Congressional Work Is Rocket Science

Posted June 29, 2007 at 5:13pm

Correction Appended

Rep. Jim Costa (D-Calif.) has hired a rocket scientist to help him in his Fresno office, one with experience in Global Positioning System launches, cell phone networks and even NASA’s International Space Station. Despite these achievements, Hill Climbers has reason to doubt Chris Rosander’s awareness of technicalities and logistics. When Rosander was once at a training session, he picked up a name badge other than his own, was reported as missing and instigated a police search for his whereabouts all as he sat blissfully unaware in the class. [IMGCAP(1)]

No matter. Costa is still excited to have him as his district director in Fresno, where Rosander, 50, currently resides with his daughter, Caterina. After putting in time as an aircraft mechanic in the National Guard and with McDonnell Douglas, Rosander worked as a legislative assistant for then-Rep. Norm Mineta (D-Calif.) and as a budget examiner with the White House Office of Management and Budget. He is a graduate of California State University at Fresno with a degree in mechanical engineering.

Who knew Pearl Jam had more than 40 CDs? This is old news for Bret Rumbeck, Costa’s new legislative and press assistant who owns every single one of them. One of Rumbeck’s favorite things to do is go to rock concerts, which is one major reason he likes D.C. [IMGCAP(2)]

He previously has worked for Rep. Dennis Cardoza (D-Calif.) and Sens. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), and graduated from California Lutheran University in 2002 with a degree in history.

While working for Schumer, Rumbeck, 27, ran into Dr. James Watson, one of the primary scientists responsible for the discovery of DNA, without realizing who Watson was. Despite this, the two had an extensive conversation about the gene that causes red hair, resulting in Watson signing a card for Rumbeck’s high school chemistry teacher.

Davis Drafts an All-American. Rep. Lincoln Davis (D-Tenn.) has hired Matt Reel as his legislative assistant. The native of Primm Springs, Tenn., graduated in 2001 from Austin Peay University with a degree in public administration and political science. While at Austin Peay, Reel was a second-team All-American football player.

Heavily involved in Tennessee politics, Matt is a member of the Tennessee Army National Guard and most recently worked on former Tennessee Rep. Harold Ford Jr.’s (D) campaign for the Senate in 2006.

As legislative assistant, Matt will assist in Davis’ involvement in the Blue Dog Coalition and with defense, homeland security, veterans, labor, trade and financial services issues.

Correction: July 5, 2007
A July 2 Hill Climbers item incorrectly reported that Bret Rumbeck had a conversation with Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) about the gene that causes red hair, resulting in Schumer signing a card for Rumbeck’s high school chemistry teacher. Rumbeck actually had that conversation with Dr. James Watson while working for Schumer, and Watson signed the card.