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Lobbying Battle for IFA Moves to Hot Spot, the States



Lobbyists are shifting their attention more toward state issues and away from federal at the International Franchise Association.

Why? “That is where more of the action is right now,” said Steve Romaniello, chairman of the IFA. He cites brewing legislation in California, Maine, Massachusetts and now Pennsylvania, which this blogger covered in the June/July issue of Franchise Times.

Romaniello was in town early August to speak at the Faegre Baker Daniels Franchise Summit in Minneapolis, where attendees were hit up for donations to FranPAC, the IFA’s lobbying war chest.

“Our PAC is one of the best association PACS in the country. We’ll have $1.5 million this cycle” to spend, he says. “We blew through $1 million last cycle.” That included all-out lobbying on the presidential election, of course, and at last September’s  annual public policy forum the IFA was predicting a victory for Mitt Romney.

He makes no apologies. “The IFA’s view is we would have had a more favorable environment for small businesses had the election gone the other way,” Romaniello said.

Judith Thorman, senior VP of government relations and public policy at the IFA, has resigned from her post, Romaniello confirmed. He said she did so to pursue her own consulting work, not because the IFA is shifting resources to state issues.

Thorman’s main focus was federal issues while Dean Heyl lobbied hard in the states, and Heyl's efforts will receive additional funding. A search is on for Thorman’s replacement, he said.

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The latest news, opinions and commentary on what's happening in the franchise arena that could affect your business.

Tom KaiserTom Kaiser is senior editor of Franchise Times. He can be reached at 612.767.3209, or send story ideas to tkaiser@franchisetimes.com.
Beth EwenBeth Ewen is senior editor of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3212, or send story ideas to bewen@franchisetimes.com.
Nicholas UptonNicholas Upton is restaurants editor at Franchise Times. He can be reached at 612.767.3226, or send story ideas to nupton@franchisetimes.com.
Laura MichaelsLaura Michaels is editor of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3210, or send story ideas to lmichaels@franchisetimes.com.
Mary Jo LarsonMary Jo Larson is the publisher of Franchise Times Magazine and the Restaurant Finance Monitor.  You can find her on Twitter at




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