Blind Item Guesses: The Devil Wears a Member's Pin
Yesterday we asked you for guesses about a blind item: a tempermental member of Congress who goes through staffers like the rest of us go through paper towels. According to our source, this representative -- who has been in office just three years -- "has had 4 press secretaries (2 were fired), two COS, three LDs, and more leg staff come and go than I have ever heard of. Some get fired... and some just leave."
This item was a popular one, and many of you submitted guesses. It sounds like every Member is a difficult boss who is churning through staff. Maybe it would have been easier to ask you which Member is not hemorrhaging personnel.
We've reprinted your guesses after the jump. And we will also tell you that one of your guesses -- or, to be more accurate, at least one of your guesses -- is a Member who fits the bill.
Here are your guesses:
* The blind item, if I'm not mistaken it is Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (R-Mich.). I seem to remember a stir about this story around the newsroom at one point (but I don't think it was ever published).
* I interned for Chuck Schumer awhile back, and there was no one in the office who had been there more than seven or eight months. I didn't think much of it at the time, but knowing what I do now that's pretty odd, and makes him a good candidate. While I was there (total of eight weeks or so), two people quit, and I never heard of replacements. I've heard that there are a lot of people from the upstate offices running around there right now, so my money's on Chucky.
We love talking trash about Chuck Schumer as much as the next guy; but the blind item referred to a "sophomore Member," i.e., a Representative. So Chuck's not the guy.
The next two guesses suffer from the same problem:
* Could it be Herb Kohl, D-Wisconsin? Don't know anything about him, but there are a couple job postings that appear to be for his office on The Hill employment section. They both list his COS as the contact. Also, he's on his second term. Although the flying staff members "up" doesn't make any sense.
* Well, he's not a "sophomore Member," but I've been working with Conrad Burns's office on a legislative issue, and in the past 8 months he's gone through 4 different staffers in the position we've been dealing with. One only lasted for three weeks. I don't think that's normal!
But hey -- we still love hearing dirt about senators who aren't fun to work for. Keep those tips coming!
Enough with the Senate; back to the House:
* I'm willing to bet all of my law school debt that it's Rick Renzi, sophmore rep from Arizona.
* I would have said Sheila Jackson Lee, except for the references to sophomore member and the fact that you used the male pronoun. She is also a total nightmare though. I have a friend who went from intern to scheduler in a month in that office, because their press secretary, chief of staff, and entire leg staff quit.
* Soph. Rep. Steve Pearce has two job openings on the House intranet now, so he's my guess.
(Hmm, that sounds logical to us... And even though the blind item mentioned four job openings, it's quite possible that two of them could have been filled in the time between when our source emailed us and today.)
* In just under three years, U.S. Rep. Katherine Harris has had four chiefs of staff, four district directors and four press secretaries. Check it out here."
Ah, Kathy! We love you! But the blind item spoke of a male Member (hehe), so Rep. Harris isn't the one -- unless you buy into that theory about her being a tranny.
This next guess was offered by tons of you. We won't reprint all of the emails; these two are representative:
* Is it Rep. Tim Murphy (R-PA)? He is an asshole.
Check 'em out; they're pretty funny. Our two faves: (1) "IT'S LIKE WORKING FOR CALIGULA," and (2) "HE PUNISHES BAD STAFFERS BY WHACKING THEM WITH THE PENNSYLVANIA MANUAL. HEY, THAT THING IS PRETTY HEAVY."
Okay, those are all the guesses that are fit to print. We'll also mention that yesterday we requested comment from David Host, press secretary to Rep. Pearce, and Mark Carpenter, press secretary to Rep. Murphy. Neither of them got back to us. Draw your own conclusions.