Seniority counts on Capitol Hill. Which means freshman lawmakers choose last in the office swap. Today was lottery day — when new members choose metal numbers to decide who gets to pick first.
And even though the GOP will become the majority party when the 112th Congress begins work in January, California's freshman Congressman Jeff Denham of Fresno will have one of the worst offices. That's because he drew number 82 out of 85.
Denham ended up with an office on the sixth floor of the dreaded Longworth House Office building. (I didn't even know there WAS a sixth floor in that building!) It's now after 6 p.m. and the freshman Congressman is stuck at a table with staffers helping him design the layout of his new office. He looks exhausted. Here's a short video of the mind numbing process of figuring out where to put the copier and which couch will fit into the space.
His Democratic colleague Karen Bass of LA did better, picking number 33. She got one of her top 10 offices on her list: an office in the Cannon building, close to the Capitol for votes, with a large reception area, good lighting, large windows, and a relatively large area for the staff.
Nobody likes Longworth, named for Alice Roosevelt Longworth's husband Nick Longworth who served as speaker in the early part of the last century. Some call the triangular building inefficient, with random doors and its hard-to-reach sixth floor. (only certain elevators in the building take you there)