Government Relations—Nationwide State Legislative Initiatives

Interchange Payment Credit Card Litigation

We represented the Lead Counsel of the plaintiffs in this matter which had obtained a $7 billion settlement with Visa and Mastercard related to price-fixing on fees for the credit cards. We were hired to protect the settlement and prevent any state from trying to interfere by passing legislation. We hired lobbyists in 23 states to defeat or prevent legislation from moving forward. This process lasted over two years. In not one state did legislation pass that would have prevented the settlement from going forward. This effort required a tremendous amount of management after the best persons or firms were hired. We worked in close coordination with the Lead Counsel and we brought proposals for each state forward to get approval before we obligated any resources for hiring lobbyists.

Thomson Reuters

We executed a targeted national strategy of hiring lobbyists in key states related to legislative battles on intellectual property issues. This effort involved 15 plus states and required vetting, meeting with, and hiring the best lobbyist in each of the key states. This battle lasted two years and we defeated all the proposals in each of the states that this legislation was brought forward. At that time, it required traveling to each of the key states and interviewing potential lobbyists and retaining them.

State and Local Government Relations

Motorola Solutions SIRN Project

We represented the Lead Counsel of the plaintiffs in this matter which had obtained a $7 billion settlement with Visa and Mastercard related to price-fixing on fees for the credit cards. We were hired to protect the settlement and prevent any state from trying to interfere by passing legislation. We hired lobbyists in 23 states to defeat or prevent legislation from moving forward. This process lasted over two years. In not one state did legislation pass that would have prevented the settlement from going forward. This effort required a tremendous amount of management after the best persons or firms were hired. We worked in close coordination with the Lead Counsel and we brought proposals for each state forward to get approval before we obligated any resources for hiring lobbyists.

Boys & Girls Clubs of America

Our team has had considerable success over several years in securing a direct appropriation for youth workforce development funding on behalf of the Minnesota Alliance of Boys & Girls Clubs. While many states have utilized the federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program to fund several initiatives around workforce development, Minnesota’s TANF program is such that dollars are largely allocated towards adults rather than children. We were able to position the Boys & Girls Club for success by identifying the Department of Employment and Economic Development budget as a target for line-item funding and then cultivate bipartisan relationships to secure almost $1 million annually for Clubs across the state. While the initial appropriation was a one-time appropriation, our team was successful in converting it to a base appropriation in the following legislative session.

Minnesota Self Storage Association

The Lockridge Grindal Nauen (LGN) State Government Relations team was retained by the Minnesota Self Storage Association to seek changes to a wide range of outdated statutes that had proven problematic for the state’s 800+ self storage businesses. In the face of vigorous opposition from competing interests and procedural obstacles from state regulators, the LGN team led a successful effort across multiple legislative sessions to completely overhaul archaic lien laws and reform industry-specific insurance regulations—winning consensus at a divided and often polarized state capitol. Building on this success and our long-term commitment to our clients across the region, the PSG team has recently achieved similar outcomes in Bismarck for the North Dakota Self Storage Association.

Federal Government Relations


Primacy Strategy Group provides professional staffing and association management for The National Association to Insure a Sound-Controlled Environment (N.O.I.S.E.). N.O.I.S.E. has served for over forty years as America’s only nationwide, community-based aviation noise advocacy group. An affiliate of the National League of Cities, N.O.I.S.E. is comprised of airport-adjacent communities who are disproportionately impacted by aviation noise.

N.O.I.S.E. provides strategic counsel and advocacy assistance for working with Congress and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to help these communities address the issue of excessive aviation noise, particularly noise caused by NextGen technologies. NextGen is the FAA’s multi-year policy to move air traffic control from ground-based to satellite-based control.

N.O.I.S.E. brings elected officials and other community leaders from coast to coast together to advocate collectively for impactful federal policy solutions—both legislative and regulatory.

