By Steve Arthur, Vice President
While most of the political attention has been appropriately focused in Washington, DC in 2009, with a new President with strong majorities in Congress, there will be shift of focus to the states in 2010, if not by the press, at least by the political parties. If your organization makes any campaign contributions in the states, I hope you’ve asked for an increase in your budget because you are going to be pressed hard for campaign contributions at every turn.
With reapportionment and redistricting happening in 2011, the 2010 elections will decide who makes those redistricting decisions in each state, which in turn will help determine the make-up of the U.S. House for the decade. In most states Governors have a role in the redistricting process, so those races will be garnering a lot of the press attention. However, as Stateside’s Political Outlook showed last month, there are 30 state chambers that would switch party control with a change of five or fewer seats. Therefore, the state and national parties and their campaign committees will be beating the bushes hard for contributions.
If you don’t already do so, 2010 is definitely the year you need to develop a contributions budget and strategy for your state government relations program and then stick with it. You will be getting calls for help in October of 2010, so you need to be prepared for them. Stateside Associates can help you develop that strategy by helping you identify the appropriate groups and candidates your organization should be targeting for assistance. In addition, don’t forget to check out Stateside’s new State Election Pages to help you keep track of those races.
Whether you have a budget of $5000, $50,000 or $500,000, the importance of determining, in advance, where those funds will go, cannot be overestimated.