Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
October 21, 2014

October 14, 2014

Test Class Already Hooked on Line-Skirting Dining Service

The super-secret Usher app has been helping a tight-lipped clique of well-connected bon vivants sidestep the restaurant reservation process for several weeks now. Rumor has it that some of the early adopters may not be able to go back to living without it.

The homegrown hospitality aid launched in “stealth mode” — a closely guarded roll-out extended to “influential” people in D.C., including an undisclosed number of Capitol Hill denizens — in early September.

Test Class Already Hooked on Line Skirting Dining Service

(Screenshot)

“My boss says it’s like the Uber of restaurants,” our tipster shared. “He says that he was initially skeptical, but hasn’t used OpenTable or Yelp since.”

Per the tipster, Usher somehow enables users to “get access to exclusive clubs/restaurants without a reservation.”

Team Usher declined to comment on how many people have enrolled in the stealth cohort or which local restaurants have embraced the line-cutting program. But the clandestine company sounds like it’s almost ready to come out of its shell.

“Service is throughout D.C. with the intention to expand soon after public launch,” an Usher aide shared via email. Full story

DC Vote to Celebrate Pro-Democracy Efforts at Annual Gala

The autonomy-seeking advocates at DC Vote — a District-minded group backed by Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton — plan to honor the Herb Block Foundation Wednesday for continuing to nurture the spirit of democracy.

DC Vote to Celebrate Pro Democracy Efforts at Annual Gala

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

According to organizers, the 2014 Champions of Democracy Awards Gala is scheduled to take place at the Library of Congress from 7 to 9:30 p.m. Tickets to the fundraiser — which is also expected to commemorate the 40th anniversary of D.C. Home Rule — are $175 per person.

“Americans living in our nation’s capital raise families, pay full federal taxes and fight and die in wars but are denied voting representation in the House and the Senate,” is how DC Vote summarizes its mission to defeat the disenfranchisement faced by local residents.

Norton is scheduled to serve as honorary chairwoman of the annual fete, an event that has historically attracted fellow pols such as Rep. José E. Serrano, the New York Democrat who made an appearance at the group’s 2013 get-together. Full story

Larry Pressler for D.C. Mayor?

Larry Pressler for D.C. Mayor?

Headline from June 11, 1998. (Bridget Bowman/CQ Roll Call)

If Larry Pressler doesn’t win a Senate seat in November, he might think about running for D.C. mayor. It wouldn’t be the first time.

The independent candidate and former Republican senator shaking up the South Dakota Senate race contemplated running for D.C. mayor in 1998, after he lost his re-election bid in 1996 and was working as a lobbyist.

The Daily Kos unearthed an Associated Press report Monday on Pressler’s potential mayoral bid, which cited an interview with Roll Call. So we dug through our archives and found the original interview that splashed the June 11, 1998, front page with the headline: “Pressler Plans Run for Mayor.” Full story

By Bridget Bowman Posted at 12:32 p.m.
#tbt, DC, Sens

October 13, 2014

The Leaves of Political Change? | Capitol Quip

The Leaves of Political Change? | Capitol Quip

If the leaves are falling, it must be the homestretch of midterm election season! Republicans say the wind is at their backs, but Democrats are keeping the faith in their fundraising and ground game. That brings us to this week’s Capitol Quip captioning contest.

Send us a caption by leaving it in the comments section. Editors will pick five finalists on Wednesday, and everyone can vote for the winner through Thursday.

To see our previous winners, check us out on Pinterest.

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Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call in your inbox or on your iPhone.

October 12, 2014

Democrats’ 10-Foot Obama Pole | Capitol Quip

Democrats 10 Foot Obama Pole | Capitol Quip

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.

The winner will receive a signed color print suitable for framing from Roll Call cartoonist R.J. Matson. Check out our past winners on Pinterest.

Related Stories:

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Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call in your inbox or on your iPhone.

October 10, 2014

GOP Prepares to Invade NoVa

The GOP wants a piece of the Old Dominion. Which is why Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus and Senate hopeful Ed Gillespie rallied the troops Oct. 9 for an impending “deployment.”

