Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
January 28, 2015

Posts in "Drama"

January 27, 2015

Chuck Grassley Talks Twitter Secrets

Chuck Grassley Talks Twitter Secrets

Grassley is a Republican from Iowa. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call Photo)

Never one for false modesty, Sen. Charles E. Grassley thinks he’s pretty good at using Twitter.

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January 20, 2015

Late Congressman’s Wife on Quest for Missing Cash, Memorabilia

Late Congressmans Wife on Quest for Missing Cash, Memorabilia

A giant thank-you card to Young collects dust on a shelf in a storage facility at St. Petersburg College. (Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

SEMINOLE, Fla. — What happens when a member of Congress dies in office? There is no standard set procedure and the internecine melee that followed the death of Rep. C.W. Bill Young, perhaps best illustrated by the exhaustive search for a handful of pictures and one Pentagon-approved memento, has ruined decades-old friendships and frayed family bonds seemingly beyond repair.

A corrosive mix of myopic estate planning, lax oversight and a moving truck-sized hole uncovered in guidelines governing continuing congressional operations has decimated those closest to the late congressman.

The 22-term Florida Republican died on Oct. 18, 2013; he was laid to rest on Oct. 24 not far from here, at Bay Pines National Cemetery in St. Petersburg. There’s been no such solace for those left behind, a group — including his widow, former House aide Beverly Young; the couple’s adult sons; newly minted Appropriations Committee member Rep. David Jolly and Young’s former chief of staff, Harry Glenn — currently at one another’s throats regarding the location of myriad keepsakes and the preservation of Young’s political legacy.

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Who’ll Steal the Show at SOTU?

Who’ll Steal the Show at SOTU?

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The thing about the State of the Union address is, even though the American people are supposed to hang on to every word that drops from President Barack Obama’s lips, there’ll be 534 other highly opinionated people around that night who would also like to have their say.

Most of the time these easy breezy bicameral get-togethers go off without a hitch. Full story

January 14, 2015

André Carson: House Intelligence News ‘Fired Up’ Tea Party

“It fired up the tea party, that’s for sure.”

— Rep. André Carson, D-Ind., who is the first Muslim lawmaker appointed to the House’s Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, said Wednesday after being congratulated by a colleague on the House floor.

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

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January 9, 2015

‘March: Book Two’ Follows John Lewis Through Hell

The second act of Georgia Democrat John Lewis’ animated history lesson, “March: Book Two,” portrays some of the grittiest times this nation has ever faced.

‘March: Book Two’ Follows John Lewis Through Hell

(Screenshot)

Lewis — along with co-author and legislative aide Andrew Aydin, and graphic artist Nate Powell — hop right back into the seemingly hopeless situation of attempting to redirect society one incredibly brave step at a time. Full story

December 31, 2014

Spend New Year’s Day With Bob Ney

GOP leaders worked so hard to escape December without incident (Look, Ma! No government shutdown!), yet embarrassing revelations continue to pop up as the clock ticks down on 2014.

What better way to prepare for a fresh round of dirty laundry-airing infighting than to hear former Rep. Bob Ney, R-Ohio, run his former colleagues through the wringer all over again.

Spend New Years Day With Bob Ney

Ney tries to get through the sea of photographers as he leaves the U.S. District Court Oct. 13, 2006 in Washington, D.C. Ney entered a guilty plea to taking bribes in the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

To commemorate the 10-year anniversary of its Sunday night gabfest, “Q&A,” C-SPAN has been re-running some of the interview show’s greatest hits throughout the holidays. The Jan. 1 episode, scheduled to air at 7 p.m. EST, includes a conversation with the six-term lawmaker that fell furthest from grace as a result of the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal.

The 2013 replay, which took place during the promotional tour for Ney’s tell-all memoir, “Sideswiped: Lessons Learned Courtesy of the Hit Men of Capitol Hill,” appears to be timelier than ever given the career-ending hit New York Republican Michael G. Grimm’s political life has taken in recent days. Full story

December 30, 2014

The Gifts That Keep on Giving: HOH’s 2014 Faves

What a year we all just lived through!

