remain buried in an honor system with no honor,” the?report concluded. Not much has changed in the past four years.

Mississippi How Mississippi Lawmakers Quietly Funnel Millions of Education Dollars to Pet Vendors
Jackson Clarion-Ledger – Bracey Harris and Giacomo Bologna | Published: 5/8/2019

Top Mississippi lawmakers carve out millions of dollars for handpicked education vendors and pet projects each year, bypassing state bid laws and steering money to companies that know the right people or hire the right lobbyists. A Jackson Clarion Ledger analysis of education appropriations for the last four years uncovered millions of dollars in earmarks for select vendors, most of them represented by three lobbying firms. In at least four cases, key lawmakers received campaign contributions from vendors who received those earmarks.

New Hampshire What Counts as a Campaign Expense? For Some Lawmakers, It Includes Flowers and Dry Cleaning
New Hampshire Public Radio – Casey McDermott | Published: 5/6/2019

Candidates running for office in New Hampshire can run up a tab on all kinds of expenses: lawn signs, postage, snacks for fundraisers, advertising, and more. But some lawmakers lean on campaign donations to cover other, less obvious expenses that pile up on the campaign trail, or even while they are in office, things like car repairs, dry cleaning bills, and floral arrangements. The state’s campaign finance laws provide little guidance on what counts as a legal campaign expense, but an effort under way at the Legislature would take a step toward more explicitly acknowledging the personal costs that can come with public service. It has prompted a debate over where candidates should draw the line between personal and political expenses on the campaign trail.

New Mexico Padilla Claims AG Concealed Recording Device in Coffeepot
Albuquerque Journal – Dan Boyd | Published: 5/2/2019

Former New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Secretary Demesia Padilla is asking a judge to dismiss public corruption charges against her, claiming investigators in Attorney General Hector Balderas’ office violated her due process rights by secretly recording a conversation with her attorney – via a coffeepot outfitted with a recording device – before she was arrested in December 2016. But the attorney general’s office denies surreptitiously listening in on Padilla’s privileged chat, saying the coffeepot recording device, which was on loan from the Albuquerque Police Department, stopped recording while she was talking with her attorney.

New York For Years, Top NY Lobbying Firm Went Unpaid for Campaign Work
Albany Times Union – Chris Bragg | Published: 5/7/2019

The lobbying firm Patrick B. Jenkins and Associates offers paid, professional campaign fundraising services for candidates, even as the firm lobbies members of the New York Legislature. But it has gone unpaid for months or even years in its political and fundraising work on behalf of the several state Assembly members, work that is worth tens-of-thousands of dollars. Sources said fundraising work included Patrick B. Jenkins and Associates soliciting campaign donations from its long roster of lobbying clients during the 2019 budget season. Under the state’s gift law, registered lobbyists such as Patrick Jenkins are prohibited from giving a gift of more than “nominal” value – $15 – to a public official, if it can be reasonably presumed the gift is meant to influence the official.

Ohio Federal Judges Declare Ohio Congressional Map Unconstitutional
Washington Post – Robert Barnes | Published: 5/3/2019

A panel of federal judges declared Ohio’s congressional map unconstitutional, adding to a growing number of states where partisan gerrymandering has been outlawed. That decision and a similar one in Michigan could be seen as signals from the lower courts to their superiors. The U.S. Supreme Court is deciding whether judges even have a role in such disputes. While the high court regularly polices redistricting plans for racial gerrymandering, it has never found lawmakers’ partisan efforts to preserve power so extreme that their actions violate the constitutional rights of voters. But with the ruling in Ohio, federal courts in five states have struck down maps as partisan gerrymanders. The decisions will either guide the Supreme Court to find there is a way for judges to identify extreme partisanship or make the rulings short-lived.

