NLA Hits High Points, Sees Success In Political Realm

Posted on June 26, 2013

NLA board directors and limousine industry leaders held a successful fundraiser on May 22 in Washington, D.C. for Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., who are both strong advocates for small businesses.
NLA board directors and limousine industry leaders held a successful fundraiser on May 22 in Washington, D.C. for Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., who are both strong advocates for small businesses.

BOSTON ― The Political Action Fund of the National Limousine Association has reached highs this year in amount of donations and number of donors while the NLA makes use of better access to key Congressional decision makers overall.

The NLA is coming off a successful fundraiser May 22 for Sens. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., and Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y. during the group’s annual Day On the Hill lobbying event that was set up by its hired lobbying firm, Cornerstone Government Affairs. A combination of individual donors from the NLA membership base and the NLA Pac Fund raised $26,700 for the re-election campaign of Shaheen and $9,200 for the re-election campaign of Gillibrand.

Both Senators were instrumental in advocating on behalf of the limousine industry in its successful quest to get the Department of Labor to clarify federal labor rules that apply to overtime pay and chauffeur tips, said Dawson Rutter, a Boston operator and NLA board director who co-chairs the NLA Pac Fund. They were joined by 60+ lawmakers who supported the NLA’s cause and petitioned the Department of Labor on the association’s behalf.

“They’re both huge small business advocates, and we were able to appeal to them through individuals they knew that are from our industry,” Rutter said.


The success of the fundraiser and performance of the PAC Fund also underscore the NLA’s savvier, more comprehensive approach to politics that has emerged in recent years. It is defined by a bipartisan strategy that supports politicians who advocate for industry interests and the use of a well-connected lobbying firm.

“We are now raising significant amounts of money,” Rutter told LCT. “$25,000 in a Senatorial campaign is huge. The limousine industry is now well known on Capitol Hill because we’ve had a few big fundraisers. Now others want to get in front of the group because now we have some power. We’re known as serious fund-raisers and can gain better access to legislators when they know we are serious about our relationships with politicians.”

Shaheen appeared at the May 22 event held at the Capitol Hill offices of Cornerstone. Gillibrand, who could not appear because of a pending Senate vote, met the next day with the NLA’s New York delegation in her office.

The NLA Pac Fund, which is limited by federal law to donating a maximum of $2,500 per candidate, now has about $70,000 from a donor base of 50 individuals and entities on hand. The NLA Pac Fund typically donates to both Republicans and Democrats who belong to key Congressional committees that can move legislation and influence regulations of interest to the chauffeured transportation industry.

Rutter cited the help of Cornerstone, which the NLA retained in late 2008, for helping the NLA make inroads in getting access to federal legislators. “We want to pick the people who support our industry,” Rutter said. “They can get to know you and you develop a long-term relationship, so you have your people in place.”


— Martin Romjue, LCT editor

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