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

Posts in "Grassroots Lobbying"

July 12, 2015

Graphic Artist Sparks Impromptu Bernie Sanders Rally at Comic-Con

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SAN DIEGO – Could the (fury) road to the White House one day lead through Comic-Con?

Mario Prado, a printing wiz currently smitten with 2016 presidential hopeful Sen. Bernard Sanders, doesn’t see that as such an absurd proposition.

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

“Comic-Con attracts a lot of nerds. Nerds are very much on top of politics,” the printing shop owner told CQ Roll Call of his decision to stump for the Vermont independent.

Prado erected an eye-catching depiction of the populist pol facing off against the conservative Koch brothers in a Mad Max-like landscape along a heavily traveled crosswalk just outside the bustling entertainment hub. That, coupled with the fire engine-red T-shirt he wore in support of “Bernie Man” — showing Sanders’ signature shock of white hair replaced by flaming coiffure — drew in passersby, many of whom Prado said were not all that familiar with the veteran pol. Full story

June 25, 2015

Jesus Lady Challenges Speaker Boehner to Step Up

(CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Spiritual warrior Rita Warren can no longer hold her tongue about a perceived brush-off by Speaker John A. Boehner.

The career demonstrator, who displays her life-sized statue of Jesus Christ at the Capitol each and every week, provided HOH with an open letter demanding the Ohio Republican once and for all address her plan to have actor Robert Powell recite the sermon on the mount scene from “Jesus of Nazareth” for congressional lawmakers. Full story

June 16, 2015

Jesus Lady Ready to Do Some Arm Twisting of Her Own

Capitol Hill fixture Rita Warren has had it with being blown off by Speaker John A. Boehner regarding her plan to help save lawmakers from total ruin.

(CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(CQ Roll Call File Photo)

“Speaker Boehner doesn’t answer me. He doesn’t want to speak to me about Jesus of Nazareth,” the octogenarian activist told HOH about the cold shoulder she’s been getting from the Ohio Republican.

The source of friction appears to be the repeated requests Warren has lodged to bring in actor Robert Powell and have him address both chambers of Congress — a lobbying effort she expects to renew Thursday during her weekly trek to the Hill. Full story

May 18, 2015

Friends of the Earth Out to Bury Earl Blumenauer

Environmental activists are throwing Rep. Earl Blumenauer under the zero-emission, biodiesel-fueled bus for openly embracing broader trade-promotion authority.

Friends of the Earth is going after the Oregon Democrat both here and back home in Portlandia for endorsing a polarizing “fast-track” plan the eco-warriors perceive to be a bum deal.

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

“That’s what you get if you’re going to side with corporate polluters,” Friends of the Earth Climate and Energy Program Director Benjamin Schreiber told HOH of the dozens of antagonistic flyers. Schreiber personally affixed the signs — which read, “MISSING: Climate Champion Earl Blumenauer” — to every available surface surrounding the Capitol South Metro station. Full story

April 28, 2015

Clothier Resurrects ‘Pro-Life’ Photo-Hunt Challenge

Camera-shy politicians, beware! The American Life League has tasked its social media-savviest supporters with seeking out high-ranking, reproductive rights-minded members of Congress for selfie-centric advocacy during National Pro-Life T-Shirt Week.

Although it’s been part of the annual promotion before — an ALL aide said the group first rolled out the NPLTW program in 2004, gradually building from a single day of action to a full week of exposure — the Congressional Photo Challenge is being emphasized this year in the hopes fans will push themselves to score actual face-time with elected officials.

(Screenshot)

(Screenshot)

The rules of the game are simple: NPLTW fans have one week (the contest kicked off Tuesday and draws to a close May 4 at 11:59 p.m.) to snap pictures of themselves — wearing an ALL-produced shirt, or at the very least, some sort of religious garb (homemade, even) modified to include the official NPLTW badge — completing various tasks. Full story

Paul Strauss Snags New Recruits for Statehood Push

(CQ Roll Call archives)

(CQ Roll Call archives)

The celebrities who flooded into town for the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner have since dissipated. But their influence on the D.C. statehood front keeps building via the trickle of support D.C. shadow Sen. Paul Strauss is patiently collecting.

While the rest of #ThisTown drank itself silly, Strauss immersed himself in conversation with visiting celebs he thought might be willing to lend their voices to the D.C. statehood campaign. Step one of the charm offensive was making the out-of-towners feel at home in the Capitol. Full story

April 24, 2015

Prayer Warriors Want WHCD Refocused on Community Service

Pray at the Pump founder Rocky Twyman Friday plans to put the screws to all the revelers floating around #ThisTown for the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner by publicly petitioning President Barack Obama to prod the host journalists and visiting celebrities to pursue more worthwhile causes.