There was election night drama, international intrigue and, of course, tearful farewells.

Keeping track of all the mayhem on Capitol Hill once again proved exhausting, thanks in large part to the concerted efforts of the following over achievers.

Rep. Michael G. Grimm, R-N.Y.

The Gifts That Keep on Giving: HOH’s 2014 Faves

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The embattled pol is a one-man gossip mill. Full story

December 16, 2014

DHS Not Ready to Torpedo ‘The Interview’ Opening

International troublemakers Seth Rogen and James Franco may be ready to run for cover from the mystery hackers who’ve brought Sony to its horribly bruised knees, but the feds see no reason (yet) to deprive moviegoers of a few laughs on Christmas.

Per Variety, the Department of Homeland Security has found “no credible intelligence” regarding threats the self-proclaimed “Guardians of Peace” have leveled against those who plan on seeing the farcical flick later this month.

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December 15, 2014

Congressional Hits and Misses: Week of Dec. 8 (Video)

With holiday jet fumes in the air, Congress spent its final full week of 2014 on “The Colbert Report,” strategizing for bar fights and telling their favorite Dick Cheney quail hunting stories.

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

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Blake Farenthold Relaxes Grip on Sex-Related Domain

One lucky porn pusher will be able to exploit a whole new traffic stream this summer — just as soon as Rep. Blake Farenthold relinquishes control of blow-me.org.

The Texas Republican had the prescience of mind to snatch up the salacious sounding domain back during his cyber-speculating days, laying claim to the sodomitic-sounding site in 1999.

Blake Farenthold Relaxes Grip on Sex Related Domain

(Screenshot)

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December 5, 2014

When Shushing Folks Disturbs the Peace

A prominently displayed plea for tightly zipped lips has got tongues wagging in Cannon.

When Shushing Folks Disturbs the Peace

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

The campaign to dial things down a bit is the brainchild of newly displaced members of the House Budget Committee’s minority staff; the congressional aides recently got uprooted from the basement of Cannon by ongoing renovation efforts.

The migration from secluded workspace to heavily trafficked juncture has proven more jarring than expected — hence the oversized request (“Quiet Please! Offices at Work,” the announcement reads) for passersby to show a little respect while milling about outside.

“It is a temporary sign during our transition to the first floor, as the stairwell opposite the new space is an unusually noisy gathering place,” a Budget Committee aide told HOH.

One House staffer bristled at the visual pollution, chiding the new arrivals for making much ado about nothing. Full story

December 3, 2014

Senate Aide Officially Ushers in the Holiday Season — on Letterhead

“Could this be any more #thistown?” an HOH tipster bemoaned in passing along the holiday missive Hayden Rogers, chief of staff to Sen. Joe Manchin III, D-W.Va., recently distributed to work colleagues.

Senate Aide Officially Ushers in the Holiday Season — on Letterhead

(Courtesy HOH tipster)

Some Capitol Hill denizens tend to go all-in on holiday messaging, often resulting in self-effacing fun for everyone. Rogers said he’s wanted to join the choir of cheerful voices since coming to Congress in 2007, but quickly ascertained that it simply wasn’t feasible to be as all-inclusive as he would have liked on that grand a scale. Full story

November 5, 2014

Mark Warner and the (Almost) Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Night

ARLINGTON, Va. — After stringing a hotel ballroom full of supporters along for over four-and-a-half hours — and, himself, being kept in the dark about his professional future by nebulous return results — Sen. Mark Warner made an executive decision to call the still-undecided race in his favor.

Mark Warner and the (Almost) Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Night

Warner, right, joined on stage by fellow Virginia Democrats Sen. Tim Kaine, far left, and Gov. Terry McAuliffe, left, signals victory as minutes before midnight on Nov. 4 as his wife, Lisa Collis, looks on. (Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

“I think we know about close races in Virginia,” the battle-scarred incumbent — who fell 5 points short of knocking out his predecessor, now-retired five-term Sen. John W. Warner, back in 1996 — joked with guests just minutes before election night furiously ticked to a close.

