Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
November 23, 2014

November 9, 2014

GOP Expands The Red Zone | Capitol Quip

GOP Expands The Red Zone | Capitol Quip

On Nov. 4, the Republican Party drubbed Democrats nationwide, expanding the GOP’s reach across the map. That brings us to this week’s Capitol Quip.

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

Brother, Can You Spare a Capitol Quip?

Brother, Can You Spare a 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.

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November 7, 2014

Raul Ruiz and His Wife Are Expecting Twins

Raul Ruiz and His Wife Are Expecting Twins

Ruiz at a 2012 debate. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Raul Ruiz, D-Calif., had two reasons to celebrate on Election Night. Well, technically three.

As he awaited the election results late Tuesday night, Ruiz announced at his victory party at the Agua Caliente Casino that he and his wife Monica Rivers are expecting twins.

“As most of you know, Monica and I were married earlier this year. And I’m so proud that she is my life partner. Tonight is a celebration. And so here, with all of you … I wanted to share some other celebratory news,” said Ruiz, prompting “ooo’s” and cheers from the crowd waving “Dr. Raul Ruiz” signs.

“Monica and I are expecting our first child in April,” said Ruiz, and the crowd erupted in cheers. “Actually let me correct that, We’re expecting our first two children. Twins!” said Ruiz as he held up two fingers.

The California Democrat officially won his race against Republican Brian Nestande, who served as chief of staff for ex-Rep. Mary Bono Mack, R-Calif., when The Associated Press called the race late Wednesday morning. Ruiz took 53 percent of the vote in the race for California’s 36th District.

Before coming to Congress in 2012, Ruiz worked as an emergency room doctor. The Desert Sun reported that he and Rivers, an emergency-medicine nurse, married in March, after they dated for several years.

KMIR News | Palm Springs, California

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Pro-Japanese Politicians Honored for Their Global Outreach

While the rest of us spent the week fixating on everything that is wrong with Congress, the Japanese extolled the good that federal lawmakers can do by conferring one of that country’s top honors upon Washington Democratic Rep. Jim McDermott and Wisconsin Republican Reps. Tom Petri and Jim Sensenbrenner.

The three lawmakers recently received the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star in recognition of their working relationships with the island nation.

Pro Japanese Politicians Honored for Their Global Outreach

Petri displays his Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star awards in Japan. (Courtesy Tom Petri)

“For a long time they have been making contributions to promoting Japan-U.S. legislative exchange, and maintaining and deepening the Japan-U.S. alliance through the promotion of enhanced understanding of Japan in the U.S. Congress,” Japanese officials stated in a release, adding, “It is unprecedented for 3 members of the U.S. Congress to simultaneously receive this honor.” Full story

Meet the Wipeout Caucus: Republicans Who Didn’t Catch the Wave

Meet the Wipeout Caucus: Republicans Who Didnt Catch the Wave

Brown, left out in the cold. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sometimes you catch the wave. Sometimes the wave, um, doesn’t let you catch it? Crashes down on you before you can catch it?

Republicans had quite a night on Nov. 4, picking up more than a dozen House seats, reclaiming the Senate majority, knocking off Democratic governors. It was party time for the GOP.

But what about the Republicans who didn’t catch the wave? How weird is it for them to lose in a year that was so good for the party, one has to reach back to a time when the American people saw fit to elect Herbert Hoover president for comparison. Call them the Wipeout Caucus. Full story

Bend the Elbow With Northwesterners at Annual Beer Fest

The state societies for expats from Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon and Washington are once again taking over the North Hall of Eastern Market to celebrate their favorite regional export: craft beer.

The annual “Go West Beer Fest” is scheduled to take place Nov. 14 from 7 to 10 p.m. and will feature, for the very first time, signature pours from Seattle-based Elysian Brewing Company.

Non-members can get a taste of what they’ve been missing by forking over $30 — a fee which has, in past years, entitled guests to unlimited pours from participating breweries (Redhook, Big Sky and Deschutes).

According to one organizer, mobile vendors DC Slices (specializing in thin crust pies and fully loaded tater tots) and Dirty South Deli (grilled Andouille sausage and pimento cheese sammie, please) have been tasked with making sure that visiting bellies remain full.

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November 6, 2014

Barbara Lee Delivers Her Own Wave

Yes, yes, the Republicans have decisively taken over both chambers of Congress for the first time in nearly a decade.

