Our founding publisher Matt Towery, who once served in the Georgia legislature, recently observed that our world has gotten so complex that modern-day responsible governance isn’t possible without a professional corps of lobbyists knowledgeable about specific public policy areas. All too often, in many states, lawmakers don’t have the staff needed to properly research issues. Of course, one doesn’t always have to agree with a lobbyist’s research and conclusion on behalf of a client or cause, but an elected representative should at least consider all arguments. Research on public policy issues done by think tanks— spanning the political left to the right— is also valuable to elected officials as well as to lobbyists and those in the media who shape public opinion.
“Yes, there’s a notion by some that so-called ‘special interest’ lobbyists shouldn’t be allowed to operate, or that they aren’t needed. But look at it this way: The average person can’t meet with a local, state or federal representative very much, if at all. So that’s why all sorts of individuals ranging from doctors and gun owners to veterans and senior citizens join associations that retain lobbyists who protect members’ vital interests. That often means advancing, amending or opposing legislation.
“Rating top governmental affairs firms and lobbyists in order of distinction is a thorny enterprise. But The Southern Political Report believes it is a service to our readers to attempt to rank the top government affairs firms and lobbyists who labor diligently in the legislative vineyards. After all, these men and women shape public policy all over the South. That’s why we regularly talk to various movers-and-shakers in 13 Southern states ‘in the know.’ Some are accomplished lobbyists themselves, or they are the clients big and small that they serve. They know who the best are and, with this issue, now you will know who they are!“
To borrow a phrase from Clement Clarke Moore’s ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas, we opened the magazine and “when, what to my wondering eyes should appear, but” TMPR making the list as one of the best.
According to TMPR’s managing principal Taft Matney, “When TMPR launched in 2001, it was a leap of faith grounded in a philosophy that we wouldn’t take on clients just for the business. It was and remains important that we only work with and for clients we agree with.”
“We could have had a larger firm and a larger client base if we had cast a wider net, but whether it’s issue advocacy, political consulting, governmental relations, corporate branding, or non-profit strategic planning, we’ve been able to hold to our core beliefs and build a firm with a strong professional and ethical reputation in and out of South Carolina.”