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Dorn Policy Group

The Salt Lake city capital building government relations

What is a Government Relations Firm?

By | General Lobbying

Thomas R. Dye once said politics is about battling over scarce governmental resources and who, where, when, why, and how they obtain them. One of the ways businesses pursue the resources they need is by hiring a government relations firm. But what exactly is a government relations firm and what can they do for businesses? 

What Does a Government Relations Firm Do?

While this type of firm is very similar to a lobbyist group, they provide much more. A government relations firm provides strategic guidance for businesses and works in tandem with government offices to achieve a successful outcome. They also provide policy analysis and education about their client’s business and industry without pushing a separate agenda. 

Another type of government relations firm is a public affairs firm. This type of agency has a public relations element  to develop messages to the public to bring awareness to a specific issue. They work with clients on a variety of activities including lobbying, media engagement, advising, consulting, advocacy, and monitoring political activity.

What Can a Government Relations Firm Do For Business Owners?

According to AALEP, the potential impact a government affairs group can have on a business strategy is significant. While it varies based on the industry, it can account for between 30-50% of a company’s earnings, tax, depreciation, and amortization. 

They use their skills and resources to leverage a company’s advantages by:

  • Addressing emerging nonmarket-driven opportunities and threats
  • Shaping the structure of existing and new markets
  • Enhancing the company’s brand and reputation
  • Building a relationship between the business and its external stakeholders

Moreover, government relations firms are qualified in scanning the business nonmarket environment for opportunities and threats to benefit their clients. With their assistance, they prove to be significant in business strategy.

Let Dorn Policy Group Assist Your Business

As one of the top Arizona lobbyists, we know how important it is to be noticed by those who govern us. By partnering with Dorn Policy Group, you can rest assured knowing that you have skilled advocates looking out for your best interests. Contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can help you today.

Outside of a capital building with large white columns lobbying

Is Lobbying Good Or Bad For Democracy?

By | General Lobbying

Lobbying is the process of trying to influence key policymakers. Lobbyists will attempt to educate public officials to take a stand that best aligns with the interest of who they are representing. While it is true that big corporations spend billions of dollars on lobbying, any kind of business, large or small, can hire and benefit from a lobbyists’ extensive knowledge in a variety of subject areas. 

Anyone from big corporations to individuals and non-profits to unions can utilize lobbying services. More and more groups are hiring lobbyists to represent them and have their voices be heard. But one question remains, is lobbying good or bad for democracy? Here are a couple of reasons why lobbying is an essential part of a working government and democracy.

Lobbying Is Protected Under The First Amendment

While there is no place in the Constitution that specifically states or mentions the word “lobbying,” it is protected under the 1st Amendment, stating that “Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom to petition the government for a redress of grievances.” This means that the people have the right to petition the government and have their voices heard on topics that affect them.

Lobbying Gives A Voice To The Unrepresented

Most people do not have the time, resources, or skills to present themselves in front of policymakers and advocate for their interests. Lobbyists give people the opportunity to be represented in front of these public officials and get a seat at the discussion table. Lobbyists give these individuals, companies, non-profits, and worker unions a voice. Providing them with a chance to give their input, and raise their concerns regarding policies that affect them.

Lobbyist Provide Educational Insights

With over 10,000 bills presented to Congress, it is hard to imagine that policymakers are experts in every subject. Since lobbyists often specialize in specific subject areas, they can represent and articulate the interests of their clients as experts in the matter. Therefore, lobbyists can also educate and bring to light issues that public officials might be unfamiliar with, providing benefits to both parties.

Let Dorn Policy Group Advocate For You

Lobbying encourages people to participate in government and voice their concerns. With nearly 60 years of combined government experience, Dorn Policy Group can advocate on your behalf at the Federal, State, County, Municipal, District, and Tribal levels. Contact us to learn more about how to become a partner with Dorn Policy Group.

The dome of a capital building in front of a gray sky lobbyists

Why Do We Have Lobbyists?

By | General Lobbying

In 2019, the total amount of spending reached $3.47 billion, the most it’s been in almost a decade. Congressional changes continue to create opportunities for lobbying firms to use their political influence as a way to convince legislators to make decisions that benefit communities, businesses, and nonprofits. While some people may feel lobbyists are a legal form of bribery, this is simply not true and is an integral part of the political process.

What is Lobbying?

Lobbyists are a group of advocates that work with a variety of organizations and individuals to influence political decisions. This support leads to new proposals, adding amendments to existing laws, and introducing new issues to legislators. It’s important to note that it is prohibited for a lobbyist to pay a politician to secure their vote in specific matters. 

Why Do We Have Lobbyists?

As we’ve mentioned, businesses spend a large amount of money to gain access and influence policymakers. It allows them to voice their concerns and have a seat at the table when deciding on policies that could impact an organization. While many people think these interest groups only lookout for big corporations, this is not always the case.

Labor unions are a very common group that enlists the help of lobbying groups. There are cases where lobbying firms have advocated for unions to provide better safety protections and benefits for employees. They also provide a voice for small businesses and communities to have a fighting chance for and against bills that can impact them.

The government has the power to help individuals and businesses, but they also have the power to hinder it. It is the lobbyist’s job to protect the interests of their client to ensure they continue to grow and be successful. Lobbying is fundamental in today’s political landscape.

