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

March 12, 2013

CPAC 2013 IN and OUT List

It’s that time of year again, when young conservatives flood the area. They will hail from all over this great land and will paint this town in their own very special shade of red for the 2013 Conservative Political Action Committee Conference!

Here’s Part I of our quick list of what is CPAC 2013 cool (and what is so 2012), with Part II coming Thursday.
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Reading Into Congressional Renovations

What’s brown and white and has sequestration sufferers seeing red?

The freshly carved-out members- and staff-only “reading room” in the Cannon House Office Building, of course.

“To me, this reeks of Congress taking special privilege for itself while telling the rest of the nation to tighten its belt,” a clearly perturbed HOH reader fired off after stumbling upon the luxuriously appointed extension of the House Library. Staffers used to trekking down to the basement “stacks” to retrieve research materials can now avail themselves of the same historical documents in Cannon 263 — with the comfort of modern amenities.
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Better Luck Next Time

Better Luck Next Time

Restaurant Associates' offering. (Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)


Better Luck Next Time

The Mickey D's special. (Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

In this corner there’s Mickey D’s, the fast food kingpin that’s ruined many a Lenten fast by dangling its signature, limited-time-only “Shamrock Shake” in front of sweets-seekers for more than four decades.

And in the other corner we have Restaurant Associates, the scrappy congressional caterer looking to keep frozen confection lovers on Capitol Hill by offering their version of the seasonally inspired treat.

Were this an actual boxing match, RA would get KO’d in the first round.

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By Warren Rojas Posted at 6:35 p.m.

Ron Kind’s #DayintheLife

Wisconsin Democratic Rep. Ron Kind wants to pull back the curtain on what it’s like punching the clock here in Washington, a congressional show-and-tell that he hopes to accomplish via his #DayintheLife campaign.

Ron Kind’s #DayintheLife

(Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call)

Per his Twitter feed, Kind plans to document what he does here on a day-to-day basis, pledging to post pictures and field questions about his official duties throughout Wednesday.

A Kind aide told HOH that staffers came up with the original idea to micro-blog away an entire day, stressing that there are no prepared photos or canned responses at the ready.

“This is going to be very spontaneous,” the Kind aide said, noting that posts authored by the congressman would be signed “RK” while staff-supplied responses would appear as is.

At press time, Kind was not planning to carve out time for a sustained question-and-answer session or anything akin to a Twitter town hall. It sounds, in fact, like he’d actually prefer to wing it.

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Sports Legends Blitz Capitol Hill

No, Charlie Hustle won’t be setting up a folding card table and hawking signatures for cash. But anyone who lives and dies by ESPN should be on the lookout Tuesday night and Wednesday while the Sports & Fitness Industry Association sprints through town.

As part of their push for sports-friendly tax breaks and enhanced physical education programs in schools, SFIA is sending top-tier athletes to blanket the Capitol.

Sports Legends Blitz Capitol Hill

(CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Their team captain is Heisman Trophy winner and “Celebrity Apprentice” alum Herschel Walker, who’ll be joined by a squad of fellow super-humans at an invite-only reception Tuesday evening at the Capitol Visitor Center honoring Reps. Jack Kingston, R-Ga., and Linda T. Sánchez, D-Calif.

Other exemplars of the kinesiological arts expected to be in attendance include: Super Bowl champion Baltimore Ravens Torrey Smith and Bernard Pierce (football), Mia Hamm (soccer), Olympic gold medalist Jenny Simpson (track), 2000 National League MVP Jeff Kent (baseball), Lorena Ochoa (golf), Olympic silver medalist April Ross (beach volleyball), heavyweight champ Deontay Wilder (boxing), Paul Rabil (lacrosse) and repeat Olympic medalist Heather Petri (water polo), among others.

An SFIA aide said the group plans to fan out across the Hill on Wednesday, taking meetings (at least 130) with political players ranging from current GOP golden boy Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida to Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga.

March 11, 2013

For Honda, Peace Corps Helped Shape His Future in Public Service

Rep. Michael M. Honda, who has been spreading the good word about the Peace Corps for years as a returned volunteer, says it was an experience that helped shape how he reaches out to people as a congressman.

“We were supposed to go in by twos, as partners, so we could sustain each other,” the California Democrat told HOH. “But as we were training, we became more and more individual.”

Honda served in El Salvador from 1965 to ’67, during the program’s nascent years.
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D.C. Heads SXSW

You know how to tell when a giant indie-music/movie/tech festival has jumped the shark? When there is a relatively high chance you’ll run into a congressman, senator and/or a White House surrogate or two.

