Heard on the Hill: Congressional Cool Points
Rep. Mike Quigley might be near the bottom of the seniority list in the House, but the Illinois Democrat can list one accomplishment that most of his colleagues lack: He’s going to be on MTV.
[IMGCAP(1)] Quigley filmed an appearance this summer for the upcoming MTV reality show “The Buried Life,— which features four Canadian-born 20-something guys traveling around the country to complete their list of “100 things to do before you die.—
No. 95 on the list is for the foursome to play basketball with hoops-loving President Barack Obama.
Trying to achieve their goal, they visited Washington, D.C., during the summer — and even persuaded VIPs such as Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and Rep. Baron Hill (D-Ind.) to endorse their effort — but Obama has yet to shoot hoops with the guys.
Instead, the cast challenged the hockey-crazed Quigley to a race on the ice. And the 50-year-old Quigley smoked ’em.
“It was a lot of fun, especially beating a bunch of Canadians on the ice,— Quigley told HOH. “My daughters just think it’s cool that I’ll be on MTV. C-SPAN doesn’t impress them I guess.—
Cast member Ben Nemtin joked to HOH that while Quigley won, “if I had my own skates, I think it would be a different story.— But Nemtin did recall that it was neat to “meet someone of [Quigley’s] notoriety at a skating rink [rather] than at a desk.—
Before they left, the cast asked Quigley what he wants to do before he dies. Quigley’s response: “I’m a Congressman during the most extraordinary time in recent American history. I’m doing it.—
As for No. 95? The cast is still “gunning for it,— Nemtin said. “People quite high up have been in contact with us, so we’re feeling positive about it,— he added.
Intern 007. Until now, we thought the worst offenses that interns were capable of were crimes against fashion (no, ID badges do NOT go with everything) and underage drinking.
But according to Rep. Sue Myrick, those clueless-looking interns might actually be undercover secret agents.
The North Carolina Republican, along with Reps. John Shadegg (R-Ariz.), Paul Broun (R-Ga.) and Trent Franks (R-Ariz.), on Wednesday accused the Muslim advocacy nonprofit Council on American-Islamic Relations of trying to plant lowly interns in Congressional offices in an effort to sway U.S. policies.
The Members pointed to revelations in a new book, “Muslim Mafia: Inside the Secret Underworld That’s Conspiring to Islamize America.— In that book, authors P. David Gaubatz and Paul Sperry cite a 2007 internal CAIR strategy memo stating that the group would “develop national initiatives such as a lobby day and placing Muslim interns in Congressional offices— and accused the group of having ties to Hamas.
CAIR spokesperson Ibrahim Hooper told HOH that Gaubatz stole documents from CAIR but could not confirm or deny the authenticity of the memo.
“It’s really ridiculous that elected officials want to attack a group for doing something that every American has the right to do — and merely because we’re Muslim,— Hooper said.
Left unexplained by either side is how mail-sorting, coffee-fetching interns actually, ah, influence policy.
Rehberg Staffer in Jeopardy. Answer: “Congressional staffer who appeared on a long-running game show.—
Question: Who is Abra Belke, a legislative assistant for Rep. Denny Rehberg (R-Mont.), whose appearance on “Jeopardy— aired Tuesday night?
Belke finished second — taking home a not-too-shabby $2,000 — but told HOH after the show aired that she suffered a bit of bad luck during filming.
Multiple “Jeopardy— shows are shot on the same day, so contestants must watch others compete until they are called to the stage. Those waiting in the audience know that categories already played won’t come up during their game.
The final Jeopardy category on the show just before Belke’s: the U.S. Senate.
“I looked over at my parents who were sitting a few rows away, and they just had their head in their hands,— she recalled.
Belke studied hard for her appearance, which took place during the August recess. Rehberg and his staff were very supportive, Belke said, noting some co-workers even stayed with Belke after work to play a “Jeopardy— board game.
By the time Belke hit the stage, she suffered a slow start — she didn’t answer any questions in the first few minutes and was behind the others going into the first commercial break. “I was starting to panic. And then I got an easy one right, and then I got another,— she said.
Belke even took the lead for some time, only to fall off toward the end of the game. “I’m very happy and excited that I got to play … but it’s also a little sad because once you’ve done it, you can never do it again,— she said.
ISO Geeks. Here comes another D.C.-centric reality show. The television production team behind hits “Project Runway— and “Top Chef— just put out a casting call for a new documentary series, looking for a “Washington, D.C. society insider— or “chic up and comers in our nation’s capital— who can “hit The Hill hard during the day and the bars harder at night.—
While the casting call might match a typical Hill intern, there are further requirements. Potential cast members must be a “recent college graduate or future political powerhouse— and be at least 21 years old.
Byron C. Tau contributed to this report.
Submit your hot tips, juicy gossip or comments here.