Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
December 2, 2015

Posts in "ScandalFaced"

March 17, 2015

Aaron Schock: Look at Me! (But Not Too Closely)

Rep. Aaron Schock’s penchant for seeking out the spotlight appears to finally have burned him.

The embattled four-term lawmaker Tuesday tendered his resignation after a stream of embarrassing coverage threatened to propel him from mere media fascination to potential object of investigation.

The Illinois Republican first showed his smiling mug around Capitol Hill in 2008. He officially made a splash a few years later when Men’s Health dubbed him “America’s Fittest Congressman.”

Once the shirt came off for that profile, it seemed Schock would always find an excuse to shed a few extra layers, whether it be:

Playing soldier with up-and-coming armed forces personnel.

Full story

March 16, 2015

HOH Word of the Week: Crisis Management

Crisis management. Like PR fixers for the stars in New York and Hollywood, Washington, D.C. hosts a bunch of crisis-management firms whose client lists are often secret, and their tactics not exactly what we read about in civics textbooks.”

— From “Dog Whistles, Walk-Backs & Washington Handshakes: Decoding the Jargon, Slang, and Bluster of American Political Speech,” by Chuck McCutcheon and David Mark.

Full story

February 17, 2015

Lindsey Graham Jokes About Strom Thurmond’s Virility (Video)

Did Sen. Lindsey Graham go there and invoke Sen. Strom Thurmond’s legendary friskiness? Yes, he did.

Here’s how his quip went down at a subcommittee hearing on military retirement and compensation last week.

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

February 9, 2015

David Jolly Aide Accused of Poaching Bill Young’s Internal Rolodex

A staffer who worked for the late Rep. C.W. Bill Young Jr., R-Fla., says her colleague, a one-time case assistant who was subsequently promoted to constituent service representative after Rep. David Jolly, R-Fla., took control of the seat, surreptitiously copied Young’s star-studded contact list.

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Harry Glenn, Young’s former chief of staff, told CQ Roll Call that office staff was alerted by the Clerk of the House in fall 2013 that any sensitive information — save for ongoing casework — had to be purged. Full story

February 5, 2015

Benjamin Cole Desperately in Need of a Do-Over

Friday can’t possibly come soon enough for embattled House staffer Benjamin Cole.



The spokesman for Illinois Republican Aaron Schock is having what’s got to be his worst week in Washington, a parade of public humiliations that began with the discovery of his boss’ unusual taste in office décor.

“You’ve got a member [of Congress] willing to talk to you about other things … why sour it by rushing to write some gossipy piece?” Cole, in a painfully JV attempt to trade something (anything!) for squashing the revelation Schock likes artsy stuff, pleaded with political profiler Ben Terris in Monday’s Washington Post. 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.



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

January 20, 2015

Who’ll Steal the Show at SOTU?

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The thing about the State of the Union address is, even though the American people are supposed to hang on to every word that drops from President Barack Obama’s lips, there’ll be 534 other highly opinionated people around that night who would also like to have their say.

Most of the time these easy breezy bicameral get-togethers go off without a hitch. Full story

December 31, 2014

Spend New Year’s Day With Bob Ney

GOP leaders worked so hard to escape December without incident (Look, Ma! No government shutdown!), yet embarrassing revelations continue to pop up as the clock ticks down on 2014.

What better way to prepare for a fresh round of dirty laundry-airing infighting than to hear former Rep. Bob Ney, R-Ohio, run his former colleagues through the wringer all over again.

 Bob Ney (R-OH) tries to get through the sea of photographers as he leaves the U.S. District Court October 13, 2006 in Washington, DC. Ney entered a guilty plea to taking bribes in the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Ney tries to get through the sea of photographers as he leaves the U.S. District Court Oct. 13, 2006 in Washington, D.C. Ney entered a guilty plea to taking bribes in the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

To commemorate the 10-year anniversary of its Sunday night gabfest, “Q&A,” C-SPAN has been re-running some of the interview show’s greatest hits throughout the holidays. The Jan. 1 episode, scheduled to air at 7 p.m. EST, includes a conversation with the six-term lawmaker that fell furthest from grace as a result of the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal.

The 2013 replay, which took place during the promotional tour for Ney’s tell-all memoir, “Sideswiped: Lessons Learned Courtesy of the Hit Men of Capitol Hill,” appears to be timelier than ever given the career-ending hit New York Republican Michael G. Grimm’s political life has taken in recent days. Full story

December 30, 2014

The Gifts That Keep on Giving: HOH’s 2014 Faves

What a year we all just lived through!

