National Journal Online

Blue Engine Snags Laura Burton Capps

Blue Engine Message & Media has just snagged Laura Burton Capps to work as part of its strategic communications and issue advocacy team. Capps was a speechwriter in the Clinton White House, and she also worked as communications director for the late Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass. During her time with Kennedy, she dealt with press issues involving two Supreme Court nominations, stem cells, and Iraqi refugee matters. Most recently, Capps was senior vice president for government affairs and communications at the Ocean Conservancy.

Posted: Friday, May 21, 2010 - 11:39am

Animal Rights On The Move

This week's advocacy and lobbying stories in National Journal: (subscription) "Animal Rights On The Move:" How animal rightists are bringing new meaning to the pledge "with liberty and justice for all." Washington, watch out. "Who You Calling Astroturf?" The group Free Press wants a robust media with federal support and minimal restrictions from Internet access providers. "Closing The Lobby To Lawmakers:" A bill to block lawmakers from jumping to lucrative K Street careers is one of several aimed at curbing special interests.

Posted: Friday, May 21, 2010 - 11:08am

Kundra Stresses Need For Cloud Computing Standards

The nation's top technology chief said Thursday that standards for security, interoperability and data portability are needed to drive forward the massive transition to cloud computing under way across government, reported. "We want to be pragmatic, but aggressive," said federal Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra. He added the consolidation of federal data centers that the White House announced in February was the first of numerous "game-changing approaches" that will drive the move to cloud computing that the Office of Management and Budget announced in September 2009.

Posted: Friday, May 21, 2010 - 10:48am

At Least Two Unions Will Top $100 Million On Midterms

From this morning's Earlybird: • "At least two influential unions will spend close to $100 million on the 2010 election, with most of those funds going to protect incumbents," The Hill reports. • "According to an analysis by the Center for Public Integrity, 850 businesses, trade groups and other corporate interests have hired more than 3,000 lobbyists to shape" the regulatory reform bill -- "roughly five lobbyists for each member of Congress," Politico reports.

Posted: Friday, May 21, 2010 - 8:47am

House Panel Moves To Tighten Federal Tech Security

From this morning's Earlybird: • "With bipartisan backing, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee approved a bill Thursday to expand and update programs to ensure the security of federal computer systems," CongressDailyAM (subscription) reports. • "Facebook, MySpace and several other social-networking sites have been sending data to advertising companies that could be used to find consumers' names and other personal details, despite promises they don't share such information without consent," the Wall Street Journal also reports.

Posted: Friday, May 21, 2010 - 8:34am

Critics Of Animal Rights Movement Fight Back

Posted: Friday, May 21, 2010 - 12:00am

Senator Wants Answers On Google Wi-Fi Incident

Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., wrote Google CEO Eric Schmidt Thursday seeking answers to her questions about the firm's revelation last week that it had "mistakenly" collected private data from unsecured Wi-Fi networks. In her letter to Schmidt, Klobuchar, a member of the Senate Commerce Committee, noted Google's revelation that vehicles that snap photos for Google's Street View feature and Google Maps services also scanned for wireless networks that collected the name and numerical address of such networks.

Posted: Thursday, May 20, 2010 - 5:36pm

BP Taps Gorelick

BP has hired Jamie Gorelick, a former Deputy Attorney General in the Justice Department during the Clinton administration, and several other attorneys who work with her at the firm WilmerHale. The embattled oil behemoth is expanding its team of high-powered legal beagles as it faces increased heat on Capitol Hill and several federal inquiries over its catastrophic spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Posted: Thursday, May 20, 2010 - 2:07pm

GOP Picks Scandal-Plauged Ex-Rep For Old Seat

The Staten Island GOP wants their old representative back, even after a scandal prematurely ended his political career and handed a seat to Dems.

The local party committee endorsed ex-Rep. Vito Fossella (R) in a meeting last night, picking the former 7-term member over ex-Bloomberg aide (R) and businessman Mike Grimm (R). Both Allegretti and Grimm are "On the Radar" Young Gun contenders.

Posted: Thursday, May 20, 2010 - 1:35pm

Paul On Defense Over Civil Rights Act

Ophthalmologist Rand Paul (R) is playing defense after saying in interviews he would oppose using the Civil Rights Act to impose restrictions on private businesses.

In interviews on MSNBC and with NPR this week, Paul would not say whether he would have voted for the '64 legislation, which banned many forms of discrimination. Paul said he did not support government involvement in private businesses.

Posted: Thursday, May 20, 2010 - 1:05pm