Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
October 25, 2014

Posts by Bridget Bowman

65 Posts

October 17, 2014

The Sweet Taste of Victory (Biscuits): Puppy Wins ‘Top Dog’ Competition

The Sweet Taste of Victory (Biscuits): Puppy Wins Top Dog Competition

Hammie greets one of her admirers. (Bridget Bowman/CQ Roll Call)

A 12-week-old English bulldog burst onto the Capitol Hill scene this year, winning the second annual “Top Dog” competition.

Hammie, who can be spotted roaming around the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, beat out nearly 60 other dogs in the online competition for cutest Capitol canine, hosted by constituent engagement firm Fireside21.

The competition garnered more than 80,000 votes (participants could vote multiple times) and Hammie’s owner said the pup, who took 35 percent, had a fan base extending beyond Capitol Hill.

“People were excited about her. Plus my family back home, they voted. And the people who I got her from in Tampa, they voted,” said Hammie’s owner, Corey Hamilton. “Everybody just started voting for her. She’s always out and about. I live on Capitol Hill, too, and so we’re always out and I think that’s what got the word out.” Full story

By Bridget Bowman Posted at 1:35 p.m.
Critters

October 14, 2014

Larry Pressler for D.C. Mayor?

Larry Pressler for D.C. Mayor?

Headline from June 11, 1998. (Bridget Bowman/CQ Roll Call)

If Larry Pressler doesn’t win a Senate seat in November, he might think about running for D.C. mayor. It wouldn’t be the first time.

The independent candidate and former Republican senator shaking up the South Dakota Senate race contemplated running for D.C. mayor in 1998, after he lost his re-election bid in 1996 and was working as a lobbyist.

The Daily Kos unearthed an Associated Press report Monday on Pressler’s potential mayoral bid, which cited an interview with Roll Call. So we dug through our archives and found the original interview that splashed the June 11, 1998, front page with the headline: “Pressler Plans Run for Mayor.” Full story

By Bridget Bowman Posted at 12:32 p.m.
#tbt, DC, Sens

September 30, 2014

During Recess, Congress Goes to the Dogs

With their tails wagging, Maya and Cash trotted around House office buildings Tuesday to raise awareness for a bill to protect pets of domestic-violence victims.

“If we could do this with all legislation, I think Congress would get more done,” said one delighted Hill staffer in Rep. Alcee L. Hastings’ office when the dogs came through the door.

Cash, a black-and-tan coonhound, had a blue pack on his back holding “Dear Colleague” letters urging members of Congress to support The Pet and Women Safety Act, sponsored by Reps. Katherine M. Clark, D-Mass., and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla. The bill expands protections to pets of domestic-violence victims and includes a grant program to incorporate pets into domestic-violence shelters.

The tall hound is a regular visitor in Clark’s congressional office and belongs to the congresswoman’s chief of staff, Brooke Scannell. “He likes to sit in on meetings,” legislative assistant Steve Thornton joked. Full story

September 25, 2014

David Catania Strings Up Muriel Bowser With Puppet Power (Video)

Updated: 1:16 EDT

It’s not easy being green … and a political machine.

No, Kermit the Frog has not become a modern-day Boss Tweed. But a new political ad makes a nod to the Muppets by featuring plenty of puppets and a narrator that is a bright green and yellow puppet contraption dubbed “your political machine.” For good measure, the ad-makers throw in an homage to Alfred Hitchock Presents by making the background music Charles Gounod’s “Funeral March of a Marionette.”

The campaign for David Catania, independent candidate for D.C. mayor and a D.C. Council member, released the ad Wednesday. The minute-long ad has more than 7,000 YouTube hits and takes plenty of swings at Democratic nominee Muriel Bowser, also a member of the council. The machine’s green and yellow colors just happen to mirror Bowser’s campaign colors, and, for that matter, the colors of her predecessor on the council, ex-Mayor Adrian Fenty.

“Why do you support Muriel Bowser?” the political machine asks puppets on the streets of D.C., to which one responded, “Muriel isn’t afraid to speak out, even when she doesn’t quite understand the issue, like neighborhood schools.”

“Don’t be a puppet,” the ad concludes. “Vote Independent November 4th.”

Ben Young of the Catania campaign said the puppet ad was pitched by their digital consultants. Young did not know the exact cost of the ad but he said the ad will not be airing on T.V. He said that the pupeteer’s creations were very intentional, down to making the “political machine” resemble a reel tape recorder, which Young said, “like our political machine is no longer relevant or useful.”

Bowser Communications Director Joaquin McPeek responded to the ad in an email to CQ Roll Call, writing, “The only thing more comical than his puppets is his internal polling.”

 

 

Roll Call Election Map: Race Ratings for Every Seat

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By Bridget Bowman Posted at 10:28 a.m.
DC, FightingWords

September 17, 2014

Revving the Engines of Bipartisanship

Revving the Engines of Bipartisanship

Biden spoke to the crowd at the reception Tuesday night. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Don’t be too surprised if you see a Mustang and Corvette racing around Northwest D.C … followed by a motorcade of Secret Service officers.

