Background

Wiener Associates: Cook, Neilson, Ruddell, Kandler, Van Halst, Wiener, Wiener, Weihl, Cupp

From left to right, top row: Deb Cook, Austin Nielson (former staff), Peter Ruddell, Brian Kandler, Mary Van Halst. Bottom row left to right: Raj and Rick Wiener (founders), Betsy Weihl, Melissa Cupp

RWC Advocacy was founded in 1989, as Wiener Associates, as a full-service, bipartisan government affairs law firm. We have more than eight decades of experience in government, politics and public affairs and during that time have grown to an aggressive mid-sized firm representing more than 40 diverse clients.

We have extensive lobbying experience that cover a range of issues discussed in local, state and federal government. These include economic development, education, health, human services, technology and information services, regulatory consulting, transportation, housing, telecommunications, taxation and appropriations matters.We also have specialized expertise in certificate of need matters and in state procurement protocols, and have extensive experience with grass roots advocacy campaigns.

Prioritizing Your Needs
We believe it’s vital for each client to have a clear, written, prioritized and mutually agreed upon statement of public policy objectives. So one first step is to meet with each client and develop these priorities, which guide our actions and alerts our entire staff to issues of importance to our clients.

If It Happens In Lansing, We Are There
We follow legislative hearings, monitor every introduced bill, track legislation and provide immediate feedback to our clients, utilizing state-of-the-art electronic and subscription tracking services. We firmly believe, though, that there is no substitute for being there, on the ground and in person. Our lobbyists and staff are present in committees, in the capitol in workgroups, and in informal discussions before bills are even introduced.

Providing Access To Decision Makers
We are active in hands-on lobbying for and with our clients, including one-on-one meetings with members of the Executive Branch and Legislature, including key staff. This may include testifying before committees or working with our clients to develop testimony for presentation. In short, we maintain access to key decision makers on our clients’ behalf.

Customized Representation
We provide periodic detailed reporting to our clients, but do not adopt a one-size-fits-all approach. We are experienced in presenting before client boards and at public meetings. We provide detailed written reports and other content on a schedule and in a format desired by each client, and we routinely accommodate phone, or email briefing for single or multiple parties. We tailor our approach to meet the needs of each client.

Knowledge. Experience. Access.
While lobbyists are best known as process facilitators, we try to absorb the substance of our clients’ issues so that we can talk knowledgeably with decision makers in the absence of our clients when needed. We have found, since term limits have been put in place, that substantive knowledge plays a greater role with the newer members than it did in the past. Therefore, our firm provides both substantive knowledge and access.

Services
RWC Advocacy provides the following services:

  • Legislative lobbying, including appropriations
  • Executive branch lobbying
  • Grassroots advocacy, organization, and coalition formation
  • Monitoring and reporting of legislative, administrative and regulatory activities, and informing clients of these activities
  • Strategic planning and prioritization of client goals
  • Crafting legislation and proposed administrative rules, reports, recommendations and testimony
  • Administrative law, including preparing regulatory filings, certificate of need and licensure applications
  • Guidance and representation in procurement opportunities
  • Public speaking and increasing client visibility to decision-makers and to client constituents
  • Client communications, including presentations to Boards and staff
  • Election analysis and impact of expected outcomes
  • Campaign finance compliance, including document preparation as required by state law
  • Non-profit tax-exempt status compliance

Ethics — The Highest Standard
We adhere to the State Bar of Michigan standards regarding conflict of interest and resolution of potential conflict of interest – the highest ethical standard of any governmental affairs consulting firm.

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