Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
July 31, 2014

April 25, 2013

Sen. John Thune Injured, May Have to Sit Out Capital Challenge

Hill runners, how many of you were hoping to best Sen. John Thune during this year’s ACLI Capital Challenge? Well, get used to disappointment, folks.

First of all, according to Runner’s World, the South Dakota Republican runs a 6-minute, 15-second mile. Not so shabby. Second, Thune is currently nursing an injury, so his participation in the race is up in the air.

“Sen. Thune has a bad case of plantar fasciitis due to overuse — likely from running,” Thune spokeswoman AshLee Strong said. “He was in a boot for a few weeks.”

Sen. John Thune Injured, May Have to Sit Out Capital Challenge

Thune is nursing a foot injury. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Full story

This Is A Stick Up!

It’s unclear whether Sen. Jack Reed, R.I., was merely mugging for the camera,

This Is A Stick Up!

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

or preparing to spill about absolutely everything to the circling press corps.

We just hope it all turned out OK.

‘Grey’s Anatomy’ Star Kate Walsh Lobbies Capitol Hill for Clean Energy

Actress Kate Walsh, known for her role as Dr. Addison Montgomery on ABC’s “Private Practice” and “Grey’s Anatomy,” made the rounds Thursday on Capitol Hill to lobby for offshore wind power with the ocean conservation group Oceana.

Walsh’s visit, which coincides with the third anniversary of the Gulf oil spill, brought her to the offices of Sen. Barbara Boxer of California and Reps. Raúl M. Grijalva of Arizona and Xavier Becerra and Mike Thompson of California, all Democrats. Full story

By Emily Cahn Posted at 1:18 p.m.
HillSide, Parties

Bill Clinton Makes a Big Splash on Twitter

After a jokey roll-out earlier this month, President William J. Clinton has now officially plunged down the Twitter rabbit hole.

Clinton was dragged into the social mediaverse by faux pundit Stephen Colbert, who took the liberty of creating an account (@PrezBillyJeff) for the ex-POTUS during an April 6 interview on his Comedy Central show.

The direct line to the sax-player-in-chief sat there, silently, until Wednesday night. That’s when Clinton returned to the program for round two:

April 24, 2013

Five Captions Hoping to Get Pulled Over | Capitol Quip

Five Captions Hoping to Get Pulled Over | Capitol Quip

Five finalists for this week’s caption contest are speeding your way. Now it’s your turn to vote.

Using the comments section below, vote for your favorite caption until 5 p.m. Thursday.

Here are this week’s finalists:

My name? I’m officer Phil I. Buster

Sir, did you know you were going 55 in a 60 vote zone?

Yes, sir, I’m afraid that attempting to pass ANY legislation here is a “moving violation.”

No, sir, a super-majority of the speed limit is not the new normal.

Sir, you’re under arrested development.

The cartoon with the winning caption will appear on this blog on April 29 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.

When Oscar the Grouch Met Indiana Jones

The folks over at the Smithsonian Museum of America History on Wednesday set up a nifty “Smithsonian on the Hill” event in the foyer of the Rayburn House Office Building. Among the artifacts will be stuff familiar to anyone who grew up watching “Sesame Street” or the “Indiana Jones” movies.

When Oscar the Grouch Met Indiana Jones

Smithsonian National Museum of American History curators Dwight Bowers and Eric Jentsch help set up props from the “Indiana Jones” movies and “Sesame Street” for the “Smithsonian on the Hill” event the in the Rayburn House Office building foyer. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call)

The event will showcase items from upcoming exhibitions, such as Eddie Van Halen’s guitar, George Washington’s christening robe, Civil War memorabilia and Roberto Clemente’s batting helmet.

D.C. Councilman to Congress: Public Market, Please

A group of Ward 6 residents is looking beyond the eyesore that is a rundown government warehouse to a pedestrian-friendly shopping and dining complex that would theoretically bolster the local economy.

The question is, will Congress buy into the vision?

D.C. Councilman Tommy Wells will champion the cause of the Half Street Market initiative, the community-founded group seeking the new mixed-use project, Thursday at a House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on Government Operations field hearing at the barren location, 49 L St. SE.

D.C. Councilman to Congress: Public Market, Please


“We are advocating for the creation of a public market and restaurant that will operate a workforce development and education program for D.C. residents, host community education programming, and provide a commercial kitchen incubator with access to small business formation resources for culinary entrepreneurs,” HSM collaborators posted on their online petition page.

Full story

Source of Low D.C. Voter Turnout Located

We think we’ve found the source of the low voter turnout (10 percent) in Tuesday’s Washington, D.C., special election:

Source of Low D.C. Voter Turnout Located

Perhaps voters were confused, leading to low turnout for Tuesday’s special election? (Jason Dick/CQ Roll Call)

Signage. It’s important to get it right.


Remember the Maine (Reception)

Remember the Maine (Reception)

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

Maine solons Susan Collins and Angus King hung out with a few hundred of their new best friends Tuesday night at the inaugural Taste of Maine reception.

