Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
October 2, 2014

Posts in "Charity Case"

September 12, 2014

Designer Flips Gillibrand Gaffe Into Local Fundraiser

Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., has provided some cover for colleague Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., who offended local residents by demeaning a suburban enclave that wasn’t quite to her liking, via a custom made T-shirt.

Designer Flips Gillibrand Gaffe Into Local Fundraiser

(Courtesy Mark Warner)

Gillibrand got called on the carpet after ARLnow.com founder Scott Brodbeck uncovered the less-than-flattering description she provided of Arlington, Va., in her new book, “Off The Sidelines.”

Warner wrapped his head around the conundrum and came up with a unique solution: novelty wear. He presented Gillibrand with the specially-ordered shirt and made light of the turf war on Twitter.

Whether the community at large is ready to forgive Gillibrand remains to be seen.

But T-shirt creator CustomInk is betting there’s enough civic pride floating around at the moment to turn this negative into a net positive.

The designer has launched a fundraising campaign putting copycat T-shirts up for grabs at $20 a pop. The goal is to raise approximately $1,000 (organizers are requesting an initial run of at least 50 orders), with the collected funds flowing through to the Arlington Food Assistance Center. Full story

September 8, 2014

Lobbyists, Lawmakers Aim to Crush Crippling Disease

Anti-Duchenne muscular dystrophy crusader Joel Wood can’t force all of Congress to come around to his way of thinking regarding the need for more funding and research to wipe the life-threatening illness off the face of the planet. But he can keep chipping away at the problem — as he has for the past 14 years — one spectacular gathering at a time.

Lobbyists, Lawmakers Aim to Crush Crippling Disease

(Foundation to Eradicate Duchenne, Inc.)

Wood and his wife, Dana, have made it their mission to see the degenerative disorder purged from the human condition ever since their son, James, was diagnosed with DMD in May 2000.

The duo intends to keep up the good fight Tuesday evening via their 14th annual “Dining Away Duchenne” fundraiser, a gourmet taste-around scheduled to take place in the North Hall of Eastern Market from 6 to 9 p.m.

Tickets for the event, which benefits the Woods’ non-profit Foundation to Eradicate Duchenne, start at $250. Full story

September 4, 2014

Nick Troiano’s Been Scoping Out Washington for Years

Aspiring lawmaker Nick Troiano is looking to broaden his fan base with a quirky new video and a crowd funded ad-buying campaign. Being on screen, however, remains a fairly new thing for the 20-something Pennsylvanian — unlike his extensive work behind the camera.

The independent candidate hoping to oust Rep. Tom Marino, R-Pa., this November recently unveiled a new spot pooh-poohing the contentious climate on Capitol Hill.

A Troiano aide said the plan is to plunk down whatever is necessary to get the “Washington’s a Zoo” message on TV between now and Election Day. The campaign expects to begin airing the ad during the week of Sept. 15, but is hoping to amplify the duration and scope of the media outreach by collecting supplementary capital via an online fundraising pitch.

Attracting prospective donors is always easier with personal touches.

Team Troiano will be rolling out a pair of companion endorsement videos — featuring kind words from ex-Sen. Alan K. Simpson, R-Wyo., (Troiano became acquainted with him through his work with The Can Kicks Back, an advocacy group focused on budgetary issues) and grunge rocker turned electoral reformer Krist Novoselic (brought together by FairVote) — before the Tilt bid expires.

The campaign is also offering up curated images from an extensive collection of time-lapse photos of D.C. Troiano and his mentor, the late Doug Bailey, captured over five years. Full story

August 28, 2014

#RubbleBucketChallenge? Gaza Activists Dumping Debris on Their Heads Near White House

Forget cold water — bring on the dirt and sand.

Activists in the District of Columbia plan to repurpose the viral “Ice Bucket Challenge,” during a Thursday night demonstration in front on the White House to show support for residents of the Gaza Strip.

Turmoil between Israel and Hamas means water is a scare resource in Gaza, but debris is plentiful. Organizers say 15,671 homes have been demolished or damaged since conflict began on July 7. To draw awareness to the destruction they will launch a “Rubble Bucket Challenge” at 6 p.m.

