Somebody Call Time Out

Posted June 11, 2007 at 6:15pm

A day care center, the home of naps, cookies and lessons in sharing, hardly seems to be a place for partisan bickering.

But a recent e-mail from the House Child Care Center’s director about the House’s new “Green the Capitol” effort had some GOP parents seeing red. [IMGCAP(1)]

On Friday, director Monica Barnabae sent an e-mail to parents passing along a request from the Speaker’s office. Child care workers were told that staffers were looking for at least five kids to participate in a Green the Capitol press conference on June 21. “The Speaker’s staff would like if each child painted pictures of Green ideas that the Speaker could look at,” the e-mail continued, and parents interested in allowing their child to participate were to contact her.

That plea didn’t sit too well with some parents, particularly the GOP ones, who balked at using the day care to troll for adorable children to adorn what they thought sounded like a Democratic photo-op. “This request is inappropriate on so many levels,” one parent who got the note complained to HOH. Other GOP-types piled on. “The idea of using the House day care as Central Casting for political theater is beyond the pale,” said one GOP leadership aide.

But Jeff Ventura, spokesman for the Chief Administrative Officer, which oversees the center, noted that the “Green the Capitol” initiative, which focuses on making the Capitol more energy efficient, is supposed to be nonpartisan. And anyone who disagreed could just say “No, thanks” since the event was completely voluntary. “We wanted to give Members the opportunity to have their children participate in the announcement since it is future generations who will benefit from the smart choices we make today around environmental issues,” Ventura said.

Maybe both sides can just share a juice box and call it a day.

Statue Limitations. Alaskans won’t be seeing as much of Sen. Ted Stevens as some of them had hoped. The paucity of future Stevens sightings has nothing to do with the increased workweeks in Washington, D.C., but rather the recent scrapping of plans to erect a nine-foot-tall statue of the Alaska Republican, according to the Anchorage Daily News.

The paper reports that plans to build the statuary tribute to Stevens at the Anchorage airport named in his honor have been put on ice. “Ted fans decided that … recently vocal enemies of his successful delivery of federal largesse to Alaska might use the project to disparage him,” it said.

Take His Caucus — No, Really. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid opened remarks at the Center for American Progress on Monday with a stand-up-act-worthy yuk.

The Nevada Democrat said he picked up a thing or two by watching the recent Republican presidential debate: “The one thing I’ve learned that I can’t get out of my mind is that Rudy Giuliani has been married more times than Mitt Romney’s been hunting,” he told the crowd before launching into a talk on the somewhat less har-har-inducing topic of energy policy.

Given his recent corny comedy act, HOH warns you that if you see Reid wearing a flower on his lapel, DO NOT lean in to smell it.

Democrats’ Big Movement. Republicans aren’t the only ones who think Democrats are full of crap. Some Democrats admit they are, too.

A starry list of big-name Dems, including Reps. Loretta Sanchez (Calif.) and Patrick Kennedy (R.I.), Congressional offspring Nathan Daschle and Nicole Boxer, and a smattering of super-staffers were set to turn out Monday night for a party to celebrate former fundraiser Josh Richman’s new book, “What’s Your Poo Telling You?”

The part-informative, part-funny tome (a natural, one would think, for bathroom reading) was co-written by Richman and a pal, gastroenterologist Anish Sheth.

And since Democrats are so into being environmentalists these days, here’s a little fun fact from the book that just might come in handy during the upcoming debate on energy appropriations: “When you flush the toilet, your poo enters the sewage system and ends up at a wastewater treatment facility. There, it ferments into biogas and biogas can be another source for power generation. … If biogas from a wastewater treatment facility were captured and used to power a fuel cell, each person’s poo could produce approximately 2 watts of electricity per day.”

Richman assembled the impressive list of well-wishers (the invite labels them “poobahs”) in his six-year stint in D.C., first as a Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee staffer during Kennedy’s stint at the helm of the group and then as a fundraiser. They’re all friends, he said, who happen to have good senses of humor.

“The fact that some of the people on that list are helping to run our country gives me a lot of faith,” he told HOH.

The gathering of Democratic bigwigs at Adams Morgan watering hole Leftbank is assured, HOH hears, to be a gas.

Boehner’s Blooper. You can’t accuse Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Connie Schultz, an ardent Democrat and wife of Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), of mincing words.

In her new book “…and His Lovely Wife: A Memoir from the Woman Beside the Man,” Schultz describes how she and Brown bumped into then-House Majority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) in the halls of the Capitol not long after Brown’s 2006 victory over then-Sen. Mike DeWine (R-Ohio).

“Boehner, tanned and wound tighter than a Jheri curl, darted over as soon as he saw Sherrod,” she writes. After pulling Brown aside to whisper something in his ear, Boehner threw a jovial arm around her shoulder, but decided against divulging what he’d said because “I might embarrass her.”

Of course like any good wife, as soon as Boehner had “dashed off,” Schultz pressed her husband on what exactly had transpired.

“Sherrod sighed and then repeated Boehner’s words of insight regarding Sherrod’s victory. Something about being lucky, and a dog’s genitalia. Let’s just leave it at that.”

For the record, in an interview, Schultz declined to elaborate.

Bree Hocking and CongressNow’s Geof Koss contributed to this report.

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