Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
April 18, 2014

March 10, 2014

Aaron Schock’s New Spox Is Ready to Rock

Benjamin Cole, a former pitchman for energy policy advocacy groups, has landed on Capitol Hill and is already burning up the communication circuits.

The newly minted spokesman for Illinois Republican Aaron Schock spent the past several years serving as the communications director for the American Energy Alliance, which is the mouthpiece for the think tank-y Institute for Energy Research.

Trouble is, Cole used the emails he had harvested at AEA to help introduce himself around Congress — which means his missive turned up in the inboxes of many unsuspecting (and thoroughly uninterested) Democratic press shops.

Aaron Schock’s New Spox Is Ready to Rock

(Screenshot)

Along with sharing his title and contact info, Cole assured everyone the he had “hit the ground running,” quickly working in a plug for the Schock sponsored, anti-Affordable Care Act bill poised for a floor vote this week. “I did not send to every Cap Hill Office. Only to a pre-existing contacts list that I have maintained, somewhat effectively, through the years,” Cole told HOH of the note he fired off.

Our tipster dubbed the self-congratulatory blast “embarrassing.”

“This guy was a flack for the dubiously named Institute for Energy Research … who used to blast all of our email boxes with similarly breathless triumphs,” the House staffer suggested.

Although initially annoyed, the Democratic operative quickly reconsidered and left the door open to getting fed more intel from uber-chatty counterparts on the other side of the aisle. “If House Rs want to add House Ds onto their staff listserves, it might help everyone make better sense of their rudderless leadership here,” our source quipped.

Gridiron Club Jokes: Congressional Edition

Gridiron Club Jokes: Congressional Edition

This dinosaur, seen wandering the Capitol in a 2007, is not the one from the Gridiron Dinner, where no photos are allowed. But you get the idea. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Ted Cruz apparently doesn’t have a problem with being openly mocked. Even when he’s being called a ”Flintstone Cowboy” by reporters dressed up like the cartoon characters — with a full-sized pink Dino the Dinosaur — presenting the Texas Republican as straight out of the Stone Age.

Cruz, the Republican keynote speaker for the exclusive, white-tie Gridiron Dinner on March 8, laughed heartily from the head table as the grizzled journalists danced around on stage to an original tune parodying the Glen Campbell ballad “Rhinestone Cowboy.”

Full story

David Ellis, Benton Ives Ascend to New Spots at CQ Roll Call

David Ellis, Benton Ives Ascend to New Spots at CQ Roll Call

Benton Ives takes over the helm of CQ Weekly magazine.

For those of you who follow the ins and outs of journalism news, some new faces are taking some top slots at CQ Roll Call.

David Ellis, a longtime Bloomberg top editor, is coming to NoMa as vice president of news.

Benton Ives, expert on all things finance and economics at CQ, is taking the helm of CQ Weekly, the glossy, wonkish magazine that appears on Capitol Hill desks every Monday morning.

Both will report to David Rapp, chief content officer at CQ Roll Call.

 

By Rebecca Gale Posted at 4:45 p.m.
media

March 9, 2014

Where’s the Congressional Mute Button? | Capitol Quip

 Wheres the Congressional Mute Button? | Capitol Quip

Tensions boiled over last week when House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., cut of the microphone of ranking member Elijah E. Cummings, D-Md., before Cummings could speak at a panel hearing. Harsh words followed, along with rancor on the floor and, eventually, a kinda-sorta apology predicated on the words “hissy fit.” 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

Spelling Retirement Any Way They Can | Capitol Quip

Spelling Retirement Any Way They Can | 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.

March 7, 2014

Democrats Roast Ann Richards’ Granddaughter, Set Political Bar High

Democratic operatives all over town had a ball Friday afternoon ribbing their colleague, Democratic National Committee spokeswoman Lily Adams, after the 27-year-old was declared the future of the Texas Democratic Party on cable news.

It all started Friday morning, when MSNBC’s “The Daily Rundown” featured a segment on political up-and-comers in the Lone Star State.

Dallas Morning News reporter Wayne Slater prognosticated that Adams will likely be a future occupant of the Texas governor’s mansion, her late grandmother Ann Richards’ former crib.

“This is the one that’s just going to cause waves today,” Slater foreshadowed. “She is extraordinary. She is bright.”

Full story

Buying American Seems Foreign to #CPAC2014 Exhibitors

NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. — “Hi! Would you like an American-made keychain?” an aide with the Alliance for American Manufacturing asks while dangling a shiny, red- white- and blue-lettered bottle opener to the CPAC faithful.

