Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
May 29, 2015

Posts in "Human Props"

May 26, 2015

Staffer Bids Adieu to ‘Jurassic Congress’

“We spared no expense.”

House aide Tom Brandt took to heart the phrase made famous by fictional eccentric billionaire John Hammond in the 1993 film “Jurassic Park” in orchestrating the ultimate send-off for his friend, Senate staffer Mitch Erdel.

In preparation for Erdel’s last day working for Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., Brandt, the communications director for House GOP Conference Vice Chairwoman Lynn Jenkins of Kansas, showed up on May 21 at the Capitol’s East Front in his jeep, adorned with a “Jurassic Park” decal he’d purchased on eBay especially for the occasion.

The purpose of the exercise?  So Erdel could pose like this … Full story

May 11, 2015

Gerry Connolly, Hulk Hogan Look to Smash Cancer

Fundraising for caretaker organizations is always more enjoyable with friends.

Just ask newly minted besties Rep. Gerald E. Connolly and WWE icon Hulk Hogan.

Gerry Connolly, Hulk Hogan Look to Smash Cancer

(Courtesy Connolly)

“It was a lot of fun meeting him,” the Virginia Democrat said of squeezing into a pic with the former wrestling champ. The Hulkster was in town this past weekend to serve as grand marshal of the annual Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. 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.

Clothier Resurrects Pro Life Photo Hunt Challenge

(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

Paul Strauss Snags New Recruits for Statehood Push

(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 21, 2015

Steve Knight Lashes Out at Conservative Activists

Steve Knight Lashes Out at Conservative Activists

(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 10, 2015

Golf Lobby Continues Chipping Away at Congress

Advocates for living life 18 holes at a time are scheduled to bring their “A” game to Capitol Hill on Wednesday for another round of links-related outreach.

Golf Lobby Continues Chipping Away at Congress

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Industry leaders are giving “National Golf Day 2015” all they’ve got, carting in Presidents Cup 2015 captains Jay Haas (U.S. team) and Nick Price (international team) to talk shop, Golf Channel instructor Michael Breed to help firm up the average duffer’s handicap and a slew of enthusiasts game to poke their heads into any congressional office that will have them. Full story

April 8, 2015

Shake It Up, Bustos (Video)

Think you partied hard this spring break? Rep. Cheri Bustos certainly attempted to rock her constituents’ world.

The Illinois Democrat Wednesday pounded the skins during a swing through a nursing home nestled in her district.

Bustos appears to bongo with the best of ‘em, keeping time as best she can while her co-performers chime in via guitar, tambourine and rain stick. Full story

March 3, 2015

Jocks Blanket Congress

Current and retired athletes — along with one of the winningest National Football League owners in recent history — Tuesday claimed home-field advantage on Capitol Hill, fanning out across the campus to dazzle feds and fans alike.

Opportunities for hero worship abounded, no matter what pastime one might be into.

Rep. Richard E. Neal, D-Mass., teed up a little viewing party for those most interested in gawking at the Vince Lombardi Trophy — a conversation-starter currently in the possession of the Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots.

Patriots owner Robert Kraft, who spent part of his morning in the House chamber digesting visiting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s thoughts on international affairs, was scheduled to show off the fabled award in H-122 from 3:30-4:30 p.m. Full story

March 2, 2015

Elizabeth Roskam Readies Bibi’s Dome

Administration officials have made it very clear that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will not get to press the flesh with President Barack Obama before or after Tuesday’s politically charged appearance on Capitol Hill. But, thanks to congressional spouse Elizabeth Roskam, Bibi won’t be going home completely empty-handed.

The wife of Rep. Peter Roskam, R-Ill., has prepared a gift for the polarizing world leader: A shadowy still life of the Capitol Dome. The artist has dubbed it “Dome of Consequence.”

Elizabeth Roskam Readies Bibi’s Dome

“Dome of Consequence” by Elizabeth Roskam (Courtesy Peter Roskam)

Full story

February 26, 2015

Posers Abound at #CPAC2015

It’s a good thing Buzzkill Boehner is considered too much of a squish to get his Conservative Political Action Conference on. Because there’s no way the selfie-averse Ohio Republican could tolerate the vanity fair happening across the river at National Harbor.

  Full story

February 25, 2015

Vote with Your Liver at #CocktailCaucus 2015

As anyone who’s covered previous iterations of the Conservative Political Action Conference — the right-wing rally returning to town Feb. 25-28 — can attest, the best part of sitting through the cacophony of stump speeches is getting good and loaded afterwards.

A trio of media outlets is hoping to capitalize on that propensity to get plowed by convincing CPACers to weigh on the field of White House hopefuls via an unofficial “Cocktail Caucus.”

Vote with Your Liver at #CocktailCaucus 2015

(Screenshot)

The straw swizzle stick poll — a collaboration between Independent Journal Review, the National Review and Facebook — is scheduled to take place at Harrington’s Pub & Kitchen (177 Fleet St., Oxon Hill, Md.) Friday from 6-9 p.m. 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.

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

(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 13, 2015

House Democrats Materializing on Magic Mondays

What began as a solo project has evolved into a group effort, with more and more Democrat lawmakers suddenly appearing alongside Rep. Mark Pocan in his weekly, illusion-themed video chats.

The Wisconsin Democrat, a former childhood entertainer, launched his “Magic Mondays” series a few weeks back. In it, Pocan attempts to demystify the machinations of Congress by illustrating what’s really happening in Washington via sleight of hand.

Initial installments featured Pocan operating alone, or with the help of a staffer. This week, however, he got Rep. Alan Lowenthal, D-Calif., to play along. Full story

February 4, 2015

Novelty Bourbon Delivery an Uncompromising Success

Lawmakers from across the Capitol poured into the Willard Hotel Tuesday to honor the unique flavor bourbon has contributed to Congress.

Novelty Bourbon Delivery an Uncompromising Success

House Speaker John A. Boehner shares a laugh with Rep. John Yarmuth. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The feel-good presser was the brainchild of the Henry Clay Center for Statesmanship and the Kentucky Distillers’ Association; the former provided historical context while the latter kept the predominantly Southern crowd in good spirits.

Novelty Bourbon Delivery an Uncompromising Success

(Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Full story

January 23, 2015

Political Aides Pounce on Whatever-gate

Seizing on an opponent’s latest shortcoming is the currency of the communication director’s realm. But in an age when cleverly crafted GIFs or shade-throwing listicles grab more eyeballs than immediately deleted, boilerplate email blasts, it pays to have one’s digital way with the news of the day.

Someone in the office of Rep. Todd Young, R-Ind., recently did just that, juxtaposing the New England Patriot’s ballsy brushoff of #DeflateGate with head-scratching comments delivered by administration officials.

Political Aides Pounce on Whatever gate

(Screenshot)

The eight-question “quiz” is all about celebrating foot-in-mouth disease — a relatively common condition here on Capitol Hill. Full story

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