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Freddie Stubbs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-11 07:55 AM
Original message
Hill staffers fired in Twitter flap
Source: Politico

They called it a December to Remember: a mission to spend the final month of the legislative session partying under the patronage of Rep. Rick Larsen.

Eight days into it, and a series of ill-advised tweets later, three staffers for the Washington Democrat were fired Thursday after a local website detailed a pattern of wildly unprofessional behaviorincluding drinking on the job and insulting the congressmanPOLITICO has confirmed.

Congressman Larsen and his staff became aware of the issue concerning the three staff members at noon EST. We became aware of the issue through a tweet referencing an article about the incident. Congressman Larsen immediately decided to fire the three staff members involved in the incident. The staff members were dismissed at 1:10 p.m. EST, Larsens office said in a statement.

The Capitol Hill staff culture has always resembled a fraternity party for the just out of college professionals who dominate the offices. In this case, staffers clearly crossed the line, Larsens office says.



Read more: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1211/70116.html



This is crazy stuff. When I used to work on the Hill, it was common for staffers to drink in the office, but only on Friday in the late afternoon (after the Congressman or Senator had left town for the district). It appears that these people were totally out of control and dumb enough to let the world know about it via Twitter.
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ChairmanAgnostic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-11 07:57 AM
Response to Original message
1. I've worked for some crazy bosses, but would I diss them
in public? Hell, no. Compound that with the public exposure that any elected official has, and geez, those folks were unbelievably stupid.

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LonePirate Donating Member (898 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-11 07:59 AM
Response to Original message
2. Is it possible the tweets were performance art and were not genuine reflections of behavior/actions?
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TBF Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-11 08:09 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. Not a bad argument, but doubtful.
When I was in DC the early 90s the culture was the same in the law firms. There was always beer in the fridge, and on Fridays staff was allowed to partake as well. Of course most of the lawyers didn't leave, they were there having a beer too. I didn't work on the hill but I wouldn't be surprised if it was a similar atmosphere.

Many graduates from college will work on the Hill or in a paralegal job in Washington for a year or two before going on to grad/law school. It's actually a great time to live in Washington. Free museums, interesting jobs, other smart young people to hang out with. I enjoyed my time there and it was quite eye-opening.
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HereSince1628 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-11 08:14 AM
Response to Original message
4. Sounds like you were one of the Mad Men
"When I used to work on the Hill, it was common for staffers to drink in the office, but only on Friday in the late afternoon"

As we all learn sooner or later...It's special treats for the elites!

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Freddie Stubbs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-11 08:42 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. Special treats? Hardly
Edited on Fri Dec-09-11 08:48 AM by Freddie Stubbs
We were paid peanuts and sometimes worked 80 hours a week, depending on the congressional schedule. Each legislative staffer had a couple of issue areas they were in charge of. If there was a bill on the floor that was in your issue area, you had to be in the office. During the consideration of appropriations bills, it was not uncommon for staffers to have to work well past midnight.
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HereSince1628 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-11 08:52 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. Special treat as in special rules...
Edited on Fri Dec-09-11 08:54 AM by HereSince1628
Drinking in the workplace is something that pretty much gets all non-elites dismissed. If you don't realize that, you may have spent most of your time with the elite who get to live by different rules.

For people in education including people like me who taught at universities, our contracts typically include moral turpitude clauses that can get a non-elite fired for pretty much anything that embarrassed the institution's brand at any time of the day or in any place in the community.

Again not applying to the elite...inst. executives, coaches of major sports, something similar for execs who play with interns in blue dresses with cigars.

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Freddie Stubbs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-11 09:16 AM
Response to Reply #6
8. If being an overworked 20-something making less than $30,000 makes you an elite, then
I must have been one of the elites without even knowing it.
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nobodyspecial Donating Member (309 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-11 04:39 PM
Response to Reply #8
16. Poverty is the new black around here
If you aren't homeless, go to a real grocery store and own a vehicle, you are living the life of Riley. They wear their misery as a badge of honor and attack anyone who achieves a modicum of comfort.

I'm quite poor right now but I don't use it as a club to bludgeon other people with. All this talk of class warfare is crap when people who are doing just a little bit better than misery are attacked. Yeah, you and your $30,000 salary are the elite. hahaha
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onenote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-11 01:38 PM
Response to Reply #6
12. My dad was a grad school professor
And he kept a bottle in his office and often shared a drink late in the day with a colleague or even a student (talking grad students who were all of drinking age). He wasn't the only one who did so and no one blinked an eye at it. Also, my wife works for non-profit environmental group and they've been known to kick back at the end of the day on a Friday and have beer in the office.

Admittedly, that's different than a worker on an assembly line cracking open a cold one inside the factory at the end of the day, which almost certainly would not be condoned.

I'm not sure where the line between "elites" and "non-elites" falls, but I'm pretty sure that if having a drink at the end of the day or week in your office makes you part of the elite, then there are more elites out there than I think you realize.
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HereSince1628 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-11 04:09 PM
Response to Reply #12
15. Yes, I'm actually surprised at the number of elites out there.
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Guy Whitey Corngood Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-11 09:06 AM
Response to Original message
7. "When I used to work on the Hill" ...... Ahhh I see. I get it now. nt
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Judi Lynn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-11 02:01 PM
Response to Reply #7
14. Maybe it should be "UNDER the Hill."



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Javaman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-11 11:45 AM
Response to Original message
9. The frontal lobe of the average person isn't fully developed until around the age of 26...
combine poor decision making, with alcohol and the ability to "tweet" about it, well, this is a script that wrote itself.
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SemperEadem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-11 01:32 PM
Response to Reply #9
11. hopefully, they've got a parent that explained some things to them
before turning them loose outside the house.

A 18 month old child also doesn't have the experience to know that running out in the street is a bad idea and has a parent who does have the experience and will catch them before they dart out. Seems that these kids with undeveloped brains didn't have parents that helped develop their common sense.
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Javaman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-11 09:35 PM
Response to Reply #11
18. it was probably their connected parents that got them the jobs. LOL nt
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SemperEadem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 10:54 AM
Response to Reply #18
21. LOL--you're probably right on target there
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marasinghe Donating Member (754 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-11 10:41 PM
Response to Reply #9
20. agreed; but that's for females. males like me: we don't develop any sense of maturity,
or responsibility, until we're in our late-40's - if then - & i believe that's an innate, biological trait in our makeup.
just my personal opinion & experience. of course, i've encountered many exceptions to the generalization.
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SemperEadem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-11 01:28 PM
Response to Original message
10. it was plain stupid of them
no matter how bad a boss you've got, you don't go put that business in the street if you care about paying your bills. Quit first and then say what you need to say.

The problem is exactly the Capitol Hill culture and the fact that they hire numb skulls who have no common sense.
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onenote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-11 01:40 PM
Response to Reply #10
13. Yes they were. But blaming the "Capitol Hill Culture"?
Some staffers are numbskulls. Even some Democratic staffers. But most aren't. And for that matter, businesses and organizations outside of Capitol Hill sometimes hire numbskulls too.
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Islandlife Donating Member (135 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-11 09:29 PM
Response to Original message
17. Would it have been ok if no one had learned of it?
I am actually glad that such conduct is still not acceptable and hopefully not common place. Am I wrong?
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24601 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-09-11 10:21 PM
Response to Original message
19. Reminiscent of Wonkette - send them packing. There's no shortage
of responsible folks who would love a shot at Hill positions.

FYSA - senior staff holds the institutional memory and are paid commensurate with Executive Branch Civil Service. Junior Staff aren't paid much - but many are on entry-level positions.
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