Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
May 27, 2015

Posts in "Nationwide"

May 26, 2015

Join a Political Dynasty Lickety-Click

Author and aspiring genealogist A.J. Jacobs is on a mission to prove mankind is one happy family — a theory that has borne out previously unknown connections to a who’s who of political heavies.

Jacobs’ digital sleuthing is projected to become flesh on June 6 during the Global Family Reunion, a day-long get-together expected to fill New York’s Hall of Science with would-be relatives from across creation.

Join a Political Dynasty Lickety Click

(Screenshot)

The fundraiser, which is geared toward combating Alzheimer’s, promises activities galore, including interactive exhibits, space age-y mini golf, a family-themed scavenger hunt, the world’s biggest family photo, a potentially record-breaking sing-along with Sister Sledge and global dining options (think: food carts). Full story

May 22, 2015

Lamar Alexander Pines to Play Piano Man

Nothing worse than watching plans for a nice, leisurely long holiday weekend dashed by the political ambitions of contrarian colleagues.

Unless, like Sen. Lamar Alexander, you also have a once-in-a-lifetime gig to attend to.

Lamar Alexander Pines to Play Piano Man

(CQ Roll Call File Photo)

“I’ll be very disappointed it I don’t make it,” the Tennessee Republican told HOH about the possibility of not being able to sit in Saturday for the farewell “Sunset Symphony” performance — a grand finale four decades in the making.

Alexander, who has been tickling the ivories since his youth, said he’s played the Memphis in May show only a handful of times — including a debut appearance in 1982, during which he recalls seeing around 150,000 people lined up along the banks of the might Mississippi while “Ol’ Man River” floated on the evening air — and is very excited about helping to bring the historic program to a close.

“It’s really a beautiful event,” he shared. 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.

Friends of the Earth Out to Bury Earl Blumenauer

(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

May 13, 2015

Team DelBene Taking Wedding Season By Storm

A trio of aides in the employ of Rep. Suzan DelBene are well on their way to walking down the aisle — including one whom the Washington Democrat is expected to marry off this Saturday.

Team DelBene Taking Wedding Season By Storm

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Full story

May 12, 2015

Gothamite Gaga About Nancy Pelosi’s Devotion to Family

A New Yorker was presently surprised to spot House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi mingling with a Greenwich Village congregation on Mother’s Day. Most of all, she adored watching the California Democrat dote on her grandkids.

Gothamite Gaga About Nancy Pelosi’s Devotion to Family

(Scott J. Ferrell/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

“It was just lovely. She cupped their faces gently in both of her hands in turn, leaning in to whisper greetings to each,” our tipster, who caught the public display of affection while attending services at the Church of St. Joseph, told HOH. “Not a side of our politicians often seen.” Full story

May 6, 2015

Kamala Harris’ Not-So-Secret Police

The Avengers. R.I.P.D. The Masonic Fraternal Police Department.

One of these fantasy units is causing real headaches for Senate hopeful Kamala Harris. Full story

Carving Up the Early Taste of America Contenders

Our in-house dining war is just getting started. But curious trends are already emerging in Roll Call’s Taste of America competition.

Winnowing of the first round contenders is scheduled to conclude Friday, so it’s still anybody’s ball game.

Interesting developments so far include:

Hottest Ticket

Arizona pork chimichangas vs. Wyoming bison burgers: With more than 4,500 votes between them and just a 1,200 vote differential dividing them (at press time, chimichangas enjoyed the sizable lead), this showdown was the most compelling. Full story

May 4, 2015

Robin Kelly’s Version of ‘Cheers’

Robin Kelly’s Version of ‘Cheers’

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Robin Kelly plans to kill two birds with one stone Thursday — celebrating her 59th birthday (again) and raising some coin for her campaign coffers — during a little get-together at Bocce’s Bar and Grill.

Although the second-term Democrat already marked her actual nameday (April 30) in the office (“Staff did surprise her with her favorite coconut cake,” Team Kelly said of the vanilla-frosted, shaved coconut-covered centerpiece procured from Harris Teeter.), the suburban Chicago watering hole (3909 Lincoln Highway, Matteson, Ill.) got the nod to serve as host for a second round of festivities.

The fundraiser (tickets start at $29 per person) is scheduled to take place from 6 to 7:30 p.m.

