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Rep. John Duncan (R-Tenn.) has just taken youth outreach to a whole new level.
In a world of 2,000 page bills, Congress and children's books don't generally go hand in hand. That hasn't stopped Duncan from welcoming children's book author Caroline DeBerry to his team this month as a legislative assistant.
DeBerry self-published her first children's book in June titled "Reflect: The Beginning (Volume 1)." The book sets up a fantasy adventure story of two youths and is advertised as the first volume of a forthcoming series. Before she ventured into children's literature, DeBerry also co-authored a political book in 2010 that was distributed by Hester Publications in Tennessee.
DeBerry's interest in politics goes back to at least 2003, when she served as a page for the Georgia General Assembly. Since then, she has worked on the campaigns of former Gov. Sonny Perdue (R-Ga.), Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.), Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.). DeBerry also worked for the Federal Elections Commission for three years and ran her own consulting firm to advise politicians on campaign finance issues.
In a result that should surprise no one, Donald Trump was the most-tweeted GOP candidate by members of Congress and their staff during last night's debate. Yesterday's three-hour debate featured 11 candidates, with former HP CEO Carly Fiorina joining the ten candidates from Fox News' opening debate last month.
Members and staffers sent out nearly 2,000 tweets using the hashtags #GOPDebate and #CNNDebate last night, and while Trump received by far the most attention, Fiorina and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) were also highly discussed. The candidates, in order of Twitter mentions were:
1. Donald Trump: 303
2. Marco Rubio: 199
3. Carly Fiorina: 198
4. Jeb Bush: 128
5. Chris Christie: 64
6. Ted Cruz: 61
7. John Kasich: 58
8. Scott Walker: 49
8. Ben Carson: 49
10. Mike Huckabee: 40
11. Rand Paul: 32
CNN's second-tier debate, which aired just before the primetime one, also had a candidate who clearly dominated Twitter mentions. While the first debate only featured four candidates, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) received nearly as many mentions as the most-discussed candidates from the top-tier debate. The number of mentions from the four other candidates were:
1. Lindsey Graham: 155
2. Bobby Jindal: 24
3. Rick Santorum: 15
4. George Pataki: 10
Some top Hill tweets were:
If you don't have it now, whatever it is, whatever it may be ... you will have it when @realDonaldTrump is president. #GOPDebate #CNNDebate
Four more hours! Four more hours! #GOPDebate #CNNDebate
Dear CNN: I'd like to talk about jobs and the economy before midnight, please. Genuinely, Me #GOPDebate
This debate is so long that I think it may be 2016 when it wraps. #GOPDebate
JUDICIAL NOMINATION ARMCHAIR QUARTERBACKING WINS ELECTIONS BABY #GOPDebate
Trump vs Jeb and the jabs back and forth are making this #GOPDebate comical #thatface
So many mentions of the word "I." Didn't 7th grade English teachers talk about varying sentence structures? #GOPDebate
Seriously guys...where did Scott Walker go? And who slipped ambien in Ben Carson's coffee? #GOPDebate
If the presidential thing doesn't work out for Ben Carson he should go into voice overs for audio books. #CNNDebate #RepublicanDebate
What's clear is that stage is hot & sweaty. Get these folks some fans, err something! #CNNDebate
@realDonaldTrump are you sunburned or does @CarlyFiorina have an affect on you #GOPDebate
Im actually amazed by @CarlyFiorina debate performance. Both she & @JebBush are the only ones that havent yelled #CNNDebate #KeepitTogether
Second-tier debate: Trump, Trump, Trump, Reagan, Trump, Trump, Reagan, *Graham setting something on fire*, Trump. #CNNDebate
An agricultural credit bank has harvested some fresh talent from Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) to manage their government relations.
Lauren Sturgeon left her role as a professional staff member for Inhofe on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee in August to join CoBank ACB, a bank that is part of the Farm Credit System. This move will be her second transition from Congress to the private sector after she left the House to become the director of external affairs at the Oklahoma Water Resources Board in 2013. She returned to D.C. in January 2015 to take the EPW position.
Sturgeon has been covering agricultural issues for some time. While at the House, she worked as a legislative assistant under Rep. Frank Lucas (R-Okla.) on the Agricultural Committee for nearly three years.
The Petroleum Marketers Association of America has tapped the office of former Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) to extract their new director of government relations.
Bradley Norman served as Chambliss' legislative correspondent until the senator left office in January. He first joined Chambliss in 2009 during a short stint as an intern but returned to the office full time in 2012 as a staff assistant. After holding the position for a year and a half, he was promoted to his most recent role where he covered financial and budgetary issues for the office.
The PMAA, an organization representing the interests of a variety of downstream players in the oil industry, brought Norman aboard last month.
Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) has gone millennial, picking a 24-year-old as his new chief of staff.
Young top staffers are nothing new to Capitol Hill, but King's latest pick is still an outlier. In becoming chief of staff, Sarah Stevens becomes probably the youngest top staffer in Congress. She started her Hill career with King in 2012 and rose quickly from press assistant to press secretary to communications director to deputy chief of staff over the next three years.
Prior to joining King's staff, Stevens worked as an intern at the Heritage Foundation and received her bachelor's degree in 2012 from Liberty University.
Stevens is married to another King staffer. Her husband, Chris Stevens, is currently executive director at the Conservative Opportunity Society, a caucus which King chairs.
We spend a large part of our days looking at data. Documents often come in by the dozens and hundreds. And while most are boring - how interesting can staring at a phone directory or salary records be, for example? - we find daily reasons for interest, amusement or even concern packed in the documents. So we are launching a new running feature that we call "Caught our Eye."
Longer than tweets but shorter than most blog posts, Caught our Eye items will bring back the interest in reviewing documents and researching people. Some items might bring hard, breaking news. Others will raise eyebrows and lead some into further inquiry. Others might be good for a joke or two around the water cooler. All will enlighten about the people or workings of Capitol Hill.
Caught our Eye items will be published each morning for LegiStorm Pro subscribers. Non-Pro site users will be able to receive the news items a few hours later. In addition to having immediate access to the news, LegiStorm Pro users will have a handy way to search and browse all past items.