Danielle Ryan

Kline Scheduler Likes Getting the Little Things Right | Hill Climber

It’s no surprise that Janelle Belland, scheduler for Rep. John Kline, R-Minn., was voted most conservative in her high-school class senior year.

“I had a photo of Bob Dole in my locker in high school,” Belland said, perhaps ironic now that the former Republican senator from Kansas has said the GOP might be too conservative even for him.

Lauten Makes Decisions Based on Fincher's District | Hill Climber

Elizabeth Lauten tried on a couple of majors before leaving East Carolina University in Greenville, N.C., with a degree in classics.

“Ancient Latin and Greek — things you use every day!” joked Lauten, who is now press secretary for Tennessee Republican Rep. Stephen Fincher. Having spent her younger years heavily involved in her high school and college newspapers, Lauten originally had the goal to work in news in Washington. Instead, she landed her first D.C. job at the lobbying firm Fierce, Isakowitz & Blalock, where she worked for three years.

Scheduler Has Been With Bachmann Since 'Day One' | Hill Climber

“First and foremost, constituents come first and they always will come first, no matter what office I’m in,” said Kim Rubin, the scheduler and office manager for Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn.

Rubin has seen plenty of constituents and members in a Capitol Hill career that first started with an internship with Rep. Jack Kemp, R-N.Y., in the 1980s; she’s been with Bachmann since the Minnesota Republican was first elected in 2006.

Jennifer Hudson Honored at 'Grammys on the Hill'

Music met politics Wednesday night at the annual Grammys on the Hill awards, which honored Jennifer Hudson with the Recording Artist Coalition Award for her philanthropic and artistic achievements.

Dozens of musical and political stars mingled at a VIP cocktail reception at The Hamilton venue in downtown Washington before the awards dinner. Guests included producer Clive Davis, singer Yolanda Adams and songwriter Kara DioGuardi.

Take Five With Rep. Chellie Pingree

It’s Tuesday, which means it’s time for another Take Five, HOH’s chance to get to know a member of Congress a little better by asking five fun questions all relatively unrelated to their legislative work. This week Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-Maine, tells us what’s on her playlist and who she’d want to play her in a movie of her life.

Q. We know Maine is famous for its lobster, but have you had any great lobster in Washington, D.C.?

Minnesota Delegation Digs Into Annual Hotdish Fight

It's not every day that you get to watch members of Congress battle it out over who can make the best hotdish. But for HOH, Wednesday was that glorious, calorie-laden day.

Senate Democrat Al Franken hosted the third annual Minnesota delegation "Hotdish Cook Off" in the Russell Senate Office Building.

Hill Climbers: An Arizonan Returns East

With a grandfather who was a state Supreme Court justice and a politically interested and active family, Jennifer Johnson was on a career path well before she even knew it.

Born and raised in Arizona, Johnson first came to Washington, D.C., to study public policy journalism at American University.

One Man's Journey From Metro to Kickstarter

One morning, while he was stuck on a train in a tunnel between Metro stations, Chad Wallace, a D.C. public school teacher, made the decision that taking the Metro was no longer worth his time, money or patience.

“The prices were going up, the problems were piling up, and I was just getting more and more frustrated,” Wallace said. “I had to find another way to get to work.”

Former Rep. John Edward Porter Gives Congress a Tongue-Lashing

Sens. Richard M. Burr, R-N.C., and Bob Casey, D-Pa., were honored at Research!America's annual advocacy awards dinner at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium, the organization's nod to their commitment to private and public sector medical research and innovation.

But things took an interesting turn, when former Rep. John Edward Porter — now chairman of the board of Research!America — took aim at Congress, accusing both parties of "idiotic posturing that is supposed to pass as governing."

Hill Climbers: 'Into the Fire' on Way to Washington

Ben Carnes, the son of a pastor from Greenville, S.C., grew up on conservative values and Southern hospitality.

Now a staffer on Capitol Hill, Carnes has two full-time jobs: Communications director for Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., and single dad to two young children.

Take Five With Rep. Trey Radel

It’s Tuesday. That means it’s time for another Take Five, HOH’s weekly chance to get to know a member of Congress a little better by asking five fun questions relatively unrelated to their legislative work. This week, freshman Rep. Trey Radel, R-Fla., a former journalist, talks about his favorite book and shares with us some advice that he received from his parents while growing up.

