Grace Dobush

Members of Congress Sum Up SXSWi — in 3 Words
South By Southwest Interactive wrapped up Tuesday, just as the madding crowds for the music festival were arriving in Austin, Texas. Roll Call correspondent Grace Dobush was in town along with a surprising number of congressmen — 12 by our count. In addition to attending the panels they spoke on, covering topics from patent trolls to tech innovation, she caught up with a handful of members to get their sense of the experience — in three words. ...
Wrap-up: The D.C. Experience at SXSW

AUSTIN, Texas — The doors to South By Southwest Interactive closed Tuesday after five days of nonstop events, just as the madding crowds for the music festival started arriving.

Austin has a counterculture reputation, and SXSW’s origins are in the Wild West of the tech space. But recently, the festival has turned into what critics have called a brand orgy, and some SXSW attendees didn’t seem all that surprised that Washington was getting in on the action. (Early SXSW attendees have been saying the festival has jumped the shark for years.)

Wrap-up: The D.C. Experience at SXSW

AUSTIN, Texas — The doors to South By Southwest Interactive closed Tuesday after five days of nonstop events, just as the madding crowds for the music festival started arriving.

Austin has a counterculture reputation, and SXSW’s origins are in the Wild West of the tech space. But recently, the festival has turned into what critics have called a brand orgy, and some SXSW attendees didn’t seem all that surprised that Washington was getting in on the action. (Early SXSW attendees have been saying the festival has jumped the shark for years.)

D.C. at SXSW: Booting Up a Tech Hub

AUSTIN, Texas — The District of Columbia had a strong presence at South By Southwest this year, a sign of the city’s focus on boosting its tech cred.

Ronnie Cho 'Very Close' to Making Decision on House Run in Arizona

AUSTIN, Texas — Ronnie Cho, a former White House staffer, is “very close” to making a decision on whether he’ll run for Arizona’s 7th District this year.  

The Arizona he knows and loves “hasn’t been represented by the people who are put up for office,” Cho said. “Certainly I’m an unconventional candidate, if that’s the case. I haven’t gone through the ranks, but maybe that’s OK.” Cho was moderating a panel on youth activism at the South By Southwest Interactive festival. The son of Korean immigrants was President Barack Obama’s associate director of public engagement, focusing on outreach to millennials and writing for the White House’s For the Win blog.  

Farenthold at SXSW: Geeks Like Me

AUSTIN, Texas — Rep. Blake Farenthold might have the most geek cred in Congress.

Elizabeth Warren Campaign Staffers Talk Strategy at SXSW

AUSTIN, Texas — Staffers from Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s 2012 campaign gave an inside look at the strategies that helped the Massachusetts Democrat clinch victory at a South by Southwest panel Monday.

Warren had never run for office before her Senate campaign, but thanks to grass-roots organizing and extensive online efforts, she went on to defeat incumbent Scott Brown by 7.5 points. The panelists were digital director Lauren Miller, field director Mike Firestone, get-out-the-vote director Amanda Coulombe and campaign manager Mindy Myers, who is now Warren’s chief of staff.

Members Talk Startups and Immigration at SXSW

AUSTIN, Texas As the weather turned unseasonably cold for the third day of South By Southwest, discussions about entrepreneurship and immigration heated up.

Issa: Longing for the Private Sector?

AUSTIN, Tx.— Rep. Darrell Issa says he is running for re-election, but he may return to the private sector sooner rather than later.  

At a panel on entrepreneurship at South By Southwest Interactive , the California Republican expressed a desire to return to his roots as a businessman. "I hope to go back to the private sector soon," he said in front of an audience of about 100. "Anything I say that can help me today … I came to Congress to burn up a four year non-compete, and I'm still there."  

Jeffries and Farenthold at SXSW: Keep Patent Trolls Under the Bridge

AUSTIN, Tx. — Senate staffers who got a lot of emails about "patent trolls" today can thank South by Southwest.

Roll Call's Guide to SXSW Interactive

Watch out, Austin: Washington is coming to town.

Maine: Collins Looks Safe, From Both Left and Right

Maine Sen. Susan Collins is a Republican in a state that's not. She's moderate and bipartisan in a party that's not.

Yet it would be tough for her to be any safer, politically, as she looks toward re-election in 2014.

Reid Arranges 'Lincoln' Screening for Senate

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is going Hollywood, reaching out to Director Steven Spielberg to screen his cinematic paean to "16" for lawmakers on Wednesday, Dec. 19.

According to a preliminary report on the entertainment site Deadline, the Nevada Democrat was so taken with the "Lincoln" biopic, a gripping drama which focuses on a career-defining standoff between the embattled president just after his election to a second term and a reticent Congress (hmmm, wonder whether any other Illinois lawmakers can relate?), he was willing to "provide the U.S. Senate to Spielberg as the theatre."