The Ashley Madison Fallout: How Will Staffers Fare?

Capitol Hill offices must decide how to handle staffers caught in the Ashley Madison hack. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Information is still coming in about the people and technology devices connected to the Ashley Madison website, which promotes extramarital affairs. But several former staffers and current public relations professionals think a link from a House office to the site could be a job-ending offense, especially if the member of Congress feels the negative press will go over poorly with constituents.  

“Putting the member of Congress and the office in a bad position with voters back home because of bad personal choices is definitely a fire-able offense,” said Ron Bonjean, a former chief of staff to the Senate Republican Conference and communications director for former Speaker J. Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., and now a partner with Rokk Solutions.  

How to Kick That Mid-August Recess Slump

Need some new ideas on what to do this August Recess? (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

August is to recess what November is to elections (and January is to the State of the Union and  once upon a time  what July was to appropriations). August is the month of shorter to-do lists and longer lunches. With Congress out of session, it's an ideal time to take vacation, or to just leave early for midday cocktails.  

But even the summertime recess can become routine, and the once-ambitious to-do list can grow stale. So how do you make the most of the "District Work Period?" Hill Navigator has some ideas . 1. Go to the state/district . No August recess is complete without a few days (or even a week) in the district/state office. Those lucky enough to work for their home-state member can turn these trips into some quality family visiting time, but for those who work elsewhere, district trips are still valuable. Here’s why: Capitol Hill is its own, isolated microcosm of a community. The politics and policies fiercely debated here have a way of translating much differently outside the Beltway. Even if you aren’t one to mull over the legislative accomplishment (or lack thereof) of Congress, going to the state/district will serve as a reminder of whom you represent (and their transportation needs, which may serve particularly useful this fall). Hearing from people — whether in a town hall meeting or Waffle House— may be the best dose of reality you’ll get all summer.  

Hill Staffers, This Is Why Gmail Exists

The laptop may be yours, but the .gov email address isn't. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Ashley Madison hack is already embarrassing plenty of people , including Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, Capitol Police and a handful of House offices.  

But the sheer number of ".gov" and ".mil" addresses listed — 15,000 — should raise more than a few eyebrows in Capitol Hill circles. Even as some security experts cast doubt on the authenticity of the leak, it will be a headache for affected offices to sort out. And with good reason.  

Hill Navigator Summer Reading List

In search of a good book? Hill Navigator has some reading recommendations for you this summer. (CQ Roll Call File Photo).

August. Even the newest D.C. residents know it might be the best time to switch the smartphone to silent and head out of town to cooler and less-humid places, preferably with beaches. (Mountains work too.)  

Much has been written about why taking vacation can make you a better employee;  You leave the grind for a few days and come back well rested, more clear headed, able to be more creative, thoughtful and productive.  

A True Workplace Father's Day Gift: Paternity Leave

A real Father's Day gift for Capitol Hill: paternity leave (CQ Roll Call File Photo).

Want to give dads on Capitol Hill a real gift this Father’s Day?  

Encourage them to ask about their office’s paternity leave policy.  

Marijuana Laws Haven’t Blazed Any Trails on Capitol Hill, Yet

None for you, Congressional staff. Marijuana is still off limits. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo).

Marijuana may be legal in D.C., but it’s still illegal on Capitol Hill.  

The Office of Personnel Management recently issued updated guidance  to the 4.1 million federal employees and military personnel in its purview: Even if marijuana use is legal in D.C. and 23 states, the U.S. government still considers possession or use of the substance to be illegal.  

Staffer Guide to the 2015 Congressional Baseball Game

Staffers cheer at the Roll Call Congressional Baseball Game. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

It’s that time of year again.  

Congressional baseball is back! The 54th Annual Roll Call Congressional Baseball Game Thursday is the real midsummer classic here in Washington, D.C. It's like a preview of 2018 All Star Game at Nationals Park, except this time starring members of Congress.  

Acing the Business Lunch: Paying the Check

The power lunch is alive and well on Capitol Hill. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The best part about having the skills to ace a power lunch? Getting the chance to practice. Hill Navigator appreciates the reader response to "How to Ace the Power Lunch ," and hopes each of you have the opportunity to put those gracious and formidable skills to good use. Whether it's at Fiola or Good Stuff Eatery, knowing how to order, pay and show requisite graciousness is crucial to having a good time and great meal.  

But that pesky payment can be tricky, even for the most experienced of us who are used to plunking down an AmEx and insisting the meal is on us. Worse, it can be uncomfortable to go through such a charade when you are quite certain the fat cat you’re dining with will be the one to pick up the tab. Hill Navigator discusses below.

A More Perfect Staffer: Could Your Record Catch Up With You?


It can happen to the best of staffers: A few poorly worded comments and all of a sudden you’ve become a late-night punch line, and you’re quickly off to “pursue other opportunities.” Capitol Hill jobs and promising careers can vanish overnight.  

The Updated Staffer Guide to the State of the Union 2015

The post-SOTU frenzy in Statuary Hall (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Nothing says January like the State of the Union.  

Every year, the nation tunes in to watch the House floor as members, senators, Supreme Court justices, Cabinet secretaries, dignitaries and VIPs fill the House chamber to listen (perhaps even interrupt) the president’s annual address to Congress. But with so many members (and VIPs and dignitaries) gallivanting under the Dome and vying for media attention, how can you make your boss stand out? This year’s Staffer Guide to State of the Union 2015 has several updates to help you make this most chaotic of nights a bit smoother for everyone involved. For the Press Secretary: This is your night. Sure, your boss might be the one sitting in the seat, but you’re the one to shuttle him or her from camera to camera in Statuary Hall and get that press release back to your home-state papers posthaste.