Stefan C. Passantino

Stefan C. Passantino

Partner - Washington, DC
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1900 K Street NW
Washington, DC 20006
TEL: 202.496.7138
FAX: 202.496.7756
303 Peachtree Street, NE
Suite 5300
Atlanta, GA 30308
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As head of McKenna Long & Aldridge’s Political Law Team, Stefan C. Passantino has a nationwide practice focusing on representing corporations, interest groups, political figures, and other entities with respect to state and federal election law, campaign finance, pay-to-play, state and federal lobbying laws, and ethics issues. Mr. Passantino was recognized by Washingtonian Magazine as one of the “Best Legal Minds in Washington” in the field of Campaign and Election law for 2011-2014. He was also recognized by Chambers USA in 2010, 2011, and 2012 as one of the leading political law attorneys in the nation and described as “extremely astute and responsive and has an incredible grasp of the subject matter.” He maintains offices in Washington, D.C. and Atlanta, Georgia.

Mr. Passantino is a co-author of the Handbook on Corporate Political Activity: Emerging Corporate Governance Issues, an overview of the legal rules and standard practices related to corporate activity in the political arena. He also leads the firm's Political Law team in the publication of its Pay-to-Play blog. The blog is dedicated to helping readers monitor the status of proposed pay to play legislation and is set to become a leading online community for analyses on the impacts of pay to play regulations on the state level in reference to lobbying, contributions and gifts. Please visit for the latest information on this topic. 

Some of his clients include major multi-national corporations, tax exempt advocacy groups, political parties, and politicians, including serving as national counsel to presidential candidate and former Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, Newt Gingrich, former Speaker J. Dennis Hastert, as well as other prominent political figures and advocacy groups. In addition, Mr. Passantino serves as General Counsel to corporate entities formed by former Speaker of the House Gingrich and former Congressman Watts. Mr. Passantino has provided Congressional and Executive Branch ethics and lobbying training to Members of Congress, their staff, the Administration, and private corporations for over fifteen years. Most recently, Mr. Passantino was appointed Special Assistant to the Attorney General of Georgia Sam Olens to represent the interests of the State of Georgia in a litigation matter against the federal government. 

Mr. Passantino also represents parties in complex litigation matters including matters relating to insurance claims handling, bad faith, coverage and tort liability. He represents some of the largest companies in the world in complex legal disputes including Zurich, SwissRe, CIGNA and ACE.

Prior to joining McKenna Long & Aldridge, Mr. Passantino worked as an associate for a large New York law firm and as a Federal Law Clerk to United States District Court Judge Herbert F. Murray.

During law school, Mr. Passantino served as Managing Editor of the Emory Law Journal.

Mr. Passantino is a regular contributor and commentator for CNN Radio, POLITICO, Bloomberg, The Hill, FOX News, Roll Call, The Washington Post, and USA Today, among others. He is a Visiting Professor on campaign finance for Georgia State University College of Law. He is also a frequent speaker on political law issues at Emory University School of Law. 

Law & Politics and Atlanta Magazine recognized Mr. Passantino on their 2008-2013 lists of Georgia Super Lawyers and on their 2005 and 2006 lists of Georgia Super Lawyers Rising Stars. Mr. Passantino was recognized by James Magazine as one of “Georgia’s Most Influential People.” The Georgia Supreme Court appointed Mr. Passantino as a mentor in the Transition into Law Practice Program of the State Bar of Georgia in January 2009. 


Bar Admissions


  • Founder of award-winning Pay to Play Law Blog,
  • “Corporate Political Spending: Policies and Practices, Accountability and Disclosure,” The Conference Board, 2011.
  • Handbook on Corporate Political Activity: Emerging Corporate Governance Issues (First Ed., 2010)
  • "The Current Financial Crisis: What Every Corporate Counsel Must Know," ACC America, December 2, 2008.
  • ACC's Federal Ethics & Lobbying, November 14, 2008.
  • "Ethics Reform Meets Convention Lobbyists" Atlanta Journal Constitution, August 2008 (Co-authored with Douglas Chalmers Jr.).
  • Contributor, National Journal's advocacy and lobbying online forum

Seminars and Presentations:

