Conyers aide resigns, leaves behind divine letter

Kimberly Hill, the outgoing scheduler to House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.), sent out a doozy of a resignation letter last week. It’s so good that we should print the whole thing. Alas, we had room only for some highlights:

I am submitting my written notice of resignation from the office of Congressman John Conyers, Jr., effective Monday, September 17, 2007. I have decided to pursue my dream of being an Issue Advocate for the Christian community. For the Bible instructs us to “Occupy until I come.” This new and exciting venture will allow me to fulfill the next phase of God’s destiny for my life …

Working in this position has helped me to understand the value of lending a helping hand. There are so many constituents who rely on this office, ranging from home foreclosure, tenant abuse, lost relatives; I can’t forget to mention the lady who believed that former Mayor Coleman Young was sitting on her television and talking to her (he’s been deceased for over 10 years.) I mean literally people!!! This has really been an interesting experience. I believe that I could write a book.

To God be the glory for the wonderful things he has done and will continue to do!!!

Signing out forever,
Kimberly Hill.

Oh, Ms. Hill, please, oh please, write the book. We’ll be waiting.



Rep. Denny Rehberg’s impending eulogy

No, Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-Mont.) isn’t dead, but he’d certainly like a memorable eulogy in case he passes away while still a member of Congress.

Since he has no junior or senior House lawmaker serving his state, Rehberg has agreed to let Rep. Richard Baker (R-La.) do the honors. Baker, who has declared himself the “dean” of the Louisiana delegation, drew up a four-page legislative-style document of what would happen upon Rehberg’s potential demise. Not that that’s expected anytime soon; the youthful Rehberg will turn 52 this October.

There are conditions Rehberg must meet prior to his death:

“Prior to his untimely demise, the Montana Dean shall have:

“*Demonstrated continually fealty to the La. Dean

“*Continually contributed material assets to the La. delegation including but not limited to cold beer
“*Shall always defer his seating status to any member with a certified La. election certificate, regardless of seniority, standing or indictments.”



Senate aides don’t suffer spelling mistakes gladly

It’s a rough crowd on Capitol Hill, especially when it comes to the world of highly overeducated aides who don’t have any tolerance for spelling mistakes. 

Last week, an ITK informant sent word that there was recently a sign on the south side of the Dirksen Senate Building that read: “Dirksen Senate Office Building Forth [sic] Floor.” The mistake was soon corrected, but not before some smarty-pants Senate staffers could get a good laugh in.

“Many people saw it ... and chuckles could be heard far and wide!” the spy said.

It was fixed the next day.

 
Sen. Collins and Rep. Harman as ‘Thelma and Louise’

Rep. Jane Harman (D-Calif.) is tough as nails but, still, it’s hard to imagine her in a feminist broil, shooting a predatory man dead in the parking lot of a honky-tonk bar. So comparisons between the chairwoman of the House Homeland Security Intelligence subcommittee and the Susan Sarandon character in the movie “Thelma and Louise,” only goes so far.

 But Wednesday night, Harman joins Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) for a dinner and screening of the film, which is their favorite, at The Phillips Collection off Dupont Circle. Every few months, The Phillips Collection asks a guest to choose a film.

So is this an evening of female empowerment?

The lawmakers’ flaks were either clueless or utterly discrete. Adam Blickstein, Harman’s spokesman, said he did not know why his boss chose this movie. Collins’s spokeswoman Jen Burita was also mum about why the senator, ranking member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs panel, chose the film.



Up close and personal with Pat Sajak, game-show host and Republican at heart

All together now: WHEEL! OF! FORTUNE!

It’s hard not to give Pat Sajak, host of “Wheel of Fortune,” some sort of ridiculously warm welcome, even in ITK.

Sajak is scheduled to serve as guest master of ceremonies at the USO’s casino night this Friday at the Sheraton in Arlington.

Although Sajak doesn’t believe game-show hosts should speak out on political matters, especially controversial ones, he isn’t shy about declaring his political affiliation: Republican.

Sajak lives in Annapolis when he’s not jaunting to Los Angeles to film the show, sometimes taping 12 episodes in two days. He caught up with ITK last week in a phone interview.

And revealing it was.

In the late 1960s, he served in the Army in Vietnam as a radio announcer. “I was yelling, ‘Good Morning Vietnam!’” he recalls.

Sajak regards Ronald Reagan as among his favorite presidents.

Among the crop of current GOP hopefuls, Sajak has his eye on former Sen. Fred Thompson (Tenn.): “I’m intrigued by Fred Thompson. I know Fred a bit. You know what’s odd? I am not a ‘Law & Order’ watcher.”

Sajak said TV skills can be helpful for a politician. “There’s something to be said for the ability, not to act, but to communicate,” he says. “That’s important in the presidency.”

Does he think Bush is a good articulator?

“Everyone has their strengths,” he says.

Politics aside, we had some petty questions about “Wheel.”

Does he ever think contestants are dumb? “They’re not dumb,” Sajak assures ITK. “They go through a testing process. We don’t just pick names out of a barrel. It’s a very long process. Brain freeze can happen. I have great sympathy for [our guests].”

Do contestants ever annoy him? “The only time when players annoy me is every now and then you get someone who is outrageous; the acting is not natural,” he says.

Does he think he’s funny? “It’s hard to gauge whether you’re funny or not,” Sajak replies. “I’m sure there’s some people who’d like to bury me in a cellar somewhere.”

OK, so what’s with Vanna White? Have they ever been romantic?

“We’ve been together for so long,” he says. “We had dinner out a few times. I think we both figured out early on that any relations beyond professional would not work to our advantage. It’s not as if we had a great spark to extinguish. We’re both mature adults now.”

He adds, “Even if we do get on each other’s nerves, I won’t see her again for two weeks.”

Sajak and his wife, Lesly, a photographer, have two children — a son, 16, and a daughter, 12. When he’s not filming “Wheel,” he’s with his family. He also has a 24-foot motorboat.

“I do have a boat and every now and then I drive by and look at it,” he says. “I wave to it. I’m getting the impression I’m not a boater.”



Announcements

Rep. Danny Davis misses brother’s funeral to attend his own town hall


Rep. Danny Davis (D-Ill.) had a choice to make last weekend: attend his own pre-planned town hall meeting or go to the funeral of his older brother, Bennie Rhodes.

“He felt he had such a public commitment to be here that he stayed here for the meeting,” Davis spokesman Ira Cohen explained.

Davis had this to say about his brother: “Bennie was an absolute jewel who experienced tremendous success in life with little formal education or training. He was a truck driver by profession and ultimately owned his own 18-wheel rig. He was a solid citizen, had two children, three grandchildren and several great-grandchildren. At the time of his death he and his grandson were operating his trucking business.”

Rhodes apparently died of natural causes. “He was fairly elderly,” Cohen said. “I think it was in the natural course of human aging.”

Rhodes lived in Arkansas, where the congressman grew up, for the last 15 years of his life.

Cohen declined to explain why the congressman and his brother have different surnames. It appears from the obituary that the men had the same father but different mothers. There is a 15-year age gap between them. 

Rhodes’s funeral was held last Saturday in Hamburg, Ark. The visitation was the day before.

 
   
Yogis unite

The Global Mala Project, a gathering of international yoga students, takes place this Sunday at George Washington University’s Marvin Center (800 21st St. NW) between 11 a.m. and 9 p.m. Participants can partake in group yoga, philosophical discussions about pressing issues of the day, or guided meditation.

The purpose: Raise awareness and funds for the environment, AIDS prevention and survivors of war. Cost: $20.