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LANJ executive director Barry Lefkowitz was named this month lobbyist for the International Association of Transportation Regulators.
LUMBERTON, N.J. — Operators and regulators often tend to be at odds over ground transportation rules, but when the two sides work together, a lot can get done.
That’s the intent behind a working arrangement that has developed between the influential Limousine Associations of New Jersey and the International Association of Transportation Regulators. And as is often the case in business, government and politics, the dynamics and results come down to professional relationships.
In this situation, the key connections work like this:
- Barry Lefkowitz, the LANJ executive director and its state-level lobbyist, this month was named the Washington, D.C. lobbyist for IATR. Lefkowitz was the D.C. lobbyist for the National Limousine Association from 1998-2009. He is also head of Management and Government Resources Inc., a New Jersey-based lobbying and consulting firm, and he sits on the New Jersey Passenger Transportation Advisory Council.
- Matt Daus, a transportation industry attorney just named partner at the New York-based law firm of Windels, Lane, Marx & Mittendorf, is the president of the IATR, the general counsel to LANJ, and the former Commissioner of the New York Taxi and Limousine Commission.
So, the chief advocate for easing and simplifying regulations for chauffeured transportation operators now has a solid link to a major influencer of legislation related to transportation regulations. Between the two, they have extensive experience with at least three associations, one regulatory governing body, one advisory council, and two private firms.
Transportation attorney and former NYTLC Commissioner Matt Daus works closely with LANJ as its general counsel. He was promoted this week to partner at Windels, Marx, Lane & Mittendorf law firm in New York.
Such a combination can help put key industry issues and concern on the front burner of the legislative process. And in the chauffeured transportation industry, what often starts and happens in the limousine industry nexus of New Jersey/New York tends to roll across other states and associations.
“One of the things I’ve emphasized as a new industry lobbyist is the importance of them working with the [limousine] industry hand in hand,” Lefkowitz told LCT. “LANJ agrees that my being a lobbyist in D.C. strengthens the industry position. I bring a perspective as someone who has been representing the industry for 14 years. By knowing what’s going on, I am able to help the industry.”
One issue where Lefkowitz and Daus can provide some help is the RIDE Act Amendment, which has been a flagship effort of the NLA for about the last five years. While the amendment has had a roster of bi-partisan Congressional sponsors at various times, it has gotten caught up in Washington, D.C. gridlock and partisan electoral upheavals of 2006, 2008 and 2010. Passage of the RIDE Act Amendment would be a major coup for limousine operators nationwide, as it would free many of them from cumbersome and costly fees, rules, and discriminatory ground transportation policies at many airports, ports, and other federally-connected facilities.
“With Matt Daus as president of IATR, we’ve spoken about being able to help the NLA, and the TLPA (Taxi Limousine Paratransit Assocation) with the RIDE Act Amendment language,” Lefkowitz said. “We’re in an interesting position.”