The Momentum Continues
August 2, 2019
Sometimes the new car smell lasts more than a few trips.
Bill Maer, a Democratic strategist at a bipartisan lobbying firm, said that, last year, everything on State Street was in high gear, with the new administration working through its first priorities. This year, nothing slowed down — and some of those early priorities are still being worked through.
Maer, partner with Public Strategies Impact, one of the state’s top lobbying outfits, said the fast-paced and challenging political dynamic coincides with a competitive moment for the business of lobbying.
Companies want help navigating a situation in Trenton that still feels new to them, even with Gov. Phil Murphy entering office at the start of last year, Maer said. As always, that provides lobbying firms with opportunities to pick up new clients.
“And, certainly, when there are opportunities to gain clients, there’s always the risk of losing them,” Maer said. “So, you have to be mindful of that.”
Maer added that he still detects some holdover caution from the economy’s last downturn. Businesses are still careful about their expenditures and want to get the most out of their money.
So, their expectations of lobbyists are higher than ever.
“There are a lot of good firms in the state and choices you can make … and companies want to spend wisely,” he said. “So, firms need to tell a compelling story of why they are better suited than all the others to resolve client issues.” [read more]
Cashless retailers are now illegal in NJ
March 18, 2019
According to New Jersey Retailer Merchants Association President John Holub, this legislation will have little to no immediate impact, as most retailers have indicated they don’t intend to go completely cashless.
“I’m more concerned about the future impact this may have and it’s potential to stifle innovation in the retail industry,” Holub said. [read more]
With Airbnb Taxed, NJ-Wide Registration Rules may be Next
March 10, 2019
John Holub, a lobbyist for the New Jersey Hotel and Lodging Association, said it is important to established companies for regulations to catch up with innovation, whether regulating rideshare companies, requiring online retailers to collect sales tax or – as started in October – applying sales and hotel taxes to short-term home rentals.
“Because of the regulatory environment or lack thereof where these companies operated in, there’s a tipping point where these new innovative companies have a competitive advantage over well-established companies,” Holub said. [read more]
Wind, weed lobbyists top annual ELEC report
March 5, 2019
Want a good barometer of which issues are hot? Look to the state Election Law Enforcement Commissions’ annual report of where lobbyists spent their money. This year it’s Wind and Weed. Senior Correspondent David Cruz is following the money.
Lobbyists spent just over $89 million to try to convince lawmakers to support or not support issues that were important to them in 2018. It sounds like a lot, but that’s down from 2017, which was a record year, and the first time it’s been under $90 million since 2014. [read more]
The ROI Influencers Power List 2019: Consultants
February 28, 2019
The fact that he’s not officially in Gov. Phil Murphy’s administration shows just how influential he is. Murphy — and many other Democratic power players — value his insight. “He has more influence that most people think — and most people think he has a lot,” one insider said. There’s no reason to think his stature won’t continue to grow.” [read more]
The State of Changes: Updates on Hot-Button Topics
January 23, 2019
Speaking to the Southern Ocean County Chamber of Commerce was Joseph Simonetta, senior partner of Public Strategies Impact and executive director of the nonprofit NJ Tourism Industry Association. As an advocate lobbying for the tourism industry, which generates $42 billion in revenue for the state, Simonetta has a front seat on legislative developments.
An impactful issue for the shore is the new sales tax on “transient accommodations,” otherwise known as the short-term rental tax, that went into effect Oct. 1, but by most accounts has changes still under discussion. The law currently includes private homeowners who rent rooms for fewer than 90 days. [read more]
Southern Ocean State of the Chamber to Tackle Tough Topics Jan. 16
December 20, 2018
The Southern Ocean County Chamber of Commerce will ring in business year 2019 on Jan. 16 with the Southern Ocean State of the Chamber, uniting local business leadership with the information that will help navigate anticipated and recent legislation from state and federal government. The event will take place at The Mainland Holiday Inn, Route 72 East in Manahawkin, with registration beginning at 8:15 a.m.
Keynote speaker Joseph Simonetta, senior partner of Public Strategies Impact, will discuss marijuana laws, short-term rental tax, paid sick leave, plastic bag laws and more.
