staffers

Former House Staffers Indicted Over Nude Image Distribution
Charges involve private images of U.S. Virgin Islands delegate circulated last year

U.S. Virgin Islands Del. Stacey Plaskett said she was grateful to her constituents for their support during her family’s ordeal. (Courtesy Plaskett’s congressional website)

Two former staffers of U.S. Virgin Islands Del. Stacey Plaskett were indicted Thursday following an investigation into the circulation of nude photos and videos of the Democrat and her husband that one of the staffers found on her iPhone, the U.S. attorney’s office for the District of Columbia said in a statement.

Juan McCullum, 35, a legislative assistant for Plaskett in 2015 and 2016, was indicted by a grand jury on two counts of cyberstalking for allegedly creating accounts on Hotmail and Facebook using a made-up name to distribute and post the photos and video in July 2016, the statement read.

Climate Change Activists Flood Capitol to Lobby Lawmakers
Merkley, Whitehouse and Fitzpatrick address concerned parents

Children join in as organizers set up a play area on the Upper Senate Lawn Thursday as part of the fourth annual “play in” demonstration on the Hill organized by Moms Clean Air Force. (Griffin Connolly/CQ Roll Call)

Climate change activists from all 50 states met with more than 150 lawmakers and staffers on Capitol Hill on Thursday, armed with personal anecdotes and data booklets to persuade members to take action on environmental issues such as air pollution and global warming.

The meetings were part of the fourth annual “play in” demonstration, organized by the anti-pollution advocacy group Moms Clean Air Force, which brought parents and their children to the Hill.

Congress Still Grappling With Cybersecurity Concerns
Experts say networks on Capitol Hill lag in basic protections

Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden, seen here at a 2015 #Hack4Congress event at Google’s offices in Washington, is one of several lawmakers who have pushed for improved security for congressional computer networks. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Lawmakers and their staffs have been aware for years that their internet communications could be prime targets for both foreign and domestic spies.

But after last year’s hacking of the Democratic National Committee by Russian operatives, many are reassessing security protocols that once seemed sufficient — even overbearing — and finding them lacking.

Rare Bipartisan Internship Exists for North Carolina HBCU Students
Alma Adams and Mark Walker run a paid summer internship program

From left: North Carolina Rep. Alma Adams, Nasya Blackwell, Dariana Reid and North Carolina Rep. Mark Walker. (Courtesy Adams’ office)

Twenty-year-old political science majors Dariana Reid, a rising senior at Johnson C. Smith University, and Nasya Blackwell, a rising junior at North Carolina A&T State University, are interning in both a Democratic and a Republican office on the Hill this summer.

They are interns in the Historically Black Colleges and Universities Internship Program, which was established last year. The universities are located in the districts of two North Carolina lawmakers, Democrat Alma Adams and Republican Mark Walker, who teamed up to create the experience.

Staffer to Spend Recess Playing Tennis for Team USA
Natasha Dabrowski chases gold at the Maccabiah Games in Israel

Natasha Dabrowski, right, and her mother Chris Dabrowski, a former professional tennis player. (Courtesy Natasha Dabrowski)

The concept of representing the United States is nothing new for Capitol Hill staffers, but few get to do it with a tennis racket.

Natasha Dabrowski, communications director for the New Democrat Coalition, is off to Israel to represent the United States in the 20th World Maccabiah Games, an international multisport event for Jewish athletes. She is one of six Jewish female tennis players on Team USA.

Ex-Staffer and Lobbyist Took Pre-Election Leap to Antiques
Daphna Peled recently opened Pillar & Post in Georgetown

Daphna Peled recently opened Pillar & Post in Georgetown. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

A few miles from the Capitol, in what feels like a getaway from political turmoil, lies a piece of vintage British culture in Washington.

Former Capitol Hill staffer turned lobbyist Daphna Peled left her political career to start Pillar & Post, an antique shop in Georgetown that sells British furniture and decor such as tea sets, pillows and artwork.

Natives on the Hill Aims to Be an Antidote to Homesickness
Three staffers launch new group for fellow Native Americans

Natives on the Hill co-founders, from left, Renée Gasper, Catelin Aiwohi and Kim Moxley. (Courtesy Sen. Tom Udall’s office)

A new staff association hopes to help Native Americans feel at home in D.C.

“A lot of us are away from home, and so there’s a community element to it. It’s harder to feel Indian sometimes in D.C. because you’re disconnected from ceremonies, cultural events,” said Kim Moxley, co-founder of Natives on the Hill. “It’s like a ‘battling homesickness’ mechanism.”

Survey: Optimism Grows Among Democratic Staffers
Aides are more confident minority party can block GOP agenda

The top three Democrats in the Senate, from left, Minority Whip Richard J. Durbin, Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer and Assistant Democratic Leader Patty Murray leave a policy luncheon in the Capitol on April 25. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Republican congressional staffers remain hopeful that they’ll enact significant legislation in 2017, but their Democratic counterparts are gaining confidence that they can block the GOP agenda, according to the June Capitol Insiders Survey of Hill aides.

Two-thirds of the Republican respondents expected it’s at least somewhat likely they’ll enact legislation to repeal and replace the 2010 health care law. But only one in five of the Democrats said the same.

Another Congressional Baseball Event for D.C. Kids
Horton’s Kids raises funds for children in at-risk neighborhood

The batting cages are open for Home Runs for Horton’s Kids. (Courtesy Horton’s Kids)

Members of Congress are coming together at Nationals Park again, this time to support the city they work in.

The ninth annual Home Runs for Horton’s Kids to raise money for the nonprofit founded by a onetime Capitol Hill staffer is Wednesday. Horton’s Kids helps children in grades K-12 living in Washington’s most at-risk neighborhoods through educational and other social programs.

Opinion: Two Shootings in Less Than Seven Years Is Two Too Many
A lesson from Giffords, Scalise and Trump: tone it down

Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords hugs President Barack Obama at his 2012 State of the Union address as then-Rep. Jeff Flake looks on. (Bill Clark / CQ Roll Call file photo)

I’ll never forget the moment when my sense of professionalism as a journalist failed me most.

It was Jan. 25, 2012. I had raced to the corridor behind the back door of the House chamber to catch a glimpse of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona. A year had passed since a deranged lunatic fired a bullet into her brain and killed six others in a Tucson parking lot, and Giffords had just resigned her House seat.