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Politics, Law and Policy Blog Bipartisan policy insights and political intelligence

About Us

Politics, Law and Policy Blog is a non-partisan, informational forum focused on policy topics, debates, and developments across a wide spectrum of areas. Our posts concentrate on public policy and industry developments with a particular focus on the impact of the 2012 elections on the political strategies of U.S. and foreign businesses and entities that need coverage on legal, strategic, and political fronts. The blog follows public policy developments and campaigns at the local, national, and federal levels.

Politics, Law and Policy Blog is sponsored by McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP, an international law firm with more than 500 attorneys and public policy advisors in 15 offices and 13 markets. The firm is uniquely positioned at the intersection of law, business and government, representing clients in the areas of complex litigation, corporate law, energy, environment, finance, government contracts, health care, infrastructure, insurance, intellectual property, private client services, public policy, real estate, and technology.

MLA is a nationally-recognized leader in the complex field of government affairs, providing our clients with a broad range of legal, governmental and political experience. Our highly acclaimed Public Policy and Regulatory Affairs practice is comprised of more than 60 attorneys and professionals, in the U.S. and Brussels. The National Law Journal’s Legal Times 2011 Influence 50 survey ranked our Government Affairs practice 10th among law firms with government affairs practices and 13th among law firms and government affairs shops.

Our bipartisan team of government affairs professionals have held public office and served as diplomats, as well as staff and advisors to U.S. presidents, governors, Members of Congress, and mayors. We work across a broad range of issues and industries in multiple cities and states across the U.S., as well as in Canada, Europe, and Asia.

Politics, Law and Policy Blog Contributors

Thurbert Baker
Bio| LinkedIn

Thurbert Baker

Atlanta
303 Peachtree Street, NE
Suite 5300
Atlanta, GA 30308

TEL: 404.527.8480
FAX: 404.527.4198
E-MAIL: tbaker@mckennalong.com

 

Attorney General Thurbert Baker is a partner in the Atlanta office of McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP. His practice focuses on corporate compliance and investigations, public policy and regulatory affairs, multi-state litigation, public sector procurements and regulatory matters. Attorney General Baker served as the attorney general for the State of Georgia for 13 years under three different governors. In this position, Baker focused on fighting corruption and consumer fraud. In addition to his impact on the state level in Georgia, Attorney General Baker also has a broad national network, having served as the President of the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG). He has gained respect and cultivated relationships with some of the nation’s top governing officials and business leaders through his work with NAAG as well as other organizations. This experience and network of key relationships allows him to effectively advise clients dealing with a variety of public policy and litigation matters.

Mark Burkhalter
Bio

Mark Burkhalter

Atlanta
303 Peachtree Street, NE
Suite 5300
Atlanta, GA 30308

TEL: 404.527.4156
FAX: 404.527.9198
E-MAIL: mburkhalter@mckennalong.com

 

Mark Burkhalter is a Senior Strategic Advisor and Independent Consultant in the firm’s National Government Affairs practice. He also leads the firm’s public affairs and economic development initiatives in the United Kingdom. Speaker Burkhalter spent 18 years in the Georgia General Assembly representing the Atlanta suburb of North Fulton County. He left office as the Speaker Emeritus, after having served as Speaker of the House and the Speaker Pro Tempore since 2004.

Dan Caprio
Bio
| LinkedIn

Dan Caprio

Washington, DC
1900 K Street NW
Washington, DC 20006-1108

TEL: 202.496.7348
FAX: 202.496.7756
E-MAIL: dcaprio@mckennalong.com

 

 

Dan Caprio focuses on counseling clients dealing with technology issues that involve the convergence of internet, telecommunications and technology policy. He deals with such issues as privacy, cyber security, information security, supply chain management and visibility, and radio frequency identification. Previously, he was appointed to the Department of Homeland Security Data Privacy and Integrity Advisory Committee. Mr. Caprio served as chief privacy officer for the Department of Commerce and deputy assistant secretary for technology policy.

Governor Howard Dean
Bio

Governor Howard Dean

Washington, DC
1900 K Street NW
Washington, DC 20006-1108

TEL: 202.496.7500
FAX: 202.496.7756
E-MAIL: hdean@mckennalong.com

 

 

Governor Howard Dean is a Senior Strategic Advisor and Independent Consultant for the Government Affairs practice at MLA. He focuses on health care and energy issues, as well as providing expertise derived from his extensive experience in public office. Governor Dean served as chairman of the National Governors Association, the Democratic Governors Association, as well as the New England Governors’ Conference while serving as Governor of Vermont. Governor Dean left office in Vermont to run for President in 2003 where he implemented innovative fundraising strategies such as use of the internet, pioneering techniques used by both parties in the 2008 election.

