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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.

Crowdsourced lobbying group introduces new advocacy model

Posted by Keturah Hetrick on Aug. 29, 2016

Lobbyists 4 Good isn't the first crowdsourced advocacy group to lobby the federal government. But its funding methods might be unique.

According to the Lobbyists 4 Good website, the group relies on donations from individuals (no more than $5,000 per person) to fund its advocacy efforts. The group "use[s] 100% of the donations to pay the hourly fee of our lobbyists in D.C."

The organization explains, "We calculated that it will take about an hour and a half for a lobbyist to do the [necessary] background work, schedule and conduct the meeting, and properly follow up with a member of Congress or their staff... Every time we reach the $500 mark for a certain issue, we will instruct our lobbyists to proceed with conducting a meeting with the right congressional office to advocate on our behalf in person."

Lobbyists 4 Good lists "restoring democracy," "promoting peace" and "fighting addiction" as the issues that its board of directors chose for the group's advocacy efforts, and "the public" will vote on future issues, their website proclaims.

For now, the group has filed lobbying papers on campaign finance reform and funding for the Peace Corps and Institute of Peace.

Controversial Pa. lobbying firm brings work to Washington

Posted by Keturah Hetrick on Aug. 26, 2016

One of Pennsylvania’s most prominent — and most controversial — lobbying firms is taking its business beyond Harrisburg.

Long Nyquist and Associates has registered to lobby on non-specified "federal-government issues" ranging from agriculture to pharmaceuticals to gaming and casinos.

The GOP-focused firm has been criticized — ironically, mostly by Republicans — for its work on political campaigns, which it does through its consulting company, LC Consulting. This year, LC Consulting "has worked for the Republican State Committee of Pennsylvania, the GOP candidates for attorney general, auditor general and treasurer, one Senate candidate and two House hopefuls," Pittsburgh, Pa.-based TribLive reports. "In previous years, the firm worked to elect numerous judges, as well as House and Senate candidates." 

But for all the business Long Nyquist does with them, the firm seems to have its share of enemies in Pennsylvania's legislature. Earlier this year, Republican state lawmakers introduced a lobbying reform proposal that "appear[ed] to be targeted at [Long Nyquist and Associates]," the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported in January.

Michael Long and Todd Nyquist both worked for the Pennsylvania Senate before creating the firm in 2009.

Quake-detection company lobbying for monitoring

Posted by Keturah Hetrick on Aug. 25, 2016

A Calif.-based manufacturer of earthquake-monitoring devices is hoping to shake up its business.

Seismic Warning Systems is lobbying the federal government on issues related to "critical infrastructure support," according to a disclosure form. The company hired government-relations firm American Capitol Group to handle the advocacy work.

The company aims to "bring earthquake warning to everyone in California" and has developed a regional warning system for the state.

Leading Georgian political party lobbies US

Posted by Keturah Hetrick on Aug. 24, 2016

Just weeks before the country's parliamentary elections, Georgia's majority political party has filed a lobbying registration to "[educate] U.S. government officials" as to the party's policies and positions.

The Georgian Dream party leads the six-party Georgian Dream Coalition, which won a majority in Georgia's parliament in 2012.

The party was formed in 2012 by billionaire (and wealthiest Georgian) Bidzina Ivanishvili, who served as prime minister from 2012 until 2013. On Oct. 8, the country will hold its next parliamentary election, the second contest since Georgian Dream's founding.

Ivanishvili and the Georgian Dream Coalition previously lobbied the federal government in 2012 and 2013, paying $1.6 million over 10 months to Patton Boggs for "advocacy and alerting Congress and the Administration about punitive measures taken by the Georgian government restricting foreign principal's civil and political freedoms and the selective application of punitive measures against [Ivanishvili's] political campaign."

Ex-lobbyist advising House Budget Committee

Posted by Keturah Hetrick on Aug. 23, 2016

Former lobbyist and Senate counsel Jim Musser is back on the Hill, this time as a special adviser to the House Budget Committee.

Musser began the temporary appointment for the Republican side this summer.

Musser, whose most recent law business offered "strategic guidance in dealing with federal and state legislative processes and devising government relations strategies to further the client's interests," has lobbied for clients including the American Small Business Association, Pfizer and the Grocery Manufacturers Association.

He previously served as senior staff counsel to former Sen. Jim Bunning (R-Ky.) from 1993 to 1996.

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.