More Madonna Mania

Posted June 15, 2004 at 6:13pm

Although Rep. Lee Terry (R-Neb.) was noticeably absent, other Members of Congress were spotted at Madonna’s Bush-bashing “Reinvention Tour” concert last night, including Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Rep. Steven LaTourette (R-Ohio).

Some apparently did not enjoy the show as much others.

“No, I did not have fun,” LaTourette told HOH. The Congressman accompanied his 21-year-old daughter, a student at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, to the concert. [IMGCAP(1)]

LaTourette said he’s not a Madonna fan to begin with, so he really wasn’t happy with the show’s anti-Bush, anti-war theme. Throughout the show, there were videos and giant photos of war-ravaged children and graphic scenes of warfare decimation.

“They had someone who was supposed to be George W. Bush putting his head on Saddam’s shoulder in a loving fashion,” LaTourette said. “Maybe if I had gotten what the song was about I would have understood what they were talking about. But no.”

While LaTourette calls Madonna a “wonderful talent,” he said, “I just don’t happen to like her music. And I certainly didn’t appreciate her message that she was subliminally releasing through her videos.”

“So, I couldn’t take it anymore and I went outside to smoke a cigarette,” he said.

Terry, a big-time Madonna fan since he was in high school, had bought a block of tickets to the concert and then sold them to donors at the price of $1,500 per individual and $2,500 per couple. Sadly, he had to forgo his fundraiser at the concert after controversy surrounding the event became the bane of his existence (or at least the bane of his re-election bid).

Terry’s campaign manager said it was time to pull the plug, what with Madonna’s lawyer upset over Terry using Madonna’s picture (without permission) on his invitations to “Come Take a ‘Holiday’ with Rep. Lee Terry and Madonna,” editorials back home painting Terry as a hypocrite for condemning Janet Jackson’s Super Bowl performance yet inviting 50 of his best donors to get down with the Material Girl, and Democrats generally having a political field day with the whole cabal.

In lieu of hearing the sultry “Like a Virgin” pop star sing “Papa Don’t Preach,” Terry spent a quiet family night with his wife and three boys, said Terry campaign manager David Boomer.

“He didn’t miss anything,” LaTourette said.

Pen-and-Pad War. House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) and Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas) have developed a suspiciously chronic scheduling conflict with their weekly briefings.

Lately, it seems, whenever Hoyer releases his notice to reporters about the time and place for his weekly pen-and-pad session, which he always releases several days in advance, DeLay follows up with a notice announcing that his pen-and-pad briefing will be held — you guessed it — at the exact same time. And given which party controls the floor, reporters have tended to scurry out of Hoyer’s briefing, making a beeline for the scoop in the Majority Leader’s office.

Hoyer has suspected that DeLay is trying to outmaneuver him and, therefore, “out-message” him, sources say. One daily print scribe said he recalls Hoyer joking, with an air of exasperation, “This must mean DeLay is taking me seriously.”

Hoyer has gotten into the habit of rearranging his schedule. On Tuesday, for example, his briefing was set for 11:30 a.m., but he moved it back an hour after DeLay scheduled his briefing right on top of his.

DeLay staffers say the Democrats should quit their whining and look inward. “Scheduling conflicts have a lot less to do with our scheduling strategies than with their delusions of adequacy,” said DeLay spokesman Stuart Roy.

“We sweat the Democrats pen-and-pad like the Yankees would the Bowie Baysox,” he smirked, a reference to the minor league baseball team in Hoyer’s district.

More than Hoyer, the folks who are really ticked off about the scheduling battle are reporters who have taken to complaining — not to DeLay’s office, mind you, but to Hoyer’s staff.

“Why don’t reporters say something to DeLay about this?” one Hoyer aide asked.

(Umm, because DeLay is a former exterminator and reporters are afraid to bug him?)

Hoyer aides called DeLay’s office (on behalf of those pesky reporters) to ask why the Republican insists on scheduling his briefings to coincide with Hoyer’s. The Majority Leader’s staff assured their counterparts in Hoyer’s office that the conflicts were coincidental, not intentional.

Hoyer aides are taking DeLay’s word for it. (Wink, wink.) They just have one message for reporters: Please stop calling Hoyer’s office to complain about DeLay.

Mistaken Identity. A final indignity for retiring Sen. Peter Fitzgerald (R-Ill.), who’s been feuding with home-state Republicans and reportedly looking rather downcast as he shuffles through his final months on Capitol Hill.

Heading up the escalator from the subway to the Senate, a Capitol police officer stopped Fitzgerald.

“Can I please see ID?” the officer asked.

“I’m a Senator,” snapped an irritated Fitzgerald.

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