Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
March 30, 2015

Posts by Bridget Bowman

79 Posts

March 26, 2015

A Taste of March Madness at Charity Basketball Game

A Taste of March Madness at Charity Basketball Game

Richmond, left, looks to pass to one of his teammates. (Bridget Bowman/CQ Roll Call)

“We talked about madness in March — this is as mad as it gets!”

The game announcer summed up the electricity in the Gonzaga College High School gymnasium Wednesday night as the Home Court Charity Basketball Game went into a second overtime. “Hill’s Angels,” made up of members of Congress and staffers, were tied with Georgetown faculty aka the “Hoya Lawyas,” at 41 points a piece. Next basket would win. Full story

March 24, 2015

Democrats Lose Adam Smith, but Coach Mike Doyle Remains Confident

Democrats Lose Adam Smith, but Coach Mike Doyle Remains Confident

Smith is on the DL after hip surgery. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Adam Smith is recovering from his second hip surgery, placing the Washington Democrat on the disabled list for the upcoming 54th Annual Roll Call Congressional Baseball Game.

Smith’s spokesman confirmed Monday that the congressman had hip replacement surgery on March 18 in Seattle. The surgery was Smith’s second to alleviate his hip injuries. He previously had surgery on his other hip to completely reshape it due to torn cartilage. Smith suffers from bone spurs, bone growth in the wrong places and loose cartilage. “It’s disappointing,” Smith told HOH in January, amid speculation he would sit out this year’s game, “but at this point I’m looking forward to just being able to walk.” Full story

February 24, 2015

Norton: Don’t Tread on the Right to Sled

Norton: Dont Tread on the Right to Sled

(CQ Roll Call File Photo)

After reports that Capitol Police had stopped children from sledding on the Capitol grounds, Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., is taking a stand.

“Although I understand that sledding has been banned for years, what I do not understand is why the U.S. Capitol Police have recently decided to enforce this Scrooge-like ban,” Norton wrote in a letter sent Tuesday to Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Frank J. Larkin. “Americans should be able to sled on ‘America’s front lawn.’ I am asking that the Capitol Police Board remove the ban on sledding from Capitol Police regulations.” Full story

February 4, 2015

Congress Before the World Wide Web

Congress Before the World Wide Web

Joaquin Castro, D-Texas, works on his computer during a break in arranging his office. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)" width="445" height="298" /> Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-Texas, takes a break from arranging his office to work on his computer. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

With computers in every congressional office and smartphones attached to lawmakers’ and staffers’ hands, it might be hard to remember what Congress was like before the Internet.

But for former Rep. Jim Coyne, it feels like yesterday. Full story

January 9, 2015

Democrat Adam Smith Likely Out of Congressional Baseball Game

Democrat Adam Smith Likely Out of Congressional Baseball Game

Smith has a word with the home plate umpire during the 2012 game. (Douglas Graham/Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Adam Smith likely won’t be playing in the upcoming Roll Call Congressional Baseball Game, due to hip problems.

“I couldn’t be able to play, I think,” the Washington Democrat told CQ Roll in a brief interview in the Speaker’s Lobby. “Major problem with my hip, unfortunately — hips, plural. So I got one operated on and I’m waiting for that one to heal before I get the second one operated on.” Full story

December 19, 2014

Norton on Colbert’s Last Show, Chatting With Norquist and the After-Party

Norton on Colberts Last Show, Chatting With Norquist and the After Party


As a mob of guests reunited for Stephen Colbert’s final report to bid the host farewell, Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., was spotted in the foreground, swaying and singing along.

Norton appeared on the “Colbert Report” several times over the past nine years. She first appeared on the show in 2006 as part of Colbert’s “Better Know a District” series, in a memorable segment where Colbert and Norton sparred over whether D.C. is part of the United States. But on Friday, Norton described a wonderful reunion — and a lively after-party — as Colbert said goodbye to his on-air persona. Full story

By Bridget Bowman Posted at 3:38 p.m.
AwesomeSauce, DC, Reps

December 11, 2014

Overheard: You’re a Good Man, Santa

“You’re a good man, Santa.”

— House Rules Chairman Pete Sessions, thanking Rep. Kerry Bentivolio, a seasonal Santa Claus, for switching his vote from “no” to “yes” on the rule to advance the “cromnibus” spending package. As soon as Bentivolio switched his vote, the presiding officer gaveled the vote closed with a final tally of 214-212.

Bentivolio responded, “Merry Christmas,” (and then the outgoing lawmaker asked Sessions to take  care of his staff.)

