Alabama Office in Washington

Just weeks after closing down his congressional office to move into the Governor's Mansion, Gov. Bob Riley is talking about re-establishing a Washington presence and sending one or two staffers there as permanent advocates for Alabama's needs.

Although the opening of a Washington office isn't imminent, Riley acknowledges it is part of his strategy to help smooth the relationship between the state and federal government.

Riley said Alabama has never had a governor who had congressional experience.

About 33 states have Washington offices right now.

Some hire high-dollar, registered lobbyists while others follow the model Riley seems to be eyeing by opening a small operation as an extension of the governor's office.