Given the rampant corruption and scandals usually associated with politics, this conflict-of-interest concern is rather refreshing: USA Today reports that Congressperson-elect Abigail Spanberger of Virginia’s 7th District is also a Girl Scout leader, and is worried about her ability to sell cookies now that she’s an elected official. She asked, “Can I go in the neighborhood and sell Girl Scout cookies or are people going to feel compelled because I’m now their representative in Congress?… I don’t know what I’m going to do.”
What a conundrum! Fortunately for Spanberger, she is not the first Girl Scout Leader to be elected to Congress. In fact, USA Today points out, 60 percent of the current crop of female representatives were Girl Scouts themselves, and Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., was a troop co-leader from 2006 to 2012.
Congressional Management Foundation President Bradford Fitch advises Spanberger and other new congresspeople that selling cookies at Congress would be just like selling cookies at any other workplace: just make sure it’s okay with your boss. He doesn’t see any problem with Spanberger going door-to-door as long as she keeps her Girl Scout leader and Congress personas entirely separate (no campaign flyers in the cookie delivery bags). In fact, Fitch tells USA Today, cookie-selling “is probably a great way to connect with constituents.” On to your next issue, Rep.-elect Spanberger; in today’s political climate, we’re sure something will come up pretty quickly.