Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
July 24, 2014

Posts in "Reps"

July 23, 2014

Making the Most of a Swing Through Charm City

What’s a D.C.-based reporter to do when faced with ferreting out a worthwhile repast while on assignment in neighboring Baltimore? Solicit recommendations from Maryland’s congressional delegation, of course.

At least, that’s how Bloomberg BNA scribe Andrew Andragna played it Wednesday morning before hitting the road for an out-of-town conference.

 

 

According to Andragna, the dining S.O.S. was very much a spur of the moment thing.

“First time ever reaching out and didn’t put much thought into it,” Andragna told HOH. He said he meant to pose the question to Maryland Democrat Benjamin L. Cardin in person a day earlier — the two, evidently, chatted here on Capitol Hill Tuesday — but just never got around to it.

No matter.

Cardin came through on Twitter anyway. Full story

Jim Himes Rains on Conspiracy Theorist’s Parade

Rep. Jim Himes unleashed a flood of Twitter rage Wednesday morning after baiting a current events troll with news of his “secret” powers.

The social media implosion occurred shortly after a Twitter user self-identified as Danny Anson (@1Anson1) decided to dig into the Connecticut Democrat’s background and demanded to know about any underlying affiliations.

 

 

“None. But on Tuesdays they do let me control the weather,” Himes quipped when quizzed about his allegiance to surreptitious power brokers.

The taunt clearly fried Anson’s circuits, sparking some 40-odd replies (and counting) that bounce around a bevy of hot-button issues: destabilization of the Middle East, religious persecution, global intelligence gathering, morality, free trade. You name it. Full story

July 22, 2014

John Dingell Stumped by Kardashian Craze

Rep. John D. Dingell has spent nearly 24 hours trying to wrap his head around the dizzying world of celebutantes. And it ain’t working.

After being stumped by a seemingly random tweet from someone at the Environmental Protection Agency — which has, of course, since been scrubbed from existence — trumpeting their standing in reality TV star Kim Kardashian’s nascent iPhone-friendly time-suck, the Michigan Democrat apparently turned to staff for a crash course in all things O. J. Simpson’s-former-lawyer’s-since-remarried-wife’s-brood’s plans to prove Andy Warhol wrong.

(Et tu, EPA?)

Team Dingell did not respond to queries regarding whether the debrief on the reigning tabloid queen/bride of hip-hop mogul Kanye West/mother of North West included “A Clockwork Orange”-like screening of TMZ clips, binge-watching of E!’s burgeoning Kardashian-centric programming (have the pets been given shows yet?) or a quick flip-through men’s magazines.

 

 

It’s obvious, however, that the pop culture cram session clearly didn’t take. Full story

John Mica’s Makeover Plans Ain’t Gonna Happen

If Rep. John L. Mica had his way, a lot of people who currently inhabit some of the most cherry spots on the House side of the Capitol would be looking for new places to hang their hats come November.

“It’s something that we need to look at in the next Congress, … opening up more of these historic spaces,” the Florida Republican told HOH about his quest to carve out additional meeting rooms and reception areas for entertainment-minded lawmakers.

Per Mica, the current crop of reservation-required options is woefully limited to the Speaker’s Dining Room (H-122) and the Henry J. Hyde Room (H-139).

John Mica’s Makeover Plans Ain’t Gonna Happen

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

By comparison, Mica noted that senators have access to the cavernous Lyndon Baines Johnson (S-211) and Mike Mansfield (S-207) rooms. “We don’t have those equivalents. And we should,” he argued. Full story

July 18, 2014

Rep. Ruiz Assists Passenger During Flight Home

Rep. Raul Ruiz, D-Calif., was called into action while flying home Thursday when a young woman a few rows in front of him began having a seizure.

A Ruiz spokesperson confirmed Friday that the former emergency room doctor did assist the woman on his flight. Ruiz checked to make sure her condition was not serious enough to warrant an emergency landing.

According to the Daily Caller, the woman Ruiz helped, Lisa De Pasquale, is a columnist for the conservative Breitbart News and Townhall websites. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee saw fit to send out an In Case You Missed It email with Betsy Rothstein’s DC story.

De Pasquale told HOH that she was “very grateful that Congressman Ruiz was there!” In an email, the scribe related that “I didn’t let on to how scared I was that I didn’t remember anything that happened before, during and immediately after the seizure. He sat and talked to me for the remainder of the flight. We talked about religion and books, and nothing about politics. It was great!”

This was not the first time Ruiz lent a hand during an in-flight medical emergency.

In October, Ruiz was headed to Texas when a passenger collapsed during the flight. Ruiz helped stabilize the passenger and, in that case, the passenger’s condition caused the plane to land in Raleigh, N.C.

Thursday’s incident occurred during the California Democrat’s typical flight home, which stops in Phoenix. Ruiz’s fellow House member, Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., was on the flight and witnessed Ruiz assisting the passenger.

Correction: An earlier version of this story misstated Rep. Sinema’s party.

Congressional Hits and Misses: Week of July 14 (Video)

As members discuss bathroom breaks, candy and The People’s Court, Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., refuses to yield the Senate floor.

Pet Project Morphs Into Solon-Shaming ‘PolitiCat’

An anonymous online scold has begun a virtual game of cat and mouse with elected officials, awarding leaders willing to reach across party lines for the greater good with quirky honors while ripping those who just plain cross lines a new one.

Although a relative newcomer to the social mediasphere, “PolitiCat,” the nom de plume of the political science grad hoping to groom fellow would-be pundits, has set its sights on getting pols and voters to more carefully consider their actions.

