Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
November 27, 2015

June 26, 2014

Queen Silvia of Sweden, EDM DJ Tiësto Here to Protect the Kids

The queen of Sweden is in town advocating global child protection initiatives as part of her World Child Foundation, and was the headliner at a Thursday lunch at the Swedish Embassy just hours before another of her initiatives kicked off a music festival featuring electronic dance figure Tiësto.

“It is something we owe each other as human beings,” Queen Silvia said of protecting kids, in front of a crowd of stakeholders at the House of Sweden in Georgetown.

Advocates for child protection in both the private and public sector, including Carolyn Miles, president of Save the Children, as well as Susan Bissell, chief of UNICEF’s Child Protection Unit, attended the lunch.

WCF has raised over $80 million for more than 600 projects that protect and aid children experiencing abuse and exploitation, according to the organization. “Regardless of our individual roles, focus areas or expertise, we are all working toward the common objective of protecting the most vulnerable among us — the children,” Swedish Ambassador  Björn Lyrvall said.

Full story

Utah Cherry Cobbler Wins Roll Call Taste of America for Second Time

One cobbler to rule them all. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

One cobbler to rule them all. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Utah’s cherry cobbler beat out seven other regional comfort foods in the final round of Roll Call’s Taste of America, becoming the only previous champion to regain the title.

Utah’s fruit-and-starch concoction, which won in 2012, beat out Oregon’s blackberry pie, Iowa bacon, Illinois deep dish pizza, Maine’s lobster roll, Maryland crab cakes, Kentucky fried chicken and North Carolina barbecue.

Team Utah stormed the Taste of America beach. And ruled. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Team Utah stormed the Taste of America beach. And ruled. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Previous winners include West Virginia pepperoni rolls in 2013, Utah cherry cobbler in 2012 and Northern Mariana Islands apigigi, from 2011.

Maine seemed to have the inside track and was early favorite, but sugar won out over protein for culinary dominance in America. Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-Maine, reacted with disappointment, yet class.

“My sincere congratulations to Utah on cherry cobbler’s culinary victory in the Taste of America Competition.  For the sake of a united country, I will not demand a recount, though I couldn’t be prouder of the Maine lobster roll’s performance in this contest. In tribute, I’ll be enjoying one as soon as I get back home,” she said in a statement.

Democrats Dominate Congressional Baseball Game Once Again (Video)

Democrats' coach Rep. Mike Doyle, D-Pa., holds up the trophy as the rain begins to fall after his team won the Roll Call Congressional Baseball Game at Nationals Stadium in Washington on Wednesday, June 25, 2014. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Rep. Mike Doyle holds up the trophy as the rain begins to fall after his team won the Roll Call Congressional Baseball Game on Wednesday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

For the sixth straight year, Democrats proudly hoisted the coveted Roll Call trophy at Nationals Park — before running for cover from the rain.

But the ensuing thunderstorm did not dampen the Democrats’ spirits after beating their Republican colleagues in the 53rd Annual Roll Call Congressional Baseball Game by a final score of 15-6. The game’s most valuable players were Reps. Raul Ruiz, D-Calif., and Kevin Brady, R-Texas.

“That’s pretty special,” Manager Mike Doyle of Pennsylvania said about the Democrats’ sixth straight victory. “It feels good and it’s one of those streaks you don’t want to end but you know it will someday. So we’re trying to enjoy it while it’s happening.”

Full story

Democrats Win Sixth Straight Congressional Baseball Game (Video)

The congressional Democrats’ baseball team secured a sixth straight victory on Wednesday night at Nationals Park, winning the 53rd Annual Roll Call Congressional Baseball Game by a score of 15-6 and securing a second straight coveted Roll Call trophy.

At a members’ reception after the game, Rep. Raul Ruiz of California secured the MVP honor for the victorious Democrats and Rep. Kevin Brady of Texas won the GOP’s MVP.

Ruiz posted impressive offensive numbers — hitting two doubles in the Democrats’ eight-run fifth inning — and showing impressive defensive skills at second base. Brady, a previous MVP during a more successful baseball era for the Republicans, showed off his offensive skills at the plate, securing two hits off of Democratic ace Cedric L. Richmond of Louisiana.


June 25, 2014

Vote for Your Favorite Happy Republican Marriage Quip | 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, June 26.

Here are this week’s finalists:

  • Business in the front, (Tea) Party in the back.
  • Hey!!! Who stole my steering wheel?
  • Just because they are along for the ride doesn’t mean I have to get in bed with them.
  • Another shotgun wedding on Capitol Hill.
  • Ok, ok, I’ll blast some Ted Nugent tunes!

