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April 18, 2014

Posts in "ScandalFaced"

October 10, 2013

Conservatives Clown on Affordable Care Act

The Twittersphere lit up Thursday with a litany of famous people, philosophical conceits and pop culture references that are theoretically #MoreSuccessfulThanObamacare.

The online venting tool, which runs the gamut from rehashing universally panned films (“Waterworld,” “Ishtar,” “Gigli”) to self-deprecating humor (lots of mentions of inadequate body parts, lost loves and flagging academic endeavors), was obviously intended to allow conservatives to blow off some steam about the health insurance changes they so clearly revile.

Most of the participants — particularly those who unloaded on congressional targets — tended to direct their vitriol outward. But at least one House Republican didn’t shy away from looking inward.

Politicians fragged by social-media shrapnel include: Full story

October 3, 2013

Griffin’s Angry Tweet Sparks Social Media Firestorm

While Capitol Hill police raced to contain a mid-afternoon scare punctuated by gunshots, car chases and emergency evacuation procedures, Rep. Tim Griffin was busy firing partisan insults into the online ether.

Griffin’s Angry Tweet Sparks Social Media Firestorm

(CQ Roll Call photo illustration)

Less than a minute after alerting his Twitter flock about the life-threatening drama right outside the Capitol, the Arkansas Republican took a swipe at President Barack Obama, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y. — a move many observers took to mean that he somehow blamed Democrats for the violent episode.

Reactions ran the gamut from disbelief:

to derision: Full story

Marlin Stutzman Attempts Foot-from-Mouth Surgery

Marlin Stutzman Attempts Foot from Mouth Surgery

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The apology tour has begun for Rep. Marlin Stutzman, who wants desperately to take back the cluelessness about the House GOP’s endgame he shared with Roll Call alumnus David M. Drucker earlier this week.

“We’re not going to be disrespected. We have to get something out of this. And I don’t know what that even is,” Stutzman told the Washington Examiner when pressed about the strategy behind the lingering government shutdown.

President Barack Obama didn’t mention the Indiana Republican by name during his Thursday morning speech to a Rockville, Md., construction company, but he did make sure to rub the GOP’s sentiments in the blue collar-crowd’s faces.

“Just yesterday, one House Republican said — I’m quoting here, all right, because I want to make sure people understand I didn’t make this up — one House Republican said, ‘We’re not going to be disrespected. We have to get something out of this, and I don’t know what that even is.’

“Think about that. You have already gotten the opportunity to serve the American people. There’s no higher honor than that,” 44 told the assembled workers, who, according to media reports, both laughed and clapped for the ready-made punch line.

About an hour after being lampooned by POTUS, Stutzman’s press shop issued the following mea culpa:

“Yesterday, I carelessly misrepresented the ongoing budget debate and Speaker Boehner’s work on behalf of the American people. Despite my remarks it’s clear that the American people want both parties to come to the table to reopen the government, tackle this nation’s debt crisis, and stop ObamaCare’s pain.”

Best of luck with the rest of your backpedaling, sir.

September 27, 2013

Archivist Gadfly Aims to Keep Ex-Presidents Honest

Dogged researcher Anthony Clark wants to peel back the curtain on what he believes might be the most blatantly revisionist outlets to ever operate on the taxpayers’ dime: presidential libraries.

Archivist Gadfly Aims to Keep Ex Presidents Honest


His forthcoming exposé, “The Last Campaign,” delves into the secretive world of how former presidents and their privately funded foundations put the happiest face possible on all that they accomplished, while also striving to sweep any negativity under the rug.

According to Clark, most modern presidential foundations — and, by extension, the monolithic showplaces they spawn — have abandoned any semblance of being merely academic, assuming more of an activist role in rehabilitating their namesakes’ legacies.

