Archive for the ‘congress’ Category

Oh, you’ll be back…

by Musci
Wednesday, December 23rd, 2009

As the grueling Senate health care debate barrels towards a final vote on Christmas Eve, Lauren Gilchrist, top health policy aide to Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.), thinks wistfully of freedom, of learning to live again:

I’m going to cook, hang out with my friends and family, exercise again, read novels and things that are not blogs

Ah, but you were reading them!  We’re betting Lauren is not the only top aid who sustained herself on blog posts and Halloween candy for the past three months, either.

She’s baaaaaaaack…

by Team Politics
Monday, June 22nd, 2009

Remember meanie Liz Becton? Well turns out her rants weren’t her first offense.

From: Becton, Elizabeth
Sent: Thursday, July 24, 2008 6:00 PM
To: [SCHEDULER ONE]; Democratic Schedulers
Subject: RE: Boycott Longworth on Tuesday

For those of you who do not know, there are TWO women named “D____” who both work in the Longworth Cafeteria.

My boss and I are friends with the woman who was erroneously named in the original boycott email. She would be VERY upset if she knew her name was being sent out as the woman who was suspended.

I’ve received a snotty email from one particular scheduler who doesn’t understand the ramifications of having their name sullied by erroneous information. She wondered about my point…

Here’s a link:

Elizabeth Becton
Executive Assistant/Office Manager
Office of Congressman Jim McDermott


Sent: Thursday, July 24, 2008 6:07 PM
To: Becton, Elizabeth; [SCHEDULER ONE]; Democratic Schedulers
Subject: RE: Boycott Longworth on Tuesday

Please calm down…

Office Manager/Scheduler
Office of Congressman ZZZ


From: Becton, Elizabeth
Sent: Thursday, July 24, 2008 6:08 PM
To: [SCHEDULER TWO]; [SCHEDULER ONE]; Democratic Schedulers
Subject: RE: Boycott Longworth on Tuesday


Why don’t you apologize and I will.

Elizabeth Becton
Executive Assistant/Office Manager
Office of Congressman Jim McDermott


He’s arrived!

by Team Politics
Thursday, June 18th, 2009

Pete Hoekstra made a mistake yesterday:

This time Michigan Representative Pete Hoekstra compared the Twitter activity in Iran to when Republicans used Twitter to express dissatisfaction over Speaker Pelosi’s decision to adjourn Congress.

“Iranian twitter activity similar to what we did in House last year when Republicans were shut down in the House,” Hoekstra tweeted from his BlackBerry today.

It’s almost exactly the same. Except there’s been five straight days of protests in Iran, foreign journalists are banned from covering the demonstrations, at least eight people have been killed, violence is widespread, protesters have been jailed, and businesses closed down early today just so hundreds of thousands of people could protest the election results at a rally.

This compared to last August when a few Republicans got on their BlackBerries and voiced their disappointment with Speaker Pelosi’s decision to adjourn Congress before taking a vote on an energy bill. They tweeted for awhile, enjoyed a ham sandwich, and then went on vacation for a month.

Well okay, that’s…pretty dumb. And now he’s a meme!

To Hoekstra is to whine using grandiose exaggerations and comparisons.

Like, say:

Tripped and fell today. Now I know how they felt on the Bataan death march.


Sneezed today. Reminded me of the influenza epidemic of 1918.

This is the best thing

by Team Politics
Wednesday, June 17th, 2009

Who says that Republicans are the only nuttos on the Hill? For some Democratic lunacy, look no further than the wackadoo e-mail exchange between a lobbyist type and Rep. Jim McDermott’s (D-WA) office manager ELIZABETH Becton:

An executive assistant at McBee Strategic recently learned this the hard way. A few weeks ago, the assistant e-mailed Becton seeking a meeting with McDermott and a client, JPMorgan Chase. Days later, the assistant checked back in and unfortunately began the e-mail with “Hi Liz.”

Becton curtly replied, “Who is Liz?”

When the assistant wrote back with an apology, Becton turned up the heat. “I do not go by Liz. Where did you get your information?” she asked.

The back-and-forth went on for 19 e-mails, with the assistant apologizing six times if she had “offended” Becton, while Becton lectured about name-calling.

Read the whole exchange. It’s simultaneously epic and disturbing. But seriously, if anyone ever calls me “Joey,” I will set them on fire.

Grassley defends his tweets

by Team Politics
Monday, June 15th, 2009

Oh man, Chuck Grassley is milking this Twitter thing for as long as he possibly can. On “Fox News Sunday”, the Iowa senator called his poorly-spelled, BIZZarely cAPITalized tweets, “very Senatorial.”

“We’ve had a dialogue with this president since January the 20th on a program to get a bill to the floor … for July and we’re still on that timetable, and (for) the president to say that we ought to deliver it made it look like Congress wasn’t working — the very weekend that we were working Saturday and Sunday in Washington to keep on schedule while he was sightseeing,” Grassley said.

This is becoming a Norm MacDonald-style tautology: Iowans like Twitter.

