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. Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) has been office for nearly seven years and finally took her first privately sponsored trip to a New York Times food conference. She might have come away a tad hungry.
The Times sponsored Pingree's trip, which cost a little under $1,000, but her disclosure of the trip included no meal expenses. Travel expenses amounted to around $750 and the lodging costs were a little over $200.
The conference, hosted in Tarrytown, N.Y., was called "Food for Tomorrow" and featured discussions on food policy, health and food trends. Pingree sits on the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration and Related Agencies Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee and spoke at the conference on "farm and food issues," according to her filing. The congresswoman grew up farming in Maine and lists local food and farms as a key issue on her congressional website.
People often accuse lobbyists of having too much power, but Dan Murray just started lobbying for a company that wants to sell all of theirs.
Murray left the office of Sen. Jim Risch (R-Idaho) for electricity giant Southern Company in August and filed his first lobbying disclosure this past month. Atlanta-based Southern supplies energy products throughout the Southeast, yet Murray is stationed in their D.C. office as a governmental affairs manager. He joined the company after nearly nine years in Congress, the last of which he served as a senior policy adviser in Risch's office.
Murray had been with Risch since 2009, joining his staff as a legislative correspondent and being promoted to legislative assistant after several months. At the beginning of 2015 he became a senior policy adviser, to Risch a position he held until his departure for Southern. Risch currently chairs the Energy Subcommittee of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.
Since joining Southern, Murray has lobbied on a variety of energy and environmental issues, including greenhouse gas regulations, clean air and water standards and electricity rate pricing.
Prior to his positions with Risch, Murray worked for former Sen. Wayne Allard (R-Colo.) beginning in 2006, first as a legislative correspondent and then as a deputy legislative assistant.
Jon Causey left Congress last month to take a job in the private sector, but if history is any indication, he might be back. This recent departure marks Causey's fifth trip through the revolving door.
Causey became a senior director of federal government relations at GlaxoSmithKline in October after leaving his position as chief of staff for Rep. Larry Bucshon (R-Ind.). He had been with Bucshon for over four-and-a-half years before moving to the pharmaceutical giant and once again heading through the revolving door.
Causey started his congressional career in 1999 as a staff assistant with the late Rep. Howard Coble (R-N.C.). He left Coble the next year to make his first switch to the private sector as an analyst for Rasmussen Research. Causey then returned to Congress in 2001 to become a legislative correspondent for former Sen. Jesse Helms (R-N.C.).
Causey stayed in Congress for the next eight years. He joined the House under former Rep. Robin Hayes (R-N.C.) in 2003 as a legislative assistant. Causey then moved to Rep. Pat McHenry's (R-N.C.) office as legislative director in 2005 and became his chief of staff later that year. In 2007, he switched back over to the Senate to become legislative director for former Sen. Elizabeth Dole (R-N.C.), who took Helm's seat when he retired in 2003.
Causey's third trip through the revolving door came in 2009. When Dole retired, he took a position as assistant director of government relations at the Society of Thoracic Surgeons for a year and then moved to the American College of Radiology as director of congressional affairs. In both positions, Causey lobbied Congress on health care issues.
In 2011, Causey returned to Congress once again as Bucshon's chief of staff, a position he held until October.
A legislative assistant for Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) left Congress to bolster the potency of a drug firm's government relations.
Catherine Phillips joined Biogen as a senior manager for public policy and government affairs last month after a nearly three-year stint in Congress. Phillips joined Scott's office in 2013 as a legislative aide covering health policy. At the start of 2014, she was promoted to a legislative assistant position and began focusing on government affairs in addition to health policy.
Before joining Scott, Phillips was an associate with Dutko Grayling, a public and government relations firm. She covered pharmaceutical issues related to Medicaid and Medicare during her time with the firm.
Biogen is a large biotechnology and pharmaceutical company that develops treatments for neurological, autoimmune and hematologic disorders. The most recent lobbying disclosures from the firm show a concern over the Affordable Care Act implementation and FDA reform in the 21st Century Cures Act.
Rep. Pat Meehan (R-Pa.) and his office look to be in good shape after the hiring of a longtime health care lobbyist.
Julie Nolan came on board the congressman's staff as a legislative assistant last month after a nearly 10-year lobbying career. She joins Meehan from Akin Gump Strauss Hauer and Feld where she worked for over a year as a policy adviser and lobbied on assorted health care issues.
Meehan took an active role in both opposing and criticizing Obamacare and the Healthcare.gov rollout. More recently, he has promoted the 21st Century Cures Act, which passed the House with bipartisan support in July.
It's a return to the Hill for the health policy specialist, who also served as a staff assistant for former Sen. Dick Lugar (R-Ind.) in 2006. Nolan joined Lugar from law firm Patton Boggs, where she started her career in 2005 as a public policy staff member. She only stayed with Lugar for a year though, before heading back through the revolving door to Patton Boggs. She filed her first lobbying disclosure upon her return and advocated for numerous issues as part of the firm's health practice over the next seven years.
Nolan left Patton Boggs in 2014 when the firm merged with Squire Sanders, migrating to Akin Gump along with several others covering health policy at the firm.
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.