Oklahoma Donations to Lawmakers Keep Flowing Even as They Vote on Bills
Oklahoma Watch – Trevor Brown | Published: 5/6/2019

Since November 6, donors have given more than $1.7 million to sitting lawmakers and top state leaders in Oklahoma, with about 20 percent donated while the Legislature has been in session. The amount will likely climb because of fundraising in the second half of the session, a total that will not be disclosed until second-quarter campaign finance reports are filed by the end of July. Campaign finance reform advocates say even though these types of donations are allowable under state law, they are troubling because they raise serious conflict-of-interest issues for public officials.

Pennsylvania Dark Money Under Spotlight as Campaign Finance Law Changes Right Before Philly Primary
Philadelphia Inquirer – Julia Terruso and Chris Brennan | Published: 5/2/2019

Philadelphia 3.0, an independent PAC, has circulated thousands of fliers supporting Jamie Gauthier for city council and accusing incumbent Jannie Blackwell of being too cozy with developers. But the group’s support has proved somewhat polarizing in the race. The lasting backlash against 3.0 has been that it doesn’t legally have to publicly identify many of its donors. In 2015 it spent more than $500,000 on council races but kept secret the origin of seven out of every 10 dollars transferred from its nonprofit. A change to the city’s campaign finance law that is now in effect aims to make sure anyone who pays for political communications is named. The new law requires PACs like 3.0 to disclose all donors who contribute to political activity that costs more than $5,000, whether the funding originated from a nonprofit or a PAC.

Tennessee Cocaine, Racy Texts and a Potentially Fraudulent Email: A week of chaos roils one statehouse
Washington Post – Eli Rosenberg | Published: 5/9/2019

Tennessee House Speaker Glen Casada’s chief of staff, Cade Cothren, resigned amid reports he solicited sex in text messages to interns and lobbyists and used illegal drugs in the legislative office building. Cothren also faced scrutiny over racist text messages. His resignation came hours after a news article said Cothren allegedly solicited sex and nude photographs from an intern, sought sex with a lobbyist, and suggested he would make sexual advances toward another intern. Casada’s participation in some of the text messages has kicked off calls for his resignation. The messy political drama is another chapter in the long-running discussion about the treatment of women in the halls of power, in this case the statehouse.

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February 26, 2019 •

State & Federal Communications Sponsors Harvest for Hunger Campaign Breakfast

State & Federal Communications was a proud platinum sponsor of the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank’s annual Harvest for Hunger Campaign Kick-off Breakfast at the John S. Knight Center on February 26. Harvest for Hunger, the Foodbank’s largest fundraising campaign, helps support […]

State & Federal Communications was a proud platinum sponsor of the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank’s annual Harvest for Hunger Campaign Kick-off Breakfast at the John S. Knight Center on February 26.

Harvest for Hunger, the Foodbank’s largest fundraising campaign, helps support food distribution across 21 counties in Northeast Ohio.

President & CEO Dan Flowers of the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank said the organization’s 2019 goal is to provide more than 5.3 million meals to neighbors in need.

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October 25, 2018 •

We Are for the Child

The CASA Board Volunteer Association of Summit County held its annual fundraiser, “I Am for the Child” breakfast on October 25, 2018. The CASA/GAL (Court Appointed Special Advocates/Guardian ad Litem) Program of Summit County is a trained community of volunteers […]

The CASA Board Volunteer Association of Summit County held its annual fundraiser, “I Am for the Child” breakfast on October 25, 2018. The CASA/GAL (Court Appointed Special Advocates/Guardian ad Litem) Program of Summit County is a trained community of volunteers appointed by a judge to represent the best interest of an abused or neglected child in court. State and Federal Communications was proud to be one of the sponsors.

State and Federal Communications’ very own Research Manager Michael Beckett has been serving as chairman of the CASA Board. Beckett led the breakfast event with the compelling story of the many children in Summit County who need the services of CASA. This year’s focus was on the shocking problem of human trafficking in our own community.

“We had a great morning celebrating Signet’s David Bouffard as the 2018 Kannel Child Advocate of the Year and learning about how we can help victims of human trafficking here in Summit County. The immediate goal of the CASA/GAL Program is to provide each child victim of abuse and neglect with a trained CASA volunteer,” said Beckett.  “Thank you to Elizabeth Bartz and State and Federal Communications for facilitating and supporting my involvement with the CASA Board.”

