October 24th marks my final day as senior policy advisor to Rep. Rush Holt of New Jersey’s 12th Congressional District. When I joined his staff during the first week of August 2004, my first crisis as his communications director was fielding calls about then-Governor Jim McGreevey’s coming-out-turned-resignation. As Rush was in Israel at the time, I was very grateful to be able to tell journalists that I just couldn’t reach him because of the time zone differential. It was a memorable start to a more than 10 year run in the belly of the beast that is the United States House of Representatives.
In the history of the United States Congress, he is the only Member ever to hire a national security whistleblower (at least according to my friends at the Project on Government Oversight and the Office of the House Historian, who I consulted on the question a couple of years back). I will be forever grateful that he gave me a chance to return to government service, and even more for his effort to over turn the Surveillance State. The House–and the American people–are losing one of the greatest champions of the Fourth Amendment in modern history. It is my sincere hope that the other members of the progressive-libertarian House bipartisan alliance that this summer produced the first legislative victory for pro-liberty forces will pick up where he left off.
I will miss the House and its rhythms. Having spent literally one-fifth of my life on the Capitol campus, it will be an adjustment–but I’m hardly disappearing from public life. I’ll have more to say about that on or about November 3…and a lot more to say, on a daily basis, after that.