December 30, 2010 •
We wish him all the best!
As we bid goodbye to 2010, we are also saying goodbye to Research Associate David Dobo, Esq. He is leaving to work for newly elected Congressman Jim Renacci.
Congressman-elect Renacci won the seat from Congressman John Boccieri who only had it for two years after Congressman Ralph Regula retired in 2008.
David came to State and Federal Communications after working as a District Aide for Congressman Regula. He is returning as a Constituent Service Representative for the 16th District. His past 15 months at the company have helped us increase the information posted on our website.
We will miss his knowledge on government history. We wish him all the best as he returns to a role that is in his DNA and that is helping people in Ohio.
December 30, 2010 •
Greetings from State and Federal Communications.
As everyone prepares to celebrate the New Year, I want to take this opportunity to offer a note of thanks.
We are thankful for the year that is done, and we look forward to a bright 2011.
We wish you a beautiful New Year.
President and CEO of State and Federal Communications, Inc.
December 29, 2010 •
In a continuing effort to better serve the needs of its clients, State and Federal Communications, Inc. is expanding coverage of laws and regulations for political contributions, lobbying, and procurement lobbying to more municipalities, regional governments, and governmental organizations.
State and Federal currently offers coverage for 187 municipalities, in addition to the 50 U.S. states, other U.S. jurisdictions, and Canada.
We have added six new jurisdictions for which our online clients will find comprehensive, timely, and accurate information that includes: complete calendar of reporting deadlines; critical statutory citations; extensive directories of contact information; summaries of each state law; detailed reference charts on goods and services contributions; highlights of every statute; copies of all required forms; and much more.
The new jurisdictions are:
- Bridgeport, CT
- Huntsville, AL
- Provo, UT
- Rockford, IL
- West Valley City, UT
- Winston-Salem, NC
The image of North America by Bosonic dressing on Wikipedia.
December 23, 2010 •
Our warmest wishes to all of you
Here at State and Federal Communications, we have many things for which we are thankful. As we begin to wrap up the day and go home, we would like to thank you for following Lobby Comply. We have had a great year and look forward to giving our very best service in 2011.
Health and happiness to you and your families in 2011.
From all of us at State and Federal Communications, we wish you Happy Holidays!
Photo of the wreath by Kevin Kahle on Wikipedia.
December 23, 2010 •
We found a new way to give back to the community.
State and Federal Communications, Inc. had a month-long gift wrapping fundraiser to benefit the United Way of Summit County. Promoted as “giving YOU the gift of time” employees in the building brought their unwrapped gifts to be expertly wrapped and returned ready to be put under the tree.
Packages of all sizes and shapes came through the doors and the elves tackled each corner to impress. Participants of the fundraiser made personal donations to the United Way. All donations were matched by State and Federal Communications and were forwarded to United Way.
December 17, 2010 •
Compliance Assistant Susan Stofka shares her thoughts about our Holiday Party.
On December 15, State and Federal Communications celebrated the season with an office holiday extravaganza! It began with an eclectic array of sushi, pulled pork, and brisket, and beverages and desserts to please any palate. Before long, though, the time for camaraderie was over and claws came out during the fast-paced treasure hunt and controversial Ethics Jeopardy, both of which pitted departments against each other in a quest for prizes.
All participants in the cubicle decorating contest received prizes for their efforts, and the winner was awarded first possession of what will become our traveling trophy—an authentic leg lamp, straight from “A Christmas Story” (which was filmed in our neighbor to the north, Cleveland, back in the ‘80’s). The day ended with the finals of our second annual Cornhole Tournament.
While we took the time to celebrate another successful year, State and Federal remained true to our philosophy of giving back and remembering it’s never all about us. For the second year in a row, our aforementioned activities were “pay-to-play,” with all non-perishable items collected going to the Greater Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank.
All of us at State and Federal Communications wish you and yours a safe and happy holiday season!
December 16, 2010 •
The attendees enjoyed a variety of informative break-out sessions which covered a number of topics including recent developments in lobbying and campaign finance regulation.
