Long, magazine-reading bathroom breaks a no-no in the senator’s office

An internal memo circulated at Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s (R-Alaska) Washington office and given to ITK this week contained pungent warnings for Murkowski staffers: Limit Internet use, stop listening to iPods during the day and stop using the inner-office bathrooms.

“This is a subject I always hate to bring up, but if you have a long, magazine-reading bathroom trip planned (and you know what I mean), please go to the public restrooms,” the memo reads. “We don’t want to subject our staff or constituents to any fowl-smelling [sic] odors while they are in the office.”

Murkowski’s spokeswoman, Danielle Holland, sounded nonchalant about the memo and the fact that it was leaked (so to speak). “It went out from our office manager on Friday,” Holland said. “It’s a routine reminder. We’ve got some new staff on board. Just want to make sure everyone is working from the same page. We get stuff like this all the time.”

Also in the memo was a stern warning about leaving early: “The office IS OPEN UNTIL 6PM TODAY, even though Donna has left. If you leave before your normal time, you will be charged leave.”

Asked if foul smells are a problem, Holland replied, “I don’t sit near the restrooms, so I don’t know — and I certainly don’t deal with administrative stuff during the day.”

McMorris baby-naming contest reels in choices

ITK recently asked readers to help Rep. Cathy McMorris (R-Wash.) name her baby. Her due date is May 29 and it’s a boy.
And as it happens, Connie Correll Partoyan, the congresswoman’s chief of staff, delivered a baby boy, named Garo, yesterday morning.

As we noted from the beginning, the congresswoman has full rights to veto names she doesn’t care for.

Readers’ choices are as follows:

Nomination #1: “There can only be one name for the son of the ranking minority member of the House Subcommittee on Water and Power: Wade (Alternatives: Waid, Waide, Wayde), meaning: A wanderer, or from the river crossing.”

McMorris reaction: “Good solid name. The reference to water is fitting since I serve on Water and Power and my husband served in the Navy. I also hope my son will be a man of great depth like his father.”

Nomination #2: “Cully is a Cornish name, I believe, and popular in the Cornish community I grew up in. It’s an unusual name but one that is easy to pronounce. It’s perfect for her baby.”

McMorris reaction: “I like it and it is close to my Irish and Scottish roots.”

Nomination #3: “How about Emery? Kind of old-fashioned, this one, but I’m partial to it as I had a great-great-grandfather who was a horse messenger in Sherman’s army; his name was Emery Shonce. Anyway, I plan on naming a son this myself,
but that shouldn’t be for a while, so I’m willing to donate the suggestion. Emery means ‘laborer’ or ‘hard worker’ somewhere.”

McMorris reaction: “I’m sure the horse-messenger in Sherman’s army was very distinguished and I wouldn’t want to deprive this woman’s son of this unique name.”

Tubbs Jones forced to take off T-shirt for Special Orders

Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones (D-Ohio) was asked to disrobe in the Speaker’s Lobby last Friday. But it’s not as bad as it sounds. The congresswoman had worn a red tie-dye elementary-school T-shirt from her district in honor of the upcoming Ohio achievement tests.

But floor rules don’t allow T-Shirts, especially T-Shirts with a perceived cause. Thankfully Tubbs Jones wore the shirt over a suit, so she was able to proceed back into the House chamber and hold the shirt up for the C-SPAN cameras.

“You’re supposed to wear clothes that are generally conservative and they were deemed inappropriate for the floor,” Tubbs Jones spokeswoman Nicole Williams said. “She understands the protocol so I don’t think she necessarily had a problem with it.”

Williams said Tubbs Jones, more than anything, wanted to keep her promise to the children of Woodbury Elementary School that she would wear the T-shirt on the House floor to encourage them to do well on their test.

Tubbs Jones is not among the notorious House floor rule-breakers.


Bring your baby to work day?

Stacey Bernards, spokeswoman for House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), looked like she had her hands full last week. In addition to dealing with Hoyer’s message, she was spotted pushing a stroller into a Capitol elevator. Turns out she brought her baby, Colette, to work because her nanny was sick. Lawmakers in the elevator didn’t seem to mind.
“She was very well-behaved and helped answer the phones,” she said jokingly of her 15-month-old.


‘Extreme Home Makeover’ carpenter visits Hill  

Paige Hemmis of ABC’s “Extreme Home Makeover” is visiting Capitol Hill this week for the first time on behalf of the American Heart Association. She promoted the Heart for Women Act by attending a rally and reception on Capitol Hill yesterday.

“A lot of people don’t know that this is [such a big] killer for women,” Hemmis said in a phone interview with ITK.
Hemmis is personally affected. “Every woman in my family has a heart murmur,” she said, explaining that she has to take precautions every time she goes to the dentist or the doctor. “Every time I have any procedure done I have to go on antibiotics.” Hemmis’s heart murmur was detected when she was 6.

Hemmis, a registered Republican who didn’t know her congresswoman is liberal Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), is all heart. She said her television show is extremely emotional. “Oh my gosh, I’ve cried more in the last four years than in my whole life combined,” she said. “These stories really make you appreciate all you have. You never know when your time is up, whether it’s heart disease or a car accident.”

A father and his 10-year-old twins, whose mother died of heart disease, will join the TV carpenter. “We brought them to spread the word,” Hemmis said.


Freshman misses vote to catch daughter’s prom

Freshman Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-Colo.) received permission from the Democratic leadership to leave early last Thursday to catch a flight back to Colorado.
He missed four votes, but it was all for a good cause: He wanted to see his youngest daughter off as she left for prom.
“He had to get home in time to see her at the door and get her ready,” Perlmutter spokeswoman Leslie Oliver said.


Announcements

Rep. Rohrabacher’s brother dies of cancer

Kim Rohrabacher, older brother of Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.), died last week of complications from cancer. Rep. Rohrabacher flew back to California before his brother died to be with him during the last hours of his life.

Kim Rohrabacher served for eight years in the Marine Corps Reserve, receiving an honorable discharge. Most of his career was spent as a transportation specialist, including several years with Northrop Aircraft. He was divorced and had no children.

Kim was the congressman’s only sibling. Rohrabacher said in a release that his brother was known for his “generosity and charitable spirit.”



Edited by Betsy Rothstein:
Tips, complaints, sightings and separated at birth stories can be e-mailed to: betsyr@thehill.com or (202) 628-8516. Announcements, which include births, engagements, deaths or any significant life event, can also be sent to the above address or phone number.