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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.

Founder of lobbying shop no stranger to advocacy

Posted by Keturah Hetrick on Aug. 16, 2017

Joe Murray has become a registered federal lobbyist for his own firm. But the former Hill staffer is no stranger to advocacy.

He's spent years advocating for sufferers of a rare and incurable disease — who happen to include his daughter, Ella. Now a fifth-grade student, she was born with epidermolysis bullosa, which causes painful skin blistering. Murray has worked as the Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa Research Association of America's director of government and legal affairs since 2015, though he did not register as a federal lobbyist through the organization.

Now, as founder and principal of First Principles Strategies, he's lobbying for his first clients, the Alliance for Senior Health Care Financing and the Professional Bail Agents of the U.S.

Murray previously worked for a number of Republicans, including Sen. Ron Johnson (Wis.), Rep. Mark Meadows (N.C.) and Rep. Steve Scalise's (La.) House Republican Study Committee. His wife, Katie Murray, worked for Wyoming Republican senators, John Barrasso and Craig Thomas, and has lobbied for the American Diabetes Association.

Health-care alliance adds ex-Hill aide

Posted by Keturah Hetrick on Aug. 15, 2017

The National Coalition on Health Care added a former Hill staffer to its lobbying roster.

Emily Haas is the alliance's associate policy director. Haas, who previously worked for former Rep. Allyson Schwartz (D-Pa.) and for biopharmaceutical company Celgene, is lobbying on primary-care and chronic-care issues and the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act, according to a recent disclosure form.

The NCHC is a nonpartisan alliance of more than 80 organizations, including the AARP, AFL-CIO, Salvation Army and the American Lung Association.

Trump surrogate's daughter lobbying over Indian visa threat

Posted by Keturah Hetrick on Aug. 14, 2017

Weeks after classifying President Donald Trump's immigration policies as a top threat to its business, one of India's largest software-outsourcing companies is turning to the daughter of former Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.), a Trump-campaign surrogate and cable-news staple.

Ann Kingston is now lobbying for Wipro on immigration reform and outsourcing proposals, according to recent disclosure forms. She joined the IT firm as a government and public affairs specialist last year, around the time her father joined Trump's campaign as a senior adviser. The former congressman regularly appears on cable-news programs to defend the president's policies.

Wipro, which last disclosed federal lobbying activity in 2015, recently became the first Indian IT company to explicitly label Trump's "America First" hiring and immigration policies as a danger to its business, according to Quartz. Trump last month signed an executive order on new rules for H-1B work visas, which overwhelmingly go to Indian workers.

Defense lobbyist back to Senate Appropriations Committee

Posted by Keturah Hetrick on Aug. 11, 2017

After two years as a defense and technology lobbyist, Kali Matalon has returned to the Senate Appropations Committee.

Matalon comes from Innovative Federal Strategies, a lobbying group that focuses on technology and defense issues. As the firm's legislative director, she lobbied for a number of heavy hitters including Raytheon, Northrup Grumman, General Dynamics, Thales and Hewlett-Packard.

Matalon is now a Democratic professional staff member with the committee's State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs Subcommittee. She previously spent four years with the committee and with now-retired Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.).

Veteran finds PAWS-itive job with Sen. Burr

Posted by Keturah Hetrick on Aug. 10, 2017

Sen. Richard Burr's (R-N.C.) office is going to the dogs.

His latest military legislative assistant, retired Marine corporal Cole Lyle, has spent his post-military career advocating for service dogs for veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Lyle, who himself suffers from PTSD, hopes to change the Department of Veterans Affairs' stance on service dogs, which the department does not cover. He spent about $10,000 on his own service dog, Kaya, but estimates that average total costs can run twice that.

Last year, he worked with Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) to help craft the Puppies Assisting Wounded Servicemembers (PAWS) Act, which DeSantis reintroduced to Congress this year. Lyle has testified about the bill to the House Oversight Committee and has appeared on ABC and Fox News.

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.