Love in her running gear in a campaign video. (Courtesy YouTube)
Think it’s too early for softball? Think again.
Veteran members of the Congressional Women’s Softball Team fanned out across Washington over the past week to recruit members-elect to their softball team. They square off each summer against the Bad News Babes, a team of reporters, in a fundraiser for the Young Survival Coalition breast cancer charity.
“We are pumped to have one of the largest class of new recruits to the Congressional Women’s team since we started the game,” game founder/Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., said in a statement.
“These women are ready to bond, ready to play, ready to win and most of all, fired up to beat cancer and beat the press — again!” Wasserman Schultz said, alluding to her team’s slight win over the Bad News Babes this summer. Full story
A group of bipartisan lawmakers is lending a hand to a newly formed support network aimed at moving returning veterans onto the front lines of data crunching.
Sen. Richard M. Burr of North Carolina and Rep. Mike Rogers of Michigan, both Republicans, have signed on alongside Maryland Democratic Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger to serve as honorary co-chairmen of the nascent NS2 Serves Training Program, a workforce-realigning initiative designed to usher military personnel into the field of information technology.
NS2 Serves, the charitable arm of SAP National Security Services Inc., is expected to share highlights from its ongoing efforts Tuesday during a congressional reception. The get-to-know-you event — formally dubbed “Improving the Well Being, Employment Status and Opportunities Available to Post 9/11 Veterans and Their Families” — is scheduled to take place in room SVC 209 of the Capitol Visitor Center from 5 to 7 p.m.
A budding coalition of like-minded organizations — including Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America; Boeing Defense, Space and Security; Special Operations Warrior Foundation; Working Wardrobes and VetNet — should also be onsite for the roll out of the cooperative effort. Full story
Pols from different sides of the aisle are lockstep when it comes to the Wall Street Warfighters Foundation, a philanthropic organization dedicated to helping disabled veterans break into the financial services field.
During its six-year run, the program — which revolves around a six-month residency focused on advanced education, fieldwork and mentoring — has helped nearly 80 retired military personnel pursue alternative careers.
“This makes all the sense in the world. The skill sets that our military have … lead to success in the financial services world,” Rep. Jim Himes, D-Conn., said as he rallied attendees at a Capitol Hill reception he co-chaired with Pennsylvania Democratic Sen. Bob Casey, and Republican colleagues Rep. Steve Stivers of Ohio and Pennsylvania Sen. Patrick J. Toomey. “[And] we’re still not doing enough.”
Reps. Bill Huizenga, R-Mich., and Scott Peters, D-Calif., circulated amongst the WSWF alumni and Franklin Square Capital Partners execs (their company co-sponsors the WSWF project) on hand to network.
Rep. Scott Peters listens in during a reception on Capitol Hill for the Wall Street Warfighters Foundation. (Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)
Medium Rare founder Mark Bucher is importing a holiday tradition to Capitol Hill: staff will fry up — for free — any turkeys folks brought by his new(ish) Barracks Row location on Thanksgiving morning.
Bucher says he instituted the neighborly program back in 2008, and explained he has followed through with the meal-making assistance virtually every year since, though he noted he “took last year off.” His best showing so far: 120 birds dunked in a single day.
“We’re going to save people from burning down their house or going to the emergency room,” Bucher told Fox DC about his self-styled community service. This year’s deep-frying fest is scheduled to take place on Nov. 27 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
C-SPAN’s most prominent space cadet may be gone. But a handful of still-spellbound Ohioans — including Rep. Tim Ryan — simply cannot stop talking about larger-than-life former lawmaker James A. Traficant Jr.
Traficant (CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Fledgling filmmaker Eric Murphy attempts to deconstruct the unbelievable life of the late Ohio Democrat in his evolving documentary, “Traficant: The Congressman of Crimetown.”
The long-running project, which Murphy hatched roughly half a decade ago, aims to shine a light on the two mindboggling chapters of Traficant’s career: His meteoric rise as the mob-baiting sheriff of Youngstown, Ohio, who later beat an FBI-led bribery sting, followed by his arrival on Capitol Hill and subsequent fall from grace due to a fresh set of corruption charges.
Murphy has taken to Kickstarter to raise the capital required to sew up the mostly finished flick (he wants to add music and do some polishing); with over a month to go on his fundraising campaign, Murphy is more than half-way toward reaching the $17,500 goal posted online. Full story
Northern Virginia Democrats on Thursday rallied around retiring Rep. James P. Moran at the sold-out 21st Annual Kennedy-King Dinner, a political fundraiser focused on feting progressive leaders and civil rights champs.
Rep. Gerald E. Connolly took the opportunity to commemorate his long-serving colleague by presenting Moran with a flowery tribute destined to be woven into the fabric of the Congressional Record during the post-election lame-duck session.
(Courtesy Team Connolly)
“It is impossible to crystalize the entirety and the enormous impact of Jim Moran’s political career on our lives here in Northern Virginia … and on our nation,” Connolly reportedly assured the crowd huddled together at the Hilton McLean Tysons Corner.
“Wow! I’ve never seen so many whiskeys I don’t recognize,” one apparently overwhelmed drinker declared as he surveyed the row upon row of handcrafted tipples trotted out by the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States during its latest “Spirit of Mount Vernon” gala.
The autonomy-seeking advocates at DC Vote — a District-minded group backed by Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton — plan to honor the Herb Block Foundation Wednesday for continuing to nurture the spirit of democracy.
(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
According to organizers, the 2014 Champions of Democracy Awards Gala is scheduled to take place at the Library of Congress from 7 to 9:30 p.m. Tickets to the fundraiser — which is also expected to commemorate the 40th anniversary of D.C. Home Rule — are $175 per person.
“Americans living in our nation’s capital raise families, pay full federal taxes and fight and die in wars but are denied voting representation in the House and the Senate,” is how DC Vote summarizes its mission to defeat the disenfranchisement faced by local residents.
Norton is scheduled to serve as honorary chairwoman of the annual fete, an event that has historically attracted fellow pols such as Rep. José E. Serrano, the New York Democrat who made an appearance at the group’s 2013 get-together. Full story
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.
(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
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.
(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.
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
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.
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.
“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
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