Iowans like Twitter, apparently

by Team Politics
Wednesday, June 10th, 2009

We’ve established that Iowa Senator Chuck “Splendor in the” Grassley likes Twitter (he’s going to get his own tag on this blog soon, the way things are going). Political orgs in his home state have caught on:

SEIU’s Change that Works Iowa campaign has stumbled upon a cute, creative, and timely way to deliver their message for health care reform directly to that state’s senior senator. Now, we know Chuck I’m no NAILGrassley is among national politics’ most active and passionate Twitterers. And so the home-state arm of the labor giant hit pinged the Senate Finance Committee’s ranking Republican with “24 Hours of Health Care” — a full day’s worth of hourly tweets telling the poignant personal stories of Iowans in health care crises.

The format of each tweet-story: a terse recap of the Iowan’s circumstances sent from @CTWIowaSEIU, containing a short link to a fuller version of their personal stories, as posted on the SEIU website. For example:

Robin Van Camp: Pvt insurance wouldn’t cover daughter’s hearing aids, had to dip into 401-K. @ChuckGrassley

You’ll see in the post that Grassley’s peeps give kudos to CTW. Iowans love Twitter.

Perlmutter first Congressperson to tweet about Holocaust Museum shooting

by Team Politics
Wednesday, June 10th, 2009

From’s excellent Twitter Room, we learn that Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO), is the first lawmaker to tweet a response to today’s Holocaust Museum shooting.

Perlmutter tweeted:

My thoughts are with the families of those killed/injured at the Holocaust Museum today in Washington.

Interesting stuff. We’ll see how the most prolific twitterers on the Hill will respond.

Apparently elections DO have consequences

by Team Politics
Friday, June 5th, 2009

From Wonkette, looks like Barbara Boxer is going to be having a short meeting with her direct mail folks:

You see? Boxer called her rival James Inhofe a woman! Or turned him into a woman, a la Tiresias.

Burris satire goes analog

by Team Politics
Thursday, June 4th, 2009

From Gawker, a papercraft Roland Burris. Please enjoy, BoingBoing readers.

Another long story about a short service

by Team Politics
Friday, May 8th, 2009

A fun little puff-piece in about Political Pursuit, a trivia contest between broadcast media types, print media types, and lawmakers, descends into a puff-piece about Claire McCaskill and her avid tweeting:

Cheering on the “Members Only” team were Sens. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.).

McCaskill, one of the most prolific lawmakers on the social networking site Twitter, Tweeted several times during the event and even posted a photo of the contestants.

The rest of the article is about the Senator from MO and her Twitter habits.

“Google blast” helps people think about metrics

by Team Politics
Saturday, April 4th, 2009

Democratic candidate for New York’s 20th Congressional district Scott Murphy employed his Google ads in an interesting way in the 36 hours leading up the Mar. 31 election:

From late Sunday night through noon yesterday, ads for Democratic contender Scott Murphy blanketed Web pages viewed by residents of the district…

The tactic tested by the Murphy campaign involves serving up ads on behalf of one advertiser on most or all of the Google content network pages generated within a short period within a specific geographic area, in this case New York’s 20th congressional district and some surrounding areas to catch local commuters at work.

So basically, if you live in Oneonta and were on the Internet anytime yesterday, you saw a Scott Murphy ad. This is certainly a neat way to leverage the Goog’s considerable reach, and may have worked (maybe, Murphy is up by like 59 votes and the election will be decided by absentee ballots). The most important piece of info people in my field can grab from Murphy’s Google blast is this teachable moment from Phillip de Vellis at Murphy Putnam Media:

This late in the game, the goal is no longer to get voters to click through to drum up donations or recruit volunteers. It’s to convince undecided voters to vote for a particular candidate, or remind supporters they need to vote. “We’re just trying to persuade them to vote for our candidate instead of the other candidate…I know that [the ads are] going to have a really low click-through rate,” said de Villis.

Campaigns are pretty unique creatures, so this sort of “ultimate branding” won’t be embraced by everyone. But the perspective shown by de Villis and the Murphy campaign is refreshing. Advertising/communicating online can give you every metric in the world, but you have to have the wisdom to know which ones match the tools you’re using. If you’re “Google blasting,” then you aren’t going to get a high CTR. If you’re using Blogads, your effective CPC will be low, and you’re engagement will be great, but you aren’t going to get a ton of traditional branding value out of your ad. If you’re evangelizing on Twitter, don’t expect a ton of brand value, but expect some engagement (if you’re using Twitter correctly). It’s up to us as communications pros to learn what works and to teach our clients what to expect.

US House doesn’t count bloggers as journalists for source confidentiality

by Team Politics
Saturday, March 7th, 2009

“Two versions of a bill in Congress would enshrine a journalist’s right to keep his or her sources confidential, effectively banning the government from forcing journalists to reveal whistleblowers. One version though—the House version—gives an incredibly stupid definition of journalist that excludes not only bloggers, but freelancers, independents, and nonprofit journalists as well.

For the most part, the Senate and House agree on what a journalist’s duties are and what journalism entails:

Journalists Duties
But only the House version, which has more cosponsors than brains apparently, adds to that definition:

More On Journalists Duties

So, in effect, if journalism is a hobby or passion you do as a public service, or if you are a freelancer without a boss—both of which easily describe a blogger—then the government reserves the right to force you to tell them who told you something [...]”

By Jason Lee Miller WebProNews via