Ron Barber’s Past Has Him Fired Up About the Future

Barber speaks to supporters during a campaign rally with educators at Sam Hughes Elementary School in Tucson on Saturday, Aug. 9, 2014. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

“Victimized” is not how former Rep. Ron Barber has chosen to carry on his advocacy-oriented career. “Energized” would be a much better characterization of his life after Congress.  

“This chasm that’s developed between the two parties does not help the country,” the former lawmaker said of the current state of congressional affairs. “We need to break through that barrier.”  

100 Years on the Front Lines of History

Former Sens. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., right, and Harris Wofford, D-Pa., prepare to testify before a Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee hearing entitled "The Peace Corps, The Next Fifty Years" in 2011. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

If the filmmaker putting the finishing touches on a biopic about former Sen. Harris L. Wofford had waited for the lifelong activist to hang it up before rolling tape, the forthcoming documentary might never have gotten made.  

The Pennsylvania Democrat, who is poised to join the nonagenarian set in a few weeks (April 9, to be exact), shows no signs of slowing down, doggedly championing progressive policies — like he did in 1936 while distributing campaign materials for President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s first re-election push — same as he has for going on a century.  

Steve Driehaus: 2016 Rhetoric Alienating Entire World

Then-Rep. Driehaus makes a point during a House Financial Services mark up. (Scott J. Ferrell/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Veteran Peace Corps volunteer Steve Driehaus has rededicated himself to fulfilling President John F. Kennedy’s vision of bringing the world together via international service — a goodwill mission he worries is being seriously undermined by all the vitriol spewed by the presidential contenders.  

“The apparent hostility toward foreigners that now seems to be so common on the campaign trail is confusing to our friends abroad,” the single-term lawmaker, who is currently serving as country director in Morocco, told Roll Call of the way the incessant sound bites trumpeting impossibly high walls and punitive anti-immigrant policies are playing overseas.  

Lynn Woolsey Doesn’t Find UFO Talk Totally Spacey

(Scott J. Ferrell/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Mankind being completely alone in the universe makes far less sense to former Rep. Lynn Woolsey than contemplating the possibility that someone (something?) else might be cruising around the infinite vastness surrounding our home planet.  

And while she never imagined the dizzying tales launched her way in early 2013 during a self-styled “hearing” on extraterrestrial affairs would ever crop up in a presidential race — as White House hopeful Hillary Clinton discovered earlier this winter during a swing through New Hampshire — the California Democrat urged prospective leaders to open up about exopolitics.  

Trey Radel Sticks His Nose Back Into Politics

Radel addresses a Hispanic Heritage Month event in the U.S. Capitol in September 2013. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Now clear-headed after treatment for a substance abuse problem that cost him his job in the House, Florida Republican Trey Radel is back on the political scene with unwanted advice for current pols and a forthcoming tell-all.

The first-time lawmaker stood out from his colleagues on Capitol Hill because of a fascination with rap music and an aptitude for social media. He became infamous less than a year into his inaugural term after he was arrested for buying cocaine from an undercover officer.  

Charlie Gonzalez Determined to Save Congress From Itself

Gonzalez, second from right, listens with Sen. Richard J. Durbin, left, and Rep. Xavier Becerra as Sen. Edward M. Kennedy explains why they're opposing the nomination of Miguel Estrada to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals in 2003. (Scott J. Ferrell/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

On the one hand, former Rep. Charlie Gonzalez is delighted his generation has helped usher in an era in which gay marriage — he presided over one such union just a few months back — is now the law of the land.  

Too bad some of his contemporaries, he maintains, also orchestrated the devolution of politics into bloodsport.