Young's wife auctions her famous T-shirt

In something of a twist on the popular slogan, Beverly Young went to Washington in a lousy T-shirt and all she got was arrested.

In something of a twist on the popular slogan, Beverly Young went to Washington in a lousy T-shirt and all she got was arrested.

The wife of Rep. Bill Young (R-Fla.) famously showed up to this year’s State of the Union address in a “Support Our Troops” shirt, only to be ejected by Capitol Police. But at least she’s spinning the now-notorious cotton garment into something positive.

At the Armed Services Foundation’s second annual gala Thursday, Mrs. Young auctioned off the shirt to benefit the foundation, where she serves as a member of the executive board.

And the winner? It was Denny Miller, president of Denny Miller Associates, who paid $3,400 for the one-of-a-kind piece of political memorabilia. The money will go toward assisting injured soldiers and their families.

Now if Cindy Sheehan would only auction off the anti-war shirt that got her booted from the chamber the same night. …


Auction of lobbyist’s art brings in $10k

A silent auction of lobbyist Dan Berger’s art has raised more than $10,000 for arts programs at the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Washington.

Berger, a lobbyist with the National Association of Federal Credit Unions and a part-time painter, had been showing 22 of his works at Palette restaurant in the Madison Hotel since March.

As the show wrapped up, the paintings were put up for auction online.

“Every single one of them” sold, Berger said, including a few that inspired a “little bidding war.”

Bidders and buyers, many of them friends of the artist, hailed from D.C., Florida, Alabama, New York and even Canada. The most expensive piece was a large canvas titled “Lonely,” which depicts a lone figure next to a lamppost, shrouded in fog. It fetched $2,750.

“Our goal was to raise $5,000 for the Boys & Girls Clubs,” said Berger’s wife, Aimee. “We ended up raising $10,300!”

She said money from the art auction will go toward the club’s educational initiatives, with a focus on the cultural arts. 


Be afraid; be very afraid ... of the typos

What a difference three letters can make.

By incorrectly paraphrasing Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) this weekend, the Associated Press nearly reversed his position on the war.

Covering the Iowa Republican convention, the AP paraphrased Brownback as saying, “Republicans should be afraid of backing the war.”

That was news to Brownback, who supports the military efforts in Iraq.

The AP corrected the story within eight minutes to read that Brownback thinks Republicans “should not be afraid of backing the war,” according to Brownback’s office. But the damage had been done, in that some of AP’s member news outlets picked up the mistaken dispatch.

Just to be sure, Brownback’s office put out a statement yesterday clarifying that he encourages “all Americans to support the troops and to support efforts to defeat the terrorists abroad before they can attack us at home again.”


Sec. Rice, Sen. Clinton make men’s dinner lists

American men would rather have dinner with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice than Angelina Jolie, Julia Roberts or Faith Hill.

Esquire magazine commissioned a survey by Beta Research Corp. of 1,083 American men over age 25. Among other questions, respondents were given a list of 14 men and 14 women and asked to assemble a dinner table of six guests — three of each.

Thirty-five percent named Rice, ahead of Oprah Winfrey (33 percent) and Jolie (30 percent). Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) would be sitting with 21 percent of men.

Among famous men, “Tonight Show” host Jay Leno was the most popular choice, with 37 percent. President Bush, former President Clinton and actor George Clooney were tied for second with 36 percent. Vice President Cheney was down the list with 16 percent, behind “Daily Show” host Jon Stewart (27 percent) and Fox News’s Bill O’Reilly (18 percent).


Rep. Barrett’s fundraiser: Shagalicious romps & more

We were taken aback last week when we saw a notice for Rep. Gresham Barrett’s (R-S.C.) annual “Shag n’ Eat” fundraiser today. Sounds like a decadent scene out of the late Roman Empire, filtered through “Austin Powers” slang.

But no. As South Carolinians surely know, and Northerners like me surely don’t, the shag is the state dance of the Palmetto State, a variation on the swing that originated on Myrtle Beach in the 1930s.

Darrell Scott, a Barrett aide, said a South Carolina band is coming up to play beach music for the event, at the American Legion hall on the Hill.

Contributors to the $1,000-per-person event will feast on shrimp and grits, sweet tea and banana pudding, which we assume they’ll then work off on the dance floor.

Shagging not your bag? You can get your calories elsewhere today. Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) hosts his annual Issa Cream reception at the Associated General Contractors (AGC) house ($1,000 per PAC, $500 per person).

Rep. Bobby Jindal (R-La.) holds his second Louisiana Swamp Romp on the rooftop of 401 9th St. ($25 for individuals!).

And Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R-Ga.) hosts a Georgia Peaches and Peanuts lunch at the AGC townhouse ($1,000 per PAC, $500 per person). Attendees are promised the congressman’s “signature Vidalia onion and peanut butter sandwiches.”



Matheson: Take this raise, don’t give it

It’s rare that we see a release from a member touting his six-year record of failure on an issue, but that’s what Rep. Jim Matheson (D-Utah) issued last week on the topic of congressional pay increases.

Since he was elected to Congress in 2000, Matheson has crusaded against the automatic pay increases that members receive each year unless they are voted down (they never are). Last week, he tried again, to no avail.

Matheson’s procedural motion to force a vote on the increase as part of debate on the transportation-treasury-HUD appropriations bill failed on a 249-167 vote. As a result, members will receive a 2 percent raise in January, upping their salaries by $3,300 to $168,500.

Matheson has said he’ll donate his increase to Utah charities this fall, as he has every year in the past.

“With gas prices high and mortgage rates rising, most Utahns are looking for ways to economize,” Matheson said. “Congress could do with some belt-tightening in Washington. Let’s have an open debate about whether or not Congress deserves a pay raise this year.”

Late last year, Matheson and Rep. Todd Platts (R-Pa.) introduced a bill that would eliminate the automatic pay raises. It has but three other co-sponsors.