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A little bit country, a lot of lobbying

Issa crew members get a trip to SoundExchange

A couple of Darrell Issa’s staffers recently headed to Nashville to learn about the recording industry.
A couple of Darrell Issa’s staffers recently headed to Nashville to learn about the recording industry.

Two staffers for North County Republican congressman Darrell Issa — picking up heat from local Democrats who aspire to unseat him come next year — have been singing a happier tune in Nashville.

The pair, James Tyler Grimm and Veronica Wong, took off August 3 to Music City on a two-day free jaunt to the annual SoundExchange convention, held by the Country Music Association, which picked up the tab for the House travelers. There they were greeted by mayor Megan Barry, then whisked onto a bus bound for a briefing at Country Music Association headquarters on Music Row.

The association’s presentation “include[d] a discussion of how pending legislation potentially affects the many sectors of the music industry that intersect with SoundExchange and outline the business opportunities moving forward.”

Later that day, the Issa team and its fellow congressional travelers were treated to a peek inside the County Q Recording Studio. “This studio tour and training session will include some of Nashville’s finest professional musicians who will demonstrate the art of live collaboration on an original (‘demo’) track.... Each participant will share their creative insights and talents in the studio, as well as describe the professional challenges of being a full-time musician in the digital age.”

At 8:30 that night it was off to the famous Blue Bird Cafe for tunes, along with pitches about “pending legislation before Congress such as licensing, royalty data and distribution, etc.” Two-man band Louis York provided “some samples of their music in a traditional Nashville guitar pull style.”

Total cost to CMA for the two Issa aides was $1065.44, according to their disclosures. Wrote Wong for her travel justification, “I am the Chief of Staff to a senior member of the Judiciary Committee with jurisdiction over policy topics to be explored on this trip.” Added Grimm, “This trip will inform my knowledge of copyright issues, as SoundExchange is a key part of the copyright ecosystem.”

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A couple of Darrell Issa’s staffers recently headed to Nashville to learn about the recording industry.
A couple of Darrell Issa’s staffers recently headed to Nashville to learn about the recording industry.

Two staffers for North County Republican congressman Darrell Issa — picking up heat from local Democrats who aspire to unseat him come next year — have been singing a happier tune in Nashville.

The pair, James Tyler Grimm and Veronica Wong, took off August 3 to Music City on a two-day free jaunt to the annual SoundExchange convention, held by the Country Music Association, which picked up the tab for the House travelers. There they were greeted by mayor Megan Barry, then whisked onto a bus bound for a briefing at Country Music Association headquarters on Music Row.

The association’s presentation “include[d] a discussion of how pending legislation potentially affects the many sectors of the music industry that intersect with SoundExchange and outline the business opportunities moving forward.”

Later that day, the Issa team and its fellow congressional travelers were treated to a peek inside the County Q Recording Studio. “This studio tour and training session will include some of Nashville’s finest professional musicians who will demonstrate the art of live collaboration on an original (‘demo’) track.... Each participant will share their creative insights and talents in the studio, as well as describe the professional challenges of being a full-time musician in the digital age.”

At 8:30 that night it was off to the famous Blue Bird Cafe for tunes, along with pitches about “pending legislation before Congress such as licensing, royalty data and distribution, etc.” Two-man band Louis York provided “some samples of their music in a traditional Nashville guitar pull style.”

Total cost to CMA for the two Issa aides was $1065.44, according to their disclosures. Wrote Wong for her travel justification, “I am the Chief of Staff to a senior member of the Judiciary Committee with jurisdiction over policy topics to be explored on this trip.” Added Grimm, “This trip will inform my knowledge of copyright issues, as SoundExchange is a key part of the copyright ecosystem.”

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Comments
3

Why didn't Issa pay for this himself? He's the richest person in the House, so for him, $1065.44 is like you or me spending 2 dollars!

Sept. 6, 2017

Name one person from Issa's office who isn't sketchy.

Sept. 7, 2017

The janitor?

Sept. 7, 2017

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