Laura Barron-Lopez

It’s Still Difficult to Be Gay on the Hill

Even as corporate America becomes a more gay-friendly place, gay and lesbian employees on Capitol Hill say they still worry about a lack of legal protection against discrimination, vulnerability during heated political battles and whether to be open with their co-workers about their sexual orientation.

To deal with these issues, a group of gay staffers restarted the LGBT Congressional Staff Association last year after it had been dormant for the past few years.

First Openly Gay Ambassador Reflects on Political Statement

James Hormel’s motivating factor to be appointed as ambassador to Luxembourg was his sexual orientation. He became the first openly gay ambassador in 1999 after enduring a process he called “agonizing.”

In his book, “Fit to Serve: Reflections on a Secret Life, Private Struggle, and Public Battle to Become the First Openly Gay U.S. Ambassador,” Hormel chronicles his experiences as a father and husband and his years spent in the closet before finally coming out and the life of politics that followed.

Holland Taylor As Texas Favorite

Holland Taylor’s theatrical take on the late Ann Richards is, she says, not political.

“The play is not about politics, it’s not about women, it’s not about Texas,” said the playwright and star of “Ann,” a one-woman show that debuts Saturday at the Kennedy Center’s Eisenhower Theater and runs through Jan. 15. “It’s about a persona, it’s about a person who lived life full out, money, marbles and chalk, all in.”

Car Service Provides Uber Comfort, Efficiency
New Driver Service Being Offered in the District Allows Users to Request a Ride With Their Smartphone and Then Track the Driver’s Progress Online

A new technologically savvy private driver service launching today hopes to give taxicabs a run for their money on the Hill.

Since Nov. 18, Uber has quietly been building a client base and conducting beta testing in Washington, D.C.

Heard on the Hill: Nancy Pelosi’s Salon a Cut Above

Looming government shutdowns, confidence-shaking debt limit standoffs and divisive payroll tax melees may rattle rank-and-file Members. But absolutely nothing stops the impeccably coiffed House Minority Leader from tending to her famous ’do.

California Democrat Nancy Pelosi starts each and every morning with a quick trip to her daily hair appointment at the Four Seasons Salon, George.

Howard Coble Hospitalized With ‘Respiratory Illness’

Rep. Howard Coble, 80, was admitted to George Washington University Hospital today with a “respiratory illness,” his office announced.

The North Carolina Republican, who is serving his 14th term in Congress, has been fighting a cold for a week, his chief of staff said in a statement.
 
“He requested a leave of absence on Monday because he did not feel well enough to vote after his flight to D.C. was postponed by more than six hours yesterday in Greensboro,” Ed McDonald said. “When he did not feel any better today, he visited the Attending Physician in the Capitol, who made the determination to transport Congressman Coble” to the hospital.

Heard on the Hill: Take Five!

Every week, HOH gets to know a Member of Congress better through a series of five fun questions. This week, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) talks about Jell-O molds and one of her famous relatives.

Q: Fondest childhood memory?
A: It is probably around pets that I had while I was growing up. I was always an animal lover. I had two dogs, one cat, chicken, parakeet, assorted fish, turtles.

Marino Twice Tested by Cancer

One night in 2000, a decade before he became a Congressman, Tom Marino found himself writhing in pain as a colleague in the Lycoming County, Pa., district attorney’s office rushed him to the hospital.

He thought it was his appendix. The Pennsylvania Republican would soon find out he had kidney cancer.

Heard on the Hill: Take Five!

It’s Tuesday, the day when HOH gets to know a Member of Congress better through a series of five fun questions. This week, Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-La.), the Representative from the Big Easy, talks about the liquor he enjoys over ice cream and the frequency of alligators back home. (HOH Helpful Aside: Only 76 days until Mardi Gras.)

Q: Thoughts on the NBA coming back for Christmas? Who are you rooting for?
A:  It’s about time! Who else? Chris Paul and the New Orleans Hornets.