Maysam Yusuf, a Palestinian youth from Gaza, initiated the tongue-in-cheek campaign. The Facebook page she founded on Aug. 22 has generated nearly 10,000 likes. She explained it as a way to “raise awareness about the horrors that families of Gaza experience when they are bombed inside their houses.”

Instead of donating to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis research, as millions have done during the past month, participants are asked to give money to help rebuild Gaza. CODEPINK and New Generations for Palestinian Children & Youth organized Thursday’s event.

“As silly as the ice bucket challenge for ALS seemed at first, it generated a lot of attention for a neglected disease,” said Pam Bailey, a freelance writer who has lived in Gaza and founded New Generations as a nonprofit. “Gaza has been neglected by the world as well, and we hope our response to the Rubble Bucket Challenge will both show our support for the Palestinians’ freedom and help educate passersby.”

The challenge will be taped and posted online. HOH will keep an eye out for Capitol Hill denizens dumping buckets of dirt and sand.

August 20, 2014

Groups Push ALS Activists to Look Past Ice Bucket Challenge

The #IceBucketChallenge, that most ubiquitous of social media stunts, has not only captured the imagination of sitting politicos, parched celebrities and well meaning, but newly hospitalized philanthropists the world over, it’s got advocates thinking about how to tap into this seemingly limitless font of goodwill.

The ranks of those who have chosen to take a stand against amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, the neurodegenerative disorder also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, continues to grow by the second.

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, got double doused — first by his wife, and then by his daughters.

House hopeful Debbie Dingell, who is vying to replace her husband, retiring Democrat John D. Dingell, in Michigan’s 12 district, rallied to the cause earlier this week. Full story

August 18, 2014

John McCain Cuts a Rug at Apollo Fundraiser

Sen. John McCain got loose over the weekend, strutting his stuff alongside Oscar winner Jamie Foxx during a glitzy charity shindig.

“It’s the ones you don’t expect. … Republicans love to dance in the Hamptons,” Foxx told the Wall Street Journal of the fun he had bringing the Arizona Republican and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie up on stage with him during business tycoon/philanthropist Ronald Perelman’s high-profile soiree. Full story

August 15, 2014

Steve Scalise, Loretta Sanchez Keep #IceBucketChallenge in the Family

John A. Boehner and crew can relax.

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise of Louisiana has taken one for the leadership team, completing the charitable #IceBucketChallenge thrust upon him by Rep. Renee Ellmers, R-N.C., without redirecting the temporary discomfort further up the chain of command.

Rather than rain on his colleagues’ summer plans, Scalise punted the fashionable fundraiser toward his celluloid brethren, entertainer Kevin Spacey.

The Academy Award-winning actor, who famously palled around with Scalise’s predecessor, now-House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., to help flesh out his scene-chewing alter ego, House Majority Whip Frank Underwood, D-S.C., is reportedly hard at work on season 3 of Netflix’s runaway drama, “House of Cards,” just up the road in Baltimore. Full story

August 14, 2014

Bustos Prods Pals: Be Good #IceBucketChallenge Sports

Rep. Cheri Bustos has decided it’s “Game On!” as far as dumping frosty water on one’s self is concerned.

Full story

Flashdance: Lawmakers Drench Themselves in Ice Water for Charity (Video)

The Ice Bucket Challenge isn’t just for late-night funnymen and down-for-whatever daytime news anchors anymore.

Lawmakers have caught the water hurling-bug. Watch our compilation below.

Full story

Renee Ellmers Sucks GOP Leadership Into Ice Bucket Challenge

Newly minted House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, come on down!

Thanks to Rep. Renee Ellmers, R-N.C., you’re the next contestant on: The Water. Is. Icy!

The Louisiana Republican, who is still getting the hang of placating House colleagues, now has 24 hours to give Ellmers exactly what she wants.

Scalise is the first congressional leader to be drawn directly into the Ice Bucket Challenge, a fundraising craze, fueled by social media, that has swept the nation in recent days for the neurological disorder ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis).

Participants, who are videotaped as a bucket of ice water is poured over their heads, then generally challenge friends and colleagues to do the same.

Technically, Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, put Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on the clock yesterday.