Dorn Policy Group: Arizona’s Premier Lobbyist Firm

For 20 years, Dorn Policy Group has advocated on behalf of a variety of clients in different industries. We’ve partnered with organizations relating to aerospace and education to Native American relations. Contact us today to learn how our lobbying firm will benefit you.

A classroom full of students and a teacher school funding

Where Does School Funding Go?

By | Education

If there is one thing people can agree on, it is that kids need the proper resources for their education. One way districts achieve this is through school funding. According to Bruce D. Baker, a professor of education at Rutgers University in New Jersey, students benefit from ample funding. School administrators and teaching staff also benefit from the funding. With proper funding, staff can be paid a more desirable salary, enticing more people to join the education workforce. 

By enlisting the help of an experienced advocacy group, professionals in the education industry can get the policy results they desire. At Dorn Policy Group, we have partnered with a wide range of industry leaders for over 20 years. Through strategic planning and strong political relationships, we have helped schools influence policies in their favor.

How School Funding Benefits The Students

According to Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-N.Y), it is not always about the money, but it is always about how it is spent – and the results. However, studies show when schools have more money, they can provide students with the resources they need for a better education. Unfortunately, schools in poorer areas often fall behind due to disproportionate funding. When studying how proper funding could help students from poor families, Kirabo Jackson and Claudia Persico from the National Bureau of Economic Research, found that with a 10% increase in funding, there was also an increase in students’ earnings as adults. 

There are two rules of thought in how schools use their funding. One, schools must meet the state-regulated minimum standardized test scores. The other, individuals believe investing in the equity of education builds stronger education institutions. While the end goal of both is to better support student education, it has created a call to action for both interested parties. 

How School Funding Benefits Teachers and Curriculum

With more money going to schools, the greater they can increase staff wages. Studies have shown that there is a correlation between increased teacher wages and student achievement. This is presumably due to the fact it will increase the school’s ability to hire and retain capable teachers. 

In addition, greater funding provides school districts with the capital needed to update their curriculum and resources, such as computers, textbooks, supplies, and before/after school programming. These resources are fundamental for educators to further student education.

Secure Your School Funding With Dorn Policy Group

For 20 years, Dorn Policy Group has been one of Arizona’s leading advocacy groups in government affairs. As a results-driven firm, we work with every client to ensure their voice is heard by the policymakers who matter most. Contact us today to learn how we can help you reach your goals.

How to Become A Lobbyist

By | General Lobbying | No Comments

A career in lobbying can be very rewarding as lobbyists are individuals who aim to influence political decisions. Lobbyists advocate at the local, state, and federal government for issues that align with the interests of a company, organization, or individual. Having exceptional verbal and written communication skills are a must. While the path to becoming a lobbyist can vary from person to person, there are some actions that can help accelerate the process and help you be successful in your lobbying career.

Lobbyists can give a voice to businesses and individuals by making their opinions and concerns heard by key policymakers. Lobbying for specific issues does not guarantee a favorable outcome, but it does get you a seat at the table. This is important when it comes to policies and decisions that might affect you or your business.

What Is Lobbying

Plain and simple, lobbying refers to the act of influencing and persuading local, state, or federal policymakers. Whether it is in support or opposition of a certain issue, a lobbyist’s job is to advocate for the stance that will best align with the interest of the company, organization, or individual the lobbyist is representing. Having a passion and deep understanding of a specific policy area will go a long way when trying to break into the field and proving your worth to lobbying firms or elected officials. 

General Requirements

Although you can become a lobbyist in several different ways, these recommendations will help you on your journey to entering the lobbying field.

  • Bachelor’s degree – A degree in public relations, journalism, communications, political science, law, or economics are all good degrees to get started in. You can also get a degree in a field you’re passionate about and minor with a political science or law degree to get familiar with policies.
  • Internships – Internships are a great way to earn real-world experience and learn more about the legislative process. Students can work in political campaigns as a congressional aide or for any agency or group requiring legislative representation. They can also help you earn credit towards your degree. Even with all of this, internships offer you a chance to start to build your professional network.
  • Networking – One of the most important aspects of becoming a lobbyist is networking, as relationships with other lobbyists and policymakers will take you far in the field. Internships will give you exposure to this by providing you with a network of politicians, policymakers, and legislators that can lead to job opportunities once you begin your professional career. Creating and building relationships in your network will allow you to influence and persuade others during your career.

Register

Once you begin your career in lobbying you will need to complete a registration form. In this form, you will include contact details, what client you are representing, the issues you are lobbying for, and the stance. Additionally, every quarter you will fill out a report with your current contacts and lobbying activities. After you have registered, it is up to you to work independently or for a lobbying firm.

Lobbyist Certification 

Another way to quickly get into the field of lobbying is by enrolling in the lobbying certification program offered by the American League of Lobbyist, based in Washington D.C. While this certification is not required, it does give a quick overview of what the lobbying industry looks like.

Dorn Policy Group Will Advocate For You

As a leading Arizona-based lobbying and public affairs firm, we provide our clients with strategic counsel to advance our client’s ultimate goals. Dorn Policy Group works with all levels of government including federal, state, county, municipal, district, and tribal government entities. Contact us today to learn more about how Dorn Policy Group can help you achieve your goals.

Inside a basketball arena during game-day lobbying

How Lobbyists Advocated For Your Favorite Sports League

By | Sports

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.