“We agreed to a one loop race around the Naval yard,” former Utah Gov. John Huntsman joked Tuesday evening, saying he challenged Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. to a race to see if his Mustang could outpace Biden’s Corvette.

Huntsman, the former GOP presidential candidate and ambassador to China, was joking but that would be certainly one way to bring Democrats and Republicans together, which was the focus of a Tuesday evening reception at the British ambassador’s residence and hosted by No Labels, the organization Huntsman co-chairs that works to bridge partisan divides. Full story

By Bridget Bowman Posted at 2:46 p.m.
DC, Parties

September 12, 2014

Bill Maher Names Flip a District Pick

Bill Maher Names Flip a District Pick

Kline is the target of Bill Maher’s Flip a District effort. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated: 3:44 p.m. | From now until Election Day, comedian Bill Maher has made it his mission to ensure Rep. John Kline, R-Minn., does not come back to Congress.

On Friday evening, Maher announced Kline as the target of his Flip a District campaign after the six-term Republican garnered the most votes from viewers during a live taping of his HBO program, “Real Time with Bill Maher,” at the Warner Theater in Washington, D.C.

“I know what you’re thinking: You never heard of John Kline,”  said Maher, who added Kline is “one of those silent threats you never see coming … He’s not funny. He’s just wrong about everything.” Full story

By Bridget Bowman Posted at 10:46 p.m.
FightingWords, Reps

September 11, 2014

Republicans Bid Farewell to Bachmann … for Now

Republicans Bid Farewell to Bachmann ... for Now

Bachmann leaves Congress at the end of the year. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

“Guess what, Nancy Pelosi? I’m not going anywhere,” Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., told the more than 100 people gathered at her private farewell event Wednesday evening.

Where exactly she is going is still a mystery. But Bachmann will be leaving the House at the end of the 113th Congress, having announced her retirement in May 2013. But on Wednesday night, a sense that the Minnesota Republican would not fade from public life permeated the tributes and discussions among the guests packed into the National Republican Club of Capitol Hill’s Eisenhower Room.

“It was wall to wall people,” one attendee told CQ Roll Call, who also said the guests enjoyed mini crab cakes and other finger foods and some drinks from the bar. The attendee spoke on the condition of anonymity because the event was closed to the press. Full story

By Bridget Bowman Posted at 12:15 p.m.
Parties, Reps

September 5, 2014

Rep. Gwen Moore Arrested During Fast-Food Protest

Rep. Gwen Moore Arrested During Fast Food Protest

Moore was arrested Thursday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Rep. Gwen Moore, D-Wis., was arrested Thursday afternoon while protesting with fast-food workers during nationwide strikes to raise the minimum wage.

“I take great pride in supporting Milwaukee workers as they risk arrest in pursuit of a brighter tomorrow for their families,” Moore said in a statement following her arrest.

The protest was part of the national “Fight for 15” campaign, in which fast-food workers in more than 150 cities across the country went on strike to fight to increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour.

Moore engaged in a sit-in with an estimated 75 to 100 protesters outside of a McDonald’s in West Milwaukee, Wis. According to the West Milwaukee police department, officers responded around noon to multiple 9-1-1 calls reporting protesters blocking traffic on a parkway.

After West Milwaukee police asked the protesters three times to leave the road they were occupying, police arrested Moore and 26 other protesters who refused to leave and issued them all citations.

 

“She did not tout that she was a member of Congress,” Moore’s spokesman Eric Harris told CQ Roll Call in a Thursday phone interview, though he noted that people around her pointed out her occupation to police.

According to Harris, Moore and the other protesters were placed in a police truck for about an hour. Moore was then taken to a squad car where she was held for roughly 35 minutes. She and the others arrested received a citation for disturbing the peace. Moore’s citation will cost the congresswoman $691.

In light of the unrest and the shocking police response to protests in Ferguson, Mo., in August, Harris was quick to point out that the police were cordial to the protesters. “The West Milwaukee police were appropriate in how they handled everything,” Harris said. “They handled everything gracefully and appropriately.”

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By Bridget Bowman Posted at 11:33 a.m.
Reps

July 28, 2014

Pete Gallego Saves Choking Child During Flight Home

Rep. Pete Gallego, D-Texas, jumped into action during a flight home to Texas on Friday night to help a young boy next to him who was choking on a chicken nugget.

“I had my headphones on and was listening to some news articles,” Gallego told CQ Roll Call during a phone interview Monday, when he heard a commotion next to him.

Beside the freshman congressman was a 3-year-old boy and the boy’s mother, who was also holding a baby. The woman stood up and started shouting, “Oh my God, my son is choking! He’s choking!”

