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Inside a basketball arena during game-day lobbying

How Lobbyists Advocated For Your Favorite Sports League

By | Uncategorized

Each year top professional sports leagues go to Washington D.C. to advocate for and against policies that align with their best interests. These multi-billion dollar companies Include the NFL, NBA, MLB, and NHL. Even the NCAA enlists the assistance of lobbying firms to voice their concerns. Although it is pretty much impossible to know what specific issue each league lobbied, their stance, or even how much money was spent lobbying, there is enough information to get a better understanding of what lobbyists did for your favorite leagues in 2019.

Amount Spent on Lobbying

  • NFL – $1.35 million
  • MLB – $1.24 million
  • NCAA – $450,000
  • NHL – $120,000
  • NBA – $0*

The NFL was the biggest player in sports lobbying in 2019, followed closely by the MLB. From there, there is a significant drop off when compared to the NCAA, who was just shy of spending half a million dollars and the NHL spent about a tenth of what the MLB did. When it comes to the NBA it’s a bit tricky, even though they did put forth three separate reports, none surpassed $5,000 and exact amounts below that number cannot be reported.

Top Lobbying Issues

  • Sports & Athletics (NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, and NCAA)
  • Taxation & Internal Revenue Code (NFL, MLB, and NHL)
  • Gaming, Gambling & Casinos (NFL, MLB, and NCAA) 
  • Aviation, Aircraft & Airlines (NFL, MLB, and NCAA)

According to ESPN and Bloomberg Law, the NBA and MLB have been lobbying in over a dozen states to take advantage of sports betting since 2018. With sports betting increasing in popularity, it is safe to say the issue came up again last year. Back in 2017, American and United Airlines dropped nine NFL teams, leaving them with a huge sense of uncertainty when it came to traveling. According to the airlines, it was cheaper to use those planes for commercial flights instead. With NCAA and MLB teams having similar amounts of personnel aboard flights, they might face the same challenges the NFL did.

Amount Spent On Lobbying Firms

  • NFL – $1.21 million
  • MLB – $780,000
  • NCAA – $240,000
  • NHL – $120,000
  • NBA – $0*

The NBA outsourced their lobbying but the exact amount is unknown due to the fact their reports did not surpass $5,000. The NHL also outsourced their efforts due to the fact they don’t have a government relations office in Washington D.C. Even though the NFL and MLB do have such offices, the bulk of their lobbying continues to go to external firms.

Let Dorn Policy Group Work For You

If you are having trouble getting your voice heard by the policymakers who matter, let us be your advocate. As one of Arizona’s top-level lobbying firms, Dorn Policy Group is committed to providing results our clients ask for. Contact us today to learn how we can help you!

A red and white checkered water tower containing water resources for native american tribes

Funding Water Resource Assistance for Native American Tribes

By | Native American Relations, Water

Everyone deserves clean, potable water, and unfortunately many Native American tribes lack water that meets the Safe Drinking Water Act. In April 2020, the Bureau of Reclamation announced that six tribes will share $1.1 million through the Native American Affairs Technical Assistance to Tribes Program to develop and manage water resources for six tribes. 

Dorn Policy Group partners with several industry leaders and municipalities to advocate for/against policies that impact their businesses and communities.  We’ve successfully represented tribal nations on several issues that have led to improved state-tribal relations. Visit our website to learn more about our services and expertise.

Water Resources as Required by the Safe Drinking Water Act

The Safe Drinking Act authorizes the EPA to establish minimum standards that are designed to ensure safe tap water for public use. Under this Act, it also establishes standards for state programs to protect underground sources of drinking water from contaminates. In the case of Native American tribes, it is their responsibility to enforce drinking water regulations. But according to Close the Gap, at least 2 million people still don’t have access to clean drinking water or a working toilet. This is a major concern for native tribes and one that public policy can address through supportive bills.  

What the Native American Affairs Program will do for Tribals Nations

According to the Commissioner of the Bureau of Reclamation, Brenda Burman, the $1.1 million in funds will “establish cooperative working relationships with Indian tribes and tribal organizations and ensure they can fully participate with Reclamation as they develop, manage, and protect their water resources.”

Each tribe will receive a specific amount that will go towards their water initiatives. For example, the Navajo Nation will receive $142,964 for the final design of a new water supply that will serve the community of Bodaway Gap, Arizona. But according to the Indian Health Service, it is estimated that it would cost $200 million to efficiently provide basic water and sanitation access across the Navajo Nation.