Thank you, Michael Beckett and all of the CASA volunteers for the terrific work you are doing for the children of Summit County!

Pictured: State and Federal Research Manager Michael Beckett and President and CEO Elizabeth Z. Bartz

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October 25, 2018 •

Come and Get Your Donuts and Apple Cider!

On Wednesday, October 31, State and Federal Communications is hosting its Ninth Annual Halloween Donuts and Cider Sale. All sales will go directly to the United Way of Summit County. Drop in and say hello from 8:30 to 11:00 a.m. […]

On Wednesday, October 31, State and Federal Communications is hosting its Ninth Annual Halloween Donuts and Cider Sale. All sales will go directly to the United Way of Summit County.

Drop in and say hello from 8:30 to 11:00 a.m. and enjoy a delicious treat, or take some of these goodies to your office! We’ll be in the lobby of 80 South Summit St. in Downtown Akron, across from Quaker Square.

The Krispy Kreme regular and chocolate donuts are $1.00 per donut or $7.00 per dozen. The apple cider will be $1.00 per cup or $8.00 per gallon.

To reserve your donuts, you can email Joe May at jmay@stateandfed.com, or call us at 330-761-9960.

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July 23, 2018 •

Team Intern Visits the Akron Art Museum

On July 19th, State and Federal Communications’ Team Intern had the wonderful opportunity to take a tour of the Akron Art Museum! The Akron Art Museum is just a short walk away from the State and Federal Akron office and […]

On July 19th, State and Federal Communications’ Team Intern had the wonderful opportunity to take a tour of the Akron Art Museum! The Akron Art Museum is just a short walk away from the State and Federal Akron office and features free admission to the public on Thursdays. State and Federal is a supporter of the Museum, which means that all staff is welcome to visit free of charge whenever they please!

The interns were led on a guided tour by Development Officer Sarah Vernosky and Senior Development Officer Jenee Garlando through the whole museum. To open, they talked to the interns about the actual building and its many unique features. The new addition to the museum was completed in 2007, but careful planning began in 1998. The old building remains, but the new addition was expertly constructed to complement its historic elements. Consisting of mostly glass, concrete, and metal elements, the new addition takes on a very modern look in downtown Akron. The interns were then led through the old gallery which consisted of more of the museum’s traditional artwork. The interns gained a new appreciation for the deep meaning and history behind the artwork as the tour continued.

The new gallery features 16-foot walls which allow for virtually any work of art to be featured. The interns learned about several different pieces of art that the museum keeps in their permanent collection.

Perhaps the most fascinating work to learn about was artist Chuck Close’s “Linda”. The interns learned that Chuck Close worked by first photographing his subjects up close and then working in a printer-like fashion by layering the colors individually.

To end their time at the museum, the interns walked through the Bud and Susie Rogers Garden. The garden features a large open space that the museum uses to host summer concerts and family movie nights.

Team intern had a wonderful time at the Akron Art Museum, and are grateful for the opportunity to learn more about Akron’s deep appreciation for the arts.

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July 9, 2018 •

FREE White Paper: Understanding Pay-to-Play: Laws, Lessons, and Best Compliance Practices

State and Federal Communications has prepared a new white paper with a comprehensive examination of pay-to-play laws and the characteristics of an effective pay-to-play compliance program. This white paper is useful for politically active business entities who have, or are […]

State and Federal Communications has prepared a new white paper with a comprehensive examination of pay-to-play laws and the characteristics of an effective pay-to-play compliance program.

This white paper is useful for politically active business entities who have, or are seeking, to obtain government contracts amid the complex regulatory scheme of pay-to-play laws.

A strong pay-to-play compliance program can mitigate your risks and facilitate a smooth procurement experience that stays within the boundaries of all regulations.

Have you ever asked:

  • Is quid pro quo considered bribery in exchange for a specific contract?
  • To whom may we contribute?
  • What should we be aware of while negotiating a contract?

