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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:

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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.


Posted by Nate Hoffman on Nov. 19, 2014

Rep. Allyson Schwartz (D-Pa.) is not the only one in her office currently looking for a new job - her legislative staffers are as well.

One such aide, Emily Haas, has landed on her feet in a government affairs position. She recently joined Celgene Corp. as a coordinator of federal government relations. Her former boss lost the Democratic primary in the Pennsylvania gubernatorial race in May to the eventual winner, Gov.-Elect Tom Wolf. 

The Summit, N.J.-based pharmaceutical manufacturer has lobbied Congress on multiple issues, including the MODDERN Cures Act of 2013, which was co-sponsored by Schwartz. No action has been taken on the bill since its introduction.

Haas had been with the Philadelphia congresswoman for the past three years. She started as a district staff assistant before transferring to the Democrat's Washington office. Haas climbed the ranks to become a legislative aide, with an issue portfolio that included government operations and women's issues. She graduated Temple University with a degree in history and political science.

Posted by Jenna Ebersole on Nov. 18, 2014

A former Social Security Administration commissioner and onetime congressional staffer has registered as a foreign agent to promote Hungary's government.

Jo Anne B. Barnhart has worked in politics since the 1970s when she started as Sen. Bill Roth's (R-Del.) legislative assistant shortly after graduating from college. The job with Roth, followed by four years with the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee in the late 1980s, kicked off decades of work in the executive and legislative branches for Barnhart.

Barnhart, who listed her occupation as a government relations consultant with the SLI Group LLC, registered under the Foreign Agent Registration Act. The organization will provide "public relations assistance and networking" for Hungary by disseminating information and making contacts with lawmakers and business leaders.

The part-time work earns Barnhart $10,000 per month, according to the FARA filing.

Barnhart also served as political director for the National Republican Senatorial Committee in the 1990s, and was commissioner of Social Security between 2001 and 2007. 

Posted by Jenna Ebersole on Nov. 17, 2014

Dead men tell no tales but in D.C. they can still register to lobby.

The unarmed black teen shot and killed in August by a Ferguson, Mo. police officer, sparking mass protests, has filed as a registered lobbyist. Or at least someone did it for him.

As Ferguson awaits the decision of a grand jury on whether to indict Ferguson officer Darren Wilson, a D.C. lobbying organization has taken the unusual step of listing the deceased Brown as one of its lobbyists in a filing. Fighting Apartheid Confrontation Transformation Systems Inc. has registered to lobby since 1999.

The organization, also known as FACTS Inc., listed Wilson's possible indictment for "improper procedure on the police force duties/activities" as the central lobbying issue. It also cites an autopsy analysis that shows Brown "was shot in the hand at close range."

Along with Brown, the president of FACTS, Harold Hunter, is listed on the lobbying form with several others. In Brown's death, they plan to lobby the House, Senate, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Department of Education, Department of Justice, Legal Services Corp., Small Business Administration, Smithsonian Institution, U.S. Copyright Office and White House.

The Department of Justice has opened a civil rights investigation into the police department in Ferguson.

FACTS has also lobbied on racism and the death of Trayvon Martin, the "Stand Your Ground" law in the Martin case and racial profiling, according to filings.

The listing of Brown is not the only unusual claim the organization has made in lobbing filings. FACTS has listed the late Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.) and president of the NAACP as lobbyists on the team. Hunter called it an "honest mistake" at the time.

Posted by Jenna Ebersole on Nov. 14, 2014

The head of incoming Sen. Mike Rounds' (R-S.D.) transition team may be new to Congress, but his experience in the ways of Washington goes back years.

Rob Skjonsberg was Rounds' chief of staff in the South Dakota governor's office between 2003 and 2007 and returned to manage his campaign for Senate. But between 2007 and 2012, Skjonsberg served as a lobbyist for South Dakota-based biofuel company POET LLC.

POET spent hundreds of thousands of dollars lobbying on energy issues during the years Skjonsberg lobbied. His title with the company was senior vice president for public policy and corporate affairs.

Skjonsberg earned a bachelor's degree in economics from South Dakota State University in 1995 and has also served as partner at GSG Strategies LLC and with Rounds at Fischer Rounds and Associates Inc.

In October, he was the subject of a controversy over an indirect investment he held in a company that benefited from votes he made on the state Board of Economic Development. But the board commissioner decided there was no conflict after attorney review.

Posted by Nate Hoffman on Nov. 13, 2014

If the popular expression is correct that making legislation is like making sausage, an Ohio Republican might have the perfect hire with his newest agriculture policy adviser.

Bill Davis has joined Rep. Bob Gibbs' (R-Ohio) staff as a legislative aide after spending the past four years advocating for the National Pork Producers Council as the deputy director of government relations. In addition, Davis helped manage the NPPC's political action committee, PorkPAC. Gibbs is a member of the House Agriculture Committee.

After graduating with a bachelor's degree from Sacred Heart University, Davis was the manager of political field operations for the Business-Industry Political Action Committee, or BIPAC, before going to the NPPC.

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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.