By Betsy Rothstein - 07/07/08 05:35 PM EDT
Political types spent the congressional recess traveling to Cork, Ireland, for the wedding of Marcie Ridgway, chief of staff for the Department of Education, and Will Kinzel, director of governmental affairs for the Republican National Committee. Ridgway is a former aide to GOP Reps. Sam Johnson (Texas) and Dave Camp (Mich.) and to Sen. George Voinovich (R-Ohio).
The couple wed on June 30 at St. Patrick’s Church, where the bride’s great-grandparents were married in 1888.
Kinzel’s best man was Josh Holly, GOP spokesman for the House Armed Services Committee. Among the groomsmen was Taylor Griffin, who will join Sen. John McCain’s (R-Ariz.) presidential campaign communications team.
Wedding activities included a small golf tournament at a club in Cork followed by dinner at an Irish pub. Brian Walsh, spokesman to Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), was on the winning team. Those who didn’t golf visited Blarney Castle to kiss the stone.
The wedding itself was nothing short of spectacular and held at Maryborough, an old mansion. The gathering included 120 family members from the United States, England, Australia and Ireland. Most guests stayed at the mansion.
One attendee said, “It was a fabulous gathering of people who know Marcie and Will the best from all points in their lives. You could feel the love and excitement from everyone there.”
The guest added, “The entire town of Cork seemed to know about the wedding. Even the cab drivers at the airport were asking folks if they were in town for the wedding. And Irish well-wishers cheered outside the church and honked horns after the ceremony.”
Other D.C. folks who attended: Rebecca Spicer, a bridesmaid and spokeswoman for the National Beer Wholesalers Association; Tim Young, a groomsman who works for the Office of Management and Budget; and Kristin Bannerman, another bridesmaid, who works for Educate Online.
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DeGette’s sexy new book
Even though the word “sex” is in the title of Rep. Diana DeGette’s (D-Colo.) new book, don’t expect to read any passages that would rival Sen. Jim Webb’s (D-Va.) romance writing. (Some may recall Webb’s steamy fictitious encounters that became fodder in his 2006 Senate campaign.)
Parts of Sex, Science and Stem Cells: Inside the Right Wing Assault on Reason are about as titillating as a pamphlet you’d pick up at your gynecologist’s office — but that’s not to say the book isn’t entertaining.
DeGette rails on the government’s abstinence-only education programs, saying they are a “misguided effort to take us back to an ‘Ozzie and Harriet’ age of innocence that never really existed in the first place.”
“To paraphrase Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., my hero, I have a dream that someday we will be able to talk about sex education like rational adults, and that we will institute and fund science-based programs that deter teens from having early and ill-advised sex, while still preparing them for the challenges they will face in this twenty-first century,” she writes.
She recounts the battle she took up with her Republican colleagues, in particular Sen. Tom Coburn (Okla.), about putting warning labels on condom packages. “I heard this and thought, ‘Warning labels on condom packages? What in God’s name will these people think of next?’ ” DeGette writes.
The congresswoman tells of the conclusion she came to in light of the condom-label tug-of-war with her conservative colleagues. It’s from a song in the movie “Horsefeathers”: “I don’t know what they have to say/ It makes no difference anyway … Whatever it is, I’m against it!”
DeGette’s book hits shelves early next month.
MasterCard lobbyist plays in PGA Pro-Am
Golfing in your backyard: Free.
Golfing with friends at Hains Point: $30.
Playing in the AT&T National Pro-Am hosted by Tiger Woods at Congressional Country Club: Priceless.
Tucker Foote, vice president at MasterCard Worldwide, was granted a spot to play in the Pro-Am last Wednesday before the PGA’s AT&T National golf tournament. His team was paired with pro-golfer George McNeill and finished tied for fifth place out of some 60 teams.
Foote picked up golf while working on the House Financial Services Committee staff, where he worked for three years prior to joining the Washington office of MasterCard in 2005. His caddie was his close friend, Michael O’Brien, lobbyist for PriceWaterhouseCoopers.
Wyden, once mistaken for Schumer, now a Rockefeller look-alike
A new congressional radio reporter recently had a bumpy introduction to Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.).
As the senator strode off a second-floor Capitol elevator to head for a vote, the reporter shouted, “Mr. Rockefeller, can I ask you a question?”
ITK knows from experience the difficulty of identifying 535 members of Congress and the embarrassment of making such a mistake. Apparently, Wyden could feel the reporter’s pain, too.
He laughed off her mistaking him for Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) and answered, “I’m Ron Wyden, but there’s another tall guy coming.”
As he left the Senate floor, Wyden said he had no hard feelings toward the reporter, pointing out that he and Rockefeller are both on the Select Committee on Intelligence and are both taller than average. He also said he has more often been confused with Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), especially when Wyden was a member of the House.
“[Former House Speaker] Tip O’Neill always used to call me ‘Chuck,’ ” Wyden said.
Rep. Berkley shows off square red dice purse
You can take the lawmaker out of Las Vegas, but you cannot take Las Vegas out of Rep. Shelley Berkley (D-Nev.). Berkley was recently spotted in the Capitol on her way to a vote carrying a square box red purse with white dice dots.
“I doubt it’s a Gucci, it’s a schlocky Las Vegasy [thing],” she said on an elevator ride up to the second floor. “I can’t tell you how many people have asked me to buy them one. It just goes to show you, bad taste is universal.”