For young men and women with ambitions toward a career in politics, working in a Congressional office can be a heady, almost dreamlike experience. Left unsupervised, the combination of youthful indiscretion and close proximity to the nation’s levers of power produces results that can be ugly, messy and embarrassing for senior staff and even the representatives voters send to the Capitol to do the people’s work.
Over several months, according to online messages allegedly made by staffers with Democratic Congressman Rick Larsen, the D.C. office of Washington State’s 2nd District has been the setting of a staffers-gone-wild bash, a binge of embarrassing behavior including insults lobbed by legislative aides at the Congressman himself and accounts of on-the-job drinking, all broadcast for the world to see on via Twitter.
To be fair, the office of a congressman in the minority party is not typically the scene of frantic legislative action. Sure, there’s still work to be done servicing constituent requests, or stitching together the details of a minor piece of legislation to help the folks back in the district may be work. But unlike a couple of years ago when the Democrats were in charge, and aides would have been busy preparing a $3.5 trillion budget, or reading, analyzing, and fine-tuning 2,000-page bills to upend the world’s finest healthcare and financial services industries, apparently the current workload isn’t substantial enough to keep junior staffers attentions focused on professional matters.
NW Daily Marker learned of the succession of tweets made by three members of Larsen’s legislative staff – Seth Burroughs, legislative assistant (@therocketship1); Elizabeth Robblee, legislative assistant (@betsysbites); and Ben Byers, legislative correspondent (@byers_remorse) – messages dating from between August and early December of this year.
Though the tweets were made (and are continuing to be made) from personal – not official congressional – accounts, the messages describe on-the-job drinking, frivolous misuse of office time and resources, and contain public insults aimed at the boss himself – Congressman Larsen. If accurate, the tweets – made during and after working hours – raises questions about whether Larsen and his senior staff are paying close enough attention to the workplace behavior of personnel on the public payroll.
Note: Some of the messages are not safe for work. Please scroll down only if you are in appropriate setting to view them.
One of the more notable tweets was made on December 3rd by Burroughs in which he confides in Byers that he has “destroyed” his official Blackberry smartphone device and remarks that “D2R is making its mark.”
‘D2R’ is an acronym meaning ‘December to Remember,’ a phrase coined by the trio of staffers to define their attempt to spend the final month of the year in a state of perpetual debauchery. According to tweets made two days earlier, the D2R was initiated with a morning round of shots on the steps of the Cannon House Office Building before proceeding to drink all day in the office.
Of course, it isn’t necessary to drink in the office when you just plain show up drunk, as Burroughs appears to brag of doing:
In addition to providing details and a play-by-play account of on-the-job drinking, during a summer recess, Burroughs described whiling away the hours in pursuits of dubious value to the constituents of Washington’s 2nd District.
Burroughs also spent a great deal of time publicly insulting Larsen, and making statements that imply his colleagues were casting their own fair share of insults toward the Congressman:
Funny enough, Burroughs had been warned about his Twitter exhibitionism by his mother:
I suppose at least Mom was making an effort to rein in her little staffer, even if Congressman Larsen wasn’t.
[Note: The original article misspelled the name of one of the former Larsen staffers. The correct spelling is reflected in the story as it now appears.]
Betsy,and Seth, you two are grounded until you two grow up and behave like adults not wild teens, like for the next 20 years. LOL
The D in Democrat stands for 6 things. These are DECAY, DEGENERATION, DEPENDENCY, DEFEATISM, DECEIT and DEPRAVITY. At least these staffers weren’t destroying my right to own a gun, or work without being forced to pay dues to a lousy union, or interfering with the doctor of my choice. All you Democrats who bitch about the high costs of healthcare: YOUR PARTY CAUSED IT! YOUR PARTY CAUSED THE FINANCIAL COLLAPSE BY FORCING LENDERS TO GRANT LOANS TO PEOPLE WHO COULDN’T REPAY! If the free market doesn’t work in healthcare, then explain why the costs of LASIK surgery has gone down while it is much improved over what it was. If staff plays, they do less damage.
The workd’s finest health care and financial services industries? That’s snark, right? Especially given that we spend twice as much on health care than other industrialized nations who manage to insure all their people while we have 50 million without insurance? Or the fact that our financial sector’s implosion caused the worst financial and economic crisis since the Great Depression? I hope you were just being snarky, or you right wingers are more out of touch with reality than I ever imagined.
So a couple of a dumb 25-year-olds drank on the job, watched some youtube on the clock, obnoxiously tweeted about it, and then were fired. Meh.
If, however, upon reading this non-political story you then launched into ”imprison these crooks” or “the illegal muslim in the whitehouse” or “radical liberal demonturds” or that only vaguely-coherent comment about getting into the shower with Barney Frank: congratulations, you’re insane.
