Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
October 22, 2014

Posts in "Staffers"

October 20, 2014

Armchair-Quarterbacking Jim Inhofe’s Power Play

With control of the Senate up for grabs this fall and little else to do while their bosses furiously campaign to keep collecting paychecks, congressional staffers have taken to their own type of fantasy role-playing: plotting out the new boss’s next move.

A bemused political observer noted, for instance, that Democratic support staff have begun speculating as to how Sen. James M. Inhofe, R-Okla., might shake up the establishment should the GOP reclaim the majority come November.

Armchair Quarterbacking Jim Inhofe’s Power Play

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Should the current power structure flip-flop, sitting Environment and Public Works Chairwoman Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., would be obliged to hand over the gavel to Inhofe.

“There’s a sort of game going on among the Hill staff to decide how he would rename the [Environmental Protection Agency]  building, given the chance: The George W Bush EPA building, The Koch Brothers EPA building, etc.,” our source relayed via email.

Either scenario would, naturally, enrage longstanding environmental stewards. Full story

October 17, 2014

Congressional Hits and Misses: Best of Don Young (Video)

As election season rolls on, Heard on the Hill pays tribute to Rep. Don Young, the self-described “alpha wolf” of Alaska politics who loves cranes, beanies and the Anchorage Daily News.

Related:

Don Young: the Kodiak Bear of Capitol Hill

The Softer Side of Don Young: A Counterpoint

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NoVa Dems Bid Jim Moran Fond Farewell

Northern Virginia Democrats on Thursday rallied around retiring Rep. James P. Moran at the sold-out 21st Annual Kennedy-King Dinner, a political fundraiser focused on feting progressive leaders and civil rights champs.

Rep. Gerald E. Connolly took the opportunity to commemorate his long-serving colleague by presenting Moran with a flowery tribute destined to be woven into the fabric of the Congressional Record during the post-election lame-duck session.

NoVa Dems Bid Jim Moran Fond Farewell

(Courtesy Team Connolly)

“It is impossible to crystalize the entirety and the enormous impact of Jim Moran’s political career on our lives here in Northern Virginia … and on our nation,” Connolly reportedly assured the crowd huddled together at the Hilton McLean Tysons Corner.

Per an attendee, House hopeful and Moran’s presumed replacement, Don Beyer, paid tribute not only to his predecessor, but also heaved rhetorical laurels at one-time Moran aide and renowned Democrat strategist, the late Mame Reiley.

“I have just been blessed to be able to represent the people of the 8th District for 24 years,” Moran told the assembled well-wishers.

Roll Call Election Map: Race Ratings for Every Seat

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September 30, 2014

During Recess, Congress Goes to the Dogs

With their tails wagging, Maya and Cash trotted around House office buildings Tuesday to raise awareness for a bill to protect pets of domestic-violence victims.

“If we could do this with all legislation, I think Congress would get more done,” said one delighted Hill staffer in Rep. Alcee L. Hastings’ office when the dogs came through the door.

Cash, a black-and-tan coonhound, had a blue pack on his back holding “Dear Colleague” letters urging members of Congress to support The Pet and Women Safety Act, sponsored by Reps. Katherine M. Clark, D-Mass., and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla. The bill expands protections to pets of domestic-violence victims and includes a grant program to incorporate pets into domestic-violence shelters.

The tall hound is a regular visitor in Clark’s congressional office and belongs to the congresswoman’s chief of staff, Brooke Scannell. “He likes to sit in on meetings,” legislative assistant Steve Thornton joked. Full story

August 29, 2014

Congressional Hits and Misses: Best of John Boehner (Video)

Speaker John A. Boehner reminds us of his love for tans, long hair and monkeys as Heard on the Hill concludes its 2014 look back.

 

Related:

Best of Nancy Pelosi (Video)

Best of Harry Reid (Video)

Best of Mitch McConnell (Video)

August 28, 2014

In Marie Claire Profile, Jennifer Hing Dresses Up and Opens Up

Jennifer Hing, the communications director for the House Appropriations Committee, is known around Capitol Hill for pairing stylish yet work-appropriate outfits with a practical pencil threaded through her ponytail or tucked behind one ear.

But in a photograph accompanying an article published today on the Marie Claire website, Hing eschews her pencil for an oversized clutch bag, and her tailored blazer for a sweeping avant-garde cape.

