Two for Landrieu

Posted April 20, 2007 at 6:04pm

Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs subcommittee on disaster recovery Chairwoman Mary Landrieu (D-La.) has added two new staffers to the subcommittee team.

Donny Williams, 30, joins the subcommittee as its staff director. [IMGCAP(1)]

Before assuming his new position, Williams worked as professional staff on the full committee. He also previously worked for Sen. Herb Kohl (D-Wis.) and Reps. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) and Elijah Cummings (D-Md.).

From Alliance, Ohio, Williams earned his undergraduate degree from Mount Union College, where he helped win three Division III college football national championships.

Also new to the subcommittee as professional staff is Ben Billings, 26. He previously worked as a legislative aide for Landrieu in her personal office. [IMGCAP(2)]

A dynamic staffer, Billings admitted in an e-mail that he “once drank an entire bottle of Tabasco sauce on the rocks.” As if such a addendum was necessary, Billings warns would-be Tabasco sauce drinkers that such an act is “definitely not recommended.” Billings also added that he is “determined to break the record for most raw oysters eaten in one sitting at Acme Oyster House” in his hometown of New Orleans. To each his own.

Billings earned his undergraduate degree in history from the University of Texas at Austin in 2003 and a master’s degree in international peace and security from the University of London in 2004.

Team Players. The Republican Study Committee chairman, Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas), has recently added two new staffers to his team.

Brad Watson, 27, will work as a professional staff member for the RSC.

Prior to coming aboard, Watson worked as a policy analyst for the House Republican Conference. In 2006, he worked as a policy analyst for the House Policy Committee. From 2003 to 2006, he was a legislative assistant and senior legislative assistant to Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.).

Though from Tulsa, Okla., Watson is a die-hard New York Yankees fan. He called the team “the greatest sports franchise on earth” in an e-mail.

Watson graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a degree in political science in 2003.

Working as a staff assistant for the study committee is Andy Koenig, 24. He worked as an intern for Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) since January and as a regional field staffer for the Michigan Republican Party in 2006.

To the likely dismay of at least one of his committee compadres, Koenig declared in an e-mail that he is a “reinvigorated Yankee hater.” Rather, he proudly admitted allegiance to all of Detroit’s professional sports organizations.

From Traverse City, Mich., Koenig graduated from Hillsdale College with a bachelor’s degree in history and political science in 2005.

“The additions of Brad and Andy,” Hensarling wrote in an e-mail, “will help to ensure that the RSC remains the top member services organization in the House on both the legislative and communications fronts for our members.”