Tag Archives: intern

On climbing the political internship ladder

After previously serving as an intern for state Senate Republican Caucus Chairman Bill Ketron and two Tennessee Democratic congressmen, recent Middle Tennessee State University graduate Davis Thompson has just completed an internship at the White House, working in Michelle Obama’s office, reports The Jackson Sun.

Thompson, an Alamo native and graduate of Crockett County High School, was part of the White House Internship Program, a program that allows students across the country to gain experience working in the White House.

Thompson worked in the communications department of the office of first lady Michelle Obama. He said she passed by his desk every day.

“I did a lot of news monitoring and compiling news clips of the first lady’s coverage, and the articles that are relevant to her initiatives and subject areas,” Thompson said.

…Thompson said he learned a lot through the process. He said before the internship, he did not understand the level of detail that goes into planning things with a high-level person like the first lady. He said it takes a lot of work and preparation.

“I’ll never look at the first lady on the cover of a magazine again without thinking about that process,” Thompson said.

…Thompson said he did several internships leading up to the White House. His sophomore year, he interned with Sen. Bill Ketron in Nashville. He later worked for Congressmen Jim Cooper and Steve Cohen.

“I used them as recommendations for the White House internship,” Thompson said. “I would definitely recommend doing some internships first.”

…Thompson graduated from MTSU in May. At the end of August, he will leave for Slovakia, where he has a Fulbright scholarship to teach English.

Was Sen. Paul Stanley ‘Set Up’ in Sex Scandal?

In a lengthy blog post, Paul Stanley suggests that he was “set up” in the sexual scandal that led to his resignation as a state senator and which led, this week, to a guilty plea from Joel Watts to a felony charge. The sentence, Stanley says, was a year on probation.
Watts was a boyfriend of McKensie Morrison, the legislative intern who acknowledged a sexual relationship with the then-senator. He was charged with extortion for allegedly demanding $10,000 from Stanley to keep quiet about the relationship.
An excerpt from Stanley’s blog:
Joel Watts was indicted by a grand jury in the winter of 2010 and charged with Extortion, a Class D felony under Tennessee law. Yesterday, he pled guilty to “Facilitation of Extortion”, a Class E felony. He received a sentence of one-year probation. I did not attend the hearing; I trusted the Assistant District Attorney to handle the matter as he and his office best saw fit. Yet the story doesn’t end there.
In a statement read before the court, Joel Watts admitted acting under the direction of McKensie Morrison. I had no idea the statement would be included in the court record. In my heart, I had known this was the case from the moment I received the first text message from Watts on the morning of April 8, 2009.
Watts and Morrison are apparently still together. I’ve been told he is living in a structure behind her house, getting his electricity from an extension cord. If true, I find that both odd and sad. I hope he can successfully move on with his life.
It is my understanding from others intimately connected to the case, that Morrison and Watts indicated they did not act alone. Was there someone within or connected to the state legislature that was financially encouraging and strategically helping Morrison and Watts develop their plan? That is difficult for me to wrap my mind around. I certainly hope not and if true, I would prefer not to know.
People ask me lots of questions about the issue, one of the most common being, “Do you believe you were set up?” Even my former spouse feels she knows the answer to this question. We talked about it as recently as last weekend. Until now I have only discussed the issue with close friends and family. In one sense it does not matter because the outcome is still the same. However, in McKensie Morrison’s first interview after the Watts’ arrest, she denied having any knowledge of the extortion attempt; contradicting Watts’ initial statement to investigators after the arrest and the statement read in court.

(Hat tip: J.R. Lind)