Heard on the Hill: UFC Fans Include Rocker, Wrestler and … Majority Leader?

Posted July 9, 2010 at 5:24pm

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid doesn’t fit the stereotype of a mixed martial arts fan — we’ve never seen him wear an Ed Hardy T-shirt or down a Monster energy drink, after all — but it turns out that the Nevada Democrat indeed follows the fights.

Reid sat ringside with Ultimate Fighting Championship President Dana White for UFC 116 on July 3 in Las Vegas (alongside a slew of flashy celebrities) to watch champ Brock Lesnar prevail over challenger Shane Carwin. Others on hand included “Avatar” star Sam Worthington, David Cook of “American Idol,” rocker Gene Simmons, boxer Evander Holyfield, and pro-wrestlers-turned-actors “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and Dwayne Johnson (formerly “The Rock”).

Reid’s appearance was part of a campaign event that gave one supporter the chance to watch the fight with him and White. Reid, himself a former amateur boxer, appeared to have a good time at what turned out to be an intense bout.

A Resident Fashionista’s Hands-On Guidance

Nearly two years after she began dishing out advice to Capitol Hill staffers on dressing to impress (hint: Ditch the Vera Bradley handbags, ladies) Belle from the D.C. fashion blog Capitol Hill Style is offering one-on-one help.

Belle (a Congressional staffer whose real identity is kept secret) announced last week that she’s launching a new fashion consulting venture, “Fashion Fairy Godmother,” that will offer personalized styling tips. For $150, Belle will spend two hours consulting with a client; for $225 (or more, depending on the size of the closet), she’ll spend up to six hours digging into closets, chucking ill-fitting or out-of-style pieces, coming up with new outfits and outlining what kind of clothes the client should buy in the future.

“I think a lot of women buy pieces without knowing how to turn those pieces into outfits,” Belle tells HOH. “They like this top but they don’t know what to wear it with, and sometimes, they need a person to challenge them to try something they might never have tried on their own.”

Belle notes that many Hill staffers need help with tailoring — their favorite jacket is actually too big, or that pencil skirt would look better if it were an inch shorter. “These are the types of things that only another person can tell you,” she says.

And Belle admits some people just need a fashion intervention, ASAP.

“Hopefully, if I can get inside a few Hill staffer closets, I can start ridding the world of block heels and crepe pantsuits once and for all,” Belle says. “Oh, and wire hangers. No wire hangers, ever!”

Maybe Not So Neighborly, but OK Ethically

Rep. Laura Richardson might need to hire a gardener and an exterminator, but she didn’t violate any ethics rules.

The Office of Congressional Ethics cleared the California Democrat of any wrongdoing July 1 after investigating whether she received improper favors when a bank halted the sale of a foreclosed home she owns in Sacramento. HOH couldn’t help but notice that hidden in the report are a few paragraphs studying juicy accusations from Richardson’s neighbors that her property had fallen into disarray: infested by rats, in need of yard work and home to drug-dealing squatters.

Neighbors filed multiple complaints with the Sacramento Code Enforcement Department and went public with their accusations in a 2009 Los Angeles Times article.

One neighbor told the ethics panel that Richardson’s house was at times occupied by squatters and that police were called after neighbors suspected drugs were being dealt there. That neighbor also paid a gardener $160 to $230 to clean up the yard, said the report.

Another neighbor complained about the property’s rat infestation and contacted Richardson’s Congressional office about the rodents and squatters. Richardson’s office told the neighbor that because he or she didn’t live in Richardson’s Congressional district, the complaints could not be addressed, the report noted.

But even if Richardson was the worst neighbor ever, no ethics rules were broken.

The only accusation the panel officially ruled on was whether the money spent on the gardener broke the gift rule. Richardson didn’t cooperate with the investigation, so it’s unclear if she knew about the gardeners. But even if she did, any violation would be minimal, and the panel dismissed the complaint.

A Richardson spokesman declined to comment on the neighbors’ accusations, referring HOH to Richardson’s statement about the ruling. “The Committee’s bipartisan report confirms that I have at all times acted in accordance with my ethical duties as a Member of Congress. I am thankful this is over and behind me,” she said.

Overheard on the Hill

“LeBron James is coming back and Lee is going to Washington.”

— Vice President Joseph Biden, campaigning for Ohio Democratic Senate candidate Lee Fisher on June 30. Biden’s inaccurate guess as to which NBA team James would sign with (he picked the Miami Heat) led the National Republican Senatorial Committee to release a statement on Friday surmising that “the loquacious Vice President will be 0 for 2 on his Ohio predictions.”

Submit your hot tips, juicy gossip or comments here.