Talk about a wedding present: Democratic Rep. Gerry Connolly (Va.) forked over $500 in bond money to officiate a staffer’s wedding that took place Saturday.
Unlike California, Virginia does not automatically vest elected officials with the power to join a couple in matrimony. The official has to petition the circuit court for privilege. (Chief Judge Dennis Smith granted Connolly’s petition.)
The commonwealth then grants the newly minted officiant a limited license to marry people. Finally, the applicant has to post bond with the court.
So, did the Congressman really have to pony up 500 clams?
“Literally, yes,” Connolly tells HOH.
But all the hoop-jumping was well worth it, he says. He officiated the wedding of legislative aide Matthew Graham and Lindsey Mehan, a nursing student and former Connolly intern when he was chairman of the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors.
“I got to play yenta and then marry them,” Connolly, a practicing Catholic, happily tells us.
The wedding was short and sweet, and the reception music even inspired the Congressman to shimmy “imperceptibly,” he confesses.
The groom skipped one wedding tradition though.
Since federal election law prohibits a Congressional staffer from making a contribution to his boss, Graham stiffed Connolly on the traditional officiant tip.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.