The South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, which is under way now, has been a mecca for music geeks the nation over since it first kicked off in 1987. Over the past couple of years, however, the indie festival has expanded and gone more than a little bit corporate, with sponsors such as Doritos and AT&T. It’s not just about the music any more. “South by,” as the kids call it, is now a giant three-pronged behemoth — SXSW Music, SXSW Film and SXSW Interactive — and the whole show is put on by a company called SXSW Inc.

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Take Five With Rep. Trey Radel

It’s Tuesday. That means it’s time for another Take Five, HOH’s weekly chance to get to know a member of Congress a little better by asking five fun questions relatively unrelated to their legislative work. This week, freshman Rep. Trey Radel, R-Fla., a former journalist, talks about his favorite book and shares with us some advice that he received from his parents while growing up.

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Takei *Hearts* Hirono

Good news, Sen. Mazie K. Hirono, D-Hawaii!

Japanese-American actor George Takei approves of this message:


Takei *Hearts* Hirono


Takei, who was close with the late Sen. Daniel K. Inouye, is clearly cool with Congress becoming more colorful.

McCaskill Makes America a Mix Tape

Remember back in the 1990s, when that special someone made you a mixtape and you spent hours analyzing what they were really trying to say?

Now you can relive that feeling again, except this time that special someone is Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., and the mixtape she’s made America is a Spotify playlist. Full story

Feeding the Machine

Keeping the country from going completely off the rails is grueling work. This must by why our elected officials don’t shy away from big hearty meals.

Take slurpmeister Jim Himes.


Feeding the Machine


The Connecticut Democrat tells HOH he’s at Sherwood Diner in Westport, Conn., at least once a month in search of sustenance. “In the winter I eat as much soup as I can. Keeps me warm, hydrated and it’s the best way to deal with my tentative relationship with vegetables,” he said of his nutritional end-around.

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March 10, 2013

The Senator and the Bard

Former Sen. Fred Thompson, the only member of Congress to go on to star in “Law & Order,” will be the first person featured in the new series “Expert Witness,” a production of the Bard Association, the Shakespeare Theatre Company’s “legal affinity group.”

Thompson, who first came to prominence as a Senate Watergate Committee counsel, will chat at the inaugural “Expert Witness” event with his old friend, Bard Association Chairman Abbe D. Lowell. The former counsel for the House during the Clinton impeachment hearings, Lowell is now with Chadbourne & Parke LLP.

The series will be structured as a conversation with a prominent member of the legal community who has bridged the gap into the world of arts and entertainment.
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CVC Dress Code Fit to Be Tied

Attention fans of the contemporary “Annie Hall” look: Your fashion sense has been rewarded, at least by the Capitol Guide Service’s dress code.

“Women Capitol tour guides are being forced to wear men’s ties as part of a new uniform agreement,” an HOH tipster tells us. “They wouldn’t make men wear [scarves], why should women have to wear men’s ties?”

The HOH fashion desk leapt into action. Our first stop? The Capitol Visitor Center.
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Parody PACs Line Up Against McGovern

Performance artist J. Mark Inman, whose previous pièce de résistance was out reality TV space cadet Paula Abdul, recently turned his talents to politics, flooding the Federal Election Commission with a raft of new paperwork that may or may not be totally on the level.

Divining the truth from Inman is a tedious process, given that the self-proclaimed funnyman — “Although I am a comedian and have been on national TV … you are not a comedian and need to take the correct procedures instructed,” he warns FEC administrators in one of his filings —appears constitutionally opposed to delivering straight answers.

Instead, he shrouds every response in doublespeak (“If you decide to make your art disruptive, so be it, we are not going to disrupt your disruptions,” he counseled in an email), third-person narratives (“Mr. Inman has no intention to muddy the political waters. But I can’t know this,” he relayed under the guise of a purported “bot”) or outright nonsense (“The guy is exactly hitler. I need a friend.”).
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Capitol Quip: Somewhere, Over the Rainbow …

Capitol Quip: Somewhere, Over the Rainbow ...

Roll Call cartoonist R.J. Matson has another image for your quippy consideration this week. Submit your caption in the comments section below. Editors will pick five finalists to go before readers for a vote. We’ll let you know the five finalists Wednesday afternoon, and readers will have until 5 p.m. EDT Thursday to pick their favorite.

By Jason Dick Posted at 6:29 p.m.
Capitol Quip

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