N.O.I.S.E. has successfully advocated for a Congressional “Quiet Skies Caucus” which focuses a policy platform on these key issues. N.O.I.S.E. also sits on the NextGen Advisory Committee (NAC), which provides national stakeholder guidance and review to the FAA on NextGen Policies. N.O.I.S.E. is also a member of the Aviation Rule Making Committee (ARAC) to the FAA and serves on the FAA’s Academic Center of Excellence (ASCENT), the research body of the FAA.

Serving as the organization’s professional staff, Primacy Strategy Group has aviation noise policy experts who provide the Board of Directors, community leaders, and organization members with the necessary support and tools to engage with Congress, the FAA, and private-sector aviation stakeholders.

Finishing Trades Institute of the Upper Midwest

Our state and federal teams worked with the Finishing Trades Institute of the Upper Midwest (FTI-UM) to secure grant funding for remote learning technology from the Governor’s office in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. Utilizing our team’s deep relationships with Minnesota lawmakers and officials in the state’s Executive Branch, we were able to craft an effective message and build a coalition of support for the funding, in part by underscoring the importance of career and technical education in Minnesota’s recovering economy.

Our team was able to secure a large grant from the Governor’s Emergency Educational Relief Fund to help FTI-UM invest in the training and technology that are essential to improving student outcomes during the pandemic. With a coordinated effort from our state and federal teams, we were able to tell a clear story on behalf of the client, convey the urgency of the moment, and engage with policymakers until our desired outcome was achieved.

HealthWORKS Coalition

HealthWORKS is a coalition of Taft-Hartley multiemployer health and pension plans as well as other Taft-Hartley service providers and stakeholders. Members of the HealthWORKS Coalition represent hundreds of thousands of lives throughout the Midwest and across the country.

The HealthWORKS Coalition brings together labor and management to educate members of Congress regarding how their decisions regarding health and pension issues will impact people across the country. We have sought and received clarification on Taft-Hartley regulatory issues and have had an impact on the repeal of the reinsurance fee and the Cadillac Tax. PSG serves as the conduit between policymakers in Washington, D.C., and fund trustees outside the beltway. We have also successfully activated grasstops and grassroots networks to advocate for the urgent need for pension reform.

Public Affairs & Public Relations

Strategic Communication Plans and Crisis Communications Training

Members of our team had the privilege to work side-by-side with an international Fortune 500 corporation as they developed a multi-layered public affairs plan that included a long-range strategic communications plan. The plan included traditional media relations needs, such as press releases, media interviews for executive team members, as well as product announcements and on-site tours for members of Congress and local elected officials. The plan also included a never before developed crisis communications plan and action sequence for the company.

Shortly after the development and implementation of the strategic plan, the company experienced a crisis communications incident. We immediately stepped in and developed and implemented a crisis communications plan, as well as providing media and message training sessions for all employees. We engaged on-site, conducting ‘mock interviews’ with local TV reporters and camera crews to simulate an actual interview setting.

The client was extremely satisfied that the long-range planning they had initiated fit the situation they encountered just a short time after the initial planning sessions. The end result was the perfect example of a ‘plan your work, then work your plan’ mentality we strive to provide for all of our clients.

Our team believes that a well-developed strategic communications plan, with thoughtful planning on the front end, can save critical time and resources and minimize your chances for reputational damage to your brand.

Crisis Communications & Strategic Recovery

No one plans to have a crisis but having a plan during a crisis is critical. Our team was hired by a national retail food company to deal with a crisis incident involving tainted food. The company had never experienced an incident on a national level that covered multiple states. Within days of customers becoming sick, some even hospitalized, sales at stores across the Midwest had fallen off anywhere from 25% – 80%.

Our team mapped out a crisis communications plan that included addressing the immediate issue of dozens of media inquiries and requests for interviews, but also a plan to simultaneously rebuild the company reputation and sales. We started by getting all of the scientific facts, from a trusted government agency. As is turned out, the infected product was from a vendor that had also infected other restaurants.

