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

June 19, 2014

Vote for Your Favorite GOP Primaries Quip | Capitol Quip

Vote for Your Favorite GOP Primaries Quip | Capitol QuipThe 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!

  • Campaigns of mice and men, sometimes go astray.
  • All I did was ask if he wanted to join us for a tea party.
  • He’s afraid what Cantor’s got is contagious.
  • You’d think Brat was the wurst.
  • What a Brat.

The cartoon with the winning caption will appear on this blog on June 22 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.

By Rebecca Gale Posted at 12:52 p.m.
Capitol Quip

Members Beat Babes in Congressional Women’s Softball Game (Video)

Members Beat Babes in Congressional Womens Softball Game (Video)

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., kisses their trophy as House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and teammates look on. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

After a tough loss last year, the women of Congress reclaimed the pink trophy Wednesday in the 6th Annual Congressional Women’s Softball Game, beating the female journalist team, the Bad News Babes, 10-5.

The lawmakers and journalists faced off on a muggy evening at the Watkins Recreation Center to compete in the annual game, which benefits the Young Survival Coalition, a breast cancer charity.

Scores of Hill staffers, journalists and members of Congress came out to cheer for their favorite players, with many holding signs and donning campaign T-shirts to show their support. But the politics of the moment still managed to make an appearance on the field. Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., stopped by the emcees’ tent with Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., joking that she couldn’t vote for him in Thursday’s election for House majority leader.

Full story

June 18, 2014

Watch Out, King Crab; There’s a King Lobster in Town

Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, sported some Maine pride Wednesday, tweeting a picture of himself with a group of students donning lobster hats.

Was this photo op a show of support for Maine’s lobster roll as it vies for the top spot in the Taste of America competition?

Not exactly.

 

King posed with a group of students who qualified for the the National History Day contest at the University of Maryland at College Park next week.  According to a King spokesperson, the students in the photo are from Bruce M. Whittier Middle School in Poland, Maine, and are some of the 59 students from Maine who will participate in the national contest.

The National History Day competition includes students from across the country who  advanced through local and state contests for the top history projects that address this year’s theme of “Rights and Responsibilities in History.”

So although King did not don his own lobster hat, perhaps he should keep it on hand in case Maine’s signature dish becomes the next Taste of America champion at next week’s 53rd Annual Roll Call Congressional Baseball Game.

Hirono Shepherds Taste of Hawaii to the Hill

Of all the “firsts” Sen. Mazie K. Hirono, D-Hawaii, has accomplished since succeeding retired solon Daniel Akaka, we’re most excited about the inaugural “Taste of Hawaii” event she’s cooked up for late July.

Hirono Shepherds Taste of Hawaii to the Hill

(Courtesy Mazie K. Hirono)

Why it’s taken this long for our friends from the South Pacific to have the culinary stage all to themselves remains somewhat of a mystery.

“No one had ever asked before,” Sherry Menor-McNamara, president and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii, said of the missed opportunity no one had apparently given much thought to before.

Until Hirono came to town. Full story

Bustos Returns Fire as Taste of America Trash Talk Continues

Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-Ill., has issued a call for bipartisanship in the Taste of America competition, even as she took a subtle dig at the portion size of a fellow Midwesterner’s dish of choice.

After Rep. Bruce Braley, D-Iowa, called out Bustos in a recent press release touting Iowa bacon, Bustos responded with a tweet that still managed to slip in a knock at bacon by adding the hashtag, “#itsatoppingnotameal.”

 

Braley issued a colorful statement on Monday about the competition, saying, “Look, I like a good casserole as much as the next guy, and I have a great working relationship with my friend Cheri Bustos from Illinois — but a contest between deep dish pizza and Bacon is no contest at all — bacon wins running away.”

Full story

By Bridget Bowman Posted at 12:35 p.m.
FightingWords, Food

Gabby Giffords Throwing the First Pitch at Congressional Women’s Softball Game

Gabby Giffords Throwing the First Pitch at Congressional Womens Softball Game

Giffords, seen here in 2013, visits Washington infrequently. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords will throw the ceremonial first pitch at the annual Congressional Women’s Softball Game Wednesday night.

Giffords left Congress in 2011, after she was shot during a gun rampage at an event in her district.

Her appearances in Washington are infrequent, and always spark emotion from lawmakers in both parties. She is close with the co-captains of the members’ team, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, and she once played on the bipartisan team.

Full story

Meet the Women Who Could Change the Softball Game

Meet the Women Who Could Change the Softball Game

2013 warmups with Donna Edwards, left, and Kirsten Gillibrand. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

It’s that time of year again.