Joe Dowley
Bio| LinkedIn

Joe Dowley
Washington, DC
1900 K Street NW
Washington, DC 20006-1108

TEL: 202.496.7958
FAX: 202.496.7756
E-MAIL: jdowley@mckennalong.com

 

Joe Dowley represents numerous clients and affiliated coalitions with reference to complex issues before Congress and administrative agencies. He drafts and interprets legislation and advises clients on Congressional procedures and strategy. He provides counsel to corporations, associations and individuals with regard to a variety of tax, health and trade related issues. Prior to entering private practice, Mr. Dowley served as Chief Counsel of the Committee on Ways & Means of the U.S. House of Representatives for two and one-half years.

Doug Farry

Bio| LinkedIn

Doug Farry

San Diego
4435 Eastgate Mall
Suite 400
San Diego, CA 92121

TEL: 619.595.8017
FAX: 619.595.5450
E-MAIL: dfarry@mckennalong.com

 

Doug Farry is a senior strategic advisor in the government affairs practice and chair of the radio frequency identification (RFID) practice. He provides strategic and tactical support for clients primarily on technology and telecommunications policy. Previously, Mr. Farry served as senior policy advisor to House Majority Leader Dick Armey. He managed all legislative activity through the US House of Representatives in coordination with the Senate leadership and the White House Legislative Affairs office. He managed final conference negotiations on numerous pieces of major legislation.

David Fine

Bio| LinkedIn

David Fine

Denver
1400 Wewatta Street
Suite 700
Denver, CO 80202-5556

TEL: 303.634.4339
FAX: 303.634.4400
E-MAIL: dfine@mckennalong.com

 

David Fine is a partner in the Denver office of McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP. Prior to joining MLA, Mr. Fine served as the City Attorney for the City and County of Denver from 2007 – 2011. In that capacity he provided policy and legal advice to Mayor John Hickenlooper and other City leadership, served as the final decision maker on all critical legal decisions facing the City, and managed a large public law firm with diverse practices.

Cindy Gillespie
Bio

Cindy GillespieWashington, DC
1900 K Street NW
Washington, DC 20006-1108

TEL: 202.496.7684
FAX: 202.496.7756
E-MAIL: cdgillespie@mckennalong.com

 

Cindy Gillespie is a managing director in the firm’s government affairs practice. Cindy manages issues related to state, national and federal government affairs, and focuses on health care and legislative matters. Previously, she served as special counselor to former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and in 2002 served as vice president of federal relations for the Salt Lake City Organizing Committee for the Winter Games of 2002.

Maryscott “Scotty” Greenwood
Bio
| LinkedIn

Scotty Greenwood

Washington, DC
1900 K Street NW
Washington, DC 20006-1108

TEL: 202.496.7157
FAX: 202.496.7756
E-MAIL: sgreenwood@mckennalong.com

 

 

Scotty Greenwood is a senior managing director on the International Trade and Public Affairs Teams at McKenna Long & Aldridge. She assists clients with legislative and public policy challenges in the U.S. and Canada. Her background with federal, state and local postings over the years has positioned her well to serve corporate and association clients navigating complicated policy challenges. Additionally, Ms. Greenwood is a senior advisor to the Canadian-American Business Council and was recognized by Canada-based The Hill Times in its listing of the “Top 100 Most Influential People in Government and Politics in 2010.”

Benjamin Keane
Bio

Atlanta
303 Peachtree Street, NE
Suite 5300
Atlanta, GA 30308

TEL: 404.527.4376
FAX: 404.527.4198
E-MAIL: bkeane@mckennalong.com

 

Ben is a member of McKenna Long & Aldridge’s Political Law Team and represents a broad range of clients, including elected officials, political campaigns, political parties, PACs, corporations, and non-profit organizations, with respect to state and federal election law, campaign finance, lobbying law, and ethics issues.  In addition, he advises clients on federal, state and local pay-to-play compliance issues, and provides counsel and assistance with regard to public policy and litigation matters.

Mike Klein
Bio

Mike Klein

New York
230 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10169-0005

TEL: 212.905.8315
FAX: 212.922.1819
E-MAIL: mhklein@mckennalong.com

 

 

Mike Klein brings a wealth of experience in both the public and private sectors. He is known for his work in advancing major energy, parks, transportation, infrastructure and telecom projects in the New York region. He previously served as Deputy County Executive for Nassau County Executive Thomas R. Suozzi, overseeing Parks, Public Works and Partnerships. Mr. Klein also served as Deputy Director for the New York-New Jersey office of President Bill Clinton’s Office of National Drug Control Policy. He provided constituent services for New York Congressman Charles B. Rangel and served as legislative director to City Councilman Stanley Michels of Northern Manhattan. He was a Regional Representative to Governor Mario M. Cuomo, coordinating policy, press and community affairs in the New York City area.

