Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
September 30, 2014

September 30, 2014

During Recess, Congress Goes to the Dogs

With their tails wagging, Maya and Cash trotted around House office buildings Tuesday to raise awareness for a bill to protect pets of domestic violence victims.

“If we could do this with all legislation, I think Congress would get more done,” said one delighted Hill staffer in Rep. Alcee L. Hasting’s office when the dogs came through the door.

Cash, a black-and-tan coonhound, had a blue pack on his back holding “Dear Colleague” letters urging members of Congress to support The Pet and Women Safety Act of 2014, sponsored by Reps. Katherine M. Clark, D-Mass., and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla. The bill expands protections to pets of domestic violence victims and includes a grant program to incorporate pets into domestic violence shelters.

The tall hound is a regular visitor in Clark’s congressional office and belongs to the congresswoman’s chief of staff, Brooke Scannell. “He likes to sit in on meetings,” legislative assistant Steve Thornton joked. Full story

‘Top Dog’ Trends Emerge

The mirth-makers at Fireside21 have once again thrust political pooches into the spotlight, rounding up some 30-odd photogenic pups for the 2014 “Top Dog” competition.

 

Top Dog Trends Emerge

(Screenshot)

 

Winston, the English lab belonging to Jon Corley, then-press assistant to Texas Republican Mac Thornberry, bested some six dozen pets with ties to Capitol Hill during last year’s inaugural roundup.

Other fan favorites included:

  • Most Competitive = Milton; House Press Gallery.  Breed: chow chow.
  • Best Hair = Lucy; Rep. Brett Guthrie, R-Ky.  Breed: mini goldendoodle.
  • Most Likely to Succeed = Conan; Congressional Research Service.  Breed: hound/beagle.
  • Best Smile = Balto; Rep. Sam Johnson, R-Texas.  Breed: German shepherd.
  • Most Athletic = Banjo; Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy III, D-Mass.  Breed: border collie mix.
  • Biggest Flirt = Harley; Agriculture Committee.  Breed: worthless.
  • Most Regal = Lucy; Abled Americans.  Breed: dachshund.
  • Biggest Party Animal = Tanner; Rep. Bobby L. Rush, D-Ill. Breed: Yorkipoo.
  • Best Advisor = Pepper; Rep. Michael M. Honda, D-Calif.  Breed: Norwegian elk hound mix.

Although this year’s crop of dog-testants has only begun winning over the hearts and minds of the Internet-enabled public (the winner won’t be crowned until Oct. 15), certain prejudices appear to be steering early balloting.

People seem to prefer sparingly-used props — as in the case of the stress toy-chomping shih poo belonging to Wisconsin Democrat Gwen Moore.

 

Top Dog Trends Emerge

(Screenshot)

 

That seems to be besting overly-produced moments, a la the flag-draped westie put on parade by California Republican Ed Royce. Full story

Shuffling Cory Booker Around

The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s 44thannual legislative conference is officially in the books. And, unfortunately for the high-profile group, so is a glaring error about the actual stomping grounds associated with Sen. Cory Booker.

 

Shuffling Cory Booker Around

(CQ Roll Call Photo Illustration)

 

The program guide for the Phoenix Awards Dinner, held on Sept. 27, inexplicably lists the New Jersey Democrat as hailing from the Land of Lincoln.

Could the CBCF be trying to position Booker to follow in the steps of that other trailblazing Illinois Democrat who currently occupies the Oval Office?

Are folks in #ThisTown so spellbound by the constantly on-the-go freshman lawmaker that nobody can be bothered to remember that he’s a Garden Stater?

Perhaps the printer just screwed up.

We’ll let you know where the CBCF plants him in next year’s booklet.

 

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September 29, 2014

Congressional Hits and Misses: Best of James Traficant (Video)

Following his death Saturday, Heard on the Hill pays tribute to the colorful career of James A. Traficant Jr., who regularly reminded C-SPAN audiences of manure studies, his “weed-whacker” hair and his ability to kick liars in the crotch.

Related:

James Traficant Dies Following Tractor Accident

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Congressman or American Idol? (Video)

Congressman or American Idol? (Video)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. — John Lennon, Lady Gaga and Bono have all covered Ben E. King’s “Stand by Me.”

And on Sept. 27, Rep. Steve Southerland II took a stab at it.

The Republican sophomore, who faces an election challenge from Democratic attorney Gwen Graham, hosted a “Women for Southerland” rally in his Florida Panhandle 2nd District.

Toward the end of his speech, he sent a subtle hand signal to someone offstage. A shaggy-haired man stepped on stage and strapped on an acoustic guitar.

As Southerland closed out his speech, the opening chords of the 1961 hit began to play.

With Republican Reps. Cynthia M. Lummis of Wyoming and Martha Roby of Alabama (who were in town to support him) clapping behind him, Southerland offered up an able rendition.

Listen for yourself.

 

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Ted Stevens’ Totally Tubular Prediction

The late Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, warned us that this day would come.

 

 

But everyone just laughed at him.

 

Ted Stevens’ Totally Tubular Prediction

(Screenshot)

 

Who’s laughing now, social media-less world?

 

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Manufacturing Lobby Fetes ‘Factory Man’ Scribe

Business leaders plan to raise a glass Friday to journalist-turned-author Beth Macy in recognition of her work on “Factory Man,” the Tom Hanks-endorsed, anti-globalization success story.

 

Manufacturing Lobby Fetes Factory Man Scribe

(Screenshot)

 

In an environment wherein lawmakers continue wrestling with corporate inversions and the staggering flight of industrial jobs, Vaughan-Bassett Furniture Chairman John D. Bassett III stands as a testament to the resilience of the American worker.