There was election night drama, international intrigue and, of course, tearful farewells.

Keeping track of all the mayhem on Capitol Hill once again proved exhausting, thanks in large part to the concerted efforts of the following over achievers.

Rep. Michael G. Grimm, R-N.Y.


(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The embattled pol is a one-man gossip mill. Full story

December 19, 2014

Officials Decry Sony Hack, Cyber Assault Against ‘The Interview’

Head movie honcho Dodd criticized the North Korean regime. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Head movie honcho Dodd criticized the North Korean regime. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The blowback against the “sophisticated actors” who’ve managed to muzzle the dimwitted duo at the heart of gag flick “The Interview,” has now officially swelled from general outrage to international incident.

Earlier this week, lawmakers railed against the abrupt shelving of the absurdist romp, but the administration continued to play things close to the vest. No mas. Full story

December 18, 2014

Pols, Public Critique Wisdom of Silencing ‘The Interview’

Rogen, center, has gone radio silent since the controversy intensified. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rogen, center, has gone radio silent since the controversy intensified. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Moviegoers from all walks of life have been stopped dead in their tracks by Sony’s decision to drop the sociopolitical football that is  “The Interview” from its schedule, due to mounting pressures from external forces.

Just days after the film’s co-stars Seth Rogen and James Franco bowed out of making any more public appearances for the film, the besieged studio packed it in as well, shelving a satirical romp that has purportedly deeply offended supporters of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un. The stunning case of self-censorship unleashed a cacophony of analyses from instapundits.

Full story

December 15, 2014

Blake Farenthold Relaxes Grip on Sex-Related Domain

One lucky porn pusher will be able to exploit a whole new traffic stream this summer — just as soon as Rep. Blake Farenthold relinquishes control of

The Texas Republican had the prescience of mind to snatch up the salacious sounding domain back during his cyber-speculating days, laying claim to the sodomitic-sounding site in 1999.



Full story

December 1, 2014

Contempt for Elizabeth Lauten Spreads Far and Wide

It seems that no one, or anything, is immune from the seething rage Elizabeth Lauten fomented by launching a personal attack against Sasha and Malia Obama.

The one-time spokeswoman for Rep. Stephen Fincher, R-Tenn., had to fall on her sword Monday after her widely publicized rant about teenage behavior sparked a rhetorical war that cut across racial, political and gender divides.

The presumably seasoned public relations professional — Lauten handled press for one-term tea party favorite Rep. Joe Walsh of Illinois during the 112th Congress, spent a few years as “social and earned media manager” at Purple Strategies prior to that, and earlier this year launched her own shop — inspired not one (#ElizabethLauten) but two (#FireElizabethLauten) vitriol-laden threads on Twitter.

About that firm? Perhaps Lauten tapped her classics major at East Carolina University, naming it Audeamus Communications. Audeamus means “may we dare” or “may we risk” in Latin. Do with that information what you will.

In addition to exposing herself to ridicule (it didn’t take long for the hypocrisy bashing to kick in) and scorn (The Smoking Gun unearthed a decade-old shoplifting charge), Lauten’s antics suddenly made Fincher fair game.

And he wasn’t the only one caught in the mounting crossfire. Full story

Stephen Fincher Catches Shrapnel From Aide’s Attack on Obama Girls

Elizabeth Lauten

Lauten reportedly resigned Monday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Stephen Fincher is getting blasted from all sides following the departure of a communications aide forced to eat crow over the holiday weekend after lambasting the teenage daughters of President Barack Obama.

Congressional spokeswoman Elizabeth Lauten tendered her resignation Monday, after her digital broadside against Sasha and Malia Obama sparked a virtual riot across social media. Lauten’s electrifying screed incited equally caustic critiques from the Twitterverse, an online chorus that unloaded on her, former first siblings Barbara Pierce Bush and Jenna Bush Hager, the Republican Party and race relations in the United States.

Lauten eventually walked back her unsolicited evaluation of Obama’s child-rearing abilities, but it appears the damage was already done.

Her career implosion has been so great, in fact, that the Tennessee Republican who provided her with a steady paycheck is now having his own job security called into question.

Some seem to believe he’s complicit in the POTUS-shaming drama.

Full story

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