O Say, Ya Don’t Say

Posted September 15, 2004 at 6:18pm

Be careful what you wager. Because you never know when you might wind up wearing a tutu, playing air guitar and singing the national anthem for your boss.

That’s what poor Jim Daley, oversight counsel on the House Judiciary Committee, wound up doing on Wednesday. And the wager was his crazy idea.

[IMGCAP(1)] Earlier this year, Daley betrayed his old softball team, Milwaukee’s Best, leaving the squad after two years to join the downtrodden, hapless, winless Western Caucus team. The team was 0-and-12. They needed help.

So when he switched teams, Daley and his old teammate Chuck Roman, legislative assistant in Judiciary Chairman Jim Sensenbrenner’s (R-Wis.) personal office, wagered on the first game they would play against each other. The loser would have to dress up in a tutu and sing the “Star Spangled Banner” while playing the air guitar for Sensenbrenner.

“We lost by one run,” Daley said. “And I feel bad for the Western Caucus because pound for pound, the determination of that team has been outstanding.”

So pound for pound, Daley stuffed his body into a tutu, as his handshake agreement with Roman required him to do, and sang and danced his pretty little heart out for Chairman Sensenbrenner. “I’ve never seen him so happy and giddy,” Daley said of his boss.

Sensenbrenner said while the performance was “highly entertaining, Mr. Daley’s song and dance moves in his tutu are unlikely to take him far should he ever choose to audition for ‘American Idol.’”

And the chairman warned: “I dare say he’ll think twice before betting against Milwaukee’s Best in the future.”

Believe it or not — and maybe he’s just feeling a little cocky from his demi-pliés for the chairman — Daley already plans to make the same bet next year. “I can say with complete conviction that next year it’ll be Chuck Roman who will be wearing the tutu.”

Scorecard: Daley helped boost the Western Caucus from a 0-12 season last year to a phenomenal 15-6 record this year, finishing in the top 20 Congressional softball teams. Unless Roman wants to wear that tutu, HOH suggests he hit batting cage between now and next year.

O, Not Canada! Yet another Member of Congress has uttered the “C” word in connection with the Sept. 11, 2001, hijackers. And the Canucks, who get very sensitive about this issue, are just as irked as they can be.

This time it was Rep. Rubén Hinojosa (D-Texas), who tied the hijackers to Canada when talking about the need for stronger border security last week. He said the terrorists “entered the United States from Canada on September 11, 2001, using passports that the Canadians accepted as valid despite the fact that the documents were doctored.” He repeated the comments in a press release on his Web site.

Oooh. That really burned some Canadian bacon. Canadian Ambassador Michael Kergin whipped off a letter to Hinojosa on Wednesday telling the Congressman that his statements were false. “None of the September 11th hijackers entered the United States through Canada,” Kergin said.

To back up his assertion, the ambassador quoted Attorney General John Ashcroft, who said, “None of the terrorists from the Sept. 11 carnage came to the United States through Canada to my knowledge.” Kergin also quoted Ashcroft thanking Canada for its efforts in fighting terrorism.

Let’s hope the Canadians’ efforts fighting terrorism are, indeed, as good as their efforts fighting bad press. One day after the ambassador sent his letter to Hinojosa — and shortly after Hinojosa realized that HOH had a copy of it — the Congressman corrected the record.

In a statement provided to HOH, Hinojosa said, “The references to Canada have been stricken from the remarks I submitted for the record. Earlier today, I informed the Canadian Embassy that these steps have been taken.”

Bernard Etzinger, a spokesman for the Canadian Embassy, said that by his count, at least seven Members of Congress have made the same mistake as Hinojosa since the 9/11 attacks.

“It happens all the time. It’s an urban myth,” he said. “There is no mention in the 9/11 commission’s report on any of the September 11th terrorists having entered the United States through Canada.”

Fundgrazing. Two upcoming fundraisers worth mentioning, which we saw on the NRCC’s Web site, are: a Krispy Kreme breakfast with Rep. Richard Burr (R-N.C.), candidate for U.S. Senate, on Sept. 23. The invitation reads, “PAC: $1,000 to Host (2 tickets), $500 to attend. Individuals: What ever you can afford?”

And for Rep. Mike Bilirakis (R-Fla.), an invitation for the evening of Sept. 28, reads, “Save the Date! ‘My Big Fat Greek Fundraiser’ produced by Congressman Mike Bilirakis” at the Capitol Hill Club. In less desperate terms than the Burr fundraiser, this one asked for $500 from “fans,” $1,000 from “patrons” and $2,500 from “sponsors.”

Sallee Forth. Marguerite Sallee is leaving her job as staff director for the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions subcommittee on children and families and special assistant to Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) to take a much shorter but powerful title elsewhere. Next month she will become president and CEO of America’s Promise —The Alliance for Youth. This is the bipartisan group that Colin Powell founded in 1997. Powell’s wife, Alma, serves as chairman of the board; former Democratic Sen. Harris Wofford (Pa.) is co-chairman. Sources say Powell is staunchly committed to America’s Promise and personally vetted Sallee for the job. Sallee has a long list of impressive credentials involving youth and children. Most impressive, HOH believes, was her work with the late, great Bob Keeshan — aka Captain Kangaroo.

Please send your hot tips, juicy gossip or comments to hoh@rollcall.com.