According to a tipster, over 100 volunteers showed up for the “March to Victory” recruiting event held at the Capitol Hill Club.

GOP Prepares to Invade NoVa

(Courtesy HOH tipster)

Those in attendance were asked to bolster pre-election efforts by pledging to fan out across the state each Saturday — from dawn till dusk, no less (though meals are provided) — beginning Oct. 18.

The planned grassroots assault is designed to infuse the historically purple commonwealth with a bit more red.

Former congressional aide and state Del. Barbara Comstock is hoping to replace her former boss, retiring Rep. Frank R. Wolf, R-Va.,  in the House (a possible succession the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee might be coming to terms with) while ex-RNC Chairman Gillespie continues duking it out with centrist leader Sen. Mark Warner.

May the best ground-gamers win.

Roll Call Election Map: Race Ratings for Every Seat

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October 9, 2014

Old Rick Weiland Medicine Show Hopes to Strum to Senate

Rick Weiland, the former Hill staffer hoping to return to D.C. as the next Democrat to serve South Dakota in the Senate, has suddenly found himself thrust into the spotlight thanks to a trio of quirky campaign songs that have actually been a long time coming.

Weiland released his first political song parody, set to the tune of Johnny Cash’s “I’ve Been Everywhere,” earlier this spring.

“I just got the idea that this was perfect for the campaign,” Weiland said of the a-ha! moment he had while rolling around the Mount Rushmore State while listening to the Man in Black. Full story

October 8, 2014

Vote for Your Favorite Obama Ballot Capitol Quip!

Vote for Your Favorite Obama Ballot Capitol Quip!

The five finalists for this week’s caption contest are ready for your votes.

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

Here are this week’s finalists:

  • I’ll always extend a supportive hand to the people’s president.
  • They said I don’t want to touch his policies with a 10-foot pole, but they were wrong!
  • FOX News — zoom in over here! MSNBC? Use a wide angle!
  • Attempting to have a long distance relationship.
  • It’s not a stretch to say that this is exactly the kind of help I need from you.

The cartoon with the winning caption will appear on this blog on Oct. 12 and in the following 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.

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Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call in your inbox or on your iPhone.

By Rebecca Gale Posted at 4:02 p.m.
Capitol Quip

John Dingell Spits Jeremih Lyrics

He might be retiring from public service this fall, but don’t expect Rep. John D. Dingell, D-Mich., to ever abandon Def Jam singer/songwriter Jeremih.

The octogenarian lawmaker is apparently so entranced by the R&B performer’s latest single, “Don’t Tell ’Em,” he couldn’t help but blast out the chorus to his online flock — if only for a hot second.

Per the Sunlight Foundation’s “Politwoops” site, the seemingly pop-culture savvy tweeter  — or, gasp!, some staffer entrusted to clandestinely riff on current events on behalf of the  the 30-term House member — pressed the panic button on the head-scratching plug for Jeremih’s forthcoming album after less than half a minute.

Team Dingell declined to comment about who the closet Jeremih fan might be.

Will let you know what we uncover once we’re done hacking Dingell’s Spotify account.

Roll Call Election Map: Race Ratings for Every Seat

Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call in your inbox or on your iPhone.

Steve King Embraces Twitter Hate

Rep. Steve King doesn’t appear to be the least bit fazed by all the rhetorical jabs thrown at him on social media.

Steve King Embraces Twitter Hate

(Screenshot)

If anything, the cyber-sparring seems to tickle his funny bone.

The Iowa Republican recently engaged in a little self-deprecating exercise his re-election campaign has dubbed “King Mean Tweets” — an ego gut-check originally developed by late-night host Jimmy Kimmel.

“I enjoy their colorful nature,” King told HOH about the staff-selected taunts he and his wife, Marilyn, scrolled through during the inaugural video segment.

