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Shoeless Katherine, Redux

Just when you thought it couldn’t get any crazier for Rep. Katherine Harris (R-Fla.) and Co., it has. Her latest shoeless episode, the one last week in which a Prince Charming-like intern was spotted hurriedly delivering a pair of heels to the Congresswoman off the House floor, has a couple of more bizarre twists to it. A flurry of mishaps, essentially, that involved a shoeshine stand and a car wreck.

The tale begins at the shoeshine stand near the Rotunda of the Cannon House Office Building. An eyewitness there said a young blonde guy walked up looking for a pair of shoes that apparently had been dropped off to be shined.

“What kind of shoes?” the employee asked. “Women’s shoes,” the young man replied, provoking a quizzical look from the woman working the shoeshine stand. The aide explained he was looking for a pair of shoes belonging to “Congresswoman Katherine Harris,” our informant said.

He took the shoes and rushed toward the Capitol, where, along the way, he was spotted by a reporter for the Kansas City Star who reported on the newspaper’s Web log that he saw a “strapping young man” hurrying across the Capitol complex “holding a stylish pair of mid-heel blue-and-white ladies’ shoes.”

A Capitol Police officer stopped the young man and asked where he worked, according to the Star reporter. “Congresswoman Katherine Harris of Florida,” the young aide replied.

It is still unclear what, if any, shoes Harris was wearing at the time, though being shoeless in the House seems unreal. Regardless, the shoe caper doesn’t end there.

A source tells HOH that while the shoe carrier was inside the Capitol, another Harris aide, a staff assistant, was driving the Congresswoman’s brown convertible BMW over to the Capitol to pick up the tow-headed shoe carrier. And, of course, the staff assistant got rear-ended on the way over to the House.

As if that weren’t enough, after he picked up the shoe carrier, who we are told is an intern, the aide who was driving got pulled over by a Capitol Police officer and was given a $40 ticket for “distracted driving.”

The highest-ranking staffer left in Harris’ office did not return phone and e-mail messages seeking comment. And a police officer in the Capitol Police documents room said she could not locate the report without more information. (She had left for the day when we tried her back Friday afternoon.)

All we can say is that last week’s shoe caper wasn’t all that surprising. Last month, if you recall, we reported that one of our spies spotted a well-dressed but shoeless Harris standing in front of her house on Sixth Street Northeast peering through the mail slot, shouting, “Let me in!”

We’re not saying that the incident is a metaphor for her relationship to the Republican Party or anything. We’re just saying...

Spelling Bee Blunder. The Democratic challenger to Rep. Deborah Pryce (R-Ohio) was quick to jump all over a new Pryce TV ad in which her campaign — drum roll, please — misspelled Pryce’s name.

The campaign of Mary Jo Kilroy gleefully sent out a press release, complete with a frame-grab photo of the ad showing a smiling Pryce with a “U.S. Congress” logo. And underneath, in uppercase letters, her name: “DEBOARAH PRYCE” with an extra “a.”

The ad was Pryce’s first TV ad of the campaign season in her tougher-than-expected re-election bid.

“Deborah Pryce and her campaign are so ‘wildly’ out of touch, they don’t even know who they are anymore, or even how to spell the candidate’s name,” said Scott Kozar, campaign manager for Kilroy. “Just so we are clear, as any true Buckeye knows, Ohio is spelled O-H-I-O.”

A spokesman for Pryce’s campaign, John DeStefano, laughed off the mistake, sending an e-mail saying, “We all knew Mary Jo Kilroy was a tax raising ulta [sic] liberal, but who would have guessed she was ortographobic as well?”

Since he sent the e-mail from his BlackBerry, we’re not going to hold that typo against him! And although we had never heard of the word “ortographobic” and could not find it in the dictionary, we knew what he meant: Kilroy has a fear of spelling!

Wynn-Win Situation. Rep. Albert Wynn (D-Md.) lured 1,000 supporters to a fundraiser at the gilded new Camelot of Upper Marlboro catering facility in Maryland on Friday — just across the street from the Six Flags amusement park — with the promise of a keynote address from former Virginia Gov. Doug Wilder (D).

But Wilder couldn’t make it. As the mayor of Richmond, he had to monitor ongoing budget negotiations in the state House. So Wynn, rather sheepishly, offered up a substitute.

Noting the supporters of Baltimore Mayor Martin O’Malley in the room — O’Malley being one of two major candidates seeking the Democratic gubernatorial nomination in Maryland — Wynn confessed to being in “a little bit of an awkward situation ... this gets a little touchy.”

He nevertheless introduced the stand-in: O’Malley’s Democratic primary opponent, Montgomery County executive Doug Duncan, whom Wynn supports in the gubernatorial race.

“I figured if I couldn’t give you Doug Wilder, I’d at least give you half of what I promised and give you Doug Duncan,” he told the crowd.

A handful of attendees appeared dismayed and left. But O’Malley’s lieutenant governor selection, state Del. Anthony Brown (D), was not among them.

“Albert is doing what he should be doing,” Brown said. “He’s endorsed a candidate, and he’s giving him an incredible forum. It’s totally appropriate.”

Josh Kurtz contributed to this report.

Please send your hot tips, juicy gossip or comments to hoh@rollcall.com.

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