Wisconsin Government Solutions

Foley & Lardner’s Public Policy Team in Wisconsin serves clients with a wide range of interests, from Fortune 100 companies to local nonprofits. Our comprehensive and integrated approach protects and promotes your interests in the halls of the Legislature, the meeting rooms of regulatory agencies, and with the Governor. We have the knowledge, the experience and the commitment to work with you to plan for success and achieve your objectives.

Foley offers unique advantages in Wisconsin, such as:

  • A Bipartisan Team.  With members of both parties playing key roles on many issues and control of each chamber changing hands often, our bi-partisan team of professionals can advocate with all branches of government and both parties. No other firm matches our bipartisan credentials.
  • A National Perspective and Local Focus.  We are the only Public Policy Team in Wisconsin that has a network of offices, lawyers, and other public affairs professionals spread throughout the country.

Monitoring/Tracking Public Policy

The essence of legislative and administrative lobbying is timely recognition of issues that will impact your interests. Our Wisconsin Public Policy Team first studies your goals, issues and then provides a systematic monitoring service that reports on known proposals and, more importantly, developing issues that have not surfaced publicly. We have the access necessary, and the experience required, to spot the issues that may promote or threaten your interests. To achieve those ends, we:

  • Track all legislative and administrative proposals that impact the client’s organization, including bills, amendments, and rules that are introduced in the Legislature, by the Governor or regulatory agencies.
  • Monitor or attend relevant meetings of legislative committees.
  • Gather intelligence on pending proposals from legislators and administration officials.
  • Provide updates on issues we are tracking.

Legislative/Agency Lobbying

As the legislative process becomes more participatory, the number and nature of information sources that influence legislators have multiplied. The traditional approach to lobbying of having a “hired gun” speak with legislators must be supplemented with an effort to raise the profile and influence of the client. This requires the cultivation of a grassroots network, smart media and public relations, and a long-term perspective to managing issues in the Legislature. We offer:

  • Strategic advice on which legislative and regulatory issues to tackle, the best approach to lobbying, and how to maintain good relations with the legislative and executive branches of government.
  • Advocacy with legislators, the Governor’s Office, and regulators about legislation, rules or other issues.
  • Procurement – we will provide advice on strategic business opportunities with the state and help open the right doors in order to maximize opportunities related to potential state contracts.
  • Drafting and delivery of testimony at legislative or regulatory hearings.
  • Participation in multi-industry coalitions to impact the outcome of legislation or rulemaking.
  • Drafting of legislation, amendments, and testimony that will advance your agenda.
  • Scheduling meetings with the Governor, legislators, staff, or agency officials.
  • Local government lobbying: In Milwaukee, Madison, and several other jurisdictions we will assist with procurement and advocacy to elected officials.

Grassroots Lobbying and Media Relations

Foley Public Policy professionals help clients manage their public image, deliver policy messages, or handle a crisis. Winning a battle in the Legislature does little good if it damages a reputation and public trust you spent years developing. Our goal is to enhance your long-term interests through:

  • Communication and positioning plans to support your objectives.
  • Strategic advice and coaching on when to speak with the media, with whom to speak, and what to say.
  • Coordination of press conferences, writing press releases and media advisories, setting up editorial board meetings and media interviews, and, under your direction, working with reporters “off the record.”
  • Direct mail projects from creation to delivery.
  • TV and radio “issue ads” from creation to “on air.”
  • Gauging public opinion through polling or focus groups.
  • Development and implementation of grassroots and/or community-based strategies.

Election and Ethics Law

Our Wisconsin Public Affairs team ensures that all of your political activities are entered into with the highest degree of legal and ethical awareness. Services include:

  • Development of a political contribution strategy and plan.
  • Management of Political Action Committee and conduit transactions.
  • Compliance with federal and state ethics filings.
  • Counsel on tax implications of political activity for 501(c) groups.