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MSAE launches effort to “raise the bar” in lobby practice

Wednesday, October 8, 2014   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Michelle Rahl
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For Immediate Release:     Contact: Rob Fowler, SBAM CEO

 October 8, 2014                                                                                      517-482-8788                                                                                                                             

                                                                                                                  Cheryl Ronk, President



MSAE launches effort to “raise the bar” in lobby practice

Leaders of Michigan associations are launching a program designed to ensure their members operate at the highest level of lobbying ethics and best practices.  Michigan Society of Association Executives (MSAE) plans to unveil a four part academy in November intended for association CEOs, their lobbyists and staff members as well as volunteer board members, called the Government Affairs Academy.

“As an outgrowth of our 2012 white paper, “The Effects of a Term Limited Legislature in Michigan,” the academy is the next step in leading a more ethical practice of government affairs,” explains Rob Fowler, chair of the subcommittee charged with developing the academy.  “Our ultimate goal is to enhance a public policy culture in which lawmaking and fundraising are always separate.”

As it worked to build the academy content, MSAE targeted four key areas of “good government practice,” which will be addressed in four half day sessions starting in November.  Michigan experts, such as W. Alan Wilk, attorney and political compliance team leader at Dykema Gossett PLLC, and Eric E. Doster JD, Doster Law Offices, will cover political action committee (PAC) rules, protocol with government officials, grassroots involvement in the process and more.

“Term limits generated a parade of changing faces in the Legislature and a constant focus on fundraising for the next election,” Fowler observes.  “In order to influence a culture of compliance with lobby and campaign finance laws, we are starting with our members and expecting them to be knowledgeable.   Our expectation is they can help raise the bar and perhaps lead cultural change as they advocate on behalf of their professions and industries.” 

“The association sector is one of the largest, if not the largest, lobbying force in Michigan,” notes MSAE President Cheryl Ronk.  Our members represent all sectors of the economy, such as agriculture, manufacturing, construction, retail, health care, insurance and more.   Michigan associations employ more than 32,000 people and the members of those associations employ hundreds of thousands more.”

The academy kicks off on Nov. 7 and continues on Dec.12, Jan. 9 and Feb. 3. 

MSAE is a professional organization of more than 600 association executives, which works to advance knowledge in the association industry.



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