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LegiStorm is constantly adding new information on the people, places and reports in our database. In the past week, LegiStorm added:

  • 37 new people
  • 102 new organizations
  • 62 new photos
  • 280 job history records for people in our database
  • 64 education records for people in our database
  • 249 contact addresses, emails and URLs (LinkedIn, Facebook, etc.)
  • 2 new people through the revolving door
  • 180 new policy reports
  • 28 new trips to our privately funded travel database
  • 27 new personal financial disclosures
  • 46657 new tweets
  • 5422 new press releases
  • 54 new town halls
  • 65 new hearings

What’s next for John Boehner’s staff?

by Roll Call on 10/01/2015

Ginning Up One Last Brush With John Boehner

by Roll Call on 09/25/2015

Lobbying World

by The Hill on 09/15/2015

Gregory Meeks travels the globe on taxpayers’ dime: watchdog

by New York Post on 09/13/2015

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.

Posted by Jenna Ebersole on Jan. 26, 2015

Fewer registered lobbyists made the jump to Capitol Hill in 2014 than in any other year since 2002, when LegiStorm began tracking the revolving door with K Street.

Throughout the year, 65 lobbyists arrived in Congress compared to 112 in 2013, 74 in 2012 and 220 in 2011.

The movement to Congress was only lower in 2002, according to LegiStorm's tracking, when 56 staffers joined congressional offices. In fact, the number in 2002 likely understates the revolving door numbers because of the lack of significant lobbying records from previous years. Reliable lobbying data is only available from 2001 forward.

Of the 2014 group, 28 were Republicans and 32 were Democrats.

But the low this year did not apply to staffers moving in the other direction from the Hill to K Street. In 2014, LegiStorm tracked 394 former congressional staffers who registered to lobby. That compares to 444 in 2013 and 329 in 2012.

Of the former staffers who filed lobbying or foreign agent papers in 2014, 205 were Republicans and 171 were Democrats.

View LegiStorm's full breakdown of revolving door data here. LegiStorm's numbers are conservative and do not include staffers who have never registered to lobby but have held positions in the influence business.

The 2014 lobbying numbers became available after last week's registration deadline.


Posted by Jenna Ebersole on Jan. 23, 2015

Rep. Rod Blum (R-Iowa) has a new staff assistant in Dubuque his family knows better as son and brother.

Malcolm Stewart's story, which has been covered by the press and inspired a campaign ad, may now be running against an ethical line. The University of Iowa graduate and addition to Blum's family is on the congressional payroll.

Stewart lost his father to drug-related violence in Chicago and moved to Dubuque with his mother as a young teen, eventually meeting Blum, his basketball coach. In a development resembling the movie "The Blind Side," Stewart's mother died several years later and he connected with Blum once again, who brought him into his family.

In an emailed statement, Blum's communications director Keegan Conway denied there is an ethics issue with the hire.

"Malcolm was not legally adopted by the Blums," he said. "Since he's not a family member there are no ethics concerns." 

Nepotism ethics rules bar members of Congress from hiring close relatives, though Stewart would not fit the categories given that he was not adopted. 

On Stewart's Facebook page, he appears in photos alongside Blum and the rest of the family and in a photo on Twitter he stands beside Blum as he takes the oath of office Jan. 6.

"Speaker Boehner and the family!" he tweeted with the photo. 

In the campaign ad, Blum and Stewart sit next to each other and tell their story.

"I played basketball for Rod Blum and when my mom died, Coach took me into his family," Stewart says. "Coach always taught the team that if we work hard and play by the rules, we will have the opportunity to be successful."

Blum adds that Stewart graduated from college with honors and he is running for Congress because, "I want to make sure all of our kids have the same opportunity for success."

The ad ends in a fist bump between the two. 

Posted by Jenna Ebersole on Jan. 22, 2015

Rep. Colleen Hanabusa's (D-Hawaii) legislative director has taken a new government affairs job with JetBlue Airways Corp.

Joshua Dover left this month to manage government affairs at the airline after working in Hanabusa's office since 2011, when he started as a legislative assistant. Dover got his start on the Hill in 2008 with an internship in Rep. Earl Pomeroy's (D-N.D.) office and later positions with Rep. Dale Kildee (D-Mich.).

Dover has a bachelor's from Pepperdine University and a master of public policy from the A. Alfred Taubman Center for Public Policy and American Institutions.

JetBlue registers to lobby on a range of air transit issues, including infrastructure and security

Posted by Jenna Ebersole on Jan. 21, 2015

A staffer who has moved several times between the Hill and K Street has revolved again, this time to lobby for EducationCounsel LLC.

Jennifer Castagna served as professional staff member with the Senate Appropriations Committee for four years after returning to the Hill from her first stint in the lobbying world. She was vice president at Washington Partners LLC between 2009 and 2010, registering to lobby on a range of education issues.

Castagna first worked on the Hill for Pennsylvania Democrat Sen. Arlen Specter, then a Republican, starting in 2000 as a legislative correspondent after her graduation from Penn State University. She rose to become legislative assistant and appropriations director over the next several years, leaving for Washington Partners in 2009.

At EducationCounsel, Castagna resumes her lobbying on education policy issues, registering to lobby in the fourth quarter of 2014 on expanding early learning opportunities and aligning early learning with K-12 education.

EducationCounsel is an education lobbying firm with clients that include the American Association of School Administrators and National Association of State Boards of Education. Castangna registered to lobby on behalf of the Ounce of Prevention Fund, which seeks to improve early childhood education particularly for children born into poverty.

Posted by Jenna Ebersole on Jan. 20, 2015

Between the official announcements and guest lists, congressional staffers took to Twitter to make their final digs - and give their honest thoughts - before live-tweeting begins in earnest during tonight's State of the Union address.

Staffers and their bosses tweeted "SOTU" more than 350 times since last week by midday Tuesday, with more pouring in throughout the day.  

From the Republican camp: 

Amanda Carpenter, Communications Director, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas): 

"Obama sitting down with YouTube personalities post-SOTU? Confirms my idea earlier. This is Seinfeld SOTU. A speech about nothing, a joke."

Rainey Sewell, Staff Assistant, Rep. Frank Lucas (R-Okla.): 

"Game plan for #SOTU tonight: listen to Obama, watch VP Biden for funny faces, occasionally check to see how unimpressed Boehner looks."

Nathan Cox, Constituent Services Representative, Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-Kansas) in a reply:

"Based on Twitter this morning, this may be the least watched #SOTU since Washington mailed it in."

Heba Abdelaal, Legislative Correspondent, Sen. John Boozman (R-Ark.):

"When the #SOTU is an event requiring significant prep and endless research.. #HillStaffProbs"

From the Democrats: 

Kirsten Hartman, Press Secretary, Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas):

"Joni Ernst's feelings about giving the #SOTU response: https://t.co/nekWmGVIKt"

 Julissa Santoy, Legislative Correspondent, Rep. Luis Gutiérrez (D-Ill.):

"#SOTU on the mind today. ALL day. #LifeOnTheHill #DC #CapitolHill"

Jennifer Storipan, Legislative Director/Counsel, Rep. Joyce Beatty (D-Ohio):

"Happy #SOTU Day! We've seen a preview of @BarackObama speech this past week. Looking forward to tonight's delivery."

John McCarthy, Special Assistant, Rep. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.)

"Wondering what a @Pontifex #SOTU would look like? (I was) Check out @gehringdc's take at @NCROnline http://t.co/SEbk0FRQRQ "

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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.