Democracy and Politics in the United States

Political leaders rarely campaign for office on a platform of government effectiveness. For some, that platform fails to capture both their imagination and, they suspect, the imagination of their constituents. For others, tackling the bureaucracy is perceived as high risk and low reward compared with passing laws in the legislature. Yet few succeed without achieving some reform. Many departing presidents, prime ministers, and cabinet secretaries reflect on how the engine of government itself was at the heart of their successes or failures. To truly transform government requires fresh thinking and a substantial investment of both resources and political capital: business-as-usual or modest or occasional improvement is inadequate. Those officials who have achieved sustainable and significantly higher levels of government performance did so by explicitly designing and executing multi-year reforms that push beyond everyday initiatives designed to improve management capability.

Economic Policy Circles in Washington

Increasingly, business leaders are coming to understand that to sustain long-term success in the marketplace requires not only compliance with existing laws but active participation in the formulation of future laws. It is no longer enough to jump through today’s regulatory hoops while hoping they get no higher or tighter. Sound business practice demands that businesses, industries, and trade associations must make sure lawmakers hear their voices so they can influence the rules for tomorrow’s marketplace. Whether a client seeks to influence legislation, is involved in a political campaign, or needs guidance on regulatory compliance, our government policy and practice team helps clients formulate and execute efficient government policy strategies that achieve real results. We help clients amplify their political voices and achieve their important objectives. To that end we work closely with our clients to understand their government policy goals and how those goals fit into their broader business objectives. Doing so enables us to devise and implement the best strategies to promote the client’s interests through executive, legislative, regulatory, and political channels. A particular client’s strategy may include educating policymakers, securing passage of legislation or appropriation of funds, crafting programs to ensure the client is in compliance with existing rules and regulations and urging the creation of new rules or regulations and the reinterpretation of old ones. Our bipartisan group of consultants and registered lobbyists have decades of experience that bring our clients’ interests to bear upon executive, legislative, and regulatory decision-making. We frequently represent automotive suppliers, technology suppliers, local governments, nonprofit organizations, educational institutions, and trade associations on critical government policy and related matters.

Campaign Finance and Elections

In recent years, the regulation of political activity has grown exponentially in terms of both sheer volume and exacting scrutiny. Today, every type of political initiative—whether a campaign, a ballot proposal, lobbying initiative, or contributing to a cause—is subject to numerous complex and often overlapping local, state, and federal financial restrictions and reporting requirements. We provide a wide range of political advice with particular emphasis on ethics, lobbying, and conflicts of interest. Our work in those areas includes representation of political committees and businesses involved in the political process, corporate political action committees, independent political committees, and candidate committees as well as private individuals and entities.

Our clients rely on our extensive experience to avoid the many possible pitfalls on the road to political compliance and ethical political conduct. We perform compliance audits and help clients establish fail-safe internal control systems to track their reportable activities as those activities occur, thus ensuring timely and accurate reporting. We guide our corporate, trade association, and nonprofit clients to ensure their political activities stay within the scope of those allowed for their type of entity.