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Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Reprinted with permission from ProPublica.

It’s no surprise that hundreds of staffers on 2016 presidential and congressional campaigns parlayed their work into political jobs in the Trump administration. But you wouldn’t always know about those roles from reading their financial disclosures, which sometimes reveal them and sometimes don’t.

Details about the past jobs and work histories of these staffers — from on-the-ground field work for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign to fundraising for super PACs supporting Republican congressional candidates — can be found in the place where people tend to exhaustively list their credentials: their resumes.

The Washington-based transparency group Property of the People took information from ProPublica’s Trump Town database and submitted Freedom of Information Act requests seeking the resumes of more than 2,700 political appointees in the Trump administration.

We’ve added the documents the group collected to the Trump Town app and created a separate page so that you can examine them yourself. We’ll update the page as we get more.

Think of the resulting information as the equivalent of batting statistics on baseball cards, in this case for staffers in the Trump administration: It’s data viewed as fascinating by some, and as minutiae by others. The resumes received so far largely cover staffers with midlevel and junior positions, and many in this initial batch come from the departments of Agriculture, Interior and Transportation.

They reveal a wide range of roles played by some of them in propelling Trump into the White House — and also their sometimes quirky employment histories.

Consider, for example, the resume for Kevin Jayne, now at the Department of Energy as a special adviser for renewable energy. It claimed that, as a “site specialist” for the campaign, Jayne was “entrusted with the security of President-elect Donald J. Trump and the Trump family” and others, as well as managing the flight manifest for Trump’s plane and making sure members of the media were “secured in assigned area to provide best possible coverage.” Jayne’s CV also indicates that he is a former Chicago-area utility worker and bouncer.

Jason Funes, a special assistant in the Department of the Interior, wrote in his resume that he worked for the Trump campaign in South Florida, targeting Hispanic voters. The document also indicates that he worked as a sales representative for a motorized scooter company in South Florida.

And David Matthews, now a confidential assistant at the Farm Service Agency, oversaw the campaign in 32 pivotal counties in western Pennsylvania. According to his resume, he used to be a legal receptionist and once sold his own line of custom-scented candles in Alabama.

(Jayne, Funes and Matthews did not respond to requests for comment.)

Does knowing that one staffer used to make scented candles provide any valuable insight into the Trump administration? Perhaps not. But between the original Trump Town database and this new information, readers can glean ever-more-detailed portraits of the individuals who do the nitty-gritty work of running the federal government.

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