See You in Court?

Posted August 8, 2003 at 6:08pm

See You in Court? Stephen Moore, president of the Club for Growth, may wind up with a lawsuit for parodying a well-known song in a new TV ad blasting Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.).

Moore’s office confirmed to HOH that the group has been contacted at least twice by people close to Crosby, Stills and Nash, the famed band that is less than pleased with the takeoff of “Our House” in the political ad.

With a refrain of “Tom’s House,” the ad blasts

Daschle for shelling out $1.8 million for a new home in Washington, D.C., which conservatives are using as evidence that the Senator has lost touch with his constituents in South Dakota.

David Keating, executive director of the Club for Growth, said the group is spoiling for a fight with the aging rockers.

“Go ahead, make our day,” Keating snapped. “Have a famous Hollywood liberal sue the Club for Growth and bring more attention to Daschle’s West Coast liberal buddies. He’s closer to them than the people of South Dakota.”

Keating said the group received a saber-rattling phone call last week from Ann Sweeney, senior vice president for business affairs at Sony/ATV Music Publishing. Sweeney, who did not return a call from HOH, was referred to the group’s attorneys.

The conservative gadflies then received a formal letter of concern from California attorney Chris Cosby, who also did not return a call seeking comment on Friday. But Keating rejected any suggestion that the group is in hot water.

“We’re not even in lukewarm water,” he said with a laugh, noting that they did not use the actual music and changed the original lyrics.

“We’re not selling a ‘Tom’s House’ CD,” Keating added. “This is something protected by the First Amendment — fair use.”

Nevertheless, he added, “People can sue for anything. It’s a free country, so you can file a frivolous lawsuit.”

Daschle spokesman Dan Pfeiffer shot back, “I guess Stephen Moore has learned that the failed economic policies of the ’80s are easier to recycle than the classic songs of the ’70s.”

Boy Meets Senate. Young ladies on the Hill have been buzzing about the fact that Ben

Savage, former star of the ABC hit “Boy Meets World,” has been spotted in the halls of the Senate in recent weeks.

It turns out that Savage has been quietly interning for Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.), hoping to stay under the radar as much as possible so as not to let his fame overshadow his taste of the political game.

The gawkers notwithstanding, Specter’s staff has tried to give Savage a normal experience by having him file paperwork and toil away in the mailroom.

Like many offices, Specter has a policy of not allowing interns to speak directly to the media and Savage has managed to stay out of the limelight. Of course, that did not exactly work out for Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison

(R-Texas) in the case of Paul Kelly Tripplehorn Jr., but HOH digresses.

Savage, who wraps up his internship this month, has impressed his colleagues — to a point.

“He’s been fitting in really well,” said Specter spokesman Bill Reynolds. “The only thing we haven’t been able to get him to do is play softball” for the office team.

Bob Knows Sammy. Notebook-toting Sen. Bob Graham (D-Fla.) unveiled a new blog last week to show that the 66-year-old presidential candidate is down with the younger generations.

But Graham may have undermined that message a bit — to say nothing of the effect on Latino voters — by mangling the name of baseball star Sammy Sosa in last week’s AFL-CIO candidates’ forum in the slugger’s home city of Chicago.

In a suck-up to the locals, Graham noted that President Bush messed up as owner of the Texas Rangers by trading away “Sammy Scioscia,” as in the manager of the Anaheim Angels, Mike Scioscia.

It reminded HOH of the glorious day in 1998 when Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.), trying to prove he was a big baseball fan, referred to the home run chase between Sosa and Mark McGwire as an epic battle pitting “Mike McGwire and Sammy Sousa.”

But Graham spokesman Jamal Simmons told HOH that his guy really is well-versed in baseball lingo.

“He knows Sammy Sosa,” he said with a laugh. “It was like a little Spanish thing he does — a second ‘S’” in the pronunciation.

Hasta La Vista, Nancy. Of all the silly references to action movies being uttered by news organizations and the movie star himself since Arnold Schwarzenegger announced his candidacy for governor of California, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) took the cake.

With Democrats already screaming for months about how House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R) is allegedly pulling all of the strings in the redistricting imbroglio in his home state of Texas, Pelosi actually put out a press release on Thursday trying to tie the policies of the former pest control entrepreneur to the recall effort in California.

“With the candidacy of Arnold Schwarzenegger, we now have ‘the Terminator meets the Exterminator,’” Pelosi said. “This is clearly an extension of Congressman Tom DeLay’s extreme Republican agenda to undermine Democratic values, using a familiar public face to promote poisonous policies that favor special interests over the public interest.”

Memo to the Minority Leader: Schwarzenegger is a moderate on hot-button issues like abortion and does not resemble DeLay on most of the great debates.

In any event, Schwarzenegger’s candidacy does show both that life can imitate art and that fact can be stranger than fiction. Does anyone remember the 1979 flick “Americathon” starring John Ritter?

Set in 1998, the movie shows America beset by budget woes and an energy crisis. Ritter, a candidate with the surname “Roosevelt,” uses name identification to get elected president and holds a telethon to try to raise the money to pay the government’s debts.

The similarities break down, however, when one considers that the movie depicts the United Hebrab Republic (an unlikely alliance formed between Arabs and Israelis) trying to buy out America by sabotaging the telethon.

Don’t Mess With the Enzi-nator. It’s nice to see that Sen. Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.) was a sport about being on the receiving end of a recent good-natured jab from Roll Call columnist Stu Rothenberg.

After attending last month’s induction ceremony at the Baseball Hall of Fame in New York, Rothenberg wrote about seeing Sen. Jim Bunning (R-Ky.) rake in $30 for signing a baseball and $50 for putting his autograph on a bat or uniform. The Hall of Fame pitcher donates all of the proceeds to the Jim Bunning Foundation, which distributes its funds to nonprofits.

Rothenberg wondered in his column whether the “relatively unknown” Enzi could get anything for his John Hancock or “would the Wyoming Republican have to give his away?”

The columnist promptly received a signed photograph from the former shoe salesman, who thanked Rothenberg for at least “spelling my name right.”

“For someone to want my autograph,” Enzi added, “I usually have to pay them.”

Movin’ On Up. Cecile Richards, deputy chief of staff to Pelosi, has left Capitol Hill to serve as president of a new nonpartisan political organization.

Richards, a longtime political and labor operative, joins America Votes, an organization geared toward mobilizing voters for 2004. Richards had worked for Pelosi since January 2002, beginning in the Minority Whip’s office and later serving in the Minority Leader’s shop.

Elsewhere around D.C., Fox News Channel producer Stacy Lloyd has signed up with The Hawthorn Group, a public affairs firm. She spent her final 10 weeks at Fox on assignment in Baghdad and Kuwait City covering the Iraq war.

After four years as spokesman for the Sierra Club, Allen Mattison is leaving to study political and election law at Georgetown University Law Center. He will be replaced by Kerri Glover, a former journalist who served as spokeswoman for the Education Department during the early part of the Clinton administration.

And Lee Goldberg has left the press secretary’s slot at the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare to work in the health care division of the Service Employees International Union.