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Montana Republicans: Sober in Kazakhstan

In town for a charity event, Philadelphia 76er Allen Iverson, NBA rookie of the year LeBron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Houston Rockets’ Tracy McGrady, aka “T-Mac,” had some fun schooling the usual suspects at the club.

Lawyer Lobbyist Thad Strom, a lobbyist with Parry Romani Deconcini & Symms, had the pleasure of guarding Iverson during the game.

“He was toying with me like a cat on a string!” Strom said, laughing at how Iverson magically dribbled the ball between Strom’s legs, around him and straight to the basket.

At one point, Iverson cut backdoor on Strom, caught a pass and went up for what was probably the easiest slam dunk he’s ever had. But Iverson refused to take such trash to the can. Instead of dunking it, Iverson let the ball drop gently to the floor and he turned condescendingly to Strom and said, “That’s a bucket.”

But Strom loved every minute of it and said he didn’t play so badly against Iverson. “I did strip the ball from him once,” he said. And we believe him: It probably was just once.

On a more self-deprecating note, Strom said, “Maybe he’s preparing for the Olympics where he’ll be guarded by slow, white Europeans.”

Strom, incidentally, a former GOP chief counsel on the Senate Judiciary Committee, is something like a fourth cousin two-and a-half times removed to late Sen. Strom Thurmond (R-S.C.). Both Stroms are from Edgefield, S.C. The lobbyist once worked in the Senator’s office. And it was Strom — Thad Strom, that is — who held the infamous 100th birthday party for his distant cousin that ended up costing Sen. Trent Lott (R-Miss.) his leadership job for saying he wished Strom — the Dixiecrat, that is — had won the presidency and taken the country in a different direction.

Gallery Fight Fallout. Neither New York Post reporter Vince Morris nor CBS cameraman P.G. Cuong have been punished, as far as we know, by their news agencies or their member galleries for their participation in the Big Fight in the Senate Radio-TV Gallery last week. But the Executive Committee of the Radio-Television Galleries unanimously adopted a motion this week warning its members that they’d better behave or else risk getting their credentials yanked.

“The Executive Committee wishes to remind all members of the Congressional Radio-TV Galleries that they are expected to maintain decorum while on the Capitol grounds and within the Capitol complex. Inappropriate behavior is unacceptable and may result in sanctions up to and including the loss of congressional media credentials.”

Word of the executive committee’s action was released by Lawrence Janezich, director of the Senate Radio-TV Gallery, to which Cuong remains a credentialed member (as long as he refrains from trying to choke other reporters.)

The Executive Committee of the Congressional Press Galleries, where Morris is a credentialed member, has not released a statement on the matter.

HOH is still working on a name for the tussle, and suggestions are welcome. How about, The Duel by the Press Pool?

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