She’s the subject of one of three short profiles appearing in the September issue of the women’s magazine under the headline, “Change Agents: 3 Women Who are OWNING their Future.” Hing, plus Deborah Turness, president of NBC News and the creative director and executive vice president of design for Banana Republic, Marissa Webb, are presented as “power players reinventing the rules in their respective businesses and proving that the future belongs to those who seize it.”

Hing told HOH she was contacted “out of the blue” to participate in the profile and still wasn’t quite sure how she was selected or whether someone tipped off Marie Clare that she might be a good interview subject.

Full story

August 21, 2014

GW Hoopsters’ Swing Through Congress A Slam Dunk

Members of the George Washington University Colonials men’s basketball team had a ball wending their way through all the touristy spots in the Capitol.

The visiting collegians practiced taking the rock to the hole last week by performing impromptu dunks at various stops — including the Speaker’s Balcony and Statuary Hall — along the way.

The fun-loving contingent got the VIP treatment courtesy of former House aide Rich Landon. The ex-staffer told HOH he’s been pals with GWU coach Mike Lonergan since his shot-calling days at Catholic University of America.

Per Landon, Lonergan et al. ran into a number of congressional staffers — including one starstruck aide to Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. — who sought out the national championship-winning coach to ask for autographs and pose for selfies.

Next on Landon’s to-do list: seeing about showing a few aging rock-and-rollers around his old stomping grounds. And he hinted that he’s been in contact with one of the most hirsute Washington Nationals about possibly making the rounds.

August 18, 2014

John Lewis Gets Ballsier for ‘March: Book Two’

It’s good to know Rep. John Lewis can look back on all the awfulness he experienced as a youth and laugh about it now.

According to Nate Powell, the artist who has teamed up with the Georgia Democrat to help keep alive the revolutionary spirit that changed the state of race relations during the turbulent 1960s via a series of graphic novels, humor remains one of the greatest tools in the non-violent activist’s toolbox.

“Another day, another joke about nutsacks and revolution at Parchman Farm prison, 1961,” Powell shared with the Twitterverse while revealing a rough sketch of a panel from the second installment of Lewis’ incredible life story.

The septuagenarian lawmaker skipped Comic-Con this time around (Powell and co-author/congressional aide Andrew Aydin, made the trip), but is expected to return next summer with continuing saga in hand.

Related:

John Lewis Readies ‘March: Book Two’ for 2015

John Lewis Staffer’s Winding Road to Comic-Con

Who You Gonna Call? John Lewis!

Rep. John Lewis’ ‘March’ Nominated for Will Eisner Award

‘March’ Got John Lewis All Choked Up

Comics Vets Rally Around John Lewis

August 4, 2014

Exit Interview: Doug Heye

Keeping the party on message is what GOP communications guru Doug Heye has always been paid to do. Thinking things through and behaving graciously are the highly prized extras colleagues say he brought to the negotiating table.

Exit Interview: Doug Heye

Heye slips while pushing a car after a winter storm hit D.C. in 2010. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A seasoned political operative who helped the Republican National Committee get the word out before rising through the ranks to become deputy chief of staff for communications to ex-House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., Heye is saying goodbye to Congress (for now) while he goes in search of new adventures.

“I hear the Yankees need a new shortstop next season,” he floated in his farewell email to the Capitol Hill community.

He leaves Congress with few regrets. “I never learned how to get to the Dunkin’ Donuts in the Library of Congress — that’s probably a good thing,” he quipped.

Heye even managed to sound wistful about burning the midnight oil.

“On some summer nights, the military bands will play on the east front of the Capitol. Opening up the window to listen while working late is nice,” he said. Full story

July 31, 2014

Don Young Gets Grabby With Congressional Aide (Updated)

Don Young Gets Grabby With Congressional Aide (Updated)

Young confronts an aide who tried to stop him from entering the side door of a House Republican meeting. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Updated 8:12 p.m. | With the August recess in jeopardy and House Republicans in total disarray, the arm-twisting on Capitol Hill is getting pretty intense.

Just ask the unfortunate aide who dared cross the path of a tardy Don Young.

NBC News producer Frank Thorp V caught the late-for-the-conference-meeting Alaska Republican’s manhandling of an unsuspecting staffer on camera. Per Thorp’s Twitter feed, the aide had attempted to redirect Young to enter the already in-progress GOP strategy session through another doorway when things got physical.

