Congresswoman-elect Love chose Muffy Day as her chief of staff, currently the chief of staff for Congressman John Campbell (R-CA). To run the district, she chose Laurel Price, the Operations Director of her campaign and Mia’s right-hand woman for almost 3 years. Laurel was at virtually every cottage meeting, every town hall, and every rally that Mia attended this campaign cycle. She lives in the 4th Congressional district and she knows every inch of it, inside and out.
Sadly, however, the criticisms began immediately.
“But she’s a DC insider,” I hear. “Mia Love’s new chief of staff has no ties to Utah,” blared the Daily Herald headline. But let’s be real – had she chosen a Utah newbie, the headline would have read “Mia Love’s new chief of staff has no experience running a Congressional office!”
Under the microscope like no freshman I have ever seen or heard of, Congresswoman-elect Love’s every move is and will be subjected to intense scrutiny.
Keenly aware of this, she chose a chief of staff that does not need months on the DC learning curve, who knows her way around the Hill in every way and who will not wither under the glare of the media (and others), just waiting for her or her boss to make a mistake.
This is a good thing.
It’s also not a rare thing, even among the Utah delegation. Her predecessor, Jim Matheson, chose a chief of staff from Alabama and Senator Orrin Hatch has a chief of staff from the East coast. Congressman Chaffetz’ first chief of staff had been in DC for years before joining the Chaffetz office.
Hiring the right staff – the best staff – is critically important to the success of any organization, but especially to members of Congress. Not naming names, but just look at how rough it is when initial hires are done poorly, or out of a sense of obligation to campaign volunteers……
A senior staffer on the Hill who has had to clean up personnel messes resulting from bad hires had this to say: “The best way to serve the people of Utah is to have The Best People serve the people of Utah… Clearly, Mia believes Muffy is the best person.”
So who is Muffy Day? Lucille Miriam Lewis Day, or “Muffy,” a Miami native, graduated from Boston College with a degree in English and Spanish. She subsequently earned a Master’s of Arts in Counseling from Franciscan University in Ohio. It was not until after she got her Master’s degree that she began to consider working in government. A deeply religious Catholic, she said in an interview in 2005 that she believes God led her to Washington.
Muffy arranged a meeting with her congresswoman, Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) and told her she would love working with her. The Congresswoman did not have a job opening at the time, but helped Muffy get started with the Susan B Anthony List, a well-known pro-life organization, the very next day. Four months later, a position opened up in the Ros-Lehtinen office and Muffy became a legislative assistant, working her way up to legislative director. While there, Ms. Day helped draft anti-abortion legislation.
In April 2006, Ms. Day left the Ros-Lehtinen office and went to work as the Director of Development for The Institute for the Psychological Sciences, a Catholic graduate school of psychology “dedicated to the scientific study of psychology with a Catholic understanding of the person, marriage and the family.”
In 2008, she joined Representative John Campbell (R-CA) as his chief of staff, overseeing his DC and Irvine, California offices. Rep. Campbell, a CPA by training, has focused much of his time in DC on fiscal issues, including entitlement reform.
She and her husband Jonathan have been married since June of 2012 and have one young daughter, Valentina, born on Christmas Day 2013. Jonathan currently serves as the chief of staff for Rep. Joe “You lie!” Wilson.
Mia has chosen a dedicated, qualified, experienced individuals to be her chief-of-staff and district director. I wish them well.