Staff for Republican congressman Darrell Issa have been hitting the road frequently of late, journeying afar with the ostensible aim of picking up hints on everything from “drafting legislative policy” to “office management” and “mail.” Those important tips were gleaned by Issa aide Laurent Morgan Crenshaw during a June 7 overnight at the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront hotel, paid for by the Congressional Institute, funded in large part by donations from corporate fat cats. “I am the Legislative Director for Rep. Issa,” wrote Crenshaw on his disclosure form. “I oversee the policy for his office. This retreat will focus on management training for legislative staff, the landscape for 2013 and best practices for drafting policy.” The lodging tab ran $225.25, and food was $204.72.
A week before, Crenshaw had been off to Palo Alto for a tour of Pixar, Genetech, Apple, HP, and Google, thanks to the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, which picked up $485 worth of travel, $559 in lodging, and meal expenses of $182, according to Crenshaw’s disclosure of his May 29 through June 2 excursion. “I specifically handle technology and intellectual property issues for the office,” he wrote. “This trip is focused on meeting with leaders in technology in Silicon Valley.”
According to its website, “The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation is a non-partisan research and educational institute — a think tank — whose mission is to formulate and promote public policies to advance technological innovation and productivity internationally, in Washington, and in the states.” Past funding for the foundation has come from Cisco, eBay, the Communications Workers of America, and Google.