Keep the Day Job

Posted May 14, 2003 at 6:38pm

Keep the Day Job. Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.) decided to tape a little ditty, to the tune of the “Beverly Hillbillies,” to voice her support for the Democrats who have gone AWOL from the Texas Legislature.

The song is pretty humorous, and Democrats thought about using it in some way to help their comrades in Texas. But for an undisclosed reason there was a change of heart, so the song wasn’t publicized and has been shelved. (Democrats insist it’s not because they were afraid of being too closely aligned with state lawmakers who may look a little chicken on television.)

“It is funny,” Tom Eisenhauer, spokesman for Rep. Martin Frost (D), said of the Slaughter tune. “But it is a serious situation [in Texas], so we decided to throw it away” rather than trivialize the battle.

Before the song was tossed away, however, another House aide slipped HOH the code number for the Democratic Policy Committee’s internal actuality line to get a listen of Slaughter — who was born in Kentucky and thus has one heck of a Southern twang for a New York lawmaker — warbling “The Ballad of the Killer D’s,” as the legislators in Texas have become known.

“Come and listen to my story ‘bout some hacked off D’s … Got sick and tired of Craddick treatin’ them like a disease,” Slaughter sang of Texas Republican Speaker Tom Craddick.

“And then one day the R’s were shootin’ through some bills … So they loaded up the bus and they headed for the hills … Ardmore, that is,” she said of the Oklahoma outpost.

“Now the first thing you know they put the Rangers on the case … Before the day was done they’d completely scoured the place … As nightfall approached they said ‘we always get our man!’ and approached the local Denny’s with their warrants in their hands …

“Arrest, that is … oops — wrong damn state! … Meanwhile, back in Austin, Craddick’s team left for the night … After Ardmore’s Texans told the cops they’d rather fight … So please stay tuned to find out whatever came … Of the Ardmore Texans’ efforts to keep Texans safe and sane. … A-men.”

House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas) isn’t standing for the standoff, which Democrats insist was sparked by The Hammer’s attempts to rig redistricting in a way that could result in five House Democrats getting thrown out by voters.

“This isn’t spring break and this isn’t Dems Gone Wild,” DeLay spokesman Jonathan Grella told HOH. “Stop raiding the mini-bar, turn off the pay-per-view and get back to work.”

As for Texas Democrats conducting one-minute speeches on the House floor in support of the “Killer D’s,” Grella cracked, “Today’s one-minute roster looked like tomorrow’s unemployment line.”

On second thought, won’t this boomerang on President Bush if DeLay helps increase unemployment again?

Tax Man Cometh. Dick Morris, the flexible political consultant who has worked for both then-President Bill Clinton and Sen. Trent Lott (R-Miss.), allegedly owes the state of Connecticut a big chunk of back taxes.

Officials claim that Morris, who’s a pundit for Fox News Channel and a columnist for The Hill newspaper, owes $257,624 in state income taxes. According to the Journal Inquirer, he’s ranked sixth on the state’s list of the “Top 100 Delinquent Taxpayer Accounts.”

Morris released a carefully worded statement Wednesday that did not flatly deny he owes any back taxes. He stressed that it’s not a “significant amount” owed.

“The taxes in question are on appeal and I am fully confident that when they are adjudicated, it will show that I do not owe a significant amount in back taxes,” Morris said. “Indeed, just recently, the state was forced to admit, for one previous year, that I did not, in fact, owe any taxes. When you are in politics, strange things happen.”

Indeed. Who can forget the strange moment during the 1996 Democratic National Convention when it was revealed that Morris had to stop working for Clinton because of a call-girl scandal?

Jumpin’ Jim. Sen. Jim Jeffords (I-Vt.) raced to the rescue when his daughter-in-law was robbed of her wallet on a Capitol Hill street last Thursday.

Jeffords, who celebrated his 69th birthday this weekend, chased down the 13-year-old robber and retrieved the wallet.

It turns out that Jeffords is a black belt in tae kwon do, so maybe White House adviser Karl Rove is lucky the Senator merely switched parties — rather than taking out his anger in other ways — a couple years back.

“We were just relieved that no one was hurt,” Jeffords spokesman Erik Smulson joked to HOH, adding that “his hands can be used as a lethal weapon.”

Jay Leno, meanwhile, had his own take on the incident during “The Tonight Show” on Tuesday. “How fat are our kids getting when they’re being run down by [69-year-old] Senators,” he cracked. “At one point Jeffords yelled out ‘stop thief’ and 200 Congressmen froze.”

Put Your Chips on the Table. The typical cocktail party fare was spruced up a bit for Wednesday night’s Capitol Hill bash thrown by the Snack Food Association and the United States Potato Board.

They joined forces to throw a reception celebrating the 150th birthday of the potato chip.

“Cocktails, hors d’oeuvres and, of course, potato chips,” the invite said.

No Sale? Angie Lundberg, spokeswoman for Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), called to clarify the freshman’s comments to HOH about the ambassadorial flap.

When asked about the appearance that campaign contributions had something to do with Chambliss pushing the nomination of a friend to Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.), he responded, “For ambassadors, I don’t think that’s not to be considered …”

Lundberg said it was “misleading” for HOH to draw the conclusion that the Senator “believes that financial supporters deserve appointments based solely on political donations.”

“This is inaccurate and incorrect,” she added. “Senator Chambliss’ view is that political activity may or may not be one of several factors that are taken into consideration for these kinds of appointments.”

Got it?