Business - not usual: Hubay LLC

In Scott Hubay's opinion, there are two kinds of attorneys—those that solve ongoing conflicts, and those that take a shovel to molehill-sized problems before they become a mountain. With a new practice offering legal counsel to political campaigns, Hubay is busy tamping down potentially harmful issues for his clients in real-time.
Hubay's Ohio City-based shop, Hubay LLC, provides Ohio's elected officials, candidates, issue campaigns and nonprofits with legal counsel, compliance services and campaign infrastructure development. Thinking about running for office but intimidated by Ohio's endless array of campaign finance forms? Hubay can help.
The Mayfield Heights native also reviews disclaimers on printed campaign materials that contain the name and address of a candidate's campaign committee, along with other important information. (Even small infractions in the disclaimer can lead to political adversaries filing an ethics violations report, according to Hubay.) In the nonprofit realm, Hubay acts as treasurer, balancing the books and keeping organizations compliant with Ohio's campaign finance, lobbying and nonprofit tax laws.
The idea is to streamline a nonprofit or campaign so they're able to spend more time on important issues and less on logistics. Regarding those complex finance documents, Hubay says, "You can get in trouble for not filling out forms correctly. I want to close the gap on that and make sure people have the support they need to feel comfortable."

Currently, 32-year-old Hubay has 10 clients, among them Keep Our Port Strong and several would-be office holders. Generating new business means relaying his deep-dive experience with campaign finance at the local, state and federal levels—an interest stemming from what Hubay saw as a clear need in Ohio for someone who practices election and political law on the Democratic side.

"I wanted to fill that role to help make a difference," says Hubay. "In the long run, better candidates yield better elected officials.”  

A graduate of Capital University Law School, Hubay established his Cleveland practice in September 2016. Prior to boomeranging back to Cleveland, Hubay worked in Columbus for Mary Jo Kilroy's successful congressional campaign. In addition, he helped establish a fundraising strategy for the Ohio House Democratic Caucus that garnered a record-breaking $11.7 million.
Though his potential client base is narrow, word has spread about the unique business, he says. To further the cause, Hubay speaks to groups at Lead Ohio, a Columbus organization that recruits and prepares future leaders in the championing of progressive policies. 
While Hubay doesn't expect to get involved with Cleveland's upcoming mayoral election, he's excited about facilitating his clients' campaign goals, whatever those aims may be.
"When campaigns make mistakes, it's not nefarious. They just don't know they're breaching the law," says Hubay. "I don't want to see good, well-meaning candidates get derailed. What gets me going every day is helping people get the resources and training they need to be successful."  

Read more articles by Douglas J. Guth.

Douglas J. Guth is a Cleveland Heights-based freelance writer and journalist. In addition to Fresh Water, his work has been published by Midwest Energy News, Kaleidoscope Magazine and Think, the alumni publication of Case Western Reserve University. A die-hard Cleveland sports fan, he also writes for the cynically named (yet humorously written) blog Cleveland Sports Torture.   
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