By Kate Oczypok - 01/27/09 05:40 PM EST
Bilbray’s media endurance makes him ‘a machine,’ says staffer
Fritz Chaleff began his new position as communications director for Rep. Brian Bilbray (R-Calif.) at the beginning of January. Previously, Chaleff worked for Rep. Tom Latham (R-Iowa).
Chaleff says his favorite part about working with Bilbray is that he is aggressive with the media. “He is a big proponent of transparency — I’d have to say the Monday before the Inauguration he did about 20 interviews,” Chaleff said. “He is a machine.”
Chaleff shared a story about how the congressman, after all the chaos of the Inauguration, gave a two-and-a-half-hour private tour of the Capitol to his constituents who were still in town.
“My transition’s been great, Kurt’s [Bardella, press secretary for Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif.] been very helpful, as well as Rep. Latham, and Bilbray’s staff is just a rock-star staff,” Chaleff said.
If he wasn’t working on Capitol Hill, Chaleff says he would work in communications. “My mom is a restaurateur in Sarasota and my dad is in Chicago, I grew up in both places, so living in either one would be exciting,” Chaleff said.
DNC REELECTS HONDA TO POST OF VICE-CHAIRMAN: The DNC reelected Rep. Mike Honda (D-Calif.) as its vice chairman. Honda helped increase voter turnout and civic engagement among Japanese and Koreans in Colorado, Latinos in Michigan, Vietnamese and Indians in Virginia and Filipinos in Nevada. Honda’s fluency in Spanish and travel to more than 30 states as part of a 50-state DNC strategy helped mobilize and register voters of all backgrounds.
LILLIE TO WORK IN WHITE HOUSE PRESS ADVANCE: Katie Lillie, 30, who served on President Obama’s campaign, will now work as director of the White House press advance. She was one of the Obama wranglers, traveling with the president during his campaign. According to the White House press office, Lillie did advance work in 2004 for the Kerry campaign and for Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius before the Obama campaign. Lillie joined the Obama campaign in spring 2007 and began working as a press wrangler in January 2008.
KINGSTON GETS NEW CHIEF OF STAFF: Jerr Rosenbaum is the new chief of staff for Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.). Rosenbaum worked for former Rep. Virgil Goode (R-Va.) and is happy with what has been a very smooth transition.
Rosenbaum’s favorite things about his new position so far are bribing committee staff with free Coke, the staff retreat sleeping quarters and deciphering the 4:45 a.m. e-mail.
“Since I started, I’ve been searching for my inner Georgia Bulldog, but in the meantime I’ve been enjoying the intelligence and devotion of the Kingston staff,” he said.
Norah Bel, legislative
assistant for Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.), got engaged in August and is set to marry in June of this year. Her fiancé works off Capitol Hill.
Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-Calif.)
Jan. 28, 1969 – age 40
Sanchez plans to spend her birthday today drafting a House resolution titled, “Whereas, 40 is the new 30…” according to Marsha Catron, Sanchez’s communications director.
Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.)
Jan. 28, 1948 – age 61
Rep. Lee Terry (R-Neb.)
Jan. 29, 1962 – age 47
Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.)
Jan. 29, 1970 – age 39
Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.)
Jan. 30, 1939 – age 70
Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.)
Feb. 1, 1944 – age 65
Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas)
Feb. 2, 1952 – age 57
Rep. Rob Wittman (R-Va.)
Feb. 3, 1959 – age 50
Wittman’s family has not planned anything for this milestone birthday at this time, according to Wittman’s press office.