Politics: Hires & Fires

With the election season over in Montana, it’s time for the winners to put staff in place and for those already in office to shuffle staff around so they are ready for the new congress and able to assist Montanans.

There are over a million people Montana and 147,164 sq miles to cover. U.S. Senator Jon Tester, U.S. Senator-elect Steve Daines, and U.S. Representative-elect Ryan Zinke can’t do it alone so they need staffers who will represent them at meetings and assist constituents.

As a member of the U.S. House, Zinke will have fewer staff and offices than Tester and Daines. It’s not fair to Montanans, but Zinke’s “district” is all of Montana whereas a Representative in New York City may have a “district” that’s just a few square miles.

Here are some of the hires that caught my attention. Congrats to them.  Plus, I think there’s a job opening in Tennessee for a Communications Director…

U.S. Senator Jon Tester:

On Monday, Tester announced that he had picked Jamie Wise as his new Chief of Staff and Dylan Laslovich as his new Legislative Director. Tester’s former Chief of Staff, Tom Lopach, is the new Executive Director of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC). Tester is the new chair of the DSCC.

U.S. Rep-Elect Ryan Zinke:

Early this morning, Zinke announced that he had hired Randy Vogel as his State Director. Vogel has valuable experience working as state director for former Congressman Denny Rehberg, and as a regional director for Congressman Steve Daines.

With the experience Vogel brings to his new position, I am sure he will see the need for Zinke to have an office and full-time staff in Great Falls near Malmstrom AFB and the Air National Guard.

Montana GOP:

The Montana Republican Party announced that they hired Chris Shipp as their new Executive Director. Shipp replaces Bowen Greenwood who did the job very well.

In my opinion, being the Executive Director of a political party must be one of the harder jobs in politics. It’s a lot like herding “cats” – and the “cats” all think they are class president.

Communications Director:

I hear there’s an opening on the staff of Rep. Stephen Fincher (R-Tenn.) for a Communications Director.

Elizabeth Lauten, the communications director for Fincher, posted some not-so-nice-things on her Facebook page about President Barack Obama’s children during the annual turkey pardon. The comments went viral. Lauten apologized. She later resigned.

The Lauten Facebook post serves as a good teaching moment not only for congressional staff, but for everyone. Everything you post on your Facebook page, or on Twitter, or on your blog, or send via e-mail or text message is fair game. It does not matter if it’s your personal opinion, because if it brings negative publicity to your boss you can be fired.

Then, you may have folks look into your past a little more closely.

A communications director should already know this.

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