Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
August 30, 2014

Posts in "Freshman"

August 22, 2014

Mayday PAC Boosts Jim Rubens Against Scott Brown

Fake pol Gil Fulbright wants to cause real problems for Senate hopeful Scott P. Brown.

The satirical candidate — previously scheduled to crash a showdown at Kentucky’s Fancy Farm, attended by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and his Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes — is the face of the Represent.Us campaign to shake up Congress.

Mayday PAC is bankrolling this latest attack against the former Massachusetts Republican currently vying to return to Washington by taking a run at Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H.

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

August 13, 2014

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

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 8, 2014

David Waddell Logs Next Step in Trek to Washington

It’s been far too long since we’ve had a Gene Roddenberry acolyte railing against societal injustices on the House floor.

But that could all change this fall— assuming North Carolinians are willing to stun political prognosticators and transport long shot candidate David Waddell to Capitol Hill come November.

Waddell made national headlines earlier this year after jumping ship from the Indian Trail town council using Klingon.

Per the Charlotte Observer, the starry-eyed pol has since secured enough signatures to guarantee his spot as a write-in candidate in the upcoming midterm elections.

Our politics team has tagged incumbent Democrat Kay Hagan as one of the 10 most vulnerable senators in the current cycle, but it sounds like Waddell is well aware he’s light years away from a lock.

“I’m not going to tell you I’m starting to pack [for Washington],” Waddell told the Observer. “It’s a mission to get a message out.”

August 4, 2014

Exit Interview: Doug Heye

Keeping the party on message is what GOP communications guru Doug Heye has always been paid to do. Thinking things through and behaving graciously are the highly prized extras colleagues say he brought to the negotiating table.

Exit Interview: Doug Heye

Heye slips while pushing a car after a winter storm hit D.C. in 2010. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A seasoned political operative who helped the Republican National Committee get the word out before rising through the ranks to become deputy chief of staff for communications to ex-House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., Heye is saying goodbye to Congress (for now) while he goes in search of new adventures.

“I hear the Yankees need a new shortstop next season,” he floated in his farewell email to the Capitol Hill community.

He leaves Congress with few regrets. “I never learned how to get to the Dunkin’ Donuts in the Library of Congress — that’s probably a good thing,” he quipped.

Heye even managed to sound wistful about burning the midnight oil.

“On some summer nights, the military bands will play on the east front of the Capitol. Opening up the window to listen while working late is nice,” he said. Full story

July 30, 2014

Gabbard, Meng, Sinema Help Launch ‘Cocktails for Change’

EMILY’s List is hoping to connect more young professionals with the growing universe of female Democrats via its fledgling “Cocktails for Change” initiative.

Freshman lawmakers Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, Grace Meng of New York and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona are scheduled to participate in the inaugural reception, set to take place Wednesday from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Policy (1904 14th St. NW).

According to an EMILY’s List spokeswoman, the evening is meant to be fun — “We’ll be featuring the EMILY’s Twist (a version of a lemon drop),” the aide said of the featured cocktail — with a little positive messaging mixed in. Those lucky enough to snag a spot at Wednesday’s kick-off should expect to hear inspiring words from the  assembled solons, as well as from EMILY’s List President Stephanie Schriock.

Didn’t make the initial cut? (Sorry folks, they’re full up this time around.)

Dry those tears.

EMILY’s List is just getting started with its happy hour diplomacy. Female pols-in-training heading to the West Coast during recess can look forward to a similarly themed happening in San Francisco come late August.

And, don’t worry, EMILY’s List is not done stirring things up here in D.C.

July 24, 2014

Capitol Hill Feasts on Hawaiian Hospitality (Video)

“The party was such a big hit the cops were called because we had too many people,” an aide to Sen. Mazie K. Hirono, D-Hawaii, told HOH about the overwhelming response to the Aloha State’s July 23 taste-around.

Capitol Hill Feasts on Hawaiian Hospitality (Video)

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

The inaugural event was packed during our visit, with waves of people — all wearing complimentary purple-flowered leis (700 were distributed throughout the evening) — flowing in and out of the Kennedy Caucus Room to see/hear/taste/learn all about the island state.

“Aloha!” Hirono greeted each guest as they poured through the front door. Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, extended his welcome to the rapidly swelling crowd from up on stage later in the program.

As for Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, well, it turns out she’s a hugger.

Capitol Hill Feasts on Hawaiian Hospitality (Video)

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

We thought (for a second) that we’d spotted Rep. Colleen Hanabusa, D-Hawaii, mingling with native Hawaiians and curious staffers alike, but when we turned to look again the smiling face had disappeared into the crowd, leaving us feeling dejected about having failed to connect with her about the best part of the visually stimulating set-up. Our eyes must’ve been playing tricks, because the congresswoman was actually in Hawaii.

Party planners said Sen. Richard J. Durbin, D-Ill., was quite taken with the samples of fresh papaya, while Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., was purportedly buzzing about Big Island Bees’ Ohia Lehua Blossom honey.

Sen. Patrick J. Leahy opted for a meatier experience, waiting in line, like everyone else, for a taste of kalua pork. Full story

July 23, 2014

John Walsh, Your Canned Response Is Ready

John Walsh, Your Canned Response Is Ready

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

After intently studying the last project Sen. John Walsh turned in to the United States War College, New York Times reporter Jonathan Martin has uncovered what appears to be a heavily plagiarized final product.

This startling revelation, compounded by Team Walsh’s head-scratching misrepresentation of the Montana Democrat’s academic credentials earlier this year, means Walsh suddenly has a lot more ‘splaining to do.

