Let’s hope the golf game was worth it, ‘cause the freshly sunburned Rep. Dan Burton (R-Ind.) is in the doghouse with his GOP colleagues on the House International Relations Committee. They’re steaming mad that Burton skipped the committee’s crucial vote on the U.N. Reform Act of 2005 Wednesday to, um, play golf.
[IMGCAP(1)]The legislation was viewed as the crowning moment for retiring International Relations Chairman Henry Hyde (R-Ill.). And he almost — almost — lost the key vote on the Democratic substitute, eking out a
24-23 victory. Reps. Jim Leach (R-Iowa) and Ron Paul (R-Texas) defected to support the Democratic U.N. plan. As for Burton, he was just plain AWOL.
Instead of voting on Hyde’s bill, Burton chose to play in the Booz Allen Hamilton pro-am golf tournament at Congressional Country Club. It’s a fine and challenging track, indeed, and he was paired with golf superstar Vijay Singh, Rep. Zach Wamp (R-Tenn.), former Rep. (now lobbyist) Marty Russo (D-Ill.) and Tony Russo, according to tournament officials.
But Republicans on the panel couldn’t care less where Burton played, who he played with or what his score was. And now, some could care less about supporting his bid to be the committee’s next chairman.
“This is it for Burton,” one ticked off GOP Member of the International Relations Committee told HOH. “Members of the committee were really annoyed.”
Another committee source said, “Dan Burton has enraged me. … And he wants to be the f***ing committee chairman?!” (Burton has expressed interest in being chairman, as has Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida.)
Committee members had been warned during the Memorial Day recess not to miss Wednesday’s vote, which was important symbolically for the party as well as for Hyde.
Burton has a history of mixing golf and politics. He once made headlines for attending a golf event sponsored by AT&T, which at the time was bidding on a contract overseen by his committee. Then he outraged Democrats by scheduling a Government Reform Committee hearing in Los Angeles, cozily situated to the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic celebrity golf tournmant.
The GOP Member who spoke to HOH on the condition of anonymity said Burton’s track record on golf outings makes Wednesday’s transgression even more appalling. “It definitely hurt Burton. It’s one thing if you had been in the monestary for 20 years and went to play golf, but if one of your raps is getting too close with lobbyists on the golf course, you shouldn’t be missing the most important vote of the year in your committee,” the Member said.
Burton’s office did not return calls and e-mails seeking comment.
Oh, You Again. The categories of people you run into at Washington social events are ever expanding: those you have worked with, those you have slept with and — as was the case at Tuesday night’s book party for three Washington Post reporters — those who have deposed you. (Yes, in the legal sense.)
Which brings us to many of the people who attended a book party for Posties Susan Glasser and Peter Baker, who co-wrote “Kremlin Rising,” and John Harris, author of “The Survivor,” a look at the presidency of Bill Clinton, whose darn near entire staff was deposed in one scandal or another during his eight-year stretch.
A look around the book party revealed plenty of former Clinton aides who gave depositions during Whitewater, Travelgate, Filegate, Monicagate, campaign finance investigations — you name it. Amid the Clintonites packing the party at the German Marshall Fund of the U.S. was one woman who stood out like a sore thumb: Barbara Comstock, who as a Hill counsel in the 1990s was one of the leading GOP attack dogs against Clinton and Co.
The affable Comstock was chatting with Post Whitewater reporter Susan Schmidt, who, like Comstock, is also loathed by the Clintons. Then suddenly the two ladies found themselves chatting in the same circle of partygoers as Marsha Scott, a supreme Clinton loyalist who was deposed in the Clinton Whitewater and Travelgate investigations … by none other than Comstock.
Comstock said hello to Scott and then turned to Schmidt and said, “Sue, have you ever met Marsha? She was one of our favorite people we deposed.”
Comstock tells HOH that she and Scott have remained friendly over the years, and it was a perfectly pleasant moment at the book party the other night. “I deposed Rahm. I chatted with him, too,” Comstock said, referring to now Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.), a former senior aide to Clinton.
For you Brady Bunch aficionados out there, all HOH can say is: Marsha, Marsha, Marsha. And Rahm, Rahm, Rahm.
Stacks and Stacks. The fancy wine-and-cigar fundraiser for House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Texas) scheduled for last night was a notable location. Not because it was held at Citicorp., at 1101 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, but because that’s the location of another business that not long ago was housed at the very same address: Stacks Deli, the now defunct restaurant owned by DeLay buddy and former lobbyist Jack Abramoff.
Not surprisingly, this irony was brought to HOH’s attention by Democratic operatives. “It used to be at Stacks, you couldn’t find any pork there. Tonight it will be pigs at the trough as far as the eye can see,” one Democratic operative told HOH.
A spokesman for DeLay — who faces a potential House ethics inquiry regarding his ties to Abramoff and trips reportedly arranged by the controversial lobbyist — was not amused. “Even when you stack it all up, this story is stretch,” Dan Allen said.
John Bresnahan contributed to this report.