November 13, 2023 •
Q: We recently hired a lobbyist that is coming to our company directly from spending a number of years as a Senate staffer. What restrictions should we be aware of as her new employer in terms of who she can […]
Q: We recently hired a lobbyist that is coming to our company directly from spending a number of years as a Senate staffer. What restrictions should we be aware of as her new employer in terms of who she can contact on the Hill?
A: Both the House and the Senate have post-employment restrictions for certain individuals leaving their employment on the Hill.
Importantly, the House and Senate ethics committees will discuss with the staffer prior to their departure the restrictions under which they must operate. That said, as her new employer, you should definitely be aware of what restrictions are applicable to her situation so neither the company nor she violates the rules. For the Senate, senior staff, defined as individuals whose annual salary is $130,500 or more, are subject to a one year Senate-wide ban. Essentially, senior staff leaving the Senate may not lobby the entire Senate for one year following their departure – this includes lobbying contact with personal, committee, and leadership offices. Staff making less than $130,500 a year are subject to a one-year ban from lobbying their particular office – whether personal, committee, or leadership office. The House restriction for senior staff is a one-year ban from lobbying the particular office for which the former staffer worked and there is no ban in the House for staffers making less than $130,500.
For more information about post-government restrictions in both the federal legislative and executive branch, please contact us directly.
November 2, 2023 •
I was a traditional student. You know I did what was expected of me. I graduated high school and went to college for a BA. Took a short-term job at an NPR station and realized if I needed to make […]
I was a traditional student. You know I did what was expected of me. I graduated high school and went to college for a BA. Took a short-term job at an NPR station and realized if I needed to make a change, I needed more education. I obtained an MA and went to work thinking I knew it all.
But you know I didn’t. Statistics was not my favorite class in graduate school so when I moved to DC, I took a class at the Department of Agriculture so I could try on my own time to learn more about it. After all these decades I really do not use statistics.
Again, for decades I sat at my desk running the company. In 2009, I read about the Public Affairs Council’s PAC Institute and applied for the 2010 class. It was amazing. We did not spend our time talking about how a bill becomes law, how to lobby, or how to be a perfect employee.
From the Council’s website, step outside the day-to-day challenges of your job. Focus on the broader issues shaping the business and political environments in which your organization operates.
The Public Affairs Institute combines a rigorous curriculum with small, carefully selected classes to provide participants with unmatched opportunities to learn directly from premier faculty. Speakers are issue experts from leading universities, think tanks, and the top levels of government.
The Institute’s three-year course of study ensures graduates gain an in-depth understanding of the pivotal issues in public affairs today. You will be immersed in an exceptional educational and networking environment renowned for its innovation and excellence.
The Institute curriculum is developed for public affairs executives by public affairs executives. Topics are chosen based on input from previous graduates about the challenges that they and their organizations face.
In 2010, State and Federal Communications sent the following to Institute and in January 2023, Gamble Hayden will be part of the freshman class.
Elizabeth Bartz—Class of 2012
Ren Koozer—Class of 2016
Jean Cantrell—Class of 2013
Rebecca South—Class of 2019
Joseph May—Class of 2023
As you prepare for your professional development look at this awesome program. If you have any specific questions, please contact me. I love promoting the PAC Institute. #AlwaysLearning
Elizabeth Z. Bartz @elizabethbartz
October 3, 2023 •
Earlier this year, our business development department started a quest to find colleagues, friends, clients, and officials to give a brief comment about reaching our 30th anniversary. Have you seen these videos? You can find them on the State and […]
Earlier this year, our business development department started a quest to find colleagues, friends, clients, and officials to give a brief comment about reaching our 30th anniversary. Have you seen these videos? You can find them on the State and Federal Communications website, www.stateandfed.com.
I did the first one and then every Wednesday at 2 pm, we introduce another great video. It started with Ohio Governor Michael DeWine, whom I have seen around conferences and other events in Ohio and DC. Now, does he remember me? I don’t know but his video is very much appreciated.
As are all the others. We have had—so far.