“I turned around quickly and I had to unbuckle his seat belt,” said Gallego. He then put one hand on the child’s back and one on the child’s sternum, and gently pushed forward. “As I did that he turned around to look at me and I ended up with chicken nuggets on my chest,” but the child was alright. Full story

July 23, 2014

Fantasy Baseball Winners Hit a Home Run

Fantasy Baseball Winners Hit a Home Run

Rep. Linda T. Sánchez at the 53rd Annual Roll Call Congressional Baseball Game. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Roughly one month after the 53rd Annual Roll Call Congressional Baseball Game, players and fans have another reason to celebrate their performances at Nationals Park.

The winners of the Roll Call Fantasy Baseball competition were announced Wednesday, granting some coveted prizes to the top three fantasy teams.

As part of the competition, contestants could choose nine players from either team and earn points based on each player’s performances. A player earned 10 points for a single, 20 for a double, 30 for a triple, etc. Full story

July 18, 2014

Rep. Ruiz Assists Passenger During Flight Home

Rep. Raul Ruiz, D-Calif., was called into action while flying home Thursday when a young woman a few rows in front of him began having a seizure.

A Ruiz spokesperson confirmed Friday that the former emergency room doctor did assist the woman on his flight. Ruiz checked to make sure her condition was not serious enough to warrant an emergency landing.

According to the Daily Caller, the woman Ruiz helped, Lisa De Pasquale, is a columnist for the conservative Breitbart News and Townhall websites. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee saw fit to send out an In Case You Missed It email with Betsy Rothstein’s DC story.

De Pasquale told HOH that she was “very grateful that Congressman Ruiz was there!” In an email, the scribe related that “I didn’t let on to how scared I was that I didn’t remember anything that happened before, during and immediately after the seizure. He sat and talked to me for the remainder of the flight. We talked about religion and books, and nothing about politics. It was great!”

This was not the first time Ruiz lent a hand during an in-flight medical emergency.

In October, Ruiz was headed to Texas when a passenger collapsed during the flight. Ruiz helped stabilize the passenger and, in that case, the passenger’s condition caused the plane to land in Raleigh, N.C.

Thursday’s incident occurred during the California Democrat’s typical flight home, which stops in Phoenix. Ruiz’s fellow House member, Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., was on the flight and witnessed Ruiz assisting the passenger.

Correction: An earlier version of this story misstated Rep. Sinema’s party.

July 9, 2014

Disgraced ‘Duke’ Cunningham Now a Free Man

Disgraced Duke Cunningham Now a Free Man

Cunningham, left, is now a free man. (CQ Roll Call File Photo.)

After eight years in prison and one year of post-prison monitoring, former Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham, R-Calif., is now a free man.

According to local reports, a federal judge recently granted the disgraced congressman an early release from the monitoring, which was supposed to last for an additional two years. Cunningham resigned from office in 2005 and was sent to prison after pleading guilty to bribery, fraud and tax evasion.

The Vietnam veteran and former Navy pilot told U-T San Diego that he regretted how his conviction affected his family and friends.

“I would tell my constituents and my friends that I’m sorry for the actions I took,” Cunningham said. “There is not a day goes by that I don’t ask myself, how the hell did I do what I did? You get caught up in something.”

The 72-year-old former congressman reportedly lives in a scenic gated community in Arkansas.

June 30, 2014

Coble Goes Mobile: Rep to Honor App Contest Winner

Coble Goes Mobile: Rep to Honor App Contest Winner

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Howard Coble, R-N.C., will be honoring the winner of the first-ever House Student App Challenge in his district at a ceremony in Greensboro on Tuesday.

The 83-year-old congressman, who will be retiring at the end of his term, does not carry a cell phone, but agrees the tech competition was a useful way to foster a passion for science and technology among the nation’s youth.

“I may not be tech savvy myself,” Coble said in a statement, “but I know the importance of these applications for our economy moving forward.”

The winner of the app competition in Coble’s district was Hunter Enoch, a recent graduate of Northern Guilford High School. Enoch’s app, “In-Game Rugby Manager,”earned him the top honors.

The competition was open to all high school students in participating congressional districts.

 

 

Fantasy Softball Winners Awarded Their Prizes

Fantasy Softball Winners Awarded Their Prizes

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

The women of Congress weren’t the only ones celebrating after this year’s sixth annual Congressional Women’s Softball Game.

Roll Call has announced the Fantasy Softball Challenge winners, and the top three entries received some coveted prizes.

As part of the competition, participants chose nine players from either team and earned points based on each player’s performance (10 points for a single, 20 for a double, etc.). Full story

By Bridget Bowman Posted at 2:59 p.m.
Sports Desk

Bill Maher Finalizes ‘Tweet 16′ Bracket for #FlipADistrict

Comedian Bill Maher has narrowed down the list of congressional targets in his “Flip a District” campaign to oust Republican incumbents and elect Democrats.

Maher said on his HBO show, “Real Time With Bill Maher,” Friday that the “Tweet 16” bracket was complete with the addition of Rep. Dave Reichert, R-Wash., and Rep. Scott DesJarlais, R-Tenn.

The comedian said DesJarlais is “a family values, pro-life guy who had affairs with at least six women in his clinic,” adding, “Please, Jesus, let it be this guy.” Full story

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