Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
October 2, 2014

June 9, 2014

Taste of America Elite Eight Is Set

The final round of this year’s Taste of America competition is off and running, with the Elite Eight facing off for the title of America’s favorite food.

Will the sweet or the savory win top honors? Will the debate over whether Maine or Maryland has superior seafood finally be put to rest? Time will tell as the final round of voting ends on June 20.

The final round contains Utah’s cherry cobbler, Oregon’s blackberry pie, Iowa bacon, Illinois deep dish pizza, Maine’s lobster roll, Maryland crab cakes, Kentucky fried chicken and North Carolina barbecue.

Oregon’s blackberry pie was the top vote-getter in the third round, but the dish made it into the final round by a mere 84 votes, besting Montana steak. Maine’s lobster roll won its spot in the final round by the highest margin, beating Delaware’s boardwalk fries by more than 4,000 votes.

The winner of the competition will be announced on June 25 at a reception during the 53rd Annual Roll Call Congressional Baseball Game.

So the choice is yours, America. Don’t forget to exercise your right and vote.

 

Members Rally Behind Home Runs for Horton’s Kids

Dozens of lawmakers from both sides of the aisle are expected to pour into Nationals Park on Tuesday to participate in the fun-for-all-ages Home Runs for Horton’s Kids event.

Members Rally Behind Home Runs for Horton’s Kids

(Courtesy Horton’s Kids)

The invite-only fundraiser, scheduled to take place from 5-9 p.m., benefits the kid-friendly nonprofit former Hill staffer Karin Walser founded some 25 years ago. Per staff, the goal is to gather resources (preferably, upwards of $400,000) to support the meal programs, medical care, college- and career-related counseling and summer enrichment programs the organization provides at-risk local youth.

This year’s host committee is being headed up by Sens. Joe Manchin III, D-W.Va., Mike Lee, R-Utah, and Cory Booker, D-N.J., as well as House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., and Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer, D-Md.

Other lawmakers who have signed on for a night out at the ballpark include: Reps. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn.; Bradley Byrne, R-Ala.; Doug Collins, R-Ga.; Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn.; Jack Kingston, R-Ga.; Michelle Lujan Grisham, D-N.M.; Jim Matheson, D-Utah; Jerry McNerney, D-Calif.; Mick Mulvaney, R-S.C.; Grace F. Napolitano, D-Calif.; Kristi Noem, R-S.D.; Dennis A. Ross, R-Fla.; Scott Tipton, R-Colo.; and Jackie Walorski, R-Ind.

Steve Israel: The F. Scott Fitzgerald of Congress?

Steve Israel: The F. Scott Fitzgerald of Congress?

The gentleman from West Egg? (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo.)

The hat rack of Rep. Steve Israel, D-N.Y., is quite full these days.

Obviously, he represents the constituents of New York’s 3rd District. And then there is his side gig running the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. But lately, he’s wearing another hat: novelist.

“I’m publishing my first novel in January,” he said in a recent interview.

“I’ve always wanted to be a writer. Since I knew I couldn’t play centerfield for the Mets, which was my childhood dream, and since I couldn’t get a book published, I became a member of Congress.” Full story

June 8, 2014

Welcome to Washington, Bowe Bergdahl | Capitol Quip

Welcome to Washington, Bowe Bergdahl | Capitol Quip

With the release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl from captivity, the military’s determination to leave no man behind has given way to Capitol Hill’s desire to leave no controversy behind.

That brings us to this week’s Capitol Quip.

Send us a caption for this week’s contest 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.

By Jason Dick Posted at 7:05 p.m.
Capitol Quip

Road Rules for Congress | Capitol Quip

Road Rules for Congress | 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.

By Jason Dick Posted at 7 p.m.
Capitol Quip

Wedding Bells for Staffers Janelle Hervig and Mitch Relfe

Wedding Bells for Staffers Janelle Hervig and Mitch Relfe

Married! Janelle and Mitch Relfe at their reception on the rooftop of the Newseum. (Courtesy Vita Images)

From the campaign trail to walking down the aisle —  Janelle Hervig and Mitch Relfe were married on May 24 at St. Peter’s Church on Capitol Hill.

She is a legislative assistant for Rep. Larry Bucshon, R-Ind., and he is a recent graduate of Cumberland School of Law in Birmingham, Ala.

The couple met in Boston, while volunteering for Scott P. Brown during the January 2010 special election. At the time, Janelle was interning for Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Fla., and Mitch worked for Rep. Spencer Bachus, R-Ala. He later worked as floor monitor for the Senate Republican Conference in Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander’s office.

