Required, er, Reading

Posted November 12, 2007 at 6:38pm

The January edition of flesh-flashing Hustler magazine is slated to arrive in Congressional offices this week, and HOH is guessing that this particular copy is going to get even more attention than the usual porny fare. The mag features a pictorial, um, spread on Wendy Ellis, the New Orleans hooker who claims Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) was a client of hers in 1999, as well as an interview in which Ellis dishes the dirt on her alleged former john.

[IMGCAP(1)]Hill offices have gotten courtesy subscriptions to Hustler since the 1980s, and most Hill denizens are pretty blasé about the regular arrival of the naughty periodical. The Vitter connection, though, is bound to amp up interest in the new issue.

HOH obtained a copy of the much-anticipated magazine and only would be too happy to preview it for her readers, were it not a little too steamy for these pages. You’ll have to go pick up the “Unrated!!” version of Roll Call at your local Blockbuster.

Suffice it to say that Ellis, who went by the names Leah or Wendy Cortez, reveals way-personal details about her Senatorial client, his between-the-sheets preferences and physical attributes. (True political junkies also might want to check out porn star Mary Carey’s revelations on page 59 about what she’d do if she were president — she’s planning to run once she’s old enough — while lighter fare includes the photo spread on page 24 of “Natasha Nice: A Nice Way to Spend the Day.”)

While HOH is guessing that dog-eared office copies of Hustler any other month may get an eyebrow raise from fellow staffers, staffers can at least claim that there’s a current- events motive behind a peek at this one.

No Butts About It. Senate staffers and visitors won’t be able to stock up on cheap ciggies anymore, now that the Rules and Administration Committee has banned sales of coffin nails from shops in the Senate-side Capitol complex. Nicotine-hooked types had long taken advantage of the lack of sales tax on cigarette packs sold at the Refectory on the first floor of the Capitol, the Senate Chef in the basement of the Hart Senate Office Building, and the convenience and coffee shop in the Dirksen Senate Office Building.

But the smoke is clearing, and the sales will halt as of Jan. 1. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), who chairs the Rules and Administration Committee, and Sen. Bob Bennett (R-Utah), the panel’s ranking member, about a week ago asked the shops to stop selling smokes starting in 2008, says Howard Gantman, the panel’s majority staff director. The committee has jurisdiction over the chamber’s food and retail operations. The smoke-fighting duo also instructed the shops to stop ordering new stock as soon as possible, Gantman says.

The smoke-out was prompted by a letter spearheaded by anti-smoking crusader Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) and Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) asking the committee to nix the Senate’s tobacco trade. “Sen. Feinstein agreed. … She felt there’s a serious health impact and didn’t feel it was appropriate for the Senate to be involved with selling cigarettes to workers and visitors,” Gantman tells HOH.

It’s getting harder to light up on Capitol grounds — Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) outlawed lighting up in the notoriously smoky Speaker’s Lobby earlier this year. Cigarettes, though, are still for sale in House-side shops — for now.

But with the anti-smoking forces amassing power all over the Capitol, HOH suggests smoking ’em while you’ve got ’em.

Bathroom Charity. Going once, twice … and sold — Sen. Larry Craig’s (R-Idaho) bathroom scandal went for the high price of $1,900 at a Boise, Idaho, charity auction last week. Or at least a piece of artwork inspired by the scandal did. The art that graced the cover of the Sept. 12 issue of alternative publication Boise Weekly features a mock movie poster for a made-up flick called “Gunfight at Brokeback Outhouse” starring a 10-gallon-hat-wearing Craig. On the poster, Craig is depicted facing another cowpoke, which the poster describes as a “lonely cowboy looking for love.”

The artwork, by an anonymous artist who went by the pseudonym Timothy Shawn Burnicle, was the biggest draw at the 2007 Boise Weekly Cover Art Auction, the paper reports. The high bidder for the Craig-themed work was Boisean Sarah Read. The event raised $15,116 for a local arts grant.

Briefly Quoted. “Rangel on Crack” — The heading of an e-mail from Emile Milne, the spokesman for House Ways and Means Chairman Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.), containing a statement by Rangel on penalties for crack-cocaine-related offenses.

Submit your hot tips, juicy gossip or comments here.