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Rep. Ed Whitfield's (R-Ky.) chief of staff, who navigated a delicate ethics issue involving his boss' wife, has left for a communications and public affairs position at a Fortune 500 company.
Cory Hicks left Whitfield's office this month amid a probe over interaction between the office and the congressman's wife, a registered lobbyist. He had served as chief of staff since January 2013 and moved up through the ranks of Whitfield's office starting with an internship in 2003.
In an email in October 2013, Hicks reportedly told his boss he had talked to the Ethics Committee about requesting meetings with lobbyists and they had no issue with it. But he did not mention that Whitfield's wife was involved in meetings as he "suspected they would have expressed concerns."
Connie Harriman-Whitfield, the congressman's wife, has registered to lobby with the Humane Society Legislative Fund since 2011.
Hicks' new job as director of communications and public affairs at Fluor Corp. takes him to a company with long-standing interests in Washington. Fluor Corp. has lobbied on topics including nuclear energy and marine and maritime issues.
Due to an editing error, Tuesday's Caught Our Eye story misstated when Rep. Mark Sanford (R-S.C.) left on a privately funded trip to Tanzania. He left Nov. 5, a day after the election.
As Republicans prepared to solidify their newfound power in Washington, Rep. Mark Sanford (R-S.C.) pulled a disappearing act after election day to commune with nature.
But this time, his travels took him to Africa instead of Appalachia.
The International Conservation Caucus Foundation financed a $6,235 trip for Sanford and his son to Tanzania, where he visited the Serengeti National Park and attended meetings on poaching and the environment, according to a disclosure. The week-long trip, two months after Sanford announced his break-up with his fiancé and onetime mistress on Facebook, began the day after election day.
The foundation has spent about $100,000 so far this year on trips for members of Congress and their staffs, with travels to Costa Rica, Colombia, Mozambique and South Africa.
Sanford's Tanzania trip was his second in 2014 after a shorter-distance trip to Richmond, Va., with the Heritage Foundation. He also visited Israel last year on a privately financed trip with then-fiancé Maria Belén Chapur.
The two split up in September amidst continued contention between Sanford and his ex-wife, with Sanford reportedly delaying the wedding. The former governor disappeared for several days in 2009, prompting a spokesperson to claim he was hiking the Appalachian Trail. Sanford later admitted he had been visiting Chapur in Argentina.
Newly elected members of Congress may still be waiting to take office, but that hasn't stopped them from beginning at least one official task - weighing in on issues with press releases
When President Barack Obama announced his immigration executive action plans last week, congressional Twitter users and press release writers unleashed a flurry of messages for and against the move. Members-elect in the House and Senate added their voices to the chorus.
Incoming Rep. Pete Aguilar (D-Calif.) issued his first post-election press release to make a statement honoring Veterans Day, but followed it last week with his first on policy. He applauded Obama, but called for congressional action on immigration reform.
Aguilar pressed for the same step on Twitter, calling for the House to follow the Senate's lead on immigration.
Incoming Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.), who becomes the only Jewish Republican in Congress after Rep. Eric Cantor's (R-Va.) loss, issued his first statement on the Jewish synagogue attack. But he followed it as well with his thoughts on Obama's action, condemning it as ignoring the will of the American people and their votes Nov. 4.
Zeldin said he has spent the past week at freshman orientation and new members on both sides want to "find common ground to move our country forward."
Rep. Alma Adams (D-N.C.) has already taken office after her Nov. 4 win, and her first press release was to praise Obama's action and call for immigration reform in the House. She also released a statement on the death of longtime D.C. mayor Marion Barry.
Incoming Rep. Rick Allen (R-Ga.) may not be issuing press releases yet, but he has been active on Twitter since election day denouncing Obama. He tweeted a link to a banner on his campaign website after the immigration announcement.
"Obama is ignoring you and putting politics above the law," he tweeted. "Tell him you will not be ignored!"
Rep. Adrian Smith (R-Neb.) is counting down to more than just Thanksgiving dinner. He is one week away from tying the knot with a senior adviser at the Aspen Institute who once worked briefly in Congress.
Andrea McDaniel has since held positions with the Brookings Institution and State Department, as well as the George W. Bush White House, but she got her start as a Sen. Fred Thompson (R-Tenn.) intern in 1999. The two are set to marry Nov. 29, according to Smith's gift waiver disclosure request.
McDaniel also worked as a staff assistant and scheduler for Rep. Van Hilleary (R-Tenn.) before moving off Capitol Hill. She was a White House aide between 2001 and 2003 and worked at the State Department first as deputy White House liaison then as director of the office of private sector outreach from 2003 to 2009.
After leaving the State Department, McDaniel co-founded the As We Forgive Rwanda Initiative and has worked at the Aspen Institute since 2010.
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.