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Roll Call

Member Mistaken, Cop Unhurt

Another female member of the Congressional Black Caucus went unrecognized by a Capitol Police officer Wednesday. This time it was Rep. Corrine Brown (D-Fla.) who wasn’t wearing her Congressional lapel pin. But, then again, she hadn’t changed her hairstyle, either.

Brown was stopped as she entered the Cannon House Office Building on Wednesday morning to attend the weekly Democratic Caucus meeting. When the Congresswoman walked into the building and around the metal detector, as Members are allowed to do, an officer — also a black woman — stopped Brown and asked for identification.

“If you don’t recognize me, call your supervisor,” a clearly irritated Brown said, according to eyewitnesses.

Another officer on the scene quickly confirmed that Brown was indeed a Member of Congress, and Brown went on her way.

Brown’s chief of staff, Ronnie Simmons, who was with the Congresswoman at the time, said he thinks the officer may have been new and “just didn’t recognize” Brown. He said the Congresswoman could understand how, with so many Members going through that door at one time, an officer might not know all their faces.

However, he said, “I think the officer was a little bit curt with the Congresswoman.” Simmons said his boss feels that the Capitol Police officers “probably need just a little more sensitivity training.”

Brown will not be seeking to have the officer reprimanded or take any other type of action. “Definitely nothing to be done,” Simmons said.

And while a police source expressed frustration with Brown’s immediate reaction to the officer on the scene, he said officers don’t want to make a big deal about it for fear of losing focus on the Rep. Cynthia McKinney (D-Ga.) case.

Although McKinney was not indicted for her alleged assault of a Capitol Police officer, police union officials want the House ethics committee to investigate the matter.

What He’s Thinking. Fresh off his conviction in the Jack Abramoff lobbying scandal, former Bush administration procurement chief David Safavian sent a poignant e-mail to friends Wednesday describing himself as “numb — sort of an emotional paralysis” and saying he’s now going to focus on his legal defense fund for an appeal in the case.

Below is the full text of Safavian’s e-mail, which was forwarded to HOH:

“As just about everyone knows by now, the jury returned a verdict yesterday. I have been convicted of four of the five counts, including one count of obstructing an agency investigation (the GSA inspector general). This is the charge that, if upheld, carries some measure of prison time.

“The judge will sentence me in October. But before then, the legal team is working on post-trial motions to dismiss. (You may recall that we made a motion to dismiss before the trial, and the judge reserved his decision until the verdict came in.) We will be fighting it out with the Justice Department this summer, and expect a decision by the judge in September.

“After sentencing, we will file our appeal. As much as this sounds like a cliché, there are a number of issues that the lawyers tell me are ripe for appeal. That process will go probably thru July 2007.

“To be honest, I am not sure how to react. I find myself disappointed, angry, scared, frustrated, and hurt. But most of all, I feel rather numb — sort of an emotional paralysis. Right now, it’s like this is happening to someone else rather than me. But I have no doubt reality will hit me soon.

“Mostly, though, I just don’t know what to do, say, or think. Despite all this, I still believe I am blessed. Jennifer has been by my side throughout this ordeal and has kept me focused and (relatively) sane. I’m not sure where I’d be without her and Katie. (Just this morning, I even found myself laughing, as Katie danced to “The Wiggles.” So I am keeping some degree of perspective.)

“I also know that I have been blessed with a strong family (my mother, sister, and father-in-law especially) and good friends to support us through this. And the people at Wiley, Rein & Fielding, who continue to represent us, I count as family. Biz Van Gelder started out as my lawyer, but in the last year, has become my friend, therapist, coach, and confessor.

“What do I do now? I know I need to work on the legal defense fund, and am thinking about whether there is a story to tell here. But beyond that, I’m not quite sure. I’m praying for clarity and strength as Jennifer and I begin this next phase of our life together.

“Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers. And thank you for what you have done so far. I’m truly grateful.


Purple Haze. Anybody catch Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) having flashbacks on the Senate floor Tuesday?

During debate on the Iraq resolutions, he got up and said, “I want to tell you about the flashback that went through my head” when he heard the Democrats talking about withdrawing troops from Iraq.

He said “flashback” about three times. “The flashback was to my generation’s war in the 1960s and 1970s in Vietnam. The flashback is what I remember started in 1970 and culminated in 1972,” Isakson said, referring to the last of the Americans in Vietnam leaving Saigon under fire.

Isakson, who plans to vote “no” on Democratic amendments calling for withdrawal from Iraq, served stateside in the Georgia Air National Guard from 1966 to 1972, his spokeswoman, Joan Kirchner, said.

So we wondered if perhaps the strait-laced Isakson had dabbled in hippiedom in the ’60s and was having a flashback to Woodstock. Nope. The Senator told HOH through his spokeswoman, “I was a lot of things, but I was not a hippie.” He said he had graduated college by 1966, was married by 1968 and had two children by 1972.

John McArdle contributed to this report.

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