Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
August 29, 2014

June 21, 2013

Skating Apparently Is a Crime!

Mary M. Thompson, 42, pleaded guilty on Thursday to spending more than $16,000 of federal money on personal items while working for the Health and Human Services Department, including roller skates!

Skating Apparently Is a Crime!

Skating apparently is a crime, if you buy the skates on the government dime. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

According to a Justice Department statement, Thompson worked for HHS from 2010 to 2012. During that time, she was issued a government credit card and at some point started buying all kinds of goodies, including an iPod, pool cues and the roller skates.

Thompson faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and $250,000 in fines.

Fictional Franchise: The ‘Mad Men’ Edition

For the latest edition of our series that examines fictional characters and the real people who represent them in Congress, we explore “Mad Men.”

The rules go like this: We decide where fictional characters live and then look up who represents them in the House. (Learn more here.)

The “Mad Man” edition will include the most up-to-date addresses in the series. While the “Mad Men” universe is currently in 1968, we are using current members and district lines because we get to make up the rules. And this was written before the season finale, so a character’s congressional representation is not subject to death or getting kicked out of one’s home.

Yes, we know, in the words of Don Draper, this edition of Fictional Franchise is a bit “complicated.”

Don and Megan Draper (Jon Hamm and Jessica Paré) 
Upper East Side, New York City
Democratic Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney

There have been numerous references over the past two seasons to the Drapers’ Park Avenue address, but one of the most recent was Sally’s call to the police during “Grandma” Ida’s visit. Maloney’s silk-stocking section of Manhattan is rife with other characters from Fictional Franchises past, including Holden Caulfield and Eloise.

Thanks to his impulsive personal life, Don has lived in several House districts over the course of the series. He began “Mad Men” as a constituent of Rep. Nita M. Lowey, D-N.Y., when he lived with his first wife, Betty, and their children in Ossining. After Betty kicked him out, he moved to Greenwich Village and into Democratic Rep. Jerrold Nadler’s 10th District.

Peggy Olson (Elisabeth Moss) 
Upper West Side, New York City
Democratic Rep. Jerrold Nadler

Peggy seriously considered moving to the East Side (helllooo Maloney!) but her boyfriend talked her into buying on the Upper West Side. Abe dumped her after she accidentally stabbed him but the thrill was already gone — with both the couple and the neighborhood.

It’s been an Exodus-ian existence. Rodents, muggers and vandals all plagued Peggy and Abe. We do not anticipate Peggy to stick around for long.

She was a Brooklyn girl before she became an Uptown Girl. In the first season, she states that she is from Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. The New York Times recently profiled that nabe, which is part of GOP Rep. Michael G. Grimm’s home turf.

Joan Harris (Christina Hendricks)
Greenwich Village, New York City
Democratic Rep. Jerrold Nadler

As of Season 2, Joan’s driver’s license said she lives on the northern edge of Greenwich Village.

In fact, the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation has a whole layout of “Mad Men” scenes and settings in the Village.

Besides Peggy and Joan, there are a number of other Fictional Franchise characters who live in Nadler’s West Side Manhattan district. They include: Peter Warren Hatcher from “Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing” and the psycho from “Fatal Attraction.”

Betty and Henry Francis (January Jones and Christopher Stanley) 
Rye, N.Y.
Democratic Rep. Eliot L. Engel

The only person more politically ambitious than Henry is Betty. Engel ought to watch his back.

Pete and Trudy Campbell (Vincent Kartheiser and Alison Brie) 
Cos Cob, Conn.
Democratic Rep. Jim Himes

Yes, Pete is back in the city. But it is our determination that, amid all of his chaos, he has not switched his voter registration. Plus, of late, he has only referred to his marital situation as “separated.”

Their less-than-happy home is in “the country,” out in Connecticut’s 4th District, a fact that that excited the locals.

Sally Draper (Kiernan Shipka)
Farmington, Conn.
Democratic Rep. Elizabeth Esty

Sally is so done with both Betty and Don. So, as of this writing, she was all systems go to attend the exclusive Miss Porter‘s boarding school.

Still, there is no need to campaign to Sally; she’s not of age to vote yet.

Dawn Chambers (Teyonah Parris)
Harlem, New York City
Democratic Rep. Charles B. Rangel

We are still learning about Dawn, but she is one of our favorite new characters this year. And she has the same name as her male boss.

We determined her residence courtesy of the folks at WNYC, who produced a map that is the greatest thing ever for any fan of Fictional Franchise and “Mad Men.”

Anna Draper (Melinda Page Hamilton)
San Pedro, Calif.
Democratic Rep. Janice Hahn

Before Anna, the wife of the real Don Draper, died of cancer, she formed an unlikely friendship with her husband’s impostor. But (the fake) Don made regular trips out to her Los Angeles-area home in Hahn’s 44th District.

Our friends at Curbed LA helped us here.

Previous Installments: 

The Gangstas of Governing

We’ve had enough of the slow trickle of closet rap fans serving in Congress. It’s time our elected B-Boys band together.

