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A lawmaker’s daughter goes over to the dark side

The grapevine tells me Rep. Jackie Speier, D-San Mateo, recently accompanied her daughter on a trip to the University of Missouri, Columbia, who’ll soon be starting there as a freshman; apparently Stephanie Sierra is interested in pursuing a bachelor’s degree from Mizzou’s renowned journalism school.

You’d think someone with Speier’s rhetorical skills could’ve talked her daughter into pursuing some line of work more honest and popular than journalism – maybe, used car sales, or perhaps ambulance-chasing tort law.

In all seriousness, however, Sierra appears to have had a distinguished record at Mercy High School, the same Catholic girls’ prep school in Burlingame that her mother had attended. As juniors, she and another student founded a “P.S. We Care” foundation to raise money to help people with autism; as a senior, she served as the student body’s secretary.

Mizzou was transformative for me, not only for the practical journalism education it offered but also as an expansion of horizons for a coastal kid suddenly dropped into the Midwest. I hope Ms. Sierra has as positive an experience there as I did.

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.