229 episodes

A podcast about the people whose lives are immersed in the political world, and how they got there - from campaigns to capitols and everywhere in between. Politicians, lobbyists, pollsters, and business people. If they're on the show, they're living the political life.

The Political Life Jim O'Brien

    • Government
    • 4.9 • 94 Ratings

A podcast about the people whose lives are immersed in the political world, and how they got there - from campaigns to capitols and everywhere in between. Politicians, lobbyists, pollsters, and business people. If they're on the show, they're living the political life.

    Meet the Company That Hires the Most Lobbyists

    Meet the Company That Hires the Most Lobbyists

    This week we welcome Maureen Riehl and Ed Griesmer to the podcast to discuss the work they do at Multistate and the fascinating process of hiring lobbyists in an ever-changing political landscape.
    Maureen is Principal and General Counsel with MultiState Associates. She joined the firm in October 2015, and leads the firm's Strategic Government Relations Practice. Her work has encompassed both the public and private sector, advising organizations on their strategic planning, public policy, communications, and outreach strategies. Maureen is also an accomplished speaker, state affairs expert, and media commentator. Her passion is mentoring young people interested in the profession of advocacy.
    As MultiState’s president, Ed is responsible for overall day-to-day management of the company’s Alexandria headquarters, including business development, marketing, customer satisfaction and quality assurance, as well as overseeing MultiState’s issues management platform, research and technology. He also works directly with numerous clients on all of the company’s service lines including lobbying engagements nationwide.
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    Have a suggestion, or want to chat with Jim? Email him at Jim@ThePoliticalLife.net 
    Follow The Political Life on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter for weekly updates.

    • 32 min
    What Happened in the Georgia Senate Race? Howard Franklin Explains.

    What Happened in the Georgia Senate Race? Howard Franklin Explains.

    This week we welcome back Howard Franklin to the podcast to provide an update on the extremely close Senate race in Georgia. Howard also walks us through the turnover in the legislature of this increasinly-important state.
    Howard Franklin is the President and CEO of Ohio River South, a high-stakes strategy firm rooted in the New American South and led by professionals from government, business and politics. Savvy, southern and strategic, ORS has assembled the region’s best technologies and tactics for achieving electoral and policy success.
    Howard has led nonprofits, served in government, elected and lobbied public officials across two dozen states and counting. His career began leading a voter engagement nonprofit for former Mayor Maynard Jackson, before working for Mayor Shirley Franklin. In total, he has given nearly a decade to public service, working for Minority Leader Stacey Abrams and later serving as Senior Policy Advisor to Georgia’s largest county, weighing in on a broad range of issues from healthcare to criminal justice.
    He maintains dual citizenship in public and private sectors and has helped drive billions in investment while consulting for industry leaders across technology, healthcare, hospitality, transit and real estate. Equally adept in state capitals and on the campaign trail, he has helped public officials make and communicate policy decisions, win and hold elected office. In 2021, he led the campaign that elected Andre Dickens the 61st Mayor of Atlanta and co-chaired the mayor’s transition team.
    Howard was elected the first male president of the Georgia League of Women Voters at age 29, and was thrice recognized as Top 40 Under 40 by Georgia Trend Magazine, Atlanta Business Chronicle and The Network Journal. He was named a 2021 Man of Influence by the Atlanta Business League, and is a frequent contributor to the New York Times, Politico, NPR and MSNBC. He earned degrees in sociology and English from Morehouse College.
    Help us grow! Leave us a rating and review - it's the best way to bring new listeners to the show. Don't forget to subscribe!
    Have a suggestion, or want to chat with Jim? Email him at Jim@ThePoliticalLife.net 
    Follow The Political Life on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter for weekly updates.

    • 19 min
    Who Will Win the Nevada Senate Race?

    Who Will Win the Nevada Senate Race?

