In the know


DeLay: Sometimes image is everything

Just before his arraignment, ex-House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas) made a brief stop on his way out of town. It was to his hairdresser.

Apparently the recently indicted pol wanted to be well-coiffed for his mug shot photo. And really, who can blame him? Wouldn’t you want to look good for your police mug shot?

And the mug shot attracted rave reviews. On his MSNBC show “Countdown” last week, Keith Olbermann said DeLay’s smile was the “best smile in a mug shot ever.”

Pelosi and Simpson: supposedly still friends
“She was not asking a parliamentary question.”

That is what Rep. Mike Simpson (R-Idaho) said when asked about his recent verbal mauling of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) while presiding over the recent floor vote on H.R. 3893, the Gasoline for America’s Security Act. (Some of you may remember Simpson’s not-so-gentle voice interrupting her and shouting, “The gentlelady is not stating parliamentary inquiry!” He repeatedly interrupted her and pounded his gavel to silence her.)

At issue was the fact that Democrats were trying to get Simpson to close the vote, while Republicans were extending it to more than 40 minutes. Pelosi sought to speak out against the long roll call, but Simpson was having none of it.

Later that day, Simpson went to Dulles Airport to catch a flight for San Francisco to attend a fundraiser for Rep. Richard Pombo’s (R-Calif.) leadership PAC. Like a bad movie, Simpson boarded the plane and ran into Pelosi and a host of other Democrats.

“I thought I had walked into the Democratic caucus,” Simpson joked. “They all pointed at me like ‘Oh, there he is!’”

Still, both sides contend the love is still there. “She wasn’t mad,” Simpson said. “We don’t take any of that personally. If they were in the majority, they’d do the same thing.”

Even so, Simpson, who also dressed down Rep. Bill Thomas (R-Calif.) during the same vote, insists he’s an equal-opportunity enforcer. “I treat both sides the same,” he said.

Pelosi’s office says she holds no grudge against the Idaho congressman. “She’s not mad at him,” said Pelosi spokeswoman Jennifer Crider. “They both have their jobs to do. He was doing what Republican leadership wanted him to do, which is to ensure that the culture of corruption persisted on the House floor.”

Pillow talk: Macking Bono
Reps. Connie Mack (R-Fla.) and Mary Bono (R-Calif.) were in a world of their own last week, and this after The Washington Post outed their romance in light of the ongoing observation of how much time they have been spending together in recent months. Mack’s divorce from his wife, Ann, was announced in August, followed by Bono’s announcement Sept. 28 to separate and ultimately divorce her husband, Glenn Baxley.

Mack and Bono were spotted last week hanging out at the back of the Democratic side of the House floor. “They looked happy but concerned because they know people are talking about them,” a Capitol employee said.

But by all appearances, it’s clear they don’t intend to keep their distance. “It’s obvious they care for each other,” the observer noted. “They look so cute together, they really do. Makes me want to cry.”

Yet their relationship apparently hasn’t advanced that much. Mack has introduced two bills since being in Congress. One has no co-sponsors. The other, a bill he introduced in July to amend the Internal Revenue Code, has five co-sponsors — one of whom is Bono. However, Mack has not returned the love, opting not to endorse any of Bono’s legislation.

Clinton’s press secretary gets bashing from publisher
The author and publishers of Help! Mom! There Are Liberals Under My Bed! are going after Philippe Reines, press secretary to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.).

Last week, Reines took a shot at the book that turns his boss into a villainous character who taxes small children and makes them put broccoli into their lemonade. He said, “Can’t wait for the sequel, Help! Mom! I Can’t Read This Book Because Republicans Have Cut Literacy Programs!”

In a release titled “Hillary’s Aide Blasts Conservative Kid’s Book,” World Ahead Publishing asks, “What kind of children’s book, written by an attractive and unassuming 35-year-old mother of three, could possibly provoke the ire of Hillary Clinton’s press secretary?” Answer: “One that features a cartoon villain who bears an uncanny resemblance to a powerful senator from New York taxing and regulating a child’s lemonade stand.”

The author, Kathleen DeBrecht, adds, “The attack by Hillary Clinton’s spokesman on my book is typical of liberals. Not only do they not tolerate any scrutiny, but they sure don’t have a sense of humor! … Evidently Hillary thinks it takes a village to teach a child to read!”

Since last week, DeBrecht’s book dropped more than 400 spots on Amazon’s ratings. And Reines couldn’t be happier: “It’s not the liberal under the bed that they should be worried about; it’s the sales that are in the basement.”

Rep. Peterson gets dressed on his way to a vote
The clock was ticking, and Rep. Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) was spotted putting on a tie on his way to a vote on the House floor last week.

When asked about his anti-tie philosophy and whether it was the choking aspect of the tie that bothered him, he explained that it was more about wanting to dress in a laid-back style.

“I would wear blue jeans if I could,” he said. Peterson said he never wears a tie in his office and only ties one on when going to vote. 

RNC steals name of this column
The nerve of some people. The Republican National Committee recently launched a Web TV show called “In the Know.”

The online “news” show is geared toward updating people on President Bush’s agenda and the Republican Party.

Considering how dull their material is, there shouldn’t be any confusion.

Announcements

Love is in the air for N.Y. delegation aides
L.D. Platt, 26, the press secretary for Rep. Tom Reynolds (R-N.Y.), is engaged to Sara Curtis, 28, the executive assistant to Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D-N.Y.).

The couple met in July 2002 while playing softball on opposing teams. They plan to marry in January in Washington. They haven’t planned a honeymoon yet.

Committee staffer to receive Bronze Star
Army Reserve Col. Jeff Phillips, a professional staff member of the House Veterans Affairs committee who served in Iraq, will receive a Bronze Star tonight at 6:30 in 334 Cannon.