Let Dorn Policy Group Advocate on Your Behalf

Being heard by key policymakers is a daunting task for many individuals and organizations. For Native American tribes, it can be the difference between getting a fair amount of resources or being left out of state discussions. That is why it’s important to enlist the expertise of a lobbying firm. Dorn Policy Group has been doing this for 20 years, and we continue to meet and exceed our client’s expectations. Contact us today to learn how we can assist you in your goals.

EVCCA Acknowledges 2020 Legislators as Business Champions and Friends of Business

By | Press Releases

EVCCA Acknowledges 2020 Legislators as Business Champions and Friends of Business

 

September 1, 2020

Contact:  Dorn Policy Group, 602-290-2727

The East Valley Chambers of Commerce Alliance named Senators Karen Fann, Frank Pratt, JD Mesnard and Tyler Pace, and Representatives Noel Campbell, David Cook, TJ Shope, John Allen, Nancy Barto, Kelly Townsend, Jeff Weninger, Jay Lawrence, John Kavanaugh and Michelle Udall Business Champions for supporting businesses and the EVCCA 100% in the 2020 legislative session.

“We are pleased with the number of legislators who received a 100% ranking this year,” announced John Hetrick, chair of the EVCCA.  “With the majority of our East Valley legislators received 80% or better this year, these results show their commitment to improving the business environment in Arizona.”

Those who received an 80% or better ranking were named Friends of Business: Senators Heather Carter, David Farnsworth, and Sean Bowie; and Representatives Steve Pierce, Warren Peterson, Travis Grantham, John Fillmore, and Rusty Bowers

Last December, East Valley legislators were presented with the EVCCA’s annual Legislative Priorities document to provide a foundation for session priorities.  Members from each of the chambers met on a weekly and monthly basis during the session to review bills introduced and evaluate their impact on the business community.  

Dorn Policy Group, the EVCCA lobbyist firm, tracked bills the EVCCA took specific action on by signing in at the hearings, one-on-one conversations, and at times formal letters.  At the end of the session, each East Valley legislator is graded on whether they agreed with the EVCCA position or opposed.  Not appearing to vote on an issue is counted as an opposition to the EVCCA’s position.  A report card is published with the results of our legislators’ votes.  

The East Valley Chambers of Commerce Alliance (EVCCA) represents more than 5,500 member firms from the Apache Junction, Carefree Cave Creek, Fountain Hills, Gilbert, Mesa, Queen Creek, Scottsdale and Tempe chambers of commerce.  The EVCCA collaborates to advance the common business interests in the East Valley.

How Tech Companies Are Lobbying The U.S. Government

By | Tech

The world is currently in the midst of a technological revolution. According to Finances Online, the world spent $3.360 billion in 2019 on technology products and services for personal and business use. As a result, many tech companies are leveraging their resources to partner with lobbying firms to sway the U.S. government towards policies that benefit their industry. 

 

What are tech companies lobbying for?

Many tech companies lobby for similar goals. For example, many of the big companies are lobbying for online privacy rules, software piracy, patents, cybersecurity, and tax issues. While they may fight for similar goals, each company has their own specific priorities.

Google’s top issues involve telecommunications, copyright, labor, antitrust, and workplace regulations. In comparison, Facebook’s primary issues have been immigration, taxes, and computer and information technology. The social media giant has lobbied S.268, the CUT Loopholes Act, which is intended to keep companies from offshoring profits. 

Amazon is lobbying to reform the U.S. tax code for vendor collection of internet sales taxes. Their other major issues include copyright, patent, and trademark, as well as consumer product safety – to limit their liability if someone hurts themselves with their product. 

Opportunities for Smaller Tech Companies

While tech startups do not have the monetary resources that larger companies have, they can still make their voices heard. It is important for smaller companies to have their presence and concerns known by key policymakers as well. Smaller tech companies can enlist the assistance of boutique lobbyists to advocate on their behalf to influence policies in legislation. 

Many smaller tech companies are hiring in-house lobbyists so they have a team entirely devoted to having a presence in legislation. In 2014, Uber began in-house lobbying to go up against regulations that they felt were holding ride-sharing back. As a result, they spent over $100,000 in their lobbying efforts.

