Stateside News


Santa Clara County, California and the City of San Francisco last year enacted restrictions on the inclusion of toys, prizes and incentives in certain children’s meals.   In response, state legislatures in Arizona and Florida are considering legislation prohibiting local governments in their states from following suit.

In years past, local government initiatives addressing gun control, […]

By |March 29th, 2011|Blogs, Local Government|Comments Off

EPA AND THE STATES: Can’t We All Just get along?

When “Getting Along with your EPA Regional Official” is a session topic for new state environmental commissioners, you know there is a problem.  On March 28, state environmental commissioners will convene in Alexandria, Virginia for the Environmental Council of the States (ECOS) Spring Meeting.   The meeting, which is always robust in policy discussions […]

By |March 24th, 2011|Blogs, Issue Management|Comments Off

State Budgets Create Virtual Groups

The Council of State Governments announced Monday that it was shifting its annual Spring Meeting (this year’s Growth & Prosperity Summit of the States) from the usual large, in-person conference to an online format.  While a dramatic move and, I am sure, disappointing to the senior staff and leadership of CSG who had to […]

By |March 3rd, 2011|Blogs, Groups, State Politics|Comments Off

Health Care In A State of Flex

In recent statements to the National Governors Association, President Obama indicated that he believes there is an opportunity for flexibility in how the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) is implemented.  For many of the assembled Governors, the offer of flexibility he made was not what they had requested. 

During his remarks, the President […]

By |March 1st, 2011|Blogs, Health Care|Comments Off


State lobbyists add experience, knowledge, access, historical perspective and so much more to the process of advocacy. BUT, you can do without them IF you pass this test.

By |February 17th, 2011|Blogs, Issue Management, Stateside News|1 Comment

States will chart new paths for health care reform in 2011

As Republicans sweep into state legislatures and Governors’ mansions this month, existing plans for the implementation of federal health care reform will get a second look.  Fiscal limitations, uncertainty about federal funding, and litigation that is likely to reach the United States Supreme Court all call into question how states should proceed with their […]

By |January 19th, 2011|Blogs, Health Care, Stateside News|Comments Off


In a recent interview, I was asked about dealing with all the “non traditional” lawmakers who are likely to be elected next Tuesday.   The journalist’s question concerned the “tea partiers” and “throw the bums out” iconoclasts who will go to Washington, DC and state capitols with a less-than-positive impression of government.  How does a […]

By |October 27th, 2010|Blogs, State Politics|Comments Off

Will A Republican Wave Wash Over State Legislatures and Your State Government Relations Program?

In states where one party has been in control for years, have you cultivated or ignored relationships with the minority party? If they take control, will fence-mending be necessary? You may want to request an increase in your travel budget now for next year so you can make some additional visits to your key states and attend more Groups meetings to quickly develop those relationships for 2011.

By |September 10th, 2010|Blogs, State Politics|Comments Off

What I Did At The Summer Groups Meetings (And What I Need To Do Now…)

The passing of Labor Day signals the unofficial end to summer and a recommitment to the work we neglected over the last three months while vacationing and shuttling kids to baseball and summer camps.  For state government affairs professionals, summer also meant spending a great deal of time traveling the country to attend the […]

By |September 8th, 2010|Blogs, Groups, Issue Management|Comments Off


The conventional wisdom is that money can influence elections, but do those who self-fund with large amounts of money always win their races? At least for gubernatorial races, the answer is clearly no.

By |August 4th, 2010|Blogs, State Politics|Comments Off


Proposition 14 may force a change to some coporate and trade association political giving strategies.

By |June 23rd, 2010|Blogs, State Politics|Comments Off

Are Local Governments Trendsetters?

Plastic bag bans, fast-food menu labeling requirements, and taxing of bottled water are all issues being considered in some state legislatures, and even in Congress.  But what do these issues have in common?  They all originated at the local government level.