Kathleen O’Connor

Bio| LinkedIn

Kathleen O'Connor

New York
230 Park Avenue
New York, NY 10169-0005

TEL: 212.905.8302
FAX: 212.922.1819
E-MAIL: kpoconnor@mckennalong.com

 

 

Kathleen O’Connor focuses on administrative and regulatory law, providing advice and counsel to clients interfacing with state agencies. Her environmental work includes every aspect of environmental assessment and permitting work for projects of all sizes. She appears before the executive and agency levels of government to negotiate settlements, contracts and mediated outcomes for commercial clients and projects. Ms. O’Connor served as deputy legal counsel to Governor John G. Rowland in Connecticut and assistant to the counsel for Governor George E. Pataki. She formerly served as the chairperson of the Judicial Selection Commission for the State of Connecticut.

Stefan Passantino
Bio| LinkedIn

Stefan Passantino

Washington, DC
1900 K Street NW
Washington, DC 20006-1108

TEL: 202.496.7138
FAX: 202.496.7756
E-MAIL: spassantino@mckennalong.com

 

 

As the head of the Political Law practice at McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP, Stefan focuses on representing political figures, corporations and other political entities with respect to state and federal election law, campaign finance, lobbying law and ethics issues. He was recognized by Chambers USA 2010 as one of the leading political law attorneys in the nation and described as “extremely astute and responsive and has an incredible grasp of the subject matter.” Stefan is a regular contributor and commentator for CNN Radio, The Hill, National Journal, FOX News, Roll Call, The Washington Post, Atlanta Journal-Constitution and USA Today among others. Stefan is also a lead contributor to the blog, Pay to Play Law.

Colin Robertson
Bio| LinkedIn

Colin Robertson

Washington, DC
1900 K Street NW
Washington, DC 20006

TEL: 202.496.7187
FAX: 202.496.7756
E-MAIL: crobertson@mckennalong.com

 

 

Colin Robertson focuses on Canada-U.S. government relations, advising clients on policy issues that involve perspectives from both sides of the border. He is a career foreign service officer, with experience working at the UN and Canadian Consulate in New York, Hong Kong, as Consul General in Los Angeles, and first head of the Advocacy Secretariat at the Canadian Embassy in Washington. He was part of the team that negotiated the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement and the NAFTA.

Andrew Shaw
Bio| LinkedIn

Andrew Shaw

Washington, DC
1900 K Street NW
Washington, DC 20006-1108

TEL: 202-496-7116
FAX: 202.496.7756
E-MAIL: ashaw@mckennalong.com

 

 

Andrew Shaw focuses on energy issues at the intersection of Canada-U.S. relations. He uses his political and legal experience to advise clients on environmental policy and compliance issues. He previously worked for the EPA as a Law Clerk and held multiple roles in the Office of Congressman Dennis Moore, where his duties included tracking legislation and advising the Congressman on issues in the areas of agriculture, energy, environment and transportation.

Dennis Smith
Bio

Washington, DC
1900 K Street NW
Washington, DC 20006

TEL: 202.496.7657
FAX: 202.496.7756
E-MAIL: dgsmith@mckennalong.com

 

 

Dennis G. Smith is a Managing Director in the Washington, DC office of McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP (MLA). His practice focuses on health policy at the federal, state, and local levels. His experience includes serving at senior levels of government, as well as in the private sector. Mr. Smith is an experienced and highly successful health policy executive, having served most recently as Secretary of the Department of Health Services for the State of Wisconsin. Appointed by Governor Scott Walker, he was responsible for an $8 billion budget with 5,500 employees. Mr. Smith introduced a number of service delivery and payment reforms in the state’s Medicaid program. Among his successes, Wisconsin was awarded a federal grant for the development of “Virtual PACE,” an initiative to redesign the state’s long-term care program for dual eligibles.

Jon Sohn
Bio | LinkedIn

Jon D. Sohn

Washington, DC
1900 K Street NW
Washington, DC 20006-1108

TEL: 202.496.7642
FAX: 202.496.7756
E-MAIL: jsohn@mckennalong.com

 

 

Jon D. Sohn is an experienced climate change and clean energy public policy leader. He has first hand experience preparing U.S. domestic and international environmental policy and regulations backed by advocacy and testimony before the United States Congress and Executive Branch. He has in depth understanding of private sector finance, multilateral development banks and United Nations processes in climate and energy policy matters coupled with a unique ability to work collaboratively with private sector, government and non-governmental organization stakeholders to formulate public policy solutions. He also represents clients before the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy on a broad range of regulatory and policy matters.

Eric Tanenblatt
Bio | LinkedIn

Atlanta
303 Peachtree Street, NE
Suite 5300
Atlanta, GA 30308

TEL: 404.527.8114
FAX: 404.527.4198
E-MAIL: etanenblatt@mckennalong.com

 

Eric Tanenblatt leads the firm’s National Government Affairs Group, focusing on governmental and regulatory affairs at the federal, state and local levels.  He served as chief of staff to Governor Sonny Perdue, Georgia’s first Republican Governor in more than 130 years. He currently serves as a member of Finance Leadership of the Republican Governors Association.  Today, Eric is considered by a growing number of elected officials and corporate leaders to be an invaluable resource – a creative and effective strategist who combines knowledge and network into results.