The 114th: CQ Roll Call’s Guide to the New Congress

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December 5, 2014

Chassé Away: Norton to Perform in ‘The Nutcracker’ Ballet

Chassé Away: Norton to Perform in The Nutcracker Ballet

Norton will participate in Saturday’s performance. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Politicians can sometimes be charged with tap-dancing around questions, but one member of Congress will be putting on actual dancing shoes this weekend.

Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., sent out a statement Friday that she will be a part of the Washington Ballet production of “The Nutcracker.” She will be playing a “merry widow” in Saturday’s performance, which will take place at the Warner Theater at 7 p.m. Full story

By Bridget Bowman Posted at 4:45 p.m.
DC, Reps

November 14, 2014

Female Senators Meet for ‘Power Workshop’

Female Senators Meet for Power Workshop

Mikulski holds court at the “Power Workshop.” (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Right at the border between the House and the Senate sits a hideaway office, adorned with two chandeliers and pictures of past female senators.

Future and current women of the Senate ascended the Capitol steps to the glittering room after the final votes Thursday evening for the “Senate Women Power Workshop” hosted by the dean of the Senate women, Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski, D-Md.

“Hellooo, sorry I’m late!” Mikulski was overheard saying as she entered the room. From outside the tall wooden doors, one could hear Sen.-elect Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., respond, “I’m Shelley.” Full story

November 7, 2014

Raul Ruiz and His Wife Are Expecting Twins

Raul Ruiz and His Wife Are Expecting Twins

Ruiz at a 2012 debate. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Raul Ruiz, D-Calif., had two reasons to celebrate on Election Night. Well, technically three.

As he awaited the election results late Tuesday night, Ruiz announced at his victory party at the Agua Caliente Casino that he and his wife Monica Rivers are expecting twins.

“As most of you know, Monica and I were married earlier this year. And I’m so proud that she is my life partner. Tonight is a celebration. And so here, with all of you … I wanted to share some other celebratory news,” said Ruiz, prompting “ooo’s” and cheers from the crowd waving “Dr. Raul Ruiz” signs.

“Monica and I are expecting our first child in April,” said Ruiz, and the crowd erupted in cheers. “Actually let me correct that, We’re expecting our first two children. Twins!” said Ruiz as he held up two fingers.

The California Democrat officially won his race against Republican Brian Nestande, who served as chief of staff for ex-Rep. Mary Bono Mack, R-Calif., when The Associated Press called the race late Wednesday morning. Ruiz took 53 percent of the vote in the race for California’s 36th District.

Before coming to Congress in 2012, Ruiz worked as an emergency room doctor. The Desert Sun reported that he and Rivers, an emergency-medicine nurse, married in March, after they dated for several years.

KMIR News | Palm Springs, California

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October 29, 2014

Convicted Murderer Endorses Lee Terry

Convicted Murderer Endorses Lee Terry

Lee Terry, R-Neb. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)" src="" width="445" height="305" /> Rep. Lee Terry, R-Neb. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Vulnerable Rep. Lee Terry received an emphatic endorsement Wednesday, but the Nebraska Republican is not likely to tout this show of support on the campaign trail any time soon.

KMTV in Omaha, Neb., reported that at a hearing to examine his competency, convicted murderer Nikko Jenkins shouted, “Vote Lee Terry guys, greatest Republican ever.”

The irony of Jenkins’ statement is that the National Republican Campaign Committee released an ad last week attempting to link Jenkins to the Democratic nominee, state Sen. Brad Ashford.

Jenkins killed four people after he was released from jail early, and the NRCC attempted to tie Ashford’s support of the so-called “good time law” to the murders. “Brad Ashford supported the good time law and still defends it, allowing criminals like Nikko Jenkins to be released early,” the ad’s narrator said.

Terry is struggling to keep his seat as he faces questions about statements he made during the partial government shutdown in 2013. A recent Democratic poll showed Terry trailing Ashford. The Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call rates this race a Tossup.


NRCC Throws Hail Mary in Nebraska House Race (Video)

New Poll Shows Lee Terry Still Trailing

Meet the House Republican Still Sweating the Shutdown

A Good Year May Not Save These Three Vulnerable House Republicans

Roll Call Election Map: Race Ratings for Every Seat

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By Bridget Bowman Posted at 12:46 p.m.

October 28, 2014

Massive Senate Campaign Reports Slow Down FEC (Updated)

Updated 3:47 p.m. | If you’ve been searching through Senate campaign finance reports recently, you’ve probably noticed an unusual message at the top of the Federal Election Commission website.

In bright red text, the FEC cautions visitors that there is a delay in posting third-quarter campaign reports for Senate candidates because the reports, submitted on paper, are larger than usual.

