Blumenauer aide throws a Super Bowl party; guests and dogs get Mardi Gras beads

Rep. Earl Blumenauer's (D-Ore.) press secretary, Erin Allweiss, and Rep. Chris Van Hollen's (D-Md.) senior adviser, Doug Thornell, hosted a joint Super Bowl party at an apropos venue: the Left Bank restaurant.

The party had a distinctly New Orleans twist. Allweiss (center, with fellow partygoers) is a native of the The Big Easy, and the last time she was there, she told ITK, she picked up "a whole suitcase of Mardi Gras beads."

The decorations were in full force, as were New Orleans Saints jerseys on the 75 guests in the a glass-enclosed back room at the hip, 18th Street, N.W. joint.

Among the largely Democratic crowd were staffers from the offices of: Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.), Reps. George Miller (D-Calif.), Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), the House Energy and Commerce Committee, the Natural Resources Committee, and a swath of federal agencies. They all requested anonymity to speak freely about their not-so-serious-gathering.

A lone staffer from Sen. Richard Lugar's (R-Ind.) office held the Indianapolis Colts banner high.

After the party, Allweiss told ITK that she and some fellow revelers went out onto Columbia Rd., N.W. and shared their leftover beads with people out walking their dogs.

"There were quite a few bejeweled dogs out last night," she joked.