Full story

September 17, 2013

Public Pledges Big Bucks for Jesse Jackson Jr.’s Stuff

There’s still a full week to go before any of the prospective buyers will be able to decisively claim a piece of disgraced Illinois Democrat Jesse L. Jackson Jr.’s life, but early bidding bodes well for federal authorities hoping to recoup $750,000 in grossly mismanaged campaign funds.

Jackson and his wife, Sandi, are both facing serious jail time — 30 months and 12 months, respectively — for money misspent on everything from luxury items to everyday toiletries.

Online auctioneers Gaston & Sheehan on Tuesday offered up a baker’s dozen of the pair’s former belongings via public auction, a menagerie of random memorabilia designed to fetch at least a couple of thousand dollars (minus now-missing Lot 1007).

Here’s what was leading the bidding war toward the end of the first full day:

1. Framed Michael Jackson poster: $1,360; opening bid: $300 Full story

September 12, 2013

Conservative Pols to Deliver Collegiate Crash Course on Benghazi


Conservative Pols to Deliver Collegiate Crash Course on Benghazi

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Republican lawmakers Lindsey Graham, Trey Gowdy and Jason Chaffetz are taking their critiques of the deadly 2012 attack in Benghazi, Libya, on the road Friday, sharing their well-documented concerns about President Barack Obama’s handling of the international conflict with poli-sci students at Furman University in South Carolina.

Dr. Danielle Vinson, professor of “The American Congress” course the pols will be presiding over, told HOH that Gowdy pitched this particular guest lecture plan to school administrators — an offer she readily accepted.

“It’s an opportunity for students to meet with members of Congress and see how they think and act and interact,” she said. “We want students at Furman to experience the real world.”

Vinson noted that she had previously invited Gowdy, along with fellow Palmetto State delegation member Jeff Duncan, to chat up one of her classes during their first terms in Congress. A Graham aide assured HOH that his boss has spoken “at just about every college/university in South Carolina;” Vinson confirmed she’d seen him around campus — “Sen. Graham has done a town hall at Furman,” she shared. Full story

September 4, 2013

PO’ed Tweeters Pile On John McCain

In the 24 hours since he was caught sneaking a few hands of video poker during a Senate hearing attempting to hash out some way forward on Syria, outraged social media users have bombarded Sen. John McCain with some unequivocally brutal critiques.

The #JohnMcCainIsMoreUselessThan griping has been going full bore since Tuesday, with detractors incessantly firing off unflattering comparisons of the Arizona Republican to, well, everything.

The hit list of wasted efforts includes:

Senate hearings on Syria Full story

September 3, 2013

Query Us Behavior: Business as (Un)usual Edition

With sweet, sweet recess effectively over thanks to all the “do we/don’t we blow Syria to smithereens” tug-of-war gripping the Capitol, it’s time again to get a feel for what’s on the minds of those who seek solace in the loving arms of HOH.

As with previous plunges into the murky depths of Web search phraseology, we’ve taken a look back at the cryptic questions and half-baked theories that led inquiring minds into our neck of the virtual woods over the past week:

Query Us Behavior: Business as (Un)usual Edition

(Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call)

August 28, 2013

House GOP Aide Denies Sandbagging Filner Flack

House staffer Jeff Leieritz assures HOH that, contrary to what San Diego CityBeat says, he did not deliberately set out to ruin Lena Lewis — spokeswoman for embattled San Diego Mayor Bob Filner — when the pair posed for a now-infamous snapshot in Las Vegas.

Leieritz, who when we last caught up with him was accused of making waves at home by playing house with his fiancée, explained that he was in Las Vegas the weekend of Aug. 16 — bidding farewell to his single days (natch) — and did cozy up to Lewis, who was in the midst of her own bachelorette send-off, for a quick pic.

But he maintains that the encounter was purely serendipitous — not the premeditated takedown the West Coast weekly made it out to be on Monday.

“As a part of my bachelor party, I was prompted by friends to pose for pictures with several bachelorette parties who were also celebrating that night,” he said, suggesting that he and Lewis “just happened to be at the same location.”