The cartoon with the winning caption will appear on this blog on June 29 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 3:58 p.m.
Capitol Quip

Democratic Shortstop Injured on Game Day

Huffman, on the Disabled List. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Huffman, on the disabled list. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Jared Huffman, D-Calif., who was slated to play shortstop for the Democrats in tonight’s 53rd Annual Roll Call Congressional Baseball Game, will have to watch from the sidelines this year.

Huffman injured his shoulder during the team’s  practice Wednesday morning. This would have been the second game for Huffman, who was elected to the House in 2012. And although he is disappointed he won’t be playing this year, he is confident his Democratic teammates will prevail.

“The good news is we have great depth on this team and we’re not going miss a beat,” Huffman told Roll Call in a phone interview. “I’m going to enjoy being a lightly medicated spectator and cheering for my team. And I’m confident that we’re going to be very strong” Full story

Congressmen Cover Prince, Battle Over ‘Purple Rain,’ ‘Raspberry Beret’

Two congressmen took to Twitter to show off their musical chops, commemorating “Purple Rain,” Prince’s top-charting, critically acclaimed sixth album that turned 30 years old on Wednesday.

First up was Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn. Also from Prince’s hometown of Minneapolis, Ellison posted a 6-second Vine of himself from his office performing “Purple Rain,” acoustic guitar and all. Ellison tweeted his disbelief in the album’s age and added the hashtag, “#Purplerain.”

In response to Ellison, Rep. Joseph Crowley, D-N.Y., tweeted his Prince performance for “Raspberry Beret,” Prince’s first single off his 1985 album “Around The World in a Day.” Also with acoustic guitar, Crowley crooned the verse: “She wore a raspberry beret/The kind you find in a secondhand store.”

How do their covers stack up to Prince’s original versions? Which congressman’s take on Prince is the best? Will any other members of Congress step up to the plate to show off their favorite Prince song? Let us know in the comments section.


John Lewis Wows ‘Em on Broadway


Courtesy the Office of Rep. Steve Israel

Lewis, center, entranced the cast of “All the Way” with his tales of the civil rights movement after a performance of the play. (Courtesy the Office of Rep. Steve Israel)


Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., dazzled the cast of the Broadway play “All The Way”  this past Sunday, according to New York Congressman/Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman/novelist Steve Israel.

“All The Way” is a play about President Lyndon Baines Johnson’s muscling through Civil Rights legislation amid the aftermath of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

It’s a subject that Lewis knows well. At the time, Lewis was one of the founding activists of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. Full story

Ike Skelton Auction Items Illustrate the Softer Side of Public Service

The Kansas City Auction and Appraisal Company has cataloged a treasure trove of personal effects and private letters the late Rep. Ike Skelton amassed throughout his career and has made them all available to interested buyers through June 30.



The Missouri Democrat, who spent more than 30 years in the House and served two terms as House Armed Services Committee chairman, died of pneumonia in late 2013.

Kansas City Auction owner Jason Roske told HOH his team spent months sorting through the myriad congressional correspondence and politically-related knick-knacks supplied by the estate in order to curate the 356 lots that compromise the “Ike Skelton Collection.”

“There were well over 1,000 documents that we had to go through, piece by piece,” he said of the carefully picked over political ephemera.

The assembled offerings run the gamut from breezy collegial how-do-you-dos — including exchanges with ex-Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz.; the late Sen. Daniel K. Inouye, D-Hawaii; and Speaker Thomas P. “Tip” O’Neill Jr., D-Mass. — to White House bill signings reaching back decades.

“As far as we can tell, there just have not been a lot of opportunities to sell a collection like this. Period,” Roske said. Full story

Wedding Bells for Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, Randy Florke


Rep. Sean Maloney, D-N.Y. married his longtime partner Randy Florke on Saturday, June 21st. | Photo courtesy Rep. Maloney's office.

Rep. Sean Maloney, D-N.Y., married his longtime partner Randy Florke on June 21st. (Courtesy Sean Patrick Maloney for Congress)

It’s not just staffers who are tying the knot.

Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, D-N.Y., married his longtime partner Randy Florke on June 21st. Rev. Fr. Shane Scott-Hamblen officiated at the Church of St. Mary-in-the-Highlands in Cold Spring, N.Y.

“Even after 22 years together, we’re overwhelmed by how blessed we feel to celebrate this special day with our friends and family. With our three kids by our side, this couldn’t have been a more perfect day. Thank you to all our friends near and far for their love and support as we continue to fight to ensure all families can experience the joys of a lifetime commitment,” Maloney and Florke said in a joint statement.

The couple resides in Cold Spring, NY and have three children together, Reinel (24), Daley (13) and Essie (11) | Photo courtesy of the Maloney campaign.

The couple resides in Cold Spring, N.Y. and have three children together, pictured left to right, Essie, Daley and Reinel. (Courtesy Sean Patrick Maloney for Congress)

Maloney, 47, is the first openly gay member of Congress from New York. Florke, 51, is a real estate and design executive in New York City for The Rural Connection, Inc., the company he founded in 1996. The couple resides in Cold Spring and have three children together, Reinel, 24, Daley, 13, and Essie, 11.

