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Lobbyists to the Rescue

As one Democratic operative told HOH, “I can’t tell what Cheney likes best about him—Kuhl’s penchant for rubber-stamping the president or for combining beer with firearm use.”

(Cheney admitted to having just one beer the day he shot Harry Whittington in the face.)

Members Vs. Lobbyists. We’ve all seen the tension building between Members of Congress and lobbyists since the Jack Abramoff scandal broke. Tonight, the showdown arrives with the eighth annual Hoops for Hope Congressional v. Lobbyists Charity Basketball All-Star Classic at George Washington University’s Charles E. Smith Athletic Center.

Among the Members suiting up this year: Sens. John Thune (R-S.D.) and John Ensign (R-Nev.) and Reps. Mike Oxley (R-Ohio), Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), Jay Inslee (D-Wash.) and Harold Ford Jr. (D-Tenn.).

Hoops for Hope benefits Hill Help, Horton’s Kids, and The Luke Tiahrt Foundation, named for the son of Rep. Todd Tiahrt (R-Kan.) who committed suicide.

And ... don’t miss the second annual Longest Yard Fall Classic, scheduled for one week from today on Sept. 19 at Gallaudet University football field. Members will square off against Capitol Police officers to benefit the Capitol Police Memorial Fund.

Director He-Man. While he isn’t eligible for Members’ athletic competitions, former Rep. Rob Portman, now director of the Office of Management and Budget, still manages to remain, first and foremost, a fit man.

“The House gym is where I get most of my work done,” the Ohio Republican recently told Roll Call reporters and editors.

In fact, he was scheduled that evening to go to the gym, where he usually bumps into Reps. Tom Osborne (R-Neb.), aka “the coach,” and Tom Udall (D-N.M.), one of Portman’s kayaking buddies.

Portman used to play basketball at the gym. “But in my old age” (as he put it) he stays off the court and instead kayaks in the pool.

“Practice my rolls, paddle around,” he said. “You can tell I pump a lot of iron,” he joked, flexing his — how can we put this delicately? — thin arms. Though “trim and fit” does seem about right.

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

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