A blog on progressive news and politics on both the California and Nevada sides of Lake Tahoe which aims at helping to elect Democrats and Turn Tahoe Blue. The blog is written from Germany by a former German exchange student at George Whittell High School in Zephyr Cove, Nevada.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

How Shelley Berkley Got Her Appropriations Committee Seat

God may work in mysterious ways. Congress not so much. As Josephine Hearn of The Politico puts it in her article: "How to Advance in Congress: Networking. Luck. And Money Doesn't Hurt."

The article chronicles nine Representatives and how they got (or lost) prescious committee assignment. One of the the lucky was Nevada Congresswoman Shelley Berkley:

Friends in the Highest Places: Shelley Berkley

The Nevada Democrat was another member hankering for a Ways and Means seat. And like Pascrell, she'd been waiting a long time. "I expressed interest a year before I was elected in 1997," she said.

Berkley voiced her preference to Rep. Dick Gephardt (D-Mo.), then the House minority leader, who assured her she would get it. But when Gephardt retired and was succeeded by Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Berkley was back at square one when she made clear she would not honor Gephardt's promises.

Repeatedly, Berkley reiterated her interest, but she watched as openings went to other members, including three others who came to Congress the same year she did.

This time, though, she had a friend in the highest of places. Fellow Nevadan Harry Reid, the new Senate majority leader, made a pivotal call to Pelosi on Berkley's behalf

Berkley got the seat. Soon after, she held a breakfast for Reid at her Capitol Hill home, at one point choking up when she noted that it took her "eight years and a phone call" to get on the panel.

"I felt like it was time," Berkley said.

As among the lucky few were a significant number of freshmen, who in some instances even got sub-committee chairmanships, one is left to ponder Jill Derby's fate would she have been elected. Unfortunately, the people in the second district chose a man who will wield little influence in the minority over a woman who could have been a high stakes power broker for her constituents in DC.

You can read the entire article at The Politico.

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home