Renee Ellmers Sucks GOP Leadership Into Ice Bucket Challenge

(CQ Roll Call File Photo)

But something tells me hell will freeze over before either of the Sunder Twins allows himself to get rained upon with frigid liquid.

Related:

Lisa Murkowski Goes All In on #IceBucketChallenge

Congressional Bucket Brigade Swells

Roll Caller Throws #IceBucketChallenge to Wasserman Schultz 

Politicians Increasingly Game for Ice Bucket Challenge

Election Map: Race Ratings for Every Seat

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August 13, 2014

Lisa Murkowski Goes All In on #IceBucketChallenge

Bucket, schmucket.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski just became the daredevil philanthropist to beat after fearlessly plunging into icy Alaskan waters.

“I’m gonna challenge every single member of the United States Senate … Demonstrate your commitment to getting rid of ALS,” the Alaska Republican prodded fellow pols who have yet to participate in the viral fundraising campaign.

Murkowski has been calling attention to ALS for years, spreading the word about the crippling disease both in D.C. and around Alaska.

Congressional Bucket Brigade Swells (Video)

At the rate things are going, every single congressional lawmaker may very will get roped into the #IceBucketChallenge before the end of the summer.

The symbolic dunk, meant to show solidarity with those stricken by amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (aka Lou Gehrig’s disease), has taken the online community by storm. Sitting, aspiring and even retired pols have drenched themselves en masse, and new supporters are pouring in daily.

Rep. Martha Roby, R-Ala., joined the ranks of the sopping wet not 48 hours ago.

She nominated GOP Reps. Duncan Hunter of California, Adam Kinzinger of Illinois and Renee Ellmers of North Carolina as the next in line for a cold shower. Full story

August 12, 2014

Roll Caller Throws #IceBucketChallenge to Wasserman Schultz

The friendly #IceBucketChallenge that’s got everyone on social media dousing themselves with cold water just got real: Roll Call Editor-in-Chief Christina Bellantoni has officially thrown down.

Our fearless leader self-soaked across the pond after being called out by pal, Dan Lavoie.

 

 

Bellantoni has now passed the baton to fellow newshounds Julie Mason, host of the P.O.T.U.S. Press Pool on SiriusXM radio and CNN correspondent Erin McPike.

The Bad News Babes vet also made sure to draw Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla. — co-captain of the opposing squad in the annual congressional women’s softball game — into the mix.

“I have to keep our rivalry alive,” Bellantoni quipped.

Congresswoman, the clock is now ticking.

 

Related stories:

Politicians Increasingly Game for Ice Bucket Challenge (Video) 

Election Map: Race Ratings for Every Seat

Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call in your inbox or on your iPhone.

Politicians Increasingly Game for Ice Bucket Challenge (Video)

An infectious fundraising pitch has helped throw cold water on the notion that politicians today just don’t care about anything.

The social media-dominating “Ice Bucket Challenge,” a call to arms originally issued by Beverly, Massachusetts native and baseball star Pete Frates, has struck a chord with supporters ranging from sports team mascots to American political royalty.

Fans of Frates, who was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis — the nerve-wracking malady better known as Lou Gehrig’s disease — in spring 2012, have fallen in line behind an awareness raising effort that includes: 1) recording a video wherein ice cold water is dumped on one’s head, 2) contributing $100 to further ALS research (instead of taking the ice bath) and 3) nominating friends/family/acquaintances to do the same within 24 hours.

Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif., appears to have been one of the earliest adopters of the shocking exercise (he got doused on June 30).

Full story

August 7, 2014

Cava Co-Founder Campaigns for School Meals Aid

Dimitri Moshovitis, co-founder and executive chef of the burgeoning Cava empire, has taken World Food Program USA’s school meals mission to heart — and he’d love to have other local toques lend a hand.

Cava Co Founder Campaigns for School Meals Aid

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

“When I heard about this I was like, ‘Why doesn’t everybody do this?’” Moshovitis said following a cooking demonstration where he taught WFP USA board chairman Hunter Biden and his daughters, Maisy and Finnegan, how to whip up grilled chickpea burgers.

Per Biden, son of Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., the group empowers struggling nations by combating hunger and promoting education.

“It’s truly transforming entire societies,” Biden said of WFP USA’s focus on food security. Full story

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