  • "501(c)’s and the Proposed Political Activity Rules: Implications for Business," The Conference Board, April 2, 2014
  • "Political and Lobbying Activities by Tax-Exempt Entities; Emerging Federal and State Regulatory Changes," 11th Annual Nonprofit Law Seminar, State Bar of Georgia Headquarters, March 13, 2014.
  • "Political Law and Compliance Seminar," McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP, Denver, Colorado, September 18, 2013.
  • "How to Conduct Reporting and Disclosure for a Campaign, Initiative or 501 c3,4, or 6," Republican National Lawyers Association: National Election Law Seminar, August 10, 2013.
  • "Health Policy: What's Next?" McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP, October 3, 2012.
  • "Post-Citizens United:  How Companies, Executives and the Government Can Now Interact," Bay Area Council: Annual Meeting of Members, September 11, 2012.
  • "Federal, State and Local Campaign Finance, Lobbying Disclosures and Ethics Rules," Association of Corporate Counsel, September 6, 2012.
  • "Transparency in Political Activity:  What Corporate Leaders Need to Know," American Bar Association, August 3, 2012.
  • "Corporate Political Spending Breakfast Roundtable," The Conference Board Committee on Corporate Political Spending, August 3, 2012.  
  • "Media Law: Social Media, Online Advertisements and Political Communication on the Internet," National Election Law Seminar, July 13, 2012.
  • "Effective Political Engagement: When, Why and How to Engage in the Political Process Under Citizens United," Corporate Political Spending Conference, The Conference Board, May 15, 2012.
  • Effective Corporate Political Engagement and Compliance in the 2012 Election Year,” McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP, January 2012.
  • "KnowlEdge Series: To Disclose or Not To Disclose, Is That the Question? Part 1," The Conference Board, November 1, 2011.
  • “Emerging Practices in Corporate Political Spending for the 2012 Proxy and Election Seasons,” The Conference Board, November 1, 2011.
  • "Symposium on Corporate Political Spending," The Conference Board, October 20, 2011.
  • “Corporate Political Activities: Understanding the Current Landscape,” 50th Annual Corporate Counsel Institute, Northwestern University School of Law, October 5-6, 2011.
  • “The End of Campaign Finance,” Point Nine with Emory University School of Law, April 25, 2011.
  • "Regulatory/Compliance Developments for Georgia Corporate Counsel," ACC Georgia Chapter, February 10, 2011.
  • "Politics 2.0? Corporations and Georgia Elections after Citizens United," The State Bar of Georgia, January 28, 2011.
  • Citizens United vs. FEC: A Post-Election Analysis of Corporate and Community Political Activities,” ACC Greater New York Chapter, November 30, 2010.
  • "Citizens United v. FEC," Georgia State University Law Review Symposium, Panelist, November 12, 2010.
  • "Corporate Political Activity in the Post Citizen's United Era," The Conference Board, Webcast, October 14, 2010.
  • "Corporations and Georgia: Elections after Citizens United," Institute of Continuing Legal Education in Georgia, Atlanta, GA, October 7, 2010.
  • “Grassroots and Candidate Training,” Georgia Republican Party, Republican Round-Up 2010, May 14-15, 2010
  • "Corporate Political Activities After Citizens United," American Forest and Paper Association General Counsels Committee Meeting, April 21-22, 2010.
  • Panelist, “Hillary the Movie: The Final Act for Campaign Finance Reform?” Georgia State Bar, February 9, 2010
  • "Corporate Compliance: Campaign Finance, Contracting, Tax, Lobbying & Ethics Rules," McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP, May 2009
  • "Establishing a Political Law Compliance Program in the Age of Obama?," Annual Government Contracts Spring Seminar, May 2009
  • ACC's Federal Ethics & Lobbying, November 14, 2008.
  • Compliance with the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act - "Sarbanes-Oxley" for the Lobbying World  - May 7, 2008
  •  BNA's The New Lobbying Law : A Sea Change, Part II -- Understanding and Implementing the Changes - May 5, 2008
  • Congressional Oversight and Investigations, What Corporate America Should Know - April 2 and April 5, 2008
  • Lorman Education Services Election Law in Georgia - Chair and Faculty Member - March 19, 2008
  • National Press Club - Media Briefing Luncheon - January 10, 2008
  • Press Roundtable Luncheon - October 25, 2007
  • It's Now the Law: Understanding, Preparing for and Complying with the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act of 2007 - October 9, 2007
  • Congress Finalizes Ethics and Lobbying Reforms: Compliance and Disclosure Under the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act of 2007 - September 12, 2007
  • Understanding and Navigating Changes to the Federal Lobbying & Ethics Rules - Effective Lobbying Techniques under Heightened Scrutiny -June 27, 2007
  •  Federal Lobbying Disclosure and Recent Changes to Federal and State-Level Ethics Issues:  New Pitfalls South of the Border - June 6, 2007
  • What Business Leaders Need to Know about Procurement Lobbying, Gifts to Government Officials, and Campaign Contributions and Political Activity - New York State and Federal Rules - January 18, 2007
  • Institute of Continuing Legal Education Election Law Seminar - April 28, 2006
  • Establishing and Maintaining Successful Relations with Congressional Members and Staff: How to Avoid Ethical Pitfalls - October 17, 2006
  • Changes in Campaign & Election Law: What Corporations Need To Know Before Being Politically Active in Georgia - October 11, 2005 
  •  “The Current Financial Crisis: What Every Corporate Counsel Must Know,” ACC America, December 2, 2008.