Capitol Hill got its first taste of mean tweets mania this spring, after Now This News convinced a handful of sitting pols to face the online firing squad. Full story

October 7, 2014

Pelosi, Democrats Tweak ‘Blank’ Boehner Jobs Plan on Twitter

Pelosi, Democrats Tweak Blank Boehner Jobs Plan on Twitter

Pelosi ribbed Boehner for an apparent social media gaffe on Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Democrats had some fun on social media Tuesday ribbing Republicans over what looks like a Twitter snafu that popped up earlier in the day on the official feed of Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio.

The Boehner tweet featured a bulleted list of the five key points of the GOP’s Jobs Plan — but, for some reason, the bullet points were blank.

 

 

After yukking it up over that for a couple of hours (“No wonder this is the least productive Congress in history,” tweeted Rep. Dan Kildee, D-Mich.), Democrats decided to start filling in the blanks. Full story

Jimmy Kimmel Gets a Read on Joe Biden

It’s no wonder Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. feels like he’s been reduced to a living, breathing punchline.

According to a handful of Californians, the man who is currently a heartbeat away from becoming commander in chief could just as easily be mistaken for a Republican, a terrorist or a supporting character from “Pineapple Express.”

Jimmy Kimmel Gets a Read on Joe Biden

(Screenshot)

Late night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel uncovered the utter lack of name recognition that dogs the VPOTUS by posing a simple question to Los Angelenos: Who is Joe Biden?

“He’s like the assistant president, or something,” was the best this civics-challenged sample of the population could come up with.

Biden is out west raising money for the party, and is expected to roam around the city later today.

To wit, if L.A. wants to get to know the ′Vette-loving Delawarean a little better, somebody ought to open up a Capriotti’s ASAP.

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Official Transcript of Biden Event Excludes ‘Bitch’ Quip

 

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Lee Terry Erroneously Courts New Constituency

Lee Terry Erroneously Courts New Constituency

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

It would appear that Rep. Lee Terry, if only for a second, was up for making new friends on the World Wide Web.

As astutely theorized by Omaha-World Herald scribe Matthew Hansen, the Nebraska Republican randomly expressed his gratitude to a well-established gay and lesbian community in the Windy City instead of presumably thanking the youth-oriented outfit he’s championed in the past.

 

 

A simple mistake, no doubt.

Terry and Rep. Tim Murphy, R-Pa., had, apparently, been in contact with the nonprofit children’s group a day before.

 

Full story

Kirsten Gillibrand’s Book Tour in Political Territory

Kirsten Gillibrands Book Tour in Political Territory

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Andrea Mitchell, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Connie Britton, Gloria Steinem and Sen. Cory Booker. These are some of the folks Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand has hung out with as part of the publicity tour for her book, “Off the Sidelines: Raise your Voice, Change the World.”

Since the book’s Sept. 9 launch in Manhattan, the New York Democrat has gone coast to coast this political season, touching down to talk about her political memoir, often side by side with a compatriot who embodies the book’s message for women to get involved in public life.

Full story

October 6, 2014

Pols Give It Up for ‘Gone Girl’

Suspense lovers weren’t the only ones desperately waiting for auteur David Fincher’s treatment of author Gillian Flynn’s “Gone Girl” to grace the silver screen. Solons and civic leaders couldn’t be prouder of the film.

The buzzy Ben Affleck-led thriller — based on the 2012 beach read about one of the most disastrous couplings of all time — separated fans of doomed marriages from $38 million in discretionary income this past weekend.

Ticket sales are, of course, paramount to Hollywood.

But the powers that be here in Washington, D.C., and down in Cape Girardeau, Mo., where parts of the film were shot, are much more interested in the attention that comes with being associated with a highly anticipated feature.

“I am super excited that ‘Gone Girl’ was filmed in my congressional district,” Missouri Republican Jason Smith told HOH. “I hope that when people see the film, and how beautiful, unique, and historic the city is, they will come to Cape to see it in person.”

City officials are attempting to capitalize on this fortuitous close-up by cobbling together a self-guided driving tour spotlighting different filming locations. Full story

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