Loretta Slams the Nine-Pack

Posted June 24, 2003 at 6:35pm

Fresh off flashing abs of steel in Muscle & Fitness Hers magazine, Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-Calif.) is flexing her political muscles by taking aim at the nine announced Democratic presidential candidates.

Appearing at a Woman’s National Democratic Club luncheon on Tuesday, Sanchez suggested the candidates have been timid and leave a lot to be desired.

“We will not get our word out with these guys,” Sanchez said. “Our presidential candidates don’t know if they want to be Democrats now.”

Her younger sister, freshman Rep. Linda Sanchez (D-Calif.), also appeared at the luncheon, where the pair discussed their experiences as women in politics. The younger gal has so far felt that Washington is still dominated by men.

“Institutionally, there’s the expectation that men have the power and it’s their birthright,” said Linda Sanchez. “If that sounds cynical, maybe it is a little bit.”

The freshman, best known so far for a strange late-night incident in which she fell on the House floor, also charged that the Capitol Police tend to treat female lawmakers differently as they move through the hallways.

“I find myself getting stopped quite a lot by security and being asked for identification as I run through the halls at the Capitol,” she said. “It’s not related to the fact that I’m young. It’s related to the fact that I’m female because I talked to some of my female colleagues — they seem to get stopped a lot, too.”

Young Sanchez is planning to break a Democratic gender barrier by playing in the 42nd Annual Roll Call Congressional Baseball Game on July 10.

“I’ll tell you that it was very intimidating … the entire Democratic team is male,” said Sanchez, the first female to join the Democratic team (Republicans have had women participate for a few years). “I got some compliments from my colleagues who were players who told me that I was the best woman they had ever seen play baseball. This is a compliment!”

She added, “I don’t want to be recognized as a good female ballplayer, I want to be recognized as a good ballplayer, period. In Congress it’s sort of the same thing.”

Don’t Quit Your Day Job — Literally. Irate about persistent speculation that he’s bolting Congress, House Energy and Commerce Chairman Billy “Ice T” Tauzin (R-La.) found a funny way to put the rumors to rest.

Tauzin taped a rap video with Rep. Mary Bono (R-Calif.) that brought down the house at last night’s tribute to Hilary Rosen, the outgoing president of the Recording Industry Association of America, at Charlie Palmer’s steakhouse.

Both Tauzin and Bono have been rumored to be eyeing the $1 million-per-year RIAA job, so they decided to knock it all down with a spoof of the Eminem song “Lose Yourself.”

“It’s against House rules for us to apply for the job,” Tauzin said at the top of the video, which was first reported about by Wall Street Journal columnist Alan Murray. “But there’s nothing that says we can’t audition for it.”

Then the duo started rapping together in the video: “Who wants the job of Hilary Rosen? How about the dream team of Bono and Tauzin?”

In reference to Rosen’s long battle with Napster, the refrain went, “Piracy bad. Piracy bad. Piracy bad.”

They added: “For a million a year, we’ll tell them, punk, steal our songs, you’ll break rocks into chunks.”

Tauzin spokesman Ken Johnson, who wrote the lyrics, told HOH that the boss wanted “to spoof all the rumors about Billy leaving Congress, which are absolutely — unequivocally — not true.”

Johnson was particularly peeved by a report in National Journal’s CongressDaily on Tuesday that had the chairman all but out the door.

“I thought to myself: Jayson Blair has found a new job,” cracked Johnson.

Stars on the Hill. Actress Mary Tyler Moore visited Capitol Hill again Tuesday to push for funding of research programs to stamp out juvenile diabetes.

Moore testified to the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee, chaired by Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine).

Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.), meanwhile, was spotted shepherding around Tony Delk, who plays guard for the Boston Celtics.

Delk was touring D.C. with 25 eighth- graders from Dorchester, Mass., who won a community service contest sponsored by the Celtics and Southwest Airlines.

When a Tree Falls Outside the Capitol. While it’s usually Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) who helps revive an injured tourist around the Capitol, it was Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) who rode to the rescue Tuesday.

Paul, a trained physician, helped a Hill visitor who was injured after being hit by a falling tree branch on the House side of the Capitol.

The incident occurred around 1 p.m., when the victim, a man approximately 60 years old, was standing with a group of Boy Scouts from Lebanon, Conn., on a sidewalk beneath a European ash located near the Independence Avenue driveway.

The man, whose name was not released by the Capitol Police, was taken to George Washington University Hospital for examination. He was both conscious and coherent after being injured by the large branch.

Rep. Rob Simmons (R-Conn.) was on his way to meet the group of constituents when he saw the fallen tree limb. “I’m glad no more than one person was hurt,” Simmons said, noting that the group continued its tour following the incident.

Capitol Police officials said it is possible that the tree, which is between 75 and 100 years old, may have been damaged by the recent inclement weather, which has included heavy rains and high winds.

House Administration Chairman Bob Ney (R-Ohio) has requested that Architect of the Capitol Alan Hantman evaluate other trees on the Capitol complex to prevent similar incidents from occurring.

Noted. The battle for the best political unit among the broadcast news networks continues to heat up.

ABC News on Tuesday hired Lisa Todorovich, formerly at Washingtonpost.com, to serve as deputy political director. She will report to Mark Halperin, the network’s top political dog, and co-author their daily Web digest known as “The Note.”

The move comes after Elizabeth Wilner left the ABC News political unit to become political director for NBC News. There has been much speculation about the likelihood that Wilner will soon be putting out a daily product of her own to rival The Note.

Not to be outdone, the folks at CNN’s political unit recently started “The Morning Grind,” a shorter version of The Note that puts the network in the game of trying to prioritize the top stories of the day for pols and journalists. The e-mail product is written by CNN’s John Mercurio, a former Roll Call staff writer, and Sasha Johnson, among others.

David Perera and Jennifer Yachnin contributed to this report.