Buying American Seems Foreign to #CPAC2014 Exhibitors

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

The group, which religiously tracks the downward spiral of domestic hiring — 6.1 million jobs lost from 2001-2009, per their estimates — practices what it preaches, proudly distributing U.S.-born trinkets to the grabby stream of passersby.

Buying American Seems Foreign to #CPAC2014 Exhibitors

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

But here, amidst this celebration of the party of Ronald Reagan, the AAM is one of the few keeping the faith.

HOH spotted a handful of other American-made keepsakes (a water bottle here, a patriotic pen there) up for grabs at the various booths set up in the “CPAC Hub.” But the brunt of the giveaways being greedily stuffed into near-bulging gift bags appeared to have traveled much further than those piled into ballrooms bemoaning the fate of American exceptionalism.

Prominent outsourcers include:

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas

Buying American Seems Foreign to #CPAC2014 Exhibitors

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

 

Buying American Seems Foreign to #CPAC2014 Exhibitors

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

 

Full story

By Warren Rojas Posted at 5:05 p.m.
ScandalFaced, Whuck

Police Conclude Investigation Into Capitol Car Crash (Updated)

Police Conclude Investigation Into Capitol Car Crash (Updated)

(Hannah Hess/CQ Roll Call)

Capitol Police have cleared the scene of a fatal single-car crash that propelled a silver SUV into a tree south of the Capitol early Friday morning.

No details have been released on what may have caused the high-speed collision as the driver headed northbound on South Capitol Street. The car hit a large, decorative flower pot — ironically designed to deter crashes and traffic — with such force that the vehicle was flung airborne, ripping branches nearly 30 feet above the ground from two nearby trees.

Updated 6:42 p.m.

First responders arriving on the scene around 3 a.m. found the silver SUV vertically wrapped around a tree, about 50 feet from the cracked pot. The force of the crash catapulted pieces of the car into the intersection with D Street Southeast. The Metropolitan Police Department identified the driver, who died in the accident, as 19-year-old Hunter B. Harries of McLean, Va. A toxicology report is “pending autopsy,” said MPD spokesman Hugh Carew.

Full story

McHenry Reaches for the Stars, Settles for Football and NASCAR | Madisonville

When your second-grader’s class stages “Macbeth” at parents’ night, you’re torn between admiring the effort of the kids and worrying that the teacher is unhinged.

McHenry Reaches for the Stars, Settles for Football and NASCAR | MadisonvilleSo it was when Rep. Patrick T. McHenry, the North Carolina Republican, chaired a hearing called “The Growth of Financial Regulation and Its Impact on International Competitiveness.” Vanity prevailed over good judgment when the Oversight and Investigations unit of the House Financial Services Committee took this up Wednesday.

Even the big-thinking McHenry must have noticed that the performance was falling short of the ambition.

Missouri Democrat Emanuel Cleaver II, for example, decided the best way to explain financial regulation and international competition was to talk about his days playing football. Cleaver said he lived for the chance to “put your helmet into” a running back or receiver. Those days are gone.  “It’s been outlawed,” he said. “You can’t even trip anymore. You pamper the quarterback.”

Full story

Congress Reveres Guest Prayer Leaders

Maintaining that whole separation of church and state split is a tightrope act on any given day of the year.

Congress Reveres Guest Prayer Leaders

(Courtesy Scott Peters)

Church has, as of late, taken the lead on Capitol Hill thanks to the contributions of high-profile, and intimately connected, spiritual leaders.

Last week, Rep. Scott Peters experienced the rare privilege of having his father, retired pastor and civil rights activist Harvey Peters, usher in the legislative day with a prayer.

“Few members of Congress get the chance to see a parent speak in the House chamber, and I am truly thankful that I was able to share this moment with him, and with my Mom, RuthAnn, who watched from the gallery,” the California Democrat shared on the House floor. “His work instilled in me and my three sisters the values of courage and equality that I’ve tried to bring to my own service.”

An aide to the Rev. Patrick J. Conroy, the chaplain of the House of Representatives, told HOH that the chaplain’s office has limited data regarding immediate family members who have presided over the morning prayer, but confirmed that Peters is in a fairly exclusive group.

Rep. Bruce Braley is in the club.

The Iowa Democrat got to see his brother, Rev. Brad Braley, prepare Congress for the work ahead during the of summer 2010. Full story

Congressional Hits and Misses: Week of March 3 (Video)

HOH serves up another dish of the best of what’s around with members detailing how cold Ukraine is, explaining what happens when the toilet leaks and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., seeing how many times he can say “Koch brothers” in a 10-minute speech.

