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Lobbying in the United States

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Title: Lobbying in the United States


1
Lobbying in the United States
  • GR Congress
  • Moscow, Russia
  • November 17, 2011
  • Wright Andrews
  • Partner, Andrews Andrews, PLLC
  • Principal, CapCity Advocates

2
Agenda
  • Wright Andrews Background
  • American League of Lobbyists
  • Lobbying in the United States
  • Lobbying Regulation
  • American League of Lobbyist Code of Ethics
  • Case Study
  • Questions Answers

3
Wright Andrews Personal Background
  • Lawyer and lobbyist
  • Worked for U.S. Senate
  • Began lobbying in 1975
  • Former President of American League of Lobbyists
    (ALL)
  • Co-Author of ALLs Code of Ethics for
    Professional Lobbyists

4
The American League of Lobbyists
  • Primary U.S. organization for professional U.S.
    lobbyists
  • Defends profession from unjust attacks
  • Supports legal reforms to enhance transparency
    and prevent abuse
  • Networking events with congressional members and
    other industry professionals
  • Code of ethics
  • Education and training program for lobbyists

5
Lobbying in the United States
  • Seeks to influence public policymakers
  • Integral role in democratic process
  • Provide policymakers with information
  • Explain and advocate clients positions
  • Clients vital economic and other interests
    heavily impacted by government actions
  • Constitutional right to petition government to
    protect interests

6
Lobbying Activities
7
Lobbying is Big Business
  • 3.5 billion spent last year in Washington
  • Over 12,000 registered Federal Lobbyists and many
    more not registered
  • All types of interests represented
  • Independent lobbyists and in house lobbyists
  • Frequently have teams of lobbyists including
    media experts and grassroots firms
  • Foreign governments and companies often have
    Washington lobbyists

8
Attacks on Lobbyists
9
Lobbying Regulation
  • Laws, regulations, rules, and code of ethical
    conduct essential for civilized lobbying
  • Provide guidance to lobbyists and public
    officials
  • Prevent and punish corruption
  • Critical to help ensure public trust
  • Transparency very important

10
Regulation at the Federal Level
11
The State of U.S. Lobbying
  • Not perfect, but better than most nations
  • Lobbying disclosure act
  • Campaign finance law
  • Inadequate enforcement
  • ALL is developing proposed reforms advocating the
    highest of standards

12
Summary of ALLs Code of Ethics
  • Article I Honesty Integrity
  • Conduct lobbyist activities with honesty and
    integrity
  • Truthful and factually correct, correct
    inaccuracies, and advise of material changes
  • Article II Compliance with Applicable Laws,
    Regulations, Rules
  • Comply fully with all laws, regulations, and
    rules applicable to the lobbyist
  • Become familiar with applicable laws,
    regulations, and rules
  • Not cause public official to violate

13
Summary of ALLs Code of Ethics
  • Article III Professionalism
  • Conduct activities in a fair and professional
    manner
  • Understand legislative and government processes
  • Continue education and training programs
  • Article IV Conflicts of Interest
  • Do not continue or undertake representations that
    may create conflicts of interest without the
    informed consent of the client or potential
    client involved

14
Summary of ALLs Code of Ethics
  • Article V Due Diligence Best Efforts
  • Vigorously and diligently advance and advocate
    the clients or employers interests
  • Devote adequate time, attention, and resources
  • Keep client informed and be loyal to clients
    interests
  • Article VI Compensation Engagement Terms
  • Written agreement with the client regarding the
    terms of the lobbyists services, including the
    amount of and basis for compensation
  • Charge reasonable fees

15
Summary of ALLs Code of Ethics
  • Article VII Confidentiality
  • Maintain appropriate confidentiality of client or
    employer information
  • Article VIII Public Education
  • Seek to ensure better public understanding and
    appreciation of the nature, legitimacy, and
    necessity of lobbying in our democratic
    governmental process
  • Article IX Duty to Governmental Institutions
  • Exhibit proper respect for the governmental
    intuitions' before which the lobbyist represents
    and advocates clients interests
  • Should not act in any manner that will undermine
    the
  • publics confidence or trust or that will
    disrespect
  • governmental institutions