Tech Companies in Arizona

While people are not wrong when they say Silicon Valley is the hub for tech companies, Phoenix, Arizona is becoming a magnet for the industry. Deloitte reports 7 of the fastest-growing public and private technology companies in North America have locations in Phoenix, Arizona. More companies are setting up shop here primarily due to our lower cost of doing business, affordable quality of life, and a strong, growing talent pool. Subsequently, our tech industry is being called the Silicon Desert

Phoenix has become the perfect location for tech companies as it provides them an affordable option while remaining close to the west coast. 

 

Let Dorn Policy Group Advocate on Your Behalf

With more tech companies deciding to set up shop, it is becoming vital for them to have people advocating on their behalf. At Dorn Policy Group, we are experts in getting industries heard through strategic communication and strong government relations. Contact us today to hear how your company will benefit from our lobbying, policy, and advocacy services.

How New Sports Stadiums Impact Local Economies

By | Sports

There’s nothing like going to a sports stadium to watch your favorite game. The atmosphere, the fans, the beer, and of course the game itself make for a one-of-a-kind experience. With arenas and fields housing this high-octane excitement, constructing a complex that fits the team’s and fan’s needs is essential for the franchise’s success. Renovations to the sports stadiums and construction of the ballpark depend on sufficient funding, with most of it coming from public sources. This makes it imperative to have a group of advocates, such as Dorn Policy Group, to provide assistance in voicing concerns to key government officials. 

Where Does The Money Come From to Construct Sports Stadiums?

Major league sports in America are in the midst of a major restructuring. There have been several new teams that have entered the major leagues, as well as several relocations. They’ve all either needed to renovate stadiums that were in their respective cities, or completely construct new ones that meet their requirements. 

Most of the money comes from public sources. The subsidy starts with the federal government, which allows state and local governments to issue tax-exempt bonds to help finance these sports complexes. It lowers interest on the debt and as a result, reduces the amount cities and teams are paying for a stadium. However, that money comes from taxpayers, so municipalities must consider what is in the public’s best interest. 

How Sports Stadiums Impact a Cities Economy

“Build the Stadium – Create the Jobs!” exclaimed the San Francisco 49ers as they campaigned for a new stadium in the 1990s. Building stadiums create a lot of buzz, but do they truly impact the local economy? Proponents claim having sports facilities improve a city’s wealth in four ways. 

  1. As the 49ers said, building new stadiums creates jobs in construction, maintenance, customer service, and engineering.
  2. People who attend games or work for the team will produce new spending power within the community, which will expand local employment.
  3. Teams attract tourism to the city, further increasing local spending and jobs for the community.
  4. All of the new spending will have a “multiplier effect,” where the increased local income will cause more spending and job creation.

Advocates argue after the team’s successful launch, they will create so much economic growth they will become self-financing. However, proponents believe the four benefits can be overstated. Economic growth occurs when a community’s resources become more productive. Building sports stadiums is only good for the local economy if a stadium is the most productive way to make capital investments and use its workers. According to the Berkeley Economic Review, the average stadium makes $145 million per year, with none of the revenue going back into the community. 

Dorn Policy Group: A Shutout Lobbying Firm

Ballparks will naturally have a big impact on the local economy. It is a long, grueling process to construct and renovate a stadium that hangs entirely on the shoulders of local government officials. At Dorn Policy Group, we will advocate on your behalf to ensure the right people hear your concerns. Contact us today to learn how we can help your organization fulfill its goals.

Senators Introduce a Bill to Finance Loans for Rail Infrastructure Projects

By | Transportation

The most important component of any railroad is its infrastructure. The term means the combination of elements that make up the rail’s right-of-way (bridges, tracks, tunnels, ties, etc.) and equipment (signs, mileposts, switches, etc.). Rail Infrastructure is vital for our economy, and it is important to have a lobbying firm in place to advocate for and against policies that will impact its efficiency.

A couple of months ago, Senators John Thune (South Dakota) and Maggie Hassan (New Hampshire) introduced the Railroad Rehabilitation and Financing Innovation Act, which aims to improve on the existing Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing (RRIF) loan program.

What Does The RRIF (Railroad Rehabilitation and Financing Innovation Act) Mean for Rail Infrastructure?

