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Melanie Zanona


Melanie joined Roll Call in May 2010 and currently writes the paper’s Hill Climbers column. In addition to covering Congressional staffers, she also contributes book and museum reviews to the features section. Melanie grew up in Chicago and graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where she wrote for the school newspaper. In November 2009, she received the William F. Buckley Award for excellence in investigative campus journalism.

Zanona no longer works at Roll Call.

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Stories by Melanie Zanona:

The Planned Parenthood Controversy Mirrored in 'Scandal'

Nov. 20, 2015

The controversy over Planned Parenthood may have cooled down in Congress, but that didn’t stop the issue from heating up Thursday night on ABC’s hit show “Scandal.”

FDA May Lack Money to Carry Out Hiring Envisioned in ‘Cures’ Bill

June 19, 2015

The Food and Drug Administration’s ability to hire senior staff would be enhanced under a bipartisan House package to speed new medical cures, but the cash-strapped agency still may not have enough resources to pay higher salaries and support the hiring permitted under the measure.

MTV Gives Props to Interior Department's Instagram (Video)

Aug. 8, 2014

MTV admirably took a break from showcasing teen moms and teen wolves to advertise the Instagram account belonging to the U.S. Interior Department. The only problem? The department was completely in the dark about the commercial, until HOH tipped them off.

Arizona: New Barber Ad Criticizes Kelly On National Sales Tax

May 19, 2012

Update | 2:53 p.m.Democrat Ron Barber’s campaign put a new television ad on the air that criticizes his opponent, veteran Jesse Kelly (R), for supporting a national sales tax.

The Ultimate BiParty

March 22, 2012

Former Republican Senate Majority Leaders Bob Dole (Kan.) and Howard Baker (Tenn.) were honored Wednesday night in a funny and at times touching event thrown by the Bipartisan Policy Center.

Kentucky: New Lines Strengthen Ben Chandler

Feb. 10, 2012

At long last, Kentucky’s Congressional delegation can break out the bourbon.

Members Launch Personal Apps

May 16, 2011

Have an urge to write your Member of Congress during your commute? Or maybe even make a campaign donation? There’s an app for that — but only for a handful of lawmakers.

Rubio Silence: Waiting for His Maiden Speech

May 11, 2011

Among the 13 Senators sworn in last January, Sen. Marco Rubio is the only one who has yet to speak on the floor.

Breaking From the Political Science Major Mold

April 22, 2011

For the past year, I’ve written Roll Call’s Hill Climbers column, which profiles Congressional staff members on the Hill. And after 55 articles, it’s safe to say that I’ve gotten to know the “cookie-cutter Hill staffer” very well.

Hill Climbers: Hill Staffer Just Couldn’t Stay Away

April 15, 2011

Chris Fitzgerald, communications director for Rep. Jared Polis, recently returned to Capitol Hill after a two-year stint in the private sector at a public affairs firm.

Hill Climbers: Hill Homecoming for Financial Issues Expert

April 12, 2011

Dina Ellis Rochkind, recently hired as senior financial counsel, is actually a seasoned Hill veteran with experience in financial services.

Heard on the Hill: Tag, Weiner’s It

April 11, 2011

Rep. Anthony Weiner has mastered the art of Twitpics, hashtags and, most recently, tweeting about himself in the third person.

Heard on the Hill: Brady’s Office Gets Snowed

April 8, 2011

Looks like April Fools’ Day came a week late at the Washington City Paper, but one Congressman’s staff didn’t get the memo.

Hill Climbers: Aide’s Job Focus Is Outside D.C.

April 8, 2011

Crystal Feldman was recently hired as press secretary for the House Natural Resources Committee.

Giffords Plans to Attend Space Shuttle Launch

April 8, 2011

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords is expected to attend the April 29 launch of space shuttle Endeavor, which will be commanded by her husband Capt. Mark Kelly.

Shutdown? Drink Up

April 8, 2011

Federal employees might be feeling down on themselves for being deemed “non-essential,” but there’s at least one institution that recognizes the value of their patronage: The service industry.

Heard on the Hill: You Know You’re in D.C. When ...

April 6, 2011

Sen. Scott Brown made some D.C. tourists’ day on Wednesday.

Heard on the Hill: Ask and Ye Shall Receive

April 5, 2011

Tamara Tunie is a pretty effective lobbyist. Of course, it helps that she’s a famous actress promoting a cause that’s hard to argue with.

Hill Climbers: Army Put Staffer on the Path to Public Service

April 5, 2011

Active-duty experience helped Legislative Director Erik Elam adapt to the rank-and-file order of Capitol Hill, where he works for Rep. Don Young.

Hill Climbers: Staffer Loves Working for Alaska

April 1, 2011

Jeremy Price, legislative assistant to Sen. Lisa Murkowski, may have moved to Washington, D.C., but that doesn’t mean he has abandoned his roots in the Last Frontier State.

Hill Talk: Bloody Assassination Flag at Lincoln’s Cottage

March 30, 2011

The bloody flag from the night of President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination at Ford’s Theatre will be on display at the Robert H. Smith Visitor Education Center at President Lincoln’s Cottage.

Hill Climbers: Ties That Bind in Freshman Keating’s Office

March 29, 2011

Rep. Bill Keating's six-person staff began working around the clock to kick-start the Massachusetts Democrat’s office since they started in January.

Heard on the Hill: He Knows How to Catch a Thief

March 29, 2011

Members of Congress may be exempt from certain routine parking tickets in Washington, but that doesn’t make them immune to some of the other ills of car ownership, like theft.

Hill Climbers: Staffers Adjust to D.C. Together

March 25, 2011

Communications aide Leanne Goodman and Legislative Correspondent Oscar Urteaga recently began working in the office of Rep. Buck McKeon.

Hill Climbers: GOP Majority Is Draw for Staffers

March 18, 2011

Cielo Villasenor, DJ Jordan, Lori Salley, Wendy Knox and Andy Karellas have recently joined the Republican staff for the House Small Business Committee.

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