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The Balloon Council

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Anthony Reynolds

on 12 December 2014

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Transcript of The Balloon Council

Currently vying for the "Helium Stewardship Act" which would provide new guidelines and procedures for the use of helium
Trying to expand and preserve the federal helium reserve
Attempting to promote "safe balloon practices"
Ending propaganda that claims that the releasing of balloons is harmful to the ecosystem
Has successfully defeated restrictions in California, New York, Hawaii, Pennsylvania, Maryland, South Carolina, Massachusetts, Texas, New Hampshire, Washington, New Jersey, and Wisconsin
The Helium Stewardship Act was eventually signed into action, expanding the life of the reserve
Also attempts to expand and preserve the Federal Helium Reserve, located in Amarillo, Texas.
Lobbied for the Helium Stewardship Act of 2013, which averted the impending shut down of the reserve.
Was deeply in debt, ~$1.4 billion
Not properly organized
Most "state" chapters can be found in capitals
Main HQ found in Washington D.C.
Local chapters are considered the retailers, manufacturers, and distributors in the locality
Due to little formal organization, meetings are sparse and random
Virginia is a target state as it has balloon release laws currently in place
In 2012, spent ~$80,000 dollars in lobbying
considered average "budget"
The Balloon Council
Founded in 1990 by organizations of retailers, distributors, and manufacturers.
Purpose is to "educate consumers and regulators about the wonders of foil and latex balloons and the proper handling of them."
Concerns over the "sensitive" helium market.
Mainly retailers, distributors, and manufacturers of balloons
Now can include those concerned about the helium shortage
Numerous organizations and multiple retailers
Membership is free with the pledge of "safe balloon practice"
Fund-raising is mainly voluntary or taken out of profits
Some major members include Pioneer Balloon Company, Anagram International, Betallic, Convertidora, Premium Balloon Accessories, Control Plastics, and CTI Industries Corporation
Dan Flynn-Chairman
Jim Plutt-Treasurer
Craig Albrecht- Board of Directors
Dale J. Florio-Public Affairs Director
Lorna O’Hara-Executive Director
Rob Zucker-Federal Affairs
Paulina Grabczak-State Director
Noah Lichtman-Media Relations/Spokesperson
Directly lobbies through TBC
Raises approximately $80,000 a year
Recently has been working with Winning Strategies Washington in order to establish a prominent place in Washington D.C.
This has been where their money has went; the WSW firm then distributes and uses the money to achieve the goals of the organization
Their chief lobbyist is the Princeton Public Affairs Group, headed by Dale Florio
Money is mainly spent on media relations
Connecticut, Florida, Tennessee, and Virginia have opposed the TBC's efforts and maintain their restrictions and policies
New York and South Carolina are again attempting to reinstate their restrictions.
The Balloon Council
The Balloon Council has decided to organize themselves more formally and expand their operations to create a fluid, unified "balloon community".
One of the oddest and most quickly growing interest groups in recent years
Not affiliated with a specific party
Full transcript