*STAFF NEWS: Look Who Is ‘Movin’ On Up’ On The Hill

Courtesy of Legistorm:

Alex Swann is the new Scheduler/Executive Assistant for Rep. Steven Horsford (D-NV). Alex previously worked as an intern for the House Select Committee on the Modernization of Congress. He is a 2016 graduate in theatre from Reed College.

Joining the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee as a Professional Staff Member is Lucy Koch, moving up from a research assistant position for Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) on the same panel. Lucy is a 2017 graduate of Haverford College with a BA in Spanish and economics. Continue reading “*STAFF NEWS: Look Who Is ‘Movin’ On Up’ On The Hill”

Leadership Lessons For Capitol Hill From The Original ‘Star Trek’

Those of a certain age will recall the original “Star Trek” television series with William Shatner as Captain Kirk, which was the genesis of the movie franchise and the second generation TV series featuring Patrick Stewart as Kirk as well.

Photo by Stefan Cosma on Unsplash

If you work on Capitol Hill these days, odds are Star Trek is not the first place you would think of for valuable lessons on leadership, but Christian philosopher and Reasons to Believe scholar Kenneth Samples, writing on his excellent “Reflections” blog, offers a thought-provoking case to the contrary.

Samples notes that Kirk relies mainly on two subordinates, Dr. Spock, the ship’s science officer, and Dr. McCoy, the ship’s medical doctor, for advice when tough decisions are called for: Continue reading “Leadership Lessons For Capitol Hill From The Original ‘Star Trek’”

*STAFF NEWS: Look Who Is ‘Movin’ On Up’ On The Hill

Courtesy of Legistorm:

Ian Fury has departed the staff of Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) to join up with Gov. Kristi Noem (R-SD) as Communications Director. Ian’s BA in political economy was awarded by Hillsdale College in 2014. Ian’s hometown is Houston, Texas, and he has an affinity for a certain Major League Baseball team there.

Thomas Mills is the new Legislative Assistant to Sen. David Perdue (R-GA), coming over to the Hill from the Environmental Protection Agency where he was Deputy Public Engagement Director. Thomas received a BS in economics in 2016 from Millsaps College.

Allison Childress (Screenshot from Facebook).

Rep. Greg Stanton (D-AZ) has a new Digital Press Secretary, Allison Childress. Previously, Allison was Scheduler for Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ). Before that, Allison was a field organizer for the Arizona Democratic Party during the 2016 campaign. She is a 2017 graduate of the University of Arizona in law and public policy.

Chu Wang has taken up duties as Senior Counsel to the House Agriculture Committee, working for the Chairman, Rep. Colin Peterson (D-MN). He is a 2008 graduate of the University of Virginia Law School. Continue reading “*STAFF NEWS: Look Who Is ‘Movin’ On Up’ On The Hill”

A Quick Briefer For Hill Staffers On Church Meetings, First Amendment Worries And Coronavirus

Thousands of churches and synagogues across the country have moved their regular services from meeting together in one facility to gathering “together” via Internet teleconferencing. It’s a suitable approach for coping with a temporary problem.

But what if the problem becomes more long-lasting, with official directives banning gatherings of 10 or more people continuing past the end of April and well into … well, who knows how long? That’s when things could get very complicated and when that happens, Congress almost always gets involved.

PJMedia Managing Editor Paula Bolyard has a thoughtful, accessible look at why the situation is a challenge for Bible-based congregations now and a warning of what could be coming down the road.

Bolyard’s title sets the context: “Should Church Violate Shutdown Orders? The Answer Is More Complicated Than You Might Imagine.” That’s why Hill staffers need to know this stuff, regardless of whether they are followers of any particular denomination or faith, or none at all. Continue reading “A Quick Briefer For Hill Staffers On Church Meetings, First Amendment Worries And Coronavirus”

STAFF MOVES: Look Who’s Movin’ On Up On Capitol Hill This Week

Recent Staff Moves, As Reported By Legistorm:

Congressional staffers are scarce on Capitol Hill this week, thanks to most offices moving to telework status, but that doesn’t mean people aren’t still getting promotions.

House Majority Whip Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-SC) adds legal muscle to his staff with the addition of Ashleigh Wilson as Legislative Director/Counsel. Ashlee comes to the Hill from Bowman and Brooke LLP. She earned her law degree in 2011 from the Wake Forest University School of Law. Her BA from Wofford College came in 2008 in Philosophy. So if you want to talk about the ontological argument for the existence of God … Continue reading “STAFF MOVES: Look Who’s Movin’ On Up On Capitol Hill This Week”

Where Is God In All This Pandemic?

Whenever there are tough times either for the nation or for us as individuals, it’s inevitable that people ask where God is in the midst of the challenges, pain and setbacks.

HillFaith is focused on the 20,000 or so mostly young men and women who work on Capitol Hill for senators, representatives and congressional agencies, but I actually live in Maryland and attend Friendship Baptist Church with my wife, Claudia, in Sykesville.

Like thousands of other churches in America, our Sunday morning services, Grow Groups (what used to be known as “Sunday School”) and Connection Groups (small groups for fellowship, service and study) have gone online until the Pandemic is sufficiently past that groups will again be allowed to meet.

This morning’s service by Senior Pastor Mark Massey is on this question of where is God when we need Him in the midst of crises. I suspect there are more than a few HillFaith readers who are asking this question and perhaps Mark’s sermon thoughts will be helpful:


A Tribute To A Great Man, Former Sen. Tom Coburn Of Oklahoma

Former Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) died Friday after waging a long battle against the prostate cancer that prompted his retirement in 2013. I have no doubt that he would still be in the Senate today, absent the cancer.

Former Sen. Tom Coburn RIP

Being a fellow Oklahoman and graduate of Oklahoma State University, I admit to having a particular interest in Coburn, but parochial considerations aside, I admired him immensely because he never succumbed to the temptations of fame and power that too often make Washington, D.C. what it is.

Coburn was first and forever a genuine man of the people, the real-life “Okie from Muskogee,” full of blunt courage, deep common-sense and immense admiration for the wisdom of America’s founders.

There was never any doubt about where this man stood on an important issue or worry that he would betray his principles. That is a priceless virtue in the nation’s capital and one that is far too rarely seen these days.

Coburn was a committed follower of the Lord Jesus Christ. His family said of his passing that, “Because of his strong faith, he rested in the hope found in John chapter 11 verse 25 where Jesus said, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me, will live, even though they die.’ Today he lives in heaven.”

The genuineness of his faith was seen in how Coburn treated his staff. Tears came to my eyes earlier this morning when I read these words from Keith Ashdown, who was Coburn’s staff director on the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee:

“I was raised by a single mom. The closest thing I had to a father figure in my life passed away this morning,” Ashdown said in a tweet. “Senator Tom Coburn was a great lawmaker and even a better man. Working for him was one of the greatest honors of my life.”

And former long-time Coburn communications director John Hart’s tribute stirred my tears as well:

“His family came first and our hearts break for their loss. But those of us who had the joy and privilege of working with him were all his adopted sons and daughters. He made room in his heart for all of us and we kept in close touch with him until the end.

“He would always find time to challenge, encourage, correct and guide us. He touched us all deeply and gave us a gift that has blessed our lives and families beyond measure.”

One of the ways journalists covering Congress privately assess senators and representatives is by what their staffs say about them in candid, confidential moments. Coburn’s staff meant it when they expressed admiration for their boss, which was frequently. Coburn was so different from so many others we cover.

Count yourself blessed immensely if you ever have the opportunity to work on Capitol Hill — or anywhere else, for that matter —for a man like Tom Coburn.