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A former Louisiana congressman has registered to lobby on behalf of a home-state parish on FEMA and flooding issues.
Rep. Rodney Alexander (R-La.) resigned his seat in 2013 and became secretary of the Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs, a position he left in 2014. The former congressman, who has also served in the Louisiana House of Representatives and as an elected member of the Jackson Parish Police Jury, joined the Picard Group in February.
Alexander has registered to lobby on behalf of the Cameron Parish Police Jury, which acts as the governing body of the parish. Cameron Parish, located west of New Orleans on the Gulf of Mexico, was devastated by Hurricane Rita in 2005 and Hurricane Ike three years later.
In his first filing, Alexander registered to advocate on FEMA direct administrative cost for the potential de-obligation of Rita funds, adjustment and reauthorization of the Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection and Restoration Act and other flooding and coastal study issues.
An alumnus of the Bill Clinton and Barack Obama White Houses, as well as the Senate, has filed his first lobbying registration.
David Vandivier has an extensive resume in government, beginning with a 1994 internship for then-Rep. Tony P. Hall (D-Ohio). He started in March as director of government affairs at BNY Mellon and has registered to lobby on Dodd-Frank implementation and extending the Internal Revenue Code exemption for "active financing" income.
The exemption helps financial services firms defer U.S. taxes on certain income earned overseas.
Vandivier has made several rounds through Congress, the White House and various government agencies since the 1990s. His longest stint in Congress was as professional staff member to the Senate Budget Committee between 2003 and 2009.
Over the years, the new lobbyist has also interned in Vice President Al Gore's office and worked for the Department of the Treasury, Office of Management and Budget and Council of Economic Advisers, where he was chief of staff from 2011-13. He joined BNY Mellon after departing the IRS, where he served as senior adviser to Commissioner John Koskinen starting in 2013.
Vandivier has a bachelor's from Franklin College and a 1998 master's from the London School of Economics and Political Science.
A longtime attorney for the Senate Legislative Counsel's office has been picked up by Lyft, taking a position as legislative counsel with the ride-sharing firm.
The driving app company, along with Uber which has become particularly popular on the Hill, has launched lobbying efforts in the last few years as it confronts concerns from the taxi industry. Robert Grant moved in April to Lyft, where he serves as legislative counsel.
Grant has nearly a decade of experience working for the Senate Legislative Counsel in stints as staff attorney and assistant and senior counsel since his first job there in 2004. In between, he has also worked as senior counsel to the Federal Housing Finance Agency.
The former congressional staffer, who has a bachelor's from the University of Virginia and a 2002 law degree from Tulane University Law School, also worked as an economist at the IRS before getting his law degree.
For many of the youngest Capitol Hill staffers, experience in a congressional office tops their career highlights. But for one 20-year-old who works for Rep. Sam Graves (R-Mo.), graduating before turning 21 and starting in Congress may rank somewhere in the middle.
Katelynne Cox is a 20-year-old legislative correspondent and staff assistant who has recorded one album with a label and two EPs in her career as a teen pop singer. Her album "One Girl" was released in 2011 with Red Hammer Records following her first independent EP in 2008 and a second, "Erase It," last summer.
"Politicians and our parents, we can't leave it up to them. We may be young but we are strong and this is our chance to begin," she sings in one song.
Cox has a bachelor's in communication studies and political science from the University of Missouri - Columbia and also has experience modeling.
Democrats on the Hill hire significantly more non-white staffers than Republicans in either the House or Senate, LegiStorm data shows.
The split between the parties is particularly pronounced in the House, where 66.5 percent of Democratic staff is Caucasian compared to 93.7 percent of Republican staff. The data is available with LegiStorm's new tool, which allows for filtering Congress by age, gender, party, race and religion in real time.
The House staff race divide closely mirrors the racial divide between members in the House in each party. Republican members are 95.9 percent white, compared to 61.3 percent of Democratic members.
But in the Senate, even though senators from both parties are white by a huge majority, Democratic senators also have more racial diversity in their offices. Democratic members, who are 93.2 percent white, employ staffs that are 79.5 percent white. Republican senators are 94.4 percent white and 93.3 percent of their staff is also white.
Blacks make up the largest minority among staffers in both chambers, at 8.5 percent overall in the House and 6.2 percent overall in the Senate, followed by Hispanics and Asians.
LegiStorm's race data is based on visual identification and other cues obtained in our research, such as name and languages spoken. Because race identification is not confirmed with individual staffers, the data is most useful in the aggregate and LegiStorm does not identify the race of individual staffers on its site.
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.