On Dec. 21, 2012, after a year and a half of dating, Mitch proposed on the steps of the Capitol building, at midnight in the rain.

The reception was held on the rooftop of the Newseum.

Wedding Bells for Staffers Janelle Hervig and Mitch Relfe

The couple met while campaigning. (Courtesy Vita Images)

“We really wanted a view of the Capitol since it pretty much is the whole reason we met,” Janelle told said in an email, adding that the groom’s cake was in the shape of an elephant, and their tables were named after presidents: “It was a very Capitol Hill/DC wedding!”

Want to tell us about an engagement or wedding? Fill out our easy form.

 

By Rebecca Gale Posted at 8 a.m.
Weddings

June 6, 2014

Congressional Hits and Misses: Week of June 2 (Video)

Senators kicked off the first week of June asking for reporters’ names, analyzing the “Wizard of Oz” and taking baths to clean themselves of sewer waste.

53rd Annual Roll Call Congressional Baseball Game Rosters

With the 53rd Annual Roll Call Congressional Baseball Game less than three weeks away, the Democrats and Republicans have set their rosters.

Democrats have one new player this year, Rep. Tony Cárdenas of California. Republicans, hoping to redeem themselves after a shutout last year, have added Reps. Mo Brooks of Alabama and Vance McAllister of Louisiana.

Here is your complete list of the members of Congress who will be facing off at Nationals Park on June 25. Tickets are now available online.

DEMOCRATS

Manager: Mike Doyle, Pennsylvania

Tony Cárdenas, California

Timothy H. Bishop, New York

John Carney, Delaware

William Lacy Clay, Missouri

Joseph Crowley, New York

Joe Donnelly, Indiana

Jared Huffman, California

Hakeem Jeffries, New York

Dan Kildee, Michigan

Christopher S. Murphy, Connecticut

Patrick Murphy, Florida

Bill Pascrell Jr., New Jersey

Ed Perlmutter, Colorado

Jared Polis, Colorado

Cedric L. Richmond, Louisiana

Raul Ruiz, California

Tim Ryan, Ohio

Linda T. Sánchez, California

Kurt Schrader, Oregon

Adam Smith, Washington

Eric Swalwell, California

 

REPUBLICANS

Manager: Joe L. Barton, Texas

Coach: Roger Williams, Texas

Lou Barletta, Pennsylvania

Kevin Brady, Texas

Mo Brooks, Alabama

K. Michael Conaway, Texas

Rodney Davis, Illinois

Jeff Duncan, South Carolina

Jeff Flake, Arizona

Chuck Fleischmann, Tennessee

Sam Graves, Missouri

Bill Johnson, Ohio

Jack Kingston, Georgia

Vance McAllister, Louisiana

Doug LaMalfa, California

Patrick Meehan, Pennsylvania

Mick Mulvaney, South Carolina

Steven M. Palazzo, Mississippi

Rand Paul, Kentucky

Steve Pearce, New Mexico

Tom Rooney, Florida

Dennis A. Ross, Florida

Steve Scalise, Louisiana

Austin Scott, Georgia

John Shimkus, Illinois

Bill Shuster, Pennsylvania

Marlin Stutzman, Indiana

Daniel Webster, Florida

Brad Wenstrup, Ohio

Rob Wittman, Virginia

Kevin Yoder, Kansas

By Bridget Bowman Posted at 1:23 p.m.
Sports Desk

Sleazy Pol Sparks Spectacular Reddit Guessing Game

Reddit, the online hub known for its no-holds-barred “Ask Me Anything” discussions has been consumed by the SHOCKING! (shocking?) revelation that some elected official, somewhere may have slipped a paramour a few bucks to keep quiet about their extracurricular activities.

“Relative of mine slept with a notable politician and was paid to keep quiet. Has the hush letter in writing,” a Redditor who posts under the moniker diztorted floated in a forum rife with heartbreaking tales of childhood molestation and jarring anecdotes about stumbling upon unknown siblings/secret second families.

Unlike the surreptitious financial support former North Carolina senator and Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards sent mistress Rielle Hunter’s way, or the consolation prize former Nevada Republican Sen. John Ensign served up to one-time aide Doug Hampton, after bedding his wife, Cynthia, this purported philanderer apparently had the foresight to contractually bar the other party from ever saying a word about what had transpired between the two of them.