Presenting our nominees for the inaugural class of the Congressional Rap Caucus (it could happen), paired with their hip-hop counterparts:

Rep. André Carson, D-Ind. – MC Melle Mel

Per Carson, the flamboyant founding member of the Furious Five inspired the one-time battle emcee-cum-lawmaker to master the art of spittin’ lyrics.

Full story

The Schillings Can’t Help but Bust on Bustos

Campaigns come and go. But bitter resentment can linger indefinitely — or so we’ve learned from the grudge-holding home team behind one-term GOP lawmaker Bobby Schilling.

Democratic Rep. Cheri Bustos ousted the Illinois Republican last fall in a very close contest, and the Schillings, from dad on down, remain none too happy about the outcome.

A chance encounter brought some of that unresolved anger to the surface, prompting Levi Schilling, one of the ex-lawmaker’s sons, to vent on Twitter:

The Schillings Can’t Help but Bust on Bustos


Schilling assured CQ Roll Call that his son had been reprimanded and that the offending social media account was no longer active.

Tough break, bro. Full story

Misplaced Panties in the CVC

Somebody dropped something.

Misplaced Panties in the CVC

Lost item in a CVC hallway. (Jason Dick/CQ Roll Call)

The panties, pink and looking a little tangled, were spotted about 9:30 this morning in the hallway that leads from the Senate Subway to the Capitol Visitor Center.

If they’re yours, not sure if you need to call Capitol Police or the Architect of the Capitol for Lost and Found.

By Jason Dick Posted at 12:07 p.m.

June 20, 2013

Ann Kirkpatrick Wins Softball Team’s Respect

Practically every team in the history of organized sports has its own Rudy — the player not blessed with the most athletic skill but who stands apart for pure devotion.

Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick plays that role on the Congressional Women’s Softball team.

“Ann is the heart of our team,” said Captain Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va.

It was not that way the past couple of years. Kirkpatrick was on the team in its earliest days, as female members of Congress battled the women of the Washington press corps. Full story

More Tea, Mr. Speaker? Courtesy of DCCC

More Tea, Mr. Speaker? Courtesy of DCCC

(Courtesy Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee)

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has decided to play the role of peace broker between Speaker John A. Boehner and the tea party. In a tongue-in-cheek move, the DCCC delivered to the Ohio Republican on Thursday a gift basket containing a teapot, an assortment of gourmet tea bags and mugs engraved with the names of 13 of his chief antagonists.

An intern dropped off the package at Boehner’s personal office in the Longworth House Office Building shortly before 11 a.m., according to a DCCC aide who alerted CQ Roll Call about the offering earlier in the morning.

“Dear Speaker Boehner,” read an attached note, scrawled by hand in blue ink on DCCC stationery. “With another mutiny brewing, we’re sending you a tea party to calm down your tea party. We include personalized mugs for your convenience.”

The letter concludes, “~the Democratic Congressional Campaign Cmte.”

No word yet on whether Boehner will invite lawmakers — not all of whom are officially affiliated with the House Tea Party Caucus or considered loyalists by national tea party groups — over for a sit-down.

We do wonder, though, whether Boehner’s staff will ensure every member gets his or her own special mug.

Here’s a full rundown, courtesy of DCCC:

  • Justin Amash of Michigan
  • Jason Chaffetz of Utah
  • Mike Coffman of Colorado
  • Louie Gohmert of Texas
  • Tim Huelskamp of Kansas
  • Steve King of Iowa
  • Mick Mulvaney of South Carolina
  • Kristi Noem of South Dakota
  • Steve Scalise of Louisiana
  • Steve Stockman of Texas
  • Steve Southerland II of Florida
  • Tim Walberg of Michigan
  • Jackie Walorski of Indiana
By Emma Dumain Posted at 12:39 p.m.

Granite State’s Rock Solid Mixer

Their elected officials wound up getting waylaid by votes, but attendees of Wednesday’s Experience New Hampshire reception somehow managed to soldier on, eating their way through an array of regional treats.

Granite State’s Rock Solid Mixer

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

Even before entering the jam-packed Kennedy Caucus Room in the Russell Senate Office Building, guests were getting tiny jugs of maple syrup pressed into their hands.

Granite State’s Rock Solid Mixer

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

A giant grinning grizzly greeted all who paraded past. Full story

June 19, 2013

Five Fenceposts to Hang a Caption On | Capitol Quip

Five Fenceposts to Hang a Caption On | 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. EDT Thursday.

Here are this week’s finalists:

  • Mr. Rubio, pare down this law
  • We are open to a comprehensive bill … just find the door
  • No hurry, it’ll be next year before they build a ladder tall enough to get this high.
  • Who goes there?
  • There, that ought to keep them people out!

The cartoon with the winning caption will appear on this blog June 24 and in that day’s 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 Jason Dick Posted at 6:08 p.m.
Capitol Quip

Would-Be Congressman Hopes to Enter Chamber With Help From Wu-Tang Clan

Roy Cho, a congressional hopeful aiming to knock off Rep. Scott Garrett, R-N.J., the next time around, might not be a household name (yet).

