Recommended Lobbyists

Not so fast – it’s not that easy.  Well, at least not if you want to be successful.

(Spending money is very easy.  But if that’s all you want to do, I’ll send you a bank account number you can deposit to).

All lobbyists have different areas of expertise, contacts, working styles, success records, and fees.  If you want to hire a good lobbyist – meaning one that’s effective for you, not just in general – you need to do some research into at least a few lobbyists, and find the one that will work well for you and your specific project(s).

After all, that’s the whole reason for this site – if I could just post a few names and be done with it, I wouldn’t go to all this trouble.

That being said, I do know some pretty good lobbyists, and one or two really good lobbyists.  But they still need to match your needs and your budget.  So if you’d like me to make a personal recommendation for some lobbyists that might work for you (as a private citizen, making no money and taking no responsibility), please post a comment (on this page or anywhere else on the site).  Please include:

  • Name
  • Contact information
    • Email please, blog or web page if email really doesn’t work for you.
    • Note: I will not respond via comments.  Instead, I’ll read your comment, respond via email, and then delete it without approving it, so no one else will see it.
  • Zip code
    • Trust me, this is really important
  • Budget
    • For some guidelines on how much it costs, see the “What Does It Cost?” page
  • Target audience(s)
    • Congress, DoD, DHS, State, DOE (Energy), DOJ, Dept of Education, GSA, etc.
    • If you don’t know, don’t sweat this (lobbyists can help you figure this out)
  • Type of issue
    • Appropriations, specific legislation, broad interest group agenda, etc.
    • If you don’t know, don’t sweat it, but please give some reasonable details (next item)
  • Details of issue
    • Anything you feel comfortable sharing with me.
    • No, I will not share this information with your competitors or anyone else.
    • No, I will not sign a non-disclosure.  If you want me to take the time to make a recommendation, you’ll just have to trust me.

In general, the more information you give me, the better a recommendation I can give.

But – please don’t write a novel (if I’m going to read that much, I prefer science fiction).

18 Responses to “Recommended Lobbyists”

  1. Lou Ellen Horwitz Says:

    60555
    No budget currently – trying to formulate one – $100,000 is probably the most we could do, total.
    Target audience – those heavily involved in health care reform
    Broad interest only at this time – awareness that urgent care exists and is a good thing for decreasing health care costs and should be nurtured

    That’s the nutshell – appreciate the website and whatever you can recommend.

  2. Michael Thomas, Lighthouse Worldwide Solutions Says:

    Hi Lou Ellen,

    I always recommend that you talk to at least 3 different firms. This will help you clarify your goals (which is important) and make sure you find someone you can work well with – your working relationship with your lobbyist is very important.

    How well a $100K or smaller budget will work will depend on what your goals are; the lobbyists you talk to should be able to help you identify whether your budget (whatever it ends up being) will be enough to meet your goals. I suggest you contact mid-sized and smaller firms, since larger firms typically charge significantly more.

    For policy issues like yours, make sure you get a lobbying firm with strong relationships on both sides of the aisle (Democrat and Republican). Relationships don’t determine the success of the effort, but they greatly increase the speed of making things happen.

    Here are a couple firms I recommend you contact:
    1. The 21st Century Group, (202) 488-2800
    2. McAllister & Quinn, (202) 296-2741
    Both are high quality small- to mid-sized firms with strong experience in policy issues and strong bi-partisan relationships in both the House and the Senate.

    Next, I suggest you follow one or both of these links to find lobbyists that have worked with organizations similar to yours:
    http://www.opensecrets.org/lobby/indusclient.php?lname=H01&year=a
    http://www.opensecrets.org/lobby/indusclient_lobs.php?year=2007&lname=H01&sort=f

    Finally, make sure to include the cost of travel to DC a part of your budget (if appropriate). So if your total budget ends up being $100K, make sure to set aside some portion of this to pay for travel costs for you to go to DC to meet with your lobbyists and participate in meetings they arrange for you. That will reduce the budget you have to pay the lobbyists, but will ensure you can work with them effectively.

    I hope this helps; Please leave a comment to let me know how it turns out.

    Regards,
    Michael

  3. Craig Says:

    Hi Michael,

    We need help getting grants/loans/incentives etc for manufacturing electric traction motors and controllers that can be used to convert vehicles to run on electricity (battery power)

    Might be able to afford $5/month, possibly more.

    Thanks

    Craig

  4. Michael Thomas, Lighthouse Worldwide Solutions Says:

    Hi Craig,

    I can’t offer any direct suggestions since I haven’t had any experience in this particular area. But I can offer a few general suggestions:
    1. Look through OpenSecrets.org and identify lobbyists that work with companies involved in power generation and/or renewable power.
    Contact several firms (even if they don’t seem to be a close match), let them know what you’re trying to do, and get as much information from them as you can about not just what they can do, but also exactly how they would plan to do it. This will educate you about what to ask, and help you better clarify your plans and better identify a lobbyist that will work for you.
    Plan to call a minimum of 5 firms, and start with the ones that seem to be the *worst* fit (save the ones that seem closest until after you are better educated about what you need and what to ask).
    2. Contact the 2 firms I recommended to Lou Ellen (see below), let them know your budget and what you’re trying to accomplish, and see if they’re interested or if they can offer you any pointers. They might be good matches for you, but I’m not sure they’ll be able to accomplish what you’re trying to do on the budget you have.
    3. Try to identify some individual lobbyists (from what you find in OpenSecrets.org or even through a web search for “government relations” and “renewable” or something similar).

