James Milner’s nearly 30 years of lobbying, grassroots organization, development, and public affairs experience, 21 of which were specific to Oklahoma, bring an elevated level of policy and advocacy application to an expansive client list.
Milner began his political career after earning his bachelor of science in marketing economics and minor in political science from San Diego State University as the Arizona State Senate Research Analyst for the Senate Commerce, Labor, Industry and Banking Committee. After serving more than three years as a staffer, he relocated to Washington, D.C., to serve as the National Rifle Association Regional Director in State Affairs, where he lobbied state legislators in more than 25 states and successfully managed the legislative program. Additionally, he led all media affair initiatives for states appearing in print publications such as the Washington Times, Wall Street Journal, and Denver Post. He also appeared on syndicated radio and television programs including MTV, Good Morning America, and Fox News. Before his departure, Milner was promoted to Federal Affairs to work the halls of Congress.
In 1994, Milner accepted a position with a national grassroots development firm, Bonner and Associates, to oversee several projects prior to his return to Oklahoma.
In 1995, he assumed the helm of Oklahoma Citizens for a Sound Economy, a grassroots public policy think tank. Under his leadership, the association doubled in size - from 4,000 members to more than 8,000 - in less than 2 years. Milner was prominently involved in legislation affecting taxes, economic development, and reduction in the size of government. Oklahoma CSE played major roles in legislative efforts regarding tort reform, health care reform, mandated insurance benefits, telecommunications and utility deregulation, as well as, tax reform. He authored numerous articles, op-eds and policy papers on a variety of subjects that appeared regularly in The Oklahoman, Tulsa World, The Journal Record, and Dallas Morning News. He also appeared on television and radio shows including Oklahoma’s Flashpoint and Mike McCarville’s Open Mike Live.
Milner formed The Milner Group, a public affairs consulting firm, in 1998 and specialized in communications between the private and public sector.
He was appointed by Governor Keating to serve on the Citizens Task Force on Taxation and by State Treasurer Robert Butkin to serve on the Oklahoma Academy of State Goal’s Task Force on the State Constitution. He is involved in a number of civic organizations where he served as president of several boards. •