Sherwood Update

Posted May 9, 2005 at 7:00pm

The tale involving Cynthia Ore, who claims she had a love affair with Rep. Don Sherwood (R-Pa.), now has a tinge of “intern scandal” associated with it.

During her alleged fling with the 64-year-old Congressman, Ore, 29, interned ever so briefly in Rep. Bill Shuster’s (R-Pa.) office. Ore told the Times Leader of Wilkes-Barre, Pa., that Sherwood helped her get the internship.

A spokesman for Shuster told HOH that Ore, a resident of Rockville, Md., interned in the office “several years ago” but lasted less than two days. “She came in for one and a half days then left on her own,” said Shuster spokesman Tory Mazzola.

He would neither confirm nor deny whether Sherwood helped get Ore the internship. “We get hundreds of applications. … The most qualified candidate gets the job,” he said.

In a four-hour interview with the Times Leader last week, Ore said the Congressman also tried to get her an internship in the White House. And she reiterated her affection for Sherwood, saying, “We had such a good chemistry. I miss the touchiness and the passion.”

She stood by her account of a Sept. 15, 2004, police report in which she claimed that Sherwood assaulted her in his Capitol Hill, apartment. Ore called 911 from Sherwood’s bathroom and said he had choked her for “no apparent reason.” When police arrived, Ore changed her story. The officers did not charge Sherwood, deciding there was no evidence that Ore had been assaulted.

But Ore repeated her claim that Sherwood choked her in the Times Leader interview. She told the paper she has hired a law firm to help her get a tape of the 911 call as well as photographs she says were taken at a hospital that show bruises on her neck.

She said she was saddened to hear that Sherwood described her only as “an acquaintance” in his one public statement about the Sept. 15 incident. “He always said you’re my No. 1,” Ore told the paper. “He got on his knees many times just to kiss my hand. He called me his angel.”

Ore told the paper she was attracted to Sherwood’s down-to-earth demeanor when she first met him at a Young Republicans gathering in 1999. “I saw Don as a small-town all-American. He has that pink, rosy skin. When I first met him he had those big glasses.”

Rep. Entrepreneur. Rep. Roscoe Bartlett won’t be selling videos of his special order speeches on C-SPAN any more. Well, at least not explicitly.

A spokeswoman for the Maryland Republican says “because of the perception” created by news stories on the incident, the Congressman won’t be so overt next time in trying to ensure that all those interested people out there have access to videos of his floor speeches.

Bartlett became the first lawmaker ever to hawk video sales of his speech (which was about peak oil production) on C-SPAN last week when he put up a giant chart telling viewers: “To order a video/DVD of this Special Order contact C-SPAN at 202 737 3220.”

C-SPAN spokeswoman Jennifer Moire said it was the first time in the public service network’s 25-year history that a Member has ever tried to sell a video of his or her special order speech on the floor. (But we hear the DVD extras have those House special order videos renting like gangbusters on Netflix!)

Bartlett spokeswoman Lisa Wright says in hindsight, perhaps the Congressman was being “too helpful, and sometimes you’d rather make a mistake of being too helpful than not helping enough.”

Wright says, in the future, the Congressman won’t ask viewers outright to contact C-SPAN to buy a videotape of a speech. Instead, she says, the sign will simply say: “For more information: www.bartlett.house.gov. CSPAN: 202-737-3220.”

But Bartlett hasn’t minded the attention he has generated. As Wright said, “I’m reminded of the old adage from Hollywood: The only bad publicity is no publicity.”

Ollie and Elmo Bash. Republican Jack Oliver and Democrat Steve Elmendorf are throwing a party tonight to celebrate their new next big thing, Bryan Cave Strategies. Heavy-hitting VIPs from both parties are expected to turn out at the reception at Charlie Palmer Steak from 6 to 8 p.m.

“We invited everyone running for president in both parties so that alone should fill the room,” says Elmendorf, a longtime aide to then-Rep. Richard Gephardt (D-Mo.) and adviser to the Kerry campaign.

Elmendorf and Oliver, former deputy chairman of the Republican National Committee and finance vice chairman for Bush-Cheney ’04, have formed the lobbying wing of Bryan Cave, an international law firm based in Missouri.

The fledgling firm recently registered four new major-league clients: Fannie Mae, Verizon, Union Pacific Railroad, Northwest Airlines, and Ernst and Young.

With Sympathy. HOH extends deepest sympathy to the Diaz-Balart brothers on the passing of their father, Rafael Diaz-Balart. Diaz-Balart, a Cuban scholar who fought his country’s communist dictatorship, was a father of four sons, including Florida Republican Reps. Lincoln Diaz-Balart and Mario Diaz-Balart. He died Friday in Miami from leukemia at age 79.

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