The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

Election 2012

November 20, 2012

Latinos eye Cabinet slots


He might otherwise have stayed, people with information said, but Breuer’s role in the “Fast and Furious” gun-tracking controversy would probably prevent him from winning Senate confirmation for a more senior job — Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, last year called for his resignation.

Another expected departure — sooner rather than later, we hear — is Ignacia Moreno, the assistant attorney general for environmental and natural resources.

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Rep. David Curson’s tenure in Washington isn’t much longer than the life span of an average housefly, but that’s not stopping him from acting as though he’s in it for the long haul — and that includes cleaning house and hiring his own staff.

Curson, the Michigan Democrat who is filling the end of the term for Thad McCotter, has less than six weeks in office. He opted not to run for a full term, and he’ll be heading back to Michigan when Republican Kerry Bentivolio is sworn in in January.

You wouldn’t know Curson was such a short-timer. He replaced all of McCotter’s staff with his own people, even down to the constituent service folks — the ones who help with missing Social Security checks and passport requests and the like — back in the district offices, according to the sharp-eyed folks at LegiStorm.

He’s brought on Washington veteran Pat McCarty, a former Senate staffer and recently the head of government relations for brokerage firm Icap, to be his blink-and-you-might-miss-him chief of staff.

Such a changing of the guard isn’t unusual, says Brad Fitch, president of the Congressional Management Foundation. Since the 1990s, any lawmaker of a different party typically replaces the entire staff, he notes. “It’s traditional in today’s day and age,” he says.

But a six-week stint sure isn’t the norm. The Curson staff — nine at the last count — will likely be sent packing in January when the new GOP boss settles in.

Better not get too comfortable ...

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Election 2012
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