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Who's Who.

Who are the most difficult bosses on the Hill? Among senators, Vincent Morris of George magazine says the most likely to reward subordinates with "tantrums, tongue lashings, and flying objects" are Barbara Mikulski, Robert Torricelli, and Anita Hill's good friend Arlen Specter. In the House, the unpleasant bosses include Mark Sanford, who asks his aides to wash his sheets, Sheila Jackson Lee, who "had an intern positioned at her side all day so he'd be ready to open her Sweet 'n Low packets for her," and John Conyers, whose staff's dudes include "babysitting and changing soiled diapers" Rick Hill threw a letter opener at an aide. Mikulski throws telephones and "any other handy object."

George W. Bush claims he did not use connections to get into the Air Guard and thus escape the Vietnam draft. Perhaps not. But the Texas Air Guard at that time was not exactly a home for the unconnected. Among its members were Lloyd Bensten III, Senator John Tower's son, and, according to The Washington Post, "at least seven members of the Dallas Cowboys"

Tom Daschle, the Senate Democratic Leader, recently described his Republican counterpart, Trent Lott, as a "control freak" Obviously reluctant to violate senatorial rules of courtesy, Daschle tried to explain: "You know I love him, but I think he wants control. It's not meant to be derogatory. I mean it's just his nature. I say it in a light-hearted way. I don't mean he's a freak. I'm just saying he's a control nut."

What public official is more highly paid that Bill Clinton? It's not your first guess or even your hundredth. Lee Baca, the Los Angeles County sheriff, makes $207,000 per year. He is also eligible for a pension of $142,000 which he is graciously declining to collect.

Mrs. Jeb Bush, the wife of Florida's governor, was recently caught trying to slip $19,000 worth of Parisian clothes and jewelry by Customs officials, saying they were only worth $500. Is this a trait of Bush women? Perhaps not but Who's Who aficionados will recall that President George Bush's dear friend Jennifer Fitzgerald was caught in a similar transgression back when she was working at the State Department.

If you doubt the power of congressional aides, consider the identity of the person The Wall Street Journal's David Rogers found to be responsible for holding up aid to Macedonia when that country was being flooded with Kosovar refugees. It was Robin, Cleveland, Hitch McConnell's subcommittee clerk who is, according to Rogers, "well known for her aggressive use of power within the Appropriations Committee. Some Macedonian officials came to believe she was a senator herself and not just an aide."

One way these congressional staffers use their power is to cadge free travel from organizations with a keen interest in pending legislation. This January five aides--they worked for Bud Shuster, Slade Gorton, and Dick Armey--were flown to Hawaii as guests of the American Association of Airport Executives. They lodged at the $300 per night Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel where, in the words of CQ Weekly, "they could take a walk on one of the world's most beautiful beaches, play a round on an 18-hole course designed by Arnold Palmer, or just put on their complimentary Japanese robes and rest up."

Of course, senators and congressmen also take trips courtesy of private interests. When their travel money is combined with their staff's, CQ says the champions are Rep. Bill Archer, the chairman of Ways and Means, who got $157,878 worth of travel, Senator William Roth, Finance Chairman, who got $134,295, Rep. Thomas Bliley, the Commerce Chairman at $133,505, and Rep. Bob Smith, Agriculture chairman at $119,885.

Those figures cover the period from January 1,1998 through May 14, 1999. During that same period the champion staff traveler was Leo Giacometto, who works for Conrad Burns, who chairs the Senate Commerce Telecommunications Subcommittee. His destinations included such hotbeds of legislative activity as Hilton Head Island, S.C.; Pebble Beach, Calif.; and Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Among those who paid for the trips were such disinterested parties as AT&T, MCI, SBC, and US West. A nice trip to Glacier National Park was paid for by Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad. Another to San Diego was financed by Dow Stereo and Video. Giacometto's Senate salary is $122,000.

Maj. Gen. David R. Hale, the U.S. Army's answer to Bill Clinton, has been accused of affairs with four women who were wives of his aides. All were divorced after meeting Hale, according to Rowan Scarborough of The Washington Times, who reports that Hale recently married one of the four, Melina Maka in a ceremony held in Southhampton, Long Island.

Al Gore is, of course, far behind in the polls. But what if the case that Alexandra Starr makes for Al Gore in this issue prevails and he becomes president? Who will be in his cabinet? The "Washington Whispers" column in U.S. News and World Report has come up with these names from the few Gore insiders who were willing to speculate: Richard Holbrooke and George Mitchell for State; Sam Nunn or Rep. Norm Dicks at Defense; Eric Holder or Detroit Mayor Dennis Archer for Justice; Elaine Kamarck at Health and Human Services; and Washington's governor Gary Locke at Interior, with Bill Richardson, George Tenet, and Larry Summers expected to remain in their present posts at Energy, the CIA, and the Treasury.
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Publication:Washington Monthly
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 1, 1999
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