“I aim to break into the consciousness of the general public, particularly younger people with regard to voter responsibility. I want to highlight the behavior of lawmakers and public figures, especially to ‘catch them being good’ vis a vis advancing bipartisanship,” PC asserted via email.

That outreach has, so far, not always resonated with intended allies (a la the Wichita, Kan., radio host who just didn’t “get” one muddled missive).

 

 

We, too, were a bit stumped by what seemed to be a nonsensical exchange with Rep. Patrick Murphy — until PC explained the open letter was actually a response to an earlier fundraising pitch from the Florida Democrat. Full story

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 14, 2014

John Lewis Readies ‘March: Book Two’ for 2015

The second installment of Rep. John Lewis’ illustrated history of the civil rights era, “March: Book Two” has a newly designed cover and a tentative release date: late January of next year.

John Lewis Readies ‘March: Book Two’ for 2015

(Courtesy Top Shelf Productions)

Top Shelf Productions spokesman Leigh Walton said Lewis would not be traveling to San Diego next week for Comic Con, as he did last year. Congressional aide and co-author Andrew Aydin and artist Nate Powell are making the trip, and are expected to update fans about the planned trilogy Friday, July 25 at noon during a Top Shelf-led panel discussion.

Per the promotional materials, Book Two appears to pick up several months after Book One drew to a close (spring 1960), with the Georgia Democrat continuing to exercise his commitment to non-violent protest by hitting the road with the Freedom Riders and, ultimately, helping to lead the history-making 1963 march on Washington.

“Pre-orders are already coming in for Book Two,” Walton said of the mounting interest surrounding the ground-breaking set of graphic novels. Much like Book One, the next episode of Lewis’ extraordinary life will be available in paperback, hardcover, and as a limited edition, autographed collectible.

July 11, 2014

Congress-edits Is Just the Latest to Keep Tabs on Pols’ Cyber Stumbles

Another day, another resource to expose the often clueless political operatives who foolishly tool around the Internet believing their subversive activities — be they illicit, shady or just plain dumb — will never come back to bite them in the arse.

It’s getting so that overzealous Hill staffers and campaign spin doctors can’t rewrite history without someone calling them out for flooding the online ether with lies, damned lies and, well, you know the rest.

Senate hopeful Mike McFadden, the Republican pick to challenge Minnesota Democrat Al Franken this fall, received a crash course in transparency after aides got caught tinkering with unflattering responses to a divisive TV spot. Full story

Congressional Hits and Misses: Week of July 7 (Video)

As members discuss Jesus and car brakes, Rep. Mike Simpson says members need to know when to “shut up.”

July 10, 2014

Getting to the Meat of the Matter in Texas

Getting to the Meat of the Matter in Texas

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

From the looks of things on social media, folks in the Lone Star State can’t quite figure out exactly what they should be stuffing their faces with.

Corpus Christi, Texas country station K-99 kicked off the caloric controversy earlier this week by endorsing a short, but still oddly redundant, rewriting of the food pyramid.

The extra beefy prescription seemed to be one only Dr. Atkins could love. Not to mention that the proposed categories somehow managed to be both over-broad and bizarrely exclusionary. Full story

July 9, 2014

Disgraced ‘Duke’ Cunningham Now a Free Man

Disgraced Duke Cunningham Now a Free Man

Cunningham, left, is now a free man. (CQ Roll Call File Photo.)

After eight years in prison and one year of post-prison monitoring, former Rep. Randy “Duke” Cunningham, R-Calif., is now a free man.

According to local reports, a federal judge recently granted the disgraced congressman an early release from the monitoring, which was supposed to last for an additional two years. Cunningham resigned from office in 2005 and was sent to prison after pleading guilty to bribery, fraud and tax evasion.

The Vietnam veteran and former Navy pilot told U-T San Diego that he regretted how his conviction affected his family and friends.

“I would tell my constituents and my friends that I’m sorry for the actions I took,” Cunningham said. “There is not a day goes by that I don’t ask myself, how the hell did I do what I did? You get caught up in something.”

The 72-year-old former congressman reportedly lives in a scenic gated community in Arkansas.

July 7, 2014

Stan Lee and John Lewis: The Drawing of the Two

Some lawmakers enjoy being able to drop out of sight during recess. Others, such as critically acclaimed graphic novelist/Rep. John Lewis, find it much harder to disentangle from the swirling celebrity life.

Case in point: fans of the Georgia Democrat simply could not resist prodding him together with comics legend Stan Lee — you know, the guy who created all those spandex-clad superheroes that lord over movie screens every summer and has done cameos in many of the Marvel flicks — during a chance meeting in Las Vegas.

Stan Lee and John Lewis: The Drawing of the Two

(Courtesy Andrew Aydin)

“It was totally by accident, but as soon as they were near each other, people started pushing them together. I grabbed my phone as quick as I could and snapped the picture,” Andrew Aydin, congressional aide and co-author of “March,” the illustrated tale of Lewis’ Civil Rights Era activism, told HOH.

Per Aydin, it was the first time they had crossed paths with the nonagenarian wellspring from which the likes of Spiderman, the Hulk and the X-Men had flowed since officially joining the comic writing verse last summer.

“Neither of us had ever met him before,” Aydin said of the serendipitous encounter. A lifelong reader (“I gushed like a fanboy,” he admitted), Aydin was thrilled to hear Lee chatting with his boss about “March” and just generally soaked in the absolutely magical moment. Full story

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