Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
October 10, 2015

Posts in "Outta Here!"

September 28, 2015

Keeping a Stiff Upper Lip in Boehnerland

His Sept. 25 decision to relinquish command of the increasingly unruly House of Representatives left many of those who learned the ways of Washington beneath the wing of retiring Speaker John A. Boehner utterly speechless.

(Bill Clark/Roll Call/Pool)

Sorrow, though, wasn’t the predominant emotion.

In some cases, it appeared to be relief.

Full story

July 29, 2015

Friends Pour Into Pombo Portrait Unveiling

Sitting lawmakers and onetime House Natural Resources Committee staff returned to their old stomping grounds in Longworth Tuesday to honor former Rep. Richard W. Pombo.


“It’s like old House day!” one enthusiastic supporter who had gathered for the unveiling of Pombo’s official portrait sputtered while snaking through the flood of familiar faces. Full story

July 11, 2015

Cantor v. Brat: The Fight Continues

On his way out quicker than first stated. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Remember this guy? (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Eric Cantor might have lost the battle — but he could still win the war.

Well, maybe not really. 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 9, 2015

Crises Bring Out the Best in Congress, Ian Koski Maintains | Exit Interview

For all its flaws, the legislative branch, ex-staffer Ian Koski says, is truly at its best when adversity rears its ugly head.

Full story

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 8, 2015

Exit Interview: Amie Woeber Loves Loose Cannons

It sounds like departing congressional staffer Amie Woeber has, following a decade of government service, finally come to terms with the idea of decamping from the Hill.

Hill Climbers from left, Amie Woeber, Charlie Keller, Carol Beck, Andrew Kovalcin. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

From back in the day, from left, Woeber and fellow Hill Climbers Charlie Keller, Carol Beck and Andrew Kovalcin. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Quitting all the chaos, however, may require intensive therapy.

The House Republican aide is leaving the Capitol’s confines to take a job as Washington government relations manager at PayPal. Her last day as legislative director for Rep. Sean P. Duffy, R-Wis., is Friday, and she says she is grateful for having worked alongside some of the legislative branch’s more colorful characters. Full story

April 27, 2015

Doug Hecox Lives to Lampoon Politicians

(Courtesy Traci Medlock)

(Courtesy Traci Medlock)

Perhaps the most important thing recovering Hill staffer Doug Hecox took away from his time in the legislative branch was an abiding appreciation for intentionally funny stuff.

“It’s a sitcom with very bad actors. And a really bad script,” the veteran stand-up told HOH about the sorry state of congressional affairs.“Everybody takes themselves entirely too seriously.” Full story

April 13, 2015

Exit Interview: Scott Overland Cherishes Congressional Cutups

Leaving the friends he made and inspirational figures he encountered while working on Capitol Hill is no easy task for former staffer Scott Overland.

But he’s made his peace with moving on (Best of luck leading the pack as PetSmart’s man for legislative affairs!) by clinging to the joie de vivre inculcated in him by quick-witted pols.

The communications pro flexed his messaging muscles in both chambers, working first for former Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman, I-Conn., and most recently for Rep. Jared Polis, D-Colo.

Each man, he suggested, knew how to keep things pretty lively. Full story

April 9, 2015

When Harry Met Lynn …

Jenkins, far right, is a member of the GOP leadership. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Jenkins, far right, is a member of the GOP leadership. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

If you don’t know who Rep. Lynn Jenkins is, you have something in common with Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.

In an interview on Tuesday with Fusion’s Jorge Ramos, Reid was asked how he would respond to Jenkins’ charge from last summer that the Senate was the real “do-nothing” chamber because Reid blocked GOP legislation when he was majority leader.

His response? “I say respectfully to this woman, I don’t know who she is,” Reid replied. “But she doesn’t know what she’s talking about.”

He went on: Full story

March 24, 2015

Overheard: The Ghosts of GOP Past

“I decided in my old age I’m going to haunt the Senate, so here I am.”

— Former Speaker J. Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., discussing his curious retirement plans while hanging with senators and former Rep. Bill Delahunt, D-Mass., just outside the other chamber. Full story

March 17, 2015

Politically Savvy Student Owns Being a Congressional Albatross

Lauren Dickinson isn’t worried, per se, that she may be a harbinger of death (career-wise anyway) for self-styled, rockstar politicos.

If anything, she’s fascinated by the power she seems to exert over self-destructive Republicans.

“Just call me the kiss of death. I’m 2 for 2 with Schock & Radel,” the George Washington University student mused online while showcasing a composite shot of her posing alongside the scandal-plagued pretty boys.

It’s unclear, however, just how potent Dickinson’s grasp may be. Full story

February 10, 2015

Big To-Do at Zoo! Wu, Where Are You?

What happens when one of god’s creatures gets caught contemplating the fate of a faux compatriot?

Political junkies of all stripes, naturally, find a way to connect the dots back to Capitol Hill.

Full story

January 23, 2015

Exit Interview: Matthew Leffingwell Treasures Congressional Raconteurs

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: longtime House staffer calls it quits, moves on to sweet gig in the nonprofit world. Same old story, right?

What’s different about Matthew Leffingwell’s swan song is that even though he’s joining a global powerhouse co-founded by musical royalty, the Capitol Hill vet insists he will genuinely miss hearing solons crack wise about, well, everything. Full story

January 13, 2015

Congress, at Its Most Animated, Is Always Fun to Watch

Turning a legendary chamber-clearing brawl between House Democrats and Republicans into a cartoon short not only displays “Bills and Brews” creator Matt Laslo’s brilliance in capitalizing on the gems he extracts from pols during his booze-fueled interviews, it makes him a bona fide member of some of the most colorful satirists around.



Retired Rep. James P. Moran, D-Va., last fall laid the foundation for this fisticuff-y trip down memory lane by sharing how a handful of lawmakers dealt with disagreements back in the day.

Reducing screwy pols to mere caricatures of themselves is a time-honored tradition among those grossly dissatisfied with what does (or does not) routinely take place in the halls of Congress.

Full story

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