Rep. Pete Stark, defeated in this month’s election by a fellow Democrat after 40 years in the House, must close his Capitol Hill office Friday.
Debbie Curtis, his chief of staff, said House rules require lame ducks to be out of their offices by Dec. 1, and Stark’s shutdown is scheduled for 1 p.m. Friday. The computers there are networked to those in Stark’s district office, so those will go offline, too.
Stark, D-Fremont, is being assigned a cubby in the Longworth House Office Building with a computer, two chairs and a phone forwarded from Stark’s existing office line, she said.
“We will still be checking our voice mail,” Curtis said, and should Congress be ready to act on the so-called “fiscal cliff” in the next few weeks, “He’ll be there and he’ll vote, he’ll just go to the floor and work from there … He can absolutely vote without having his office.”
The House’s calendar shows the week of Dec. 3 is a D.C. work week, with votes possible from 6:30 p.m. Monday through 3 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 6; the following week can see votes from 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 11 through 3 p.m. Friday, Dec. 14.
Stark’s staff has posted this notice to some of the constituent service sections of his website:
I’ve been honored to represent the East Bay in Congress for the last 40 years. As you may know, I was not re-elected. My office will be closing on November 30th.
The 13th Congressional District will be divided among Rep. Mike Honda, Rep. Barbara Lee, and Congressman-elect Eric Swalwell. You should ascertain which district you now reside in and reach out to the appropriate office based on that information. Please visit: http://www.acgov.org/ms/addresslookup/ to verify your new district.
Curtis said constituents with current case work have been contacted, and if they so desire, their information is being passed along to Lee, Honda or Swalwell; also, U.S. Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer are helping 15th Congressional District constituents during the transition.
“We’re trying to make it the least inconvenient for people that we can,” she said.
Stark was defeated by Eric Swalwell, a Dublin city councilman and Alameda County prosecutor, who is still attending freshman orientation and hiring staff but has not yet been assigned a permanent office. The new, 113th Congress takes office at noon on Thursday, Jan. 3.