  • San Francisco was the first local government to pass the plastic bag ban in […]
By |June 15th, 2010|Blogs, Local Government|Comments Off

Anti-Establishment Mood Hits Down Ballot Race in California

The race to replace Poizner was one of the more interesting of the night on the Republican side, and a good example of the anti-establishment sentiment.

By |June 10th, 2010|Blogs, State Politics|Comments Off


An appreciation that corporate government relations and public sector sales professionals are teammates, not competitors. Each teammate has its defined role, but together, they comprise a force that helps the company grow.

By |May 24th, 2010|Blogs, Issue Management|Comments Off

Is 2010 a Year for Independents?

His (Crist's) move to capture the political center is not the only high profile race in which this is happening. At the state level, both Massachusetts and Rhode Island are seeing strong gubernatorial bids by independent candidates. In both of these cases, the independent candidates are portraying themselves as the candidate who best represents the political middle.

By |April 30th, 2010|Blogs, State Politics|1 Comment

Maximizing the Impact of Testimony

In his own voice, he made the testimony more personal and that is what legislators on the committee responded to.

By |April 9th, 2010|Blogs, Issue Management|Comments Off

State Reaction to Health Care Reform

As the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is implemented, the states are coming to grips with its realities and expressing their concerns.  Last month I mentioned that 22 states had proposed constitutional amendments or other legislation that would prohibit an individual mandate to purchase insurance.  Since that time, the number of […]

By |April 6th, 2010|Blogs, Health Care|Comments Off

Oh Lobbyist, Where Art Thou?

Hiring a lobbyist is one of the most important decisions anyone in our profession makes. It does not take weeks and it does not require in-person interviews. And, there’s no secret handshake. Yes, it does require research, interviews, checking references (including ones not provided to you) and common sense.

By |March 16th, 2010|Blogs, Issue Management|Comments Off

A Big Day in State Politics

Yesterday, March 2, saw several politically significant events occur in state politics across the country. In Texas, Rick Perry proved that the anti-spending mood epitomized by the Tea Party movement is strong, but incumbents can survive in 2010. In New York, the political saga continues. In Florida, unemployment insurance fixed on Day 1.

By |March 3rd, 2010|Blogs, State Politics|Comments Off

Heath Care Debate Returns to States

The pendulum of health care reform has swung back towards state governments.  In the February 2, 2010, issue of the Wall Street Journal, Anna Wilde Mathews notes in her article “States Restart Health Care Push” (may require subscription) that the uncertainty of federal health care legislation has pushed reform back to the states.  […]

By |February 3rd, 2010|Blogs, Health Care|Comments Off

Your “Groups” Participation Resolutions for the New Year…

We are already two weeks into the New Year and many of you – having returned to your offices from a long holiday break – are just now beginning to reflect on those resolutions you made in late December for 2010. 

Putting aside those commitments you made about losing weight, saving more money or drinking […]

By |January 14th, 2010|Blogs, Groups|Comments Off

Hotel Taxes and Online Travel Companies

Local governments, facing revenue shortfalls and budget cuts, are looking for any and all sources of revenue to help fill their coffers.  One prospective revenue source is now in the crosshairs – hotel occupancy taxes from online travel companies, such as Orbitz, Expedia, Priceline and  While this is not a completely new issue […]

By |January 13th, 2010|Blogs, Local Government|Comments Off


Regardless of the importance of the SGR mission, budgets are going to influence how much you can accomplish. Consider this advice as you prioritize for 2010.

By |January 8th, 2010|Blogs, Issue Management|Comments Off

New Jersey’s New Governor Prepares to Take Office

As the first Republican elected stateside in over a decade, Governor-elect Chris Christie will have his hands full trying to change Trenton and close an $8 billion budget deficit.

By |January 4th, 2010|Blogs, Stateside News|Comments Off

Virginia’s Gubernatorial Transition

Virginia Governor-elect Bob McDonnell is moving fast to fill his Cabinet and many advisory committee positions as he prepares to take office next month.