Rather than wait for a government agency to attempt to clear the company’s good name in 4 or 5 months, our client took our advice and implemented the proactive steps to address the food crisis at the moment, as well as reassure their customers their products were safe to eat again in the future.

We worked around the clock with the client in the first 48 hours to develop a media strategy that could be implemented as close to the original media cycle as possible and not allow consumer opinions to become fixed. The crisis communications plan consisted of a three-state media swing with the CEO conducting media interviews, as well as allowing members of the media to film him as he prepared food for the customers in the store. The company CEO spent hours in media coaching sessions, staged and prepared by our team, to prepare him for the exact situation he would face at each location.

Upon completion of the media tour, the client was extremely happy with the level of preparedness our team member had provided for him, stating that at each location he was asked the exact same questions by the reporters that he had been asked during the role-playing sessions we had conducted with him. And most importantly to him and the company, store sales in almost all locations throughout the Midwest had returned to pre-incident levels in less than 30 days.

Our team provided rapid, informed, and strategic crisis communications for our client at one of the worst times in the company’s history. You may not plan to have a crisis but knowing where to go when the crisis hits can be the life or death of your brand.

Clean Cars Press Conferences

Our team has been retained in states across the country to recruit local elected officials, public health experts, and environmental advocates to participate in press conferences regarding the CAFÉ standards affecting passenger cars and light trucks.

Our team has recruited high-profile speakers and generated press in media markets across the country, resulting in dozens of TV clips, print articles, and op-eds in each of these media markets. We have hosted and executed these press conferences in the following states: Alaska, Colorado, Iowa, Minnesota, North Carolina, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

Coalitions, Grasstops & Grassroots

Coalition Against Bigger Trucks (CABT)

We led grassroots and grasstops engagement efforts on behalf of Coalition Against Bigger Trucks (CABT) in Minnesota, partnering with community leaders and local elected officials to communicate to state policymakers the significant public safety risks and infrastructure problems that would arise if heavier vehicles were allowed on our state and local roads.

When we were first brought on board by the national organization, there were four statewide associations signed on to publicly support CABT’s efforts in Minnesota. Our client set a goal to add an additional six organizations to that list. After meeting with dozens of representatives from these associations over the course of the contract, we were able to add fourteen new statewide associations and two regional associations to that list, exceeding our goal by over 200%.

Over a period of 7 months, our team logged over 5,000 miles meeting with grasstops prospects in 33 counties on behalf of the coalition, completing 252 meetings with potential grasstops advocates and recruiting 126 grasstops supporters for the statewide effort, including dozens of mayors, police chiefs, county commissioners, sheriffs, and other public safety and infrastructure advocates. These supporters generated over 850 meaningful letters to legislators on the issue as well as dozens of additional phone conversations, in-person meetings, e-mails, and local government resolutions.

Our team also helped to generate many news stories and Op-Eds regarding the issues, as well as preparing our grasstops advocates for editorial board meetings. Additionally, we worked to ensure they stayed on-message if called to be quoted in potential stories regarding the effort.

Fiduciary Rule Grasstops

Members of our team had the privilege to be retained to serve as the Midwest War Room targeting over 40 members of Congress to apply grasstops pressure to bring about a more pragmatic and feasible solution to support Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association’s (SIFMA) policy priorities on the industry critical issue of reform to the “Fiduciary Rule.”

We were responsible for recruiting multiple high-level grasstops influencers for each Congressional target. We helped further educate these grasstops influencers on the significance and urgency to act on this issue, provided them with client-approved talking points, guided them to the most efficient way to make direct contact with the actual member (not just staff). We were then able to report back to the national client the intelligence gleaned through these direct intercepts, who was then able to compare this “outside of the beltway” information to what their lobbyists were hearing from the members and staff in our nation’s capital.

These grasstops influencers primarily were CEOs of large “outside of the beltway” financial institutions, such as RBC Wealth Management, D.A. Davidson, Hefren-Tillotson, Janney Montgomery Scott, etc.

