As the Chief Executive Officer for a state, a governor wields a great deal of power. From selecting cabinet members to advocating particular stances for education, business, social programs and the environment, the governor can make a big impact on how state resources are used. If your organization could be a beneficiary of those resources, you would be wise to speak with Stateside Associates to understand how to position your organization with the governor. If your state is holding an election this November for the governor’s office, it would help you to know the positions of the candidates and how they could impact your interests.
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Stateside Associates is following the elections very closely since more than 2/3 of the states have the governor position in play. Eighty percent of those governors are seeking another term so these politicians are known quantities. That said, it is in your interest to talk to the people at Stateside to understand the stances of their opponents and to learn how those stances will affect your organization. You may decide that it is worthwhile to financially or otherwise support the incumbent or the opponent.
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In some races, such as that in Arkansas, prominent politicians are publicly supporting certain candidates. For example, Bill Clinton has appeared at a fundraiser to help candidate Mike Ross. Because of his lineage in the Carter family, candidate Jason Carter has the tacit endorsement of former president Jimmy Carter.
Also at stake this November are the offices of 31 attorneys general. The outcome of those elections will determine the degree of enforcement of a number of laws that could be relevant for businesses. Everything from discrimination to environmental law to pricing and monopolization rulings will be impacted.
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Talk to the experts at Stateside Associates to find out how you can support the politicians that will be of the greatest benefit to your organization and its constituents.
You run state government relations for a trade association or a company. It is your job to make sure that legislative activities are neutral or positive to your stakeholders. Periodically, a legislator makes a push that appears to be harmful to your interests. Perhaps she calls for a study of a topic related to your business. Or, he pushes a proposal that is primarily symbolic but could be a problem down the road. As you consult with your contacts in the legislature and the governor’s office, you realize that the above activity will go nowhere and you are relieved. Now you can turn your attention to other issues. Or can you?
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Stateside Associates, a local and state government affairs firm, offers some cautions on ignoring proposals that go nowhere. Government tends to be slow-moving and conservative, which means that new ideas take a while to develop into mainstream movements. The study mentioned above that was not funded may have planted an idea in the mind of an influential legislator. It is important to stay ahead of the curve on these kinds of issues. Constance Campenella, the President and CEO of Stateside Associates offers the following recommendations:
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- Consider the source of the policy recommendation. Is it a well-known organization that has demonstrated legislative success in the past? If so, get out in front of the issue.’
- Is the sponsor in the legislature serious and successful as a lawmaker? If so, his/her reputation could enable the legislation to move forward.
- Has the legislature changed in leadership or in membership so that more members now lean towards the initiative? If so, that will make your job more difficult.
- Is the topic popular on social media or among legislators? If yes, it means that more lawmakers could be receptive to the initiative.
- Is traditional media buzzing about the topic and supportive of the legislation? If so, you need to address this support.
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If you find the above issues happening in the legislature, give Stateside Associates a call for some recommendations.
As an executive in a trade association or in a company, you know the importance of staying in touch with and influencing state government policy for your stakeholders. The decisions of state lawmakers can have a huge impact on your firm’s profits, costs and efficiencies. In fact, your government relations department is probably spending hundreds of thousands of dollars in this effort already. You may have hired lobbyists or consultants to help you educate and advocate for the interests of your company and stakeholders; this would be a fiduciary obligation to your shareholders. That said, how do you know if these lobbyists and consultants are doing a good job? What kind of evaluation process do you have in place to make sure that your money is spent in the best manner?
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The 2013 State Government Relations Benchmarking Report found that more than half of corporations and nearly three-quarters of associations do not have a formal evaluation process for their contract lobbyists and consultants. Such a void is astounding considering that corporations spend over 25% of operating income on these contractors.
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If your organization is lacking an evaluation process, it would behoove you to contact Stateside Associates. Stateside is a consulting firm specializing in state and local government affairs, but its experienced and expert staff members will bring best practices to help your organization evaluate contractor performance. Stateside Associates staff will help you develop and execute an audit of your contractor’s activities. They will explain that success must be measured by more than whether a targeted bill passed or was quashed.
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While outcome in the legislature is one reason to hire a contractor, it is not the only reason. Process is important, too. In what activities did the contractor engage to achieve the outcome? Did it put your organization in jeopardy for future influence?
Ask the experts at Stateside Associates about their work in consultant and lobbyist evaluation.
Meeting the Next Policy Makers
Instead of browsing through the countless news outlets online, listening to political commentary on the radio or via streaming, or even turning on the television to try and decipher the political leanings of a network, how about meeting the policy makers themselves to get a firsthand understanding of how they see the future? Sounds logical enough, yes? Despite the various forms of communication we have at our disposal today, candidates are oftentimes conveyed as intangible, or their message is simply misconstrued by the public. Either way, there are always different means in which political candidates can reach out to the public better, and in no other form is it more effective than to see them in person and hear policies straight from the source.
Today, the highly respected Stateside Associates is helping bring candidates closer to their constituents. In certain states, companies are restricted from making contributions to the political candidate of their liking. To accommodate clients who fall under these guidelines, Stateside can help organize a “Meet and Greet” between political up-and-comers and company staff. This way, potential voters have an opportunity to hear a clear-cut definition of where candidates stand in their policies and how their decisions could affect voters. In addition, those aspiring to higher office have the chance to reach out to more people and get their voice readily heard. It truly is a win-win situation for everyone involved. And the best part is, there is little chance of misinterpretation of any kind. Transparency is right there, leaving the audience with nothing left to do but make their own choice on Election Day.
To learn more about Stateside Associates and how it has become the largest state and local government affairs firm in operation today, visit their website to get a more thorough understanding of its services and how they could shape your decision in the voting booth.