16
Case Study
  • Federal vs. State Regulation of Insurance

17
Hypothetical Situation
  • In the U.S., insurance products are generally
    regulated by laws in each of the states, not the
    federal government
  • Investment securities are regulated by state laws
    at federal level by Securities Exchange
    Commission (SEC)
  • SEC proposed a new regulation that changed the
    way federal law had been interpreted for decades
    tried to treat certain insurance products as a
    security which it could regulate instead of
    leaving it as a state regulated insurance product
  • If the SEC prevailed, it would have imposed a
    totally different regulatory regime, forcing many
    insurance sales agents to stop selling the
    product, costing many millions putting many
    agents companies out of business, raising
    costs for many consumers
  • Insurance sales agents companies decided to
    fight this power grab by the SEC
  • Filed lawsuits to delay the rule
  • Began lobbying campaign
  • Hired independent lobbyists, used association
    lobbyists, in-house company lobbyists

18
What Might Lobbyists do to Stop SEC?
  • Study and develop policy arguments carefully
    analyze the issue, political environment, and
    develop policy arguments to justify the position
  • States adequately regulate so federal regulation
    not needed
  • New regulation would have very negative economic
    impacts on tens of thousands of small businesses
    (the insurance sales agents), costing many jobs,
    raising costs to consumers
  • SEC already overburdened regulating other areas
    not doing good job on them
  • Certain additional consumer protections the
    industry can tolerate

19
What Might Lobbyists do to Stop SEC?
  • Strategy and tactical plan
  • Coalition - organize a coalition of all the
    involved lobbyists to coordinate activities
    share information
  • Ideally, have a single coalition manager to
    direct overall effort
  • Keep below the radar seek relief by adding
    amendment to very large bill with hundreds of
    other issues by avoiding high-profile media
    stories
  • Effective Written Materials draft clear,
    concise convincing advocacy papers
  • Target Key Legislators focus on key Senate and
    House members who will decide the issue those
    who can become clients main supporters
  • Members from States with large numbers of
    insurance companies/agents
  • Members on Congressional Committees with
    jurisdiction over the issue
  • Senate/House Leadership
  • Bi-Partisan, Republicans Democrats

20
What Might Lobbyists do to Stop SEC?
  • Strategy and tactical plan
  • Gain support from other interest groups
  • State insurance regulators
  • State governors
  • Consumer advocacy groups
  • Seek to neutralize competitors (e.g., parties
    selling securities instead of insurance)
  • Favorable industry media articles Secure
    favorable articles in certain industry
    publications (not public newspapers) to gain more
    industry support involvement
  • Grassroots support - develop strong grassroots
    campaign with thousands of insurance agents
    contacting key legislators demanding support
    saying their families income is at stake
  • Utilize website to tell Agents what to say who
    to contact to send communications easily from
    website how to report back what legislators
    said

21
Execution of Lobbying Plan
  • Drafting advocacy materials, including articles
    to put in certain publications and proposed
    amendment language
  • Lobbyists coalition meetings for coordinating
    various lobbyists and clients contacts with key
    parties to share political intelligence
  • Extensive personal contacts with policymakers by
    lobbyists, clients, and via insurance companies
    grassroots network of thousands of insurance
    agents
  • Meetings in Washington in home legislators
    home States
  • Letters, emails, and telephone calls to
    policymakers
  • Explain issues, seek support secure bi-partisan
    sponsors for clients position
  • Many follow-up meetings and communications
  • Existing personal relationships help get access,
    attention support
  • Active political contribution efforts
  • Hiring of additional lobbyists with special
    political contacts

22
Execution of Lobbying Plan
  • Meetings with State Insurance Regulators to gain
    their support help guide the on Which Federal
    officials to contact
  • State insurance regulators supportive because
    they do not want to lose power and the fees
    charged by the state to the companies they
    regulate
  • State insurance regulators then follow-up by
    contacting key federal policymakers
  • Similar meetings with key State Governors to gain
    support to have contact Federal policymakers
  • Extensive lobbying of key decision makers by
    other Senate House supporters (i.e., Member to
    Member lobbying)
  • Meetings discussions with Consumer Advocacy
    Groups to gain support or reduce opposition

23
Execution of Lobbying Plan
  • Very high-level meeting and negotiations with
    Congressional leadership and committee chairman
  • Prepare workable compromise proposal for
    supporters to offer
  • Add new statutory language saying only insurance
    products that met certain additional requirements
    can remain exempt from SEC regulation

24
Results
25
Questions Answers
  • Wright Andrews
  • Partner, Andrews Andrews, PLLC
  • Principal, CapCity Advocates
  • 1155 F St., NW Suite 1050
  • Washington, DC 2004
  • 1 (202) 559-8840
  • wamdrews_at_amdrewsdclaw.com
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