But what’s that trivial feat got to do with the 40 seconds of awkward arm flapping California Democrat Barbara Lee endured on Wednesday’s episode of “The Colbert Report”?

The faux pundit, who is expected to bury his conservative-leaning cable news persona next month in preparation for assuming hosting duties of CBS’s “Late Show,” set up the face-to-face fanning duel (starts at the 3-minute mark) by noting during the latest installment of the pol-baiting “Better Know a District” segment that the signature sports move originated at the Oakland Coliseum.

According to ESPN, the first recorded version of the stadium-wide salute took place on Oct. 15, 1981, during a playoff game between the Oakland Athletics and New York Yankees.

So Lee’s district’s got that going for it. As well as a congresswoman who’s not afraid to rise and fall with the best of ’em.

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Politics and Prose, Busboys and Poets on Same Page About Expanding Readership

The independent D.C bookstore no serious author — lawmakers included — can ignore and the socially conscious meeting place fostered by political activist Andy Shallal are coming together to help venerate the written word.

According to a joint statement, the partnership between literary haunt Politics & Prose and hospitality haven Busboys and Poets will take flight next month, with the debut of the newest B&P location in Brookland.

“Politics and Prose epitomizes the greatness and reach of independent bookstores, and we are thrilled that they will partner with us to continue in our tradition of offering multicultural books that represent the diversity of Washington DC,” Shallal touted in a release.

Bradley Graham and Lissa Muscatine, the husband and wife team behind P&P, are expected to take the lead on the forthcoming restaurant’s companion retail operation, and are scheduled to follow suit by putting their stamp on the bookselling component of the B&P slated to open in Takoma Park this January.

“We’re especially grateful to Busboys and Poets owner Andy Shallal for suggesting this venture and for believing in the power of books to enliven, educate, and enrich our community,” Graham and Muscatine stated online.

P&P currently serves as a second home for lawmakers, past and present, with captivating stories to tell. Once the integration wraps in 2015 — P&P is scheduled to assume control of the pre-existing book nooks at the B&P outposts in Mount Vernon Triangle; Hyattsville, Md.; and Shirlington, Va. — Graham and Muscatine will have a half-dozen spaces at which to welcome wordsmiths with something to say.

According to The Washington Post, the nonprofit Teaching for Change will continue to operate the bookstore at the flagship Busboys and Poets and 14th and V streets NW.

“We see great synergy in this new initiative and believe that working with Busboys will enable P&P to make books and authors more available throughout the metro region,” Graham and Muscatine assured local readers.

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Congresswomen Pick a New Roommate

Congresswomen Pick a New Roommate

Maloney’s house will welcome a new roommate. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

“The Maloney House” has a new roommate.

Newly elected Long Island Democrat Kathleen Rice is the pick to join fellow New Yorker Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney’s townhouse of several congresswoman, HOH has confirmed.

Rice will replace Rep. Terri A. Sewell, D-Ala., who is moving into a place of her own, according to several sources.

Rice  joins Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., a longtime roommate in the Capitol Hill crib.

Rice won her bid Tuesday evening to replace retiring Democratic Rep. Carolyn McCarthy in New York’s 4th District.

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November 5, 2014

Virginia Democrats: Kind of Blue

The raft of incoming GOP lawmakers that flooded the rapidly reddening maps TV news outlets relentlessly flashed on election night did little to shake the resolve of Virginia Democrats.

The slightly reshuffled crew, anchored by 11-term lawmaker Robert C. Scott, three-term member Gerald E. Connolly, and newly minted Rep.-elect Don Beyer, remained confident they could still effect change in the soon-to-be solidly Republican legislative branch.

“We belong to a Commonwealth in which your diminishment is mine and your rights are also mine,” Connolly told attendees at a re-election night rally in the suburbs of Washington D.C. “[And] while we may take some knocks around the country tonight, I assure you those values are majority values and they are the values that are going to dominate polity going into this next half-century in America.”

Virginia Democrats: Kind of Blue

Connolly (center), flanked by his wife, Cathy (far left), his daughter, Caitlin (left), and Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (right), during his 2014 victory speech. (Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

Beyer, the former two-term lieutenant governor of Virginia and ex-European ambassador moving into the post being vacated by retiring Rep. James P. Moran, D-Va., expressed optimism that compromise can still be reached on Capitol Hill. Full story

By Warren Rojas Posted at 5 p.m.
Freshman, Reps

Vote for Your Favorite Election Results Capitol Quip!

