The Washington Post’s “The Fix” blog highlighted Rick Hill’s reputation for poor leadership this week.
At issue is an AP article uncovered by Democrats profiling Hill’s lack of leadership abilities. Apparently, Hill “buzz-sawed through three chiefs of staff, three legislative directors and three schedulers in just two years” and that he “lent new meaning to the term ‘micromanage’ when he went ballistic after an aide ordered the wrong kind of office paper.”
If he can’t even manage a small congressional staff, he’s going to have trouble serving as the head of the executive branch in charge of running the entire state.
On Friday, the Post released a ranked list of the most competitive gubernatorial races across the country. Montana is again one of the top five to watch this cycle. Here’s how the Washington Post described the race:
“4. Montana (Democratic-controlled): This is by all accounts a Republican-leaning state, but Democrats have a statewide official, in Attorney General Steve Bullock, while Republicans have a pretty uncertain crop of candidates. The leading GOP contender appears to be former congressman Rick Hill, who Democrats noted this week was once rated the second most-difficult boss in Congress. We have yet to see what Hill is made of, but it will go a long way in determining the GOP’s chances here. An automated poll from Democratic-leaning pollster Public Policy Polling this week showed Bullock and Hill tied at 39 percent.”
The entire AP article on Rick Hill’s lack of leadership skills can be read below the fold.
June 19, 1999
Magazine finds Hill second most-difficult boss in Congress
HELENA (AP) – Rep. Rick Hill of Montana is the second most-difficult boss among members of the U.S. House and Senate, according to a Washington, D.C., magazine.
In its July issue, the magazine George reports Hill “buzz-sawed through three chiefs of staff, three legislative directors and three schedulers in just two years. A former aide says the Montana representative lent new meaning to the term ‘micromanage’ when he went ballistic after an aide ordered the wrong kind of office paper.”
The magazine listed the 10 toughest bosses on Capitol Hill, based on interviews with current and former congressional staff members.
“Congressional aides work long and thankless hours serving the public,” says the article. “How do their bosses reward them? With tantrums, tongue lashings and flying objects.”
George reports that Hill, “who fills some afternoons playing Free Cell, a computer game, once angrily hurled a letter opener at an aide. In one memorable outburst at staffers who had brought him the wrong sandwich, he shouted, `I don’t eat deli.’ Hill is also know for talking about firing one staff member in front of another.
Hill issued this statement on Friday: “I expect a lot out of myself in this job, and I expect a lot out of my staff. I also expect my staff to spend taxpayers’ dollars prudently. I make no apology for this.”
He referred to the George article indirectly when he spoke at the Montana Republican Party’s convention Saturday in Helena.
Introducing some of the people who work for him, Hill said to a laughing audience, “A few of my staff members were released from the infirmary this morning.”
George ranks Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., as the most difficult boss in Congress. Ranked in slots 3-10 are Sen. Robert Toricelli, D-N.J.; Rep. Mark Sanford, R-S.C.; Rep. Merrill Cook, R-Utah; Rep. Sheila Jackson, D-Texas; Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa.; Rep. Lynn Rivers, D-Mich.; Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich,; and Rep. Helen Chenoweth, R-Idaho.