Vegetarians Need Not Apply

Posted September 14, 2007 at 6:25pm

A recent job posting for a legislative assistant position in the office of Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite (R-Fla.) — which included the rather unusual requirement that applicants “know how to cook a delicious bass” and submit recipes attesting to that ability — last week got some chuckles among Hill staffers. [IMGCAP(1)]

The help-wanted ad, which references a line from the cult comedy flick “Napoleon Dynamite,” made the rounds among snickering staffers and was posted to popular snarky gossip blog Wonkette.

But a Brown-Waite flack says it’s a (sort of) serious matter. The Congresswoman’s staff is actually screening out applications that don’t include recipes, spokesman Charlie Keller tells HOH. He says the off-the-wall requirements serve two purposes: ensuring that applicants have a sense of humor that would enable them to fit in with the jovial Brown-Waite crew and disqualifying those who can’t follow directions to the letter.

“We’re a fun staff, and we want to make sure we get someone who won’t get offended if we crack open a beer on a Friday afternoon,” he says. “And the Congresswoman has a lot going on and when she asks for something to get done, it has to get done right.”

A previous job listing, posted in May, required that anyone seeking the position of legislative coordinator in Brown-Waite’s office possess “bow hunting skills” in addition to more conventional attributes.

Getting tasty recipes is a bonus of the hiring process, he says. “We’ve actually had some great recipes submitted — there’s one for a mustard-glazed salmon that sounds delicious.”

Shark Attack. In a crazy-off contest between groupies of Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) and just about anyone else — including bizarrely costumed loiterers hanging out on street corners — HOH recommends putting your money on the Ron Paul guys. An HOH tipster, who happens to be a Hill staffer, shared with us this tale illustrating the relative wackiness of the feverish supporters of the erstwhile presidential candidate.

The tipster and a pal, also a Hill staffer, attended a speech in Iowa by another GOP White House contender, former Sen. Fred Thompson (Tenn.), on Sept. 8. Outside the hotel where the candidate was speaking stood a group of Ron Paul supporters with signs reading, “Ron Paul Revolution.” As they left the hotel following the speech, our tipster and his sidekick spotted a guy dressed up in a shark suit, which he described as a full-fledged Halloween-style costume. So the tipster and his pal asked if this guy, too, was a Ron Paul supporter. Answered the shark-suit guy: “No man, those guys are crazy, I am just a dude standing on the corner in a shark suit.”

Lott Solos, Sans Singing Senators. Although Sen. Larry Craig may not have resigned quite yet, the scandal-plagued Idaho Republican has been keeping a low profile, including being a no-show for a performance with the Singing Senators, the GOP barbershop trio that usually features Craig, former Attorney General and Missouri Sen. John Ashcroft, and Minority Whip Trent Lott (Miss.). The group was slated to put in a guest performance at The Gulf Coast Mississippi Red Cross Katrina Benefit Concert last Thursday, an event headlined by Senatorial offspring Chet Lott, who performed songs from his own album, “Erased It”.

Craig, who pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct in a sex sting in a men’s bathroom, wasn’t the only Singing Senator who missed the gig. Attendees, who included former Louisiana Rep. Bob Livingston (R) and ex-Sen. John Breaux (D), had to make do with Lott singing the bass line for the group’s favorite number, “Elvira.”

“It was Senator in the singular,” said Chet Lott, the Senator’s son who organized the event, which raised money for the Southeast Mississippi Chapter of the Red Cross. Ashcroft had another engagement, according to Lott, and as with many of the events Craig had on tap last week, he too was a no-show. As for the Singing Senators, it looks like their music-making days are over. The group performed together in June for a charity event, but they hadn’t sung together for years before then. Reunion tours are “a little overrated and never live up to the original,” according to Lott spokesman Nick Simpson.

Butts Out. Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) means business about that anti-smoking policy she’s imposed throughout the Capitol (take that, Mr. Boehner). HOH spies noticed new signs posted in the conference rooms located in the House crypt area — the site of out-of-the-way basement conference rooms where the occasional staffer or Member was known to light up. The signs read: “No Smoking Permitted in This Space.”

Doughnuts for Dollars. Of course, sugar-filled, carb-larded Krispy Kremes are certain to fatten one’s waistline. Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) is hoping the tasty pastries will have the same effect on his campaign coffers.

Tuesday morning, Burr is holding his annual doughnut confab with home-state chain Krispy Kreme, an event that also aims to raise money in addition to attendees’ daily calorie intakes. Political action committees are expected to pony up $1,000 or $500 to be a host or attendee, respectively, for the event, slated for 8:30 a.m. at Citigroup’s 1000 Pennsylvania Ave. NW offices. But the yeomen of the Hill (read: staffers who practically survive on free doughnuts) are encouraged to pay “whatever you can afford,” according to the flyer flacking the event.

After poor staffers are done breaking bread with the Senator, there likely will be plenty to share with their non-early bird colleagues. With about more than a thousand of the sugary goodies set to be on-site, organizers usually send attendees away with a dozen doughnuts apiece. Now that’s what we call sharing the wealth.

Forgoing Green. Being ferried to and fro in gas-guzzling SUVs is old hat for many on Capitol Hill, but now that going green is so fashionable, lawmakers may want to take a cue tomorrow from D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty, who’s participating in D.C.’s first Car Free Day. Approved by the D.C. City Council this spring, the District is joining 1,500 cities to raise awareness about alternative transportation and encouraging people to forgo their usual four-wheeled transport.

So far, giving up one’s wheels for a day doesn’t seem to be high on many lawmakers’ minds. D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D) did say she’s planning to walk the nine blocks to and from her Capitol Hill home. But calls to several leadership offices went unreturned about whether they’ll be participating. Pelosi, for one, is opting out of the day without cars according to her spokesman Drew Hammill, who cited “security concerns” as the main reason for her eschewing the call for public transportation.

And besides, it’s awfully hard to bike in those killer heels the Speaker’s so fond of.

Brandace Simmons contributed to this report.

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