The Railroad Rehabilitation and Financing Innovation Act seeks to improve the RRIF program through three objectives

  1. Half of the funding will be dedicated to short line railroads and the other half will be for passenger rail projects
  2. Streamline the application process by expediting credit review processes for loans and requiring the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) to update applicants on the status of their application
  3. Become more flexible in regards to longer loan terms for certain rail projects and to modify how USDOT evaluates collateral and creditworthiness

How This Impacts Rail Infrastructure

The current RRIF program was launched over 20 years ago and has since only approved one short line loan due to its expense and uncertainty. The new bill is meant to provide stable financing for small railroads for infrastructure investment when they often cannot afford to apply for RRIF. Senator John Thune recognizes the bill’s impact, “This legislation makes necessary updates to RRIF so that short lines are better able to use the program as originally intended.”

In response to the new bill, the American Short Line Regional Railroad Association (ASLRRA) has stated, “The RRIF loan program has long been a promising but underutilized and frequently frustrating program.” In addition, the association is on board with the revisions to make the program a more attractive option for long-term financing.

Let Dorn Policy Group Help With Your Rail Infrastructure Concerns

While transportation has evolved since its inception, the rail system has been an integral part of the U.S. economy for over 200 years. As one of Arizona’s top lobbying firms, we are happy to work with railroad companies to make sure their voices are heard by the policymakers that matter. Contact us today to learn what we can do for you!

 

How Boutique Lobbyists Give Small Business Owners a Voice

By | General Lobbying

According to the United States Small Business Administration, there are approximately 28 million small businesses, which account for 54% of sales across a diverse range of industries.  While it is assumed lobbyists are only looking out for conglomerates, there are many lobbying firms that act on behalf of smaller businesses.  By employing boutique lobbyists to support their business, small business owners are able to voice their concerns with policymakers who matter.

What Are Boutique Lobbyists

Boutique lobbyists are individuals who work for smaller companies. They serve their small business clients by incorporating strategies into their advocacy approach to reach targeted decision-makers. Similar to large corporations, boutique lobbyists focus their efforts on serving businesses based on their political needs. However, the biggest difference between small business lobbyists and those who handle large companies’ political affairs is the client’s ability to spend. Smaller lobbying agencies will understand this and will often take a more frugal approach in their strategy in order to obtain the desired results. 

What to Expect From Boutique Lobbyists

Due to having a lower budget to accommodate smaller businesses, lobbyists will incorporate cost-efficient strategies into their campaign.  They will put their focus into smaller initiatives such as communication strategies, building strong relationships, and networking with the right people.  Another way boutique lobbyists work with small businesses is by including them in all aspects of the advocacy process.  Most of these businesses are working with lobbyists for the first time, so any good agency will take the time to explain their process and update them on their efforts.

Let Dorn Policy Group Work For You

If you are having trouble getting your voice heard by key policymakers let us be your microphone. As one of Arizona’s top-level lobbying firms, Dorn Policy Group is committed to each of our clients!  Contact us today to learn how Dorn Policy Group can help you!

A bulldozer inside a mine pit ready for uranium mining

Reviving Uranium Mining in Arizona

By | Energy and Mining

For years, lobbyists have been working on behalf of mining companies to voice their interest in greater support for uranium mining in Arizona. Back in April, the Trump administration released a report that outlines its plan to revitalize the U.S. nuclear energy industry and support domestic uranium mining. The report was arranged by the Nuclear Fuel Working Group – a task force that was appointed by President Trump in July 2019. The group developed this report to tackle a detailed analysis of the country’s nuclear fuel supply chain. 

 

What is Uranium Mining?

Uranium is a type of metal whose physical properties give it the potential to generate very large amounts of energy from a small amount of material without releasing greenhouse gases. It is a naturally radioactive metal that exists practically everywhere on Earth, creating “natural background radiation.” Over 80% of radiation exposure of an average person comes from natural background radiation. 

Because of its ability to produce energy in commercial nuclear reactors, it fuels 15% of the world’s electricity production.

 

How The Nuclear Report Supports Uranium Mining

The report makes several key recommendations to the U.S. Government. These include streamlining the permitting process for public land access, making it much easier for companies to mine uranium. As well as the ability to make direct purchases of 17 to 19 Mlb of U3O8 (chemical compound for uranium) to establish a uranium reserve beginning in 2020. 

