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Staying a Block Away

Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call

The restrictions on lobbyists and corporations also didn't put the kibosh on the Financial Services Roundtable, which is hosting a private reception Tuesday that will honor Rebuilding Together, a group that helps low-income homeowners.

And the Organization for International Investment, which represents U.S. subsidiaries of international companies, is having events at the conventions for the first time this year. In keeping with the theme of a recent report the group put out, its Tuesday evening reception is titled "Global Investment Works Here."

"It's a way to facilitate our member companies' interaction with participants at the convention," says spokesman Dan Hill. "It seemed like good timing to be around these influencers and make sure they understand the direct and indirect benefits of global investment in the United States."

Don't expect a lot of policy talk from the lobbyists at the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS). It is likely to be difficult to talk at all over the group's "Spirits of Charlotte" concert Labor Day at the North Carolina Music Factory, where Camp Freddy will serenade guests. The band is a collection of rockers including Billy Morrison from Billy Idol's band.

"It's going to be an amazing event," says DISCUS lobbyist David Culver.

Not everyone from K Street expects to have a good time. Manuel Ortiz, a partner with Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, says the week promises to be a grind of securing convention credentials, hotel rooms and party invitations for clients.

"I'm sort of a problem solver," he says. "Personally, I've never had fun at any of the conventions, and when they're done I've promised myself I'm not coming back."
Even hostess Heather Podesta concedes a lobbyist at the convention is little more than "a glorified concierge."

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