Heard on the Hill: Senate Scribes Draw Foul

Posted June 18, 2010 at 5:31pm

World Cup fever isn’t just crowding Washington’s bars. Last week, it threatened to disrupt the world’s greatest deliberative body.

Senate business on Friday was briefly interrupted by a group of rowdy reporters in the Senate Daily Press Gallery whose enthusiastic cheers for Team USA could be heard on the floor. Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) was in the middle of a speech honoring some of his constituents when a boisterous whoop could be heard from the gallery, says a tipster who was on the floor at the time. (That was, apparently, when Team USA scored.)

Dodd quickly recovered, and the Senate went about its business.

Just a little bit later, a second (and even louder) cheer rang out. That didn’t sit well with Lula Davis, the order-loving Senate majority secretary.

Davis “came onto the floor, not looking very happy at all, and had a quiet conversation with a member of the floor staff,” our tipster says. When the staffer pointed to the press gallery as the source of the ruckus, Davis “directed a sharp glare” to the offending source and then marched out of the gallery.

Good thing the reporters hadn’t brought their vuvuzelas with them to work, or they’d really be in trouble.

Salazar Goes on a Beer Run

What with the BP crisis roiling Capitol Hill and thousands of gallons of oil still gushing into the Gulf of Mexico, one could hardly blame Interior Secretary Ken Salazar for seeking comfort with a brewski.

An HOH spy spotted the former Colorado Democratic Senator at a convenience store on Capitol Hill on Wednesday night buying two six packs, one of Bud Light cans and one of Corona. Salazar was dressed for an evening of kicking back and relaxing, wearing a T-shirt and baseball hat, our spy says.

“Secretary Salazar is devoting 100 percent of his time to the fight to protect the Gulf Coast from BP’s oil spill, but everyone needs a cold beer once in a while,” spokeswoman Kendra Barkoff tells HOH.

Just call him Secretary Suds.

Keeping Their Eyes on the Ball

While financial reform is being sorted out in conference, one of the effort’s main players took a night off to enjoy some hoops.

HOH hears Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) joined White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel on Thursday evening to watch game seven of the NBA finals at Tunnicliff’s Tavern near Eastern Market.

We’re guessing that Dodd, a New Englander, wasn’t happy with the result of the matchup, considering the Los Angeles Lakers erased a 13-point deficit in the second half to beat the Boston Celtics, 83-79.

Help From
His Friends

Environmental activist Ted Glick could face a pretty hefty sentence for hanging two big banners in the Hart Senate Office Building — but he’s hoping to get a little leniency from the judge by organizing a letter-writing campaign that has attracted a few bold-facers.

Glick, the policy director of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network, could get a three-year jail sentence for displaying the banners (one read “Green Jobs Now” and the other “Get to Work”), which got him two misdemeanor charges. So far, several hundred people, including actor-activists Susan Sarandon, Danny Glover and Ed Asner, have written to the judge on his behalf, Glick tells HOH.

Glick is no stranger to getting arrested in Washington for protesting: He was busted in 2006 for climbing onto a ledge and hanging another banner at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and again in 2007 for a sit-in in the office of Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).

“I hope the judge sees that our action … was nonviolent,” he says. “It was never our intention for anyone to be hurt or disrupted.”

Overheard on the Hill

“It is worse; we were beaten by the press!”

— House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), recounting a comment from one of his Democratic colleagues after last week’s charity Congressional Women’s Softball Game, in which journalists defeated a team of lawmakers. Hoyer said a Democrat on the Members’ team tried to console her colleagues by reminding them that at least they hadn’t been beaten by Republicans.

Submit your hot tips, juicy gossip or comments here.

Can’t get enough HOH? Get a midday dose of fun and gossip with HOH’s One-Minute Recess, delivered to your inbox daily. Sign up here — because everyone deserves more recess.