April 18, 2014 SIGN IN | REGISTER

K Street Follows Lawmakers Outside the Beltway

"Our members have told us how important Social Security, Medicare and financial security are to them," AARP Senior Vice President John Hishta wrote in an email. "Between now and the election AARP is headed around the country with our 'You've Earned a Say' Tour to speak with voters about the issues Americans 50 and over care about and how they relate to this election."

The National Retail Federation will distribute voter guides that highlight candidates' stances on its signature issues, including swipe fee, sales tax and corporate tax reform, said David French, the group's chief lobbyist.

But not all K Streeters buy into the idea of taking a client's message on the trail - at least when it comes to pricey advertising.

Jack Howard, a GOP lobbyist with Wexler Walker Public Policy Associates, said that with the airwaves already crowded with political messaging, many clients wouldn't get much bang for their buck. But some have found simpler ways of getting their message to politicians.

Howard, a Romney supporter, said that some clients have asked him to pass along their policy positions on various issues such as tax policy or energy to the candidate's aides. "So I forward stuff up to their policy people," he said.

Likewise, many clients quietly are plotting their strategy for the lame-duck session and the next Congress.

"We have several trade association clients who are spending time now to hit the ground running in early 2013," said Story Partners' Amos Snead.

One of Snead's clients, the Coalition for Credit Union Access, has continued to push for a priority bill - the Capital Access for Small Businesses and Jobs Act - in meetings with Congressional aides and is doing media outreach in key states.

Howard, too, said he has client meetings today with Senate committee staffers whose pace is a little less frantic than when Congress is in session.

"A lot of people are wondering why I'm wearing a tie," Howard quipped. "I'm a big advocate of seeing people in their downtime. You can have a much more productive meeting when it's a little more relaxed."

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