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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.

Humanities group adds staffer before House decision

Posted by Keturah Hetrick on July 21, 2017

The National Humanities Alliance hired another lobbyist from the House, just ahead of the House Appropriations Committee's decision to fund humanities programs in spite of the president's wishes.

Alyssa Berg had worked for Rep. Tim Walz (D-Minn.) since 2015, most recently as his scheduler. She is now a government affairs associate for the NHA, which is currently campaigning to preserve funding for the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The advocacy group scored a victory yesterday, when the House Appropriations Committee recommended $145 million in funding for the NEH - nearly $104 million more than what President Donald Trump requested for the agency.

Tortilla lobby goes for the whole enchilada

Posted by Keturah Hetrick on July 20, 2017

Big Tortilla is taking on Big Labor.

The Tortilla Industry Association has hired lobbyists to help fight the National Labor Relations Board's so-called "ambush-election" rule, which decreased the wait time before workers could elect representatives after filing union petitions, and the group's "micro-unions" ruling, which allows unionization among smaller groups of employees.

Both rules were passed under Barack Obama and could be overturned under President Trump, according to a restaurant-industry publication.

Last week, the TIA sponsored an "action day" for those in the industry to discuss the NLRB rules, among other issues, with congressional members and staffers. The group is working through, a firm that handles small lobbying contracts.

National Restaurant Association wants Frye with that

Posted by Keturah Hetrick on July 19, 2017

Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) has lost his first staffer to the lobbying world.

The freshman congressman’s former scheduler, Jack Frye, is now political-advocacy coordinator at the National Restaurant Association. At this time, he has not filed as a lobbyist through the trade association.

The NRA spent more than $3.9 million on lobbying last year, mostly on issues related to employment and tax reform.

Rep. Amodei legislative director takes electric new job

Posted by Keturah Hetrick on July 18, 2017

A service group representing electric-utility cooperatives has added Rep. Mark Amodei's (R-Nev.) legislative director as its senior legislative affairs manager.

The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association picked up Jason Riederer this month. He had worked for Amodei since 2011 and previously worked for former Rep. Joe Heck (R-Nev.).

The NRECA lobbies at the federal and state levels. Last year, the group reported nearly $2.8 million in federal lobbying, almost entirely through its in-house advocacy team.

Once under ethics probe, ex-chief of staff returns to tribe

Posted by Keturah Hetrick on July 17, 2017

Once at the center of a House ethics probe, a longtime chief of staff to former Rep. Mike Honda's (D-Calif.) has put her Hill career behind her and rejoined the staff of the Hoopa Valley Native American Tribe.

Jennifer Van der Heide, now director of the California tribe's Washington office, previously spent two years as an attorney to the Native American organization. She later worked as Honda's chief of staff for the duration of his House tenure, from 2001 until this year.

In 2015, the House Office of Congressional Ethics opened an investigation into Van der Heide and other staffers' alleged use of official resources for Honda's 2014 re-election campaign, including allegations that she had favored inviting prospective donors to a State Department event and had pressured Honda's staffers into working on his campaign. Honda lost reelection to Rep. Ro Khanna last November, in part due to his implication in the scandal. The Ethics Committee never completed its probe before Honda left office.

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.