Government Advocacy. Media Relations. Business Consulting
Matthew Cox is the founder and President of Capitol Partners. Matt has more than 25 years of experience as a lobbyist, attorney, political operative, and public relations consultant. His government experience includes service with the Read More
Eric Weldele is a partner of Capitol Partners. Eric brings more than 20 years serving as a lobbyist, strategic consultant and attorney. Eric has experience working in both public and private sectors, and working with all sizes of Read More
Rebecca Simon has a decade of experience successfully lobbying for clients on a broad range of issues such as energy, health and human services, transportation and economic development. She worked with the Pew Charitable Trusts to pass Read More
Dora Pruce brings more than 20 years of diverse public and private sector experience to Capitol Partners. Dora’s effective and impactful client strategy approach is informed by her background in state and federal government in Read More
Mike Caputo has been a registered lobbyist since 2003, joining Capitol Partners in 2017. Prior to joining Capitol Partners, Mike served as the Managing Director of State and Local Government Affairs at a mid-sized law firm in Ohio. Mike has an Read More
Rob Frost has more than two decades in public service, in private law practice and as a business owner himself, Rob Frost has gained valuable experience in a wide range of legal issues, particularly in the areas of governmental law and Read More
Rachel Schubert joined the Capitol Partners team in August 2022, serving as the firm’s Manager of Government Relations.
Rachel began her career as a 2021 Ohio Legislative Service Commission Fellow placed in the Read More
SPORTS COMMISSION CASE STUDY
Our firm has significant experience securing state funding for our clients. We have represented the Greater Cleveland and Columbus Sports Commissions for nearly a decade. When we were first engaged by these clients, our primary focus was securing an earmark in the biennial budget process for their operating purposes. In 2009, we worked with the legislature to create the Major Sporting Event Grant Program to award grants to assist local organizing committees in their bids to host major sporting events. Financial support is extremely important for local organizing committees to remain competitive with other states like Texas and Florida to host large sporting events, which generate hundreds of thousands of dollars in state tax revenue. Our team worked to secure $1 million per fiscal year for the program in recent years.
Recognizing a need for additional funding in light of several major events that were on the horizon, we worked with the Sports Commissions to pass House Bill 531, which infused the program with $5 million to make grants under the Major Sporting Event Grant Program. Our firm incorporated a robust media relations and coalition building strategy to complement our direct advocacy effort. We built a coalition of over 80 representatives from the major sports teams in Ohio, university presidents, CEOs and other nonprofits, and engaged the coalition in advocacy and media efforts. Following passage of House Bill 531, there was a continued need for funding. Securing these large events e.g. the MLB All-Star Game, the NFL Draft, etc., is extremely competitive. To ensure that Ohio remain as competitive as possible, our team was able to secure an additional $5 million to this fund in the recently passed operating budget, making Ohio’s program one of the strongest in the country.
PAYDAY CASE STUDY
One in 10 Ohioans has taken out a payday loan. Prior to 2018, payday lenders were operating through a loophole in Ohio law, allowing lenders to charge the highest rates in the country, averaging 591% APR. Ohioans taking out a loan of $300 would end up paying nearly $680 in fees and interest alone. On behalf of The Pew Charitable Trust we worked to pass the Ohio Fairness in Lending Act, which balances the interests of borrowers and lenders to ensure licensed providers can continue to offer loans in Ohio that are more affordable and fair.
We spearheaded the legislative campaign and assisted with formation of a statewide coalition of interested parties including faith-based groups, local chambers of commerce and veteran’s organizations. We provided direct advocacy for this project, meeting with two-thirds of the members of the General Assembly. We planned several large events in support of the legislation including press conferences, a prayer vigil, a lunch-and-learn, and a day at the Statehouse. House Bill 123 passed amidst fierce opposition from lenders and took effect in April 2019. The bill is expected to save Ohioans at least $75 million per year by capping interest rates and prohibiting large balloon payments.