John Heaton (jheaton) wrote,
John Heaton

In memoriam

I've been travelling all day, so I've only just now learned that Sen. Paul Wellstone, his wife Shiela, and three of his staffers died this afternoon in a plane crash in Minnesota, the state he represented in the United State Senate for the last twelve years.

One afternoon early in 1995, I got a call from a friend of mine, a woman with whom I had worked in Sen. Don Riegle's office a couple of years earlier. She told me that she knew of an open systems administrator's job in a Senate office ... and that the person responsible for filling the position was one of her best friends. She sent him a sopy of my resume; I interviewed for the position; and I was hired. The whole process took less than a week.

And that's how I came to work for Paul Wellstone. During the two years and eight months I worked for Paul, I came to admire him very much. He was warm, and funny, and genuinely enjoyed being around people, a trait that's rarer than you might think among politicians. And he was passionate about his work. What he believed, he believed deeply, and I never saw him shrink away from a legislative battle. I've worked for and around a lot of politicians, but never one like him. He was the best boss I ever worked for. I can't believe he's gone.
Tags: current events, dc, mn, politics

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