Heard on the Hill

How to level up on Tinder using LegiStorm. (Why didn’t we think of this?)

Calling all DC daters: If they work in Congress, their salary is out there. Do with that what you will

What shelf can your date afford? Turn to LegiStorm to find out. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

All hail Scott, a very savvy congressional intern who called into Gimlet Media’s “Reply All” podcast last week.

This Scott, you see, is dating in D.C., and he believes in doing his due diligence, especially when it comes to the one romantic quality that sets hearts a-fluttering: earning power. 

His resource of choice? A certain “database where you can track the revolving door of Congress.”

And it’s paying off. Before a recent Tinder rendezvous, Scott used said database to suss out the facts. Turns out he was meeting with a well-paid chief of staff, so he upped his dining request from dirt cheap to triple-dollar-sign.

“I recommended a more expensive restaurant,” he told “Reply All” hosts PJ Vogt and Alex Goldman.

That leaves just one question: Why didn’t we think of this? 

You can hear the conversation in all its glory here, or read the transcript below:

[phone ringing]

ALEX: Hello?

SCOTT: Hello.

PJ: Who’s this?

SCOTT: I’m Scott.

PJ: Where are you calling from?

SCOTT: I’m calling from Congress.

PJ: The one in D.C.?

SCOTT: Yeah. I’m actually in one of these small rooms where you can have private conversations.

PJ: How do — in your job — what is your job?

SCOTT: I’m just an intern.

PJ: How do people who work in Congress use the internet?

SCOTT: If you want to talk about some congressional specific things.

PJ: Yeah.

SCOTT: There are databases that we can access from our IP addresses that we can’t access at home. But it’s basically like a lobbying database where you can, you can track the sort of revolving door of Congress. Like, let’s say like, um, Chief of Staff of X left to be the public policy director of a marijuana firm or something like that. So and all their congressional salaries are disclosed on that website —

ALEX: Oh —

SCOTT: All of their assets. So you know, they’re working —

PJ: All of their assets, like their house?

SCOTT: Yeah. And all — any investment they have, that has to be disclosed.

PJ: That feels like a thing that should be available to more people for free.

ALEX: I agree.

SCOTT: No, that is available for free. It’s just hard to get to now.

PJ: Oh.

SCOTT: But these are all public disclosure. That’s why we have that.

PJ: How do you or how do people in your office use the, like, Facebook lobbyists site? Like what, what do you, what do people have to look up there?

SCOTT: No one necessarily has to look up something. It’s just something we have for free.

PJ: Mhm.

SCOTT: So, like sometimes I’m just curious about, say if I’m dating someone, and I like, and they just left the Hill, like if they’re on the Hill, then I — if I want to see how big their salary is and stuff.

ALEX: Oh.

PJ: Oh my god. And you can just do that.

SCOTT: Yeah, because that’s public information.

PJ: So have you actually gone on a date and looked somebody up and found them, found their salary?

SCOTT: Yeah, of course.

PJ: Tell me the story.

SCOTT: Someone was on Tinder. And then like, you know, he said, he was an attorney on the hill, which means he works in Congress, right? So he showed me his Instagram and from Instagram I found his name. And then from his name, I just looked up his salary. And apparently, he was not an attorney. So he was chief of staff.

PJ: So had this guy inflated his title or deflated his title?

SCOTT: No, no, no. He deflated it.

ALEX & PJ: Oh.

ALEX: And did your —

SCOTT: He’s attorney —

ALEX: Opinion of him change based on his salary and his position?

SCOTT: Well, I recommended a more expensive restaurant.

ALEX & PJ: (laughing)

PJ: That’s amazing.

SCOTT: Because I was like, I was on Yelp. And I did like dollar, dollar. And then there was dollar, dollar, dollar.

PJ & ALEX: (laughing)

ALEX: That’s a pretty savvy move.

SCOTT: I told him that that was what I did, and he thought it was smart.

ALEX: How did the date go?

SCOTT: It didn’t go well. He didn’t look like his photos. But I got a dollar, dollar, dollar out of it.

PJ: (laughing)

SCOTT: I’m happy. I didn’t like the restaurant that much, but whatever.

PJ: Thank you for telling us about Congress internet. It’s very interesting —

ALEX: Yeah, yeah.

SCOTT: No problem.

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