“Any suggestion that I was involved in any ‘orchestrated’ activities against anyone is simply not true, and way overblown,” Leieritz asserted. “I’m very disappointed that this blogger jumped to such an outrageous conclusion.” In a previous political life, Leieritz worked for Republican Carl DeMaio, who is exploring a run for mayor of San Diego now that Filner is on his way out.

Leieritz did not address how Derek Wixon, whom he admitted to knowing in high school (“I have not seen him in several years,” Leieritz said), would have known enough about the piano bar shenanigans to brag on Facebook about bringing Lewis down, nor would he reveal who snapped the incriminating photo. Full story

August 9, 2013

Scott Brown’s ‘Estranged Half Brother’ Arrested for Impersonating Cop

Former Sen. Scott P. Brown’s “estranged half brother” has been charged in Connecticut with impersonating a police officer after authorities say he stopped boaters.

Police say 46-year-old Bruce W. Browne of Wolcott, Conn., stopped three vessels on Long Island Sound on Thursday and asked boaters for their registrations and safety certificates after identifying himself as a police officer.

According to the state police report, after confronting Browne at Point O’ Woods Beach in Old Lyme, police searched his 2004 Crown Victoria and found three loaded 9 mm pistols, a black nylon duty belt with two sets of handcuffs, an expandable baton and 12 fully loaded magazines with a total of 101 hollow point and 102 ball-style 9 mm bullets. Browne also had a bullet-proof vest with the word “police” embroidered on the front and back. Attached to the front was a “silver metal TSA badge.”

The full summary of the incident can be found here.

The former Massachusetts Republican senator released a statement on his Facebook page that only added to the bizarreness of the situation. “For those of you who are asking about the news reports on my estranged half brother, I only know as much as you. I read about it in the news this morning. As you many of you know, my mom and my late father were married and divorced 4 times each. Unfortunately, we were not close as a family. These are serious charges and he will need to answer them. I feel badly for his children and I am thankful that no one was injured,” the statement read.

Browne was charged with impersonating a police officer, breach of peace, interfering with a police officer and possession of a dangerous weapon in a vehicle. Additional charges may be forthcoming as the U.S. Coast Guard is looking at Browne in relation to previous incidents similar to the situation that allegedly transpired in Old Lyme.

Browne was arrested and released on Thursday after posting a $50,000 bond. He is scheduled to appear in district court in New London, Conn., on Aug. 22.

August 8, 2013

Team McConnell Turns Its Nose Up at Bad Press

Following a major stumble by Jesse Benton, the campaign manager for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., who revealed in a phone call that he’s effectively “holding his nose” while in reality laying the groundwork for Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul’s presidential bid, McConnell attempted to flip the script and have some fun with the rotten news.

Team McConnell Turns Its Nose Up at Bad Press

(Courtesy Mitch McConnell)

The spoof “reaction” features McConnell and Benton cracking wise about the real stinker in all this being that troublesome law the GOP loves to deride as “Obamacare.”

McConnell racked up more than 1,000 “likes” for the gag photo — but also opened himself up to online roasting by irate detractors:

Team McConnell Turns Its Nose Up at Bad Press


Full story

August 2, 2013

The Blotto Files: Congressional Staffers’ Greatest Misses

The Blotto Files: Congressional Staffers’ Greatest Misses

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

As we were so beautifully reminded this week, sometimes Hill staffers hit the sauce a little too hard.

Mind you, bending the elbow is pretty much part of the job these days, with lawmakers and their lackeys obliged to flock from a cocktail hour for this to a policy reception for that just about every night they are actually here in town (lobbyists are hard-cases like that).

And while no one should begrudge overworked colleagues the opportunity to live a little, we’d just like to point out that many of these sad sacks effectively committed career suicide (ranked from most to least damaging outcome) all for a few drinks.

