Heard on the Hill: A Cash Cow for Schmidt?

Posted October 19, 2009 at 6:48pm

Correction Appended

Contrary to what records suggest, Rep. Jean Schmidt isn’t using campaign cash to stock her freezer with sides of beef.

According to Schmidt’s most recent Federal Election Commission report, the Ohio Republican’s campaign spent a meaty $795 on “livestock purchases— in two transactions over the summer, one to the Adams County Agricultural Society and the other to the Clermont County Junior Fair Board.

[IMGCAP(1)]That had HOH wondering whether something udderly scandalous was afoot, er … hoof.

But Schmidt’s office said she didn’t actually buy any cows (no word on whether she’s getting the milk for free). The sales are part of a rural charity auction tradition in which young 4-H Club members “sell— their star livestock to the highest bidder, her reps explained. The sale price is actually a charitable donation, generally to a scholarship fund, and the livestock ultimately gets sold to a processor.

And that’s perfectly kosher: Members of Congress routinely make charitable donations from their campaign accounts, so campaign finance watchdogs won’t have any beef with Schmidt on this one.

Waiting Game. Sure, the food at Oyamel is pretty delicious — but we’re guessing the super long wait to grab a table there Saturday night had more to do with one of the restaurant’s patrons than the tasty tacos.

First lady Michelle Obama dined at the Penn Quarter Mexican eatery Saturday night, creating “incredibly long waits— for seats, according to an HOH tipster who was in line for a table. But the restaurant’s service wasn’t to blame: It seems patrons who had already finished their meals hung around in the hopes that they’d catch a glimpse of the stylish first lady.

Our tipster waited almost two hours before getting seated but noted that Oyamel staff were gracious about the whole thing, even giving her party free guacamole and margaritas while they twiddled their thumbs.

Alas, our tipster didn’t end up seeing Obama but told HOH that the waiter who eventually served her party insisted that the first lady loved her meal.

Also spotted around town this weekend: Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano sitting “front and center— for a performance of Verdi’s “Requiem— at the National Cathedral on Sunday afternoon, according to an HOH spy.

HOH’s Dumb Criminals. And now, HOH brings you another cautionary tale of what not to do when you (quite literally) have a run-in with the law.

Today’s lesson: Don’t get drunk, drive and hit a cop car. It won’t end well, kids.

D.C. resident Yashvir Virk was driving near the 600 block of G Street Northeast around 9:30 p.m. Oct. 8 when his vehicle struck a marked Capitol Police cruiser, according to a Capitol Police spokeswoman.

But rather than stopping to exchange contact and insurance information with the officer — which is, um, the law — Virk drove off. Eventually the officer on duty was able to pull Virk over — and detected “an odor of an alcoholic beverage— on his breath. Multiple field sobriety tests were conducted and “due to numerous signs of impairment the Defendant was placed under arrest,— according to a Capitol Police summary report.Virk was transported to Capitol Police headquarters and initially charged with leaving the scene of an accident and causing property damage, the report reads.

Cue the theme to “Cops.—

Green With Envy. Uh, we’ll stick with Champagne, please. Expect a departure from the typical cocktail-party fare of crabcakes and cheese and crackers at a reception tonight at Charlie Palmer Steak for renewable energy company Solazyme.

The hosts at Blue Line Strategic Communications are promising (warning?) that partygoers can raise a toast with a special “algae-inspired drink— and indulge in algae cookies and milk. The menu is inspired by Solzyme (Blue Line’s client) and its algae biofuels, which the Navy is using on ships and jets.

“If milk — yes even algae milk — does a body good, wait until you see what algae-based fuels can do for our national security,— always-on-message Blue Line partner David DiMartino said.

Overheard on the Hill. “It’s been suggested that being alone on an island was some Freudian allusion to the fortunes of congressional Republicans.—

— Rep. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), writing in the Arizona Republic on one of the speculated reasons why he spent a week alone on an uninhabited Pacific island.

Shira Toeplitz contributed to this report.

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Correction: Oct. 20, 2009

The article incorrectly stated that former cable talk-show host Alan Colmes grabbed drinks at Westend Bistro on Friday night. Colmes was not at the bar.