    Hope this helps,
    Michael

  5. Mark Says:

    Hi Michael,
    We need help in getting the right ear for an alernative method for housing older vitims of disater. We have a solid concept and need funding. Time is important due to the Gulf disaster. Tried it on our own and got nowhere in the DHS/FEMA departments. Upside is permanent and saves the government millions. Don’t know what our budget may constist of yet, but would prefer % on success.
    Any insight is welcome.

    Thanks in advance,
    Mark

  6. Michael Thomas, Lighthouse Worldwide Solutions Says:

    Hi Mark,

    Although there’s a financial upside to the government, that’s not likely to draw alot of attention from members of Congress in general. It’s not that they’re not interested, it’s just that they have a ton of things on their plates, and most of them involve money. So you’re most likely to find a champion if you can identify and get in contact with a member of Congress who has a personal interest in this specific subject. So I recommend you find lobbyists that have good personal relationships with members of Congress on both sides of the aisle; if they don’t already have a relationship with a member of Congress interested in your project, they’ll know who to ask to find out.

    So in addition to the advice I already gave (see my other comments here), for your case I recommend smaller lobbying firms, as they tend to be more relationship-focused than larger firms. Try going through OpenSecrets.org as I mentioned in my other comments, and see my recommendations for a couple specific firms in my previous comments.

    Note that smaller firms are also often more flexible on payment terms, and some of them do some pro-bono work for good causes like yours. Don’t expect that you’ll get any of them to help for free, but let them know what your limitations are and ask them for suggestions.

    One important caution, though: Strictly speaking, lobbyists aren’t allowed to get paid on success (by law). When you employ lobbyists, you pay for their services, whether they succeed or not; It’s more like hiring an attorney than hiring a sales person. So if you’d like to work with a lobbyist, expect to pay a monthly, quarterly, or yearly fee, regardless of the outcome.

    Regards,
    Michael

  7. esthetik Says:

    1. Are all lobbyists lawyers or with legal background?

    2. How do one get work as a lobbyist?

  8. Otis Cutler Says:

    Hello Michae:

    My name is Otis Cutler and I am a lobbyist who was reviewing your web-site.

    If you could forward my e-mail address to Lou Ellen as well as Mark I would be interested in speaking with them.

    Thanks,

    Otis-

  9. Janice Gray Says:

    We are a volunteer non profit association for family child care providers, we have had a part time paid lobbyist for the past 5 years, but she is leaving 1/31/11. So we are looking to hire a temporary one for the current session. What would you recommend and what type of price are we looking at.

  10. Bo Says:

    Michael,

    I am a lawyer with a 75214 zip code wanting to be included in FNMA’s retained attorney network. I have a budget of 5 to 10K/month.

    Regards,

    Bo

  11. Mark Biernacki Says:

    Mark
    60115

    We need a lobbyist to serve local government needs. Appropriations, member initiative funds and grants, all to help fund various infrastructure needs for a small to mid size midwestern city. DOT, HUD, DOE, Fed Highways/aviation. Budget of $50K – $75K per year

  12. Terry Burgett Says:

    Looking for a lobbyist to do an interview for my Bachelors Degree in college. The lobbyist needs to be within the human services industry

  13. yvonne mary Says:

    i would like to inquire which is the best lobbying firm undertake an internship with. one which i will get the most experience and it is all rounded.

  14. recj Says:

    Hi. I am trying to find a lobbyist (individual over a firm) that has some knowledge of federal fisheries and issues and legislation pertaining to federal fisheries. Budget would be somewhere around $100k, give or take, zip is 98199. Target audience would be federal and local legislators for WA state and Alaska as well as federal legislators that are involved in federal fisheries issues. Contact is gcowan@seanet.com. Thanks for your help.

  15. Bob Says:

    I am part of an industry in New York, The hospitality industry, Recently a law has passed that is unfair on a number of different levels and in discussion a Senator has introduced a bill to correct the injustice. I am looking for a lobbyist to help expediate the process and present our facts on a State level, Do you have any suggestions for a lobbying firm that is familar with the hospitality industry and New York State officals.

  16. Phil Says:

    I am looking for a lobbyist who is experienced in reaching owners of a co-op housing complex of approximately 250 residents and convince them that they should request their board of directors to establish a smokefree environment in the apartments and the outside campus.

    This would be funded/paid for by an individual so there is not much of a budget.

    Can you recommend anyone?

  17. Barbara Becker Says:

    I didn’t realize so much was involved in Lobbying. My husband (a 100% disabled Veteran) and I are so tired of the lack of service from the post office and would like to be able to get some help in getting the word out. It seems to us that th PO system invites Identity Theft by forcing people to have mailboxes on the street (sometimes as much as a mile from your house) This was not a problem when we had real home delivery and Postemen actually worked for their money. The coast in fuel must outweigh what they would pay a “foot soldier”!!

  18. Ronak Ganatra Says:

    Hi,

    I’m conducting a research on establishing post-war tourism in Iraq through lobbying, and since I’m only a student, don’t really have a budget or monetary requirements as such.

    I would be eternally grateful if you could get me in touch with a lobbyist who would be willing to spare me 10 minutes for a few questions via telephone or email.

    If you can help me, I really appreciate it

    Thanks and with regards,
    Ronak


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