Huge money spent lobbying in CA

Government is your unwanted, incompetent business partner. The money you spend in government relations,  lobbying, etc. is how you manage this partner.

money lobbyingCalifornia news story: More than 3,200 businesses, unions, and trade groups spent almost a quarter-billion dollars on lobbying and other payments to influence during the 2015 legislative session, according to new state filings.

The $232 million in payments to influence during the first nine months of 2015 is about $20 million more than what lobbyist employers reported paying during the first three quarters of 2011 and 2013, the first halves of the past two legislative sessions.

Full Story In SacBee

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Reinforce your grass roots advocates

Grass Roots Training for Association Members

Rep. Brat Campaigning

Share this with your grass roots advocates to show them how much power they CAN have. Remember that House Majority Leader U.S. Rep. Eric Cantor of VA was canned in a primary in 2014.
From The NY Times today:
“The uprising that beat Cantor was born of anger from voters like Randy Wingfield, 54, who owns a painting contracting business. He said he had written to Mr. Cantor several times asking for help and had not received a reply.”
That’s why voters dumped Cantor. Every member of Congress saw that event and it reinforced the basic rule: You want to get reelected you must keep your constituents happy, you must respond to them.
Building a committed energetic grass roots network requires persistent education and motivation delivered in different ways such as direct email, YouTube Video… even snail mail.
What did you do this month to inform and energize your grass roots cadre?

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Personal Political Power for Medical Association Members

Indiana State Medical AssociationPosted by The Indiana State Medical Association on Monday, September 14, 2015

I’m emphasizing different ways to raise and use money such as

  • Directed personal contributions
  • Home-based fund raisers


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“math can never really resolve a debate rooted in history, culture and values”

The Grass Roots Guy helps you develop grass roots advocates with clout

Focus on developing key contact relationships with gatekeeper politicians – the deciders

That’s why they call it politics. Data helps. Data is necessary. Data seldom determines outcome.
That’s why personal relationships with deciders – elected officials with power – determine whether you achieve legislative goals or not.

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Can your action alerts compete with Angry Birds?

The folks at Connectivity recently posted an article on why email works so poorly to communicate with association members.

“…the general consensus is that 30 percent of emails sent to members will be opened, and about 8 percent will generate a click-through response.”

Joel Blackwell The Grass Roots Guy can help you develop messages that will activate grass roots adovocates

Can your grass roots emails and video compete?

It’s true 8 percent is significant, but wouldn’t you like to do better? I’ve put a link to the full article below… it’s well worth reading… meantime…

One of the greatest flaws I see in member communications is tone… the emails have no personality, often are not signed by a human, read like a law brief and have no visual appeal… the writer seems to think like a teacher assigning students who have to read or fail… a more effective approach assumes your association members have many other things to do and you have to compete for their attention… look at what goes viral on YouTube and ask “What can I do to make my action alert compete?”

It’s really hard to activate people into political advocacy. If you think of your emails as needing “entertainment value,” you’ll do better.

What is “entertainment value?” In this context – motivating grass roots advocates – it can be many things, but I suggest you start by taking a look at traditional journalistic values. Full disclosure, I consider myself a grass roots journalist and worked many years for newspapers (R.I.P).

In Journalism school we learned elements that will get people’s attention such as this:

1. Timing
2. Significance
3. Proximity
4. Prominence
5. Human Interest

Before you send out an email that only 8% will respond to – on a good day – ask if you have included a “sell” including any of these elements… click here for more on these points…

Story Analysis On Connectivity


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Working with politicians you hate

prickCan you work with an elected official of a different party-someone whose politics you detest?

Yes… but… from the organization standpoint, I recommend matching grassroots volunteers with elected officials of the same party and outlook where possible. In the best of all worlds, the grassroots contact will be a mirror image of the elected official…

Longer discussion here.

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What’s your lobbying sound bite?

“sound bites”

Sound bites add power to lobbying message

Sound bites add power to lobbying message

“THAT term has become derogatory,” said campaign strategist Joel Benenson, divulging that he once pushed back at Obama’s skepticism of such tidy, pithy locutions by saying to him: “Mr. President, ‘Let he who is without sin cast the first stone’ is a sound bite. ‘A house divided against itself cannot stand’ is a sound bite. We remember them because they reflect high principle and clarity of thought and universal truths. That’s the power of them.”

As you go in to lobby, ask yourself, what is the sound bite I want this politician or staffer to remember?



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