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Political Service Providers

Political services providers and lobbying firms provide the tools and know-how that enable organizations to implement their plans.  They provide strategic advice, manage voter-file databases, design and print literature and provide boots on the ground to knock on doors.  Managers of these entities must juggle the responsibilities of running a business with the compliance challenges posed by federal and state campaign finance laws.  Lobbying firms run grassroots and direct lobbying campaigns within a shifting terrain of lobbying reporting requirements and gift bans. 

Corporate Legal Advice

Political services providers require specialized advice that cuts across many areas of the law, including corporate structuring, employment law and political law.  We provide advice in all these areas for our political services provider clients.  Our attorneys help political services providers to establish limited liability companies and incorporate, draft operating and partnership agreements, and prepare contracts and leases.  We prepare employment policies and help negotiate employment contracts.  Additionally, we help political services providers and lobbying firms comply with state-specific reporting requirements.

Campaign Finance and Elections

Political service providers and lobbying firms face unique challenges in complying with state and federal campaign finance laws.  Their clients all want to exert maximum political leverage while spending the least amount of money possible, and the clients have a variety of legal structures, each subject to a different set of legal restrictions and each presenting a different set of opportunities for political influence. 

We have worked with a broad variety of consultants and lobbyists, and we have experience with the specific needs of each type of service provider: what disclaimers must be included on mailings sent in various state or federal races; rules for registering voters in different states; federal and state robocall restrictions; and limits or opportunities for using state voter files.  Our experience enables consultants to satisfy their clients with the fast, sophisticated service they demand.

When laws change – such as with the Supreme Court’s 2010 decision in Citizens United v. FEC – we help political service providers adapt quickly to help their clients comply with new restrictions and to take advantage of new opportunities. 

Lobbying, Foreign Agents Registration, and Government Ethics

Lobbying firms must pay careful attention to the ever-changing mosaic of registration and reporting requirements, lobbying restrictions and gift bans applicable to communications with Members of Congress, White House and other administration officials, Governors and state officeholders.  At the federal level, lobbyists face numerous restrictions and extensive reporting requirements, including disclosure of their campaign contributions.  In addition, the Obama Administration has imposed a ban on hiring lobbyists, causing some people to give a second thought to engaging in activities that would cause them to become a registered lobbyist, to protect their future employment opportunities.   Lobbyists, public relations professionals, consultants and others are required by the Foreign Agents Registration Act to file periodic disclosures of their activities if they conduct certain actions on behalf of a foreign entity.  By working with our lawyers to develop a compliance system and to examine complex situations, lobbying firms can engage in their business with confidence that they are not running afoul of lobbying laws – and they can give their clients the same peace of mind.

 

 

 

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