    This week we welcome Jonathan Oceguera to the podcast for a special pre-election-day episode to discuss the tight Senate and Gubernatorial races in Nevada as well as his unique entry-point into politics as a retired firefighter.
    John runs Strategies 360’s Nevada operations, overseeing a diverse mix of clients from corporations and nonprofits to campaigns and candidates.
    John formerly served as Speaker of the Nevada Assembly and was an elected representative in the Nevada Legislature for 12 years. He held a variety of leadership positions and chaired numerous committees, including Commerce and Labor, and Transportation. As Speaker of the Assembly in 2011, John worked with his colleagues in both houses and parties to ensure the state budget was balanced, while providing additional funding for education and other essential state services.
    In addition to his legislative service, John had a 20-year career with the North Las Vegas Fire Department, working as firefighter, paramedic, engineer, captain, battalion chief and retiring as an assistant chief in 2011. As assistant chief, he developed, implemented a comprehensive emergency operations program, and managed 220 personnel and a multi-million-dollar budget.
    John has also served on numerous boards and in many different leadership positions. He was named “Elected Official of the Year” by the American Heart Association and the National Association of Social Workers, Nevada Chapter.
    John received a “Top 40 Under 40” award from In Business Las Vegas and was named “Consumer Advocate of the Year” by the Nevada Trial Lawyers. John’s most cherished honor was having his name placed on the Distinguished Service Wall at the Nevada Firefighters Memorial, joining only 17 other firefighters who have been so honored.
    Help us grow! Leave us a rating and review - it's the best way to bring new listeners to the show. Don't forget to subscribe!
    Have a suggestion, or want to chat with Jim? Email him at Jim@ThePoliticalLife.net 
    Follow The Political Life on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter for weekly updates.

    • 19 min
    Lt. Governor Fetterman or Dr. Oz? Rob Vescio Gives Us an Overview

    Lt. Governor Fetterman or Dr. Oz? Rob Vescio Gives Us an Overview

    This week Jim welcomes Rob Vescio to the podcast to discuss the looming Pennsylvania Senate race and to break down the current political landscape in the state.
    One of the original principals that launched Dentons Cohen & Grigsby Public Affairs, Rob is a seasoned professional with nearly 20 years of public affairs experience. If a major public policy debate is occurring in Pennsylvania, chances are, Rob is part of the discussion.
    As a lobbyist, Rob has successfully lobbied on behalf of for-profit companies, nonprofit organizations and trade association clients. His vast experience and strong bi-partisan contacts have provided clients with the ability to shape issues.
    Help us grow! Leave us a rating and review - it's the best way to bring new listeners to the show. Don't forget to subscribe!
    Have a suggestion, or want to chat with Jim? Email him at Jim@ThePoliticalLife.net 
    Follow The Political Life on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter for weekly updates.

    • 20 min
    Groundhog Day - U.S. Senate May Once Again Be Decided in Georgia Runoff

    Groundhog Day - U.S. Senate May Once Again Be Decided in Georgia Runoff

    This week Jim welcomes back friend of the show Eric Tanenblatt to discuss the tight US Senate race between Raphael Warnock and Herschel Walker in Georgia. They also assess the likelihood of a possible runoff between the two candidates.
    Eric Tanenblatt is the Global Chair of Public Policy and Regulation of Dentons, the world's largest law firm. He also leads the firm's US Public Policy Practice, leveraging his three decades of experience at the very highest levels of the federal and state governments.
    Mr. Tanenblatt, a renowned lecturer and political counselor who's widely regarded as one of the nation's preeminent public policy thought leaders, has served in the administrations of three US presidents and as a senior advisor to a US senator and governor, and held a US Senate-confirmable post governing a federal agency.
    He leads Dentons' global autonomous vehicles team and authors a popular weekly digest tracking the most consequential regulatory, political, and technical developments in the world of automotive autonomy.
    Mr. Tanenblatt's political and fundraising activities and experience are extensive. He served as chief of staff to Governor Sonny Perdue, Georgia's first Republican governor in 130 years, and later helped coordinate the 2004 G-8 Economic Summit, hosted by President George W. Bush at Sea Island, Georgia. He served in 2012 as a political advisor and National Finance Co-chairman for the presidential campaign of Governor Mitt Romney, with whom his relationship dates back to 2004, when he served as Finance Co-chair for the Romney-led Republican Governors Association (RGA). Earlier, in 2000, he served as the state chairman for President Bush's successful Georgia campaign and held senior positions in the 1996 Bob Dole and Phil Gramm presidential campaigns.
    He also served as a longtime advisor to the late US Senator Paul Coverdell (R-GA), including as vice chairman of the senator's reelection bid in 1998. Later, he served in the administration of President George H. W. Bush at the Department of Health and Human Services as a special assistant to the secretary, and as director of intergovernmental affairs at the Peace Corps.
    Mr. Tanenblatt is a prominent advocate for civic engagement, often writing and speaking on the subject. He was nominated by President Bush and confirmed by the US Senate to serve on the Board of Directors of the Corporation for National and Community Service, serving from 2008 until 2013. He was also the founder and chairman of Hands on Georgia, a statewide organization to promote volunteerism, and served as co-chair of the Host Committee for the National Conference for Service and Volunteerism in 2008 and 2018.
    Named one of Georgia's 100 most influential persons and a political legacy leader by the magazine Georgia Trend, which years earlier named him one of the state's "Forty under 40" rising stars, Mr. Tanenblatt is often quoted or cited by some of the most prestigious news and opinion services in the world, including the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, the New York Times, US News and World Report, National Journal, Politico, The Hill, Roll Call, the Associated Press, and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
    Help us grow! Leave us a rating and review - it's the best way to bring new listeners to the show. Don't forget to subscribe!
    Have a suggestion, or want to chat with Jim? Email him at Jim@ThePoliticalLife.net 
    Follow The Political Life on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter for weekly updates.

