Objective Journalist – The Most Endangered of Species

The PolicySmith’s recent venture into the world of podcasts released a flood of memories from a past life in broadcast and print journalism.  Experience behind and in front of the camera, as well as experience as the journalist and as the subject of journalists’ inquiries, provide insights worth revelation here. Electronic media has always had.. read more →

25 Sep 2017
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Double Play! Jon of All Trades Exposes PolicySmith

In a one-of-a-kind in the Energy/Policy arena, Jonathan Ekstrom the founder of Deft Communications (and son of the PolicySmith) interviews his father on the award-winning podcast Jon of All Trades.  In a 40+ year career in oil and gas corporate communications, Jack Ekstrom – your faithful PolicySmith scribe – has sat for multiple interviews. This.. read more →

13 Sep 2017
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“Special Interest” Groups – Red Herring Anyone?

The PolicySmith laments beginning a blog post with a question, but this one is not simply a device – we’d like you to troll through your recent memory…how often have you seen or heard a Washington insider lament the influence of “special interest” groups?  That’s a thinly-veiled insult aimed at the insider’s opponents – it’s.. read more →

Collision of the Minds

A Visit Across the Pond Brings Some Pointed and Surprising Insights — We’re back at the keyboard having returned from two weeks abroad. While away, Mr. and Mrs. PolicySmith caught up to our Swedish relatives, laid over in Iceland and checked to see if there was anything still rotting in Denmark.  We came away with.. read more →

28 Aug 2017
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Lobbying/Government Relations for Private Business 101

Part 2 of 2. To read Part 1, click here. Those who engage government on behalf of their employer are in the disaster prevention business.  The key to longevity is building credibility brick by brick.  Deceive a legislator or staffer and you’re history.  Knowing likely outcomes from past experience, being able to recall them and.. read more →

03 Aug 2017
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What the &%$@# is a lobbyist, anyway?

Why do we need them?  Who has them?  What do they do? Part 1 of 2. Part 2 coming later this week. Like everything else that revolves around government, it depends.  The PolicySmith at one time registered as a lobbyist, which was a big mistake, although not for reasons you might think.  The reporting, the.. read more →

31 Jul 2017
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The (Some) Science Guys

From the first Earth Day back in the 70s to the March for Science this year, the melding of enviro-politics and scientism is complete.  Scientism – it’s the religious arm of science by exception.  It demeans true science by denying the science that does not align with green politics.  Organizers of the March for Science.. read more →

Guilty Pleasure

Road warriors are typically united in their poo-pooing the “glamor of travel” so often uttered by those who travel infrequently.  The grind of hotels, car rentals, airport security, crowded flights and uneven hours take a toll. But even the most jaundiced traveler takes pleasure in the posh way stations along the way.  And one in.. read more →

22 Jun 2017
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Infidels at the EPA Inquisition

This is part 3 of a 3-part series. Concluding this examination of bureaucratic overreach at EPA is an exercise in reflection.  How did it get as far as it did?  What did the companies do wrong?  How could it have been avoided/settled/otherwise negotiated?  Questions, questions, questions. For commercial businesses, the court of public opinion, the.. read more →

EPA Pursues ND Oil Producers – Grow the Fiefdom (or not)!

This is part 2 of a 3-part series. Part 1 can be found here. Why would EPA target North Dakota in its vendetta against the domestic petroleum industry?  Texas and Oklahoma have historically been much more outspoken in opposing federal overreach.  Alaska’s delegation vehemently advocated for offshore access and North Slope exploration.  Hmmm…. It’s fair.. read more →