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Only 45 congressional offices, 15 Democratic and 30 Republican, have never had a former lobbyist on staff, a LegiStorm analysis shows.
In Congress, the lines between lobbyist and staffer often blur as aides move with ease between Capitol Hill and K Street. Forty-two representatives and three senators have so far avoided the revolving door, and all were elected in the past five years.
Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Sen. John Walsh (D-Mont.) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) stand alone in the Senate for never hiring lobbyists on their staffs, though Kaine and Warren have both employed former lobbyists on a campaign, committee or other organization outside of Congress.
Of the 45 who have never had lobbyists work for them in Congress, 38 are not known to have ever employed a lobbyist outside of Capitol Hill, according to LegiStorm's records.
A much larger portion of the Senate and House offices, 311, do not currently have a revolving door lobbyist on staff. They are split nearly evenly between the parties, with 143 Democrats, 167 Republicans and one Independent.
Among offices with the fewest all-time lobbyists, only three members elected before 2000 have employed two or fewer lobbyists on their congressional staffs. Rep. Eni Faleomavaega of American Samoa has had one, while Rep. Mark Sanford (R-S.C.) and Rep. Rick Nolan (D-Minn.) have hired two each.
On the opposite side, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) takes the lead with most all-time lobbyists on staff at 46 while both the Senate minority and majority leaders have slots in the top five. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) is second with 45 all-time, Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) is third with 42, Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is fourth with 41 and Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is fifth with 40.
Search LegiStorm's revolving door data here.
As Ebola seizes the attention of official Washington, the fight begins for federal dollars. Cue the lobbyists.
Two former Senate staffers with the international law and lobbying firm Dentons have a new client that makes equipment that might be helpful in fighting the deadly disease. Sander Lurie and Mark Weller filed lobbying papers Monday saying they are representing Zimek, which makes anti-microbial misters for decontaminating enclosed spaces.
Before becoming lobbyists, Lurie served as chief of staff to Sens. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) and Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) and as deputy staff director for the Senate Budget Committee. Weller worked as legislative director for Sen. Dick Lugar (R-Ind.).
Zimek has hired the firm for discussions on the Hill regarding "preventing the spread of Ebola and other infectious diseases using Zimek's infection control and biohazard remediation misting technology." The Department of Homeland Security has used Zimek machinery in the past, according to the company's website, though it does not say whether its products are effective against Ebola specifically.
Zimek's misters were the subject of some controversy in 2011, when the EPA placed a temporary halt on their use in New Jersey following several health complaints from medical workers. A subsequent investigation did not prove a connection between the machines and the reported symptoms.
The #Ebola hashtag took over the top spot on Capitol Hill last week, with more than 1,200 tweets by current and former members and their staffs mentioning the deadly virus since last Monday.
But a few staffers this month interrupted somber Twitter feeds with light-hearted takes on Ebola. A few of their greatest hits:
Andrew J. Kugle, Staff Assistant for Rep. Kristi Noem (R-S.D.)
When #Ebola turns into the zombie virus, I will be able to tell "I told you so" to soooo many people!— Andrew Kugle (@Google_Kugle20) October 15, 2014
Chris Peleo-Lazar, Correspondence Manager for Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.)
@LEBassett I'm pretty sure you can get Ebola on a TARDIS. We should stop that.— Chris Peleo-Lazar (@ChrisPeleoLazar) October 16, 2014
J.P. Freire, Communications Director/Speechwriter, Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.)
If there is an Ebola czar are there also Ebola bolsheviks? ...Ebolasheviks?— J.P. Freire (@JPFreire) October 17, 2014
Donny Ferguson, Press Secretary, Rep. Steve Stockman (R-Texas)
I mixed Pop Rocks and Coke #AndNowIHaveEbola— Donny Ferguson (@DonnyFerguson) October 18, 2014
Amy E. Phillips Bursch, Senior Adviser, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.)
Lydia Hall may have joined the office of Rep. Ann McLane Kuster (D-NH) at a relatively junior level, but she already has experience as a registered lobbyist.
Kuster's newest legislative correspondent held two congressional internships in college, first with Rep. Tom Allen (D-Maine) and then with Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.), before graduating in 2008. She then went to work for two prominent D.C. law and lobbying firms, Bryan Cave LLC and Drinker, Biddle and Reath.
At Drinker Biddle, she held the title legislative assistant and registered as a lobbyist. Hall worked primarily on health-related issues, representing clients such as the National Psoriasis Foundation, Advocate Health Care and Spina Bifida Association of America.
Hall graduated from Tufts University, and last year received a master's in sociology and education from Columbia University Teachers College.
Online music powerhouse Pandora has hired a Hill and K Street veteran as its first lobbyist.
In the past, Pandora Media was represented by lobbying firms, including, most recently, TwinLogic Strategies LLP. Now the Oakland, Calif.-based music provider has brought on Katie Peters as its director of government relations.
She has already been busy. Peters, Pandora Co-Founder Tim Westergren and Pandora Vice President Chris Harrison met with FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel earlier this month to discuss Pandora's pending acquisition of Rapid City, South Dakota-based station KXMZ-FM, Politico has reported. The sale is being complicated by music licensing rates and the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers' opposition to the deal.
Prior to her current stint, Peters was the senior director for government relations with Motorola Mobility LLC for the past three years. She also was the director for government affairs for Motorola Solutions Inc.
Before making the switch to K Street, Peters worked for Rep. Duke Cunningham (R-California), where she was promoted from staff assistant to legislative correspondent. She earned her bachelor's degree from Pepperdine University, her master's degree from the U.S. Naval War College and her law degree from Catholic University's Columbus School of Law.
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.