Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
December 26, 2014

Always Be Nice to the Person Who Answers the Phones: Oregon Senate Edition

nrsc006 030413 445x300 Always Be Nice to the Person Who Answers the Phones: Oregon Senate Edition

Collins, center, is the executive director of the National Republican Senatorial Committee. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

One hidden lesson from the recent Senate primary in Oregon: Always be nice to the lowest staffers in your office, because you never know where they might end up.

Back in 1998, Rob Collins was a young staff assistant on Capitol Hill working for Republican Rep. Frank Riggs. The congressman’s district director, Jason Conger, would call in to D.C. from northern California in order to talk to the chief of staff, and Collins was the one who patched him through.

Fast forward nearly two decades: Conger is a state representative making a bid for the U.S. Senate in Oregon, while Collins is executive director of the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

The committee was less than subtle about its preference for pediatric neurosurgeon Monica Wehby in the Republican primary over Conger, much to the legislator’s disappointment. But it wasn’t due to a long-held grudge by Collins (though that would make for a much better story).

Some national GOP strategists simply believed the Wehby was uniquely positioned to put the race into play this fall. Wehby won the May 20 primary, and will face Democratic Sen. Jeff Merkley in the general election.

When pressed for comment, Collins demurred.

“Conger ran a good campaign that will hopefully be a springboard for greater public service in the future,” he told me recently.

Senior staffers should take warning that today’s staff assistants may not be as kind in the future.

  • Hutch King – HK

    Since those who preach from collectivism’s altar constantly conjure up an ever-shifting mirage of utopian illusions, their followers tend to have a difficult time understanding spontaneous events and natural order.

  • Plutark Heavensbee

    While liberty is not democracy, democratic methods can support liberty where they offer us input into the decisions that affect our liberty.

  • Oscar Mysterious

    Although liberty offers a history of prosperity, we must always be on watch for despotic designs conjured up as appeals to emotional whims.

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