While much of official Washington K Street included has decamped to the Republican National Convention in the Twin Cities, plenty of lobbyists are back in D.C. with the office to themselves.
And they claim theres actual work going on, especially because they are trying to gear up for Congress return next week.
Were starting to figure out whats really on the agenda for September, said Gordon Taylor, a Democratic lobbyist with Ogilvy Government Relations. Were hearing from clients.
But he admitted the environment with most GOPers out of the office is enjoyable.
This is what life will be like during an Obama administration only Democrats in town, he quipped.
Jack Quinn of Quinn Gillespie & Associates reports that the weather, in case any convention-goers are interested, is beautiful and the traffic is almost as beautiful, what with all these people out of town.
Some Democrats, including David Castagnetti of Mehlman Vogel Castagnetti, are glued to the coverage of the convention. Everybodys waiting for the governor to give her speech, he said on Wednesday before Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, the GOPs vice presidential candidate, had taken to the podium.
Others are reveling in the citys depopulation. The commuting is nice. There arent lines in Washington. Its actually civilized, said GolinHarris lobbyist Michael Fulton, who added that hes been meeting with Congressional aides on Capitol Hill this week. Im not wearing a necktie, he said.
Anne Urban of Venn Strategies said it feels like September. Things are really starting to pick up, she said.
Added Sandi Stuart, a Democrat with Clark & Weinstock: Clients are really getting anxious about whats going to happen in September and with the election.
Game On. Back on Sunday, it looked as if a perennial convention favorite a day at the home teams ballpark might get scrapped. But A Day at the Metrodome, scheduled for today, will not face a Gustav delay after all.
The event, which includes batting practice on the field where the Minnesota Twins play, will be a fundraiser for Gustav relief efforts, according to organizer LeeAnn Petersen. Any donation pledges will be matched by the Convention Baseball Group, which hosts the events at both parties conventions.
With the change, delegates are now welcome to attend free of charge with RSVP and credentials, she said.
And the Minnesota Twins agreed to the Gustav donations as opposed to the original plan of giving the money to the teams community fund.
Issue Ads Convention Style. The Travel Industry Association has spent the past two weeks of the Democratic and Republican conventions airing ads aimed at both parties presidential candidates, Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Barack Obama (D-Ill.).
The message, according to the group, was to encourage the candidates to include improvements to domestic and international travel as part of their campaign messages.
The groups president and CEO, Roger Dow, said TIAs efforts are paying off.