#D2R = December to Remember
They certainly succeeded in that.
As a native Washingtonian who has lived in the nation’s capital for many years, I know that this behavior would NOT be typical of the staff in the offices of Republican congressmen. The vast majority of the workers on the conservative side of Congress are busting their butts on a daily basis for minimal financial compensation. The libs, on the other hand — well, it’s not surprising since they are generally followers of moral relativism. Beyond the immorality of boozing it up and watching Kurt Cobain on the taxpayer’s nickel, these jokers displayed terminal stupidity by tweeting their misbehavior for all future prospective employees to see.
As someone who spent my 2 years of grad school interning on the Hill and working my butt off for free, I can tell you that this is not representative behavior of everyone, but that there are people on both sides of the aisle who misuse their time. There was drinking and partying by my friends from both parties, but most of the people I knew were able to limit it to non-office hours.
For the record, there are a limited number of people at my current corporate job do the same – goof off and use their time unwisely. There will always be people that work hard (regardless of the money they make or where it comes from) and others that don’t. This is a reflection on those staffers’ maturity and dedication, not their political persuasion.
Heard Larsen just fired these fools. Good!
15yrs ago or more my brother was an “older” staffer for a Washington St, congresswoman and he would tell me stories of at work drinking and debauchery that would go on with these 25 yr old staffers who all thought they were gods gift. Sadly, this is the norm. I’m amazed that this behavior has onely started to come out……This sort of partying by unsupervised children in adult bodies is sadly the norm.
As a life long member of this losers district(40 years) let me say THANK YOU WASHINGTON VOTERS for again choosing a demorat to represent and waste our money. WA deserves what it gets and there is a lot more coming down the pipe if you continue to vote like the idiots you choose.
If only we could break off the west coast and let these liberal hippie dbags create their own frat party squallier on their own dime.
WA state what a total embarrassment and culture of stupidity you’ve created here. From our traffic to our illegal amnesty to our ridiculous taxes and of course our horrible politicians.
What a terrible government we, as taxpayers, work for.
Last summer I tried to get tickets from my congressman for my family to visit the White House on our vacation to Washington. My congressman is Chris Murphy. After sending them all kinds of personal information they demanded to get the tickets, they told me they were too busy to handle my request.
Our government is completely useless. They do nothing down there but collect paychecks for doing nothing. This country is nothing like it used to be. It’s run by a bunch of lazy greedy do-nothing people.
Yeah, the Republican majority Congresspeople decided they were only going to be in working session to do the people’s business for 109 days this year.
Nothing less than I expected from juvenile delinquents raised in government schools and undoubtedly spoiled by liberal parents that su cked off the system. They are obviously upset they couldn’t get in with Barney Frank or Anthony Weiner so they could shower together and make slapping sounds with no hands or photograph themselves in various states of undress and send the pics to lonely leftists.
And you mean to say kids raised in private schools by Republican financiers and speculators who sucked off the investment and retirement funds of American citizens would never feel so entitled to do such a thing?–So glad to hear it.
The truth says that liberalism begets liberalism. The kids involved obviously enjoy living off of the fruits of the labor of others for nothing in return from themselves. That is sine quo non for liberalism.
I’m disinclined to argue with the truth.
To allyou the goodchance people in Wa-2..
I can guarantee this NEVER would have happened in John Koster’s office!
I’m in this moron’s district unfortunately.
He will not respond to any comment, email or call with a view that opposes his insane liberal radical agenda.
Hopefully it will be his last term.. but in this insane state, probably not.
I guess we need an itemized time sheet of hours stolen by these three buffoons so we can back-charge them for misappropriated taxpayer funds. That, or imprison them for a time commensurate with the value stolen.
Gee, it’s hard to understand why Republicans are so insistent that taxes shouldn’t be raised……We really need more funding for this?
Every piece of elected walking, talking crap in Washington needs to be fired. From the illegal muslim who is occupying the Oval office to the cap-toothed, toupee’d Senator of either party. They have absolutely no regard for America or the American Taxpayer.
And we’re SURPRISED! Demoturds are immature and idiotic. Remember when the BJ Bubba Klintoon goons trashed the White House as the Klintoons looted it?
Democrats = WASTE, FRAUD, and ABUSE 24/7/365
Brought to you by the Department of Fraud, Theft, and Waste. The single largest entity of the federal government – making the Department of Defense look puny!
And do you remember when that was investigated and proven to be in fact a politically-driven smear job without basis in reality? No? Not a surprise, Fox somehow managed to completely ignore the report.
I remember that story too, and you forgot the part about how the GAO investigated those claims and found them to be untrue, Gunny.
That story about the Clintons trashing the White House was later discredited and shown to be nothing but a Republican smear job.
Hope you guys downloaded all the tweets and wikileak them.