Q: If you had to choose: Florida weather or Washington weather? A: Really!? You do realize I live in Southwest Florida, home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, right?

Hill Climbers: A Passion for Education Led Teacher From Middle School to Fattah's Office

Liz King is a staffer with a laser beam focus on education policy.

King, who was recently promoted to legislative director for Rep. Chaka Fattah, D-Pa., has worked for the congressman for almost eight years. But her route to Washington didn’t involve any of the typical paths. There were no internships to prepare her for life on Capitol Hill, and she didn’t make the move from a campaign to a congressional office.

Cherry Blossom Mania in Full Bloom

It’s official: The cherry blossoms are on their way.

If you, like HOH, were wondering about the lingering winter weather and distinct lack of springtime feeling around Washington, D.C., lately, worry no more.

Troubles Visit the Folger’s Exhibit

A current exhibit at the Folger Shakespeare Library that aims to highlight Irish-English relations in the 16th and 17th centuries as “more than a binary story of oppressor and oppressed,” has received strong criticism from a top Irish scholar in Washington.

Cóilín Owens, professor emeritus at George Mason University, had some harsh words for the curators of the new exhibit in a letter sent to the Irish Embassy in Washington, the two exhibit curators and the Folger Shakespeare Library itself. Owens’ letter, however, was leaked to IrishCentral.com, a website aimed at the global Irish diaspora, igniting some unintended media controversy. In an email to HOH, the Folger initially seemed to be under the impression that Owens had sent the letter to the website himself, saying they were “perplexed” to find that Owens had taken his quarrel to the media first, rather than just to the museum directly.

Take Five With Rep. Rodney Davis

If it’s Tuesday, it’s time for another Take Five, HOH’s chance to get to know a member of Congress by asking five fun questions.

This week, freshman Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Ill., tells us whom he’d choose to swap lives with for one week and why his mom is an inspiration. Q. If you could be someone else for one week, who would you want to be? A: I’d want to be [House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi], so that I can take myself off of the [Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s] target list.

Take Five With Rep. Mark Takano

It’s Tuesday again, which means it’s time for Take Five, when HOH catches up with a member of Congress over five fun questions. This week, freshman Rep. Mark Takano, D-Calif., shares the similarities between being a teacher and being a member of Congress, and he tells us what he misses about his sunny California district.

Camp Gets Tracy's Kids Courage Award

A bunch of Washington's own stars (and by that we mean members of Congress) rolled out the red carpet Wednesday evening for a Hollywood-style, Oscar-themed event to benefit Tracy's Kids — an art therapy program designed to help children and their families deal with the trauma of cancer.

The event, "And The Winner Is ...", is the eighth annual Tracy's Kids Courage Award ceremony, and it's held to recognize "a public person who exemplifies the strength, dignity and perseverance" necessary to face the challenges of the disease.

Hill Climbers: Intern Holds Down a Revved-Up Schedule
Massachusetts native learns the ropes in Tierney’s office

One of the great things about interning on Capitol Hill is having the evenings free to hang out in the city. But Eric Kashdan doesn’t have that luxury.

The new intern in Rep. John F. Tierney’s office has a truly packed schedule; working 9 to 5 in the Massachusetts Democrat’s office is only the beginning of his day. When other interns are heading out to enjoy their evenings, Kashdan, who is pursuing a double major in political science and international relations at Boston University, heads over to BU’s Washington campus, where he takes four classes a week.

Take Five

It’s Tuesday, which means it’s time for Take Five, when HOH has a chance to get to know a member of Congress by asking five fun questions relatively unrelated to their legislative work. This week, freshman Rep. Ann McLane Kuster, D-N.H., tells us what she’s reading, what she’s missing and where she’d go if she could escape Congress for an impromptu vacation. Q: What do you miss most about your district when you’re in Washington, D.C.?

A: I’m from a very beautiful district, and I love to walk, kayak and bike with my friends and husband when I’m home. Seeing the sites and monuments in Washington is wonderful, but nothing tops spending time outdoors in New Hampshire.

Hill Climbers: For Orlando Watson, Timing on Hill Was Elementary

Capitol Hill was never in Orlando Watson’s plan. Convinced that the private sector creates more value for society and that politics was becoming too divisive, the new press secretary for Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., decided to major in public policy at the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Va.

But in 2008, on the advice of his college professors, Watson began to take a good look at presidential candidates across the political spectrum — and that’s when then-Rep. Ron Paul caught his eye.