Rep. Broun’s office decorates with stuffed carcasses for the holidays

It’s enough that freshman Rep. Paul Broun (R-Ga.) has on display all his favorite animals that he has hunted down, killed and eaten — everything he kills he must eat, according to his hunting philosophy. But now, the office has taken to decorating the animals with fluffy red and white fur Santa Claus caps. ’Tis the season … to dress up your dead quarry.



A newly thin Keller drowning in his suits

Think Rep. Ric Keller (R-Fla.) needs some new suits?

Well, so does he, but he won’t buy any until he drops another 20 pounds. At the moment, he has seven suits that aren’t fitting properly. So far, Keller, who has lost 63 pounds, has been getting through his wardrobe challenges by wearing a sport coat and purchasing new pants.

“My suits are going to be useless,” the dieting lawmaker said last week.

Keller shops for his suits at the Macy’s at Fashion Square Mall in Orlando, Fla.


$3 for candy, $2 for photo with Santa

Congressional staffers did a double-take at the Williams & Jensen Christmas party earlier this month.   

After an exhaustive review of the details of the new ethics and lobbying law, the firm put out a sign that directed congressional officials to pay $3 if they or their children grabbed sugary goodies from the candy stand set up at the party and $2 for a Polaroid picture with Santa Claus.

For everyone else: no charge, according to an ITK spy.

Williams & Jensen didn’t comment, but the spy stressed that the firm was simply trying to follow a law that has fast become a headache for K Street and Hill staffers.

“Candy is going buy votes? Insane,” the spy said, adding that the new law went way too far.   


Tancredo hates polka music; Kucinich adores it

This is a “he says tomahto, he says tomayto” situation, but with more rancor and passion.

Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-Colo.) has always disliked polka music. He recently remembered with deep displeasure campaigning around Iowa with M.E. Sprengelmeyer, the Des Moines bureau chief of the Rocky Mountain News, who played nothing but polka music. Tancredo was riding a motorcycle at the time. Sprengelmeyer, who plays the accordion, was chasing after the presidential hopeful in his 1996 Honda Accord blasting polka tunes.

“At the time he was riding the motorcycle, he was wearing khaki pants, white socks and penny loafers,” said Sprengelmeyer. “That should be pointed out.”

Tancredo couldn’t wait to get away from the music. “I kept telling him, ‘Shut that thing off. You’re driving me crazy,’ ” he said.

Part of his dislike involves a childhood experience. “I took accordion lessons,” Tancredo said. “It was horrible. I never practiced. I hated it. It’s child abuse.”

Tancredo’s late mother, Adeline, was a huge Lawrence Welk fan.

Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio), meanwhile, shuddered to hear that his fellow presidential hopeful can’t stand polka, considering that for Kucinich, there are few greater pleasures in life (except, maybe, his new wife, Elizabeth).

“That’s a huge smear because there’s no one who doesn’t like polka music,” said Kucinich, who consistently touts polka, bowling and kielbasa. “I think it ought to be the official music of America. There are places where polka is the law.”


Bumper stickers spotted around Boise

Cars around Boise, Idaho, have recently been spotted sporting two new bumper stickers. Lawmakers discussed both between roll call votes last week.

Our senator may not be gay, but our governor is Butch.

Born in Idaho, reared in Minnesota.

John Hanyon, spokesman to Idaho Republican Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter, who is the reference in the first bumper sticker, said the governor is aware of the slogans out there.

“We know that they are out there, and we are aware that there are T-shirts,” said Hanyon.  


 

Lottbreaux.com claimed by neither Lott nor Breaux

Sen. Trent Lott (R-Miss.) has attempted to laugh off his son’s registration of the domain name breauxlott.com, which has triggered more speculation that Lott and ex-Sen. John Breaux (D-La.) will join forces on K Street next year.

Since The Hill first reported the breauxlott.com news last week, Lott has reiterated that he knew nothing of what his lobbyist son Chet did — adding that he wouldn’t play second fiddle to Breaux.

But if the firm is going to be called LottBreaux, the Southerners will need to pony up to get the rights to lottbreaux.com.

Ted Tatos, a statistician in Sandy, Utah, registered that domain name on the same day The Hill article detailing the breauxlott.com registration came out. Tatos e-mailed ITK that he thought it was funny that “breauxlott.com was registered but not the reverse.”



Rep. Bartlett practices what he preaches

“Put on some clothes!”

That is Rep. Roscoe Bartlett’s (R-Md.) advice on how to keep warm in his antebellum farmhouse in Frederick, Md., during winter. The congressman incorporated a passive solar greenhouse inside it for energy efficiency.

Bartlett, who also has a solar-paneled and a wind turbine home off the grid in the Montebello National Forest in West Virginia, lives primarily in the farmhouse. He recently voted no on the energy bill, but he walks the walk when it comes to making personal sacrifices for the sake of energy. He heats with a wood stove and only one room in his house has electric heat — the bathroom. “What do you need a warm bedroom for?” he asks, adding that he also has no heat in his living room.


Sighting: Jack Kemp on Capitol Hill

Former GOP congressman, HUD secretary, football player, presidential and vice presidential candidate Jack Kemp was spotted on Capitol Hill Tuesday mingling with lawmakers and hugging House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).

Kemp was seen just off the House floor being interviewed (two cameras, no less) by Fox News White House Correspondent Bret Baier.

It turns out Fox News has been enlisted by Fox Sports to produce a special on Washington and football as part of its Super Bowl Sunday coverage.  

Baier also interviewed former Redskin and current Rep. Heath Shuler (D-N.C. and former Seattle Seahawk ex-Rep. Steve Largent (R-Okla.), for the special.


Omarosa returns to ‘The Apprentice’

TV’s favorite villain prefers a Clinton-Obama ticket

It’s not hard to say yes when Donald Trump calls.

This past summer, the real estate tycoon phoned Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth — formerly a White House aide to Vice President Al Gore — and personally invited her to be on “Celebrity Apprentice.” The show airs Jan. 3 on NBC.

Contestants will not vie for a job. They will work toward raising more than $1 million in total for their favorite charities, and the winner will award a $250,000 check to a designated charity. Manigault-Stallworth said Trump told her that her charity, a program for inner-city youth, would “greatly benefit” from her appearance.

Manigault-Stallworth had no problem kissing up to Trump. “Mr. Trump is a powerful mentor. He has taught me a great deal in the four years that I’ve known and worked with him,” she wrote in an e-mail to ITK. “He is tough on me, but that’s how I learn and grow.”

Known for her vicious demeanor on the original “Apprentice,” Manigault-Stallworth isn’t afraid to admit that viewers could see a return of her villainous TV personality.

“This season is going to be the most explosive ever! Let’s just say ... I’m baaaaack!!!” she wrote.  

When asked whom she supports in the presidential race, she replied that her dream tickets are Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) and Barack Obama (Ill.) for the Democrats and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice for the GOP.