Practice/Industry Group Overview
Our governmental affairs attorneys and lobbyists work as advocates on behalf of corporations, financial institutions, trade associations and non-profit entities, offering advice and assistance to work effectively with local, state and federal government agencies, as well as elected public officials. Our governmental affairs professionals assist clients in framing persuasive and consistent messages for legislative, administrative and regulatory decision-makers and help clients take a proactive role in advocating for favorable solutions when government decisions are being considered and made. Our team has deep knowledge and contacts at several government agencies that provide government assistance in financing international transactions, including the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), EX-IM Banking, U.S. Small Business Association (SBA), U.S. Department of Commerce and U.S. Department of State.
Advocacy before government entities can involve distinct activities including:
- Development of comprehensive and creative strategies to achieve our clients’ legislative, political and governmental affairs goals
- Assessment of how our clients need to interact with government leaders to advance various corporate goals and objectives
- Development of relationships with elected officials and their staff to enhance our clients’ image and improve working relationships
- Representation and advocacy before various public boards, agencies, rulemaking authorities and commissions
- Insight into how a particular board or commission operates
- Advancement of local, state and federal legislation important to our clients’ success, affecting change or defeating potentially negative proposals
- Directly working relationships with elected officials and their staff to advocate our clients’ positions and continually advocating our clients until results are clear
- Development and coordination of industry-specific coalitions and grassroots advocacy efforts that benefit clients’ industries
- Utilization of alliances and other forces as a powerful and cost-effective means to present views and affect a pending government decision
- Research drafting and monitoring state and federal legislative proposals
- Political intelligence regarding specific legislative and regulatory proposals
- Assistance in developing business opportunities for clients to sell products and services to governmental agencies and departments
- Assistance in the preparation of OPIC, SBA and EX-IM financing applications
Corporations are not the only beneficiaries of our Governmental Affairs group’s advocacy. Non-profit organizations also stand to gain from proactive, positive positioning among legislators and executive branch agencies. Our Governmental Affairs group has extensive experience in navigating the federal grant application process and successfully securing capital from public agencies. We strive to maximize the impact of our clients’ grant applications and improve their competitive opportunities for funding.
The head of our bi-partisan Governmental Affairs practice group is Steve Kupka. Steve is also Managing Partner in our Washington, D.C. office. He has a wide range of local and federal government experience, including working in senior positions in the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the U.S. Congress, the C.I.A. and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Former United States Congressman and Omaha Mayor Hal Daub is another well-known member of our group. While in the House of Representatives, Hal served on several committees of note, including Ways & Means, Public Works & Transportation, Government Operations, and Small Business. As Mayor, Hal served on the Boards of the National League of Cities and the U.S. Conference of Mayors. He was also President of the Republican Mayors and Local Officials organization. Upon returning to the private sector, Hal was appointed by President George W. Bush to serve as Chairman of the Social Security Advisory Board.
Another key member of our group is Adam Sachs, who has served in various senior legal and legislative capacities on Capitol Hill. Adam was Chief Democratic Counsel and Staff Director to current House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) during Clyburn's tenure as the Ranking Member on the House Veterans Affairs Subcommittee on Oversight & Investigations. He previously served as Associate Counsel to former U.S. Senator Paul Simon's (D-Ill.) Subcommittee on Employment & Productivity. Prior to law school, Adam served three years as Legislative Assistant to former U.S. Congressman Lane Evans (D-Ill.) Public policy professional and political strategist Richard Martin is another critical member of the group. In 2006, Richard was the nationally recognized manager of the successful campaign of U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.). Prior to that, Richard directed external tax policy for Sprint-Nextel Corporation; managed the successful first Gubernatorial campaign of Missouri Gov. Bob Holden; served as Executive Director of the Missouri Democratic Party; and ran Missouri operations for Clinton-Gore in 1992 and 1996.
Other key government affairs resources include the Hon. James C. Miller lll, a former member of President Ronald Reagan's cabinet. Jim served as Chairman of the FTC and OMB during President Reagan's two terms in office. In addition to his current work in the private sector, Jim continues to serve on Board of Governors to the United States Postal System. Other significant members of our group include: Kyle Gilster, who served as an attorney on the Financial Services Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives, and staff assistant to Nebraska Congressman Doug Bereuter (R-Neb.); Steve Grasz, who served previously as Chief Deputy Attorney General for the State of Nebraska, and staff assistant to former U.S. Rep. Virginia Smith (R-Neb.); and Ron Sedlacek, an attorney and lobbyist in our Lincoln, Nebraska office.