Remember the Maine (Reception)

(Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

The event, sponsored by the Maine Chamber of Commerce, brought together roughly two dozen Maine food and beverage professionals for a meet and greet with Capitol Hill’s most famished. (We spotted Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-N.Y., slipping out with a sample cup of something tasty.) Full story

Tim Kaine’s Quality Hammer Time at Caps Game

This might sound like a bit of a whiskey dream, but rapper and preacher MC Hammer was spotted at Tuesday night’s Washington Capitals game straight chilling with Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va.

Apparently, Kaine was invited to the game by Caps co-owner Raul J. Fernandez. It was just a coincidence, or divine intervention, that Hammer was also there.

“I’m sure that the senator had a great time,” said Kaine spokeswoman Amy Dudley.

Tim Kaines Quality Hammer Time at Caps Game

(Photo courtesy @AlfredAjebon)

At least according to this picture of the happy trio, Hammer did not hurt them and they had the best time ever. The Caps, possibly inspired by Kaine and Hammer, defeated the Winnipeg Jets and claimed yet another Southeast Division title.

This is MC Hammer’s second high-profile Washington pop-up this year. In January, he hung out with Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. and a whole mess of U.S. mayors.

April 23, 2013

Ohio Democrats Seek Condolence Notes for Ex-Rep. Charlie Wilson’s Family

It’s been a little over a week since former Rep. Charlie Wilson, D-Ohio, died at the age of 70 of complications from a stroke, but Ohio Democrats are still mourning his loss.

The Ohio Democratic Party sent out an email on Monday asking its members to send their condolences to Wilson’s family and praising Wilson for being “a tireless advocate for the middle class.”

“He advocated passionately for the people of Ohio, securing funding for police departments, airport improvements and small-business incubators, among other projects,” Ohio Democratic Party Chairman Chris Redfern said in an email. “Charlie wasn’t afraid to stand up for what he believed in, and courageously voted for universal health care not just once but twice.”

If HOH were sending a condolence letter, we’d praise this jingle that helped Wilson win an astounding write-in primary battle in 2006 that launched his congressional career.

Those looking to write condolence notes (and get on the Ohio Democrats’ email list) can do so here.

Johnny Isakson Brings Up Inconvenient Baucus News

Apparently, all Sen. Max Baucus wanted to do was get through Tuesday morning’s hearing before starting to inform his staff and close allies he was retiring.

But the Montana Democrat never got the chance, as news reports started lighting up iPhones and BlackBerrys just as he was set to convene a hearing on foster care. Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., approached Baucus before the start of the hearing and said something to the effect of “Congratulations on your news,” a tipster in the room told HOH.

Johnny Isakson Brings Up Inconvenient Baucus News

Isakson had kind words for Baucus on Tuesday. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call)

Full story

Next Black Tie Affair Goes NOLA

It’s still days before the glitterati cram into the Washington Hilton for the annual running of the bullpucky known as “Nerd Prom,” but we’re already looking forward to the next stop of the black-tie brigade: the Mardi Gras-themed Radio & Television Congressional Correspondents’ Dinner.

Next Black Tie Affair Goes NOLA

(Courtesy RTCA)

Radio & Television Correspondents’ Association dinner Chairman John Wallace told HOH he’s devoted the past year to planning a blowout party, scheduled for the evening of June 5 ($245 per person), that brings the best of the Big Easy to D.C.

That entailed a few things. First, shifting things from the Convention Center to the National Building Museum. The “wrap-around balconies remind me of the French Quarter,” he said. (Just watch out for the man-eating aquatic features.)

Second: hiring a cheflebrity — “Suffice to say, it’s one of the top chefs in the country,” Wallace stated, adding that the name will be revealed April  29 — to plot an authentically N’awlins dining experience. And finally, recruiting four distinct Crescent City bands, as well as “tribes” of dancing Indians, as entertainment. All this, and carving out time to crown a king and queen of the evening.

Full story

Sequester Grounds Mile-High Trysts

General panic has hit airports over the air traffic control furloughs brought about by sequestration. Many media outlets, airlines and customers have been wringing their hands over what some are calling the “airport armageddon.” The frisky among us, meanwhile, have used it as an excuse to hook up.

The dating site sent out a release Tuesday claiming it’s experienced an 800 percent jump in membership since Sunday night, just as the hard-core delays in Los Angeles and New York were getting under way.

“We’ve noticed a 300% increase in member sign-ups out of New York and Washington, D.C., in the past 24 hours as people are preparing themselves for longer wait times and delays,” said the site’s founder, Steve Pasternack, who also started the niche site Full story

Rangel Kinda Sues Boehner

HOH loves any good story that begins with the phrase “Eyebrows raised on Capitol Hill,” particularly when it concerns two old bulls such as Charles B. Rangel, D-N.Y., and Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, and a lawsuit!

Such is the case with this post by our own David M. Drucker about the lawsuit filed by Rangel seeking to vacate his censure by the Ethics Committee from a few years ago. It turns out that while, yes, Boehner is named in the suit, he’s not really the intended target. Instead, the suit takes aim at the bipartisan committee, which was then led by Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif. Rangel claims the House was “knowingly deceived” by members of the ethics panel.

Of course, Lofgren is no longer the Ethics chairwoman (or on the panel at all). Chalk it up to reason #3,452 that the Ethics committee chairmanship, as members all know, is the most thankless job in Congress.

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