“If you are a business owner or doing business in New Jersey, this presentation will help you understand the changes that have already begun to change the economy in our state,” said Lori Pepenella, chief executive officer at the chamber. [read more]
Start your Holiday Shopping! NJ Retailers’ Tips for Deals
November 18, 2018
With Thanksgiving and Black Friday coming up, we are about to kick off the unofficial start of what’s become the Great Holiday Shopping season. According to John Holub, the president of the New Jersey Retail Merchants Association, store merchants are getting ready. “They’re trying to provide the product that the consumers want and provide it in a way they want it,” he said. [read more]
Just in Time for the Holidays: NJ to Start Taxing Online Shopping
October 30, 2018
Earlier this year the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that states are able to collect sales tax from online retailers the same way they do from stores in malls and shopping centers.
Beginning Thursday, New Jersey will begin to collect sales tax from all internet retail companies, which is expected to generate at least $212 million in revenue this year, and even more in the future.
According to John Holub, the president of the New Jersey Retail Merchants Association, the new law is “a tremendous victory for all main street retailers, because it finally levels the playing field.” [read more]
Online Shoppers Must Pay NJ Sales Tax Under New Law
October 5, 2018
Online purchases will be susceptible to New Jersey’s sales tax under a law signed by Gov. Phil Murphy this week. New Jersey Retail Merchants Association President John Holub told WCBS 880’s Steve Burns that the change was long overdue.
“For years now, online-only retailers have not been required to collect sales tax, and it’s been a significant competitive advantage over brick-and-mortar stores,” Holub said.
Behind the scenes: Lawmaker balances fun, family with duty to the office
September 16, 2018
U.S. Rep. Keith Rothfus (right), R-Sewickley, from the 12th Congressional District, talks with John Holub (left), Pennsylvania and New Jersey Retailers Association executive director, as a dog bursts into the office to offer a moment of comic relief during a meeting in the Longworth House Office Building in Washington D.C. on Thursday, September 6, 2018. [read more]
New Jersey voters like Murphy, poll shows
August 22, 2018
“These numbers reflect what the people of New Jersey have been saying for years: they are ready to move on from the Christie administration and the failed special interest politics that have plagued our state for so long,” said Brendan Gill, a political advisor to Murphy and the head of the governors (c)(4) advocacy group. “Governor Murphy came into office with a clear mandate to build a stronger and fairer New Jersey that works for every family in our state, and the electorate is clearly responding to the incredible job he’s done fulfilling that promise in his first seven months in office. Governor Murphy is moving New Jersey in a new direction- just as he said he would- and people across New Jersey are agreeing with that change.” [read more]
Behind closed doors, these are the 11 insiders shaping N.J.’s cannabis industry
July 12, 2018
William “Bill” Maer, Public Strategies Impact: A longtime Democratic strategist, Maer has served as an aide to former Gov. James Florio, as chief of staff to U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr., associate executive director of the Assembly Democratic Legislative Leadership Office, and senior adviser to Governor Jon S. Corzine and Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg’s 2009 statewide campaign. Maer served as the spokesman for the Passaic County Sheriff’s Office for 16 years, as a strategist to the New Jersey Democratic State Committee and on Gov. Phil Murphy’s 2018 Law and Justice Transition Committee.
Public Strategies Impact currently represents Curaleaf New Jersey, a branch of the multi-state operator PalliaTech. Public Strategies Impact also recently announced a strategic partnership with the law firm Brach Eichler.
ELEC records show Public Strategies Impact took in $91,105 last year from West Ward Pharmaceuticals, $20,000 from DuPont, and $39,000 from Legacy Treatment Services, which provides support for crisis intervention, addiction recovery and other services. Public Strategies Impact also represents a number of professional associations, as well as global eyewear giant Luxottica, the Motion Picture Association of America, NY Football Giants Inc., and World Trade Center Properties LLC. [read more]
Did Phil Murphy and top Democrats shoot N.J.’s economy in the foot with their budget deal?
July 14, 2018
John Holub, president of the New Jersey Retail Merchants Association, stood among the industry groups and government affairs agents waiting outside a rare Sunday legislative session for votes on budget-related bills.