Trash talk is escalating, just as several dozen women are wrapping up early morning practices. Fangirls are making necessary arrangements.

It is all because the Congressional Women’s Softball Game is Wednesday night.

The annual event pits female members of Congress against the women of the Washington press corps, and it benefits the Young Survival Coalition, a breast cancer charity that aids women under 40 who are fighting breast cancer.

We hear, courtesy of two different press spying accounts, that members are looking strong at the plate during practice. 

“The members looked ready to go,” Bad News Babe/CNN political writer Leigh Ann Caldwell said of a recent reconnaissance mission of Team Congress’ practice. “Their batting was fierce, and their pitching was the strongest I’ve seen it.”

“It’s a good thing the press team has improved as well, or I would be scared,” Caldwell added. “We are going to have to play at our highest level this year to ensure we continue our winning streak.”

Get your tickets here(And don’t forget to fill out your Fantasy Softball brackets!)

Full story

June 17, 2014

Congressional Women’s Softball Batting Practices Get Wild at New York Times, Huffington Post (Updated) (Video)

They ain’t messing around at The New York Times and The Huffington Post.

Both news organizations were the sites of indoor batting practice sessions on Tuesday, in preparation for Wednesday evening’s Congressional Women’s Softball Game. The annual match between female members of Congress and the women of the Washington press corps. The game benefits the Young Survival Coalition, a breast cancer charity. Tickets can be purchased here.

Over at the Times, bureau chief Carolyn Ryan is taking her game debut so seriously that she and day editor Jill Agostino regularly hold pepper drills in Ryan’s office.

“I think it speaks volumes about our confidence going into the game that Carolyn wanted to play pepper in her glass-enclosed office,” New York Times junior reporter Emmarie Huetteman observed.

Ryan, Agostino and Huetteman joined the softball team thanks to the scouting efforts of press coach and New York Times chief Washington correspondent Carl Hulse.

As if she needed any more initiation, Ryan found herself sucked into a Twitter fight with the game’s founder, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., over the last 24 hours.

Step One: Ready the Batting Stance

Congressional Womens Softball Batting Practices Get Wild at New York Times, Huffington Post (Updated) (Video)

Courtesy Emmarie Huetteman

 

Full story

Kirsten Gillibrand Is Leading Roll Call’s Fantasy Softball Challenge

Kirsten Gillibrand Is Leading Roll Calls Fantasy Softball Challenge

Gillibrand leads the pack. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., is currently the top pick for those participating in this year’s Fantasy Softball Challenge.

The fantasy competition is part of the 6th Annual Congressional Women’s Softball Game on Wednesday, which pits female members of Congress against female journalists.

The fantasy competition gives fans a chance to compete as well. Full story

Dave Brat Karaoke Event Canceled…For Now

Did stage fright keep Dave Brat away from a karaoke fundraiser scheduled for Thursday night?

According to the event’s spokesman, it was actually a scheduling conflict.

Libertarian coalition builder Matthew Hurtt announced Tuesday that Brat will not be attending the fundraiser scheduled for Thursday night. Hurtt told HOH that Brat plans to spend the evening in Virginia’s 7th District, at a local Republican Committee meeting.

Brat’s shocking win over outgoing House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., last week inspired the event, which was hosted by Liberty Karaoke. The group brings local libertarians together each week for sing-alongs and also raises money for “pro-liberty” candidates.

“Mr. Brat is dedicating his time to getting to know the people of Virginia’s 7th District,” Hurtt wrote on the event’s Facebook page. “All too often, politicians go to Washington and forget about their constituents. Mr. Brat is committed to being a citizen legislator in the mold of our Founders, and that’s important.”

Hurtt said he hopes to reschedule the fundraiser and he looks forward to finding another date that will work with Brat’s schedule.

Rob Bishop Still Not Sold on Twitter

Sure, his office signed him up for the rapid-fire status sharing service more than four years ago. And he definitely gets updates when others drop his name in the Twittersphere.

But no one can make Rep. Rob Bishop actually broadcast a single character.

Rob Bishop Still Not Sold on Twitter

(Screenshot)

Of the 520-odd politicians (a roster that includes aspiring as well as sitting lawmakers) we follow on the micro-blogging platform, the Utah Republican has the unique honor of being the only person to never post a single thing — no tenuous “here we go,” or even an investigatory “testing” — to an active account.

Which makes perfect sense, since it’s really just a placeholder. Full story

D.C. Libertarians Invite Dave Brat to Rock the Mic

The whole nation watched him dance circles around fading House Majority Leader Eric Cantor last week. If Team Liberty Karaoke has its way, we’ll learn soon whether aspiring Virginia congressman Dave Brat can carry a tune.

