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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:

  • 68 new people
  • 37 new organizations
  • 324 new photos
  • 619 job history records for people in our database
  • 187 education records for people in our database
  • 1151 contact addresses, emails and URLs (LinkedIn, Facebook, etc.)
  • 2 new people through the revolving door
  • 133 new policy reports
  • 50 new trips to our privately funded travel database
  • 28 new personal financial disclosures
  • 63123 new tweets
  • 2681 new press releases
  • 66 new town halls
  • 53 new hearings

Ethics and Apartheid: How Israel Junkets Undermine U.S. Democracy

by Foreign Policy Journal on 02/02/2016

Lobbying World

by The Hill on 01/26/2016

For one day only, the Senate’s a matriarchy

by Roll Call on 01/26/2016

The wait is over for ex-lawmakers ready to lobby

by Roll Call on 01/19/2016

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 Feb. 10, 2015

Retired Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) has finally registered to lobby, filing papers on behalf of the American Automotive Policy Council.

Kyl joined law firm Covington and Burling LLP in 2013 as senior adviser following his retirement from Congress, where he served in the House from 1987 to 1995 and in the Senate starting in 1995. His disclosure filed this year, widely anticipated, marks the first time he has registered as a lobbyist.

The former senator registered with Covington and Burling to lobby for the auto trade group, which was created by FCA US LLC, the Ford Motor Co. and General Motors Co. He will lobby on adding currency provisions to trade promotion authority and the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

 Kyl, 72, holds bachelor's and law degrees from the University of Arizona and practiced law with Jennings, Strouss and Salmon PLC before running for office.

Posted by Jenna Ebersole on Feb. 9, 2015

As two potential Republican presidential candidates ignited controversy last week with vaccination comments, not one member of Congress expressed doubts about vaccination in writing.

Republican and Democratic members of Congress and their staff tweeted more than 100 times and sent around 25 press releases on vaccinations and the measles outbreak over the last week. While Democratic offices dominated the share of releases and tweets sent explicitly calling for vaccines, both sides spoke favorably of vaccinating children.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) both made statements last week questioning whether vaccines should be mandated, later circling back to emphasize their personal beliefs in the importance of vaccination. Scientists agree that no link has been found between autism and vaccines for measles and other conditions, a belief that has led to declining vaccination rates.

Some complained the media has wrongly lumped the GOP with the anti-vaccine crowd and over-simplified the debate.

"Ironic: Today I am getting my booster vaccine. Wonder how the liberal media will misreport this?" Paul tweeted after his initial comments when he invited a photographer along to document the doctor's visit.

Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) joined the chorus of Democrats calling for vaccination.

"So scary. My baby's too young 4 measles vaccine. This is near me. Sounds like they r doing all they can but still scary.," she tweeted.

Rep. Michael Burgess (R-Texas) tweeted a link to his memory of having measles before vaccines and Rep. Tim Murphy (R-Pa.) urged their importance.

"#Measles outbreak shows #vaccines are vital for public health. On @KDKARadio with @BillyRayKDKA at 4:35PM" Murphy tweeted.

Reps. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) and Randy Forbes (R-Va.) considered constituent concerns on the outbreak, with Blackburn pledging to ask health experts the public's questions about measles at a hearing and Forbes linking to a poll on mandatory vaccine requirements.

But several Democrats still had tough words on the issue for their colleagues across the aisle.

"To my R friends: The Supreme Court decided the #vaccine issue in 1905. Isn't it time we focused on winning battles of the 21st century?" Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.) tweeted.



Posted by Jenna Ebersole on Feb. 6, 2015

The news that Rep. Aaron Schock (R-Ill.) had a bold new office theme may have seemed like it would be the communications low point of the week.

That is, until his communications director resigned for racially charged Facebook comments and a group filed an ethics complaint against the congressman.

But Hill staffers and current and former members of Congress had little sympathy on Twitter. Their top 10 tweets:

1. Drew Hammill, Communications Director/Senior Adviser to the House Democratic Minority Leader:

Just finished Downton Abbey season 5. Spoiler alert: Lady Mary doesn't end up with @aaronschock

2. Rep. Mark Takano (D-Calif.):

Does his Chief of Staff answer to "Carson"? MT @bterris: Rep. Schock decorated his office like Downton Abbey.

3. Chris P. Harris, communications director for Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.):

You should always hide your Downton Abbey-themed rooms behind a secret bookshelf door. Preferably, with a copy machine inside. 

4. Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.):

I'm more of a downstairs guy. My office looks more like Mr. Carson's #downtonabbey @rklau @bterris 

5. Former Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.):

My congressional office always had more of an unintentional Antiques Roadshow kind of decor to it, really. 

6. Madeleine L. Perry, new media director for Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.):

If I'm ever elected to public office I'll have a Hogwarts-themed office, fwiw. 

7. Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.):

I am publicly disclosing that I have a #GameOfThrones mug on my office desk.

8. Tia Shuyler, press secretary for Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.):

I guess I just don't understand how you get to be Communications Director without knowing how to change basic Facebook privacy settings. 

9. Jacob Z. Smith, legislative assistant for Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.):

Congressman's Downton Abbey-inspired office: maybe not the @washingtonpost story the press team is hoping for. 

10. Former Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.):

Stop what you are doing and listen to Rep. Aaron Schock explain his fabulous office. 




Posted by Jenna Ebersole on Feb. 5, 2015

The son of former Ohio congressman Bill Gradison may not be elected to Congress, but his new job puts him in familiar territory for the family.

Andrew Gradison has started as staff assistant on the House Ways and Means Committee after working as an intern with the committee since August. He also interned for Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) in 2011 during college.

Portman, who once served as Bill Gradison's intern in the 1970's, succeeded him in the House in 1993. 

Bill Gradison served in Congress between 1975 and 1993 and was a ranking member of the health subcommittee of the Ways and Means Committee. He later lobbied on health issues, registering as a lobbyist with Patton Boggs LLP until 2003.

Andrew Gradison also followed his father to Patton Boggs, where he was a public policy intern in 2012. He graduated from Georgetown Day School, then earned a bachelor's in sociology from the College of Charleston in 2013. After graduating, the new staff assistant also worked as a business development consultant at Oracle Corp. for a year before starting as a Ways and Means intern.

Posted by Jenna Ebersole on Feb. 4, 2015

A former top staffer for Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Ill.) has returned to his office after a seven-year break while lobbying on telecommunications and other issues.

Yardly Pollas-Kimble is now senior policy counsel and legislative director for Rush, covering commerce, economics and public finance, finance and financial sector, international affairs, labor and employment and taxation issues. She previously worked for Rush from 1998 to 2007, rising from legislative assistant to legislative director, chief of staff and finally deputy chief of staff and legislative director.

Pollas-Kimble left Rush's office in 2007 to take a job as head of government affairs for Motorola Solutions Inc., where she worked until 2011. She has lobbied since with Upstream Consulting and also founded her own company, Pollas Global Government and Public Relations Consulting, in 2014.

During her time as a lobbyist, Pollas-Kimble advocated on a range of topics, most recently in 2013 on financial services reform, retirement and tax issues for Prudential Financial Cos. 

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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.