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


How Congress Has Changed for Hillary Clinton

Feinstein and Clinton, seen here in 2005, strengthened their friendship serving together in the Senate. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Feinstein and Clinton, seen here in 2005, strengthened their friendship serving together. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has seen a lot in politics, and Congress has changed quite a bit over the course of her career. As our team read through Clinton’s detailing of diplomatic exploits in her latest memoir, “Hard Choices,” we examined it through the lens of Congress.

As a former first lady and U.S. senator, Clinton has a breadth of experience working on Capitol Hill. Should she seek the presidency once more, that interaction will matter for her political future.

The research gurus at the CQ Members Desk crunched the numbers to showcase how Congress has changed (and stayed the same) from Clinton’s perspective.

Just 69 current members of Congress have served in the Capitol continuously since Clinton began her tenure as first lady in 1993.

Full story

Beyond the Stars: Congressional Baseball Players to Watch

(Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sanchez isn’t tall, but she packs a punch in the batter’s box. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

For someone who hasn’t been to a Roll Call Congressional Baseball Game before, it’s easy to spot a few players who stand out. There’s Rep. Cedric L. Richmond throwing flames from the pitcher’s mound. The Louisiana Democrat has 21 strikeouts and four earned runs in the past two games. Over that same span, he’s gone 5-for-7 at the plate, with three runs scored and two runs batted in.

On the other side of the aisle/field is Arizona Republican Sen. Jeff Flake, whose consistency is rivaled by only the Arizona sun. Over the past five years, he has batted over .300 with a double, a triple, two RBIs and two runs scored. In the field he’s just as good. The last error he made was in 2009, in a game that has had 24 errors since then.

But baseball is a team game. The following five players might not have a lot of flash, but they’re worth paying attention to.

1. Rep. Linda T. Sánchez, D-Calif.    
Sánchez gets hearty cheers and jeers, depending on the side, when she steps up to the batter’s box. While she’s not very tall at 5 feet, 1 inch, she stands high in the batter’s box; during the past four games, she has had two hits in six at-bats, knocking in four runs. If she were on the Republican team, she would lead the team in RBIs. Flake and GOP Pennsylvania Rep. Bill Shuster have two RBIs apiece over the same span.

2. Rep. Tom Rooney, R-Fla.    
Rooney had a rough three-game stretch from 2009 through 2011, going hitless in six at-bats. The former Syracuse Orange football player turned it around in the past two years going 2-for-3. He got one of only three hits by the Republicans last year.

3. Rep. Ed Perlmutter, D-Colo.    
Like the Colorado Rockies’ all-time run leader, Todd Helton, there isn’t a lot of dazzle to Perlmutter’s game, but he gets the job done. In the past three years, the Democrat has scored six runs, including four in 2013. Perlmutter also stole a base in 2013.

4. Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind.
In 2009 and 2010, Donnelly hit a rough patch going a combined 0-for-4. Since then the junior Democratic senator from Indiana has gone 3-for-5 with three runs, a double, and an RBI. He finds a way to get on base other ways too, having been hit by pitches on two separate occasions.

5. Rep. Bill Shuster, R-Pa.
Much like the nearby Pittsburgh Pirates, Shuster is consistently inconsistent. Over the past five years, during an odd-numbered year, he has no hits in seven at-bats. In even-numbered years, he’s 3-for-7 with two RBIs. We’re in an even-numbered year, so expect a big game from Shuster.

Get your tickets to the 53rd Annual Roll Call Congressional Baseball Game. 



Roll Call’s Unsung Congressional Baseball Heroes

Rosters for the 53rd Annual Congressional Baseball Game

Congressional Baseball Game Helps D.C. Adults Get Second Chance at Washington Literacy Center

Joseph Crowley Savors Diamond Memories From Congressional Baseball Games

The Updated Staffer Guide to the Congressional Baseball Game

Bart Stupak Scraps His Way to Congressional Baseball Hall Of Fame

Vulnerable Members Hope There’s a Next Year for Their Congressional Baseball Careers

Roll Call’s Unsung Congressional Baseball Heroes

(CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Yudain, Roll Call’s founder, created a lot of memories on the Hill, especially when he decided to bring back congressional baseball. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sid, Buddy, Skip, Kassy, Joe and Tim are not on the rosters for the 53rd Annual Roll Call Congressional Baseball Game. But they have all helped shape this monument to Capitol camaraderie, a game that allows public servants to shed power suits and briefing books in favor of leather and lumber on Nationals Park’s elegant diamond.

Roll Call founder Sid Yudain thought it was a shame that Speaker Sam Rayburn, D-Texas, pulled the plug on the Capitol’s midsummer classic in 1958. In 1962, Sid partnered with Speaker John McCormack, D-Mass., to bring the game back, and now we find ourselves — more than half-a-century later —under the lights.