This white paper includes:

  • Pay-to-play categorization: focus on restriction, disqualification, or disclosure
  • How and why to implement best practices for making contributions
  • Recent trends in ethical business contributions and procurement laws

If you are attempting to obtain a local or state contract, this free white paper is a must-read.

Click here for downloading instructions – and ensure you and your team can say “I Comply!”

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July 3, 2018 •

WKSU Morning Edition Shout Out!

Did you miss Amanda Rabinowitz from 89.7 WKSU congratulate Elizabeth Bartz and State and Federal Communications on our 25th anniversary on Morning Edition? Don’t worry, we’ve got it for you right here!  

Did you miss Amanda Rabinowitz from 89.7 WKSU congratulate Elizabeth Bartz and State and Federal Communications on our 25th anniversary on Morning Edition? Don’t worry, we’ve got it for you right here!

 

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June 27, 2018 •

Team Intern: Peter Keares

Peter is originally from Pennsylvania and moved to the Greater Cleveland area almost ten years ago. He received his Associate’s Degree in Graphic Design from Cuyahoga Community College this past December, and is transferring to the University of Akron this […]

Peter is originally from Pennsylvania and moved to the Greater Cleveland area almost ten years ago. He received his Associate’s Degree in Graphic Design from Cuyahoga Community College this past December, and is transferring to the University of Akron this coming Fall to continue his studies.

To Peter, designing for and branding a company, organization or individual is more than creating art, but communicating who the company is and what they stand for in a visual form.

Growing up, Peter has always been (and still is) very involved in the life of his church and its youth groups’ activities. He enjoys listening to all sorts of music, binging on Netflix and hanging out with friends.

Peter also enjoys traveling and exploring new places. He has already been to Greece numerous times, as well as Cyprus, Turkey, Israel and Mexico. He is an avid NBA and Cavs fan, who hopes to see another championship banner in the rafters of the Q in the near future!

From this internship Peter hopes to learn new skills in fields other than graphic design, and he hopes to gain experience in networking. Establishing connections in person and via social media is very important, as it could open many doors and opportunities for yourself!

Peter looks forward to continue working alongside some great people at State and Federal Communications.

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June 26, 2018 •

Team Intern: Kayliegh Crumb

Kayliegh Crumb is a junior at Kent State University majoring in journalism with a double minor in political science and economics. She expects to graduate in the spring of 2020. Kayliegh was always interested in public speaking growing up. She […]

Kayliegh Crumb is a junior at Kent State University majoring in journalism with a double minor in political science and economics. She expects to graduate in the spring of 2020.

Kayliegh was always interested in public speaking growing up. She first started public speaking when she competed in Destination Imagination as a fourth grader. Now, she uses the skills learned from Destination Imagination in her broadcasting career. She has been a correspondent, weather anchor and assistant producer at TV2, the Kent State University news station.

She believes amazing communications skills are necessary in any field. No matter the career, you must properly read nonverbal cues and present your information effectively.

She loves watching cheesy rom-coms, spending time with her family or friends and traveling.

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June 25, 2018 •

Team Intern: Greta Conley

Hello! My name is Greta Conley, and I’m an intern at State and Federal Communications. I am going to be a sophomore at the University of Akron, and I’m studying graphic design. For as long as I can remember, I’ve […]

Hello! My name is Greta Conley, and I’m an intern at State and Federal Communications. I am going to be a sophomore at the University of Akron, and I’m studying graphic design.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always had a passion for art and using creativity. I love typography, hand lettering and painting. I couldn’t imagine my life without these creative aspects, so majoring in graphic design was a clear choice because it gives me the skills to turn that into a career.

When I learned about the internship at State and Federal communications, I was immediately interested because it seemed like an amazing opportunity to sharpen my skills and grow in new ones. So far in my internship, I have loved getting to know more about how a business operates and how a graphic designer can fit into that as well as getting the ability to expand my network.