But, as of Monday, he’s got mad street cred:

That’s when Wu-Tang Clan co-founder Ghostface Killah name-checked Cho on Twitter, urging his 440,000-plus flock to show the aspiring Asian-American lawmaker some love.

The celebrity shoutout wasn’t a total surprise to Cho; the corporate lawyer told HOH his sister, Jennifer, has worked in the music and entertainment field for years and had gotten to know the rap mogul personally.

“Jen was talking to Ghostface about my race for Congress and he expressed an interest in helping,” Cho said of the much-appreciated endorsement.

Full story

Tortilla Coast Throws Down for Silver Anniversary

Tortilla Coast Throws Down for Silver Anniversary

(CQ Roll Call archives)

The original Tortilla Coast is turning the big 2-5 this month, and the Capitol Hill fixture plans to celebrate by giving back to its most fervent fans, as well as to neighbors in need.

The festivities commence Thursday with a “Retro Happy Hour” (3:30-8 p.m.) that turns back prices to the Reagan era. A slew of beers, including Dos Equis Lager, Bud Light, Miller Lite, Sol and the Shiner seasonal, will set you back just $2.75 a pop, while frozen margaritas will drop to $5. A bevy of bar snacks, including chicken wings, Tex-Mex chicken spring rolls, crispy onion strings, mini tacos and chili con queso will also be available for $3 an order.

Attendees can partake in Trivia Night, which promises to bore down on the politics and pop culture of the past quarter-century. Winners will carve up $500 in prizes, including camp chairs and hats.

The restaurant gets more philanthropic Friday night, turning over the bar to the Capitol Hill Community Foundation and local first responders for a fundraising event (7:30-9 p.m.) benefiting fire-ravaged Frager’s Hardware. All tips collected at the bar, plus $1 from every dinner entree sold in the restaurant, will be donated to Frager’s relief efforts.

Full story

Darrell Issa Listicles Himself

Rep. Darrell Issa may seem like he’s in total control when he’s dragging administration officials up to the Hill for a televised tongue-lashing, but his Twitter feed suggests he’s no stranger to insecurity.

Darrell Issa Listicles Himself

(Courtesy Darrell Issa)

The California Republican obviously wants BuzzFeed scribe Benny Johnson to click around the multimedia recap of why he’s worth a social media follow.

By Warren Rojas Posted at 3:15 p.m.

YOLO Queen Can’t Wait to Conquer Washington

Though she’ll spend this summer learning the ropes within the office of Pennsylvania state Sen. Sean Wiley, “You Only Legislate Once” advocate Zainab Javed assures HOH that the District remains her first love.

The Mercyhurst University junior is still working her way through a political science and strategic communications track, but she insists Congress has been on her mind since way back when.

“I’ve wanted to be a staffer since middle school,” Javed said. “I’ve been overexposed to ‘The West Wing,’ so I run around thinking I’m Josh Lyman.”

She’s fairly certain her natural goofiness may preclude her from running for office — “I don’t think the electorate will take me seriously once they find out I once did a dreamcast of members of Congress as Jersey Shore characters,” she posited — but seems confident it could pay dividends elsewhere.

Full story

Eat Free or Die in Russell

The fourth annual “Experience New Hampshire” reception, a New Hampshire State Society event co-hosted by the state’s congressional delegation, sounds like the place to be for sweet-and-savory sensation seekers.

The invite-only taste around is scheduled to take place tonight from 5-7 p.m. in the Kennedy Caucus Room in the Russell Senate Office Building.

Eat Free or Die in Russell

(Courtesy Jeanne Shaheen)

You guessed it: the iconic, 7-foot stuffed bear will be there. Sens. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., and Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., will be joined by Reps. Carol Shea-Porter, D-N.H., and Ann McLane Kuster, D-N.H., in showing off the Granite State’s culinary chops.

We anticipate long lines to sample the following: truffle egg salad fashioned from cage-free eggs, smoked bacon and Robie Farm Toma (Omni Mount Washington Resort), seared New Hampshire sirloin with blue cheese mousse and walnut shortbread (Hanover Street Chophouse), braised barbecue venison sliders with blueberry balsamic glaze and New Hampshire cheddar (Mountain View Grand Resort & Spa) and strawberry shortcake “shooters” infused with New Hampshire honey and served on whipped cream-topped pound cake (Common Man restaurants).

Full story

June 18, 2013

Paul Ryan’s Kind of Photo-Op

One-time Republican vice presidential pick Rep. Paul D. Ryan posed in front of the Capitol on Tuesday with his “muscle confusing” pal, Tony Horton.

Paul Ryan’s Kind of Photo Op

(Courtesy Paul D. Ryan)

“With P90X guru Tony Horton, a workout photo I’m proud to share,” the Wisconsin lawmaker and avowed gym rat gushed on Twitter.

He also included a shout-out to Time magazine, the publication that last fall ran a bunch of workout photos of the iron-pumping candidate that were freely Photoshopped and mercilessly lampooned by hordes of online detractors. Full story

By Warren Rojas Posted at 6:20 p.m.

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