A “Green Leafy Substance.”
Like their boss, people in Rep. Ron Paul’s office just have to do things their own way.
A 19-year-old intern from the Texas Republican’s staff was stopped and arrested for marijuana possession last Wednesday afternoon as he tried to enter a security checkpoint in the Cannon House Office Building.
According to a report filed by the Capitol Police, the youngster was toting a
“Zip-Lock Sandwich Bag containing a green leafy substance” and a “blue glass pipe,” which one source described as “a bong” (whatever that is). The “green leafy substance” later field-tested positive for THC, which as we all remember from high school stands for tetrahydrocannabinol, the stuff in pot that gets you high.
The intern in question has left Paul’s staff, said Tom Lizardo, the former Libertarian presidential candidate’s chief of staff. “He has resigned his position.” Lizardo declined to comment further on the matter.
And HOH can also reveal for the first time that it was another Paul staffer who was recently nabbed by the Capitol Police for kicking in the fender of Ways and Means Chairman Bill Thomas’ (R-Calif.) Mercedes, causing $3,000 worth of damage. The aide was charged with destruction of property in the incident. Lizardo said it was a “personal matter” that wasn’t related to the staffer’s official duties.
So what’s with the one-office crime wave? Are the Paulistas out of control?
“How would anyone link the two incidents at all whatsoever?” asked Lizardo.
How indeed. HOH just wishes he hadn’t used the “Where There’s Smoke…” tag line Tuesday.
Tragic Accident. Former Rep. Wes Watkins (R-Okla.), who served in the House for 20 years before retiring at the end of the 107th Congress, was involved in a multi-vehicle accident Monday that left two people dead and five children orphaned. According to The Associated Press, Watkins may be charged with misdemeanor negligent homicide for his role in the mishap.
Watkins was driving his van on U.S. Route 177 near Stillwater, Okla., when he struck another car attempting to make a left turn from the two-lane road. That car bounced off an oncoming tractor-trailer before colliding with a third vehicle. Two occupants of the car Watkins struck, Brian and Ardith Cullen, were killed, while two of their daughters who were riding with them suffered minor injuries. The Cullens had five children.
The driver who hit the Cullens’ car reported only a slight injury, and Watkins and the tractor-trailer driver were both unhurt.
The 65-year-old Watkins told the Stillwater News-Press that he never saw a brake light or a turn signal on the Cullens car. “I tried to swerve to my right or the west side to avoid hitting the car, but didn’t quite make it,” Watkins said.
But the Oklahoma Highway Patrol accident report claimed Watkins’ “inattentive driving” caused the accident, according to the AP. The department is still looking into the incident and will complete its investigation in the next week or two, said an Oklahoma law enforcement official. Any charges against Watkins will be filed at that time.
Lou Watkins, the Oklahoma Republican’s wife, said her husband was “just devastated” by the incident when reached at their home Tuesday. “It’s just a tragic, tragic accident,” she said.
In a bizarre coincidence, Mrs. Watkins said her husband was actually able to procure federal funds to help widen U.S. Route 177 during his time in Congress but the project has not yet gotten under way.
Watkins served in the House for two decades, originally elected as a Democrat, although he finished his Congressional career as a Republican. Watkins unsuccessfully ran for governor of the Sooner State in 1990 and 1994 (the second time as an Independent). Known for his low-key style, Watkins shied away from the media spotlight during his time on Capitol Hill. Since retiring, Watkins has started a nonprofit foundation that works to convert farm waste into organic fertilizer for Third World nations.
Air Hoosier. Rep. John Hostettler (R-Ind.) was briefly detained Tuesday by security officials at the Louisville International Airport when a loaded 9mm handgun was found in his possession.
Hostettler apparently has a permit to carry a gun but forgot that he had the piece in his luggage when he went to the airport to take a morning flight back to Washington. Airport screeners found the gun and the Indiana Republican was taken aside for questioning by the FBI and airport police, as is standard operating procedure in these cases.
Hostettler was released after being issued a citation for carrying a concealed deadly weapon. The charge is a misdemeanor and carries a possible one-year jail sentence, as well as a fine.
“He was going through baggage check when it happened,” said Michael Jahr, Hostettler’s spokesman. “He was pulled aside and questioned.” Jahr was unable to answer questions regarding what type of gun Hostettler was carrying and who has the weapon now.
Interestingly enough, Hostettler pushed to allow airline pilots to be armed during flights in order to help prevent another episode like the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
Captain Wood-Hab? When he’s not browbeating reporters about his party’s chances of winning back the Senate, Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Communications Director Brad Woodhouse is busy trying to land the big one.
An avid fisherman, Woodhouse spends many of his off-hours trolling the Chesapeake Bay in search of rockfish, blues and perch.
A few weeks ago, Woodhouse landed a 32-inch rockfish. The fish won’t be residing on a plaque in the flack’s basement, however, as he returned it to the water soon after catching it.
Never one to shun partisan rhetoric, Woodhouse noted that he named the fish “Arlen,” after Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter (R), who faces a serious primary challenge from Rep. Pat Toomey on April 27. A Toomey win would give Democrats and Rep. Joe Hoeffel a shot at the seat in November.
“I tossed it back — just like the [Pennsylvania] voters should do,” cracked Woodhouse.
Jennifer Yachnin contributed to this report.