By Betsy Rothstein - 11/28/07 05:36 PM EST
Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) will undergo hip joint replacement surgery due to arthritis. Her surgeon is Dr. Kristaps Keggi, a Yale University clinical professor of orthopedic surgery — and a Republican.
Though Keggi has contributed to Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) — $1,000 in 2006 — he has primarily contributed to Republican lawmakers such as Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), former Rep. Gary Franks (R-Conn.), former California GOP Gov. Pete Wilson, former Rep. Nancy Johnson (R-Conn.) and the National Republican Congressional Campaign Committee.
“Political affiliation is not a part of Congresswoman DeLauro’s healthcare decision-making process,” said DeLauro’s spokeswoman, Adriana Surfas.
President Reagan did care about his doctors’ party affiliation. When he was shot, he famously told doctors at George Washington University Hospital that he hoped they were Republicans.
One replied, “We’re all Republicans today.”
Driving While Black: Rep. Danny Davis stopped by police over weekend
Congressman says he will fight the charge
It was not the way Rep. Danny Davis (D-Ill.) envisioned his Thanksgiving week.
“I had other kinds of things, like turkey and dressing, on my mind,” the congressman told ITK in a phone interview Monday afternoon.
Chicago police stopped Davis Sunday night in Lawndale, a predominantly poor, black community where Martin Luther King once lived.
“There was nothing exotic about it, nothing zanzy [sic] or sexy, no brutality, like billy clubs being swung,” Davis said. The congressman has filed a complaint with the Chicago police, charging them with ‘racial profiling’.
He was driving home from a radio show that he does every Sunday night with three guests of the show. The streets were barren. The cops pulled up and told Davis he was driving left of the center lines. Davis disagrees.
Davis said he has been stopped by the police lots of times in his life, but rarely as a congressman. Oddly, just the week before the incident, Davis was stopped as part of a routine seatbelt check; he was buckled up.
During the course of Sunday night’s traffic stop, he told two white officers that he was a member of Congress. They didn’t care.
“There was no rationale, no logic given,” he said. “I said, ‘Can you tell me why you stopped me?’ [One of the officers] said, ‘I noticed you were weaving back there.’ And I said, ‘You have got to be kidding.’ There was not a snake in the road nor did I see a rat run across and didn’t want to hit him.”
Davis said he was stopped for being black. He also said he is known for driving slowly. “Quite frankly, I usually drive on the right-hand of the street because I don’t drive fast,” he said. “I know that I did not weave.”
After the incident, he drove to the local precinct where he said he had a pleasant conversation with the sergeant, who phoned the two officers. They held fast to their story. The next night, Davis attended a black community meeting hosted by ministers to discuss police misconduct — this is where Davis shared his own story about the traffic stop.
“People feel they are back up against the wall,” Davis said. “So I let them know they weren’t the only ones.
“It’s much bigger than whether Congressman Danny K. Davis got a traffic ticket,” he said, noting that he has received just five tickets in the 50 years that he has been driving. “My point is, you go into traffic court and you can spell justice a little bit differently. You can really spell it just-us who are black, just-us who are increasingly Latino, and mostly just-us who are poor, working-class people.”
Davis, who grew up in rural Arkansas, began driving his father’s tractor when he was 10.
At the time of the stop, the congressman was driving his 2002 Black Mercury. “It’s not one of the cars that drug dealers drive,” he said. “It’s pretty plain, like me, plain.”
Davis said he will fight the $75 ticket in court on Dec. 28 at 1:30 p.m.
Recess negotiations with the Meek family
While most lawmakers were gone for the Thanksgiving recess, Rep. Kendrick Meek (D-Fla.) and his team negotiated some last-minute deals in the Capitol late Wednesday.
“Alright,” Meek said to his 12-year-old daughter. “I’ll tilt my head. You smile.”
During much of the photo shoot for Capitol File magazine, Meek’s daughter, Lauren, recommended that her dad tilt his head to assume a more fashionable pose, while Meek reminded Lauren to keep smiling after nearly an hour of shooting.
“I was smiling so much that it hurt,” she said afterward.
The family was dressed in earth tones. Meek’s wife, Leslie, proved to be a more effective dealmaker than the congressman, negotiating cooperation from her two children early in the shoot by offering to take them out for lunch afterward to the restaurant of their choice. Lauren wanted sushi while her 10-year-old brother, Kendrick Jr. or K.B., favored ESPN Zone. Details of the final agreement were not disclosed.
The photographs will appear in January in a story about balancing work and family. In addition, the Meeks also brought their own cameraman, who took pictures for the family Christmas card.
While waiting for the photographers to assemble their equipment, K.B. played with his dad’s BlackBerry on the Speaker’s balcony, lending new meaning to the word “recess.”
Throughout the shoot, Meek and his wife worked together with photographers to leverage cooperation from their well-behaved but anxious children.
“Is he smiling properly, or has he got a goofy smile?” Leslie Meek asked, enlisting the photographer’s help.
“Let’s show some teeth,” Rep. Meek reasoned. “We paid enough for them.”
After positioning the family on a couch in a lobby area of the Speaker’s office — with the congressman in the middle, a kid on each side and his wife behind — the photographer fine-tuned the scene.
He asked the children, “Can you guys look up at your dad?”
“And look lovingly,” Mom requested.
Lauren was the most responsive model of the group, exaggerating the photographer’s requests if, for no other reason, than to get a rise out of K.B. On the balcony overlooking the National Mall, the photographer tried to capture some more natural poses. When he asked Lauren to put her arm around K.B., she threw both arms around him in a loving embrace that somehow failed to win him over.
Their mother intervened, explaining to Lauren with tongue-in-cheek humor that her advances were abusive. Then, with faux concern, she said to no one in particular: “I have a feeling that [K.B.] does like her, but I’m not sure.”
Congressional candidate roomed with baseball royalty
Had he not made a different decision many years ago, Republican congressional candidate Sandy Treadwell might well have been sitting in a press box and writing about the World Series last month instead of hitting the campaign trail. But there’s more to the erstwhile journalist’s career than meets the eye.
Not only did Rep. Kirsten Gillibrand’s (D-N.Y.) potential opponent study the craft and land a job at Sports Illustrated upon graduation from the University of North Carolina, he also had a legendary college roommate: Hall of Fame baseball reporter Peter Gammons.
Treadwell, now a businessman and former GOP chairman, said the two, who went to high school together, would play Wiffle Ball one-on-one, with Gammons playing the part of the Boston Red Sox and Treadwell representing the New York Yankees.
Should he win his race against Gillibrand next year, Treadwell would represent an area that borders on Cooperstown, N.Y., home to the National Baseball Hall of Fame that recently enshrined Gammons.
Give it a couple years, throw in some redistricting, and maybe Treadwell can earmark a statue for his old buddy.