The 11th hour appearance (literally) was weirdly scored. Who puts the Pitbull-Kesha collaboration “Timber” and Alabama’s “Dixieland Delight” on the same playlist? And the yawning victory party (one bored-to-tears photog played solitaire for two hours straight) transpired regardless of the fact that network news anchors continued reporting that things were too close to call in the contest between Warner and his Republican opponent, Ed Gillespie.

Even as the rest of the electoral map broadcast by CNN perilously flooded with red, ardent supporters attempted to keep their cool. Full story

November 4, 2014

In the Trenches With Mark Preston: Election Overload Edition

While some Washingtonians blissfully lounged around this weekend, Mark Preston, the Roll Call alumnus now serving as executive editor of CNN Politics, was in the office Saturday morning, all suited up and ready to help demystify the election projections process.

Preston — along with other veteran CNN personalities such as omnipresent anchor Wolf Blitzer, Chief National Correspondent John King, Chief Congressional Correspondent Dana Bash, Washington Bureau Chief Sam Feist and a slew of others — was on hand for a day-long dry-run featuring every possible voting scenario political prognosticators could throw at the magic wall.

HOH reached out to Preston about what to watch out for on election night.

HOH: Most compelling race(s) on your radar?

MP: Early in the night I think the focus needs to be on North Carolina and New Hampshire, which close at 7:30 p.m. ET and 8 p.m. ET, respectively.

If the GOP defeats these two Democratic incumbents, then it is hard to argue that it is not going to be a good night for Republicans. Kansas offers the most suspense, because if independent Greg Orman defeats GOP Sen. Pat Roberts, the pressing question is going to be will Orman align himself with Senate Democrats or Senate Republicans?

If Orman wins, I doubt he will show his cards Tuesday night.

HOH: Satellite location you would have enjoyed covering?

MP: No question, Alaska. Not only does it have one of the most competitive Senate races, but it also features a close governor’s race where independent Bill Walker and a Democrat Byron Mallott have formed a unity ticket to try and defeat GOP Gov. Sean Parnell.

Adding intrigue to the governor’s race is that Sarah Palin has endorsed the unity ticket over Parnell, her former lieutenant governor. Alaska is the great unknown in politics; it is a difficult state to accurately poll and it will make staying up late well worth it.

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In the Trenches With Jake Tapper: Election Overload Edition

It’s Election Day 2014!

Which means its like Chrismukkah for political reporters who’ve spent several weeks/months/years weathering the avalanche of numbing campaign emails, soldiering through awkward interviews with combative candidates and crisscrossed countless counties to pick potential voters’ brains about what they want from their elected leaders.

Jake Tapper, a one-time Roll Call cartoonist turned host of CNN’s “The Lead with Jake Tapper,” has been in the thick of things seemingly forever.

In the Trenches With Jake Tapper: Election Overload Edition

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

With the countdown on to another marathon session of gorging on real-time voting returns, HOH quizzed Tapper about the good, the bad and the ugly of midterm mania.

HOH: Most compelling race(s) on your radar?

JT: Too many to count, but if I had to pick three Senate races that I’m really watching intensely, they are Colorado, Iowa, Kansas and North Carolina. OK, that’s four. And Wisconsin and Florida for governor. But honestly, it’s not fair asking political junkies to pick faves with so many good ones to pick from!

HOH: Satellite location you would have enjoyed covering?

JT: Florida, because if the winner has a margin of victory of 0.5 percent or less — which looks to be entirely possible — it goes to an automatic recount. And last time that happened I ended up all but a resident of Tallahassee for more than a month. So in addition to covering an intense race and getting a jump on the recount story, I would have squatters’ rights on a hotel room. (Anyone who lived through that knows the importance — especially for the FSU-Florida game weekend.)

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