By Kris Kitto - 11/17/11 11:43 PM EST
Title: Legislative aide
Education: B.A. in economics and political science from the University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, Minn.
Last job: Legislative correspondent; press secretary for Reid Ribble for Congress
Legislative specialty: Transportation, tax and energy issues.
Favorite bill or law: 1986 Tax Reform Act. Lowering rates and broadening the base never gets old.
If you could create a new committee or subcommittee, what would it be? Hmm, this is a tough one. I don’t know if I would create a new committee, but rather shuffle around some areas of jurisdiction.
Most embarrassing moment on Capitol Hill: I attended an event with Ribble and our chief of staff less than 10 blocks from Capitol Hill. Driving us back to Longworth, I got lost, and we ended up going the wrong direction. Our chief started poking fun at me, and all I could come up with as a response was, “Nobody told me where to go!”
Passion outside of work: Not very expansive. Tennis, the Green Bay Packers, reading (mostly policy-based materials).
Kyle Roskam — no relation to Rep. Peter Roskam (R-Ill.) — estimates he was in his “lower teens” when politics became an interest.
The budding campaigner and congressional staffer went to an Al Gore for President rally during the 2000 presidential elections.
“I had no idea what was going on,” he recalls. “I was learning, seeing the excitement.”
(To clarify, he adds that he has “always been a Republican.”)
Roskam’s interest grew in college with his involvement in the College Republicans and a Washington-based internship with Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and the House Budget Committee.
A standout opportunity, though, was Roskam’s work for the 2008 Republican National Convention, where he worked with a radio station, getting to see the speeches of nominee John McCain, vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty and several other headliners.
The highlight of the convention?
“The balloons, actually,” Roskam says. “Maybe that’s kind of corny and whatever, but being in the crowd — it was a packed stadium — the balloons, the loud noise, the music, it was really, really fun.”
After college he signed on with Rep. Reid Ribble’s (R-Wis.) campaign, telling the candidate in the interview that if he won, Roskam wanted to follow him to Washington.
The legislative correspondent might be on the other end of one of those conversations someday. Asked whether he’d ever run for office, he replies, “It’s definitely in the cards.”
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