By |December 14th, 2009|Blogs, State Politics|Comments Off

Blogging Mark Anderson

Stateside Associates’ Mark Anderson moderated a panel on New Developments in Lobbying and Campaign Finance Laws for the American Bar Association’s Business Law Section Fall Meeting. Discussions included the potential ramifications of Citizens United v. FEC  and three upcoming honest services fraud/Section 1346 cases before the Supreme Court.

By |November 24th, 2009|Blogs, Stateside News|Comments Off

It’s Always Election Season

Elections in 2009 don't end until December 12, while 2010 elections start February 2.

By |November 16th, 2009|Blogs, State Politics|Comments Off

Demystifying CSG’s Suggested State Legislation Process

Few other state officials meetings or forums capture the attention – and stimulate the heart rates – of government affairs professionals as does the Council of State Governments’ Committee on Suggested State Legislation.  We pour through the Committee Dockets the minute they are released searching for those bills, or that one law, that caused […]

By |November 5th, 2009|Blogs, Groups|Comments Off


Finding the right state lobbyist for your organization is a key skill. Here is a source of information you may not have considered.

By |November 4th, 2009|Blogs, Issue Management|Comments Off


Annual state government relations program retreats or planning meetings hold great potential...if planned and executed effectively.

By |October 27th, 2009|Blogs, Issue Management|Comments Off

Piercing the “Regulatory Group” Veil

There are numerous national groups of state regulators covering every imaginable regulatory arena.  The Environmental Council of the States, the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, the National Association of County Health Officials are just a few of the Regulatory Groups that meet on a regular basis to discuss national issues, advocate positions on federal […]

By |October 19th, 2009|Blogs, Groups|Comments Off

Going It Alone

While Congress continues to argue over climate change legislation, many local governments have decided to stop waiting for federal mandates, and instead are taking the lead on climate change.   Look at New York City, San Francisco and Washington, DC.  NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg launched “PlaNYC” in 2007 with the goal of reducing citywide carbon […]

By |October 14th, 2009|Blogs, Environment, Local Government|Comments Off


Ensuring that you have internal customers for your issue management program is Job #1.

By |October 13th, 2009|Blogs, Issue Management|Comments Off

2010: The Year of the States

While most of the political attention has been appropriately focused in Washington, DC in 2009, there will be shift of focus to the states in 2010, if not by the press, at least by the political parties due to redistricting.

By |October 9th, 2009|Blogs, Stateside News|Comments Off

Chemicals of Concern: ECOS Takes Aim

State policymakers are championing an unprecedented number of proposals restricting, banning and otherwise stigmatizing alleged hazards and toxins in commercial, consumer and children’s products and toys, including bisphenol-A and phthalates in plastic packaging, benzene, glycol ethers and phosphates in cleaning products, 1,4 dioxane in foaming agents and soaps and, of course, the usual suspect […]

By |October 7th, 2009|Blogs, Environment|Comments Off

Stateside Associates Introduces Election Web Pages

October 6, 2009, The Web – Stateside Associates further enhanced its already robust government relations website with the addition of its Election Pages.

Two new pages have been added to the Stateside Associates website at Covering both states’ Ballot Measures and Referenda up for consideration in 2009  as well as State […]

By |October 6th, 2009|Blogs, State Politics|Comments Off


How to prevent "secret lobbyists" from creating legal problems for SGR professionals.

By |September 28th, 2009|Blogs, Issue Management|Comments Off

Federal Health Care Reform isn’t the only thing going on … This Week in Health Care

While most eyes are on Congress, health care reform is proceeding apace at the state level.  Our eyes are focused squarely on the states.  In the insurance arena, states are looking at a number of reforms, including the development their own public options. States are also continuing to grapple with shortfalls in revenue and […]

By |September 25th, 2009|Blogs, Stateside News|Comments Off

EPA and the States: Is The Honeymoon Already Over?