- The Exquisite Summit County Executive Ilene Shapiro
- Women in Government Relations President, Chatrane Birbal
- Owner of our fabulous Akron RubberDucks, Ken Babby
- The President of Girl Scouts of North East Ohio, Jane Christyson—who carries single-wrapped Girl Scout Cookies in her purse.
- The ever-calm Executive Director, Jeremy Lile, of Akron’s Heart to Heart Leadership
- My fellow Yiayia (Greek Grandmother) Para Jones who is also the President of Stark State College.
- Chief Executive Officer of National Conference of State Legislatures Tim Storey
- President and CEO of the Public Affairs Council Doug Pinkham—a fellow Ohioan from a long time ago.
- Current National Conference of State Legislatures President Brian Patrick Kennedy
- And from the first person I met at Kent State University in 1976, my BFF Judith Zimomra who has served the public without incident as the Chief of Staff for Cleveland Mayor Mike White and followed that up with a 20-year tenure as City Manager of Sanibel Island. She retired and moved BACK to Ohio and teaches at The Ohio State University John Glenn School of Public Affairs.
Can I tell you I have every opportunity to check the network and watch them all. I even get an email at the beginning of the week telling me who is being featured… And I still do not check it out. I am sure my husband would prefer I did that instead of spending my evenings on the Nordstrom and Talbot sites!!!
I absolutely love hearing from people who want to be a part of our 30th anniversary. I know there are more—in fact enough to even go into 2024. We are even waiting for Akron’s Presumptive Mayor Shammas Malik to be sworn in on January 1st to record his video.
What can I say? I am not perfect. There have been thousands of business decisions made that could have been better. However, I must be doing something right to still show up 30 years later to be a tax-paying Corporate Crusader for Compliance in Government Relations.
Thank you to everyone.
Elizabeth Z. Bartz @elizabethbartz
December 15, 2022 •
December is now upon us, and as everyone is in the midst of work, family and holiday season obligations, it is important to take some time this month to get into “PRO” mode in preparation for 2023. What is PRO […]
December is now upon us, and as everyone is in the midst of work, family and holiday season obligations, it is important to take some time this month to get into “PRO” mode in preparation for 2023. What is PRO mode, you ask? Well:
P is for Planning – December is a great time to take a look back at your planning strategies for this year and make some tweaks to get yourself ready for 2023! Do you typically put off work projects, travel plans or other things on your “to do” list until the very last minute, no doubt causing you stress and anxiety? Assess why this is the case and think about some ways that you might be able to improve your “tackling that list” timing!
R is for Reflecting – December is also a great time to begin reflecting upon the current year: What were your wins or significant accomplishments? What were your challenges? Who were the people this year whom were your greatest allies, and whom made the biggest impact on you? What are your goals for 2023?
O is for Organizing – Remember those goals for 2023 that’s now on your radar? December is a great time to start organizing to set yourself up for achieving those goals! Maybe you get yourself a new planner and some colorful pens for writing down your next steps? Or, maybe you begin decluttering your home or office space in preparation for the new year and a new outlook?!
As you prepare for 2023, don’t forget to also take the time to reach out to those in your circle and ask them how they plan to get into “PRO” mode for 2023? I wish you all a very happy and safe holiday season, and all the best for the coming year!
December 1, 2022 •
I am always looking for great folks to add to our State and Federal Communications community. I recently was aware that Joe Wasser was looking for a new opportunity. Joe has more than 24 years of business development experience in […]
I am always looking for great folks to add to our State and Federal Communications community. I recently was aware that Joe Wasser was looking for a new opportunity. Joe has more than 24 years of business development experience in the government relations and PAC industry. So I picked up the phone and called him.
Joe joined State and Federal Communications, Inc. in October as our new Senior Account Manager. He brings a wealth of experience and expertise in government relations and building relationships. I am thrilled he is on our team.
Prior to joining State and Federal Communications, Joe was one of the first employees of Capitol Hill Software which became Vocus before it was acquired by Cision. Joe was one of the most instrumental people in building the Vocus client base starting in 1997.
“I’m excited to work with my longtime friend Elizabeth and the team at State and Federal Communications,” said Wasser. “I know we can build upon the great work that has already been done and help the company grow.”