Specifically, Murphy’s administration and lawmakers were nailing down language on new requirements on how businesses with operations in New Jersey and other states are taxed, something called unitary combined reporting requirements. “The ramifications are unknown right now,” Holub said as he waited for the deal on July 1. “They’re literally writing this legislation on the back of a cocktail napkin, in a sense.” [read more]
NJ merchants ‘beyond pleased’ with Supreme Court’s retail sales tax ruling
June 21, 2018
“We’re beyond pleased with the decision,” said John Holub, president of the New Jersey Retail Merchant Association in Trenton. “What this will do is finally level the playing field between bricks-and-mortar and online retailers, who continue to refuse to play by the same rules. No longer will these online retailers have any kind of competitive advantage when it comes to pricing.”
Supreme Court decision would allow states to collect more online sales tax
June 21, 2018
Court decisions have long held that states can only require businesses to collect sales tax if they have a physical presence within the state borders. The proliferation of online retail has created intense pressure to re-examine that standard.“It’s a major victory” for local stores that have long felt like the law treated them unfairly, said John Holub, a spokesman for the Pennsylvania Retailers Association. [read more]
Send in the power players! Another N.J. marijuana dispensary hires a prominent lobbyist
June 7, 2018
Public Strategies Impact announced on Wednesday it had formed a strategic alliance with the law firm of Brach Eichler to help businesses participate in the emerging cannabis marketplace in New Jersey. “‘Strategic Cannabis Solutions’ will form exclusive relationships with clients in order to advise, position, and advocate for them to successfully obtain state-required cannabis licenses,” the firms said in a joint news release. [read more]
Cannabis collaboration: Brach Eichler, Public Strategies Impact team up to help with licensing
June 7, 2018
“In light of the complicated and heavily regulated nature of New Jersey’s cannabis marketplace, Strategic Cannabis Solutions brings a forceful multidisciplinary team of experts to the table,” Roger A. Bodman, PSI’s managing partner, said in a statement. “When the dust settles on all of the cannabis rules and regulations, we will advocate at every level of government to ensure our clients succeed in a highly competitive environment.” [read more]
Brach Eichler, Public Strategies form cannabusiness consultancy
June 7, 2018
Brach Eichler and lobbying firm Public Strategies Impact formed a strategic alliance aimed at helping businesses participate in New Jersey’s cannabis market. The alliance, dubbed Strategic Cannabis Solutions, will form exclusive relationships with clients to advise them and advocate on their behalf to obtain cannabis licenses. [read more]
Brach Eichler and Public Strategies Impact Form Strategic Cannabis Solutions
June 6, 2018
Brach Eichler, LLC, one of New Jersey’s leading law firms, and Public Strategies Impact, LLC, one of New Jersey’s leading lobbying firms, have formed a strategic alliance to help businesses participate in New Jersey’s emerging cannabis marketplace. “Strategic Cannabis Solutions” will form exclusive relationships with clients in order to advise, position, and advocate for them to successfully obtain state-required cannabis licenses. According to John D. Fanburg, Managing Member and Cannabis Law Practice Co-Chair, “The alliance of Brach Eichler and Public Strategies Impact will enable clients to strategically address both the legal complexities of cannabis opportunities and in close collaboration with Public Strategies Impact, enable clients to position their license application for success.” [read more]
Credit Card Signatures About to be Phased Out
April 10, 2018
“I don’t think requiring a signature means anything at all. In fact, when you think about it, when you go to most stores and you sign the receipt nobody looks at it anyway.” John Holub, the president of the New Jersey Retail Merchants Association, agrees. He said the signature is completely unnecessary and actually “the fact that they’re eliminating this and pass it off as beneficial to the consumer, it hasn’t been a security feature for quite some time.” He pointed out security was improved significantly when credit cards started using a chip instead of the swipe. [read more]
Roger Bodman Featured on NJTV
Brendan Gill Selected for NJBIZ Power List
March 26, 2018
Perhaps no one is as responsible for Phil Murphy becoming governor of New Jersey than Brendan Gill. The Essex County freeholder and head of the full-service public affairs company, The Gill Group LLC, was an early addition to the Murphy team as campaign manager, helping to guide the then-relative unknown to the top job in Trenton. Gill’s experience as an advisor dates back to his work as a senior adviser to the late U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg, first managing his historic fifth re-election campaign and then overseeing all statewide operations. Gill also helped get Cory Booker re-elected to the U.S. Senate and served as his senior adviser. [read more]
Walmart awards $6.3M in bonuses to N.J. workers
March 12, 2018
In January, Walmart announce it would increase hourly associates’ starting wage to a minimum of $11 an hour and award eligible associates with a $1,000 one-time cash bonus. The company said associates’ March 8 checks would include any Q4 bonus awarded, as well as an annual pay raise for hourly field associates. Walmart has 73 retail stores in New Jersey, with 21,413 total associates.
