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RSC Urges Job Applicants to Take Conservative Surveys

The House Republican Study Committee is asking people who want to work for a member of the conservative group next Congress to fill out ideological surveys on the websites of two conservative organizations.

“Once we receive your résumé, it will be passed along in a binder to each new Member (and to any existing RSC Member requesting to see résumés) for consideration,” reads an e-mail Tuesday from RSC staff, obtained by Roll Call. “We also strongly encourage you to submit your résumé and complete the ideological questionnaires at the following two websites, as we will be checking these questionnaires as well.”

The links to questionnaires on the websites of the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, and Leadership Institute’s site, are pasted into the RSC e-mail. The RSC claims more than 115 House Republicans as its membership.

Two GOP sources familiar with the e-mail said the group uses the questionnaires to learn more about job candidates and that the outside entities are not vetting Congressional staff.

“Those other groups are just additional resources for folks looking for potential job applicants,” one GOP source said.

The questionnaire on the Heritage Foundation website asks applicants questions about their views on foreign, economic and social policy.

Applicants are then asked to “rate” their level of agreement with individuals and organizations on the survey.

Individuals and organizations listed include former vice president Al Gore, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), the Cato Institute, President George W. Bush and the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.

Craig Holman, a government affairs lobbyist with Public Citizen, said the practice is legal, but questioned whether it is ethical.

“It is holding up a standard that is preached by an outside group,” he said.

Mike Gonzalez, Heritage’s vice president of communications, said the service has helped place “good conservative staffers” in Congressional offices for years.

“There is obviously a lot of interest by conservative groups in finding and placing good conservative staffers in potentially new positions,” he wrote in an e-mail. ” Heritage has a full time employee running our job bank and it has been finding and vetting good conservatives for years — we place around 100 people per year and have numerous congressional offices every year seek out potential employees.”