joshua steinman (🇺🇸,🇺🇸)

joshua steinman (🇺🇸,🇺🇸)

15-11-2022

00:02

What the heck, I’ll just do a quick thread to open-source what few people know but don’t want to admit: How this op often gets run in Washington. (thread on how to “work” the current system in DC) 1/

FIRST. BUILD THE DOOR. > Pick out a few key think tanks and start running regular programs there. > You want “BROOKINGS LUNCH AND LEARN ON [your topic] [presented by ~company~]” events every quarter > Target top hill staffers with free lunch SBF was all ofer this 2/

The “lunch and learn” should cover issues similar to those facing your company, not direct. Don’t make it too obvious. Use attendee list to buidl a rolodex of folks your “GA” (government affairs) personnel will make regular point to point contact with, IRL. 3/

These programs will grow. The Think Tank presidents will ask you to endow programs, chairs, etc. Then you get to have a say in who gets those jobs. All of a sudden, you have built yourself a small pipeline from the Hill to a Think Tank. That’s one door. 4/

SECOND. HIRE THE DOORMAN. Now that you’re running regular GA engagement in DC, time to hire a hotshot senior committee staffer to run your GA **shop**. Nominally, these are “head of policy” title roles, and their job is to keep tabs on what’s happening in DC for you. 5/

Be mindful of who you are hiring. Party control of Congress is important, as is who controls the Executive Branch. But PROS balance D & R. Usually your top candidates will have “Hill” experience AND “Executive” experience relevant to your company’s area. 6/

Your head of GA should be doing things like: > hiring the right lobbyist(s) > tracking both AUTH bills and APPROPS bills > keeping tabs on major POLICY debates inside the Exec branch and responding to NPRM’s, &c. And they should be LEVERAGING their ROLODEX to do this. 7/

THIRD. Outside game. You built the door. Hired the doorman. Now you need to create the illusion. That means running press ops. A good COMMS leader or contractor should be able to start getting you quoted in stories, driving news cycles. They should have a plan. 8/

Use your new THINK TANK effort to drive content. Work w their press team to write-up your events. Send those to content-starved journalists who are looking to basically copy/paste their stories. Throw in a few juicy quotes… boom. Read “Trust Me I’m Lying” to learn more. 9/

FOURTH. Time to upgrade your earlier door to one that REVOLVES. Now that you’ve got programs at think tanks (and you should have expanded to academia as well, creating more of an echo chamber), and your GA program, you can start to cultivate “SENIOR POLICYMAKERS.” 10/

This can be done on the cheap as well, by having your GA staff write for DC blogs in the policy-adjacent space. Takes less than 10h a month to put out 1-2 high quality articles, this should be part of their job. “THOUGHT LEADERSHIP.” It’s cheap and effective. 11/

As you grow, your GA staff should start living a double life, working for you, but also running the party circuit in DC. You’ll know this is working once they start telling you what’s going to happen, before it happens. Because secrets are rarely secret in “this town🤢.” 12/

Real SUCCESS? When one of your people (your GA director, an academic you’ve been sponsoring, a think tanker you’ve supported) gets the nod to be a “Senior Administration Official.” “Deputy Assistant Secretary of…” at an AGENCY or “Director for…” at the WH, etc. 13/

Soon they’ll be a policymaker. And while you can’t **exactly** tell them what to do, they’ll not forget where they came from. PLUS, the fact that you have a “pre-existing relationship” (this is the ethics loophole) means that you can continue to socialize w them. 14/

“Pros” won’t do more than 1-2 years in an administration, so they can get out while their contacts are still useful. They’ll then move up again, to be a top rank lobbyist, or a VP job at a company (yours or another). And become a think tank “non-resident fellow”. 15/

FIFTH. Moving chess pieces down the board. Real fast movers can run this play 2-3 times depending on how good they are, and how favorable the environment is for their political inclinations. And those who are lucky create the pipeline for SENATE CONFIRMED players. 16/

So a WORLD CLASS government affairs program will essentially have a funnel so that they have a good shot at having 1-2 senior government touch points in any given administration. Goldman is the gold standard here. They essentially own the Treasury Department. Not kidding. 17/

Eh, that’s your weekly peek behind the curtain. Gotta go prepare for our board meeting tomorrow. But this was a fun little exercise. I’m sure others will have input — my summary above is more of a sketch. There are many ways to do it. Good luck out there. 18/18

Almost forgot. If you liked this, follow me here on @JoshuaSteinman and retweet the top thread. And if you need this help, jump in on the comments or send me a DM. Maybe I’ll sell an hour of my time per month to the highest (American) bidder.

A bit more, since this is blowing up. The @GalvanickCo team and I are building a next generation industrial cybersecurity platform. Protecting big industrial facilities (factories, critical infrastructure, etc.) against cyber attacks. We are venture backed by …

… literally the best investors in the world. My teammates are keyboard gods. OG’s from Amazon, Google, Merck (pre-hack!), and Square. We are HIRING. And it’s possible that you might be a good fit. JD’s here: If this sounds like you, DM me. And…

If you are responsible for a big industrial facility, and are concerned about cyber risk, drop me a DM. Happy to tell you more about what we are doing. Or just follow along. I tweet out sixty second video updates every month, like this one from October:


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