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

February 20, 2013

Eight Evidently Wasn’t Enough for Pete Domenici

Eight Evidently Wasnt Enough for Pete Domenici

(CQ Roll Call File Photo)

In what’s fast becoming a trend on Capitol Hill, former Sen. Pete V. Domenici, R-N.M., has admitted to fathering a son outside of wedlock — with the daughter of ex-Sen. Paul Laxalt, R-Nev.

Domenici has eight other children from his marriage to wife, Nancy.

As first reported by the Albuquerque Journal, Domenici had a son, Adam Paul Laxalt, currently an attorney with Lewis and Roca in Las Vegas, with Michelle Laxalt back in the 1980s. Adam Laxalt is an Iraq War veteran and served as a staffer in the office of former Sen. John Warner, R-Va.

“One night’s mistake led to pregnancy more than 30 years ago,” Michelle Laxalt said in an official statement.

Full story

February 19, 2013

Good-Buy, Jesse Jackson Jr.

Good Buy, Jesse Jackson Jr.

(CQ Roll Call File Photo)

We’ve spent all weekend trying to wrap our head around why anyone, particularly a public official, would knowingly siphon work-related funds to satisfy personal fetishes.

To be fair, former Rep. Jesse L. Jackson Jr., D-Ill., has copped to being exhausted/bipolar/depressed since dropping from view last summer. But, as became apparent with the filing of an official plea deal Feb. 15 — a mea culpa acknowledging Jackson and his wife, Sandi, illegally directed about $750,000 in campaign funds during the past decade for personal expenses — Jackson has clearly been out of his mind for quite some time.

Some of his mind-boggling splurges include:

  • $43,000 for a gold Rolex;
  • $27,000 for Michael Jackson memorabilia, including a $4,600 fedora;
  • $10,000 for Bruce Lee collectibles;
  • $5,000 for a football signed by “American presidents.”

While we never condone embezzling, Jackson could have at least saved a few bucks on his road to professional ruin.

Full story

Hashing Things Out

Hashing Things Out

(Screenshot)

This may come as a shock to you, dear HOH reader, but many Americans elected to spend Presidents Day weekend NOT celebrating the birthday of the father of our country, taking instead to Twitter to engage in some bare-knuckled ideological brawling.

The right is, as per usual, hammering away at President Barack Obama. But it’s also been given fresh ammunition by the bungled remarks Colorado Democrat Joe Salazar, the freshman state legislator, delivered last week marrying gun control and rape.

Their rage has been funneled into #LiberalTip2AvoidRape, which is, sadly, currently trending on the micro-blogging portal:

Full story

Scott Brown Falls Victim to Well-Phrased ‘Pocket Tweets’

Finally! The truth about those misspelled, out-of-character tweets that former Sen. Scott P. Brown, R-Mass., sent out after midnight on the night of Jan. 26!

Brown broke his silence on a Boston Fox affiliate about the tweeting incident, saying that the three tweets sent from his official Twitter account on the evening in question – which read “Your brilliant Matt,” “Whatever” and “Bqhatevwr” – were just innocent pocket tweets.

“Anyone ever hear of pocket tweet, pocket dial? I mean it was pretty simple. I have an iPhone 5. If anyone has [an] iPhone 5, the keys are small. It’s very, very sensitive. Ayla was teaching me how to get on Facebook and Twitter, and there were some areas I didn’t really understand,” Brown told Fox in an interview that aired Monday. “After her concert, we were here in the living room and responded to a couple of people and then put it in my pocket.” (Ayla is Brown’s daughter.)

Speculation abounded that Brown had sent the three tweets in question while drunk.

But Brown added during the interview that he hasn’t been sauced up in almost 30 years.

“I rarely drink,” Brown said during the interview. “The last time I was ever drunk was my bachelor party; that was what – 28 years ago, 27 years ago? So I guess no one ever pocket-dialed or tweeted before.”

HOH has fallen victim to the dreaded pocket tweet before, but our tweets were never full words/phrases. That’s one smart pocket you got there, Mr. Brown.

February 18, 2013

Corcoran Gallery Goes ’80s

Corcoran Gallery of Art turns back the clock for “Pump Me Up: D.C. Subculture of the 1980s.” The exhibition, running Feb. 23 to April 7, is curated by Roger Gastman. All events are at the Corcoran (500 17th St. NW), except where noted.

Full story

Take Five With Rep. Mark Takano

It’s Tuesday again, which means it’s time for Take Five, when HOH catches up with a member of Congress over five fun questions. This week, freshman Rep. Mark Takano,
D-Calif., shares the similarities between being a teacher and being a member of Congress, and he tells us what he misses about his sunny California district.

