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Heard on the Hill: Norton’s No Meter Maid

Washingtonians often gripe about Members using their privileges in ways that inconvenience residents — speeding through red lights (without punishment) to get to a vote, for example.

But it’s particularly aggravating to locals when the city’s lone Congressional representative is the one flouting traffic laws.

A Capitol Hill resident and HOH tipster spotted D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D) at about 1 p.m. on Sunday walking out of the corner market at Third Street and Massachusetts Avenue Northeast. Norton carried her bags to her dark sedan (adorned with EHN1 tags), which our spy noted was parked illegally outside the nearby White Tiger restaurant.

“EHN represents the DISTRICT, and her illegal parking — going unpunished — screws over constituents,” the tipster griped in an e-mail to HOH.

Norton spokeswoman Sonsyrea Montgomery told HOH that Norton was returning from official business — an appearance on local television station Fox 5 to discuss the D.C. voting rights bill — and had stopped at the market to grab bread and yogurt.

“She was parked legally under Congressional statue; no constituents were inconvenienced because she was parked near the end of the corner,” Montgomery said. “Sometimes when the Congresswoman is on Congressional business even if there is a legal place, she leaves it open for someone who does not have the same privileges.”

Somehow, we don’t think that excuse will bode well with our tipster, who wrote: “Someone should offer an amendment to this week’s House debate on District voting rights that makes lawmakers pay all parking tickets.”

Frank-ly Speaking. Among the facts we know about the first family’s wildly anticipated dog: It won’t be named Frank.

First lady Michelle Obama reportedly vetoed that name for the Obamas’ yet-to-be-adopted pooch, along with the moniker “Moose.”

What’s so wrong with the name Frank? We expected an outcry from Members of Congress named “Frank” (hello, Barney?), defending their fellow Franks. We heard crickets.

But at least one Member of Congress doesn’t want to have anything in common with the first dog.

“You never want to be in the president’s doghouse,” said Scott Mulhauser, spokesman for the dean of the Congressional Franks, Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.).

A Vacant Senate Seat. You just can’t keep a good woman down. Sen. Amy Klobuchar had to be reminded of the “please fasten seat belts” lights at least twice by flight attendants on a Washington-bound airplane on Sunday night. The Minnesota-nice Democrat, who was returning to the capital from Southwest Florida, stood in the aisle to chat with a few other fellow passengers, including a Roll Call reporter who was conveniently on the same flight.

Klobuchar’s aisle-side socializing got her busted, though, when the flight crew repeatedly reminded her that the captain had asked for all passengers to buckle up because of the snowy conditions outside. She finally returned to her seat when a crew member used the intercom to broadcast the reminder.

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