Coach: ‘Well-Spoken Woman’ Tough, Likable

There has never been a madam president, but when it happens, it will be because she followed a few simple rules, author and speech coach Christine Jahnke said. 

In her new book, “The Well-Spoken Woman,” Jahnke urges female politicians to refrain from being hesitant, to show resolve when faced with anxiety and to practice their responses to tricky questions — pretty good advice for male politicians, as well.

Heard on the Hill: Take Five!

It’s Tuesday, which means it’s time again for HOH to get to know a Member of Congress better through a series of five fun questions. This week, Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.) shows HOH that even a Member’s selection of roses can come with a historical reference and that she might one day opt for “La Dolce Vita.”

Q: What is your favorite book? Why?
A: For an English major, this is a patently unfair question. But if I’m forced to pick favorites, I’d go with the genre of books that focus on the nation’s founding. I especially enjoy the writings of David McCullough and the book “Founding Brothers” [by author Joseph J. Ellis].
 
Q: What kinds of flowers and/or plants do you plant in your garden?
A: Since I have a large yard and garden, I’ve been able to plant them full of almost every perennial that will grow in North Carolina’s High Country. I’m especially fond of the most fragrant flowers, my favorites being gardenias and the Mister Lincoln Rose, which is a classic and very fragrant rose.

Heart Gallery Displays the Faces of Foster Care

A group of 50 foster children will look for a second chance on the Hill this week.

Photos of the children, one from each state, will be in the Russell Rotunda through Friday to draw attention to National Adoption Month. The exhibit was put together by the National Heart Gallery, a nonprofit group that promotes adoption throughout the country. Similar displays have helped place foster kids with permanent families.

Capitol Police Defeat Members, 27-14

Despite a late comeback push by Members of Congress at Wednesday night’s 5th Biennial Congressional Football Game, the Capitol Police were able to hold on for a 27-14 victory.

Members fell behind, 27-0, but managed to put two touchdowns on the board in the second half before time got away.

Congressional Football Game Supports Charities
Game Pits Capitol Police Against Members, With Help From Professionals

The time for tackles, 90-yard returns, interceptions, sacks, fumbles, 60-yard completions and touchdowns is here. 

It’s football season and many in Washington, D.C., have been waiting for Wednesday night’s big showdown between Congress and the Capitol Police. 

Heard on the Hill: Take Five!

Every week, HOH gets to know a Member of Congress better through five fun questions. This week, Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-N.C.) talks about dessert and being a nurse.

Q: How is the first year in office treating you?

Doctors Ask Congress to Revamp Dietary Priorities

Two doctors who helped Bill Clinton swap burgers for salads urged Members of Congress to do the same Tuesday evening.

Drs. Colin Campbell and Caldwell Esselstyn told an audience in the Rayburn House Office Building that a plant-based diet not only is healthier but could cut America’s health care and agriculture costs by billions.

Former N.H. Rep. Perkins Bass Dies

Perkins Bass, a decorated World War II veteran and former New Hampshire Congressman, died Tuesday at the age of 99.

Politics was a family business for Bass, whose father served as governor of New Hampshire and whose son is Rep. Charles Bass (R-N.H.). A Republican, he served in Congress from 1955 to 1962, when he retired after an unsuccessful run for Senate.

Martinez, Former California Representative, Dead at 82

Former Rep. Matthew "Marty" Martinez of California died Saturday in his home in Virginia at the age of 82.

After winning a special election in 1982 to fill the seat resigned by Rep. George Danielson, Martinez was re-elected eight times.

Speechwriter Moves From Politics to Fiction
Former Republican Speechwriter Draws on His Experience in the Political World to Inform and Move His Plots

Ben Coes used to write speeches. Now he writes thrillers.

A former campaign manager for Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, Coes decided to move into the world of fiction, using his political experience as a backdrop.

Heard on the Hill: Who’s to Blame for Partisan Divide?

A new documentary featuring several Members of Congress confirms we are living in a politically polarized time.

You’re completely gobsmacked, we know.