Meet the lawmaker: Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.)

If you weren’t yourself, which lawmaker would you like to be?
Rep. Pascrell: Who’s the head of the Judiciary Committee? [Rep. John] Conyers [Jr. (D-Mich.)]. He’s cool. He knows what he’s talking about. And Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.).

In a perfect world, would there be any Republicans?
Rep. Pascrell: Sure, absolutely. Some of the guys I discuss with, have a beer with, have a cigar with, are Republicans. It’s not the first thing I ask. If you’re unfortunate to be a Republican, you’re unfortunate to be a Republican.

What was your biggest political mistake?
Rep. Pascrell: In October of 2002, voting to support the commander in chief. A year and a half later I admitted the mistake. I’m a big boy now. Now I’m doing everything I can to bring the troops home.

Last book you read?
Rep. Pascrell:The Happiest Man in the World. Don’t ask me who the author is. It’s a great book on human values. It’s anti-materialist. I’m not a materialist. And Don DeLillo’s Falling Man. I love his writings. He went to Fordham University, where I went.

Were you in a fraternity there?
Rep. Pascrell: There were no fraternities. They were not allowed. So we drank at random.

Did you ever smoke marijuana?
Rep. Pascrell: Never in my whole life. I had no desire to try it. And I have a zero tolerance for drugs.

How many autographs do you sign a year?
Rep. Pascrell: As a former teacher, I go to schools and sign a lot. The kids love the autographs. I taught 12 years in high school and college. I love kids.

Did you ever say to them, “Do you know who I am?”
Rep. Pascrell: Some kids have said, “Aren’t you the president?”

Do you have children?
Rep. Pascrell: Three. Two lawyers and one who escaped — an economic forecaster. He’s sort of like his father — kind of weird.

Do you believe in UFOs?
Rep. Pascrell: No. I do believe in poltergeists. They are 3-D ghosts, evidenced when material things move in a house. I’ve seen it.

Has God ever spoken to you?
Rep. Pascrell: No. I pray. I’m not going to be pretentious, but I know that there is a God. As deeply as I believe in prayer, I have a better chance of poltergeists talking to me.

What’s your favorite chore around the house?
Rep. Pascrell: Changing the spring water bottle. I don’t mind shopping as long as it’s few and far between.

Do you cook?
Rep. Pascrell: No. There’s no food in the apartment. I won’t permit it. The guys come over to the apartment and play cards. They bring stuff.