The 2017 Austin Regional Conference will be held at The Westin Austin Downtown on October 5, 2017. More details coming soon!
Down ballot campaigns can be notoriously bad with data security and infrastructure. However, this last election showed how vulnerable parties and campaigns are to having private data and correspondence exposed. Check out these tips from data security experts, Tanya Forsheit (Frankfurt Kurnit Klein + Selz PC), Matthew Meade (Buchanan, Ingersoll, Rooney PC), Jeff Birnbach (Sylint), and moderator Brian Franklin (Impact Politics & Campaign Defense Inc.). This webinar was sponsored by Campaign Defense Inc. Contact Brian Franklin at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on how Campaign Defense can help you!
1. Even if you are a very small organization, you are still accountable for keeping privileged information secure such as employee records or campaign plans. If the release of this information could have a damaging effect on individuals, candidates, or campaign teams then it needs to be kept secure.
2. Take a look at the client agreements you have and determine if there is anything mentioned about data security and the liability you have regarding the classified information of said clients. It is very important to understand these agreements and know the steps to take if a threat occurs.
3. Having reasonable security is the baseline for most campaigns and organizations. Make sure to research and understand what this might mean for you or your clients. There are great resources out there to take advantage of.
4. If you have been hacked, contact a lawyer right away to ensure you’re not putting privileged information in writing during the investigation.
5. Don’t sit on a threat when you know it is happening. Keep in mind “the cover up is worse than the crime.”
About Tanya: Tanya Forsheit, a Partner with Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz PC, has advised on high-profile matters involving confidential data and other sensitive information for nearly 20 years. She represents multi-national and emerging companies in the media, entertainment, consumer products, healthcare, technology and professional services industries, and serves as outside privacy counsel for numerous organizations. She counsels clients facing data security breaches and defends against allegations that they mishandled sensitive customer or employee information. She advises on the protection, storage and monetization of confidential data, including privacy policies, mobile apps, cloud computing, smart devices and data analytics.
1. It’s important to incrementally backup your data offline so your information is secure. Don’t store documents if you don’t need them. Take information off of your laptop and put it on an external hard drive if it is no longer needed on a daily basis.
2. Be extremely careful of opening any emails from anyone you do not know. Ultimately people are the weakest link in data security in terms of being the most vulnerable to threats.
3. Use separate credentials (user names and passwords) for each of your existing accounts. Invest in software such as Password Keeper to store all of your credentials safely.
4. Classify your information—everyone on your campaign team does not need total access to all files all of the time. Disable credentials immediately when someone leaves your organization or campaign.
5. If you’ve been hacked the first thing to do is disconnect from the network and preserve files.
About Jeff: Jeff Birnbach is the Managing Director and a Partner at Sylint Group. His background includes over 30 years in senior leadership roles in software and emerging technologies. Jeff has extensive experience in information security, incident response, analytics, and investigations. In his current role, he oversees cyber security and digital data forensics teams focused on intrusion detection, incident response, cyber breach investigation, security assessment, malware identification and remediation. Recent investigations include cyber extortion, ransomware, nation-state attacks, Medicare fraud, credential trafficking, celebrity stalking and child exploitation.
1. Often times folks focus on the technical part of a breach, but the human element is very important here—making sure your team is aware of the dangers is key. Educate each employee to make sure they are not the reason for a security breach.
2. Make sure to have offline backups of your files that are separate from your server. This will keep your campaign safe from Ransomware attacks.
3. A big part of data security is document retention. There may be a business need to keep years of emails or documents, but typically important documents should be kept on encrypted devices outside of the email account or server.
4. Encryption is extremely important as a safe harbor. Arm your team with encrypted laptops to eliminate potential risk.
5. Have a protocol in place for security threats and a team ready to take action. Have a conversation with a digital expert to learn about securing your online channels. Hacking can happen to anyone (big or small organizations), so it is best to be prepared.
About Matthew: Matthew H. Meade is Co-Chair of Buchanan, Ingersoll, Rooney PC’s Cybersecurity and Data Protection Group where he provides advice regarding data security breaches, information and records management and other areas regarding privacy. He helps clients identify business risks associated with the use and storage of sensitive information. Matt regularly advises clients on security breach notification laws and other U.S. state and federal data security requirements (including laws regarding disposal of records). Matt drafts agreements addressing issues related to data use, privacy and security. He also has prepared document retention and management policies and developed associated training programs.
A huge thank you to our speakers for sharing their expertise with the AAPC membership!
Missed the Conference? View the General Sessions and Awards Ceremony here.
