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Paul Strauss Snags New Recruits for Statehood Push

(CQ Roll Call archives)

The celebrities who flooded into town for the White House Correspondents' Association Dinner have since dissipated. But their influence on the D.C. statehood front keeps building via the trickle of support D.C. shadow Sen. Paul Strauss is patiently collecting.  

While the rest of #ThisTown drank itself silly , Strauss immersed himself in conversation with visiting celebs he thought might be willing to lend their voices to the D.C. statehood campaign. Step one of the charm offensive was making the out-of-towners feel at home in the Capitol. Strauss then hit the party circuit, chatting up potential collaborators over cocktails and canapés. And his tenacity appears to be paying off.  

“It was a good use of the weekend,” he told HOH.  

Strauss said he recorded a handful of new PSAs for the “51 Stars” program launched last winter, including spots featuring: former child actor Haley Joel Osment and his younger sister, Emily Osment, “American Horror Story” vet Gabourey Sidibe, “House of Cards” alumna Constance Zimmer, “Pretty Little Liars” star Troian Bellisario, actress Bailee Madison and Grammy-winning songwriter Andrew Dost of the band Fun.  

“We were able to take advantage of their presence while they were here,” Strauss said, noting that his team shot both traditional 30-second ads timed to air in any TV market, as well as expanded talk-ups designed for online distribution.  

He said renowned movie producer Mark Boal even wrote the script for one of the new videos. “We have some stuff in the can … but it still needs to go through post-production and editing,” Strauss said of the next round of content.  

According to Strauss, there’s no hard and fast deadline for releasing said clips. Or even where it might be seen. He suggested, for instance, that some of the videos might show up on the airwaves in Iowa. Others could be pumped onto the tiny screens found in the back of cable-enabled D.C. cabs.  

“The program is successful. And we’re expanding it,” he shared.  

Related: Shadow Senator Visits Iowa Paul Strauss Stumps for DC in LA The 114th: CQ Roll Call's Guide to the New Congress Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call in your inbox or on your iPhone.