WE HEAR: An eclectic group of political players — including James Carville, former GOP presidential candidate Newt GingrichNewton (Newt) Leroy GingrichMORE, GOP political consultant Mary Matalin, Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) and Housing Secretary Julian Castro, among others — is poised to come together to talk housing.

The Bipartisan Policy Center is hosting a summit on housing called “Housing America’s Future: New Directions for National Policy” on Monday and Tuesday in downtown Washington.


Word is former Sen. Kit Bond (R-Mo.), former Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell (D-Maine), former Rep. Rick Lazio (R-N.Y.), Bipartisan Policy Center President Jason Grumet, former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Henry Cisneros, former Sen. Mel Martinez (R-Fla.), Office of Management and Budget Director Shaun Donovan, former U.S. Trade Representative Carla Hills and former Oklahoma Gov. Frank Keating (R) will also be there.

Our source says, in “keeping with the bipartisan theme” the event will also feature a special guest. One-time “American Idol” contestant Ayla Brown, the daughter of former Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.), will kick off the summit with the National Anthem along with some of her country music tunes.