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HOH’s One-Minute Recess: Coming Up Roses

Too bad for Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband, Paul. No matter what he gets his wife for her 70th birthday on Friday, it won’t be as grand a gesture as the thousands of roses that admirers around the country will be sending her.

A liberal blogger on the Daily Kos is spearheading an effort to deliver a massive bunch of roses to the California Democrat. Arthur Conforti, the president of Coast to Coast Florist, the company that’s filling the order, says that so far, 2,400 roses are slated for delivery.

Actually getting them to the Speaker’s Capitol Hill offices might be a little tricky, but Conforti says he’s relying on the expertise of Conklyn’s Florist in Alexandria, Va., which will actually bring the roses to Pelosi’s office. “In this business, there are moments that are really amazing,” he tells HOH, like “when you know you are going to help make someone’s morning so special.”

Laying Down the Law. Should her Emmy Award-winning run on “Law and Order: Special Victims Unit” ever end, actress Mariska Hargitay might just have a future on Capitol Hill.

HOH caught up with the actress just before she appeared at a Wednesday evening forum at the Library of Congress looking at how shows such as “SVU” can play a role in educating the public about health issues. Hargitay had spent her day on Capitol Hill lobbying as a representative of the Joyful Heart Foundation, a group that she founded in 2004 to help empower victims of sexual assault.

The actress asked Members to hold a hearing on the backlog of untested rape kits — and she said she got a promise from Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.), the chairman of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security, to do just that.

“It was a very exciting day,” Hargitay said. “We seem to have gotten our point across.”

Hargitay noted that she probably wasn’t the only reason for the successful outcome; several other groups have been lobbying for a hearing for awhile. But she said her day on Capitol Hill went “spectacularly well,” adding that she met with several other Members, including Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) — “sort of a thrill on several levels,” she said.

Hargitay appeared alongside “SVU” executive producer Neal Baer at the forum, sponsored by the University of Southern California Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism’s Hollywood, Health and Society program. The actress recalled that she didn’t really even understand problems such as sexual assault and domestic violence until she started receiving letters from viewers sharing their own tragic abuse stories.

“I remember the breath sort of leaving my body as the first letter came,” she said. “And [they’ve] been coming in the thousands ever since.”

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