Political Law

Overview

Our policy and political law practice is led by former Federal Election Commission Chairman Scott Thomas. He works hand-in-hand with others in the practice, including several team members who have held senior positions in Congress, federal and state agencies, and industry associations.

We help a broad spectrum of clients achieve their full range of public policy goals—advising them on the process of influencing the selection of government officials, and on the process of actually interacting with those officials about policy, and representing them in enforcement matters.

We advise corporations, trade associations, political action committees (“PACs”), charities, social welfare organizations, candidates, officeholders, and others in navigating the complex maze of campaign finance, election, lobbying, ethics, and tax laws at the federal, state, and local levels. We help with the creation of new organizations, design and implement training and compliance programs, and represent clients in investigatory and enforcement proceedings. We also have attorneys who are well versed in legislative drafting and federal and state governmental advocacy.

We work seamlessly with our government relations lobbying and strategic communications professionals, who can manage virtually every aspect of any governmental issue facing our clients. Our team also collaborates with the Firm’s government contracts and white collar defense and investigations practices to provide clients comprehensive solutions when needed.

What We Do

Federal, State, and Local Lobbying Compliance

  • counsel regarding applicability of federal, state, and local lobbying disclosure rules
  • draft and file registrations and reports
  • advise regarding gift and ethics rules applicable to persons that lobby
  • conduct compliance audits
  • create and implement training and compliance programs
  • create and update 50-state charts related to various lobbying considerations

Corporate Political Activity and Corporate PACs

  • assist corporations and corporate PACs with a wide variety of campaign finance and tax issues, including compliance with Federal Election Campaign Act (“FECA”), Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”), and nonfederal requirements
  • facilitate PAC formation and handle reporting responsibilities
  • create and update 50-state charts regarding various aspects of state campaign finance laws
  • design and implement training and compliance programs
  • perform compliance audits
  • counsel regarding direct corporate giving at the state level and independent spending in light of Citizens United

Candidates, Super PACs, and Non-Connected PACs

  • advise candidate committees, super PACs, and non-connected PACs regarding campaign finance and election law issues at both the federal and state levels
  • assist in formation, general governance, and relevant registration and reporting responsibilities
  • design and implement training and compliance programs

Tax-Exempt Organizations

  • advise (often as de facto general counsel) 527 political organizations and 501(c) groups, such as 501(c)(3) charities, 501(c)(4) social welfare organizations, and 501(c)(6) trade associations, and labor-management committees
  • assist with entity formation, obtaining tax-exempt status, and ongoing corporate governance
  • advise regarding federal, state, and local lobbying, ethics, and campaign finance laws
  • advise regarding federal tax implications of political and lobbying activities
  • counsel regarding state and local tax and solicitation registration issues

Pay-to-Play

  • counsel companies that qualify as federal, state, or local contractors about rules related to restricting and disclosing political contributions
  • create and periodically update 50-state surveys relevant to pay-to-play laws and potential legislation

Congressional, Federal Agency, State, and Internal Investigations

  • represent corporations, candidates, and PACs in responding to inquiries or subpoenas from government entities, including the House and Senate Ethics Committees, the Office of Congressional Ethics, the Federal Election Commission, the Internal Revenue Service, the U.S. Department of Justice, and State Attorneys General and other state regulatory agencies (develop strategies, defend depositions, draft testimony, and manage document requests)
  • conduct internal investigations for companies and political committees

Federal Election Commission (“FEC”) Advice and Enforcement

  • represent companies and political committees in proceedings before the FEC seeking formal guidance or addressing alleged violations of campaign financing law

Foreign Agents Registration Act

  • advise corporations, nonprofit organizations, and lobbying firms regarding FARA compliance, including registration requirements and periodic reporting responsibilities

Ethics Law

  • advise corporations, PACs, nonprofit organizations, and others regarding gift, travel, “revolving door,” and other ethics laws affecting contact with government officials
  • develop and implement training and best practice guidance related to interacting with government officials
  • assist organizations with events and public relations projects that involve attendance of public officials

Public Policy Assistance

  • provide strategy, legislative drafting, coordination, and regulatory compliance legal services to assist with legislative or regulatory objectives

Office Chair