Rep. Smith to athletes: Your celebrity can get legislation passed

"What’s with you guys?” he recalled Erving saying.

From that point on, the Senate took interest in Smith’s cord blood bill.

Smith’s talk included a briefing on human rights, one of his passions, and presented the clearest message on how celebrity can be used “efficaciously and effectively to get across some cause or some deeply-held belief and [support for] charity.”

He was joined by Reps. Jon Runyan (R-N.J.) and Pete Olson (R-Texas).

Olson answered questions about the national debt and the NFL lockout.

“You don’t want the government involved in that,” he warned of the lockout. “We’ll muck it up. I guarantee it.”

Runyan, a former Philadelphia Eagles offensive lineman, spoke about having a strong work ethic in politics and how he became a congressman.

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