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

“Special prayers will be offered for our partying White House correspondents whose news organizations are spending millions on impressing Hollywood stars instead of using money for investigative stories that impact the nation,” Twyman said in a release announcing his intention to picket outside the White House from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Full story

April 21, 2015

Steve Knight Lashes Out at Conservative Activists

(Screenshot)

(Screenshot)

Updated 7 p.m. | Freshman lawmaker Steve Knight got so fed up over the weekend with the anti-immigration protesters who have been hounding him for months that he finally snapped.


“If you touch me again, I’ll drop your ass. Alright?” the vulnerable California Republican warned an activist who confronted him outside his Simi Valley office. Knight,  who in January replaced retired GOP Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon, is facing a steep learning curve when it comes to fundraising (according to the latest Federal Election Commission data, Knight collected under $29,000 this past quarter).

The weekend exchange, first reported by SCVTalk blogger Mike Devlin, was captured by supporters of the immigration-reduction outfit NumbersUSA. Full story

April 15, 2015

Yoga Crews Court Congressional Posers

Stressed out about not fitting enough relaxation time into your schedule?

Don’t sweat it. Yoga enthusiasts are preparing to flex some serious muscle on Capitol Hill.

(Courtesy Congressional Yogi Association)

(Courtesy Congressional Yogi Association)

The LoveYourBrain Foundation plans to help staffers shake off work-related angst Thursday by offering a free yoga class.

The inaugural stretch fest, which is being put on in conjunction with the Congressional Brain Injury Task Force, is scheduled to take place in the park immediately behind Rayburn (sandwiched between C and D streets Southwest) from 1 to 2 p.m., weather permitting. Full story

March 27, 2015

Cyrus Clan Cusses Out Mike Pence

Braison Cyrus, younger brother of pop star and twerker-in-chief Miley Cyrus, has launched a campaign to have everybody on the Internet give Indiana Gov. Mike Pence hell for signing into law a polarizing “religious freedom” bill. Full story

March 11, 2015

Why Are Members of Congress Following a Salacious Twitter Feed?

Why would several members of Congress line up behind what looks to be a porn-intensive Twitter feed? It might have something to do with a concerned Scotsman, a former Cabinet secretary and a sick little girl from Pennsylvania.
Full story

March 9, 2015

Medicare Lobby Is Sweet on Capitol Hill

Politically active seniors are circling D.C. this week, dispensing gourmet cookies and pro-Medicare Advantage anecdotes via the advocacy tool du jour: a custom food truck.

Full story

February 27, 2015

Activist Toques Scour Capitol Hill for Food Aid

Just under a dozen renowned hospitality professionals looked to carve up both chambers of Congress, pressing their respective lawmakers to support the realignment of outdated global assistance provisions.

The food service vets, who walked the halls of Congress on behalf of Oxfam America, flew in from across the country on Feb. 24 to voice their support for the Food for Peace Reform Act co-authored by Sens. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., and Chris Coons, D-Del.

“This is an antiquated system that needs a total overhaul. And this legislation is the gold standard of what aid would look like if it were designed from the ground up today,” Oxfam America Senior Policy Adviser Eric Muñoz said of the proposed policy changes. Full story

February 23, 2015

UFO Activist to Capitol Hill: ‘Beam Me Up!’

Stephen Bassett, executive director of Paradigm Research Group and founder of the Extraterrestrial Phenomena Political Action Committee (X-PPAC), has devoted the past 18 years to overcoming the “truth embargo” about government involvement in alien affairs.

He’s now ready for Congress to officially weigh in.

(Screenshot)

(Screenshot)

“Once this evidence is properly looked at, the way it should be, any reasonable person will come to the same conclusion,” Bassett told HOH about the cumulative knowledge his advocacy group wants to share with interested lawmakers.

Bassett laid the groundwork for his latest congressional outreach a few years back, hosting a 30-plus-hour mock hearing (spanning five days) at the National Press Club in 2013. He had copies of the recorded sessions of the Citizen Hearing on Disclosure delivered to every Capitol Hill office — a bundle containing 10 DVDs, a letter signed by the participating witnesses and a request to meet with Bassett — immediately following the midterm elections. Full story

February 9, 2015

Niki Tsongas, Jerrold Nadler Embraced by LGBT Filmmakers

Words of support that House Democrats Niki Tsongas of Massachusetts and Jerrold Nadler of New York extended to a same-sex couple whose union was threatened by the polarizing Defense of Marriage Act are slated to appear in an upcoming movie about the ongoing struggle.

According to Caroline Hart, the European half of a domestic partnership that came under fire after Department of Homeland Security agents tossed around talk of deportation following a return flight from her native England, the kind words both lawmakers shared via Twitter will be rolled into “Status Unknown” — a dramatization of the nightmare scenario she experienced at Logan Airport. Full story

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