Inside the Office of Rep. Reid Ribble (R-Wis.): Paul Bleiberg

Title: Legislative director

Age: 27

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Hometown: New Hartford, N.Y.

Education: B.A. in government, 

Hamilton College, Clinton, N.Y.

Last job: Director of federal affairs for a food-/agriculture-related government-affairs shop

Legislative specialty: Agriculture, transportation and infrastructure

Favorite bill or law: The 1949 farm bill. It doesn’t get any better than that.

If you could create a new committee or subcommittee, what would it be?: The Committee on Health. It’s too wide an issue not to have its own committee.

Most embarrassing moment on Capitol Hill: Way back in my intern days, I answered the phone not knowing it was the boss (former Rep. Sherwood Boehlert, R-N.Y.), and proceeded to ask where he was calling from and what his call was in regards to. It was my first day, and I hadn’t yet met him, so I was pretty embarrassed, to say the least.

Interests outside of work: I think one of my co-workers said it best: I love the work that we do here. I am the perfect example of someone in this business whose life in and out of the office is one and the same.

When Paul Bleiberg decided he wanted to go for a third stint on Capitol Hill, he established a requirement. He wanted to work for a freshman lawmaker who had been given an assignment on the House Agriculture Committee.

Bleiberg had previously worked for Sherwood Boehlert and Randy Kuhl, two experienced former GOP House members from his home state of New York.

“I enjoyed working for both of my other bosses, but I kind of wanted to come back and have a different sort of experience this time,” Bleiberg said.

So he set out scanning the list of GOP freshmen on the Agriculture Committee. Only one was from New York, so when he expanded his search criteria, he landed on Rep. Reid Ribble (R-Wis.). Bleiberg saw an obvious connection between his upstate New York hometown and Ribble’s district: dairy.

As for his preferred policy area, Bleiberg said his interest in agriculture issues came via “osmosis.”

Not only did he grow up “driving by barns,” he also spent time between Capitol Hill jobs at a government-affairs firm, where he was “inundated with agriculture work.”

So far his role as Ribble’s legislative director has lived up to his expectations.

Working for a freshman, Bleiberg said, “makes you have to be more on your game and more knowledgeable of what you’re talking about.”

To have your office featured on Inside the Office of ..., reach Kris Kitto at (202) 628-8539 or kkitto@thehill.com.

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