“This is ‘House of Cards’ stuff here, Underwoods be damned,” said a commenter who goes by TheSouthernPunk.

Soon, everyone begun weighing in on the hush-hush, hanky-panky. Full story

Can Obama’s Tumblr Town Hall Compete With ‘Texts From Hillary?’

With President Barack Obama getting ready to host a Q-and-A on Tumblr on education, it’s worth revisiting one of the best Tumblr memes ever, which started with a little old exchange between Obama and a very in-charge Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Can Obamas Tumblr Town Hall Compete With Texts From Hillary?

(Screenshot courtesy of Tumblr)

Has it really been two years since “Texts from Hillary” debuted? My how time flies.

By Jason Dick Posted at 11:52 a.m.
POTUS, Webtastic

June 5, 2014

C-SPAN’s Vintage Coverage of Roll Call Congressional Baseball Game

C SPANs Vintage Coverage of Roll Call Congressional Baseball Game

(CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Talk about a public service! C-SPAN has some serious Throwback Thursday action going on, with videos of past Roll Call Congressional Baseball Games, including from as far back as 1982.

Relive all the glory. Rep. Bob Michel, R-Ill., singing the national anthem. The rough first play of the game in which Rep. Mike Oxley, R-Ohio, broke his arm in 1994. The socks. The polyester. Congressmen wearing those old Pittsburgh Pirates birthday cake-style hats. The rainbow pride Houston Astros jerseys.

It’s all there.

By Jason Dick Posted at 5:11 p.m.
Sports Desk, Webtastic

Rock Lobster! Maine Crustacean Cruising in Taste of America

The Maine lobster roll continues to claw its way to the top of the Taste of America 3rd Round vote totals, steamrolling (so far) Delaware’s boardwalk fries in a regional seafaring fight.

In other Round 3 action, Montana steak is pounding Oregon blackberry pie in a contest attracting many thousands of votes, and New York buffalo wings are taking flight against another Eastern bottom-dwelling protein, Maryland crab cakes. Round 3 might be one of the crueler brackets, as it makes difficult choices imminent. Who really wants to choose between Iowa bacon and Wisconsin macaroni and cheese? Don’t they go together so well?

Round 3 voting ends Friday, so make sure your vote counts.

By Jason Dick Posted at 11:54 a.m.
Food

June 4, 2014

Vote for Your Favorite Driving Congress Capitol Quip

Vote for Your Favorite Driving Congress 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!

  • It could be worse!! We could actually give Congress the keys.
  • Whatever you do, don’t let any of the red ones Rove about.
  • Man, these Koch brothers donations are getting out of hand.
  • Which one has the Cruz control?
  • The “R” models and the “D” models keep running into each other; the “I” models just keep going in circles!

The cartoon with the winning caption will appear on this blog on June 8 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 9:48 p.m.
Capitol Quip

Conservative Confab Kinda-Sorta Psyched for Christie

To the untrained observer, it may look like this in-flux Faith & Freedom Coalition news release is attempting to put on as happy a face as possible about having to settle for New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie at its conference, instead of nabbing the headline-grabbing Benham Brothers the event promoters clearly had their little hearts set on.

Conservative Confab Kinda Sorta Psyched for Christie

(Screenshot)

Not so, publicist Dave Mohel assured HOH.

Full story

NoVa Residents Primed to Walk All Over Gerry Connolly

Rep. Gerald E. Connolly will be immortalized as a bike trail this Saturday, effectively cementing his place in regional history for a good long while.

NoVa Residents Primed to Walk All Over Gerry Connolly

(CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Virginia Democrat is poised to see his name added to the Cross County Trail on Saturday at 10 a.m., during a ceremony at Laurel Hill Park in Lorton, Va.

The official renaming comes some 15 years after local leaders first dreamed of piecing together the 40-mile stretch of recreational roadway, a project that Connolly, during his tenure as chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors, helped make a reality.

NoVa Residents Primed to Walk All Over Gerry Connolly

(Courtesy Fairfax County Park Authority)

“He already is informally considered by many to be the ‘father’ of the CCT, and this trail naming is a well-deserved tribute to Mr. Connolly for his dedication and support of the Fairfax County Park Authority,” board members wrote last summer, in a report endorsing the name swap.

This cycling enthusiast is very familiar with the rolling terrain destined to bear Connolly’s brand into perpetuity; I even plotted a few choice spots to grab a bite along the way a few years back.

By Warren Rojas Posted at 11:57 a.m.
Food, Reps

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