“Walmart has made a considerable investment in New Jersey,” John Holub, president of the New Jersey Retail Merchants Association, said in a statement. [read more]
Revenue Up 5 Percent for NJ Lawyer-Lobbyists in 2017
March 10, 2018
As has been the case historically, the revenues for the top 10 law firms that lobby, or have lawyers on their staffs, were dwarfed by the two biggest players: Princeton Public Affairs Group and Public Strategies Impact, both of Trenton, which saw 2017 revenues of $9.23 million and $6.16 million, respectively. [read more]
ELEC’s Ranking Of The Top Ten Lobbying Firms
March 8, 2018
The New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission released the top ten lobbying firms ranked by highest receipts. For the fifteenth straight year, Princeton Public Affairs Group, headed up by Dale Florio, reported the highest receipts among multi-client contract lobbying firms. Eight of 10 firms on the 2016 list remained there in 2017. [read more]
Walmart Pays $6.3M in Bonuses to New Jersey Employees
March 8, 2018
“Walmart has made a considerable investment in New Jersey,” said John Holub, President of the New Jersey Retail Merchants Association. “We’re honored that they’re part of our business community. The company’s commitment to its associates and their families serves as a model for the entire retail and business community.” [read more]
ROI Influencers: Power List 2018
February 26, 2018
Consultants: Brendan Gill. Gill made a name for himself as a stellar political operative and was a key figure in the campaign to elect Phil Murphy. His connection to the governor’s administration is strong enough to push him as a contender for a spot in the Top 25. [read more]
Hunterdon County Clerk Melfi to Take Oath of Office as Prez of NJAC
January 25, 2018
Senator Kip Bateman (R-16) will administer the oath of office to Melfi and to NJAC’s 2018 slate of executive officers that include: Essex County Freeholder Brendan Gill as First Vice President, Cape May County Freeholder Marie Hayes as Second Vice President, Mercer County Freeholder John Cimino as Secretary/Treasurer, and Gloucester County Freeholder Heather Simmons as Immediate Past President. Following the ceremony, culinary art students from Hunterdon County Polytech will provide a terrific lunch to invited guests at the Historic Trenton Masonic Temple. [read more]
Brendan Gill becomes president of Essex County freeholders
January 4, 2018
“There has truly never been a more critical moment facing local government officials than the one we face now,” stated Essex County Freeholder Brendan Gill during a speech he gave at the Board of Freeholders’ reorganization meeting this week.
Gill, 43, a longtime resident of Montclair, was unanimously elected to be president of the Essex County Board of Chosen Freeholders during the meeting, Essex County officials announced.
He was sworn into the position by Gov.-elect Phil Murphy, for whom Gill served as his campaign manager. [read more]
Year in Review: The Winners and Losers in 2017
December 29, 2017
We are closing the book on 2017, saying goodbye in a few weeks to our larger-than-life governor, Chris Christie, and saying hello to his richer-than-life successor, Phil Murphy. But it was an exceptionally busy year for virtually all the major players in New Jersey politics.
Here’s who came out on top and who could have had a better year in 2017. [read more]
Public Strategies Impact, BGill Group partner up
December 14, 2017
Lobbying firm Public Strategies Impact announced a strategic partnership with Gov.-elect Phil Murphy’s former campaign manager and current Essex County Freeholder Vice Chair Brendan Gill and his firm, The BGill Group LLC.
