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Bono’s Bonanza

California Rep. Mary Bono (R) has snagged Cindy Hartley to serve as her communications director. She fills the shoes of departed spinner Rusty Payne, who now works as a public affairs specialist for the Drug Enforcement Administration.

A veteran of the broadcast news business, Hartley comes to the office after stints as news manager for KSL news in Salt Lake City and as press supervisor for the Salt Lake City Olympic Winter Games last year.

No stranger to Hill politics, Hartley has also worked for Rep. Chris Cannon (R-Utah) and on a variety of Congressional campaigns.

Legal Eagles. Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) bids adieu to a longtime Judiciary Committee aide and welcomes her replacement.

After seven years as the senior Senator from Massachusetts’ Judiciary chief counsel, Melody Barnes has joined The Raben Group as principal.

Barnes, who earlier served as director of legislative affairs at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and as assistant counsel to the House Judiciary subcommittee on civil and constitutional rights, has also worked for the New York law firm Shearman & Sterling.

In turn, James Flug returns to Kennedy’s staff after a nearly 30-year absence to take over from Barnes.

The former nonprofit director and attorney first arrived in Kennedy’s office in 1967 as legislative assistant and chief counsel to the Senator, a post he held until his departure in 1973.

Stupak’s Spectaculars. There’s a flurry of activity in the office of Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.).

After more than three years as senior legislative assistant and counsel, Daphna Peled becomes legislative director and counsel but will continue to advise the Wolverine State Congressman on telecommunications, judiciary, tax, trade and other issues. She replaces Lynne Jensen, who has moved over to the Washington, D.C., office of Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm (D).

Peled, who earned her 1992 bachelor’s from Johns Hopkins University and a 1995 law degree from Georgetown University, has also practiced law as an assistant public defender in Baltimore and as an associate in the law office of O’Malley, Miles, Nylen and Gilmore in Prince George’s County, Md.

One-time environmental and land-use attorney Leslie Thomsen takes over as press secretary/counsel. Thomsen, who spent the past two years advising Stupak on natural resources and energy policy, steps in for Dave Saucedo, who is returning to private practice in Milwaukee.

A graduate of the University of Wisconsin, Thomsen has also worked as a writer and editor for Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance and the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee and later as a copywriter for WTMJ-TV. Thomsen, who went on to earn her law degree from the Hastings College of Law in San Francisco, hails from Menominee, Mich.

New hire Alison Roland serves as executive assistant/scheduler. She previously served as deputy press secretary for then-Rep. Karen Thurman (D-Fla.) and as scheduler for the Thurman campaign.

The 24-year-old from Dunnellon, Fla., earned her bachelor’s in English literature and political science from Florida State University in 2001.

After serving as an aide for the Democratic Policy Committee under Rep. Richard Gephardt (Mo.), during which time he served as policy adviser and as the assistant to the executive director of the committee, Geoff Werth has joined Stupak’s office as senior legislative assistant.

The 33-year-old graduate of the University of Kansas hails from Kansas City, Kan.

Staff Assistant Chris Bouma has been promoted to legislative assistant in charge of natural resources and environmental issues, among others. The Kalamazoo, Mich., native earned a bachelor’s in finance from Michigan State University in 1999, then worked as a bank analyst before arriving in Stupak’s office in 2002.

Anne Brewster, who previously served as a supervisor for the Thomas Jefferson Community Center and as the director of member services for RailAmerica Inc., is the office’s new staff assistant.

Hailing from Cheboygan, Mich., the 24-year-old Brewster holds a 2001 bachelor’s in parks, recreation and tourism resources from Michigan State University.

Finally, legislative assistant Lori Mrowka has added transportation and veterans issues to her current portfolio, which includes defense and foreign affairs matters.

Mrowka, 26, received her bachelor’s from the University of Notre Dame in 1998. The former AmeriCorps volunteer has also worked as an aide to Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-N.Y.) and as chief of staff to Jamestown, N.Y., Mayor Samuel Teresi (D). Mrowka is from Dunkirk, N.Y.

Coleman’s Catch. Minnesota’s newest Senator recently acquired former public affairs reporter and television producer Tom Steward, who becomes communications director for Norm Coleman (R).

During the course of his career, the Peabody award-winning Steward has covered subjects ranging from the French Foreign Legion to the fall of the Berlin Wall. In 1997, while working on a documentary, Steward captured the first recorded footage of the Sumatran tiger and rhino in the wild.

Steward, who got his start in journalism working for both Minnesota and National Public Radio, later spent several years at a variety of television stations, including WGBH-TV in Boston. More recently, Steward co-founded a faith-based communications company, Honest to God! Media.

The 50-year-old Steward also helped found the Holy Family Catholic High School in Victoria, Minn.

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