Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
December 23, 2014

Posts in "Charity Case"

December 16, 2014

Eleanor Holmes Norton Hosts 25th Annual Kids’ Holiday Party

Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., will once again open up the halls of Congress to the District’s disadvantaged youth on Wednesday, injecting some cheer into the holiday season by hosting her annual Capitol Hill Holiday Party.

Eleanor Holmes Norton Hosts 25th Annual Kids’ Holiday Party

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The festive gathering, scheduled to take place in 345 Cannon from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., is being put on in conjunction with the UPO Inspire Foundation, a charitable organization that works to empower local families. According to Team Norton, this year’s gathering will feature gifts for the attending children as well as a visit from Santa and Mrs. Claus.

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December 15, 2014

Exit Interview: James Brandell Shares Greatest Regret, Memories of Pop Stars

He’s seen plenty of people — including his fair share of celebrities — come and go during his decade-plus tenure on Capitol Hill. But House Republican aide James Brandell wouldn’t trade his time in Congress for anything.

Brandell has served as chief of staff to retiring Rep. Dave Camp, R-Mich., since 2001, an experience he’s relished every step of the way.

Exit Interview: James Brandell Shares Greatest Regret, Memories of Pop Stars

Rep. Paul Ryan (left), R-Wis., joins retiring Camp (center) and Brandell in commemorating the new research grant Brandell created in Camp’s honor to distribute all the money raised for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. (Courtesy Leukemia & Lymphoma Society)

Full story

December 8, 2014

House Aide Immortalizes Dave Camp Via New Research Grant

House Aide Immortalizes Dave Camp Via New Research Grant

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Relentless cancer warrior James Brandell continues to rake in donations to help vanquish the life-threatening diseases that have encroached upon his inner circle.

His latest fundraising efforts are set to be unveiled Tuesday when he presents his boss, retiring lawmaker and lymphoma survivor Rep. Dave Camp, R-Mich., with a $50,000 research grant bearing his name. Full story

Linda Sánchez Once Tried Playing for Both Teams

Rep. Linda T. Sánchez may be a team player, but she knows her limits. Hence the reason the California Democrat had to draw the line at giving her all to one congressionally related charity event over another.

In the closing moments of her recent “Newsmakers” interview on C-SPAN, Sánchez brought Roll Call Editor-in-Chief and Bad News Babes member Christina Bellantoni up to speed on why she chooses to mix things up at the Annual Roll Call Congressional Baseball Game instead of lending her talents to the Congressional Women’s Softball Game.

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December 2, 2014

Lawmakers Commemorate a Decade of AIDS Activism

Lawmakers Commemorate a Decade of AIDS Activism

Valenti (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Current lawmakers and congressional alumni are joining with the Motion Picture Association of America to tout the philanthropic efforts of the Friends of the Global Fight Against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

The global relief organization was co-founded in 2004 by the MPAA’s iconic chief, the late Jack Valenti. Full story

November 20, 2014

Members Rush to Recruit Freshmen to Softball Team

Members Rush to Recruit Freshmen to Softball Team

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 last 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

November 18, 2014

Pols Rally to Help Veterans Shift Into Tech Mode

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

November 14, 2014

Lawmakers Line Up Behind Veteran Retraining Efforts

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.

Lawmakers Line Up Behind Veteran Retraining Efforts

Rep. Scott Peters listens in during a reception on Capitol Hill for the Wall Street Warfighters Foundation. (Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

Full story

October 29, 2014

Medium Rare Brings Fried Turkey Service to Barracks Row

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.

Full story

Ohio Natives Stump for James Traficant Flick

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.

Ohio Natives Stump for James Traficant Flick

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

October 17, 2014

NoVa Dems Bid Jim Moran Fond Farewell

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.

NoVa Dems Bid Jim Moran Fond Farewell

(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.

Per an attendee, House hopeful and Moran’s presumed replacement, Don Beyer, paid tribute not only to his predecessor, but also heaved rhetorical laurels at one-time Moran aide and renowned Democrat strategist, the late Mame Reiley.

“I have just been blessed to be able to represent the people of the 8th District for 24 years,” Moran told the assembled well-wishers.

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October 15, 2014

D.C. Drowns in Whiskey Talk

“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.

D.C. Drowns in Whiskey Talk

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

The annual fundraiser, held each year on the same grounds former president and founding father George Washington once called home, benefits causes ranging from the educational efforts spearheaded by the Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington which has cropped up nearby, to the veterans-focused Wounded Warriors Family Support Program.

Retiring Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp, R-Mich., was honored for his commitment to keeping tax rates low and as well as his ambitious plan to streamline the increasingly complex code.

D.C. Drowns in Whiskey Talk

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

Some people paid attention to the awards presentation.

Most folks, however, remained riveted by the rare and pricey pours offered up for public consumption. Full story

October 14, 2014

DC Vote to Celebrate Pro-Democracy Efforts at Annual 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.

DC Vote to Celebrate Pro Democracy Efforts at Annual Gala

(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

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

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