Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
April 28, 2015

Posts in "Sens"

April 27, 2015

Doug Hecox Lives to Lampoon Politicians

Doug Hecox Lives to Lampoon Politicians

(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 25, 2015

In the Trenches with Chris Johnson: WHCD Edition

With all the haters throwing shade at the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner, HOH couldn’t help but wonder whether any of our fellow reporting brethren still get anything (other than a vicious hangover) out of the booze-soaked weekend.

Sure, critics are convinced the event has devolved into an orgy of media one-upmanship. And the crush of celebvocates paraded around at corporate-sponsored parties does tend to steal most of the thunder from the actual journalists being feted.

Then again, sometimes one simply must embrace the absurdity of it all.

At least that’s what Chris Johnson, the White House reporter for the Washington Blade, did a few years back when he came face to face with former Sen. Rick Santorum.

In the Trenches with Chris Johnson: WHCD Edition

(Courtesy Chris Johnson)

Full story

April 24, 2015

WHCD Comes to Capitol Hill

Members of the Creative Coalition in town for the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner Friday are expected to pop by a few congressional offices for some face time.

A tipster told HOH nearly two dozen actors, directors and all-purpose entertainers are planning to fan out across the mostly empty Capitol and take meetings about shoring up support for the arts with aides to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi as well as whatever appropriations personnel happens to be around.

Some of the better-known performers staff may see peeking through the front door include:

Creative Coalition President Tim Daly

Full story

Congressional Hits and Misses: Week of April 20, 2015 (Video)

As Nancy Pelosi and John A. Boehner smooched, members spent the remainder of the workweek protecting turtle passwords, choking up over Sam Houston and threatening to drop activists’ asses.

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 22, 2015

Minnesota Hotdish Banter Is Simply Delicious

Minnesota Hotdish Banter Is Simply Delicious

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

How good a cook is Rep. Betty McCollum? Skilled enough that the eight-term Democrat didn’t have to campaign — or even show up, for that matter — at the fifth annual Minnesota Hotdish Off to clinch congressional bragging rights.

McCollum bested the rest of the delegation with a combination of savory ground turkey, cruciferous greens, meaty mushrooms and nutty wild rice bolstered by just a hint of cinnamon. Full story

April 21, 2015

Dick Durbin, Honky Tonk Man (Video)

Dick Durbin, Honky Tonk Man (Video)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Minority Whip Richard J. Durbin said he would personally be willing to meet with actual or prospective Democratic challengers to former Secretary of State
Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Full story

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

Minnesota Pols Prep for Hotdish Fest

Carb lovers, rejoice!

The Minnesota delegation is expected to once again flood the halls of Congress Wednesday with the aromas of melted cheese-covered, processed meat-packed, condensed soup-spiked, fried potato-filled delicacies better known as hotdish.

Minnesota Pols Prep for Hotdish Fest

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The invitation-only event — reserved for Gopher State pols, their staff and congressional press — is scheduled to take place in Room 430 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building beginning at 12:30 p.m. Full story

April 20, 2015

Bluewater Productions Toons Into 2016 Race

Bluewater Productions is looking forward to putting its stamp on anyone and everyone who plans to give the White House a go in the next presidential contest — a daunting proposition that should keep its illustrators busy for months to come.

Darren Davis, founder of the independent publishing house, waded into the Republican primary fight with the April 14 release of a graphic novel focusing on aspiring POTUS Sen. Rand Paul.

Bluewater Productions Toons Into 2016 Race

(Courtesy Bluewater Productions)

 

The book, Davis admitted, was rushed out in order to dovetail with the Kentucky Republican’s campaign rollout.

“A lot of these depend on timing,” he said of the politically themed graphic novels the company has sporadically turned out since 2008. “With the Rand Paul one, we got extremely lucky and only had to move up the comic book by a week.”

Davis’ desire to weigh in on leading issues has led to the creation of carefully researched biographies of modern politics’ most colorful characters, such as former Reps. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz.; Michele Bachmann, R-Minn.; and the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass. Full story

April 18, 2015

Congressional Hits and Misses: Week of April 13, 2015 (Video)

Lawmakers shook off the rust of a two-week recess recalling trips to McDonald’s, playing their favorite Disney ringtones and counting to seven.

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 10, 2015

Congressional Hits and Misses: Best of Dan Coats (Video)

Heard on the Hill’s tribute to retiring lawmakers rolls on this week with Sen. Dan Coats and his affinity for grandchildren, massages and showing up to committee hearings on time.

Full story

April 9, 2015

When Harry Met Lynn …

When Harry Met Lynn ...

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

April 8, 2015

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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