Matsui Hires Some New Muscle

Posted July 20, 2007 at 4:26pm

When Sam Stefanki was a student at Stanford University, he was responsible for making sure people knew just how amazing Stanford athletics were, serving as the the radio voice of Cardinal baseball and writing sports commentary for Web sites such as TheBootleg.com. [IMGCAP(1)]

As the new legislative assistant for Rep. Doris Matsui (D-Calif.), Stefanki has some different responsibilities. He is now responsible for energy, environment, health care and aviation.

Originally from Sacramento, Calif., Stefanki, 26, formerly served as Matsui’s staff assistant and legislative correspondent.

Another up-and-comer in Matsui’s office who has experienced a change of focus is Jonathan Asher, her new legislative correspondent. Responsible for mail management as well as systems administration, Asher, 24, was a raft guide and ski instructor before he came to Capitol Hill. Prior to becoming legislative correspondent for Matsui, he worked as her staff assistant. He also previously served as an intern for Rep. John Barrow (D-Ga). A part-time tutor with Horton’s Kids, an organization that provides mentoring for children in Anacostia, Asher has a bachelor’s degree in political science and minor in geography from the University of Colorado at Boulder. He is from Evergreen, Colo. [IMGCAP(2)]

Matthew Spencer, 24, is another athlete-come-Hill Climber. Having played varsity tennis for the four years, he is now a staff assistant for Matsui and responsible for front-office management and intern coordination. Spencer, who attended Principa College in Elsah, Ill., claims his birthday is Republican presidential contender Rudy Giuliani’s favorite day of the year. From Camden, Maine, he previously interned for home-state Rep. Tom Allen (D). He has an interesting tale to tell: When having a Mighty Mango Naked Juice for breakfast one morning on the Hill, Spencer was shaking it, shaking it — all over himself. “Make sure those caps are on tight before you follow the ‘shake well’ directions!” he advised.

Lauren Smith was a professional Latin dancer before she became Matsui’s communications director. She also spent time as press secretary for Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas) and worked on Rep. Baron Hill’s (D-Ind.) successful 2006 campaign. She is now responsible for overseeing daily and long-term communications strategy and planning in Matsui’s office. Smith, 28, received a bachelor’s in communications and a minor in political science from California State University at Fullerton.

Alexis Marks, 26, is now rules associate and senior legislative assistant for Rep. Matsui. She is responsible for homeland security, judiciary work and the humanities, among other things. She was once a staff assistant for Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) and a campaign staffer for Chellie Pingree for U.S. Senate, among other jobs. And she has been a tutor for Horton’s kids for two and a half years. Marks earned a degree in history from the University of California at Los Angeles in 2002 and is originally from Los Angeles.

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