What a Bunch of Schmucks

We don’t use the word schmuck lightly.

But in the office of Rep. Andy Harris (R-Md.) there are a couple of them — like the fabulously named Laurel Schmuck, a former legislative aide who took heat for some underage drinking that went down at an office party last summer. The news was reported early this morning by Global Rhetoric‘s Joe Steffen and then by Jeff Quinton on the Inside Charm City blog.

Here’s the lowdown: Harris’ COS Kevin Reigurt allegedly bought booze for a going away party for an office intern. The underage intern got trashed and was thrown out of her internship program when she arrived back to her dorm after curfew. Harris’ aide, the Schmuck, got canned. Meanwhile, the congressman is one of those big social conservative family values types. Which is always a recipe for disaster. When will lawmakers learn not to be proponents of social or family values?

A weird detail worthy of noting: When Harris was first elected to the Maryland Senate, he defeated F. Vernon Boozer in the 1998 primary. He’s no Schmuck, but yes, he really is a Boozer.

But it gets even weirder. Turns out Peter Schmuck (father of Laurel) is a columnist for the Baltimore Sun and gave Reigurt a piece of his mind.

An excerpt from Steffen’s piece:

“To begin with, what the Hell was Kevin Reigurt thinking? Buying alcohol for a party to be held in Andy Harris’ office, a party celebrating the impending departure of an 18 year old? The very party which led to said underager getting smashed and thus making her impending departure immediate? And, Mr. Reigurt, isn’t a part of the job of the Chief of Staff to take – as opposed to deflect onto someone else – the hits (which, in this case, seems to be YOUR fault anyway?)”

We’ve emailed the congressman’s spokesman Ryan Nawrocki for comment. So far, no one from the office is talking. See the email I sent him after the jump.



I would like to ask you for an on-the-record comment regarding Laurel Schmuck and the situation with the drunken intern. A few stories are being reported on this today — one in Global Rhetoric, the other on the Charmed City blog.

My questions are as follows.

1. Do you find it at all ironic that there are so many Schmucks involved in this story? I mean, one, the now former Schmuck in the office, and then it turns out Peter Schmuck, her father, works for the Baltimore Sun. I mean, what are the chances?
2. Is COS Kevin Reigurt the true schmuck here since he allegedly bought the booze for the party? Or is the intern a female schmuck for drinking when she probably should have abstained?
3. Perhaps most importantly, why was an underage intern allowed to drink at the office party? What does Congressman Harris have to say about this, if anything?


Betsy Rothstein

Editor, FishbowlDC