Mark Takano

Democratic Staffers Learn Digital Strategies From Social Media Gurus
Social media star Sen. Cory Booker kicks off first annual Digital Day on the Hill

New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker kicks off the Democrats’ Digital Day on the Hill on Thursday. (Courtesy Democratic Digital Communications Staff Association)

Democratic staffers heard from social media gurus over the House recess last week about creating strategies to amplify their party’s digital efforts.

Many offices don’t have a digital director, especially minority party staff on committees that don’t have the resources to fund a position. Their digital efforts fall to other staffers, often the press secretary or communications director.

LGBTQ Women Balance Opportunity, Possible Extinction in Congress
Close calls, impossible races, and evolving bench contribute to low numbers

If Arizona Rep. Kyrsten Sinema vacates her 9th District seat to run for Senate, there could be no LGBTQ women in the House in the next Congress. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

It’s been almost 20 years since Tammy Baldwin’s historic election, yet just one woman has followed her through the LGBTQ glass ceiling. And if both women lose competitive races in 2018, the next Congress could be without any LGBTQ women.

While the lack of LGBTQ women in Congress is inextricably linked to the dearth of women on Capitol Hill, the story of lesbian candidates includes some close calls, quixotic races, and a movement still evolving to position more qualified LGBTQ women to run for higher office.

Far-Right Protesters in Virginia Included ‘Very Fine’ People, Trump Says
Trump says ‘both sides’ to blame for Charlottesville unrest

President Donald Trump delivers remarks following a meeting on infrastructure at Trump Tower on Tuesday. He appeared to defend some of the white supremacist groups who help spawn deadly violence Saturday in Virginia. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump on Tuesday defended some of the neo-Nazis and white supremacists who were part of the deadly Charlottesville, Virginia, protests last weekend, saying there were “very fine people” on both sides of the racially charged unrest.

A defiant Trump, just a day after slamming the pro-white groups who organized the two-day protests of the planned removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee, appeared to give some of their members cover. “There is blame on both sides,” he told reporters during what amounted to a brief impromptu press conference at Trump Tower in New York.

DCCC Announces 2018 Leadership Team
Expanded team includes returning members and some fresh faces

Washington Rep. Denny Heck will return as DCCC recruitment chairman for the 2018 cycle. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Ben Ray Luján announced his leadership team for the 2018 cycle on Thursday.

The 20-person team, shared first with Roll Call, is an expanded group from previous cycles. 

California Democrat Gives Yelp Good Reviews
Mark Takano and the platform’s director encourage other members to join

California Rep. Mark Takano has found an innovative way to connect with constituents. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

You go to a great sushi place and you want the whole world to know how fantastic its spicy tuna roll is? You post it on Yelp.

If a constituent of one California Democrat has a delightful time touring the Capitol through his office, they can post that on Yelp, too.

Staffer Guide: Attitude Matters
Yuri Beckelman recommends being easy to work with

Yuri Beckelman is Rep. Mark Takano's legislative director and deputy chief of staff. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Never walking away from an opportunity has paid off for Yuri Beckelman, California Democratic Rep. Mark Takano’s legislative director and deputy chief of staff.

“The best career decision was moving down here and taking an internship,” Beckelman, 34, said. “I didn’t really know what I was doing. There’s a disconnect [between] California and D.C. When my high school visited ‘the Capitol,’ we went to Sacramento.”

House Democrats Still Considering Vice Ranking Member Posts
Caucus discussed the matter Wednesday but deferred a vote

Illinois Rep. Cheri Bustos said she believes the Democratic caucus will approve the addition of vice ranking members on committees. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call file photo)

House Democrats on Wednesday continued a discussion about adding vice ranking members to committees to give more members an opportunity to serve in leadership roles but deferred a vote on the matter until a later meeting. 

The Democratic caucus will meet again, as early as Thursday, to decide whether to approve the vice ranking member posts as an amendment to the caucus rules, members said.

Word on the Hill: The Mystery of Mulvaney’s Missing Desk
A senator hits the big 5-0, and giving blood, sweat, and tears … and blood

Rep. Mick Mulvaney, left, thought fellow South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdy, right, might have hidden his desk. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Mick Mulvaney, R-S.C., thought he might have been punked by one of his colleagues after his desk went missing while his office was being moved.

Mulvaney was moving offices as part of the relocating that takes place with a new Congress, but realized his desk wasn’t where it was supposed to be. He said members were told they didn’t have to pack the contents of their desks, so all of his stuff is missing, too.

Word on the Hill: Harry Reid Gets His Portrait
Home-brewed beer and fond farewells

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, right, shown here with his successor Sen. Charles E. Schumer, will forever be a part of the Senate. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Retiring Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid will be a part of the Capitol even after retirement.

Reid’s portrait will be unveiled at a ceremony at 3 p.m. today in the Kennedy Caucus Room in the Russell Senate Office Building. Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and incoming Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer are expected to attend.