Full story

Capitol Quip: Going to the Dogs

Capitol Quip: Going to the DogsRoll Call cartoonist R.J. Matson has submitted another image for your consideration this week. Submit your caption in the comments section below. Editors will pick five finalists Wednesday to go before readers for another 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 10 p.m.
Capitol Quip

Get Your Oscar Fill for Free

It’s Oscar week, and the mad scramble is on to see as many of the Academy Award-nominated films as possible before Sunday’s broadcast.

But if you’ve already seen “Lincoln” and “Django Unchained” and would like to catch up on some of the less heralded nominees, the National Archives is hosting free screenings this week for four categories of films that don’t typically make it to the multiplex: Documentary Features, Live Action Short Film, Animated Short Film and Documentary Short Subject.
Full story

Capitol Quip: Cupid, Draw Back Your Drone

Capitol Quip: Cupid, Draw Back Your Drone

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 the Heard on the Hill blog. The author will receive a signed color print suitable for framing from Roll Call cartoonist R.J. Matson.

February 15, 2013

Tom Price Hearts Taylor Swift

Tom Price Hearts Taylor Swift

Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo

File this under things HOH never would have guessed in a million years: Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., is a Taylor Swift fan.

Price is totally into Taylor’s country tunes, and has attended three or four of the pop star’s concerts.

“I’m a big Taylor Swift fan,” he told attendees at a Friday morning breakfast hosted by the National Review. “Don’t tell anybody,” he added.

And although Price is into Tay Tay’s music, he’s not so much a fan of her dating choices. Price was not pleased when the 23-year-old star began dating 18-year-old Conor Kennedy, a member of the legendarily Democratic family.

“I prayed when she started dating a Kennedy that that would end,” Price said. The congressman got his wish — Swift and Kennedy split after a short while, and the young Kennedy appears to be expressing his grief politically.

Overheard on the Hill

“The only purpose I serve around here is to cast a losing vote.”

— Rep. Melvin Watt, D-N.C., at a Friday House Financial Services markup.

Cohen Tweets to Secret Daughter

Cohen Tweets to Secret Daughter

(Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

When a congressman tweets to a younger woman who is not his wife, the alarm bells go off that he might be up to no good. … Or it might be that he’s pleased his recently discovered daughter was watching the State of the Union.

Rep. Steve Cohen, D-Tenn., had the press corps smelling blood Tuesday when he tweeted to a 24-year-old woman that he loved her. Cohen and the women had been tweeting back and forth for months.

The State of the Union tweets, which have since been deleted, were explained away by his office as an exchange of affection between the congressman and the daughter of a friend. The universal response to that official explanation, by the way, was, “Eww. Gross.”

On Valentine’s Day, NBC’s Luke Russert asked Cohen about the young woman and the Twitter exchange, and the answer was pretty simple: The woman he loved and tweeted to is his daughter, and the congressman found out about her three years ago.

So, yeah. That happened.

HOH has a call in to Cohen’s office. Stay tuned.

February 14, 2013

Rubio Catches Lightning in a Bottle

Sen. Marco Rubio is looking to capitalize on the flap from his State of the Union response on Tuesday, when he awkwardly reached for a tiny Poland Spring water bottle and took a sip.

The Florida Republican — whose case of dry mouth has been dubbed “Watergate” and ignited a Twitter explosion from snarky journalists and political types — is offering Marco Rubio water bottles to those who donate $25 or more to his Reclaim America PAC.

“Send the liberal detractors a message that not only does Marco Rubio inspire you … he hydrates you too,” says a note on the PAC’s website. Rubio promoted the sale of the bottles, which are emblazoned with a large, red, all-caps “Rubio,” from his official Twitter account.

“Quench your thirst for conservative leadership? Order a bottle now,” says a @marcorubio tweet. Rubio has taken in stride the snark over the incident and has been poking fun at himself on Twitter and throughout the media circuit.

Following the speech, he tweeted a picture of the now-infamous water bottle and noted that he had gained 13,000 new followers, saying it was in part because of his water sipping.

“Im going to start drinking #water in the middle of all of my speeches!” @marcorubio tweeted.

Valentine’s Day Serves Up the Washington Snark

One of HOH’s favorite holidays is Valentine’s Day, where jokes and politics get slathered with love puns and innuendo.

Everyone from the campaign committees to snarky communications shops gets in on the act, reprising their grade-school duties of sending valentines to everyone in the class, particularly their adversaries.
Full story

Dinner(s) With the Colberts

Now that the congressional campaign is officially in full swing, you, too, can break bread with South Carolina Democratic hopeful Elizabeth Colbert Busch and her satirical-PAC-founding TV show host sibling, Stephen Colbert.

The panache of said meals, however, will vary drastically by ZIP code.

Case in point: Colbert is co-hosting back-to-back fundraisers for his sister Feb. 23-24.

Full story

By Warren Rojas Posted at 7:39 p.m.
Food

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