Alec Baldwin, former congressional intern, lobbies for finance reform

But that’s not too surprising, given that Baldwin has firsthand experience as a congressional intern.

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Leaning against a wall in the Capitol and sporting sensible rubber-soled black loafers, a blue blazer, gray slacks and a gray tie, Baldwin waited his turn to address reporters at a press conference on the Fair Elections Now Act, a campaign finance reform bill championed by Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.).

The bill would create an opt-in public financing pool for political candidates, cap certain types of contributions and be paid for largely by the corporations that reap the highest profits from government contracts.

This particular political issue represents a humorous turn for the actor, best known for playing a high-flying network exec on NBC’s “30 Rock” who frequently tangles with Congress in an attempt to curry favor for his fictional network.

Baldwin garnered laughs recalling his experience as an intern for former Rep. Jerome Ambro (D-N.Y.).

“We would go to the fax machine every day,” he reminisced, “and we would get Congressman Ambro’s itinerary for the evening, and the guys who were more senior would say, ‘Oh, yes, the Association of Textile Manufacturers of North America, they have very good hors d’oeuvres there.’

“All we would need is the best bar and the best hors d’oeuvres.”

But Baldwin’s days of dining on free finger food are well behind him, and he told reporters that he broke bread Tuesday night with Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.), whom he called “an old friend of mine.”

Baldwin said he asked Miller what had changed the most in the veteran lawmaker’s 37 years on Capitol Hill.

“[Miller] told me, ‘[Lawmakers] used to come here to serve in government … they came here because they believed in something. Now [they] just come to raise money and fight.’ ”

(Raising money and fighting might not sound that bad to the actor, who has repeatedly mentioned his desire to run for Congress someday.) 

Despite all the talk of politics and elections, Baldwin managed to avoid questions about his own political future. 

Following the press conference, he and his minders slipped away to record a public service announcement about campaign finance reform.