Campus Notebook this week highlights Senate staffers who took trips to New York City in search of more knowledge about music and television production. Also, a Capitol Police drug arrest.
Senate Ethics draws line at The Daily Show
Kyle Hill, a legislative correspondent for Florida Republican Sen. Rick Scott, traveled to New York City, from Oct. 3-4, on a $793 trip paid for by The Internet & Television Association.
Hill describes himself in the travel disclosure form as responsible for researching and corresponding with industry contacts and constituents on telecommunication policy issues.
“This trip will provide Kyle the opportunity to understand more deeply the internet and television industry’s technology, production process, and economic impact,” he writes.
This excursion made stops at AMC, Spectrum’s NY1, ESPN, NBC Universal and Fox Sports, which included a tour of where NFL Thursday Night Football’s pre-game show was being filmed. The day was capped off with dinner at Lattanzi, an Italian restaurant.
Hill did not attend a scheduled tour stop at The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, due to input from the Senate Ethics Committee. The event was scheduled to provide attendees with the opportunity to go backstage at The Daily Show studio.
The explanation of why the Daily Show stop was related to Hill’s official duties on the itinerary said:
“Staff invited to attend all have responsibilities in the area of technology and telecommunications policy. Attending the presentation will provide staff with a better understanding of how television content is produced and delivered and how policy decisions in the area of intellectual property may affect content production, distribution, and investment.”
A note written by hand next to the Daily Show part of the itinerary says “did not attend per Senate Ethics request.” No further explanation was given, though.
Airboat tour at Slim’s
Meghan Cline, a spokeswoman for the Senate Agriculture Committee, traveled to West Palm Beach and Clewiston in Florida from Oct. 9-11. The $778 trip was paid for by the South Florida Agricultural Foundation.
The trip is listed in the private sponsor travel certification form as a fact-finding, informational tour of the South Florida agricultural industry, which includes harvesting operations and discussions with local farmers.
Included in the itinerary is a visit to Southern Gardens Citrus with a presentation on the citrus processing industry and the utilization of all parts of an orange.
The itinerary also notes a stop at Slim’s Fish Camp in Belle Glade for an airboat tour of Lake Okeechobee.
Mixing session in the studio
Erica Songer, chief counsel for Democratic Sen. Chris Coons of Delaware, embarked on a $422 trip to New York City from Oct. 2-3, paid for by the Recording Industry Association of America.
The trip to Sony, Warner and Universal, as described by an RIAA employee, was designed to bring congressional staffers together with industry experts and executives to understand crucial issues affecting trade, intellectual property and copyright policies.
Coons is the ranking member of the Subcommittee on Intellectual Property and co-author of the Music Modernization Act, Songer wrote in her travel disclosure.
“I attended meetings at Sony Music, where we received an overview of the modern music business, with information on trends, listening habits, and data/analytics tools related to artist compensation,” Songer wrote. “I also attended a tour and briefing at Warner Music Group, which focused on sound recording and talent discovery. Additionally, I attended a tour and series of briefings at Universal Music Group, which addressed record label services, artist/label partnerships, mastering songs, and merchandise.”
A component of the itinerary said at Warner Music Group’s Atlantic Records label, the staff will “learn first-hand what goes into discovering unique talent in the digital age, when anyone can be a DIY artist, leading to millions of songs posted on various streaming sites.”
At Universal Music Group, attendees were able to “participate in a record mixing session in the in-house master studio.”
Protect the Congress
A suspect was arrested on Nov. 19 for possession of synthetic cannabinoids after a Capitol Police officer conducted a welfare check on a person in Lower Senate Park, according to the department’s weekly arrest report.
“During the course of the investigation, R/O (responding officer) found what appeared to be a joint lying next to the Suspect on the bench. A search of the Suspect was conducted, and yielded several pieces of paper with a brownish-green leafy substance consistent with the appearance of synthetic cannabinoids.”