The President and CEO of State and Federal Communication, Inc., Elizabeth Bartz, together with research manager John Cozine and staff members: Jim Sedor, Joe May, Megan Huber, Sarah Gray, and David Dobo recently attended the 2010 Council on Government Ethics Laws (COGEL) conference in Washington, D.C. from December 5 to 8, 2010.
The attendees enjoyed a variety of informative break-out sessions which covered a number of topics including recent developments in lobbying and campaign finance regulation. The recent U.S. Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission loomed large at this year’s conference. Many of the panels covered the implications of the decision as it relates to federal and state campaign finance laws. Since the decision was announced in January of this year, many states have had to amend statutes which were partially or completely overturned by the ruling. It was interesting to see how representatives of the different jurisdictions explained their state’s or city’s legislative response to Citizens United. It was also interesting to see which of the dire predictions made by the media in the wake of the decision have come true and which have failed to manifest since the ruling was announced. Experts from the legal profession as well as the Federal Election Commission were on-hand to shed light on the fall-out from what may be the most important campaign finance legal decision of the decade.
On Tuesday, the attendees from State and Federal Communications met the other Ohio-based COGEL participants for lunch at the Westin Hotel on M Street. Tony Bledsoe, Legislative Inspector General for the Joint Legislative Ethics Committee and his assistant joined the table. Also, David Freel, Executive Director of the Ohio Ethics Commission and his senior deputies took the opportunity to break bread with their fellow Buckeyes. It’s something of a State and Federal Communications tradition to bring all the folks from back home together for a good meal and good fellowship. The next All-Ohio COGEL lunch will be held in December 2011 in an As-Yet-To-Be-Determined location somewhere in downtown Nashville, Tennessee.
December 16, 2010 •
Weatherhead 100 recognizes our company for achievement in 2010!
State and Federal Communications, Inc. was recently honored as one of Northeast Ohio’s fastest growing companies! Weatherhead 100, the organization offering the award, has a mission to be “a venue for encouraging the truest spirit of entrepreneurialism and rewarding those companies that serve as a beacon to all businesses in Northeast Ohio.” At a time of economic difficulties, we are thrilled to be one of the companies receiving this award.
On Tuesday, December 7, Weatherhead 100 held a black-tie gala event to honor the companies for their achievement. State and Federal Communications President and CEO Elizabeth Bartz was in attendance.
We would like to express our deep thanks to Elizabeth Bartz for her skilled leadership. We also thank all of our staff for their commitment, talent, and hard work in offering the highest quality of service to our clients. We believe these things are the keys to our growth and success.
December 10, 2010 •
Elizabeth Z. Bartz, President and CEO of State and Federal Communications, Inc. today introduced The Honorable Don Plusquellic, Mayor of Akron and The Honorable Russ Pry, Summit County Executive, at the Greater Akron Chamber’s 7th Annual Local Elected Officials Recognition Luncheon.
Elizabeth Bartz nominated Mayor Don Plusquellic for recognition as one of this year’s honorees. “Mayor Plusquellic has been an outstanding leader of our city, in our region, and as past President of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, in our nation. As a member of the business community, it was an honor to nominate Mayor Plusquellic for this richly deserved recognition. Together with Summit County Executive Russ Pry, we have an outstanding leadership team in our city and county,” said Elizabeth Bartz.
Mayor Plusquellic, Executive Russ Pry, Medina County Commissioner Stephen Hambley, and Portage County Engineer Michael Marozzi today joined the ranks of other local elected officials honored by the Greater Akron Chamber. The annual luncheon recognizes exemplary contributions to the advancement of the greater Akron area by removing the barriers to economic growth, streamlining government requirements for economic development, and pursuing creative and alternative funding for infrastructure development and enhancement. Each year the Greater Akron Chamber recognizes local elected officials in Summit, Medina, and Portage Counties for their commitment to economic growth and development as well as community improvement.