Joe will explore business development and new growth opportunities for State and Federal Communications including market assessment, and new and emerging industry potential.
When Joe started with Capitol Hill Software and Vocus, the products were sold as physical diskettes that were sent to clients. Similarly, State and Federal Communications sent out binders and guidebooks to clients and would regularly supplement them with additional pages.
While State and Federal Communications was modernizing the process of making compliance web-based, Joe and the Vocus teamwere doing the same thing to create one of the most widely used web-based filing tools for federal PACs. His experience adds great value to State and Federal Communications.
A life-long Maryland Terrapin, Joe is a big fan of Washington D.C. sports particularly the Washington Nationals. However, after getting a taste of a winning culture in the Cleveland Guardians, he has adopted the Guardians as a fan too.
Joe and his wife Suzanne live on the eastern shore of Maryland. They have two adult children and are delighted to be welcoming their first grandchild in January 2023.
If Joe knows you, he will be in contact with you. He is as much an extrovert as me and I already know he will be a great addition.
On behalf of the State and Federal Communications Family, we wish you and yours Happy Holidays and look forward to a busy 2023 in the states, federal government, municipalities, and international countries.
November 11, 2022 •
During this upcoming Thanksgiving Holiday, many family members and friends will gather around a dinner table, and right before they dig in for a scrumptious meal, they will profess at least one person, place, thing, and/or idea for which they […]
During this upcoming Thanksgiving Holiday, many family members and friends will gather around a dinner table, and right before they dig in for a scrumptious meal, they will profess at least one person, place, thing, and/or idea for which they are grateful. I ask, however, why we should wait for a particular time of the year to show (and acknowledge) gratitude?
I would argue that in an ideal world, gratitude would be just a routine part of everyone’s daily existence; no hidden agendas, just opportunities to recognize the life influences that support and challenge us, and that remind us that there is a greater good that exists when we take the time to stop and reflect! I would like to take the time now to proclaim that I am grateful for the following: my family and friends whom are treasured near and far; my employer and industry colleagues whom continue to inspire me every day; the clients, whom continue to trust us with their Federal, State, and International compliance needs; and for the many opportunities and life lessons that have come my way over the past 52 years – some were welcomed; others I raised an eyebrow to, but overall, each of these have made me the person I am today, and so for all of these, I am grateful!
I invite you to take a moment each day to acknowledge the persons, places, things, and ideas for which you are grateful — and, while you’re at it, take the time to also show some gratitude to others! It’ll bring a smile to your face (and hey, who doesn’t love a good smile?).
November 7, 2022 •
It was bound to end sooner or later … All those Zoom conferences ending and people meeting again in person. We already have 55 meetings on the calendar for 2023. 55 and if you do the math there are a […]
It was bound to end sooner or later … All those Zoom conferences ending and people meeting again in person. We already have 55 meetings on the calendar for 2023. 55 and if you do the math there are a few which will overlap.
The best part is I have a great staff to help attend these programs. This was particularly important because I was truly planning to fly between Women in Government in Orlando and National Association of Business PAC at The Breakers the very same week in November. That changed immediately when we brought on Joe Wasser, formerly with Cision, and he was a regular at the NABPAC conference. So, I will miss the beautiful Breakers but I will not have to fly back and forth, which really sounded ridiculous.
People ask why I travel so much. It is easy. More than half of my life is in Akron, Ohio and I can count on one hand the number of clients we have in this city. The choices were to either step up to the plate and attend the conferences with clients—and prospective clients—attending; or get a kiosk at Washington National Airport (DCA) and just live there.
Back to 2023, our schedule of conferences and events is updated on our website. Many folks ask us about specific conferences and those of us who attend are knowledgeable as to how working with stakeholders is important for the work we do at State and Federal Communications, Inc.
So, watch out 2023, I still do not pack efficiently, but I am always available and ready to see you out and about…Along with many of my team members.
On behalf of State and Federal Communications, we wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving and look forward to connecting with you in December.
