Heard on the Hill: O, Captain

Posted March 23, 2009 at 6:37pm

Congressional b-ballers will take to the court for their annual throw down against members of the Georgetown Law faculty, but members of Team Congress will be without their beloved coach, Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones.

[IMGCAP(1)]The Ohio Democrat, who passed away last year, will be honored at this year’s 22nd Annual Home Court Charity Basketball Game on April 1, organizers tell HOH. Her jersey will be retired, and her son, Mervyn, will be on hand for the event.

New recruits Sens. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) and John Thune (R-S.D.) will now helm the “Hill’s Angels,— who will face off against the “Hoya Lawyas— in a game that benefits the Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless.

And although the game will have a solemn beginning, the competitive spirit clearly hasn’t gone away.

Alex Perry, chairman of the communications committee helping to organize the game, said the Hoyas aren’t afraid of their opponent’s two new captains — even though both Casey and Thune are pretty tall guys (Casey is 6 foot 2 inches; we figure Thune is 6-foot-plus as well) and relatively young for Senators. “We have some new professors playing, too — we’ve got some young-bloods,— Perry boasted.

Sounds like the game will go on.

Deal ’Em In. Members of Congress have plenty of chances to practice their poker faces — now they’ll have a chance to show them off, Texas Hold ’Em style.

The 2009 “Go All In— poker tournament will see a handful of Members wagering against celebrities such as actor Ben Affleck on March 25 at the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill. All the high-rolling is for charity, with proceeds benefiting the Paralyzed Veterans of America.

Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska), former Sen. Alfonse D’Amato (R-N.Y.) and Reps. Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), Tom Perriello (D-Va.) and Nick Rahall (D-W.Va.) will place their bets against celebrities such as Affleck (who notably played poker at Coors Field in Denver during the Democratic National Convention), NASCAR legends Richard and Kyle Petty, talk-show host Montel Williams and poker stars Andy Bloch, Lee Childs and Mike Sexton.

“I am happy to ante up for the Paralyzed Veterans of America,— Begich said in a statement. “This is a great organization that helps thousands of brave men and women who have defended our country.—

Rep. Shelley Berkley (D-Nev.) also will be on hand, though she isn’t expected to play. And no actual money will be wagered (gambling is illegal, after all), but the tournament’s grand prize is a seat at the $10,000 table at the 2009 World Series of Poker in Las Vegas. Additional prizes include a spot at the World Poker Tour two-day boot camp.

AIG Chief Talks. Determined to get to the bottom of this financial mess ourselves, HOH scored an exclusive interview with the head of AIG. Not Edward Liddy, the dollar-a-year honcho of American International Group, but Fred Palm, the executive director of another AIG — the Association of Inspectors General, a New-York based group that represents professional investigators and auditors.

Palm said he’s privately chuckling at the coincidence that his organization bears the same moniker as the most reviled company in the country. “After all, we’re the guys who investigate waste, fraud and abuse!— Palm said of his group.

So far, he reports that no confused protesters have camped out on his lawn, a la the demonstrations going on outside the mansions belonging to the “real— AIG execs.

A Good Day’ in the House. There’s plenty of serious business afoot, but the House on Monday paid tribute to warmer, happier times. The chamber was slated to adopt a resolution honoring vintage radio legend Paul Harvey, whose soothing voice and quirky delivery brought “The Rest of the Story— to American radios for nearly 50 years.

Harvey, who always signed off his broadcast with “good day,— died earlier this year at the age of 90.

All the City’s a Stage. It’s a long way from Broadway, but an HOH spy found actor Steven Weber waiting in line for a taxi outside Union Station on Monday morning.

The actor, whose gigs have included notable stints on TV’s “Wings— and “Desperate Housewives,— will play the Great White Way alongside Matthew Broderick in the play “The Philanthropist.—

Weber is active with the Creative Coalition, but insiders say he wasn’t here for business with the arts advocacy group.

Eight Is Enough? Speaker Nancy Pelosi loves to surround herself with kids for photo ops, and now she’ll have an even easier time recruiting picture-ready tykes: On Sunday, the California Democrat became a grandmother eight times over, with the birth of Isabella Pelosi Kaufman, born to her daughter, Christine Pelosi, and Christine’s filmmaker husband, Paul Kaufman.

Christine Pelosi, one of the Speaker’s five children, runs political training for Democratic candidates and wrote the book “Campaign Boot Camp.—

And though as journalists we’re trained to be skeptical of hyperbole in press releases, this is one we totally buy: Little Isabella, according to the Speaker, is “adorable.—

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