November 18, 2010 •
Plan to say hello at future events where State and Federal Communications will be attending and/or speaking regarding compliance issues.
November 20-23, 2010 – SGAC Leaders’ Policy Conference, Scottsdale, Arizona
November 30, 2010 – American League of Lobbyists Annual Meeting, Washington, D.C.
December 3 – 5, 2010 – CSG National Conference, Providence, Rhode Island
December 5-8, 2010 – 2010 COGEL Annual Meeting, Washington, D.C.
December 8-11, 2010 – NCSL Fall Forum, Phoenix, Arizona
December 14, 2010 – Women in Government Relations PACs, Politics and Grassroots Conference, Washington, D.C.
December 14, 2010 – SGAC Holiday Party, Washington, D.C.
January 9-13, 2011 – PAC Public Affairs Institute, Laguna Beach, California
November 15, 2010 •
Association of Capitol Reporters and Editors holds 2010 Conference and State and Federal was there!
Three of us from State and Federal Communications attended the Capitolbeat 2010 Conference in Phoenix, Arizona from November 11-13. When Ren Koozer, Jim Sedor, and I arrived, we were greeted by sunshine, palm trees, and seventy-five degree weather.
Capitolbeat is an organization for reporters and editors covering state and local governments. The conference this year offered 29 general and break-out sessions with topics ranging from the budget crisis in the states to redistricting in the state Legislatures and Congressional districts. There were amazing presenters from the Pew Center on the States, PBS Newshour, Moody’s Corporation, the Associated Press, the Census Bureau, and more. I did chin-ups on every word.
New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson was a highlighted speaker on Saturday morning. He spoke on immigration law, the implications of the recent elections, and the crucial role that journalists have in holding state and local governments accountable. Richardson appeared happy to be there and peppered his speech with jokes – and if we didn’t respond, he said, “That was supposed to be funny,” which got him the laughter he was seeking.
Capitolbeat 2010 gave us the chance to meet many journalists from around the country, and they had a chance to get to know State and Federal Communications as well. I don’t know where the conference will be next year, but you can be sure we’ll be there. We look forward to seeing all of our old and new friends next year.
October 28, 2010 •
It has become a tradition for State and Federal Communications to send a GOTV (Get Out the Vote) card each October.
It is our way of saying hello and thank you to our clients and friends across the country.
We have fun each year deciding where to gather for the photograph. This year, the staff had a treat when they rode the Akron trolley to the University of Akron.
We gathered at the Polymer Building, in front of the beautiful Dale Chihuly sculpture. How should we pose? Our instructions were to make one serious pose, and one fun pose.
So from all of us at State and Federal Communications, we wish you a healthy and prosperous year and say:
Exercise your right to vote! It is your personal opportunity to be heard across the nation!
Elizabeth Z. Bartz
President and CEO of State and Federal Communications, Inc.
Thank you to Akron Mayor Don Plusquellic for the use of the trolley and to the University of Akron President Luis Proenza for allowing us on campus for the photos.
September 17, 2010 •
We are celebrating a special anniversary!
An English proverb states, “A man is known by the company he keeps.” On Monday, September 13, State and Federal Communications, Inc. thanked News You Can Use Editor Jim Sedor for keeping company with us for ten years.
Almost the entire company walked or drove to Downtown Akron’s Bricco restaurant for a celebratory lunch. Also in attendance were Jim’s sister, Mary Ann LoBue, and her husband, Joe, who drove in from Mars, Pennsylvania for the occasion.
The meal was followed by a tribute to Jim by President and CEO Elizabeth Bartz, along with the presentation of a recognition book with photos and warm wishes from our staff. Everyone returned to the office to enjoy a beautiful and wonderfully chocolate cake.
In 2000, Elizabeth determined there was a need for governmental movers and shakers to know what was going on in the worlds of campaign finance, lobbying, and ethics, but there was no vehicle for that information to be provided in a timely manner. Then Jim Sedor walked through State and Federal’s doors. Since that day, Jim has taken the idea from a small, in-house proposition to what it is now, a piece that has virtually taken on a life of its own. For ten years, Jim Sedor has kept our clients—and our staff—on top of the accolades and escapades of elected officials throughout our country, and for a few hours, we took time to let him know how much we appreciate him.
