Surviving Inside Congress

Mark Strand, Michael S. Johnson, Jerome F. Climer

Published by Congressional Institute, Inc.
ISBN 10: 0963305719 / ISBN 13: 9780963305718
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Synopsis: Surviving Inside Congress provides essential and non-partisan educational information to new Congressional staff and fills in some gaps for those who are not so new to the Hill. Many books are written with advice for new Members of Congress, and no doubt they would benefit from this book. However, Surviving Inside Congress is the first publication of its kind to give staff detailed insight into what is expected and required of those who are the glue that holds the institution of Congress together.

Most new members of Congressional staffs are ill equipped to the meet the diverse and critical needs of elected officials and their constituents. There are no comprehensive training programs, and no curriculum that adequately addresses the multiple roles they will play and functions they will perform. This is due in large measure to the uniqueness of these roles and the environment in which their work will be done. As a result, the academic credentials and professional experience they bring with them will have little relevance to the tasks they re about to undertake.

Surviving Inside Congress tries to address these challenges. National Journal wrote: "The book gives plenty of tidbits on how congressional offices are staffed, parliamentary procedure, ethics guidelines, and the e-mail and snail mail systems." Elizabeth Kenigsberg of Roll Call wrote: "The book does a thorough job of explaining the history, rules and procedures of the legislative branch, and even provides an easy-to-use glossary and procedures manual... The book is perhaps most valuable for its understanding of the new challenges that legislative staff must face and its in-depth look into the ever-changing and increasingly rapid realm of Congressional communication... Special attention to political strategy and the undeniable challenges of working on Capitol Hill also play a critical role in the book, and the authors advice is easy to read and comprehend."

Founded in 1987, the Congressional Institute, Inc. is a not-for-profit 501(c)(4) corporation dedicated to helping Congress better serve its constituents and helping their constituents better understand the operations of the national legislature.

About the Author: Mark Strand has been the President of the Congressional Institute since 2007. Starting in 1982, Strand spent nearly 24 years on Capitol Hill, most recently as chief of staff to Senator James Talent of Missouri. From 2001-2002, Strand was Vice-President of Government Affairs for the American Water Works Company the largest publicly held water utility in the United States. Prior to that, Strand served as Staff Director of the House Committee on Small Business when Talent was Chairman. He has served as Chief of Staff to Talent, Bill Lowery of California and Stan Parris of Virginia. He has also been a Legislative Director and a Press Secretary. Strand obtained a B.S. in Political Science and History from the Regents College of the University of New York and an MBA in Marketing from the University of Phoenix in 2003, and is pursuing his Masters in Legislative Affairs at George Washington University. He completed the Stennis Congressional Fellowship in 2000 and has been a frequent participant in seminars on Congressional ethics as well as strategic planning and Congressional office management.

Michael Johnson served 14 years in the Executive and Legislative branches of government, first on the White House communications staff of President Gerald R. Ford. He served first as press secretary and later as Chief of Staff for former House Republican Leader Bob Michel of Illinois. Johnson entered the private sector in 1990, serving as a lobbyist with Texas and Ohio law firms. He served as a senior vice president of APCO Worldwide, an international public affairs firm for five years, before joining the OB-C Group in 2001. Johnson has participated in every Republican national convention since 1980, has taught policy and public affairs, serves as a political and communications adviser, and is the current Chairman of the Congressional Institute. A native of Illinois who was reared and educated in South Dakota, Johnson began his career in journalism as a reporter and eventually executive editor of a small Illinois daily newspaper.

Jerome F. (Jerry) Climer arrived on Capitol Hill in 1967 where he served as the legislative staff (offices had fewer personnel in those days) to a freshman Member of the US House who managed to stay in office for another 20 years. After taking time out to manage an unsuccessful US Senate campaign, he spent a number of years in the Executive Branch and then returned to the House as Chief Legislative Assistant to another Congressman and then for six years as Chief of Staff to yet another House Member. His final five, official, years on Capitol Hill were served as Leadership Assistant to a Member of the House Republican Leadership. Then Climer co-founded the Congressional Institute, which he served as President for 20 years until his retirement in 2008. He now serves as President of the Public Governance Institute, a 501 ©(3) organization and heads Policy Implementations Consultants, LLC, a private consulting endeavor.

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Title: Surviving Inside Congress
Publisher: Congressional Institute, Inc.
Book Condition: Fair

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