It's been broadly reported today that the powerhouse lobbying and law firm Lockridge Grindal Nauen has welcomed Ann Lenczewski to its government relations team:
Lockridge Grindal Nauen (LGN) announced a major addition to its government relations team today, as Ann Lenczewski plans to join the firm. A highly-regarded leader in Minnesota politics for more than twenty years, Ms. Lenczewski will assist LGN clients on a broad range of issues, including tax policy, local government matters, and political strategy. . . .
KSTP reports in State Legislator Ann Lenczewski to Resign, Takes New Job:
A power player at Minnesota's Capitol is resigning her House seat to take a job at a lobbying firm, where she'll keep a focus on tax and local government policy.
Democratic Rep. Ann Lenczewski of Bloomington says she'll leave next month and join the Lockridge, Grindal, Nauen firm. Her decision will result in a special election for a suburban seat she held for nine terms. . . .
It's much the same at the Pioneer Press, where Bill Salisbury writes in DFL Rep. Ann Lenczewski retires to join lobbying firm:
. . . Once she resigns from the Legislature, likely in early December, Lenczewski will join the government relations team at LGN, where the company says she’ll “assist LGN clients on a broad range of issues, including tax policy, local government matters, and political strategy.”
“Ann’s unique expertise in tax policy and its interaction across state, county, and municipal governments — together with her unparalleled political savvy — will significantly enhance our practice,” said Rebecca Klett, an LGN partner who runs their state government relations team, in a statement.
Lenczewski said she started looking around for other options, including government work and joining a nonprofit, but decided lobbying work would offer the best fit for her “skillset” acquired over 16 years in the Legislature.
“I like the work in the Capitol,” she said. “I like being there.”
Lenczewski will join at least five dozen former legislators of both parties since 2002 to become a lobbyist after leaving office.
The Minnesota House has a rule requiring members to wait one year after leaving office before becoming lobbyists, but it’s unenforceable and routinely ignored. Lenczewski will herself ignore it, saying she plans on registering as a lobbyist soon after starting at LGN. . . .
Rules, apparently, are for chumps. And forget about those prudes at the Center For Public Integrity, who gave Minnesota government a low grade, in part because of our revolving door from the legislature to the lobbies. Check out the report in Minnesota gets D- grade in 2015 State Integrity Investigation.
The client base
So whom might these clients be to gain from her on-the-job training in St. Paul?
The Lockridge, Grindal, Nauen firm's website page for Government Relations notes that it provides these services:
Local governments, associations, Indian tribes, and businesses of every size must be prepared to quickly and positively influence the legislative process at both the state and federal levels. The Lockridge Grindal Nauen team helps our clients:
- respond to public policy changes that affect them every day;
- identify opportunities for action at the Capitols in St. Paul and Washington, D.C.;
- organize, educate and mobilize stakeholders at the grassroots;
- communicate clearly and persuasively; and,
- achieve long-term success.
It is our goal to strategically assist our clients with state policy leaders. We work with our clients to formulate a thoughtful and effective strategy to implement their legislative and administrative agenda while responding quickly and effectively to lawmakers and decision-makers’ questions and concerns to maximize their influence on public policy.
We work closely with our clients to develop a strategic action plan that anticipates and avoids real and potential problem. We manage oral and written communications with key agencies, legislators, and stakeholders to best position you at the State Capitol. Additionally, we compile and analyze the political landscape relevant to your objectives to ensure the plan we develop together utilizes the necessary relationships and political strategy to accomplish your goals.
As for the clients, they're not listed on the webpage, but on the state level, they can be identified with a little elbow grease, matching the LGN people with "State Government Relations" practice specialties with lists of registrations with the Minnesota Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board.
Partner Ted Grindal,for instance, lobbies for education reform organization MinnCan; corporate rate-reduction supplicants MN Power (ALLETE); software giant Microsoft; the MN Sports Facilities Authority, and many others. Rebecca Klett, partner in charge of government relations quoted in many of the stories, reps many of the same.
The Bloomington representative will balance recent hire from the right side Peter Glessing, who until recently served as Deputy Director of Public Affairs at the Minnesota House Republican Caucus. It's all in the game-yo, and we'll leave readers to do the rest of the matchups.
We eagerly await her own registration--and client list--with the board.
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