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Gun Smoke Lobbyists for the city of San Antonio were surprised to learn last week that their client’s police department had put two earmark requests — at $650,000 a pop — into the Science-State-Justice-Commerce appropriations bill. In fact, neither the S.A.P.D. nor the city’s lobbyists at Patton Boggs and Holland & Knight had done any such thing. Turns out, Van Scoyoc Associates lobbyists Brian Prende, Andre Hollis, and H. Stewart Van Scoyoc, who are registered to lobby on behalf of Remington ELSAG Law Enforcement Systems, inserted the request in connection with the purchase of some pricey Remington surveillance and mobile license-plate-detection equipment. But in the “Funding Request Form,” leaked to Legal Times, VSA failed to identify Remington as its client. Instead the form reads: “Actual recipient name, organization or entity: The San Antonio Police Department.” The Remington purchase was not part of the 15 legislative priorities that the San Antonio City Council finalized in mid-February. “I’m not sure where the disconnect has occurred,” says Hollis. “It’s a run-of-the-mill request. . . . Remington has actually been working with its [San Antonio] contacts within the law enforcement agency who have expressed support.” — Anna Palmer
We Recommend If you’re looking for a good firm to lobby the Florida Legislature, Florida legislators have a recommendation for you: Tallahassee, Fla.-based Public Affairs Consultants. Visit the firm’s Web site and you’ll find eight reference letters from Florida legislators singing the firm’s praises. The firm is “effective, efficient, and very knowledgeable about the issues” and composed of “consummate professionals,” according to the testimonials. Sound like an odd arrangement? Not to Jack Cory, the firm’s founding partner. “It’s not strange at all,” he says, explaining that the letters were put together at the request of potential local government clients seeking references. “I wouldn’t say [such letters] are typical, but I wouldn’t say unusual,” he says. Florida state Rep. Jeffrey Kottkamp (R) admits his glowing recommendation, in which he writes that the firm does “whatever it takes” for its clients, would seem untoward in Washington. But in the smaller sea of Florida politics, the letters are par for the course. Full Disclosure’s full disclosure: Public Affairs Consultants represents the Daily Business Review, Legal Times‘ Miami-based sister publication. — Andy Metzger
Danger Dan Daniel Craig, who headed the Recovery Division for the Federal Emergency Management Agency under Michael “Brownie” Brown, has surfaced at the Florida-based firm Akerman Senterfitt. Craig, who resigned from his politically appointed position at FEMA a week before Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast, is spearheading Akerman’s disaster relief practice in D.C. A government relations consultant for Akerman, he has registered with the U.S. Senate to lobby on behalf of the firm’s new venture, Beck Disaster Recovery Inc., an Orlando-based subsidiary of R.W. Beck Group Inc. that assists communities with pre- and post-disaster services. Craig will also work for Miami Beach’s Mount Sinai Medical Center, to help develop a “pre-disaster mitigation grant program, hazard mitigation grant program,” and “disaster reimbursements.” The government affairs practice has also tapped a new of counsel, Jim Schumann, the former director of the Emergency Preparedness and Response Directorate at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Legislative Affairs. While it is not pioneering a new practice, Craig says that Akerman is “tapping into a new market” involving the firm’s corporate and municipal clients. Craig says he plans to expand the practice to cover other disaster-prone areas, such as California and areas in the Midwest near the New Madrid Fault Zone. Late last year, Craig registered the Houston-based Cheniere Energy Inc. for, among other things, “disaster preparedness and relief” and the Mobile, Ala.-based DRC Emergency Services for “debris removal.” Craig was also the regional director of FEMA for New England from 2001 to 2003. — Joe Crea
Hated It Having registered on the Hill to lobby against hate crimes legislation, the National Religious Broadcasters was encouraged when House Judiciary Committee Chairman James Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) stripped punishment for hate crimes against gays and lesbians out of the Children’s Safety and Violent Crimes Reduction Act and sent the measure to the floor without a committee markup. But the real hurdle for the bill, says Brad Luna, spokesman for the Human Rights Campaign, a gay rights lobby, will come in the Senate. While it has strong support, it could potentially be repackaged and ultimately derailed in conference committee. “That causes us the most heartburn,” says Luna. And Frank Wright, president of the NRB, says the group isn’t letting down its guard just yet, suggesting the measure could be attached to a Senate appropriations bill. Did he have anything to do with the Judiciary chairman’s decision? “We have been in communication with Sensenbrenner,” allows a somewhat cryptic Wright. — Joe Crea

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