Heard on the Hill: The Wedding Crasher

Posted March 9, 2010 at 6:29pm

No one expects her wedding to wind up at the center of a Congressional ethics investigation. But a staffer for then-Rep. Eric Massa got a wedding gift even worse than yet another toaster oven when an incident at her New Year’s Eve nuptials wound up as part of a probe into her boss’s alleged bad behavior.

[IMGCAP(1)]The celebration of the marriage of then-Massa aide Kate Krems and Washington native Rick Lourenco is lovingly described on the Web site
beantownbride.com, and it appears the Dec. 31 event is the very one at which Massa admitted to some down and dirty language.

During a radio broadcast Sunday, Massa described the raucous New Year’s Eve wedding of a female staffer as the scene of the incident that landed him in hot water. Massa said that after his wife had gone home sick, he danced with the bride and a bridesmaid, after which a staffer sitting at a tableful of apparently drunk dudes suggested that Massa ought to chase after the bridesmaid. Massa said he “grabbed the staff member sitting next to me and said, ‘Well, what I really ought to be doing is fracking you.'”

Roll Call’s repeated efforts to reach Massa staffers, including Krems, were unsuccessful, so we can’t say for sure that her wedding was the one that Massa described. But it seems all but certain, since Massa only has a handful of female staffers and Krems’ wedding happened on the night that the Massa incident took place.

On the Beantown Bride site, the couple’s big night is described as a “fairytale wedding come true” with a candle-lit ceremony followed by a James Bond-themed reception at the Ritz-Carlton in Boston. The write-up is accompanied by a video highlighting special moments from the night. (We didn’t spot Massa in any of the shots, but the bridesmaids got some airtime.)

The night is described as “a truly unique celebration,” which seems apropos, considering it won’t just be memorialized in photos and videos, but possibly in sworn testimony, too.

A Vision in White. First lady Michelle Obama famously dazzled on the night of President Barack Obama’s inauguration, earning rave reviews for the one-shoulder, white silk chiffon gown that she wore to the many balls.

But when the first lady officially donated the stunning Jason Wu-designed dress to the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History on Tuesday (it goes on display today), she recalled that getting ready to debut the gown on that historic night wasn’t picture-perfect.

Earlier in the day, the new first couple had stood in the frigid outdoors at the inaugural parade “until every last band walked by,” Michelle Obama recalled. That didn’t leave much time to prepare for the evening.

“We only had less than an hour — ladies, if you can believe that,” she said. “All of my friends left us in the stands, by the way. ‘See ya, good luck!’ I was like, ‘Yeah, thanks.'”

So what did those pals say was their reason for leaving?

“‘We have to get ready for the ball,'” the first lady said. “Like, yeah, so do I.”

Obama wasn’t even worried about how she’d look at the inaugural parties; she was just focused on staying warm, she joked. But when it finally came time to put on the dress, she knew it was a special moment. “I remember how just luscious I felt as the president and I were announced onto the stage for the first of many dances. And I’ll cherish that moment for the rest of my life,” she said.

Just Measuring the Drapes. Rep. John Boozman wants to be a Senator — but he isn’t a familiar face in the exclusive chamber just yet.

An HOH tipster spotted the Arkansas Republican on Tuesday getting stopped by a Capitol Police officer in a restricted area of the Senate side of the Capitol.

The officer, who clearly didn’t recognize him, asked Boozman for ID, our tipster says, and the incognito lawmaker happily complied.

“I’m a Congressman from Arkansas,” he told the officer.

A spokeswoman says Boozman wasn’t checking out the digs that he’s hoping to occupy after the November elections; he was just attending a joint House–Senate hearing on veterans’ issues.

And the Congressman himself says the fact that he can go unrecognized in the Capitol might actually help his Senate bid. “If the Capitol Police don’t recognize me, you know I’m not a Washington insider,” he tells HOH.

Smells Like State Spirit. If you believe the polls, plenty of people think politicians stink, but they’re getting some sweet-smelling help from an enterprising perfume company.

New York-based perfumer Hanae Mori sent bottles of its newest eco-friendly scent, called No. 1, to the nation’s female governors. And spokesman Adam Brecht (a former Senate staffer) tells HOH that the company wants to extend the offer to Members of Congress.

“It’s a limited edition, so unfortunately there weren’t enough for all of them,” he says of the female Members. “But we would love to do that in the future.”

Each female guv, though, got a bottle of the “fruity and floral” scent, which was made using renewable energy sources and a portion of whose profits goes to an anti-global-warming charity. Mmm, something smells green!

The company wanted to share the perfume with the governors not only because of its earth-consciousness, but also because the women are the “No. 1” executives in their states.

Brecht acknowledges that not every governor will be able to accept the gift because of varying state-level gift restrictions. “It was offered in the spirit of friendship, not business, so we hope there won’t be any problems,” he says.

Now that’s a company that can really sniff out a marketing opportunity.

Overheard on the Hill. “Now it’s on to the Big East Championship game, where I look forward to cheering them on with my two future-Lady Huskies.”

— Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.), congratulates the University of Connecticut women’s basketball team via Twitter for breaking its own record for consecutive wins Monday. Looks like Dodd’s own daughters might have a future in hoops …

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