Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
November 25, 2015

November 17, 2015

Vitter Keeps Satirists Busy With T-Shirts, Bumper Stickers

(Photo courtesy HOH tipster)

(Photo courtesy HOH tipster)

NEW ORLEANS — Sen. David Vitter, locked in a tight gubernatorial runoff election in Louisiana with Democrat John Bel Edwards, has given Big Easy satirists a lot of material.

“Part of Dirty Coast has always been to poke fun at New Orleans and Louisiana, and politics is a major part of that,” said Chris Marroy, general manager for the Crescent City clothier Dirty Coast. Marroy pointed to previous designs needling disgraced Mayor Ray Nagin and the football bounty-hunting scandal surrounding New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton. Full story

‘Stabbing in the Senate’ Focuses on Hill Staffers

'Stabbing in the Senate' is a murder-mystery focused on Capitol Hill. (Bridget Bowman/CQ Roll Call)

‘Stabbing in the Senate’ is a murder-mystery focused on Capitol Hill. (Bridget Bowman/CQ Roll Call)

Capturing the real-life drama of Capitol Hill in fiction can be a daunting task, but Colleen Shogan had an advantage: She’s been there, done that.

Shogan, 40, now the deputy director of the Congressional Research Service, used her time as a Senate staffer as the basis of her debut mystery novel, “Stabbing in the Senate,” the first installment in her Washington Whodunit series. Full story

November 16, 2015

Metro Steps Up Security After Paris Attacks

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Metro Transit Police announced Monday that additional patrols were deployed on Nov. 13, as news broke of the attacks in France that left 129 dead and hundreds more wounded. A news release noted increased patrols “will continue for an unspecified period of time.” Full story

Mobster-Turned-Minister Addresses Hill Staff

Michael Franzese is not your typical minister.

Around 30 years ago, he was listed among the most powerful mafia bosses, part of the notorious New York Columbo family. But after finding God while serving time in prison, he reformed. And on Nov. 13, he found himself talking about faith and redemption with Capitol Hill staff. Full story

Kevin Yoder’s Newest Addition

(Courtesy Kevin Yoder's office)

(Courtesy Kevin Yoder’s office)

Rep. Kevin Yoder, R-Kan., and his wife Brooke added to their family earlier this month, with the birth of their second daughter. Eloise Jane — Yoder’s office said her name is inspired by two of her great-grandmothers — arrived at 11 a.m. on Nov. 2 at Shawnee Mission Medical Center. She measured about 21 inches long and weighed in at 7 pounds, 13 ounces and joins sister Caroline Lucille.  Full story

Capitol Police ‘On Highest Alert’ After Paris Attacks

(Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

A Capitol Police officer walks towards a line of nondescript black SUVs on Capitol Hill. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)

The board with oversight over Capitol security said Monday the Capitol Police department “continues to be on highest alert” and is enhancing security around the complex following the terrorist attacks in Paris.

“As with many law enforcement agencies around the nation, the USCP has increased visibility in a number of areas,” the Capitol Police Board wrote in a notice sent to congressional staff just after 10 a.m. “The increased presence and visibility is a proactive enhancement of our already heightened security posture. We appreciate your patience with any inconvenience you may experience or delays incurred at entry points to the Capitol Complex.” Full story

By Bridget Bowman Posted at 11:17 a.m.
Capitol Police

Capitol Police Roll Out Transgender Policy; Union Cries Foul

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Capitol Police rolled out a progressive new policy on Oct. 29 for handling interactions with transgender individuals.

The six-page directive, obtained by CQ Roll Call, instructs officers on security screening, frisks, medical treatment and arrests for a population that the Justice Department defines as particularly vulnerable. Full story

November 14, 2015

Off-Duty Cop Shoots Stabbing Suspect at Union Station

A similar incident occurred in September. (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

 (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 8:43 p.m. Sunday | A stabbing at Union Station that resulted in shots fired put the area on edge Saturday night.

“An off duty police officer intervened in a stabbing incident, shooting a suspect. Suspect is in custody,” Metropolitan Police Department spokesman Lt. Sean Conboy wrote in an email at 9 p.m. Saturday night. Full story

By Bridget Bowman Posted at 9:25 p.m.
DC, HillSide

D.C. Vigil Pays Tribute to Victims of Paris Attacks

Mourners gathered in LaFayette Square. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Mourners gathered in Lafayette Square. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

A few hundred people gathered in Lafayette Square north of the White House Saturday evening to pay tribute to the victims of the terrorist attacks that shocked Paris and the world.

