Gov. Bruce Rauner announced Friday he's chosen Sam Pfister to lead his Washington DC team.
Pfister replaces Kathy Lydon, who had served Illinois in DC for years dating back to Sen. Charles Percy. Lydon quit three weeks ago as the governor overhauled his staff and more than two dozen of his inner circle were either fired or quit in protest.
Pfister will be paid $75,000.
Pfister' most event job is four years as the associate director of state outreach for the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. The think tank was founded by Richard Fink, who heads the Koch Industries lobbying group in Washington, DC.
Charles Koch is also a board member of the Center. The Wall Street Journal has called the Mercatus Center "the most important think tank you've never head of."
The Koch brothers have given more than 100 million to conservative and libertarian policy and advocacy groups.
Rauner has also hired a deputy director of communications Beth Tomev. She started earlier this week, but no announcement was made.
She will be paid $117,000. Tomev has been a public affairs consultant, worked at Fox News Chicago, as Walter Jacobson's producer, and taught communications and journalism classes at Columbia College and Loyola University.
"I did not know what I was getting into when I took Tomev's class," accordginareview of Tomev on Rate My Professor. "Her lectures are nonsensical, she takes up class time with irrelevant stories, grades unreasonably tough without providing clear expectations for assignments, and has purposely ambiguous exam questions that can tank your grade. All for an intro course. Would not recommend to anyone."