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Former rep. and Army secretary lobbying for defense sales

Posted by Keturah Hetrick on July 22, 2016

After joining K&L Gates in June, former Rep. John McHugh (R-N.Y.) has wasted no time filing as a federal lobbyist.

McHugh, who served as secretary of the Army from 2009 to 2015, is lobbying on behalf of the U.S. India Security Council regarding National Defense Authorization Act issues related to U.S.-India military cooperation and sales.

McHugh was elected to Congress in 1992 and was a ranking member of the Armed Services Committee at the time of his nomination to be Army secretary.

Once questioned about leak, ex-aide lobbying for Lockheed

Posted by Keturah Hetrick on July 21, 2016

Lorenzo Goco, a longtime Senate Intelligence Committee staffer questioned about a CIA intel leak, has filed his first federal lobbying disclosure as an employee of Lockheed Martin.

Last year, Goco was one of three Senate Intel staffers to testify in the trial of former CIA employee Jeffrey Sterling. Sterling was convicted of violating the Espionage Act for leaking classified information to journalist James Risen. Goco denied having leaked any details or having been in contact with Risen.

Goco served the committee as the Democratic deputy staff director and budget director from 2007 until 2015, when he left for cybersecurity firm KEYW Corp.

Ex-staffer-created lobbying firm takes flight

Posted by Keturah Hetrick on July 20, 2016

B+S Strategies, a lobbying firm created by two former House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee staffers in June, has filed its first federal lobbying disclosure.

Chris Bertram and Beth Spivey had worked for the committee under Rep. Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) since 2013 — Bertram as staff director and Spivey as director of outreach and coalitions.

The firm recently disclosed that it's lobbying on behalf of Airlines for America, formerly known as Air Transport Association of America, on airline-policy issues.

This marks the first federal lobbying registration for Bertram, who's worked Senate and House committees for roughly 16 years. Spivey had lobbied before as former vice president for legislative affairs for Rapiscan Systems, an airport X-ray and metal detector manufacturer.

Houston-focused lobbyist back to Congress

Posted by Keturah Hetrick on July 19, 2016

After a 13-year break from Congress while lobbying, Mary Schneider is back. The Houston, Texas native recently joined Rep. John Culberson's (R-Texas) team as his district director.

She had worked as a consultant for the Harris County, Texas, Hospital District, lobbying the federal government on their behalf and on behalf of the Houston Community College System, since 2003.

Schneider also served as deputy regional director for former Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson (R-Texas).

SoundExchange sponsors staff trip amid pitched copyright battle

Posted by Keturah Hetrick on July 18, 2016

As Taylor Swift urges the House Judiciary Committee for reform to musicians' compensation laws, SoundExchange, a major player in the contentious battle, has whisked several congressional staff away to Cleveland to promote the popular musician's cause.

SoundExchange — a non-profit that distributes royalties to record labels, artists and other music-copyright holders — funded the trip last month.

The music industry perennially advocates for updated copyright laws that would reform industry compensation, particularly for online streaming websites and applications. The controversial battle pits record labels, performers and other music creators against distributors such as Pandora, Spotify and the National Association of Broadcasters.

The effort to reach out congressional staff comes as distributions to copyright holders slow, growing by less than four percent last year, far behind the double-digit increases that the company experienced in prior years. As of that year, the company reportedly represented 8.4 percent of all U.S. music-industry revenues.

In Cleveland, staffers visited the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, attending a presentation on a SoundExchange-sponsored exhibit, "Louder Than Words: Rock, Politics and Power." They also attended briefings on copyright policy and the music ecosystem, including sessions on independent music labels, "the importance of legacy artists" and SoundExchange's history and future.

The following staffers took part in the two-day trip:

  • Joel Scott Richard, legislative assistant/counsel to Rep. Ted Deutch (D-Fla.)
  • Bobby Cornett, legislative director to Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.)
  • Lisette Morton, legislative director to Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.)
  • Shelley Husband, chief of staff and general counsel to Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.)
  • David Greengrass, intellectual property counsel to Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.)
  • Ashli Palmer, policy director to Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.)

With the exception of Clyburn, who belongs to the House leadership, all members listed serve on the House Judiciary Committee, which handles intellectual property issues.

SoundExchange's disclosure form also listed Brendan Belair, chief of staff to Doug Collins (R-Ga.), as attending the trip, although a disclosure has not yet been released for him.

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.