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Caught Our Eye items are posted daily. LegiStorm Pro subscribers have access to all posts a few hours before other users, and are also able to search the full Caught Our Eye archive. Log in as a LegiStorm Pro user or learn more about subscribing.

Booz Allen snags Rep. Costa aide

Posted by Keturah Hetrick on Jan. 19, 2018

A former aide to Rep. Jim Costa (D-Calif.) has left the Hill for Booz Allen Hamilton.

Tadeh Issakhanian, is now a senior environmental consultant for the ubiquitous government-services firm.

Issakhanian, who holds a bachelor's and MBA degrees from California State University Fresno, spent the last year working as Costa's scheduler and assistant press secretary.

Stem-cell group adds longtime Rep. DeLauro aide

Posted by Keturah Hetrick on Jan. 18, 2018

Rep. Rose DeLauro's (D-Conn.) legislative director has taking his former boss's fight for stem-cell research off the Hill.

Eric Anthony began as policy director to the International Society for Stem Cell Research earlier this month. He spent a couple of years with former Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-N.Y.) before moving to DeLauro's office in 2011.

DeLauro, a cancer survivor, is one of Congress's biggest advocates for stem-cell and other biomedical research. The ISSCR promotes stem-cell-related research and education but has never disclosed lobbying at the federal level.

Rep. Frankel adds water lobbyist

Posted by Keturah Hetrick on Jan. 17, 2018

A water lobbyist has swum onto Rep. Lois Frankel's (D-Fla.) team.

Ian Wolf starts this month as Frankel's legislative director. He most recently worked as legislative director to the WateReuse Association, a trade group that promotes water recycling and reuse, and previously spent five years working for Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-Fla.).

Through its in-house team, WateReuse lobbies Congress and the executive branch on water-recycling and infrastructure programs.

Interest groups continue to spend big on congressional travel

Posted by Keturah Hetrick on Jan. 16, 2018

Congressional members and staff sure wanted to escape Washington last year — and private travel sponsors spent the most money since 2005 helping them do just that.

Interest groups spent more than $6.30 million on congressional travel in 2017, up from $4.46 million and $6.20 million spent in 2016 and 2015, respectively.

Travel among Republican members and their aides cost more overall ($3.37 million vs. $2.90 million spent on Democrats), with private groups spending $939,000 on domestic trips for Republicans compared to only $534,000 for their Democratic counterparts. International travel saw smaller partisan spending differences, with $2.43 million spent on Republican travel and $2.37 million spent on Democrats.

While domestic trips made up three-quarters of congressional travel, the U.S. was far from the most expensive travel destination: 147 trips to Israel cost $2.16 million, dwarfing the $1.49 million spent on all domestic travel combined.

That's thanks almost entirely to the American Israel Education Foundation, a sister organization to the powerful American Israel Public Affairs Committee lobbying group. AIEF spent nearly $1.92 million on congressional travel last year, more than any other single sponsor.

AIEF and other interest groups spend big on international travel in the hopes of making and influencing congressional allies, who get immersed for days in issues from the organization's point of view.

Electrifying new job for ex-aide to Rep. King

Posted by Keturah Hetrick on Jan. 12, 2018

After six months off the Hill, Rep. Pete King's (R-N.Y.) former legislative director is on the grid.

Jamie Matese is now a federal government relations specialist at National Grid USA, the stateside arm of the U.K-based National Grid Gas utility company. She had worked for King since 2010.

National Grid spent an estimated $2.45 million, mainly through its in-house team, to lobby the federal government on a wide range of issues, including energy-efficiency laws, tax reform and cybersecurity.

About Caught Our Eye

We spend a large part of our days looking at data. Documents often come in by the dozens and hundreds. And while most are boring - how interesting can staring at a phone directory or salary records be, for example? - we find daily reasons for interest, amusement or even concern packed in the documents. So we are launching a new running feature that we call "Caught our Eye."

Longer than tweets but shorter than most blog posts, Caught our Eye items will bring back the interest in reviewing documents and researching people. Some items might bring hard, breaking news. Others will raise eyebrows and lead some into further inquiry. Others might be good for a joke or two around the water cooler. All will enlighten about the people or workings of Capitol Hill.

Caught our Eye items will be published each morning for LegiStorm Pro subscribers. Non-Pro site users will be able to receive the news items a few hours later. In addition to having immediate access to the news, LegiStorm Pro users will have a handy way to search and browse all past items.