His best bet? Committing the following to memory:

Confidence is high George Costanza won’t mind you cribbing from the best.

July 17, 2014

Joe Manchin’s Penchant for Power Lunching

Joe Manchin’s Penchant for Power Lunching

What’s for lunch? Bipartisanship! (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

If it’s hump day, budding coalition builder Sen. Joe Manchin III is probably breaking bread with members of his slowly widening circle of fellow comity seekers.

Aides to the West Virginia Democrat confirmed the self-styled troubleshooter has taken to gathering together colleagues for friendly visits, as often as the hectic congressional schedule permits.

“He likes to have bipartisan lunches,” Team Manchin told HOH, stressing that the semi-regular get-togethers — which appear to flow from a fairly fluid guest list — lean more toward informal discussions than issue-specific strategy sessions. Full story

By Warren Rojas Posted at 12:23 p.m.
Freshman, HillSide, Sens

July 16, 2014

Randy Weber Is Always Recruiting for Hot Pepper Parties

“We’ve got some fresh peppers in here. They’re not hot,” Rep. Randy Weber, R-Texas, mischievously goads his congressional aides after pouring out the baggie full of mixed chilies he religiously totes around in his coat pocket.

Sam Lombardo, a much-too-trusting summer intern, takes the bait, hurling a pea-sized ornamental pepper down the hatch.

Randy Weber Is Always Recruiting for Hot Pepper Parties

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

The impetuous youth makes it through the first few bites unscathed, but is soon fanning his wide-open mouth for relief while Weber — who is always looking to welcome new chili-heads into the fold — chuckles with delight. Full story

July 15, 2014

David Valadao Attempts to Rope Online Flock Into #CowAppreciationDay

Rep. David Valadao has invited the entire Twitterverse to weigh in on what he should name the mottled black newborn calf that joined the dairy farm last weekend.

 

 

“Help me give this heifer a name! #NameACalf,” he implored supporters on social media.

A Valadao aide said the family usually handles naming duties, but indicated that the freshman lawmaker wanted to be more all-inclusive this time around. “Given that CA-21 is the biggest dairy district in the entire United States and thousands of our constituents work in the industry, Congressman Valadao thought it would be fun for constituents and their children to name this heifer (female cow),” the aide told HOH via email.

Got a guaranteed winner rolling around in the back of your mind?

Don’t dawdle.

Team Valadao plans to corral all the suggestions and select the final nomenclature come Thursday afternoon.

July 7, 2014

Fleshing Out the Disposition of the Senate

According to CQ Roll Call alumnus and current Washington Examiner senior correspondent David M. Drucker, Sen. John McCain has over the past few years evolved into the “conscience of the Senate.”

Fleshing Out the Disposition of the Senate

(Warren Rojas/ CQ Roll Call)

We’re in absolutely no position (sold our soul years ago) to argue whether the Arizona Republican is the moral center Capitol Hill needs or even deserves right now. But spotting the oft-recycled title did spark an interest in trying out other potential modern day superlatives.

Say hello to The FILL IN THE BLANK of the Senate:

Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J.

Fleshing Out the Disposition of the Senate

(CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Keenly Tuned Id?

 

Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y.

Fleshing Out the Disposition of the Senate

(CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Dynamic ego?

 

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas

Fleshing Out the Disposition of the Senate

(CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Burgeoning superego?

 

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.

Fleshing Out the Disposition of the Senate

(CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Simmering rage?

 

Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski, D-Md.

Fleshing Out the Disposition of the Senate

(CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Unflinching optimist?

 

Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska

Fleshing Out the Disposition of the Senate

(CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Awe-inspiring stick-to-itiveness?

 

Sen. Thad Cochran, R-Miss.

Fleshing Out the Disposition of the Senate

(CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Palpable sense of relief?

Did we miss anyone?

By Warren Rojas Posted at 4:59 p.m.
Freshman, media, Sens

June 23, 2014

Rangel Rap Ain’t All That

Rep. Charles B. Rangel has released a career-recapping rap ahead of Tuesday’s primary.

The last-minute attempt at shoring up the New York Democrat’s street cred isn’t completely terrible.

Yes, the background remains frozen on the campaign’s dull but clearly needed get-out-the-vote instructions rather than flipping through, say, nostalgic images of Rangel’s four decades on Capitol Hill. And the lyrics — main chorus: “If you gonna vote, you gonna vote for da Rangel/Charlie-Charlie-Charlie Rangel!” — could sound a bit more inspired. (Team Rangel did not respond to emails seeking information as to who penned and performed the supportive ditty.)

But the background chimes are hauntingly beautiful. And the song is jam-packed with information about Rangel’s upbringing, military exploits and political accomplishments.

Still, the jingle lacks the grittiness of the anthemic rhymes Memphis-based rapper Al Kapone spit for then-House hopeful Dr. George Flinn (the aspiring politico is attempting to knock off Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., this time around) during the previous cycle.

Full story

Bill Maher’s #FlipADistrict Project Enters Final Countdown

Bill Mahers #FlipADistrict Project Enters Final Countdown

Coffman, left, and Walorski are two of the House Republicans targeted in the Bill Maher ‘Flip a District’ project. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

There are just two chances left to nominate House GOP lawmakers for ousting at the hands of HBO’s Bill Maher.

The political comedian announced during the June 20 “Real Time With Bill Maher” that he has added Republican Reps. Tim Walberg of Michigan and freshman Jackie Walorski of Indiana to his list of incumbents who might be vulnerable in the November midterm elections.

Full story

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