Oct. 25, 2014 SIGN IN | REGISTER
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Heard on the Hill: Bar Brawl

While HOH is sure plenty of Capitol Hill spokesmen have wanted to punch loudmouth reporters every once in a while, we wouldn’t recommend any of them actually slug somebody in real life.

But that’s just what happened when Marc Goldberg, communications director for freshman Rep. Suzanne Kosmas (D-Fla.), visited a local sports bar this summer.

According to a report filed in the Superior Court for the District of Columbia, Metropolitan Police Department officers were called to Dupont Circle’s Public Bar in the early morning hours on Aug. 1 after staff reported an apparent assault.

During their investigation, the officers discovered that Goldberg had cut in line for the bathroom, prompting one of the guys still holding it to complain. “As [Goldberg] left the restroom, [the man] stated to [Goldberg], ‘That’s not right, you cut in front of everybody who is waiting,’” the document reads.

Goldberg’s response? He “punched [the man] in the mouth with a closed right fist causing a deep laceration to [the man’s] upper lip.”

Ouch! Talk about a potty mouth.

The man in the report, whom HOH is declining to name, identified Goldberg as the person who punched him. Three witnesses “also observed [Goldberg] punch [the man] in the mouth after he got out of the bathroom,” according to the report.

The officers subsequently arrested Goldberg for simple assault, according to the document. The man at the other end of Goldberg’s fist declined immediate medical treatment but told officers that he planned on going to the hospital for treatment.

Goldberg was found guilty on one count of simple assault on Oct. 16 following a non-jury trial. He was fined $700 and given one-year probation.

In a statement to HOH, Goldberg said: “I’m extremely sorry for my actions and I am working to make this right.”

Goldberg’s place as Kosmas’ mouthpiece appears secure.

“We are aware of the incident and Marc is fully complying with the terms of his punishment,” Chief of Staff Leslie Pollner said. “However, it has not affected and will not affect the operation of our office.”

We’re guessing Goldberg won’t be cutting in line for the bathroom again.

Déjà Vu on BTU? The phrase “getting BTU’ed” is political-geek code for casting a tough vote that ultimately gets you kicked out of Congress. Its origins date way back to 1993, when Democrats voted for the Clinton White House’s energy tax plan only to have it die in the Senate — after which Republicans campaigned on the issue and used it to oust some BTU-tax supporters from Congress and retake the chamber in 1994.

With that linguistic/history lesson in mind, some Republicans are snickering about a provision included this week in the manager’s amendment for the House Democrats’ health care bill that uses that dreaded, politically loaded term: BTU.

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