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HOH’s One-Minute Recess: Final Countdown, No. 4

From a Member of the House refusing to pay his cab fare to a certain staffer misusing a listserv, 2010 was a good year for gossip. As the year winds down, HOH will count down the top 10 stories of the year. We’ve sifted through dozens of columns and found the most salacious, titillating and hilarious gossip of the year.  

In our No. 4 spot is a series of items about HOH all-star Rep. Loretta Sanchez.  The California Democrat had an eventful year that included a re-election campaign, the death of her beloved cat, Gretzky, and an engagement.

“The Scent of a Congresswoman” From Oct. 26:

California voters in the 47th district recently opened their mailboxes to find a sexy fragrance ad featuring Rep. Loretta Sanchez.

Even though the California Democrat has sent out mailings in the past — we wait every year for her always-over-the-top Christmas card — this one isn’t from the Congresswoman. Another difference: It’s a scratch and sniff.

The scented (or foul, depending on whom you ask) mailer was funded by Sanchez’s opponents at Van Tran for Congress and features the Congresswoman in a red dress next to the headline: “Loretta, the Scent of Washington.”

The inside of the mailer pokes fun at the seven-term Congresswoman, reading: “Something smells rotten about Loretta, it’s the stench of Washington.”

Sanchez’s campaign turned its nose up at the ad.

“Talk about bad taste,” said Caroline Hogan, Sanchez’s campaign press secretary.

HOH wasn’t able to obtain a physical copy of the scratch-and-sniff ad, but a tipster tells us that it is “a combination of five or six of the worst possible scents you can imagine.”

A spokesman for the Tran campaign called the scent “trash.”

“R.I.P. Gretzky the Cat” From Nov. 15:

HOH is sad to report that Rep. Loretta Sanchez’s beloved cat, Gretzky, has passed away at age 19.

Gretzky was best known for posing alongside the California Democrat on her annual holiday cards.

One card showed the pair riding a motorcycle beside the words, “Cruisin’ into the New Year,” and another showed Sanchez snuggling in bed with the wide white cat while a Santa Claus hat rested on his furry head.

Gretzky, who was born in September 1990 and was named after hockey great Wayne Gretzky, died of natural causes shortly before his 20th birthday, Sanchez says.

“He was comfortable as he passed away, surrounded by family and friends,” she says.

In addition to the famed cards, Gretzky’s picture was also used on various T-shirts made by staffers and Hill softball teams. Sanchez says his visage also graced a bunch of “little girl purses sold at various stores in 2005.”

No word on whether Sanchez plans to get another cat.

“Here Comes the Bride” From Dec. 2:

Rep. Shelley Berkley (D-Nev.) confirms what HOH has long suspected — Rep. Loretta Sanchez is engaged!

The California Democrat shared the happy news with colleagues at a dinner Tuesday night. Berkley surprised Sanchez by announcing the upcoming nuptials at a farewell gathering for outgoing female Democrats in Congress.

Berkley says the news was met with “much toasting and applause.”

A spy with knowledge of the announcement says, “It was a sweet interlude on an otherwise bittersweet occasion.”

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