The report also recommends extending an agreement that limits Russian uranium imports, denying imports from China, and funding research and development on new types of reactors and fuels. 

 

The Argument Against Increased Uranium Mining

As one may expect, environmentalists and Native American tribes are concerned about the report and the Trump administration’s push for uranium mining. These opponents feel that with easier access to public lands, mining companies will increase production near national parks, particularly The Grand Canyon, and harm public health. Many also argue that the nation already supplies uranium at competitive prices, and this is the government’s attempt to save the coal industry.

 

How Lobbying Can Play a Role in Mining Production

Whether you are an organization that is for or against the push for increased mining production, a lobbying group will help make your voice heard. For 20 years, Dorn Policy Group, Inc. has proudly been one of Arizona’s premier lobbying firms due to our dedication to clients and their goals. We have been at the forefront of many policies, acting as our clients’ advisors in bringing concerns to the people that matter. If you are in need of getting your voice heard and advocating for policy change, contact us today to learn how we can help.

A jet is parked on a helipad getting ready for defense industry

The Defense Industry After COVID-19

By | Aerospace

As COVID-19 continues to impact our communities and businesses, it should come as no surprise that it has also troubled the defense industry. While the aerospace defense industry is experiencing a disruption in production with slow demand for aircraft manufacturing, surprisingly the arms industry is holding itself together.

 

Aerospace Defense Operations During COVID-19

As the government attempts a trillion-dollar emergency spend in anticipation of a coming recession, defense contractors are directed to continue working. To provide these business organizations with sufficient resources for manufacturing, the Pentagon accelerated progress payments. A massive $2 trillion in military spending assistance, or the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, provides $17 billion in cash for defense and $80 billion in loans for desired needs within the aerospace industry.

The aerospace defense factions that have been hit the hardest are the United State’s partner nations. With the pandemic affecting all four corners of the world, partner nations are experiencing challenges in military readiness and the ability to maintain equipment leading to some defense companies experiencing financial weakness.

 

Aerospace Defense Will Move Forward

This is a challenging time for everyone across all industries. While commercial aerospace companies are being hit hard, the defense industry is continuing to move forward despite limited funding and low-demand.

 

Be Proactive with Dorn Policy Group, Inc.

For 20 years, Dorn Policy Group, Inc. has provided effective strategies and on-point political consulting for interest groups around Arizona. We partner with a variety of clients, lobbying for them at every level of government to ensure their voice is heard. Contact us today to learn how we can help your company reach its goals.

Two intercultural delegates and their colleagues on background discussing Lobbying Opportunities

Is Lobbying Legal?

By | General Lobbying

One of the most common questions we get from people who are new to the lobbying industry is why is lobbying legal? Is lobbying considered bribery? No! Lobbying is a right guaranteed in the First Amendment of the Constitution and has been reaffirmed by the government that it is in fact legal. There are major differences between lobbying and bribery; however, sometimes people mix them up. 

Why is Lobbying Different From Bribery?

All too often, lobbying is misinterpreted as bribery. The key factor that differentiates lobbying from bribery is the effort to buy power or paying to guarantee a certain result. However, lobbying is designed to educate and guide government officials on particular topics. The intention and definition of bribery suggest that it would result in a favorable outcome. In turn, lobbying helps influence power, while bribery buys power for the subjects’ benefit. Harvard conducted a study looking at the donations lobbyists give to help influence power compared to a straight bribe and they said: “[Lobbying is] served to build trusted relationships over time and to offset any inconvenience caused by taking the lawmaker’s time.”  

How Does Lobbying Avoid Bribery?

Lobbyists are a group of like-minded individuals, coming together to shape legislation. In fact, the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995 requires people to register with the Secretary of the Senate and the Clerk of the House to file all information regarding their expenditures and activities. Therefore, lobbying is set up to be transparent to the government and is recorded to prevent any corruption. 

Why is Lobbying Important?

As we have talked about in our previous blog post, lobbying is a crucial part of our governmental system. Without it, the government would not be able to accomplish favorable legislation and vote to help businesses improve. 

We have been lobbying for over 20 years here at Dorn Policy Group and we have our client’s best interest at heart to change government legislation in the right direction. Our extensive experience and variety of industries we serve have made a top-tier lobbying firms in the Phoenix metro area. 

Contact us today to learn how we can help your business get things done within the Federal, State, or Local government.