Sept. 22, 2014 SIGN IN | REGISTER

Heard on the Hill: A Mini Mistake

Here’s how it works: Visitors to Hodes’ Web site vote on which of the four candidates vying for the GOP nomination — Bill Binnie, Jim Bender, Kelly Ayotte and Ovide Lamontagne — “has gone farthest to the right.”

Hodes spokesman Mark Bergman told HOH that the campaign “thought it would be a good opportunity for voters to pick” their favorite (or rather, least favorite) Republican candidate.

And the contest isn’t just about popularity. When voters weigh in, they must also type in a phone number, effectively signing up for the campaign’s text message program.

Two of Hodes’ GOP rivals weren’t singing his praises Wednesday.

“I think the Republicans have four very good candidates, and which one of us wins the nomination has a very good chance at winning the seat,” Bender said. “Maybe he ought to spend more time with the voters.”

Lamontagne spokesman Jim Merrill said Hodes should “stick to his day job as a ... left-wing, tax-and-spend liberal and leave the comedy to Conan O’Brien.”

Votes have been coming in, and the contest will run as long as there is an interest, Bergman said.

No word on whether Cowell will offer his snarky thoughts on the contestants, however.

Burton’s Dutch Double Take. Anyone casually tuned in to the House floor Tuesday night might have been forgiven for doing a double take. Holy Cold War, Batman, was that Ronald Reagan speaking?

Actually, it was Rep. Dan Burton doing a brief but spot-on imitation of the Gipper while talking about taxes ­— specifically, the GOP’s desire to cut them.

The Indiana Republican uncannily nailed the former president’s soft, breathy voice and signature cadence. “And Reagan came in, instead of raising taxes, as many of his advisers said he should do,” Burton wound up. Then he really let loose with his best Ronnie. “He said, ‘No, no, I’m going to cut taxes. I’m going to cut taxes across the board for individuals, for businesses, for corporations, for industry.”

HOH thinks Burton’s impression rivals Phil Hartman’s classic portrayal of Reagan on “Saturday Night Live.”

Burton spokesman John Donnelly says that his boss gets plenty of practice and that it’s not uncommon to hear Burton channeling the Great Communicator.

“Reagan is a huge hero of his,” Donnelly says.

Winner in Political Football Over Heisman Resolution. Astute HOH readers will recall when we reported in December about the two similar House resolutions to recognize Mark Ingram, the University of Alabama running back who won the Heisman Trophy.

Sure, there are rival health care reform bills. Competing congratulatory sports resolutions, however, are a rarity.

Fortunately, our long legislative nightmare is now over, as a winner finally emerged Wednesday: Rep. Dale Kildee’s measure to honor Ingram passed the House by voice vote.

The process of officially congratulating the gridiron star became more complicated than actually choosing a Heisman winner.

Per House tradition, Kildee introduced his bill because Ingram hails from the Michigan Democrat’s district in Flint. Not surprisingly, Alabama Rep. Artur Davis (D), who represents the university, signed onto Kildee’s bill.

But Davis also introduced his own measure — a spokeswoman told HOH that he wanted to honor both Ingram and the school.

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