    • 20 min
    Leif Johnson Wears Many Hats; Focus, TAG & Leonine Public Affairs to Name a Few

    Leif Johnson Wears Many Hats; Focus, TAG & Leonine Public Affairs to Name a Few

    This week Jim welcomes Leif Johnson to the pod to discuss his experience in public affairs as well as some of his interesting endeavors from the past.
    Leif Johnson provides strategic counsel and serves as a solutions provider for corporations and trade associations to enhance their state government relations efforts throughout the country. In 2003, he opened the Leonine Washington, D.C., Office and branded the 50-state government affairs practice, FOCUS. He oversees the coalition & association management practice area along with the state government affairs and legislative/regulatory tracking division. Leif also assumed the role of CEO and Managing Director of The Advocacy Group in 2012. 
    Previously, he was director of government relations and contracts, and director of corporate communications for West Publishing-Thomson Reuters, in Minnesota. At West, Leif helped create a nationwide lobbying network in all 50 states. He managed West’s state and federal government relations and lobbying efforts, guided passage of database protection legislation in the House of Representatives and served as spokesperson for crisis communications events. At Cisco Systems in San Jose, California, Leif was a public relations manager and directed the commercial line of business public relations and reputation management initiatives. He also served as a legislative assistant and director of correspondence to U.S. Senator Richard Lugar, a legislative aide to Minnesota Governor Arne Carlson, and led a congressional campaign in Minnesota’s 6th Congressional District. Leif was also a high school social studies teacher and a tennis pro at Hazeltine National Golf & Tennis Club.
    He was president of the Washington Area State Relations Group (WASRG), a trade association of government affairs executives and professionals, in 2009-2010. Leif graduated from Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota and holds a Master of Public Policy from The College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia. 
    Help us grow! Leave us a rating and review - it's the best way to bring new listeners to the show. Don't forget to subscribe!
    Have a suggestion, or want to chat with Jim? Email him at Jim@ThePoliticalLife.net 
    Follow The Political Life on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter for weekly updates.

    • 25 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
94 Ratings

94 Ratings

M.Archaga ,

Worth the time to listen, well crafted podcast.

Stumbled across this podcast and listen to it regularly now. Excellent content with good audio production quality. Well done!

Jonathan Kilman ,

THE podcast for government and public affairs

There is no doubt Jim has created and maintained the definitive podcast for government and public affairs professionals. As an industry insider, he knows what questions to ask and has built a vast network of professionals to provide fresh content on an evergreen basis - perhaps the hardest part of sustaining a podcast. - Jonathan Kilman? Converge Government Affairs

zro90 ,

Awesome

Great show with always insightful content. Jim and his guests have aided in inspiring me to pursue a career in lobbying. This is one of my favorite podcasts, by far!

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