The nation’s state environmental agency commissioners gathered this week for the 15th Annual meeting of the Environmental Council of the States (ECOS).  Coming into the meeting that was held in Whitefish, Montana (just outside of Glacier National Park) you would think that the states were optimistic for the renewed partnership between the states and […]

By |September 24th, 2009|Blogs, Environment|Comments Off

The Empire (State Court) Strikes Back

Today’s 4-3 decision by New York’s high court giving Governor Paterson the authority to appoint Richard Ravitch as the state’s Lt. Governor surprised many in Albany after two lower courts had ruled the other way.  The decision already has many in Albany and around the state wondering aloud whether the decision was influenced by […]

By |September 22nd, 2009|Blogs, State Politics|Comments Off

All Deficits Are Local Too

Many of us aware of the budget problems of local governments; they hit “close to home” and when services are cut and roads not repaired, we tend to notice it fairly quickly.  As we watch for the economy to improve, we are also watching for state and local budget conditions to improve.  However, as […]

By |September 15th, 2009|Blogs, Local Government|Comments Off


The state energy officials meeting this week in Annapolis, Maryland can barely hide their giddiness.  Almost 50 more people showed up this morning than expected to register for the National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO) 2009 annual meeting.  Add those people to the 200 or so pre-registered attendees for the meeting – staff […]

By |September 14th, 2009|Blogs, Environment|Comments Off


Great state government relations programs have something in common with beaches.

By |September 12th, 2009|Blogs, Issue Management|Comments Off


By Stateside Associates

ICMA will hold its Annual Conference September 13-16 in Montreal, Canada. There will be offerings from ICMA University, and roundtable discussions about trends in local government, the local effect of changes to the Clean Water Act, outsourcing locally and globally, recruiting international business to your community, city-school partnerships […]

By |September 9th, 2009|Blogs, Stateside News|Comments Off

Stateside Associates Advances with Cutting Edge Web and Marketing Technology

Arlington, VA, September 2, 2009 – Introducing a new website design, a new service for their clients and an enhanced online marketing plan that includes social media tools, Stateside Associates is ahead of the curve again with their innovative approach to Government Relations. See the new web design here:

Employing cutting-edge technology […]

By |September 9th, 2009|Blogs, Stateside News|Comments Off

Could Citizens United v. FEC Render State Campaign Finance Laws Unconstitutional?


You have probably heard that the U.S. Supreme Court today is hearing rearguments on Citizens United v. FEC—the now famous case surrounding the constitutionality of the ban on Hillary:  The Movie  by the FEC.  The movie, created by the conservative organization Citizens United, portrayed Hillary Clinton in an unflattering 90 minute documentary which was […]

By |September 9th, 2009|Blogs, State Politics|Comments Off

Big Fish, 50 Ponds

It is not news that state government relations professionals are not usually afforded the same level of status or compensation as their federal counterparts.  But, having seen many a federal lobbyist sputter at the prospect of facing over 7400 legislators, 50 chief executives and 50 attorneys general, I know that the status mark does […]

By |September 3rd, 2009|Blogs, Issue Management|Comments Off


Recently, the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) decided to end a practice it had supported for four years — the brief, public posting of “sign-on” letters being circulated for support among the nation’s Attorneys General. Limited to “sign on”  letters addressing public policy matters such as pending federal legislation  (not enforcement or litigation actions) […]

By |September 2nd, 2009|Blogs, Groups|Comments Off

Managing Turnover At The Top

Gubernatorial turnover is soaring in advance of the 2010 elections.

By |August 28th, 2009|Blogs, State Politics|Comments Off


Posted by Steve Arthur (

I attended Congressman Jim Morans (D-VA) town hall meeting on health care last night along with 2500-3000 other constituents.  As with many other town hall meetings this summer, it was a somewhat raucous affair.  However, I noticed an interesting dynamic outside while waiting in line (on line for you […]

By |August 26th, 2009|Blogs, State Politics|Comments Off