“This partnership will be an extension of our relationship, expanding the specialties offered by both firms,” said Roger Bodman, managing partner of PSI. “Brendan has a diverse political background, with experience in public service and political campaigns, which has helped cultivate a unique skill set that will be tremendously beneficial to our team.” [read more]
New Jersey Playbook – 12/14
December 14, 2017
Former Phil Murphy campaign manager Brendan Gill, who’s now heading up a pro-Murphy non-profit, is working with Trenton lobbying firm Public Strategies Impact. The firm formalized its relationship with Gill in a press release yesterday. “This partnership will be an extension of our relationship, expanding the specialties offered by both firms,” said PSI Managing Partner Roger Bodman. This isn’t new, however. Gill tells me that he started working with the firm in 2016, so he had a relationship with it as he was managing Murphy’s campaign. [read more]
Public Strategies Impact Team Up With Brendan Gill With Strategic Partnership
December 13, 2017
Public Strategies Impact announced a strategic partnership with former Murphy campaign manager and Essex Freeholder Brendan Gill and his firm The BGill Group, LLC.
“This partnership will be an extension of our relationship, expanding the specialties offered by both firms,” said Roger Bodman, Managing Partner, Public Strategies Impact. “Brendan has a diverse political background, with experience in public service and political campaigns, which has helped cultivate a unique skill set that will be tremendously beneficial to our team.” Before Murphy, Gill’s earlier government experience is extensive. [read more]
Jolly season predicted for retailers
November 20, 2017
The holiday shopping season is upon us, with hopes running high among retailers for a big year. We reached out to the New Jersey Retail Merchants Association and the National Retail Federation for some perspective on current trends and expectations. John Holub, president of the New Jersey merchants group, and Ana Serafin Smith, a senior director for the federation, offered their thoughts. [read more]
Join PSI’s Joe Simonetta for an ArtPride New Jersey Webinar
November 13, 2017
On Tuesday, November 21 at 2 p.m., learn how the recent election may impact New Jersey’s nonprofit arts industry. Join ArtPride New Jersey and Joe Simonetta, senior partner at Public Strategies Impact and government affairs advisor to ArtPride, for a webinar that will provide insight into the new administration and share the aggregate results from its 2017 candidate survey. [register here]
WHO’S UP AND WHO’S DOWN: Week of the First Gubernatorial Debate of the General Election
October 12, 2017
WHO’S UP: Bill Maer
Public Strategies Impact (PSI) Group this week announced the promotion of the former Bill Pascrell Chief of Staff to the position of senior partner. Joseph Simonetta received the same promotion at the company. [read more]
Public Strategies Impact promotes Maer, Simonetta to senior partners
October 11, 2017
Trenton-based Public Strategies Impact, a legislative advocacy organization, announced it has promoted William Maer and Joseph Simonetta to senior partners. “Both Bill and Joe have distinguished themselves as proven leaders throughout their professional careers. Bill has worked in both the governmental and political arena for three governors, members of Congress, and the Speaker of the New Jersey General Assembly. Bill’s Democratic credentials make him a true asset to our firm and client base.” [read more]
Maer and Simonetta Promoted to Senior Partners at PSI
October 10, 2017
Public Strategies Impact (PSI) announced the promotion of William Maer and Joseph Simonetta to senior partners.
Matt Halpin Presents at Financial Service Centers Regional Conference
September 22, 2017
Matt Halpin, Partner of Public Strategies Impact recently delivered a presentation at the Financial Service Centers Regional Conference hosted by NJFSC in Atlantic City. Mr. Halpin shared his expertise on legislation and politics, and their impact on the financial service industry. Mr. Halpin also discussed historical policy efforts and projected future trends as they relate to a dynamic consumer market.
PSI Makes NJBIZ’s Reader Rankings
September 20, 2017
We are thrilled to announce that PSI ranked #3 for the Best Lobbying Firm in the first ever Reader Rankings from NJBIZ!
The Reader Rankings publication was developed to recognize the regard readers have for businesses in their community. “What makes the companies listed here distinct is the devotion they inspire among our region’s business leaders,” NJBIZ said. The publication received thousands of votes for the best companies in banking, education, employment, corporate development, professional services and more.
Thank you to everyone who helped make this possible.
