January 03, 2007

Hill to Crack Down on Grassroots Campaigns?

Grassroots The Hill takes a look at an issue that has a lot of local PR and public affairs firms concerned: a renewed push among Democrats in Congress for new disclosure rules about grassroots lobbying campaigns.

A new group called the Free Speech Coalition "is now leading the fight against proposals for mandatory reporting by any group involved in paid efforts to stimulate grassroots communications."  Coalition members include direct-mail guru Richard Viguerie and Free Congress Foundation chief Paul Weyrich; Public Citizen is on the other side.

Plus, "the conservative blogosphere has lent its heft to the Coalition’s campaign against grassroots disclosure, along with past Federal Election Commission Chairman Brad Smith, who was appointed by former President Bill Clinton. Smith also predicted that the grassroots provisions would merit a court challenge if they become law."

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    Matt Mackowiak is a Washington, D.C. and Austin,TX-based Republican strategist and communications consultant and President of Potomac Strategy Group, LLC. In his career he has managed a winning Congressional campaign and worked in the U.S. Senate, at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, at a leading international PR firm, on a presidential campaign in Iowa and in White House presidential advance. Follow him on Twitter - @MattMackowiak

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    Laura Gross is currently president of Scott Circle Communications. She has served as deputy director of communications at the DNC, was Gov. Howard Dean's Communications Director and she worked in the press office at USAID during the Clinton administration. Her experience also includes time in the PR department of National Public Radio and she was part of Vice President Gore's advance team when he was in The White House.
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    Blain K. Rethmeier is currently the Senior Vice President for Public Affairs for the American Insurance Association (AIA). Rethmeier joined AIA from the White House where he served as Special Assistant to the President for Communications and directed communications for the National Economic Council and Homeland Security Council. Prior to joining the White House, Rethmeier served as Press Secretary for the Senate Judiciary Committee.
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