Roskam’s wife paints intricate oil canvas for her husband

Elizabeth Roskam, wife of freshman Rep. Peter Roskam (R-Ill.), has gifted her husband with an oil painting she has been slaving over the past nine months. She finished the painting last week and promptly delivered it to her husband’s fifth-floor office in the Cannon building.

The painting’s content was born of her husband’s congressional race. “We really had a fun time in the campaign — even though it was a tough campaign — so I did a whimsical campaign scene and included people who were in and out of the campaign,” she said.

The Roskams and their four children are in the painting, as is Matt Vriesema, Roskam’s press secretary, who worked on the campaign. “It’s like a ‘Where’s Waldo?’” said Vriesema, who added that he thinks he looks slightly different in the painting than in real life.

“I’m a little skinny,” he said of the artist’s depiction of him. “I think I have more muscles in my arms, but it’s probably pretty accurate."

Jason Roe, a lobbyist with the Federal Strategy Group who was Roskam’s campaign manager, is also in the painting. The artist put him in a Michigan State University hat to reflect his diehard Spartan tendencies — the school wouldn’t accept him — but “humbled him” by dressing him in blue and maize, the colors of rival University of Michigan.

Other campaign aides, including Dean Thompson, Roskam’s legislative correspondent, and Brigitta Johnson, Roskam’s scheduler, are also in the painting.

David Mork, Roskam’s senior legislative assistant, and Mork’s then-girlfriend and now-wife Kirsten Mork are entwined in the painting. After meeting on the campaign trail for Roskam, the two worked together in the congressman’s office until they decided to marry.

Kirsten then landed another job as an associate lobbyist for Roe’s Federal Strategy Group.  

Elizabeth Roskam is pleased her husband has the painting front and center in his office. “It’s something Peter can look at when he’s at his desk, a reminder of the fun times of the campaign.”  


The Second Amendments to perform at Newseum

The House band comprising Reps. Kenny Hulshof (R-Mo.), Thaddeus McCotter (R-Mich.), Collin Peterson (D-Minn.), Jon Porter (R-Nev.) and Dave Weldon (R-Fla.) are scheduled to play the Newseum on June 6 as a prelude to the 2008 Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure the following day.  

So far, 31 Capitol Hill teams are participating in the race, which generates money for breast cancer research. People can register as individuals or teams at www.nationalraceforthecure.org .

Actresses Cynthia Nixon (“Sex and the City”) and Gabrielle Union (“Bring it On,” “Bad Boys II”), who serve as ambassadors for the organization, will be among the celebs at both the eve of race party and the race; and singer/songwriter Vanessa Carlton will perform on race day.


Inouye to tie the knot on Saturday

Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii), 83, is planning to wed on Saturday in Los Angeles.

In a very private church ceremony, Inouye will marry Irene Hirano, 59, president and CEO of the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles.

It’s uncertain whether the senator will have a bachelor party. Upon being asked, Inouye spokesman Mike Yuen’s reply was a gale of laughter. The couple will honeymoon along the California coast north of Los Angeles.

Though few lawmakers are expected to attend the wedding, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) announced on the Senate floor Wednesday morning that Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) is going to be Inouye’s best man.

But the affair will be small, Inouye’s office assures. The senator is extremely private and doesn’t rush to appear on camera. This is much to the dismay of Hawaiian television stations, which have been begging for video of the wedding, said a spokesman in Inouye’s office. In lieu of video, the stations want still shots. But neither Inouye nor his staff will be providing photographs.

Hints about what the senator and his bride will wear appeared in an April story in The Honolulu Advertiser. Inouye plans to wear a dark suit, while Hirano will wear a white suit.

[After the print version came out, ITK was informed that Sen. Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) will not be the best man for Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii), as stated by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) Wednesday morning. Inouye’s son, Ken, will be the best man.]


Wilson the wrathful weight watcher: ‘I’m miserable’


If you think Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) is looking leaner these days, it’s because he has recently lost 13 pounds on what he’s calling a modified Atkins diet.

And if you think Wilson has been snippy these days, it’s also because of the diet.

“I’m miserable,” he said while updating one of his sons on his weight-loss progress during a cell phone call outside the House floor.

What’s motivating the congressman to watch his figure? Not the upcoming swimsuit season.

One of Wilson’s sons is getting married in June, and Wilson said he doesn’t want to look like a penguin at the wedding.

The worst part is going to all the Hill events and having to bypass the plentiful food buffets for the few food items permitted by the Atkins diet, he said.

“If you get between me and the cheese, there might be bodily injury,” Wilson said. “When I go to receptions and dinners, the moment the desserts come out, they have to carry me out of the room.”

Those around Wilson should continue to stay on guard; the congressman would like to lose six more pounds.