Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
September 4, 2015

Posts in "Nationwide"

June 29, 2015

Ben Jones Raises His Battle Flag

(Screenshot)

(Screenshot)

Its days might be numbered in the Palmetto State and other Southern states. But the Confederate battle flag has suddenly become the must-have item in the life of former Rep. Ben Jones.

The one-time Georgia Democrat and “Dukes of Hazzard” star who played “Cooter” is firing back against the rush to scrub the iconic battle flag from the national consciousness following the racially motivated shooting at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C.

“I think all of Hazzard nation understands that the confederate battle flag is the symbol that represents the indomitable spirit of independence which keeps us ‘makin’ our way the only way we know how,’” Jones espoused on social media, cribbing a line for his rant from the “Dukes” theme song penned by the late Waylon Jennings. Full story

June 26, 2015

Scott Brown’s Slim Pickings

Contrary to what social media users might think, former lawmaker Scott Brown hasn’t been conned by any Nigerian princes. And he no longer has any need to curry favor with Big Pharma.

So what would motivate the border-hopping Senate hopeful to throw his weight behind dietary supplements?

Good, old-fashioned results.

(Courtesy Scott Brown)

(Courtesy Scott Brown)

The one-time Massachusetts Republican (and occasional centerfold) recently got tongues wagging by taking to social media to espouse the benefits of modern medicine.

“I was fat, slow and out of shape,” Brown, who upon the counsel of his son-in-law elected to tackle AdvoCare’s 24-Day Challenge, said others told him of his post-congressional physique. Full story

June 18, 2015

Congress’ Captive Commencement Audiences

Lewis frequently takes time to speak to students. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Lewis frequently takes time to speak to students. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Congress’ most popular commencement speaker this year is Rep. John Lewis. By the end of graduation season, the Georgia Democrat will have spoken at six ceremonies, including one Saturday at Antioch College in Ohio.

At Virginia’s Hampton University on May 10, he told the graduates, “You must find a way to get in the way. You must find a way to get into trouble — in good trouble, in necessary trouble,” — a familiar message from the civil-rights icon. Full story

June 12, 2015

Dan Kildee Views BLT Disposal as a Team Effort

(Screenshot)

(Screenshot)

After securing another year of bragging rights by coming out on top in the 54th Annual Roll Call Congressional Baseball Game, Rep. Dan Kildee now faces a victory celebration decidedly not for the faint of heart.

Per the friendly wager he made on the game with Rep. John Moolenaar, R-Mich., the Michigan Democrat is owed one of the pound-plus BLTs that helped put Tony’s 1-75 Restaurant on the map.

“I think this might have to be a staff project,” the two-term lawmaker told HOH of the daunting delicacy. “There’s no way I can eat a pound of bacon, even in a month.” Full story

June 3, 2015

Bill Nelson’s Private Hell

Friendly bets regarding the outcome of the Stanley Cup Final are flying around up here on Capitol Hill. But no matter who emerges victorious, Sen. Bill Nelson is destined to remain the odd man out.

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Florida Democrat has gone all-in behind the Tampa Bay Lighting in the best-of-seven series that will decide the next National Hockey League champ.

Sen. Richard J. Durbin is backing the Chicago Blackhawks, and he’s put up regional goodies as collateral. Full story

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.

GFRi

(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.

(CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(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.

(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

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.

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(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.

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

(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’

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(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.

(Screenshot)

(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

(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

Bayh's "important announcement" email caught Washington's attention Thursday. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

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

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