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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.

Rep. Gianforte picks up Montana health-care lobbyist

Posted by Keturah Hetrick on July 26, 2017

Rep. Greg Gianforte (R-Mont.) added an Montana health-care lobbyist to his staff roster this month.

Kaitlynn Skoog, now Gianforte's legislative correspondent, had worked as a state lobbyist for the Montana Health Care Association since January. She was not registered at the federal level.

Gianforte, who made news for body-slamming a Guardian political reporter the day before his election, has no federal lobbyists on his staff at this time.

Ex-Rep. Whitfield lobbies after lobby-ethics resignation

Posted by Keturah Hetrick on July 25, 2017

Ed Whitfield, the Kentucky Republican who resigned from Congress over lobbying-related ethics violations, has disclosed that he's now doing lobbying work of his own.

Whitfield gave up his seat in Congress last fall after the Ethics Committee found that he had violated House rules by granting special access and favors to his wife, a lobbyist for the Humane Society.

Whitfield has worked as a partner at lobbying firm Farragut Partners since October but had not disclosed any official lobbying work until last week. He is lobbying on Medicare- and drug-related issues for the Community Oncology Alliance, Genentech and Johnson & Johnson, according to a trio of Farragut Partners lobbying forms.

K Street turns increasingly Republican

Posted by Keturah Hetrick on July 24, 2017

Lobbying firms are hiring a greater percentage of Republicans than at any time in the past dozen years, according to LegiStorm data on revolver demographics

GOP aides make up 58 percent of congressional staffers moving to lobbying positions this year. While Republicans have made up the majority of revolving lobbyists since 2012, this year marks the highest proportion of GOP revolvers since 2004, when Republicans controlled the executive and congressional branches.

At least 198 Republicans who were congressional staffers have registered as lobbyists so far this year. With second quarter filings still coming in, that is just shy of the number of Republicans who moved to K Street in all of last year.

With the GOP again in control of the White House and both chambers of Congress, demand is disproportionately high for Republican aides looking to make the jump from the Hill to lucrative positions on K Street. But the demand doesn't flow both ways: Only 42 percent of lobbyists moving to the Hill are Republican, leaving GOP members of Congress rounding out staff rosters with the smallest percentage of incoming lobbyists since 2012.

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.

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.