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K Street Lobbyists Ready for Post-Sandy Disaster Aid Requests

“We sent email updates throughout the storm about closings and emergency planning by banks,” said Scott Talbott, senior vice president of public policy at the Financial Services Roundtable. “Additionally, we are now collecting facts about fee waivers, insurance claims, disaster relief contributions, etc.”

Other groups, such as the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America, put out statements today explaining flood insurance, recovery suggestions and how the storm might affect their industry.

The Interstate Natural Gas Association of America also issued a statement from its president and CEO, Don Santa, saying the natural gas pipeline system was weathering the storm well.

Unions also wasted no time responding to the weather calamity, and some mixed politics into their messaging. AFL-CIO spokesman Jeff Hauser wrote in an email that union workers were keeping busy in the storm’s wake.

He noted that Americans rely on firefighters, police officers and other unionized public employees and urged the public to press Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney on his views. “They should talk to the [International Association of Fire Fighters] and other first responder unions.”

While some lobbyists were fielding requests from clients, others said the workload was calm.

“I have not had an email or call from a client in the past 24 hours,” Steve Elmendorf, who runs Elmendorf/Ryan, said mid-morning today.

Jim Noone, a lobbyist at Mercury/Clark & Weinstock who represents the state of Connecticut, said that the strengthening of state-level Federal Emergency Management Agency offices in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 terror attacks and Hurricane Katrina had decreased the need for Washington-based lobbyists in times of crises.

“The need to work it through Washington government relations representatives has probably diminished by the series of events that have happened over the last 10 years,” he said. “The emergency operations infrastructure that has resulted allows states and large communities to interact directly with federal emergency departments.”

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