 

 

“You people have proven that we can compete — and defeat — any competitor in any country in the world,” Vaughan-Bassett Furniture President and CEO Wyatt Bassett congratulated his employees in January 2012, after John helped revitalize the family business and surrounding city of Galax, Va., with a fresh infusion of cash and renewed stream of consumer demand. Full story

USGS Gets Its Rocks Off Touting Oktoberfest

Want the dirt on what makes Oktoberfest so special? The United States Geological Survey is pouring it on pretty thick in a recent blog post.

 

USGS Gets Its Rocks Off Touting Oktoberfest

(Screenshot)

 

Larding up the blogosphere with relevant, eyeball-grabbing content is a demanding gig. But, as the U.S. Forest Service recently discovered, hitching one’s public relations wagon to cultural events in today’s hyper-partisan environment can quickly lead one’s messaging wildly off course, as Smokey Bear found out when attempting to dispense some fire-safety/s’mores advice.

For while we here at HOH can appreciate writer Ethan Alpern’s shoutout to the humble hop plant — “Hops plays an important role in the flavor of beer,” he counsels — others might view it as a tacit endorsement of binge drinking.

 

USGS Gets Its Rocks Off Touting Oktoberfest

The proud winner of the Das Best Oktoberfest — held Sep. 27 at the D.C. Armory — “Best Beer Belly” contest. (Warren Rojas/CQ Roll Call)

 

Full story

Eric Holder Leaves the Field | Capitol Quip

Eric Holder Leaves the Field | Capitol Quip

Now that Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., has announced his resignation, Congress will soon turn to the political football that will be confirming his successor. This brings us to this week’s Capitol Quip captioning contest.

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.

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September 28, 2014

Congress, Motivated by Joe Biden | Capitol Quip

Congress, Motivated by Joe Biden | 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.

Roll Call Election Map: Race Ratings for Every Seat

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September 26, 2014

Congressional Hits and Misses: Best of Bill Nelson (Video)

With Congress out until after the midterms, Heard on the Hill kicks off election season by saluting the members who go the extra mile to make Capitol Hill such a unique place to work.

This week, Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., teaches us about outer space, drywall and how to win a football game.

Related:

Congressional Hits and Misses: Best of John Boehner (Video)

Congressional Hits and Misses: Best of Harry Reid (Video)

Congressional Hits and Misses: Best of Nancy Pelosi (Video)

Congressional Hits and Misses: Best of Mitch McConnell (Video)

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GOP Capitalizes on #FlipaDistrict Frenzy

Rep. John Kline may not have asked to be thrust into the re-election spotlight. But he’s certainly not shying away from raking in some extra dough after being named public enemy No. 1 in comedian Bill Maher’s inaugural “Flip A District” campaign.

 

GOP Capitalizes on #FlipaDistrict Frenzy

(Screenshot)

 

Kline beat out three other House Republicans for the honor of becoming Maher’s pet project from now until Election Day.

While targeting the regularly low-profile chairman of the Education and the Workforce Committee might seem like a stretch to some, the “Real Time” host insists that Kline’s virtual anonymity is exactly what makes him so contemptible.

“It’s much more appropriate to pick somebody who is quietly just doing the job wrong,” Maher told Minnesota Public Radio congressional reporter Brett Neely about the vetting process employed to flesh out this experiment into forced retirement.

The Minnesota Republican, naturally, is refusing to go down without a fight. Full story

Big Easy Mardi Gras Krewe Not Intimidated by ISIS

NEW ORLEANS — Dear Islamic State terrorists: You don’t intimidate the Krewe of Isis down here.

According to the Gambit,  ”the oldest continuously parading Carnival organization in Jefferson Parish isn’t changing its name for anyone.” The rise of the terrorist group ISIS has caused no shortage of angst in otherwise unrelated organizations, such as the ISIS Wallet, a smartphone app that decided to change its name, and the Institute for Science and International Security, which is sticking with the acronym it has had for years.

Another Mardi Gras krewe in Mobile, Ala., the Order of Isis, has decided to go with OOI. But Jefferson Parish’s all-female parade group? Not going anywhere.

“It is our history and our name and for 42 years it has represented proud American women, many of whom have family in the military, or have served in the military themselves,” Krewe of Isis Captain Sherrell Gorman told Gambit. “We’re not giving up our name, our dignity or our identity for something like that.”

Related Story:

ISIS or ISIL? On the Hill It Just Depends

Roll Call Election Map: Race Ratings for Every Seat

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House Hopeful Dives Into Kevin Yoder’s Skinny Dipping Past

It may be old news in #ThisTown, but Kansas Democrat Kelly Kultala doesn’t want anyone back home to forget about Rep. Kevin Yoder’s embarrassing swing through Israel.

The second-term Kansas Republican made headlines a few years back after it was revealed that he, and a handful of other GOP lawmakers, had thrown caution (and, apparently, their clothing) to the wind just before taking an ill-advised plunge into the sacrosanct Sea of Galilee in August 2011. Team Kultala invested five-figures to dredge up the incident for this ad.

Yoder did the whole mea culpa thing. And he has, at least to the best of our knowledge, managed to keep covered up while here in Washington.

Related Stories:

If Kevin Yoder Had Heeded Peter Bis’ Advice

Take Five With Kevin Yoder

Roll Call Election Map: Race Ratings for Every Seat

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September 25, 2014

Eric Holder Resigns With a Wink and a Nod (Video)

Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. likes to wink, apparently.

Roll Call Election Map: Race Ratings for Every Seat

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