  • Rep. Rick Larsen’s doomed “December to Remember” crew: A trio of myopic social-media addicts decided to not only get wrecked while working for the Washington Democrat but also to advertise said debauchery via Twitter.
  • Rep. Steven M. Palazzo’s party girl: HOH rock star Whitney Donald swore there was nothing too crazy going on at the Annapolis, Md., home she secretly rented in the Mississippi Republican’s name for a weekend rager. The neighbors begged to differ.
  • Rep. Paul D. Ryan’s bleary-eyed super fan: Young love can be disorienting enough. Add in a serious bender, misplaced footwear and an office-wide declaration of your burning desire to bask in the glow of the Wisconsin Republican’s presence and you’ve got a teachable moment that clearly deserves its own chapter in the Cap Hill orientation manual.
  • Rep. Suzanne Kosmas’ mouth-bashing mouthpiece: Marc Goldberg, spokesman for the Florida Democrat, decided to let his fists do the talking during a dispute at a Dupont Circle watering hole. Guess when you gotta go, you gotta go …

July 31, 2013

Blotto Intern Falls Hard for Paul Ryan

Blotto Intern Falls Hard for Paul Ryan

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

A well-in-his-cups intern sparked a pseudo manhunt on Capitol Hill today, as staff from the office of a House Republican tried to contain a stumbling, bumbling aide apparently dead set on getting some face time with his dream guy, ex-GOP vice presidential pick and current House Budget Chairman Paul D. Ryan.

Per an email circulated internally by an intern wrangler for the House Republican, the drama began when the wasted youth moseyed into work a few hours late, still stinking of the night before.

Things only got hairier once the underage boozehound began proclaiming his love for the Wisconsin Republican and then raced off to try to catch a glimpse of the P90X devotee at work. Full story

July 29, 2013

Where Are They Now? Scandalized Ex-Members Resigned Mostly to Obscurity

You gotta admire ex-Rep. Anthony Weiner’s moxie.

The New York Democrat is refusing to bow out of his improbable bid to claim the keys to Gracie Mansion — a vanity project that appears to have all but been destroyed after another round of embarrassing sexting stories. Weiner’s latest episode was perpetrated under the dynamite pseudonym “Carlos Danger” and surfaced last week.

Having already resigned one post, Weiner appears disinclined to throw in the towel again. Moreover, unlike most of the other scandalized pols who have fled the Capitol over the past decade, Weiner is refusing to let go of the spotlight. (There’s always talk radio.)

Here’s a quick recap of where some of the most damaged former lawmakers who ditched their seats stand today:

Where Are They Now? Scandalized Ex Members Resigned Mostly to Obscurity

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Weiner: resigned from Congress in June 2011 after getting caught tweeting pics of his junk to online paramours. He laid low before delving into his current race and is struggling to stay on message now that post-resignation sexting has once again called his character into question. Full story

July 26, 2013

Lincoln Memorial Gets Slimed

Seriously? Green splat on the Lincoln Memorial?

The splatter of green paint on the ground of the statue and flanking Lincoln’s left side puzzled the United States Park Police, who traced the vandalism to early Friday morning.

Maybe The Hulk went for a run and its his sweat the authorities found? Doubtful. The last time he was seen, in “Iron Man 3,” he seemed pretty sleepy. Alien slime? Unlikely, although the Corcoran’s exhibit, Ellen Harvey: The Alien’s Guide to the Ruins of Washington, D.C., suggest aliens are keeping on eye on things.

Maybe the vandal was inspired by one of the superhero splatter paintings on the Internet? Someone should have told the person it’s all digitally created.

Since honest Abe can’t tell us, the public will have to wait until police finish reviewing surveillance footage.

Anyone going to the Mall should beware of the police tape. The hipster hijinks or misplaced artistic expression or full-on act of vandalism will close the Lincoln Memorial until crews manage to clean up all the green paint.

By Diana Oberoi Posted at 4:37 p.m.
DC, POTUS, ScandalFaced

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