Pacific Union College Student Interns for U.S. Representative

By Melanee Grondahl on June 13, 2007

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Pacific Union College senior history and government major Todd Blum recently completed a two-month summer internship in Washington, D.C., for Republican U.S. Representative Frank Riggs.

Blum became active in the political scene in 1992, when he worked as a volunteer assistant in Republican Bev Hansen's campaign for State Senate. It wasn't until the end of 1995 that Representative Riggs' Napa District Office contacted Pacific Union College's history department with a request for a student volunteer. Blum was notified of the request, he applied, and was then accepted as a volunteer assistant.

Blum spent some of his time at Rigg's Napa District Office researching legislative issues and relaying the information to concerned constituents. As time progressed and he established a hard working reputation, Congressman Riggs asked Blum to be his "shadow" at various fundraisers throughout the Napa Valley.

Blum's dedication paid off when the Washington summer internship arose and he was accepted out of a number of other qualified applicants in the district.

Blum became part of Riggs' integral team, doing everything from stuffing envelopes to summarizing legislative bills that were presented to various commitees and ultimately to the House floor.

Being on the inside of the political scene gave Blum the opportunity to attend sessions of Congress and see first hand how Democrat and Republican political figures interact with each other. "I developed a stronger understanding of the political process. I'm less swayed by all the political rhetoric," Blum said.

Blum was housed for the summer in a multi-million dollar Victorian mansion located at C Street on Capital Hill. The C Street House's main purpose is to provide a place of spiritual sojourn for individuals on Capital Hill with quiet, private rooms for prayer and Bible study.

During Blum's stay at the house, he saw many powerful political figures walk through the doors to pray, such as Democratic Congressman Doyle, Oklahoma Congressman Steve Largent, Senator and 1988 Presidential candidate Paul Simon, and Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich.

Blum and six other summer residences of C Street House organized prayer breakfasts and Bible studies for capital employees. Blum commented on the need for spiritual direction by saying that "Initiating legislation in D.C. is a competitive and cut-throat process whose players are in serious need of spiritual fulfillment."

This fall, Blum remained active in U.S. Representative Riggs' successful re-election campaign by independently organizing campaign events and accepting speaking engagements around the Napa Valley. He presented Riggs before Pacific Union College's History Club and actively encouraged students to register to vote.

After graduating in December, Blum plans to attend Fuller Theological Seminary in Colorado Springs and become a youth pastor. Blum says he won't be out of politics though."I plan to keep one foot in the political door and, as God directs, be involved in local sector politics."