Casting director seeks single female Hill aides for reality shows

A mystery cable network that cannot yet be disclosed is seeking single women who work in politics for two new reality TV pilots.

The casting director is poring through recent editions of The Hill’s 50 Most Beautiful and has singled out Kristina Spiegel, an aide to Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), for a possible spot. Spiegel was No. 10 on this year’s list.

The show descriptions, as told to ITK by Jared Williams, casting director for Cast Iron Productions, are as follows:

1) Four political women who are all about to turn 30 “that are all hot.”

2) One woman between 26 and 36 who is a Bridget Jones-meets-Carrie Bradshaw-meets-Mary Tyler Moore type. She “needs to be single, dating and trying to make her way up on the Hill.”

To be considered for the shows, potential cast members must send in a 10-minute DVD on why they believe they would be good for the show, and describe an “average crazy” day in their life.

Send to: Jared Williams, 11400 West Olympic Blvd. Suite 200, Los Angeles, CA, 90064.


Sen. Kennedy to receive special Harvard degree

Sen. Edward Kennedy has had many honors during his long political career.

But the Massachusetts Democrat, now in his ninth term and 46th year in the Senate, is about to receive an honor from his alma mater that may top all others in terms of exclusivity.

Harvard University will award an honorary degree on Dec. 1 to the 76-year-old Kennedy, the second most senior member of the Senate, who was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor earlier this year.

Because Harvard rarely hands out honorary degrees at any time other than spring commencement, Kennedy will join very special company when he receives his. He will be only the fourth person to receive the award at a time other than commencement.

The others? George Washington, Winston Churchill and Nelson Mandela.

Gen. Douglas MacArthur would have been a fifth member of this ultra-exclusive club, but he declined to accept the honor.



National search under way for political look-alikes

This Halloween could be one to remember at a Halloween party at the Doubletree Hotel in Bethesda, where Ron Smith’s Los Angeles-based celebrity look-alikes firm is recruiting political look-alikes.

Wanted celebrity matches include GOP vice presidential candidate and Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) and wife, Michelle, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and wife, Cindy, conservative pundit Ann Coulter, MSNBC’s Chris Matthews and Fox News’s Bill O’Reilly.

“No masks,” stressed Carolyn Denero, who is helping coordinate the event. “You have to look like the person you want to look like.”

The event begins at 9 p.m. Register by calling 301-213-2050.


Naughty website uses Lieberman name

A lot of Democrats have been frustrated with Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.). But someone must be really angry. A visit to JoeLiebermansucks.com is hardly political. (Be forewarned that you may not want to visit with your boss peering over your shoulder.)

The site bears a naked woman with options to seek 25 raunchy porn sites — for free.

Contrary to the Lieberman site, sites such as BarackObamasucks.com and JohnMcCainsucks.com conjure other things. The Obama version brings up Google’s homepage; McCain’s reveals a blank white page with the phrase, “Sucks.com to be Relaunched in Fall/Winter 2008.”

Lieberman’s office did not have a comment regarding the site. Scott Overland, Lieberman’s deputy press secretary, choked on laughter and shock after clicking on the site. “Let me check if we have a reaction,” he said. “My gut feeling is we won’t.”


Cornyn campaign manager calls Rep. Garrett ‘a nut’


Sen. John Cornyn’s (R-Texas) campaign manager, Rob Jesmer, earlier this week referred to Rep. Scott Garrett (R-N.J.) as a “nut.”

Holly Shulman, press secretary to Senate Democratic candidate Rick Noriega, who is challenging Cornyn, gathered the proof on tape. Shulman is the daughter of New Jersey Democratic congressional candidate Dennis Shulman, whose opponent is Garrett.

Holly Shulman taped Jesmer at a rally in Houston. Shulman said Jesmer approached and asked, “Hey, Holly, how’s your father’s race going?” During that conversation he said twice that Garrett is “a nut.”

She was elated to hear that from a GOP operative. “No, I’m not surprised,” she told ITK. “Garrett has an extreme record that is extreme for New Jersey. Even Republicans think he’s out of step.”

When asked if she was happy to use Jesmer’s words to support her father, she replied, “Clearly I’m supporting my dad for Congress.”

After taping Jesmer, she phoned her father’s communications director, who told her to send the tape.

Eventually her father phoned to inquire about it. She reported that he said simply, “Oh, that’s interesting.”

Jesmer is a former national political director to GOP presidential candidate Sen. John McCain (Ariz.).

Garrett spokeswoman Amanda Gasperino had no comment except to say, “Sorry, really busy today.” Jesmer did not return calls by press time.


Jackson Lee’s website links to plus-size brassieres


Those who visit Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee’s (D-Texas) website are in for a real treat, including links to where to purchase plus-size bras, hot deals on women’s shoes and the more serious issue of “Dafur” (indeed, the war-torn region of Sudan is missing an R on the website).

The problem appears to be that a click on the Congressional Black Caucus icon on Jackson Lee’s site turns up shopping opportunities such as the aforementioned bras and shoes.

Looks like the webmaster in Jackson Lee’s office is asleep at the wheel. Plug in www.thecongressionalblackcaucus.com and a visitor arrives to the real Congressional Black Caucus webpage, complete with a welcoming photograph of CBC Chairwoman Carolyn Kilpatrick (D-Mich.).

Jackson Lee’s spokeswoman did not return calls by press time.


Deep thoughts with Kucinich and Etheridge

Fear and love.

Those were the predominant topics at a fundraiser in Cleveland last week where Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) and singer Melissa Etheridge took the stage at a run-down theater and engaged in conversation.

“We’re about to elect an African-American president,” Etheridge said. “That’s going to turn us upside-down; that is going to catapult us past all our fears. … I still believe that love is stronger than fear.”

Added Kucinich: “This is a moment where we can challenge people’s resistance in a way that is loving.”

For an hour, the two went back and forth, speaking to a mainly lesbian audience on a host of issues, with gay rights dominating the conversation. (Kucinich was the only presidential candidate to support gay marriage.)

The congressman gave a touching shout-out to his wife, Elizabeth, describing her as “a woman who helped pull this together, a woman who pulled my life together.”

A poignant moment in the evening came when a lesbian bar owner in the audience told the story of a woman who worked at her bar who needed health insurance to get medication she needed to survive. Within 30 days of phoning Kucinich’s office, the woman got her medicine.

The evening was full of high praise for Kucinich.

“Congressman Kucinich is probably the most important member of Congress right now,” said Etheridge, who strongly encouraged voters to send Kucinich back to Washington.

Kucinich was confident but not cocky. “I think I’m in pretty good shape, but this election isn’t guaranteed,” he said.