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Rep. Will Hurd (R-Texas) has started his first term in Congress by reaching across the aisle. At least, that is, with the hiring of a staffer who once worked in Congress for a Democrat.
Stoney Burke serves as the new chief of staff for Hurd and comes back to the Hill from Southern Co. He worked for Texas Democrat Rep. Chet Edwards, a political moderate, between 2006 and 2008 before registering to lobby for six years with the electric utility holding company.
Burke was an aide and legislative assistant to Edwards after leaving a previous lobbying job with Meyers and Associates Inc., where he filed to lobby between 2004 and 2005.
Most recently, Burke lobbied on a range of energy issues, including emissions regulations, unmanned aerial vehicles in electric utility service work and tax reform.
He earned a bachelor's from Texas A&M University in 2003, beginning there in 1999, and lobbied on behalf of the university's research foundation before his first congressional job. Hurd also holds a degree from Texas A&M, graduating in 2000.
Travel records show that at least three House Republicans and a Democrat left behind the city of bleak bickering in December for a trip to the "happiest place on Earth."
The members traveled from Dec. 12-14 to Southern California, including a stopover in Disneyland, for the annual Congress Bundestag Forum. The event brings together German and U.S. leaders to discuss a range of issues facing Europe and the U.S. The German Marshall Fund of the United States sponsored the travel at a cost of more than $10,000.
The trip was the first privately funded travel for Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.), whose wife Lisa attended as well. Reps. Robert Pittenger (R-N.C.), Mark Takano (D-Calif.) and Mike Turner (R-Ohio) have also filed disclosures for the trip.
At Warner Bros., members were also scheduled to tour the studio and participate in a luncheon discussion on intellectual property, according to a filed itinerary. Afterward, they traveled to Disneyland for a session with representatives from Disney on forecasting security threats and designing responses.
They stayed in Laguna Beach that night following a scheduled welcome dinner with Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-Calif.) at the Bowers Museum in Orange County. Topics at sessions also included relations with Russia, energy and the trans-Atlantic relationship.
Rep. David Valadao's (R-Calif.) legislative director has taken on a new government affairs job with the National Association of Counties.
Christopher Marklund worked on the Hill for more than eight years for three California Republicans, including Reps. George Radanovich and Ken Calvert. He is now associate legislative director at the national organization representing county governments in Washington.
Marklund got his start as a staff assistant for Radanovich in 2006, rising to become legislative assistant with Calvert before the move to Valadao's office. His new job includes work on public lands issues.
A Democratic health subcommittee staffer has left Capitol Hill for a new federal relations job with the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.
Edward Q. Garcia served as a professional staff member until December on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Health Subcommittee before transitioning to Blue Cross as director of federal relations. He started as a Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services detailee in March 2013.
Prior to working for Congress, Garcia was a lobbyist. He filed lobbying papers in 2005 when he was a legislative analyst at Washington Health Advocates, where he worked from 2004-7. He holds a master's in health science from Johns Hopkins University and bachelor's in political science and government from Boston University.
On Inauguration Day, most elected officials take in all the pomp and circumstance with their families in the nation's capital. One senator will be celebrating the start of the 114th Congress, however, with his constituents.
Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) plans to continue his "Kansas Listening Tour" with the residents of Johnson County. The Kansas Republican, who according to LegiStorm records had the most town halls among all senators last year, will spend tonight at a fire station in Lenexa, Kan. with local residents. Moran has already hosted two other "Kansas Listening Tour" events since the New Year, in Dighton and Scott City last Friday.
Moran's outreach means he might be less likely to meet the fate of Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), who lost touch with voters, forcing his campaign to scramble unusually hard. Roberts eventually edged his opponent. Moran is up for re-election in 2016.
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.