Roger Bodman Featured on Eagleton Institute of Politics “The Morning After” Panel
June 8, 2017
Thank you to everyone who attended “The Morning After” event on at the Eagleton Institute of Politics at the Rutgers New Brunswick campus. It was wonderful to have so many attendees come out to listen to the post-election panelists. PSI’s managing partner Roger Bodman, who spoke at the panel, had a great time discussing the New Jersey gubernatorial primary and other political points of interest.
Catch Roger on NJTV During the Debates
May 18, 2017
Tonight, PSI Managing Partner Roger Bodman will reprise his role as a political commentator on NJ Public Television, where he has appeared for more than 35 years.
He will provide live commentary before the Republican debate, discussing each of the candidates, their political stances, and what strengths they’d bring to the governor’s office. Roger will be continuing to give election-oriented analysis throughout the election season.
The NJTV, NJSPOTLIGHT Gubernatorial debate tonight will feature the Republican candidates. Roger Bodman will be doing commentary as part of their multi-platform coverage beginning at 6:30 and 8 p.m. on NJTV.
Bill Maer Serves as Moderator for NJSBA Panel
May 17, 2017
Bill Maer will be moderating the “Inside Trenton” panel today for the New Jersey State Bar Association. The New Jersey State Bar is having their Annual Meeting & Convention at the Borgata Hotel in Atlantic City.
The panel will update members of the NJ State Bar on legislative issues happening in Trenton. Attendees will learn what they need to know about where the law stands to better help clients, their practice, and their business. [read more]
Famous People in New Jersey Politics Who Started As Drivers
March 26, 2017
When 22-year old Sam Weinstein introduced himself as the driver of Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli (R-16) at InsiderNJ’s launch party last week, Laura Matos of Kivvit made the observation that a lot of people started their lives in New Jersey politics as drivers.
In the words of another insider, “the driver always ends up becoming the mafia don, because he knows where all the bodies are buried.”
It got us to thinking about putting a list together of some of those individuals who got their start as wheel men, resulting in the following:
The Public Strategies Impact lobbyist and former Tom Kean cabinet member started in the political game as the driver of U.S. Rep. Millicent Fenwick. [read more]
Politifax: Passaic County: The Tipping Point II
February 15, 2017
THE LEGACY. Republicans around the state often talk about the cadre of operatives who came out of the Bob Franks School of Politics. Less often noted is the group — almost all of whom are still around as consultants, party officials, lobbyists, operatives, and even electeds — who worked on the 1996 Pascrell campaign: Billy Pascrell, John Currie, Ed Farmer, Dave Fillipelli, Brendan Gill, Bill Maer, Joe Orlando, Nellie Pou, Al Spivey, and Joe Waks. Perhaps they, at least as much as the seismic shift in Passaic County’s politics, are the most lasting result of that 1996 campaign. [read more]
Public Strategies Impact Taps John Holub
February 9, 2017
Public Strategies Impact named John Holub as its new associate. A 23-year veteran of campaign management and issues advocacy, Holub will continue to serve as president and CEO of the New Jersey Retail Merchants Association and Executive Director of the New Jersey Council of Chain Drug Stores. In these roles, he represents more than 3,900 store locations as the chief lobbyist for the retail industry association. His responsibilities include association management and government affairs, including direct lobbying, grassroots, political action, and media relations… [read more]
Politifax: Winners and Losers
February 8, 2017
Winner: John Holub
The head of the Retail Merchants Association joined Public Strategies Impact. He’ll continue as president and CEO of the Retail Merchants and as Executive Director of the New Jersey Council of Chain Drug Stores, which will come under the PSI umbrella, and serve a few other clients as well. [read more]
Last-Minute Holiday Shoppers in a Frenzy at NJ Malls
December 21, 2016
With only a few days to go before Christmas and the start of Hanukkah, Jersey shoppers are out in full force, going from mall to mall, store to store, at all hours of the day and night, desperately trying to find those last-minute gifts so they can wrap up their holiday shopping.
The final burst of shopping hysteria is exactly what Garden State merchants were hoping for.
According to John Holub, president of the New Jersey Retail Merchants Association, analysts predicted a 3 percent consumer spending increase this year over last for the entire holiday season, and the numbers for November look really good… [read more]
Another Thing Economy During Shopping Experience
December 19, 2016