Hunter Thompson’s widow is no-show at McGovern birthday bash

Anita Thompson, the widow of the reporter credited with inventing gonzo journalism, Hunter S. Thompson, last week came to town to help former Sen. George McGovern (D-S.D.) celebrate his 85th birthday. But after encountering problems at both ends of her trip, she missed the bash.

Anita Thompson, whose forthcoming memoir about her husband’s supercharged life, The Gonzo Way, was written with McGovern’s encouragement, got a speeding ticket on the way to the Denver airport from her home in Woody Creek, Colo., near Aspen. Fortunately, there were no drugs in her car.

Then, after attending a lunch at the Palm hosted by Curtis Robinson of Qorvis Communications — he edited several of her husband’s books — also attended by the founder of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), Keith Straub, she got confused about the location of a reception for McGovern Friday night in the Cannon House Office Building Caucus Room.

Thompson ended up at the Caucus Room, a steakhouse on 9th Street NW, and never made it to the McGovern celebration.
Not to worry. She and Robinson will see McGovern this weekend at the Hunter S. Thompson Symposium in Aspen.


Rep. Terry resorts to sleeping on office sofa

Until about a month ago, Rep. Lee Terry (R-Neb.) would blow up a mattress each night and spend the night in his office.
Well, he still sleeps in his office, only now he tucks himself in on the couch because a month ago the inflatable started to leak.

Perhaps he was full of too much hot air? (We joke.)

The good-natured Terry graciously explained that he began sleeping at work about a year ago because of the high cost of maintaining two homes — a townhouse in Alexandria, Va., which he had until about a year ago, and a residence in Nebraska.

“My wife didn’t particularly like living out here,” Terry said.

Is the sofa comfortable? “Comfortable? No, not really, no,” he said. “It’s more important that they [his wife and children] are comfortable.

Since Terry’s office is also his bedroom, aides abide by strict guidelines on when they may and may not enter. Unless there are votes going on, aides cannot enter Terry’s abode between 11:30 p.m. and 7:30 a.m.

Good call. It would be incredibly awkward to run into the boss in his bathrobe. Or worse.


Lobbyist bitten by rattlesnake

A source tells ITK that Dan Berger, chief lobbyist for the National Associate of Federal Credit Unions, has two small fang marks on his right forearm from a snakebite.

Apparently he was moving cement blocks and logs from behind his cabin in the mountains of West Virginia a couple of weekends ago when a rattlesnake took a swipe at him. Either because the snake was small or Berger was fast, the strike was what the area’s wildlife officer called a “dry bite,” meaning little or no venom was injected into the flesh.

An ITK spy said Berger went back for the snake with a shovel and a shotgun. No word from the lobbyist on the outcome of Round Two.


Rep. Walberg to ride his Hog to votes

Rep. Tim Walberg (R-Mich.) is aiming to take full advantage of National Ride to Work Day. At 9:45 this morning, he plans to ride his motorcycle to the circular House-side Capitol entrance (between the visitors’ tent and the area where members park their cars).

Then, at 10 a.m., Walberg will deliver a one-minute speech on why he values motorcycle riding.

The lawmaker’s typical Hog attire is a black leather jacket and a bandana. Spokesman Matt Lahr imagines the bandana is “something patriotic.” Walberg often rides on Sundays. He has no tattoos. He has two motorcycles, a 1983 Honda Silverwing Interstate and a 2002 Harley Davidson Roadking. He started riding when he was 20 and belongs to the American Motorcycle Association, Abate of Michigan and Harley Owners Group (HOG).  


Sen. Schumer off his diet

Gone are the days when Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) turns down a miniature Snickers bar from a jovial reporter in a Senate elevator.

Schumer recently was walking out of a Senate policy luncheon, still chewing, when Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) remarked, “You look well fed.”

Schumer swallowed and sheepishly replied, “I had a chef’s salad but I ate a lot of cookies.”

Schumer’s press office did not respond to the matter.


Pat Boone shows up to Arianna’s Georgetown party

A party at political blogger/lobbyist Arianna Huffington’s Georgetown pad on the canal Monday night was nothing if not swanky, with cater-waiters bringing around platters of spanakopita and asparagus wrapped in phyllo pastry. There were goblets of red and white wine. The theme was, of course, Greek, with healthy shanks of lamb and grilled chicken kabobs and olives galore.

Guests showed up in droves, and star-power was at medium-high. The most unexpected guest of the evening: Pat Boone. The tanned crooner regaled partygoers such as Georgetown society woman Ann Hand on the large patio with anecdotes about life in Beverly Hills and what he is doing in Washington — he’s here with Christians for Israel.

Why so tanned? Boone explained to those crowded around that he takes his phone calls on the deck of his Beverly Hills home and suns himself in the process.

Other notables at the party included Huffington’s daughter Christina, who, with her long reddish hair is the spitting image of her mother; Time magazine’s Margaret Carlson and Ana Marie Cox (formerly known as Wonkette); The Washington Post’s Howard Kurtz; and the president of the Motion Picture Association of America, Dan Glickman, who was happily chowing down on crackers and cashews while discussing the importance of hunger initiatives.  

 

Announcements

Champagne Senate bash

The 20th Anniversary of the New Mexico Society of Washington, D.C., is tonight from 6 to 8:30 in the Russell Senate Office Building Caucus Room. The event, complete with a mariachi band, is being catered by Anita’s, a Mexican restaurant in Virginia. RSVP at www.nmstatesociety.org .