Public Affairs Counsel (PAC) is an Oregon institution. Since 1976, PAC has provided its clients with superior counsel and results based on a foundation of:
- hard work
- tireless advocacy of client issues
- superior relationships and
- knowledge of Oregon’s political process
See Our Client Victories
Mark Nelson is Oregon’s leading business lobbyist and political strategist. Since 1980, Nelson has represented a multitude of diverse interests before the Oregon legislature, has provided campaign management for over 30 statewide ballot measure campaigns, and has built a leading public opinion survey research firm that specializes in polling for political campaigns, statewide ballot measures, local school districts, and local projects.
J.L. Wilson comes with a 16-year history in public affairs and lobbying as past Executive Director of NFIB/Oregon and past Senior Vice President of Government Affairs at Associated Oregon Industries. Wilson has been a full-time lobbyist representing primarily business interests since 2000. Prior to that, he served as Legislative Director for two Speakers of the Oregon House.
DIRECTOR OF GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS
Justen Rainey is a full time lobbyist and political strategist for Public Affairs Counsel. Prior to joining Public Affairs Counsel in 2012, Justen served as the Legislative Director for Oregon House of Representatives Co-Speaker Bruce Hanna. Justen held a similar legislative position with the Oregon Senate Republican office. Rainey began his professional career in 2001, where he spent 7 years as an aide to U.S. Congressman Greg Walden in his Washington D.C. office and Bend office.
DIRECTOR OF COALITION AND GRASSROOTS DEVELOPMENT
Alison Hart leads Public Affairs Counsel’s association management practice. Previously, Alison served as Chief Executive Officer for the Gresham Chamber of Commerce. An accomplished business and community leader, Alison’s career has included designing, developing, marketing and facilitating membership and community-building programs for both private sector and nonprofit organizations. Alison holds a Certified Meeting Planning Designation from MPI. Her additional experience includes managing a corporate marketing department for a subsidiary of the Daily Mail & General Trust, as well as membership services with the San Francisco Convention & Visitors Bureau.
Danile Kelly is the controller at Public Affairs Counsel since 1999, having come to the firm after 20 years in accounting with Evergreen Helicopters in McMinnville where she held the position of controller. For Public Affairs Counsel and its association clients, she is responsible for contribution and expenditure reports, accounts receivable, accounts payable, payroll, tax reports, and financial statements. Kelly’s experience in accounting and financial management is unparalleled.
OPERATIONS AND COMPLIANCE MANAGER
Alicia Givens has been with PAC since 2005, offering over ten years of project management expertise to lobby, survey research and campaign clients. Ms. Givens manages Public Affairs Counsel’s day-to-day operations. She also oversees scheduling, tracking bills during legislative session and preparing legislative reports. She’s the proud mother of her five year old daughter Addison Ray who also helps her mom manage the Public Affairs Counsel family.
Chad Horgan is a recent graduate of The Daniels College of Business at The University of Denver, majoring in international business with a minor in socio-legal studies. Chad is a language enthusiast, having spent a combined 21 years studying French, Spanish and Italian. Chad’s prior experience includes working for US Congressman Luke Messer in the Congressman’s Washington, D.C. office.
Public Affairs Counsel’s reputation in the lobbying profession is for providing its clients with tireless and strategic representation. PAC provides its clients with year-round coverage of Oregon’s legislative process and regulatory agencies. In providing lobbying services to clients, PAC follows a rigorous process which involves agenda setting, the development of issue-specific work plans and execution strategies.
Nobody works harder.
One of Public Affairs Counsel’s trademarks is its uniquely focused approach to floor votes on legislation. We never assume that any simple vote will go one way or another. We always construct “hard” vote counts so that we know how many votes are needed to prevail on any given issue. We don’t go into any issue without knowing, with great certainty, what the outcome is likely to be.
PAC provides the following services to all lobby clients:
Pre-Session Strategy Setting
- Prior to the beginning of a legislative session, PAC works with its clients to identify issues of importance that are likely to be considered by the legislature. Detailed strategies are developed as to how these issues will be addressed.
