Frankly, Scarlett. …

Posted June 20, 2005 at 6:42pm

Southern girls often find Washington, D.C., and its non-Southerner transients to be a rude awakening from the charmed and genteel life they’re used to back home — doors being opened, bags being carried and the like.

Such was the case this past weekend when a young aide to Rep. Steve

Buyer (R-Ind.), who proudly claims she is a Southerner, had a run-in with Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), whom the aide described as “very rude.”

[IMGCAP(1)] The young aide, who asked not to be named, said she went out looking for cab Saturday night. The aide, whom we shall call Miss Daisy, lives on Capitol Hill. She said she walked to the corner of New Jersey and Independence avenues Southwest to hail a cab to take her to Georgetown. As she crossed Independence toward the Capitol side of the street she noticed DeFazio standing on the corner, apparently waiting for a cab as well.

Miss Daisy said DeFazio asked her where she was going. “I told him Georgetown,” she explained to HOH in an e-mail, “and then I asked him the same and he responded, ‘Dupont.’”

After about five to 10 minutes, a cab came by and DeFazio took it. “He got in and over his shoulder said, ‘I would be polite, but I’m late to meet a friend,’” Miss Daisy wrote. “I replied (sarcastically), ‘Have a nice evening, sir.’”

Miss Daisy was and still is outraged. “WHAT MAN takes a cab over a WOMAN at 11:00 at night and leaves her standing there alone?” she asked in the e-mail, adding, “I am from the South and don’t let bad manners go, so that is why I am writing y’all.”

And here was the best part of her e-mail: “My boss would lay down in the road and die before he got into a cab before a woman.”

DeFazio’s spokeswoman, Kristine Greco, defended her boss, explaining that he had been standing on that corner for a good 15 minutes after working late before Miss Daisy walked up. “He asked her if she wanted to share a cab, but she said she was going in a different direction. So he hopped in and wished her luck,” Greco said.

Plus, she pointed out, that intersection is “one of the safest places in D.C. to hail a cab,” what with two guard stations and armed Capitol Police officers on duty 24-7. “It sounds like my boss needs to get a life if he’s working on the weekend until 10:30 p.m.,” she added, laughing. (Well, he certainly won’t have a life driving Miss Daisy!)

Stay tuned to find out whether Buyer would, in fact, really lie down in the road and die before getting into a cab before a woman.

Snarky Stark. Rep. Pete Stark (D-Calif.) said he hopes to get results in the House ethics committee from the snarky ads he’s running in CongressDaily and The Hotline ridiculing Rep. Duke Cunningham (R-Calif.) for what some have called a shady home sale.

“I’m having fun,” Stark told HOH, “because oftentimes my Republican colleagues don’t respond to anything but ridicule. You can be serious with them and they don’t pay any attention.”

The mock real estate ad reads: “Attention Powerful Lobbyists! House for Sale by Influential Member of Congress. From recent practices by defense contractor lobbyists, it appears that you may be able to slip a cool million to a Member of Congress with little fear of ethics violations.”

According to CongressDaily, Stark personally paid $500 for the ad, which, without naming the GOP lawmaker, targets Cunningham. “There’s no question that he got 700,000 bucks that he would not otherwise have received,” Stark told HOH. “He says he’s going to account for the boats. But the House deal is pretty egregious.”

Cunningham is under federal investigation now for reportedly selling his home to defense intelligence contractor Mitchell Wade for $1,675,000. Wade then sold the house for $975,000 — a $700,000 loss. Wade, who has received millions in government contracts through the House Appropriations subcommittee on Defense, owns the 42-foot yacht that Cunningham lives on in the D.C. waterfront.

Cunningham, in accordance with House rules, acknowledged Monday that he has been served with four subpoenas in Imperial County, Calif. He has not said how he plans to comply. And his office had “no comment” to Stark’s snarky ads.

“I want the ethics committee to get a nonpartisan staff and begin to function as they should and look into the charges,” Stark told HOH. The Congressman said he has already gotten reaction to the ad from one Democratic lobbyist who joked that he and others are waiting for Democrats to take back control of the House so Democrats can buy Stark’s house.

Diary of a Senator. Ever-so-brief presidential hopeful Bob Graham is still scribbling in that diary of his.

Roll Call’s Stuart Rothenberg and Lauren W. Whittington, who were attending a party, spotted the former Florida Democratic Senator leaving Charlie Palmer Steak one night recently holding one of his signature tiny spiraled notebooks. As he left the restaurant alone, Graham stopped at the front door, pulled out his notebook and started writing away, presumably to record what he had just eaten.

Graham was regularly lampooned for his prolific note-taking during the 2004 presidential campaign. (The Miami Herald said the little habit may well be what cost Graham the vice presidential selection.)

In any case, the Senator’s former spokeswoman, Jill Greenberg, now a public relations strategist with the firm Spitfire Strategies, said Graham loves his diaries, which began back when he was a little boy on the farm. “It’s his version of a Palm Pilot,” Greenberg said.

Greenberg said her old boss’s diary habit should be good practice for his upcoming gig this fall teaching at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.

“I think he would be a great professor, but he’d be a stickler for note taking,” Greenberg said.

The former chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee is also spending time promoting his book, “Intelligence Matters,” and playing grandfather to his family’s triplets who live in Northern Virginia.

But we hear a lucrative job could also be in the works. HOH hears Graham is in talks with the Washington offices of King and Spalding, which is also the roost of former Florida Sen. Connie Mack (R).

A spokesman for King and Spalding would neither confirm nor deny the rumor, saying, “As a matter of policy, we don’t discuss any personnel issues.”

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