A funny thing happened on the way to the attic for Representative-elect Steve Daines (R-MT). There’s the Garth Brooks song, “sometimes I thank God for unanswered prayers.” And, of course, as the Bible says, “He who comes first will come last.” Both phrases might apply for Daines after the House office lottery last week.
As Fox News noted, Daines drew last in the US House office lottery, meaning that it looked like he would be the last person to select an office inside the US Capitol’s sprawling complex. As it turns out, even though he drew last place, he may get a better office after all. Daines’ Chief of Staff Jason Thielman sent me this email update Friday night:
Due to an outstanding incumbent v.s. incumbent election in LA, we will actually end up with the office of the loser of that race, which wont’ be decided until Dec. 8th. So we actually end up with a better office than if we had drawn a different number. I left the office lottery thinking we would have the worst location when in fact will end up with much better office.
Still upset that you didn’t win the Powerball lottery the other day? Well, another Montanan also lost the lottery today. Freshman Rep.-elect Steve Daines (R-MT) was number 70, the last to draw, according to his spokesman and transition manager Zach Lahn. This means Daines gets to be the last newly elected member of the US House to select an office inside the US Capitol’s sprawling complex. It also means he’s likely to get a shack somewhere high up and far away from the House floor, similar t outgoing Montana Congressman Denny Rehberg.
Chad Pergram with Fox News first noted the news via Twitter this morning.
Maybe it’s only fitting that a Congressman from the State of Montana, representing one of the largest House districts in the country, should have his office located somewhere out in the wilderness. It’s also symbolic of the uphill battle constantly facing a US House Representative from Montana. You cover the same ground, the same issues, and the same challenges as both US Senators, and you do it all with nearly a third of the staff as the Senators and a much smaller budget. (By the way, that whole large staff thing is also the reason you will see so many cut and pasted press releases pretending to be news across so many news outlets in Montana)
Monday morning quarterback the 2012 elections in Montana all you want, but one thing is clear- in the past few years there has been no harder worker in Montana politics than Congressman Denny Rehberg.
Bigger staff, bigger pay, and a nicer office? I guess as LBJ once said on the difference between the House and the Senate: it’s “chicken salad versus chicken s*#t.”