- In addition to the pre-session strategy process and working with the client, PAC identifies all other issues of concern to the client that arise during the legislative session.
Procedure, Access and Diligence
- In setting and executing strategies, PAC lobbyists put to work their complete insider’s knowledge of how the legislative process works. In order to achieve the best possible results, it is critical to influence the procedure. PAC also uses its access to legislators that it has developed over time to the continual advantage of its clients.
- On a daily basis, PAC reviews all legislation that is printed and distributed by the legislature and pulls all bills that relate to the client’s identified interests. These bills are then sent to the client for review and priority setting.
Meetings with Legislators
- PAC lobbyists meet with members of the legislative leadership, committee chairs, and other members to identify issues of importance to the client and to seek support on those matters. These contacts are constantly occurring throughout session. PAC also works to put its clients in front of key legislators to build relationships and rapport.
- As the legislative schedule is developed each day, PAC lobbyists are assigned to cover hearings for clients. The firm possesses sufficient personnel resources to assure complete coverage each and every day.
Testimony to Legislative Committees
- PAC coordinates testimony on client issues before legislative committees. In some instances, the client will be asked to provide testimony. In other cases, PAC lobbyists do the speaking.
Liaison with Other Interest Groups/Lobbyists
- PAC maintains on-going relationships with lobbyists and organizations who share common interests and positions with clients. In this way, effective coalitions can be formed to advance or defeat particular issues.
Research Related to Legislative Issues
- PAC conducts research into legislative issues as needed to fully prepare and advance issues of client interest. The firm’s extensive contacts in the private, political and government sectors assure that access is gained to the information that is needed for any particular issue.
Final Reporting of Legislative Actions
- At the conclusion of each legislative session, PAC prepares a final in-depth report on all legislation which has been prioritized by the client. Of particular importance, PAC catalogs its activity for each client along with a determination of next steps, if necessary.
Monitoring of Interim Legislative Committees
- PAC monitors the interim activities of all legislative committees and task forces that are dealing with issues of interest to clients. It also includes periodic reports to clients about the status of issues being discussed by these committees when the legislature is not in session.
Monitoring of Administrative Agencies
- PAC monitors and actively participates, on an as needed basis, with state agencies that are in a position to affect client interests. In some instances this involves issues of agency rulemaking. In others it concerns influencing policy decisions through direct contact with agency administrators and staff.
Identification of Probable Legislative Issues
- Throughout the interim, PAC strives to identify, ahead of others, issues of importance to a client that appear likely to be on the horizon. These issues come to the surface in the work of legislative interim committees, administrative agencies and through PAC’s extensive contacts in the political and governmental arenas.
Polling on Issues & Legislative Races
- PAC owns a public opinion research component, The Nelson Report, and extensively polls issues and legislative races. Using this data, PAC is able to advise clients on political trends, political giving, issues, and election outcomes.
- Oftentimes, clients make decisions based on where they believe the political winds are blowing. Very few firms have the ability to deliver the incisive political insight needed to make important decisions. Public Affairs Counsel is one of those firms.
Over the years, Public Affairs Counsel has built an impressive record in managing successful statewide and local ballot measure campaigns. These campaigns typically involve uphill battles over complex and emotional issues. Many have been won by narrow margins.
A successful ballot measure campaign has many elements that are critical to success – survey research (polling), issue research, campaign organization, grassroots and coalition development, editorial and public relations, paid media, and get-out-the-vote (GOTV) efforts.
PAC’s fundamental approach to managing campaigns is to gather the best information possible about issues through issue and survey research. PAC then utilizes this information to develop campaign strategies and themes that resonate with voters and executes multi-media communications and grassroots efforts that reach and move the electorate. These elements, coupled with hard work, are the basis for its success.
Public Affairs Counsel has a long track record of success in polling and managing state and local ballot. In all, PAC has managed 30 state and local measures – winning 24.