A group of 20-something, right wing fun-seekers are looking forward to mixing it up with the long-shot pol who spectacularly toppled the GOP leader at a private fundraiser Thursday. The donation-required shindig (lowest contribution: $20 per person) is scheduled to take place from 8 p.m. till ?? at the pay-to-play event space, The Loft (600 F St. NW).

Libertarian coalition builder Matthew Hurtt has been bringing together like-minded folks for several years now, but only recently decided to shift the weekly singalongs into full-on campaign mode. Full story

By Warren Rojas Posted at 10:12 a.m.
Artsy, DC, Reps, Sens

June 16, 2014

Bruce Braley Extols ‘The Amazingness of Bacon’ in Taste of America Voting

In a release replete with the salty trash-talking language that defines Roll Call’s Taste of America contest, Rep. Bruce Braley, D-Iowa, says the votes among the remaining eight foodstuffs shouldn’t even be close and that bacon rightfully rules the world.

“Katy Perry called bacon the ‘meat candy of the world’ and she’s a vegan for crying out loud. Watching bacon lose to one of these second-tier foods would be an injustice,” the Senate hopeful says in the release that went out with the subject line: “Braley: Don’t Go Bacon my Heart.”

Aside from the Elton John/Kiki Dee duet play on words, we have to admire Braley for the brazenness of his appeal. This is raw (or cooked) regional culinary pride, topped out by his office’s claim that “while there are many proud and tasty culinary traditions in the world, they all pale in comparison to the amazingness of bacon.”

Or, as Braley states in the release: “Look, I like a good casserole as much as the next guy, and I have a great working relationship with my friend Cheri Bustos from Illinois — but a contest between deep dish pizza and Bacon is no contest at all — bacon wins running away.”

Voting ends Friday and the winners will be announced on June 25 at the 53rd Annual Roll Call Congressional Baseball Game.

And, returning to Braley’s “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” reference, we’d be remiss if we didn’t also provide the following cover of it by John Travolta and Captain and Tennille.

 

Tom Harkin, George Miller Score Cupcake Title IX Send-Off

Tom Harkin, George Miller Score Cupcake Title IX Send Off

Harkin, left, and Miller can expect cupcakes. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The American Association of University Women is sad to see retiring lawmakers Sen. Tom Harkin of Iowa and Rep. George Miller of  California go, but wants to watch them have a blast doing so at a reception featuring bubbly and gourmet baked goods.

The retiring Democrats will be feted on Tuesday from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the Kennedy Caucus Room (Russell 325) as part of the 42nd anniversary of Title IX. Harkin, the chairman of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee and the Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies Subcommittee, and Miller, the ranking member and former chairman of the Education and the Workforce Committee, are longtime advocates of the university community.

“Cupcakes and champagne will be served,” the open invitation reads. Well-wishers should sign their commitment to their team — Teams Free Booze and/or Sugar Rush — via the online registration site.

Teen Capitalists Demand Congressional Attention, Supply Dessert

Junior Achievement USA’s latest crop of budding entrepreneurs are looking to bend pols’ ears with prospective start-up plans on Tuesday. And the aspiring businesspeople are fully prepared to sweeten the deal by dishing out free ice cream.

JA’s annual “trade fair” is scheduled to take place Tuesday from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. in Hart 902.

Members and staff who attend the presentation will have the opportunity to pick the brains of more than six dozen teen problem-solvers hailing from Chicago; Atlanta; Philadelphia; Los Angeles; Denver; San Diego; Minneapolis-St.Paul; Cupertino, Calif.; St. Louis; Nashville, Tenn.; Tampa, Fla.; Springfield, Mass.; Lancaster, N.Y.; and Camden, Del.

Some of the moneymaking ideas on the minds of the would-be wheelers-and-dealers include:

  • Subscription make-up delivery (a la a lipstick of the month club)
  • School mascot-branded belts
  • Hand-cranked robo vacuum (battery-free operation)
  • Branded digital screen cleaners
  • Customizable bracelets
  • A website development school (Check yo’ self, ITT Tech!)

Organizers said Sens. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga.; Al Franken, D-Minn.; Claire McCaskill, D-Mo.; and Reps. William Lacy Clay, D-Mo.; Chris Collins, R-N.Y.; and Scott Peters, D-Calif., have all agreed to give the projects a look-see.

Their reward?

Jack and Jill ice cream (with assorted toppings) and freshly baked apple pie. And they can wash it all down with lemonade or iced tea.

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