Vote for Your Favorite Election Results 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. Eastern Thursday.

Here are this week’s finalists:

  • Can I borrow that after you’re done with it?
  • You are just proving that money really does influence voters.
  • So a twenty-five cent coin trumps a billion dollars in attack ads?
  • Heads Republicans win; tails Democrats lose.
  • When I gave you a penny for your thoughts, I did not know that this is how you would waste it!

The cartoon with the winning caption will appear on this blog on Nov. 9 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.

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

By Rebecca Gale Posted at 3:25 p.m.
Capitol Quip

Mark Warner and the (Almost) Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Night

ARLINGTON, Va. — After stringing a hotel ballroom full of supporters along for over four-and-a-half hours — and, himself, being kept in the dark about his professional future by nebulous return results — Sen. Mark Warner made an executive decision to call the still-undecided race in his favor.

Mark Warner and the (Almost) Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Night

Warner, right, joined on stage by fellow Virginia Democrats Sen. Tim Kaine, far left, and Gov. Terry McAuliffe, left, signals victory as minutes before midnight on Nov. 4 as his wife, Lisa Collis, looks on. (Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

“I think we know about close races in Virginia,” the battle-scarred incumbent — who fell 5 points short of knocking out his predecessor, now-retired five-term Sen. John W. Warner, back in 1996 — joked with guests just minutes before election night furiously ticked to a close.

The 11th hour appearance (literally) was weirdly scored. Who puts the Pitbull-Kesha collaboration “Timber” and Alabama’s “Dixieland Delight” on the same playlist? And the yawning victory party (one bored-to-tears photog played solitaire for two hours straight) transpired regardless of the fact that network news anchors continued reporting that things were too close to call in the contest between Warner and his Republican opponent, Ed Gillespie.

Even as the rest of the electoral map broadcast by CNN perilously flooded with red, ardent supporters attempted to keep their cool. Full story

Exit Polls: Congress Not Held in High Regard

Exit Polls: Congress Not Held in High Regard

Voters wait for their turn in one of the voting booths at Eleanor McMain School in New Orleans on Election Day. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Congress, consider the American public skeptical.

In Election Day’s mega-sampling of exit poll data, the public is pretty firm in its disapproval — 78 percent — of how Congress is handling its job. That disapproval rating was split between 52 percent of Republicans surveyed, 45 percent of Democrats and 3 percent other. Full story

Election Night Partyers Drink It All In

Election Night Partyers Drink It All In

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

Keeping tabs on the shifting electoral landscape is much easier to do with a drink in your hand. At least that’s what HOH took away from the spirited exchanges we encountered in D.C. on election night 2014. At a watch party in The Jefferson Hotel organized by owner Connie Milstein, guests were greeted with warm smiles and air kisses — and then immediately hustled into a faux voting booth.

Election Night Partyers Drink It All In

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

“Now that you voted, you can go to the bar!” one of the evening’s bubblier hostesses informed guests who’d just finished casting their ballots for those they’d most like to see run for president during the next cycle. Full story

Clay Aiken Lost! Long Live Clay Aiken!

Clay Aiken won’t be coming to Congress. But that doesn’t mean Clay Aiken is going away, not if Esquire Network’s “four-hour limited documentary series” on the “American Idol” runner-up-turned-wannabe0lawmaker has anything to do with it.

Aiken lost to Republican Rep. Renee Ellmers in North Carolina’s 2nd District on Tuesday night, 58 percent  to 41 percent. While Aiken’s celebrity profile attracted attention to the race, he faced an uphill battle from the start in a GOP district. He didn’t solidify his hold on the nomination until his primary opponent, Former North Carolina Commerce Secretary Keith Crisco, died in May. The Nov. 4 GOP tidal wave confirmed Aiken’s runner-up status.

But with Esquire’s documentary, put together by filmmakers Simon Chinn and Jonathan Chinn, Aiken is due for another encore in public life. “We were granted incredible access during the making of this documentary, and in turn were able to capture the internal workings of an American campaign – the good, the bad and the ugly,” Simon Chinn said in a statement announcing the series, which is scheduled to air early next year. Ugly? Clay Aiken? Who would have thought?

Related:

Clay Aiken Primary Opponent Dies

Clay Aiken Returns to TV

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