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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.

Parks group adds Sen. McCaskill policy aide

Posted by Keturah Hetrick on Dec. 6, 2017

Just as President Donald Trump announced a historic downsizing of national monuments in Utah, a public-park conservation group has snagged a longtime aide to Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.).

Kyle Simpson is now senior government affairs manager at the National Recreation and Park Association. He had worked for McCaskill since 2012, most recently as a policy aide handling the senator's labor and immigration portfolio.

The NRPA lobbies on budget, natural resources and other issues through its in-house team. The nonprofit has previously deemed the Trump administration's review of national monuments, including the Utah sites affected by the president's recent executive order, a "monumental mistake."

Women's group adds Rep. Speier aide

Posted by Keturah Hetrick on Dec. 5, 2017

The National Partnership for Women and Families picked up a new federal affairs manager from the office of Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.).

Michelle McGrain, who joins the nonprofit this month, worked for former Sen. Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) before joining Speier's office as a legislative assistant a year ago. Speier, an outspoken women's activist, made headlines this fall for sharing her experience as a victim of sexual assault and encouraging others in Washington to do the same through the viral #metoo hashtag campaign.

The nonprofit NPWF focuses on advocacy related to health care, reproductive rights and workplace issues.

GOP makes up 2/3 of top town-hall holders in 2017

Posted by Keturah Hetrick on Dec. 4, 2017

Nearly two-thirds of this year's top town-hall holders are Republicans, according to LegiStorm's tracking of town halls held in person throughout the year. That's contrary to conventional wisdom that Republicans are hiding from voters due to anti-Trump sentiment by most of the electorate.

Instead, Republicans make up 13 of the top 20 town-hall holders among members of Congress. 

Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.), the self-appointed "King of Town Halls," led both parties with 114 town halls this year — nearly 50 percent more than the next most prolific town-hall holder, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), who's held 77.

Republican Reps. Mark Sanford (S.C.) and Roger Marshall (Kan.) and Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill (Mo.) followed, with 60, 55 and 49 town halls, respectively.

Finance-data lobbyist launches new shop

Posted by Keturah Hetrick on Nov. 29, 2017

A new lobbying shop specializing in finance has officially launched, disclosing its inaugural pair of clients this week.

Allon Advocacy was started by Steve Boms, who left his lobbying gig at Yodlee, a financial-data company, earlier this month. Boms has also spent time as a lobbyist for Capital One and the International Securities Exchange, as well as legislative director to ex-Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-N.Y.).

So far, Boms' new firm has secured lobbying contracts with Yodlee and the Freedom Financial Network, working on a number of finance, banking and tax issues.

The fledgling company says it also plans to extend its lobbying work to statehouses and into Europe.

Seattle/DC PR firm adds Rep. Titus aide

Posted by Keturah Hetrick on Nov. 28, 2017

Public-relations firm RH Strategic has scooped up a legislative assistant to Rep. Dina Titus (D-Nev.).

Elizabeth Decker is now a public-affairs associate at the Seattle- and Washington-based company, which focuses on PR work for tech, health-care and public-sector organizations.

Decker had spent nearly five years with Titus's office, where her legislative portfolio included health, trade and immigration issues. She came to the Hill in 2009 as a scheduler to Rep. Grace Napolitano (D-Calif).

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.