Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
November 24, 2014

May 20, 2013

Centennial Event Brings Books to Kids

Kids, you can go anywhere! Take a look! It’s in a book — being provided by the fine folks at the Junior League of Washington and their partner, Reading Is Fundamental.

At 10 a.m. Tuesday, the JLW will celebrate its centennial with an event at the DC Prep Edgewood Middle Campus. And who better to help out than writer George Ella Lyon and Ward 8 Councilmember and former Mayor Marion Barry? Full story

May 19, 2013

Capitol Quip: Let’s Go On Tour

Capitol Quip: Lets Go On Tour

Illustrator R.J. Matson’s latest cartoon needs a caption.

With the White House dealing with a trifecta of scandals, we figured it only made sense to turn from the Capitol for a short spell to the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue for source material. Have at it!

Leave us your caption in the comments section below. Editors will pick five finalists Wednesday, and then everyone can vote for the winner until Thursday afternoon. The winner gets a signed print from Matson.

By Jason Dick Posted at 7:10 p.m.

Capitol Quip: Happy Trails!

Capitol Quip: Happy Trails!

Thanks to the many readers who contributed captions for last week’s Capitol Quip contest. Here’s the winning entry as voted by readers of Heard on the Hill. Judging from the comments, we realize there were some strong feelings about the caption entries. We value your feedback, so please keep it coming.

The winner will receive a signed color print suitable for framing from Roll Call cartoonist R.J. Matson.

May 17, 2013

First Timers Share Lamb Jam Strategies

The third annual Lamb Jam, a gustatory carnival for unabashed carnivores, is happening Monday night at Eastern Market. And HOH has the skinny on how two of the competing chefs plan to woo even the most sheepish diners into their respective camps.

First Timers Share Lamb Jam Strategies


Tickets to the event, which is scheduled to take place from 6-9 p.m. and includes food, booze (craft beer, wine) and a butchering demo, are $60 per person.

Art and Soul toque Wes Morton is looking forward to mixing things up with the 19 other local chefs vying for the Lamb Jam crown. Morton expects to serve British-style lamb scrumpets, featuring lamb bellies put through an intensive three-step process (brined and smoked, picked and pressed, and, finally, buttered and fried).

Full story

An Insourcing Sauce-Fest at Sonoma

Sonoma Restaurant and Wine Bar made for a fine setting for the Organization for International Investment’s annual Capitol Hill Insourcing Reception.

The staffers and business representatives who attended the Thursday night affair had the second floor lounge Sonoma Restaurant and Wine Bar largely to themselves.

The RSVP list broke down heavily on the side of congressional staffers, followed closely by dues-paying OFII members. Of the eight lawmakers on the list, only Reps. Charlie Dent, R-Pa., and Bill Foster, D-Ill., made it to the event — a bipartisan, if modest, showing.

An Insourcing Sauce Fest at Sonoma

Foster, center, chats with business advocates on Thursday evening. (Julie Ershadi/CQ Roll Call)

Reception attendee Carol Danko, press secretary for New York Republican Rep. Michael G. Grimm, told HOH that between votes and allergies, her boss was tied up. Meanwhile, a staffer for the absent Sen. Mark S. Kirk, R-Ill., topped off a fresh glass of white wine with the dregs of an old one between quips with her colleagues.

The OFII is a nonprofit business association that lobbies lawmakers on behalf of the U.S. operations of foreign companies that join its ranks. The organization provided every attendee at Thursday night’s gathering with a beer glass and mini bottle of spirits procured by Diageo, the social lubricants giant.

An Insourcing Sauce Fest at Sonoma

(Julie Ershadi/CQ Roll Call)

In addition to the party favor, an open bar kept the spirits flowing and a flotilla of heavy hors d’oeuvres, including grilled shrimp and mini crab cakes, filled bellies.

The star of the evening was Jonathan R. Otto, public affairs specialist for automotive giant Honda’s government relations office. Otto won the raffle prize, a weekend stay with deluxe accommodations at the Foggy Bottom Ritz-Carlton.

An Insourcing Sauce Fest at Sonoma

(Julie Ershadi/CQ Roll Call)

Overheard: A Lot of Questions

“Sir, that was a lot of questions, sir.”

— Acting IRS Commissioner Steven T. Miller, responding to a 368-word question from Rep. Paul D. Ryan at Friday’s House Ways and Means Committee hearing.

Fictional Franchise: Who Represents Your Favorite Soap Character in Congress?

For the latest installment of Fictional Franchise, our examination of the franchise rights of fictional characters and the real-life people who represent them in Congress, we tackle soap opera characters.

The rules go like this: We decide where a fictional character lives and then look up who represents them in the House. (See more on the rules here.)

Soaps are near and dear to the heart of this writer, who once starred in a 2004 episode of “The Bold and the Beautiful” as a Spectra Fashions factory worker. Read on to see which soap star helped us with our research…

So, Dylan, Julia and Miss Ellie, let’s roll:

The Walsh Family 
“Beverly Hills 90210″
Beverly Hills, Calif.: Democratic Rep. Henry A. Waxman

It is our assessment that Jim, Cindy, Brandon and Brenda Walsh live in Beverly Hills flats — squarely in Waxman’s district. His representation of the western Los Angeles metropolitan area means that he will surface again in this category and others.