Fight for that Inch: Tales from the Ron Johnson Campaign with Betsy Ankney
May 2, 2017 | 1:00-2:00pm EST
Free for members
$49 for nonmembers
As Campaign Manager for Senator Ron Johnson’s successful re-election in Wisconsin, Betsy Ankney built a $20 million campaign operation that defied all expectations and resulted in Ron Johnson receiving the most Republican votes in Wisconsin’s history.
Join us for an exclusive interview with AAPC’s 2017 Campaign Manager of the Year Award Recipient, Betsy Ankney, as she offers invaluable insights on how her campaign plan and strategy helped raise money, maximized earned and paid media, capitalized on the grassroots successes in Wisconsin, and utilized creative and efficient methods to make sure their message reached their target voters.
Registration is now open for AAPC’s first-ever Seattle Regional Conference. Get all the info here. See you on June 15!
Check it out here!
Outcomes drive the political business, but process and structure are critical. Important and fundamental decisions business owners make are choosing their structure, accounting management, insurance and a variety of other components that can prevent headaches down the road. Whether you are currently in a business or partnership, a sole proprietor, or dream of one day venturing out on your own – Make sure you’re starting 2017 off right! Check out these tips from political business experts, Amanda Hein Bowen (Juno Systems, Inc.), Harmeet Dhillon (Dhillon Law Firm), Michelle Coyle (BGSD Strategies), and moderator Tim Rosales (The Wayne Johnson Agency).
1. If you want any kind of continued business you should try to move on from a sole proprietorship, as your personal assets are liable. Think carefully when choosing a corporate structure.
2. You can be “Over-insured.” Take the time to find a good insurance broker.
3. Starting a business does not have to happen in one day–break down the important steps and get help early. Additionally, if you have a long-standing business, but do not have tax liability, coverage or a good attorney, make those things a priority.
4. Partnering with another person for a business venture is a lot like marriage. Work things out ahead of time and develop a contract early.
5. You might be better off partnering with a small, local bank as they are more invested in communities and can develop a line of credit much more quickly than a larger, chain bank can.
About Amanda: Amanda Hein Bowen is a true force of nature. From 2008 – 2013, she helped start two political consulting firms, got married and gave birth to two daughters, all while earning a law degree at Georgetown University. Amanda started her own firm, Juno Systems, in 2015 in response to the increased demand from political consulting firms, especially start-ups, needing smarter cash flow, accounting and business management. Juno Systems provides executive-level corporate services, replacing the need to hire a full-time CFO.
1. If embarking on a partnership with multiple owners, each owner should have a lawyer to consult.
2. Protect yourself in this litigious society–everything you’ve built could be swept away with one lawsuit if you are not covered correctly.
3. You might be tempted to do everything yourself when you are first starting out, but outsourcing things that are not your expertise is the most efficient way to save money. Always ask an expert.
4. The AAPC community can be very helpful when trying to find appropriate insurance brokers and CPA’s.
5. In terms of unpaid invoices–get a retainer and insist on your rights. Stand up for yourself.
About Harmeet: Harmeet Kaur Dhillon, is a nationally recognized trial lawyer, trusted boardroom advisor, and passionate advocate for individual, corporate and institutional clients across numerous industries and walks of life. She has been awarded the prestigious designation of Northern California Super Lawyer in business litigation by Thomson/West Publishing, an accolade reserved for the top 5% of lawyers in the jurisdiction.
1. You can form a single member LLC pretty quickly, but you should hire an attorney or accountant to advise you for anything beyond this structure.
2. Commission is taxed in the same way as a regular salary.
3. Make sure you are approaching potential insurance brokers with your type of business to allow them to understand that it is not a campaign, rather a long-standing business.
4. The outside help you will need, in terms of attorneys, brokers, etc. do not necessarily have to have direct political experience.
5. In terms of unpaid invoices–make sure to create contracts in the first place and do not be afraid to follow up aggressively if you have not been paid for 30 days.
About Michelle: Michelle Coyle specializes in turning dreams into reality. As the founder and President of BGSD Strategies, a boutique management consulting firm, Michelle guides political businesses and advocacy organizations as they launch and grow. In addition to being a consultant, she is a serial entrepreneur and angel investor, and is currently putting together an early-stage venture capital fund to support woman-founded startups.
A huge thank you goes out to our speakers for sharing their expertise with the AAPC membership!
Click here to view the February 27th issue of Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales.
Check out the press release announcing the 40 Under 40 Winners here.
The American Association of Political Consultants (AAPC)—America’s only bipartisan network of political professionals— today announced the winners of the 2017 40 Under 40 Awards program recognizing the best and brightest young professionals. Selected from more than 200 nominations, the winners will be recognized at an awards ceremony, courtesy of Facebook, during the 2017 Pollie Awards & Conference in Huntington Beach, California on Tuesday, March 14, 2017.