Crash Lands Car in Tree on South Capitol Street (Updated)

Crash Lands Car in Tree on South Capitol Street (Updated)

(Hannah Hess/CQ Roll Call)

Update 11:53 a.m. | A high-speed crash at the intersection of South Capitol and D streets Southeast landed a driver in the hospital early Friday morning — and the car in a nearby tree.

Capitol Police responded to the scene of the crash at approximately 3 a.m., according to department spokeswoman Lt. Kimberly Schneider.

The car hit one of the massive, round decorative flower pots outside the barricade on the South side of the Capitol campus and went airborne before landing in the tree, Schneider reported. The vehicle was traveling at a high rate of speed northbound on South Capitol Street. The car was still in the tree as of 7:37 a.m. Friday.

Immediate street closures remain in effect until the scene is cleared. Due to the traffic accident investigation, nearby streets are closed including portions of Washington Avenue, New Jersey Avenue and South Capitol Street Southeast.

Update 11:53 a.m.

The cause of the crash remains unknown and Capitol Police have not yet released any information on the driver’s condition or whether drugs or alcohol were involved.

Officers were already on the scene when D.C. Fire and EMS responded to a single, overturned vehicle around 3:02 a.m., according to D.C. Fire and EMS spokesman Oscar Mendez. The driver was transported to George Washington Medical Center at 3:28 a.m. with life-threatening injuries, Mendez said.

The single-car accident involved a lone driver and no passengers. There was no chase involved, according to Schneider.

Debris from the crash, including the small engine of the small, silver SUV littered the intersection, and officers on the scene said car parts had been found on the roof of the nearby Longworth Office Building Parking Garage.

Read our new post on the investigation finishing here.

More photos below.

Full story

By Hannah Hess Posted at 8:43 a.m.
Capitol Police, DC

March 6, 2014

A Top-Down View of #CPAC2014

Here’s what conservative conferees have on their minds scalps at CPAC:

Clean pates

A Top Down View of #CPAC2014

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

 

Rainbow-striped mohawks

A Top Down View of #CPAC2014

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

 

Impeccably arranged ‘dos

A Top Down View of #CPAC2014

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

 

Colonial-era head coverings

A Top Down View of #CPAC2014

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

Stetsons

A Top Down View of #CPAC2014

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

 

Camouflage ball caps

A Top Down View of #CPAC2014

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

 

Fedoras

A Top Down View of #CPAC2014

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

 

Combat helmets

A Top Down View of #CPAC2014

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

 

Russian-style furriness

A Top Down View of #CPAC2014

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

Okay, that last one is a doorman here at the Gaylord. But still, awesome.

 

Team Congress Triumphs in Annual Hockey Game

 

Team Congress Triumphs in Annual Hockey Game

Rep. Erik Paulsen prepares for a faceoff on Wednesday. (Abby Livingston/CQ Roll Call)

Team Lawmakers have evened up the record against their rival hockey team, Team Lobbyists, in the sixth edition of the Congressional Hockey Challenge.

It was no blowout — the Wednesday night game was suspenseful to the end at Kettler Capitals Iceplex in Arlington, Va., the site of the Washington Capitals’ practice facility. The lawmaker team, made up of members of Congress, members of the Canadian Parliament, Hill operatives and federal government workers, trailed the lobbyists for much of the game.

But in a third-period rally, the lawmakers moved ahead to win 7-5. The record now stands at 3 wins apiece.

Full story

Bumper (Sticker) Crop: #CPAC2014 Edition

Here’s what the rest of the world is faced with when conservatives reach the “braking” point:

Bumper (Sticker) Crop: #CPAC2014 Edition

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

 

Bumper (Sticker) Crop: #CPAC2014 Edition

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

 

Bumper (Sticker) Crop: #CPAC2014 Edition

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

 

Bumper (Sticker) Crop: #CPAC2014 Edition

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

 

Bumper (Sticker) Crop: #CPAC2014 Edition

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

 

Bumper (Sticker) Crop: #CPAC2014 Edition

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

 

Bumper (Sticker) Crop: #CPAC2014 Edition

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

 

Bumper (Sticker) Crop: #CPAC2014 Edition

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

 

Bumper (Sticker) Crop: #CPAC2014 Edition

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

 

Buckle up, folks. We’re all in for one helluva ride.

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