In the know


McKinney asked to remove head wrap, refuses

Rep. Cynthia McKinney (D-Ga.) continues to generate controversy.

Earlier this month, she wore a head wrap on the House floor, where hats of any kind are prohibited. House Parliamentarian John Sullivan asked the congresswoman to remove her wrap, but she would not.

A security official approached and asked her to remove it; again, she would not.

“She doesn’t care,” remarked one Capitol employee who sees McKinney on a regular basis.

Rep. Mike Simpson (R-Idaho), who often presides over the House floor, explained that wearing a hat in the chamber is not just against the rules, “it’s improper. It’s the same reason you take it off when a lady enters [a room].”

McKinney and Sullivan did not comment by press time.


Are you an FOB, or do you just have a lot of money?

Face time with former President Bill Clinton is still something to brag about.

Clinton is offering his fundraising services to the Thea Foundation on May 24 at a cocktail reception and dinner at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel.

There are various levels of access to Clinton — depending on how much you fork over for the occasion. For $150, you can meet and take your picture with the ex-prez. For a $2,000 contribution, you can attend a dinner, where he will sit at your table (with just seven others) for about 20 minutes.

The Thea Foundation is named after Thea Leopoulos, a 17-year-old from Arkansas who was killed in an auto accident in 2001. Her family created the foundation to carry on her vision of strengthening American families and supporting arts for youth.

“As you may know,” the e-mail invitation stated, “this is an extremely unusual event. Most will pay $1,000 and up just to see President Clinton (or any former president) on stage far away at a dinner with hundreds.”

For more information on the Thea Foundation, visit www.theafoundation.org.


Dingell still on crutches: ‘I’m not doing anything dumb’

Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.), 79, continues to improve from the hip surgery he had last month. According to the lawmaker’s press office, he had a hip replacement 20 years ago but recently had to have a part replaced.

“I’m doing fine, I’ve had a full days work,” Dingell told ITK in a phone interview. “I have had a very good weekend where I attended a number of events. I had a superb surgery. It all came out very well. I’m feeling very good and full of energy and looking forward to having a very vigorous rest of session. I would note to you that I have been to work every day since I have been out of the hospital.

“I have walked every day. I’m functioning within the mandates that they gave me when I left the hospital. I’m not doing anything dumb.”

Dingell has missed one vote because of surgery and is ahead of schedule in rehab. On Monday he drove himself to Lansing to file to run for his 27th term in Congress.



Announcements

Lobbyist to wed EPA water-quality specialist

Benjamin McKay III, acting head of federal affairs for the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America, recently got engaged to Danielle Fuligni, a water-quality specialist at the Environmental Protection Agency.

The couple met at a pre-Halloween party (sans holiday costumes) in the Back Bay area of Boston in 2002. “After a couple hours of hard work on my party she told me that she would e-mail me,” McKay wrote in an e-mail. “I was like, well, so much for that one. But, a buddy of mine, who was obviously way hipper, told me, ‘no, you’re in, e-mail is good.’

“So, we e-mailed a bit and then nothing.”

But a month later they ran into each again, sparks flew and “yadda, yadda, yadda,”

McKay proposed to her on the banks of the Charles River last October — the place where they first confessed their love to each other.

The engagement details are too good to be missed: “We walked to ‘our’ spot, and I got down on one knee in the flooded grass and said something incoherent that ended with “Will you marry me?” She said something back that seemed far more eloquent than what I said, given the length, but all I could make out was ‘blah, blah, blah ... yes, blah, blah.’”

They plan to wed this weekend in Cambridge, Mass., at Memorial Church in Harvard Yard. The reception will be at the Charles Hotel. They will honeymoon in Rome and Positano, Italy.


Ackerman to host annual deli fundraiser tonight

It’s springtime in Washington, which means it’s time for Rep. Gary Ackerman’s (D-N.Y.) annual deli fundraiser.

All food will be imported from a New York deli.

The party takes place at the Rooftop, 101 Constitution Ave. N.W., from 6 to 9 p.m.

“In the meantime,” the e-mail invitation from Ackerman for Congress says, “I’ll keep the pastrami steaming.”


A Blue Dog aide weds Rep. Berkley’s aide

Eric Wortman, spokesman for the House Democrats’ Blue Dog Coalition, married 25-year-old Shannon von Felden, a legislative assistant for Rep. Shelley Berkley (D-Nev.), at a country club in Las Vegas last Saturday.

They are planning a honeymoon in Hawaii. Wortman, 28, once worked for Berkley but not while von Felden was in the congresswoman’s office. The couple met through mutual friends in 2002.


Sightings: Woody Harrelson, Kristin Scott Thomas in D.C.

On Monday evening, actors Woody Harrelson and Kristin Scott Thomas were spotted being filmed in a car on the top of flatbed truck driving up 18th Street toward Adams Morgan.

Harrelson is playing the lead role in “The Walker,” a film written by Paul Schrader. Harrelson plays an escort of society ladies in D.C. He was in the driver’s seat, sporting a mustache for his role, and Thomas was applying lipstick in the passenger seat.



Battle of the Beautiful
Memorable, Disturbing and Entertaining Nominations for the 50 Most Beautiful People

Group of friends nominate Hill aide

“——— is a senior legislative assistant with Congressman ——. This international man of mystery and diplomat extraordinaire is not afraid to confront foreign officials with difficult questions, probing prominent leaders on critical human right and labor issues. His charm, observers agree, is his distinctive yet not abrasive —— accent and disarming tendency to sing falsetto pop songs at every break in conversation.

“While he is known in some circles as the King of the Endless Follow-up Questions, he has simultaneously mastered the art of silent diplomacy and has successfully navigated many a fine wining and dining experience with foreign dignitaries. He is a snappy dresser known for maintaining his meticulous personal appearance by carrying a tweezer/floss/lip gloss kit with him at all times.

“Adding to his teddy-bear hunk status is a hint of a potbelly and boyish smile. ——— is an old-fashioned gentleman, who will carry a woman’s bag, but only if she agrees to carry his camera in it. From Shanghai to Brisbane to Burma, this Rockland County native matches Tom Cruise in both height AND international appeal!”

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