Here is a run-through of some of his constituents:

Full story

South Dakotans Want to Help Scratch Your Taco John’s Itch

Her interest piqued by the latest Noshtalgia column, Sioux Falls, S.D., native Heather Fluit reached out to HOH about her epicurean Everest.

South Dakotans Want to Help Scratch Your Taco John’s Itch


“I’m disappointed to see that no one advocated for Taco John’s in your call for hard-to-find regional food,” Fluit, who spends her days handling communications for Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, shared.

The beloved chain, originally born in Cheyenne, Wyo., currently serves roughly half the United States, marshaling most of its resources in the northernmost and central states. The closest outpost to D.C. is in Athens, Ohio.

But TJ lovers needn’t despair.

Fluit and the rest of the South Dakota State Society (she’s on the board) will be doing their best to re-create Taco John’s signature snack, the Potato Ole, at Saturday’s 5th Annual Taco John’s event.

Full story

Colbert’s ‘Better Know a District’ Returns

Stephen Colbert’s “Better Know a District” segment is back with a vengeance.

Colberts Better Know a District Returns

Colbert, right, at a taping years back of “Better Know a District” with Democratic Arizona Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

“The Colbert Report” anthology of awkward congressional interviews was on the verge of extinction in recent years. But in the past few weeks, a handful of Democrats have sat down with Colbert for their fair share of abuse. Full story

May 16, 2013

John Cornyn Has Issues

Texas Republican Sen. John Cornyn is very worried about lots of things these days. But rather than obsess about them in isolation, he’s inviting everyone to weigh in on the political head-scratchers as part of his “Issue Advisers” campaign.

John Cornyn Has Issues


HOH has received two such pleas for guidance just within the past week.

Before giving up any more of our personal information to the email-harvesting operation, we demanded to know whether this new relationship would be a two-way street.

Full story

Advantage: Breaux

Local tennis fans gathered Wednesday night at the Swedish embassy in Washington, D.C., to thank tennis great Chris Evert and former Sen. John Breaux, D-La., for their continued support of the Junior Tennis Champions Center.

Advantage: Breaux

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

OK — that and the spread of mouthwatering Swedish barbecue (saucy ribs, rosemary-spiked beef).

The event, now in its fourth year, was, theoretically, all about the incredibly talented kids who are well on their way to joining the pantheon of tanned and toned tennis gods on hand for the ceremony.

Still, folks couldn’t help but heap praise on Breaux — “Tennis’ ambassador in D.C.,” as they called him — even while criticizing his cutthroat nature on the court.

Full story

Whoops! Looks Like ‘Mark Sanfrod’ Was Sworn In

Updated 3:45 p.m. | Moving in. It can be quite the adjustment. Just ask the team of newly sworn-in Rep. Mark Sanford, R-S.C., which was greeted with a press release sent out under the auspices of the new congressman with this headline: “Representative Mark Sanfrod Sworn Into Office.”

A horrified staff saw this — as well as an HOH blog post noting the misspelling and other snafus on Sanford’s official congressional website — and explained what went down.

“Rep. Sanford’s official website was updated by the US House without the prior knowledge, or consent, of our office and they have acknowledged their error,” Sanford’s office said in a statement. Specifically, responsibility for the error lies with the Office of the Chief Administrative Officer.

Sanford, who was sworn in on Wednesday, certainly is one of the most colorful figures to return to Capitol Hill in quite some time. But the release was more than colorful:

Whoops! Looks Like Mark Sanfrod Was Sworn In


Full story

May 15, 2013

Fantastic Sanford-Appalachian Trail Gala Timing


Rep. Mark Sanford, R-S.C., gets sworn in on Wednesday, in Washington, D.C., in the House chamber.

The Appalachian Trail Conservancy’s gala is held on Wednesday, in Washington, D.C., on the rooftop terrace of 101 Constitution Ave. NW.

You can’t make this stuff up.

Mark Sanford in the House! | Capitol Quip

Mark Sanford in the House! | Capitol Quip

The five finalists for this week’s caption contest are all set. Now it’s your turn to vote.

Using the comments section below, vote for your favorite caption until 5 p.m. EDT Thursday.

Here are this week’s finalists:

  • “I’ve got a great new angle on immigration …”
  • “Finally — a House that isn’t somebody’s home!”
  • “Sorry I’m late. I had a layover.”
  • “Hey guys! Any CODELs to Argentina coming up???”
  • “Who wants to join my Love Caucus?”

The cartoon with the winning caption will appear on this blog May 20 and in that day’s print edition of Roll Call. The contest winner will receive a signed color print of his or her Capitol Quip cartoon from the cartoonist, R.J. Matson.

By Jason Dick Posted at 6:36 p.m.
Capitol Quip

2013 ACLI Capital Challenge Runs Its Course

Members of Congress and their allies, antagonists and observers ran around Washington early Wednesday morning, hoping to come out ahead in the 3-mile ACLI Capital Challenge.

The 32nd annual Capital Challenge started at 8:00 a.m. (a bit early for HOH’s taste) at Anacostia Park. The event, which raises money for the Wounded Warrior Project, is an invitational races for teams that represent the three branches of government, as well as the Fourth Estate.  Full story

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