We were proud to have tangibly moved the needle with our Congressional targets and assist in the ultimate delay of the fiduciary rule’s implementation following the Midterm elections and a new Congress was sworn in.

Partnership for America’s Health Care Future (PAHCF)

Members of our team were retained to spearhead the grassroots/grasstops advocacy efforts calling on Congressional Members in the Midwest to oppose a single-payer health care system on behalf of the Partnership for America’s Health Care Future. We were responsible for mobilizing multiple grassroots/grasstops influencers, including community leaders, local elected officials, and patient advocates.

Our efforts resulted in several state-based organizations formally joining the Partnership, including several local and regional chambers of commerce. We were able to add representatives from these organizations to the chorus or grassroots and grasstops advocates.

Over the term of the contract, in Minnesota alone, our team met with over 150 potential grassroots and grasstops advocates, including current and former state legislators, association heads, Taft-Hartley fund administrators, and patient advocates from all across the state. These efforts resulted in over 40 calls and meetings directly with Senator Smith or her staff, over 30 earned media pieces, and over 30 social media posts tagging the Senator. Earned media pieces include the following:

Surprise Billing

Our team led grasstops and grassroots outreach efforts targeting United States Senator Tina Smith regarding surprise medical billing. We engaged medical professionals, patients, and other advocates to contact Senator Smith’s office to urge her to continue her efforts to advance the STOP Surprise Medical Bills Act of 2019. Over the short term of the contract, our efforts resulted in nearly two dozen letters to the editor, op-eds, social media posts, and intercepts directly with Senator Smith and her staff.

Association Management

Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association (MCPA)

Our team provides Association Development and Management Services for the Minnesota Chiefs of Police Association (MCPA), specifically for their annual MCPA Executive Training Institute & Law Enforcement Expo. In this capacity, we handle sponsor recruitment and fulfillment, the development and execution of daily receptions and events throughout the week, as well as booth reservations, and magazine advertisement sales. Our strong track record of results has led the MCPA to retain our team to manage all facets of the expo, their main annual event.

HealthWORKS Coalition

We provide association/coalition management services to this organization, whose members include administrators, trustees, and service providers to Taft-Hartley multiemployer health and pension funds. Since July 2013, we have staffed the coalition board, managed the coalition’s annual budget, and planned and executed dozens of educational and advocacy-focused events for coalition members.

Event planning efforts on behalf of the coalition have included fly-in visits to Washington, D.C. to meet with Members of Congress and their staffs, seminars where members have had the opportunity to hear from and ask questions of panels of industry experts, and stakeholder roundtables with federal agency officials and elected officials including U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith, among others.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, we have planned and executed virtual tours and virtual roundtables with Members of Congress, so they can see first-hand the benefits of Taft-Hartley multiemployer health and pension funds.

Association Management Expertise

Whether you are a small nonprofit or a national trade association the PSG team can help your association grow and thrive. Our team of professionals has decades of experience in board governance and staffing, membership retention and growth, marketing and communications, and event planning and management.

Our team member Nancy Rhyme previously served as deputy executive director of the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) and Director of the NCSL Foundation for State Legislatures. During her tenure, she planned and managed over 150 meetings including NCSL’s annual national summit with more than 6,000 attendees and $1.5 million in sponsorships. Upon taking over the NCSL Foundation for State Legislatures she helped guide the Board of Directors to resolve the Foundation’s deficit by increasing fees, restructuring sponsorship levels, and building public-private partnerships. This led to the Foundation exceeding its Board set revenue goals for 18 consecutive years.

While serving as a senior executive at NCSL she enhanced and expanded NCSL’s outreach efforts to current and new constituents and executed NCSL’s first national survey of its membership in 2011. The data gathered provided valuable input that led to the redesign of the organization’s website and outreach efforts based on membership feedback. In 2018 as a follow-up to the improvements instituted in 2011 the survey was redone showing a substantial improvement in membership satisfaction.