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  • “All Politics Is Local” A Practical Guide to Effective

    Advocacy for State and Local Bars

    Governmental Affairs Office American Bar Association

    Government Relations Section National Association of Bar Executives

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  • Edited by Denise Cardman

    Cover design by Jared D. Hess

    The materials contained herein represent the opinions and views of the authors and/or the edi- tors, and should not be construed to be the views or opinions of the law firms or companies with whom such persons are in partnership with, associated with, or employed by, nor of the American Bar Association, unless adopted pursuant to the bylaws of the Association.

    Nothing contained in this book is to be considered as the rendering of legal advice, either gener- ally or in connection with any specific issue or case; nor do these materials purport to explain or interpret any specific bond or policy, or any provisions thereof, issued by any particular franchise company, or to render franchise or other professional advice. Readers are responsible for obtain- ing advice from their own lawyers or other professionals. This book and any forms and agree- ments herein are intended for educational and informational purposes only.

    © 2016 American Bar Association. All rights reserved.

    Printed in the United States of America.

    20 19 18 17 16 5 4 3 2 1

    ISBN: 978-1-63425-474-8

    www.ababooks.org

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  • iii

    Table of Contents

    Acknowledgments � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � v

    Preface � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � vii

    Introduction � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � ix

    Chapter 1 Ethical Lobbying � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � 1

    Chapter 2 Selecting Issues, Developing a Lobbying Plan, and Navigating the Legislative Landscape � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � 9

    Chapter 3 Building Enduring Relationships � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � 21

    Chapter 4 Effective Written Communication � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � 27

    Chapter 5 In-Person Visits with Legislators � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � 33

    Chapter 6 The Power of Coalitions and Joint Advocacy � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � 41

    Chapter 7 Grassroots: Harnessing the Power of a Bar’s Membership � � � 47

    Chapter 8 Testifying at Legislative Hearings � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � 57

    Chapter 9 Strategic Communications � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � 67

    Chapter 10 Internet Advocacy: Websites and Social Media � � � � � � � � � � � � � 77

    Chapter 11 Political Action Committees � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � 89

    Chapter 12 Compliance with Applicable Disclosure Laws � � � � � � � � � � � � � � 97

    Chapter 13 NABE GR and GAO � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � 105

    Conclusion � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � 109

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  • iv Table of Contents

    Appendix A Advocacy Letters to Congress � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � 111

    1� Sample Letters from State Bars � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � 112

    2� Sample Letter from ABA � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � 115

    Appendix B Fact Sheets and Issue One-Pagers � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � 117

    1� Sample Fact Sheet � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � 118

    2� Sample One-Pagers � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � 120

    Appendix C Legislative Action Alerts � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � 123

    Sample Alert from ABA to Bars � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � 124

    Appendix D Grassroots Advocacy � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � 127

    1� Sample Relationship Chart � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � 128

    2� Sample Traditional Action Alert � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � 129

    3� Sample Social Media Campaign � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � 130

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  • v

    Acknowledgments

    All Politics Is Local: A Practical Guide to Effective Advocacy for State and Local Bars was prepared jointly by the American Bar Association Governmental Af- fairs Office and the National Association of Bar Executives Government Rela- tions Section.

    Special thanks to the following bar professionals for their assistance in pre- paring this Guide:

    ABA Governmental Affairs Office Staff

    Thomas M. Susman, Director

    Holly Cook, Principal Deputy Director

    Denise A. Cardman, Deputy Director

    R. Larson Frisby, Associate Director

    Kristi Gaines, Senior Legislative Counsel

    Kenneth J. Goldsmith, Senior Legislative Counsel and Director of State Legislation

    E. Bruce Nicholson, Senior Legislative Counsel

    Jared D. Hess, Manager of Grassroots Operations

    Deanna Falcone, Legislative Associate and Editor, ABA Washington Summary

    Former ABA Staff Members

    Ann Carmichael

    Kirra Jarratt

    Jasmine Blake

    Robert Boisseau

    NABE GR Section Representatives

    Kimberly Crouch, former Director of Governmental Affairs, North Carolina Bar Association

    Thomas C. Barnett, Jr., Executive Director, State Bar of South Dakota

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  • Kenneth Brown, Senior Director, Public Affairs & Communication Strategies Ohio State Bar Association

    James Carney, Lobbyist, Iowa State Bar Association

    James R. Covington III, Director of Legislative Affairs, Illinois State Bar Association

    Peter Cunningham, Director, Governmental Relations, State Bar of Michigan

    Leah G. Johnson, Assistant Executive Director, South Carolina Bar Association

    Lisa Roys, Public Affairs Director, State Bar of Wisconsin

    William Weisenberg, former Assistant Executive Director for Public Affairs, Ohio State Bar Association

    vi Acknowledgments

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  • vii

    Preface

    The American Bar Association’s Governmental Affairs Office (GAO) and the National Association of Bar Executives’ Governmental Relations Section (NABE GR) have worked together for many years to advance the public policy interests of the legal profession, bar organizations, and our system of justice. For the most part, GAO focuses on federal issues, while the members of NABE GR are most active at the state level. From time to time, GAO provides information and as- sistance to state bars; quite frequently, state bars join to support the ABA on national issues.

    This Guide represents an effort on the part of both organizations to provide a set of tools for state and local bars to engage in effective public policy advocacy on their home turf. Much of the information in this Guide may seem basic, even simplistic, to the seasoned lobbyist, though even the most experienced are likely to find useful nuggets throughout the chapters that follow. We have calibrated much of the presentation to bar leaders, executives, and active members whose exposure to lobbying may have been minimal—or even nonexistent—but who find themselves interested in or called to engage in advocacy before a state leg- islature or Congress.

    The Acknowledgments page lists those in GAO and NABE GR who par- ticipated in drafting or reviewing and editing various