Heard on the Hill: King’s Parting Shot

Posted February 12, 2010 at 5:33pm

Note to all raccoons out there: Don’t try to crawl your way into Rep. Steve King’s house. He’ll mess you up.

[IMGCAP(1)]The Iowa Republican set the Twittersphere all aflutter last week after he posted this message: “Mid day, mid blizzard, 15 degrees, Crazy Raccoon chewing and clawing his way into my house. Desert Eagle 1, Crazy Raccoon zero.”

And because a story that involves a potentially crazed critter, a Congressman and a high-powered semiautomatic pistol can’t quite be summed up in 140 characters, HOH chatted with King on Friday to get the full story behind the now-infamous shooting.

King told HOH that the saga began when his wife, Marilyn, first saw the raccoon — which King described as younger and midsized — trying to crawl its way into the couple’s Iowa home. King was concerned the animal might be rabid, he said, because he had never seen a raccoon so close to the house in the winter.

But the raccoon disappeared until Feb. 9, when King, sitting in his family room on a conference call, spotted it again trying to weasel its way into the house. And he immediately sprung into action.

King grabbed the Desert Eagle — “It’s the one I had handy,” he told HOH — and went after the raccoon, which fled. But King caught up, fired and killed the creature.

“We can’t have an animal that might be sick, might be rabid, out there,” King said, adding that his granddaughters often play in the area where he spotted the raccoon. “That’s just what has to happen when you live out here in the country.”

But King insists he isn’t an animal hater, pointing out that his family often spots animals such as deer, squirrels and rabbits frolicking on their property. “We appreciate the wildlife,” King said.

But “I can’t have a crazy ‘coon,” he added.

Senate Snow Business. There’s snowpocalypse, snowmaggedon, snOMG and now — for the nerdy Congressional set — “snowmination.”

Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D) chaired the first official Senate hearing held after last week’s blizzard, a Senate Judiciary Committee meeting on six nominations to the federal district court. And in keeping with the wintry weather, Klobuchar dubbed the committee meeting the “Snowmination Hearing.”

Just holding the hearing was a big accomplishment, considering most Congressional business was canceled last week because of the snow. But a spokeswoman told HOH that Klobuchar — a hearty Minnesotan who has seen plenty of the white stuff — joked “neither rain nor sleet nor snow could keep me away from this hearing,” a jab at the United States Postal Service (which canceled some of its mail deliveries during the big storm).

And although Klobuchar proudly attended to her Senatorial duties, spokeswoman Erikka Knuti said the Senator admitted the blizzard would be considered a snowstorm even in Minnesota.

Klobuchar wasn’t immune to the effects of the blizzard, either. She told the Austin Daily Herald that her 14-year-old daughter, Abigail, had been out of school for several days because of the snow. When Klobuchar wondered whether those days would be made up at the end of the school year, Abigail came up with her own solution.

“She told her friends, ‘It can be declared a natural disaster by Congress,'” Klobuchar told the newspaper.

PAC Money Is Forever? Valentine’s Day brings an inevitable rush to jewelry stores, but clueless boyfriends aren’t the only ones stimulating the trinket-hawking economy: Political groups have dropped big bucks on it, too.

According to HOH’s peek at political spending data, groups spent nearly $240,000 in the last two reporting cycles at the Tiny Jewel Box, a popular Washington jewelry shop.

Aw, you really shouldn’t have!

Of those reporting expenses to the Federal Election Commission, the Republican National Committee was one of the biggest spenders at the upscale emporium. The RNC dropped $111,361 on what it described as “office supplies,” including a very romantic $2,950 purchase on Valentine’s Day of 2008. Others who splurged at the shop included the Electrical Contractors Political Action Committee ($46,554) and McCain Victory 2008 ($39,475).

HOH suspects they didn’t scoop up glittery rings or earrings, but rather some of the array of political-themed “corporate gifts” that the Tiny Jewel Box offers, the kind often doled out as gifts to donors or supporters. Those items include crystal paperweights in the shape of gavels ($240), sterling silver cuff links shaped like the Capitol Dome ($125) or White House coasters ($65).

Who Dat Say Dey Gonna Congratulate Dem Saints? The New Orleans Saints faced brutal battles on the gridiron to win the Super Bowl, but that could be nothing compared to the fight brewing over who gets to lead the team’s praises in the halls of Congress.

Louisiana Reps. Anh “Joseph” Cao (R) and Steve Scalise (R) both introduced measures last week congratulating the Saints for bringing home the franchise’s first-ever National Football League championship. Both measures are loaded with praise for Saints owner Tom Benson, coach Sean Payton, quarterback Drew Brees and the rest of the team, both have been referred to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, and interestingly enough, both Members are listed as co-sponsors on the other’s bill.

While a Cao spokesman declined to comment on Scalise’s bill, he told HOH, “Our expectation is our resolution will get a vote on the House floor.”

Scalise spokesman Luke Bolar showed his good sportsmanship, telling HOH that “both Members represent parts of New Orleans, and everyone is very excited for the Saints and what this means to the city and the state.”

Overheard on the Hill. “Commie Chinese think they own us-They poisoned our toys, they took our jobs, they are trying to control us. Time to tell them where to go.”

— Former Rep. Bob Ney (R-Ohio), taking a decidedly dragon-slayerish tone in a Thursday tweet.

Jackie Kucinich contributed to today’s HOH.

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