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Senate Voices: Technology in the Senate

Michael A. Johnson

“Visitors will walk down the hall and say 'What is that they've put up there?'”

Michael A. Johnson: Deputy Assistant Sergeant at Arms

Johnson describes the challenge of retrofitting historic spaces in the Capitol and other Senate office buildings to install new media and technology.

Linda Gustitus

“You didn't have to have a gazillion cameras in the hearing room.”

Linda Gustitus: Legislative Assistant, 1979-1980; Chief Counsel and Staff Director, Subcommittee on Oversight of Government Management and of the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, 1980-2001; Chief Counsel to Senator Carl Levin, 2001-2003

Gustitus discusses the transition to using a single feed television camera in Senate committee hearings.

"Photo of Dorothye Scott"

"They just sat there and gathered dust."

Dorothye G. Scott: Administrative Assistant to the Senate Democratic Secretary and to the Secretary of the Senate (1945-1977)

Scott discusses how Senate staff responded to computers being introduced to the Senate offices in the 1970s.

Photograph of Frank "Nordy" Hoffmann

"…they were fearful that it was going to take their job."

F. Nordy Hoffman: Sergeant at Arms

Hoffman describes the initial reactions of Senate staffers when the first computers were purchased for senators' offices in the 1970s.

Photo of Bill Hoagland

I accept that that’s the way it’s going to be.”

G. William Hoagland: Staff Director of the Senate Budget Committee and Advisor to the Senate Majority Leader

Hoagland comments on the advantages and disadvantages of changing technology in the Senate.

Photo of Richard Arenberg

“It’s the white noise of my professional life.”

Richard A. Arenberg: Staff to Senators Paul Tsongas, George Mitchell and Carl Levin

Arenberg discusses how his life as a Senate staffer changed when C-SPAN began airing Senate proceedings in 1986.