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A former congresswoman from Virginia, Republican Thelma Drake, has become a federally registered lobbyist.
Drake, who began a term in Congress in 2004 but lost a re-election bid in 2008, joined the Virginia Hospital and Healthcare Association in September as regional director for community and member outreach. Her first federal lobbying registration with the organization was released this week. She previously had filed as a state lobbyist with the organization.
Drake came to Congress after serving in the Virginia House of Delegates between 1996 and 2004. After leaving the U.S. House in 2009, she was director at the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation before starting Thelma Drake and Associates LLC to "advocate for various regional issues affecting voters and citizens," one of which was closing the Medicaid coverage gap, according to her LinkedIn profile.
On her filing, Drake registered to lobby on "issues affecting hospitals and other health care providers," including Medicare and Medicaid.
Rep. Blake Farenthold's (R-Texas) office has churned through another communications director, even as one who had the job earlier this year ignited a scandal for the lawmaker.
Farenthold hired his first male communications director this month after a cycle of five young, female staffers had the title since he took office in 2011. The office's most recent communications director, Lee Towns, started the job in August following the departure of Lauren Greene.
Greene filed a lawsuit against the congressman earlier this month, alleging Farenthold made sexual comments, created a hostile work environment and improperly fired her. Greene served as communications director for about the same amount of time as Towns, around six months, but also was Farenthold's new media director for a year before she got the job.
Three other women have also held the communications director job since 2011 for Farenthold, working roughly a year or less each. Six other Hill staffers, all male, have also cycled through Farenthold's office in the chief of staff job since 2011 including the current chief of staff.
It is unclear exactly when the most recent communications staff change occurred. New Communications Director Michael Rekola, who was deputy press secretary for Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), did not respond to requests for comment about the timing and staff turnover.
Farenthold also has other communications help amidst the scandal, according to The Texas Tribune. The congressman's office last month retained Kurt Bardella, who has a private communications firm.
A longtime registered lobbyist will make a return to the Hill in January as chief of staff for Rep. Andy Barr (R-Ky.).
Mary Rosado last worked in Congress in the 1990s, serving as legislative counsel and director for then-Rep. Jim Talent (R-Mo.) and staff director for the House Small Business Committee. Since then, she has spent more than a decade registered to lobby with Humana Inc. and Express Scripts Inc.
Rosado most recently has been vice president at Express Scripts, lobbying on pharmacy and other health policy issues. At Humana she also lobbied on health care topics.
The new chief of staff earned a law degree from St. Louis University School of Law in 1992.
Rep. Mark Souder's (R-Ind.) former chief of staff, and the wife of a current Republican congressman, is back on the Hill working for another Republican representative.
Renee Hudson joined Rep. Todd Rokita's (R-Ind.) office this month as chief of staff. She has more than a decade of experience in Congress, most recently as chief of staff for Rep. Ben Quayle (R-Ariz.) until 2013. She is married to Rep. Richard Hudson (R-N.C.).
Renee Hudson received some attention in the wake of the scandal that led to Souder's resignation in 2010. Hudson reportedly confronted Souder about his affair with another staffer and alerted House Republican leaders. She began as Souder's legislative director in 2002 and later became his chief of staff.
The revelations of Souder's scandal also came at an inconvenient time for the still-engaged Hudsons - days before they tied the knot. The congressman resigned on their wedding day.
Richard Hudson also served as a longtime Hill staffer before his election, working as a district director and chief of staff for four members of Congress from North Carolina and Texas between 1999 and 2011.
As Rep. Spencer Bachus (R-Ala.) and his staff pack their bags over the next few weeks, one staffer for five years has already said farewell.
Summer Bravo came to the Hill as an intern for Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Ala.) in 2009 before starting later that year as a staff assistant for Bachus and continuing up the ranks to senior legislative assistant earlier this year. Her new position as federal affairs consultant for Xcel Energy Inc. takes her to a company that has long lobbied Washington. The company serves millions of gas and electric customers in the Midwest and West of the country.
Bravo graduated from Auburn University in 2009 and has never filed lobbying papers. Her husband, Matt Bravo, also works on the Hill as deputy floor director for House Republican Whip Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.).
Bachus thanked staffers, including Bravo, in a statement this week.
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.
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