Congress’ Worst Bosses

Kudos for the Wash­ing­ton Times for putting this together.

One of the things that inter­est folks out in DC, espe­cially those who work, have worked and want to work on the Hill is who are the best Rep­re­sen­ta­tives and Sen­a­tors to work for.  It effects where resumes flow to and how well con­stituents gets served back home.

Obvi­ously, every staff has turnover.  Staffers come and go, leav­ing for bet­ter jobs in other offices as they get expe­ri­ence and grow out of their ini­tial jobs.  Some head to a party com­mit­tee like the DNC, RNC, or any of the other alpha­bet soups.  Some go onto law school and other grad­u­ate schools; and of course, some go onto K Street to lobby their for­mer bosses and co-workers.

Any­thing in the high teens to mid-twenties would prob­a­bly be seen as “nor­mal” for Capi­tol Hill offices.  Any­thing higher would prob­a­bly be seen as incred­i­bly abnor­mal and a state­ment about the rep­re­sen­ta­tive or senator’s peo­ple skills and or sanity.

At the top of the list, to pretty much no one’s sur­prise, is Texas Demo­c­rat Sheila Jack­son Lee.

Lee is patho­log­i­cally insane to put it mildly.  She is well known for her tem­per tantrums, break­ing down staffers psy­cho­log­i­cally to the point of tears, and even throw­ing things at them (and now being sued because of the med­ical dam­age inflicted by it).

The Times puts it this way:

Each year, an aver­age of half of Mrs. Jack­son Lee’s staff quits, and one year, all but six of 23 staffers left.

Mona Floyd, who served as the congresswoman’s leg­isla­tive direc­tor, has monoc­u­lar vision and has a law­suit pend­ing against Mrs. Jack­son Lee, who was voted the “mean­est mem­ber” of the House in a bipar­ti­san sur­vey of Hill staffers by Wash­ing­ton­ian mag­a­zine last year. Ms. Floyd said she was told by the rep­re­sen­ta­tive, “I don’t care any­thing about your disability.”

Other inci­dents, includ­ing a series of racially charged dia­tribes, were doc­u­mented by the Washington-based Daily Caller web­site after for­mer aides were so taken aback by her behav­ior that they broke an unspo­ken Capi­tol Hill rule not to speak ill of for­mer bosses.

The worst Repub­li­can boss?  Also to the shock of no one on the Hill, Minnesota’s Michelle Bachmann.

Rep. Michele Bach­mann, the Min­nesota Repub­li­can who mounted a bid for the pres­i­dency, had an aver­age annual staff turnover rate of 46 per­cent over four years. From 2007 to 2008, 10 of 15 staffers left, even though none of them had an alter­nate job lined up on the Hill.

To be sure, many of Mrs. Bach­mann’s for­mer cam­paign staffers, who are pro­tected by fewer rules sep­a­rat­ing the per­sonal from the pro­fes­sional than the taxpayer-funded con­gres­sional office work­ers, are not happy.

Peter Wal­dron said Mrs. Bach­mann’s cam­paign has refused to pay him and other staffers after they spoke with law enforce­ment about a stolen list of vot­ers, even though the cam­paign is flush with money.

It’s prob­a­bly not a coin­ci­dence that all the peo­ple who have not been paid are the very peo­ple who have either given depo­si­tions, given affi­davits or have been inter­viewed exten­sively by the police,” he told The Hill newspaper.

Here’s the list of the Top Ten Worst Bosses in Con­gress from 2006 through 2011 and their aver­age turnover in staff from one year to another. It does not include num­bers for fresh­men Con­gress­men and Sen­a­tors who were elected in Novem­ber 2010.

Long-time read­ers of this blog won’t be shocked to see a famil­iar name at No. 9.

Congress' Worst Bosses

Other aver­age turnover rates from 2006 to 2011 for the Wis­con­sin del­e­ga­tion include:

26 Per­cent — Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner.

23 Per­cent — Rep. Paul Ryan  (This num­ber is actu­ally skewed by a 40 per­cent turnover in 2010–2011.  At the time, a num­ber of his office staff moved over to the House Bud­get Com­mit­tee full-time.)

20 Per­cent — For­mer Sen. Herb Kohl.

18 Per­cent — Rep. Gwen Moore.

17 Per­cent — Rep. (now Sen.) Tammy Baldwin.

17 Per­cent — For­mer Rep. Dave Obey.

17 Per­cent — Rep. Ron Kind.

16 Per­cent — For­mer Sen. Russ Feingold.

16 Per­cent — Rep. Tom Petri.

Be Socia­ble, Share!