After I graduate college, I would like to pursue a job as a graphic designer with a focus on company identity and branding or package design. Everything I have learned here will carry through to help me in my education and career beyond just this summer.

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June 7, 2018 •

SFC’s Team Intern Visits the Goodyear Blimp!

On June 6th, State and Federal Communications’ Team Intern had a chance to visit the newest addition to the Goodyear blimp fleet. Upon arrival interns were split into two groups: one group would listen to the public relations speech first […]

On June 6th, State and Federal Communications’ Team Intern had a chance to visit the newest addition to the Goodyear blimp fleet. Upon arrival interns were split into two groups: one group would listen to the public relations speech first and the other would get a tour of the blimp hangar and photo gallery first, then they would switch.

During the public relations presentation, the speaker explained the blimp’s long history and how its purpose is split into three unique categories. The blimp is used to engage, spotlight, and reward.

The Goodyear Blimp is very recognizable, making it easy for it to engage with anyone who sees it in the sky.

It is also used to spotlight certain charities, events, or anniversaries. For example, the Goodyear Blimp was flown to a small tire store to mark its 45th anniversary of selling Goodyear tires.

Finally, the blimp has been involved in many rewarding opportunities, Goodyear once teamed up with NASCAR to give one veteran a huge surprise. They had informed the veteran he was getting a once in a lifetime ride in the Goodyear blimp but did not mention his favorite race car driver, Dale Earnhardt Jr., would be dressed like a pilot inside waiting to surprise him.

The tour of the Goodyear Blimp hangar was next. Walking into the hangar was truly an experience, the sheer size of the blimp was beyond impressive. The new blimp was in the process of being built, so it was hanging from the ceiling as the crew continued to build and add the final components. It is the third blimp of Goodyear’s newest fleet. One of the blimp’s pilots said it will take two days to fill the blimp with enough helium to float and extra couple days to purify it. After it is built and filled, it will finally be ready for its first flight.

This experience was not only interesting but also benefited the interns. It allowed us to get out into the community and meet other professionals as well as gain a deeper understanding and appreciation for the local culture.

Photo of the newest addition to the Goodyear Blimp Fleet by Peter Keares

Photo from side of Goodyear Blimp by Peter Keares

New Blimp Gondola by Greta Conley

Retired Blimp Gondola by Sam Waller

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June 4, 2018 •

Celebrating our Silver Anniversary

You can consider this Silver Anniversary—Part One. On July 1st, State and Federal Communications, Inc. will celebrate its 25th anniversary. WOW! That is a long, long time and I have been here every minute of it. We are going to […]

You can consider this Silver Anniversary—Part One. On July 1st, State and Federal Communications, Inc. will celebrate its 25th anniversary. WOW! That is a long, long time and I have been here every minute of it.

We are going to take the opportunity to celebrate this event in Akron, Ohio and in Washington, DC and I hope you can all join us.

Feel free to respond to this email and I will make sure you receive an invitation. We are looking forward to opening our doors to all of our clients and friends around the country.

Thank you…Thank you for always relying on our quality services and knowing we are here to make sure government affairs world a lot easier.

Looking forward to seeing you soon.

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May 2, 2018 •

Our April Scrapbook

Check out some photos from a busy April at State and Federal Communications! Staff Anniversaries:

Check out some photos from a busy April at State and Federal Communications!

For the third consecutive year, State and Federal Communications, Inc. has sponsored the Ohio Cherry Blossom Princess for the National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, D.C. This year, Ohio State University student, Abeeha Shamshad, represents the buckeye state.

Congratulations, Elizabeth Bartz, on receiving the 2018 Fran Richardson/Founders Award for significant contributions to the Washington Program in National Issues.

State and Federal Communications was gladly in attendance at the 2018 YouToo Social Media Conference held at Kent State University.

Staff Anniversaries:

Adrienne Borgstahl, Research Associate, 2 Years

Amber Fish Linke, Director of Operations, 13 Years

Becky Campbell, Compliance Assistant, 7 Years

Sarah Gray, Compliance Assistant Coordinator, 9 Years

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