Several coordinated attacks, including two suicide bombs near a soccer stadium and suicide bombs detonated in a concert hall, left 129 dead and 352 wounded Friday night in the French capital, according to The New York Times. The Islamic State terror group, also known as ISIL or ISIS, claimed responsibility for the attack. On Saturday, the French Embassy in the District of Columbia organized a vigil to mourn and show solidarity with those suffering in France. Full story

Opera Tenor Channels Young John Lewis in ‘Appomattox’

Ballantine, second from right, plays Lewis during 'Appomattox.' (Courtesy Kennedy Center)

Ballantine, second from right, plays Lewis during ‘Appomattox.’ (Scott Suchman/WNO)

There’s really no other place but the Kennedy Center to launch the premiere of an overhauled version of “Appomattox,” the Philip Glass opera about the end of the Civil War set at the eponymous courthouse.

The opera, which premiered in San Francisco in 2007, underwent a complete transformation after the Supreme Court upended the Voting Rights Act in 2013. Now there’s a new second act set during the Civil Rights era that features a young John Lewis — now the veteran congressman from Georgia.

Full story

November 13, 2015

Sodex-Uh Oh: Expiration Date Raises Concerns

(Courtesy of an HOH tipster).

(Courtesy of an HOH tipster).

Two labels, two different expiration dates  was this a culinary cover-up?

A concerned House cafeteria patron alerted HOH Thursday to what appears to be a not-so-hidden expiration date on one of the cheese and grapes snacks in Longworth cafeteria, though the sticker notes it was prepared in Rayburn. Full story

By Bridget Bowman Posted at 3:18 p.m.

Wedding Bells (and Brews) for Jason Dick, Fawn Johnson

Early Tuesday evening, #thistown experienced a wedding for the ages.

Roll Call Capitol Hill Editor Jason Dick and Morning Consult’s Fawn Johnson tied the knot in front of a crowd of friends and family gathered at Atlas Brew Works in Northeast D.C. in a ceremony that perfectly expressed their personalities.

(Cyra Master/CQ Roll Call)

(Cyra Master/CQ Roll Call)

NPR’s Sue Davis officiated, and the vows, written by Dick and Johnson, included Latin phrases, references to Kurt Vonnegut and numerous mentions of the Washington Nationals. Instead of a traditional bouquet toss, the bride and groom orchestrated a T-shirt toss, showering guests with mementos from the couple’s vast collection. (Johnson put her crafting skills to good use ahead of time, turning their overflow shirts into table cloths.)

(Cyra Master/CQ Roll Call)

(Cyra Master/CQ Roll Call)

Guests were treated to a variety of brews, as well as barbecue from DCity Smokehouse and soft pretzels from The Pretzel Bakery before decamping to Boundary Road on H Street. The after-party featured a custom cocktail named after their PG-13 wedding hashtag (#FawnLovesTheD) and made with Pikesville Rye, Capitoline rosé vermouth, St. George spiced pear liqueur and Bittercube Jamaican bitters.

(Cyra Master/CQ Roll Call)

(Cyra Master/CQ Roll Call)

The CQ Roll Call family was well-represented at the party, along with a contingent of National Journal reporters past and present and Morning Consult staffers. The happy couple decamped to New Orleans the following morning — on a reasonably timed midday flight.

(Cyra Master/CQ Roll Call)

(Cyra Master/CQ Roll Call)


Did you know Roll Call features Capitol Hill staffers and their nuptials in our Roll Call Weddings feature? Have a story to share? Submit wedding and engagement details through our easy form here.

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Congressional Hits and Misses: Week of Nov. 9, 2015

Despite a two-day workweek, senators still found time to wear shades, create “slush funds” and drop the mic.

Full story

Chris Van Hollen Honored at Arena Stage

Van Hollen was given the American Voice Award. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Van Hollen was given the American Voice Award. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

At a theater in Southwest Washington Thursday night, Rep. Chris Van Hollen talked about his most recent acting gig.

“Since I sit next to Paul Ryan all day I know all of his lines. So I was invited to be Paul Ryan in the practice debates up in Delaware,” the Maryland Democrat told a group gathered at Arena Stage. “So I spent five days in Delaware. I can tell you, I don’t have the accent down, but I have the lines down.” Full story

November 12, 2015

Robert Pittenger to Ethics: Come at Me, Bro

Pittenger asked the Ethics Committee to investigate him. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Pittenger asked the Ethics Committee to investigate him. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Robert Pittenger, R-N.C., has gone on the offensive as to whether or not he violated ethics rules, requesting Thursday that the House Ethics Committee investigate him.

The FBI and the IRS are currently investigating his former company, Pittenger Land Investment, according to local media reports, to determine whether Pittenger transferred money from the company to his congressional campaign in 2012. Pittenger contends he did nothing wrong, and he wants the Ethics Committee to prove it. Full story

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