When he started his new job Friday as one of Majority Leader Brendan Sharkey’s press aides, Gabe Rosenberg, became the highest-paid Democratic communication aide at the state Capitol.
With a $100,000 a year salary Rosenberg will likely step into the shoes of Douglas Whiting, who headed the press staff for House Speaker Chris Donovan for four years. Whiting’s salary, which caused a little bit of controversy when it was revealed, was $165,000.
For those wondering if that’s a lot of money, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy makes $150,000 a year.
Whiting left last month to take a job as vice president of communications at Johnson and Wales University in Rhode Island. He’s just one of many Donovan staffers who have left knowing they’re not getting a job in the new speaker‘s administration.
When the session starts in January, Sharkey is expected to be elected Speaker of the House, and Rosenberg may take a lead role in delivering and articulating his vision.
A Hamden resident, who has served on his local Democratic Town Committee for the past six years, Rosenberg is no stranger to Sharkey or the Connecticut press corps.
He started his political career blogging for CTLocalPolitics while going to the University of Connecticut Law School. When he graduated he was an associate with Updike, Kelly and Spellacy before becoming digital communications director for former U.S. Sen. Chris Dodd’s 2010 re-election campaign. When Dodd ended his bid for the U.S. Senate, Rosenberg transitioned to Ned Lamont’s 2010 gubernatorial campaign.
After Gov. Dannel P. Malloy defeated Lamont in the Democratic primary, Rosenberg became an independent consultant and did some work for the Democratic State Central Committee.
More recently, he was the communications director for Donovan’s failed congressional bid. In his role as communications director for a campaign that was derailed by a federal investigation Rosenberg, an attorney, often had to play an adversarial role with the media.
But as a legislative press aide, Rosenberg is hoping to have a less combative relationship with the media.
However, it’s a budget year and it’s a long session, so he may be in for a bumpy ride.