October 24, 2022 •
Q: I am a registered lobbyist in Illinois and want to take an Illinois official out to dinner in order to garner goodwill. What do I need to know to ensure we are compliant? A: In Illinois, lobbyists reports must […]
Q: I am a registered lobbyist in Illinois and want to take an Illinois official out to dinner in order to garner goodwill. What do I need to know to ensure we are compliant?
A: In Illinois, lobbyists reports must itemize for each individual expenditure or transaction, including any expenditures made by a consultant in performing services for the lobbying entity. The report must include the name of the official for whose benefit each expenditure was made, the name of the client the expenditure was made on behalf of, the total amount of the expenditure, a description of the expenditure, the vendor to whom the expenditure was made, the date of the expenditure, and the subject matter of the lobbying activity, if any.
Lobby or lobbying is to communicate, including the soliciting of others to communicate with an official of the executive or legislative branch of state or local government for the ultimate purpose of influencing executive, legislative, or administrative action at the state, municipal, county, or township government level. In Illinois, influencing includes promoting goodwill. Additionally with the passage of Senate Bill 539 in 2021, lobbying on a local level, except in Chicago, requires registration and reporting with the state.
In order to comply with Illinois lobbying law, the dinner would need to be reported on the appropriate entity report. There are two notification requirements a lobbyist must make to an official. First, the official must be informed, in writing, at the time the expenditure is received by the official, that the expenditure is reportable, and the official will appear in the expenditure report. Second, within 30 days after a reporting deadline, a lobbyist must notify each official on whose behalf an expenditure was reported. The 30-day notification must include the name of the registered lobbyist, a description, the total amount, the date, and subject matter of the expenditure. Please note there is a $75 per person limit on meals. Additionally, because Illinois does not have a time or expenditure registration threshold, any other individuals attempting to influence the official will need to register as a lobbyist.
For more information, check out the “Reports Required” section of the Lobbying Compliance Laws online publication for Illinois. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have questions.
October 13, 2022 •
October, as with many of the months, recognizes several observances – one of which I just recently found out is National Mentoring Day (October 27th). This began me thinking about my own journey towards mentorship, which first began with me […]
October, as with many of the months, recognizes several observances – one of which I just recently found out is National Mentoring Day (October 27th). This began me thinking about my own journey towards mentorship, which first began with me loudly professing in my head that “I’m not sure I have the qualifications to be anyone’s mentor?”. Fast forward to today, and I have realized that not only do I have the qualifications, but there is a “plus” in that mentees themselves also bring something to the table!
Mentees (like their mentors) have unique work/life experiences and perspectives that make for the ultimate “teachable moments”, and just as your mentee may gain some valuable advice, a different outlook, or a great job lead, so too can you gain all of these things – and more! I have had the opportunity to participate in a few mentoring programs over the years, and they were wonderful experiences that culminated with great friendships being made which continue to blossom! Not to say that every mentor-mentee experience turns out to be a positive one, but more often than not, the reward that comes from mentorship is priceless!
So, I say to you – the next time you have an opportunity to be a mentor to someone, get out of your own head and seize the opportunity – you are definitely the mentor you were born to be!
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 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 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!
June 10, 2022 •
I have been thinking a lot lately about the term “allyship,” and what it truly means to me as I continue to move through my DEI journey. Does it mean calling out unfairness or injustice against another right when it […]
I have been thinking a lot lately about the term “allyship,” and what it truly means to me as I continue to move through my DEI journey. Does it mean calling out unfairness or injustice against another right when it occurs? Or does it mean advocating for not only your basic human and civil rights but also the rights of another — even though you may not always see eye-to-eye with them? I would argue that allyship encompasses both things (among many others), and so I challenge you (and myself) to consider how we “show up” for others each day?
Are we “showing up” for our family, friends, colleagues, members, and clients in ways that are both meaningful and authentic? If you are not quite where you would like to be in this allyship space (I know I am not!), that’s ok – we are all on a continuous path of learning, growing, and reflection, and there is always room to do and be better!
The next time you have an opportunity to “show up” meaningfully and authentically for someone, recognize and honor that as an opportunity to connect with and support another fellow human being! You may never know just how much of an impact you might have on them by showing that you are genuine, you are thoughtful, and you are a true ally!
What are you doing today to help create change within your organization?
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.
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.