Challenge: A group of international reinsurers, consumer advocates, state officials, trade specialists and others approached the Podesta Group when their industry was under fire and being threatened by congressional attempts to enforce a tax hike on international affiliate reinsurance transactions, an industry unfamiliar to the typical American consumer
Strategy: Develop a savvy coalition of state and federal officials, consumer and environmental groups and others to weigh in with Congress on the harmful effects of the proposed tax. Craft and launch a strategic message campaign that included; enlisting a team of grasstops and media specialists in five targeted states, commissioning and releasing an economic study on the potential negative implications of the proposed tax on consumers, deploying a national and regional media strategy to educate the public, design and produce a splashy Capitol Hill event featuring actor Michael Douglas to educate members of Congress, and creating an online campaign to inform inside the Beltway opinion elites.
Result: Our efforts forced a significant delay in the re-introduction of the harmful legislation thanks to new support from members of Congress who were once silent on the issue, forcing the opposing side to regroup considerably as it lost coalition members and momentum. The legislation ultimately failed and the bill was not passed, even despite the fact that its sponsor chaired the subcommittee which had jurisdiction over the issue.