Robin Kelly’s Version of ‘Cheers’

(Screenshot)

“Bocce’s is her ‘Cheers.’ She has celebrated many occasions there from her husband’s birthday to sorority events. But, really it’s the everyday normalcy of Bocce’s that she loves,” a Kelly aide told HOH about the congresswoman’s affinity for the local hang-out. “It’s her favorite place to go and spend time with friends and neighbors who’ve become an extended family over the years, people who know her as just ‘Robin.’” Full story

April 27, 2015

McConnell Records Radio Introduction for Derby Day (Audio)

McConnell Records Radio Introduction for Derby Day (Audio)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

 

Many Kentucky radio listeners will hear a familiar voice at the start of coverage of the Run for the Roses.

Over an instrumental version of “My Old Kentucky Home,” Louisville-based 840 WHAS is featuring Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell introducing the news radio station’s coverage of this year’s 141st running of the Kentucky Derby. Full story

April 23, 2015

Former Hoosier Senator Teases Washington

Former Hoosier Senator Teases Washington

Bayh’s “important announcement” email caught Washington’s attention Thursday. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

When a retired lawmaker sitting on nearly $10 million fired off an email with the subject line “An important announcement” just ahead of the Thursday lunch hour, Washington took notice.

Former Indiana Sen. Evan Bayh is the biggest name on the Hoosier State’s Democratic bench — a name that’s been coming up a lot since GOP Sen. Dan Coats announced his retirement in March. Bayh’s been mum about jumping in the race, and with nearly every member of Indiana’s delegation showing interest in the seat, the contest has turned into a free-for-all. Given his name identification and the whopping $9.9 million cash-on-hand total Bayh retired with in 2010, he’d be an immediate front-runner should he get in the race. 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 16, 2015

Scott Peters Challenger Poised to Launch Bid From Afar

Iraq war veteran and House hopeful Jacquie Atkinson plans to toss her hat into the ring Thursday to unseat two-term California Democrat Scott Peters.

The odd thing is, the Republican will be making her intentions known in a district other than the one she’s hoping to represent.

According to an invite published online, Atkinson plans to formally get her campaign rolling at 6 p.m. via a kick-off event at Heat Bar and Kitchen in San Diego.

Scott Peters Challenger Poised to Launch Bid From Afar

(Screenshot)

While the menu seems plenty all-American (well, New American, anyway), a political insider pointed out that the restaurant is in the North Park section of town — placing it in the proverbial backyard of neighboring Rep. Susan A. Davis, D-Calif. Full story

By Warren Rojas Posted at 12:59 p.m.
Nationwide, Oopsie, Reps

April 15, 2015

Iowa Will Not Be Ignored

Whether courting home-schoolers or kicking it live with hog castrators (the new hockey moms?), would-be POTUSes have had it beaten into their skulls that the road to victory begins in Iowa.

Those who don’t have the faintest clue why the Midwest enjoys kingmaker status can, this fall, get a crash course in early caucusing from Steffen Schmidt, a professor of political science at Iowa State University.

Iowa Will Not Be Ignored

(Screenshot)

“Dr. Politics,” as he’s come to be known after decades of closely evaluating visiting presidential campaigns, wants to help demystify the caucus process via a four-part online program.

The Web-enabled tutorial is expected to peel back the curtain on the history of the Iowa caucuses, the mechanics of the inaugural contest, how the media plays into the process, and what it will all mean as we are collectively dragged, kicking and screaming, toward Election Day. 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

Gary Kroeger’s Candidacy Is No Laughing Matter

These days, you are more likely to find funnyman Gary Kroeger poring over think tank reports than cracking wise on a late-night sketch comedy show.

The Saturday Night Live alumnus, who was cast mates with comedy legends Billy Crystal, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Eddie Murphy and Martin Short, is now eyeing a different TV audience to court: C-SPAN viewers.

Kroeger Tuesday announced his intention to unseat Iowa Republican Rod Blum, joining the mounting class of challengers vying to win their way to Washington.

Though he’s never held public office before — “I consider that a strength as I believe (along with many others) that in order to improve the conversation in Washington we always need new voices from the people,” Kroeger told HOH via email — the former actor is no stranger to politics. Full story

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