As for the fact Jim is a great guy and deserving of the praise?
Well, that’s just icing on the cake.
September 16, 2010 •
In honor of the 10th anniversary of News You Can Use (NYCU), I interviewed its editor, Jim Sedor.
News You Can Use is a weekly digital news aggregation on the issues of campaign finance, lobbying, procurement, and government ethics. Every week Jim Sedor gathers between 80 and 100 articles, and every Friday morning NYCU is sent out to our subscribers.
Hi Jim! How did NYCU come about? How long have you been associated with it?
The idea for compiling a weekly review of what is happening across the country in ethics, campaign finance, and lobbying originated with Elizabeth Bartz. I came aboard in 2000 to implement what she wanted.
Elizabeth had found the company didn’t have a process to find important information that was out there in a timely way and was missing a lot of things that would affect the business.
When we started, it was just an in-house review of the most recent happenings – it had not even been christened “New You Can Use” yet (a name that Elizabeth also coined).
As it grew, we figured our clients would love to see – and needed to know – what we were finding, so we started sending NYCU out to them by e-mail.
Who is a typical NYCU reader? How does NYCU give them a “heads up” regarding campaign finance and lobbying news?
I don’t know if I can classify a typical reader – maybe someone who subscribes to our services and needs to know what is happening in their field – like lobbyists, campaign finance lawyers, companies that employ lobbyists and give money to candidates, or firms that compete for state contracts.
We often give readers the first word about specific changes in campaign finance or lobbying law in a given state or the federal level. Most of the time, we have been tracking those changes from the beginning and see them through to the end – articles on a bill’s introduction to its signing by the governor.
We also follow scandals closely because those are most often the trigger for reform and you can almost predict at the start of some corruption investigation that there will be changes ahead and it should be monitored. The whole issue of “pay-to-play” reform is an example.
After ten years of gathering news, do any stories stand out? Craziest? Most egregious? Biggest surprise?
I try not to be cynical, but sometimes I can’t help it. I’m not surprised by most stories of graft and quid pro quo deals and the like, although sometimes the sheer scope and audacity involved in a particular story catches my eye.
We had that recently here in Northeast Ohio when it seemed like the whole Cuyahoga County government was indicted for corruption that involved tens of millions of dollars in bribes and crooked contracts.
One case that stands out for sheer strangeness is Mark Sanford, the governor of South Carolina who said he was hiking on the Appalachian Trail, but was actually much further south – in Argentina visiting the woman he was having an affair with. Nobody knew where he was.
You have a lot of fun at COGEL Annual Conferences. Can you tell us what happened at one particular COGEL breakfast in Chicago, December 2008?
We were having breakfast at the conference when a person from the Illinois Executive Ethics Commission got a message on his Blackberry and excused himself. When he got back to the table, he said he had pressing business and had to leave – the governor of Illinois had just been arrested and “led away in handcuffs.” That turned out to be the day Rod Blagojevich was arrested.
Can you picture doing NYCU fifteen years ago, prior to the advent of on-line newspapers and super smart search engines?
It would be impossible to do NYCU without the Internet and be as comprehensive – we just couldn’t cover the whole country and really stay on top of things.
According to our tally, you have gathered 41,517 articles in the last 10 years for NYCU. How does that make you feel?
Tired. (Laughs) And it makes me feel like I need a vacation – I’ve been working too hard.
When you break it down like that, it really shows the vast amount of material that has been published on campaign finance, lobbying, and ethics.
I feel a sense of accomplishment – that I have been able to stay on top of this and get most of the important stories that have been out there. We don’t miss much.
It also shows these are issues that are of great importance to a lot of people and reporters will continue to churn out story after story.
Thank you, Jim! All the best to you for another wonderful 10 years!
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.