“While returning to the GOP conference meeting to discuss the ongoing situation on our southern border, I was caught off guard by an unidentified individual who was physically blocking me from reentering the room,” Young said in a statement. “Regardless, my reaction was wrong and I should have never placed my hands on the young man.”

Related:

Don Young Said to Have Barged Through Barriers Blocking Asbestos Spill

July 25, 2014

Angus King Gussies Up Dirksen

Unlike Florida Republican John L. Mica’s grandiose plan to clean house on the other side of the Capitol, Sen. Angus King had a much more modest desire: brighten up a little corner of Dirksen.

Mission accomplished.

Angus King Gussies Up Dirksen

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

“I walk that corridor two or three times a day … and often wondered to myself, ‘Why is this blank?’” the Maine Independent said of the once-barren hallway leading up from the internal subway to the Senate office building.

Now inspired, King set out to seek a resolution to the featureless landscape members, staff and visitors were faced with each time they trekked over for a visit. Full story

July 23, 2014

Making the Most of a Swing Through Charm City

What’s a D.C.-based reporter to do when faced with ferreting out a worthwhile repast while on assignment in neighboring Baltimore? Solicit recommendations from Maryland’s congressional delegation, of course.

At least, that’s how Bloomberg BNA scribe Anthony Adragna played it Wednesday morning before hitting the road for an out-of-town conference.

 

 

According to Adragna, the dining S.O.S. was very much a spur of the moment thing.

“First time ever reaching out and didn’t put much thought into it,” Adragna told HOH. He said he meant to pose the question to Maryland Democrat Benjamin L. Cardin in person a day earlier — the two, evidently, chatted here on Capitol Hill Tuesday — but just never got around to it.

No matter.

Cardin came through on Twitter anyway. Full story

July 22, 2014

John Mica’s Makeover Plans Ain’t Gonna Happen

If Rep. John L. Mica had his way, a lot of people who currently inhabit some of the most cherry spots on the House side of the Capitol would be looking for new places to hang their hats come November.

“It’s something that we need to look at in the next Congress, … opening up more of these historic spaces,” the Florida Republican told HOH about his quest to carve out additional meeting rooms and reception areas for entertainment-minded lawmakers.

Per Mica, the current crop of reservation-required options is woefully limited to the Speaker’s Dining Room (H-122) and the Henry J. Hyde Room (H-139).

John Mica’s Makeover Plans Ain’t Gonna Happen

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

By comparison, Mica noted that senators have access to the cavernous Lyndon Baines Johnson (S-211) and Mike Mansfield (S-207) rooms. “We don’t have those equivalents. And we should,” he argued. Full story

July 16, 2014

Courtney Stodden’s PETA Push Gets Tongues Wagging

Love her or despise her, Capitol Hill denizens were utterly captivated by having a nearly naked Courtney Stodden preach the virtues of a vegetarian lifestyle to them while shoving fake wieners in everyone’s mouths.

Courtney Stodden’s PETA Push Gets Tongues Wagging

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The platinum-tressed teen blew into town to draw eyeballs to the People for Ethical Treatment of Animals’ curbside veggie dog giveaway. The staff luncheon/exercise in political theater is meant to serve as a counterpunch to the meat lobby’s annual hot dog blowout.

According to PETA spokeswoman Moira Colley, the group rallied supporters to the cause by distributing around 600 not dogs — “They’re all soy protein and spices,” one cheerful volunteer said of the meatless analogues — to famished passersby. Full story

Senate Softball Rivalry Once Again in Full Swing

Party lines, schmarty lines.

The key thing that keeps Sens. Bob Casey, D-Pa., and Patrick J. Toomey, R-Pa., going while here in D.C. is the burning desire to topple the other in their annual softball showdown.

Team Scrantonicity has faced off against the Hit It Toomey squad each summer for the past three years with mixed results. Scrantonicity throttled its foes 20-10 last year, but Team Toomey has wracked up more “W”s than losses over time.

“Sadly team Toomey leads the all-time series 2-1. But I’m quite confident the series will be all even after tonight’s festivities,” a Casey aide assured HOH in a trash-talking email.

Those looking to get swept up in softball mania should make their way over to the National Mall (Seventh and Madison streets NW) around 6:45 p.m. to catch all the action.

Look for Casey to be snagging flies in the outfield (our tipster says the boss typically patrols right field), while Toomey tends to plant himself at third.

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