Sadly, this year’s game will be the first one since then without Sid, who died in October. But his infectious spirit and love of the Capitol community leaves a legacy we at Roll Call are proud to follow.

It’s that character that brought Coach Kenneth “Buddy” Burkhead to the game. Buddy, as everyone called him, was a one-time Capitol Police officer and veteran coach for the Democrats’ squad. He died in April, and the outpouring of stories and tributes to Coach Buddy, from the Capitol to St. Albans, where he also coached, were a testament to his dedication to the game. One of his fellow coaches, Joe Foley, recalled that it was nice having a no-nonsense cop (Buddy was on Speaker Carl Albert’s protection detail at one point) at early morning practices at Randall Field, which hasn’t always been the nicest neighborhood.

Speaking of Joe, he’s in his 40th year now of being affiliated with the game (“I started when I was six,” he joked), and he’s experienced it in every venue from Langeley High School to Baltimore’s Memorial Stadium, Four Mile Run Park, Prince George’s Stadium, RFK Stadium and now Nats Park. Although he’s been asked when he is going to hang it up, given multiple injuries and early morning, rainy practices, his reply is simple: “It’s baseball. How could I say no?”

Tim Johnson, a 20-year coaching veteran, introduced me to Joe, who relayed more stories about Buddy and other coaches, like Gary Caruso, who’s been guiding squads for 30 years, than this program has room for.

Some of those stories overlap with memories, photos and clips that people such as Skip Maraney and Kassy Benson have shared with us.

Skip, who long ago spearheaded Roll Call’s sports coverage with his Skip-a-Long and Capitol Sports features, shared a massive, not-available-online portfolio, underscoring how rich the history of the game is, as you’ll see in our “vintage” section on Page 30.

Kassy, a baseball game cheerleader and one-time Roll Call pin-up girl (not a misprint!) told us a story that shows just how much the game was, and is, a part of the Hill’s culture. “After work, we decided to practice our cheerleading in the hallway in front of the Doorkeeper’s Office. We were very loud. It never occurred to us that we would disturb anyone since it was after hours, but what we didn’t take into consideration was that the Senate was still in session. They sent someone down to quell our enthusiasm :),” she shared.

It’s an enthusiasm that hasn’t let up for 53 years.

So a tip of the cap to those (Sid, Buddy) who aren’t here to see the latest run for the coveted Roll Call Trophy. And another tip of the cap to those who still are (Joe, Skip, Kassy, Tim and many more) and who make this game what it is. Play ball.



Congressional Baseball Game Helps D.C. Adults Get Second Chance at Washington Literacy Center

Joseph Crowley Savors Diamond Memories From Congressional Baseball Games

The Updated Staffer Guide to the Congressional Baseball Game

Bart Stupak Scraps His Way to Congressional Baseball Hall Of Fame

Vulnerable Members Hope There’s a Next Year for Their Congressional Baseball Careers

Joe Donnelly: From ‘The Sandlot’ to Nationals Park

Donnelly, left, and Rep. Tim Ryan share a moment during warmups at the 50th annual Roll Call Congressional Baseball Game. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Donnelly, left, and Rep. Tim Ryan share a moment during warmups at the 50th Annual Roll Call Congressional Baseball Game. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

It’s 1960 and a young boy is tossing a baseball with his dad in the backyard, dreaming of playing in the outfield for the New York Yankees one day, just like his idol Mickey Mantle.

Fast-forward 54 years and that same boy is playing in the outfield at Nationals Park. But he isn’t a professional ballplayer. He’s a U.S. senator.

Sen. Joe Donnelly will take the field at Nationals Parks for the eighth time Wednesday, as an outfielder for the Democrats in the 53rd Annual Roll Call Congressional Baseball Game. “If I could do one thing every day, it would be to be out playing ball,” Donnelly told CQ Roll Call. Full story

June 24, 2014

Anthony Weiner Suggests Cutting Adam Kuhn a Break

Sex scandal vet Anthony Weiner seems to believe Adam Kuhn, the disgraced ex-chief of staff who tendered his resignation Tuesday to Rep. Steve Stivers after an affair imploded and private photos found their way online, is getting a raw deal.

“Leave the kid alone,” the former New York Democrat urged HOH, and, presumably, the rest of the world, after we sought out his advice for weathering a potentially career-ending dalliance.

As first reported by POLITICO, Kuhn’s personal and professional lives collided last week after his still-married ex-girlfriend, retired porn star Jennifer Roubenes Allbaugh, sought revenge for his leaving her by broadcasting a snapshot of his penis online.

The picture has since been deleted and her Twitter account (@rubyadultstar) disabled.

But the remnants of the devastating spat live on.


Full story

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