“Total page numbers far exceed all previous election cycles, and the Senate Public Records Office is continuing to process and forward additional campaign reports to the Commission,” the message reads. “FEC staff are processing and posting PDFs of those reports within 48 hours of receipt.” One of the largest reports filed belonged to Democratic Rep. Bruce Braley, who is running for Senate in Iowa. His report amounted to more than 26,000 pages. The FEC posted his third quarter report in six different PDFs.

An FEC spokesman said the commission has posted 138,000 pages of third-quarter reports so far. At this time last cycle, the FEC had processed 96,000 pages, meaning there has been a 45 percent increase in size over the past two years.

The spokesman could not speak to the reason for the sharp increase in size, explaining that a contractor inputs the campaign data into an electronic format. The commission will have to wait until it receives the contractor’s data before it determines the cause of the increase.

The bright red message gracing the website was a proactive step to alert reporters that the FEC was aware of the delay and were working to address it. The FEC is now back to its normal schedule for posting the reports within 48 hours of receiving the files from the Senate Office of Public Records.

Senate candidates are required to file paper reports, so they mail them to the public records office, which then scans the paper report and sends it to the FEC, where staff transfers the file into a PDF. The deadline for the third quarter reports was Oct. 15.

“Reporters and other members of the public were looking for reports that had not been posted,” the FEC said in a statement to CQ Roll Call. “It seemed expedient to explain why. This is the first time that the FEC has received such a large volume of pages in Senate paper filings in a reporting period, which has caused the delay. Our normal practice is to post PDFs of all paper-filed reports within 48 hours of receipt at the Commission, and we met that goal in the vast majority of cases. Bear in mind that third-quarter Senate filings are still arriving at the FEC, along with pre-general reports covering more recent activity. ”

Correction 5:24 p.m.

An earlier version of this post misstated the options senators have when filing their FEC reports.


2014 Senate Chart: Third-Quarter Reports

Third-Quarter Fundraising Reports: House Races to Watch

Roll Call Election Map: Race Ratings for Every Seat

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October 27, 2014

Cedric Richmond Has ‘Every Intention’ of Pitching Next Year

Cedric Richmond Has Every Intention of Pitching Next Year

Richmond on the mound in 2013. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Despite impending shoulder surgery, Rep. Cedric L. Richmond, D-La., said he plans to return to the mound for next year’s Roll Call Congressional Baseball Game and help Democrats hold onto the coveted Roll Call Trophy.

“I do have every intention of pitching in next year’s game,” Richmond said in a phone interview Monday.

The Louisiana Democrat said the surgery to repair a torn labrum, or joint cartilage, and bone spurs in his right shoulder will take place in New Orleans the week after the elections.

But Richmond said if the doctor says he will not be able to play in the annual summer game, he will postpone the surgery to after the 2015 game, giving him an entire year to recover.

Richmond said pitchers typically take a year to rehabilitate from the surgery before pitching again but he was optimistic that he could recover in six months, considering he only pitches once a year.

Richmond helped the Democrats beat Republicans 15-6 by pitching each inning during the game this past June, but he was fighting through pain in his shoulder. His teammates were aware he was struggling, but Richmond said he never discussed heading to the bench. Shoulder pain has plagued him for at least the past three years, but, after this year, enough was enough.

“I’ve been pitching in pain, but it was just unbearable after this past year,” he said.

Though Richmond was adamant he would pitch again next year, he said Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Fla., would be able to fill his cleats on the pitcher’s mound if necessary.

But Richmond plans to return to Nationals Park in June. “I just like the game,” he said, noting that the event also benefits local charities. Richmond also said the game is an opportunity to form bipartisan bonds and boost Democratic morale.

“Although the Republicans control the House,” said Richmond, “this is a great way to build relationships across the aisle and at the same time keep my Democratic friends excited.”

Roll Call Election Map: Race Ratings for Every Seat

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Cedric Richmond’s Pitching Arm Threatened by Shoulder Surgery

Cedric Richmonds Pitching Arm Threatened by Shoulder Surgery

Richmond will have surgery after Election Day. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Democratic baseball star Cedric L. Richmond will undergo surgery after Election Day to repair torn cartilage in his right shoulder, threatening the golden pitching arm that has led the Democrats to victory since his first Roll Call Congressional Baseball Game.

The Times-Picayune reported the surgery Monday as part of an interview with the Louisiana congressman, who said he could not lift his arm for two weeks after this year’s game.

“I suspect some Republicans are going to be excited when they see me walking around in a sling,” Richmond told the Times-Picayune. The surgery is set for some time after Election Day.

Richmond pitched the entire night in the 53rd Annual Roll Call Congressional Baseball Game, helping the Democrats beat their Republican opponents 15-6. Richmond played baseball for Morehouse College and has been a Democratic star since he first took the mound in 2011.

Roll Call Election Map: Race Ratings for Every Seat

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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.
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