Heard on the Hill: ESPN’s Andrews Switches to the C-SPAN Circuit

Posted July 27, 2010 at 6:42pm

Most celebrity lobbyists love to gush about their charitable cause when they visit Capitol Hill — but when ESPN reporter Erin Andrews came Tuesday to show support for anti-stalking legislation, she just wanted to talk sports.

“Can we just talk about the Vikings? That’s a lot easier for me to talk about,” Andrews said at a press conference. “Let’s talk about Brett Favre. … It’s easier for me to talk about touchdowns and errors and [pitcher] Matt Garza.”

Andrews joined Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Reps. Loretta Sanchez (D-Calif.), Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.), Leonard Boswell (D-Iowa) and Scott Murphy (D-N.Y.) to promote legislation designed to strengthen federal stalking laws. The measure was expected to pass the House on Tuesday afternoon, and Klobuchar plans to introduce companion legislation in the Senate.

Andrews’ initial hesitance to talk about the issue is understandable; the former “Dancing With the Stars” contestant was the target of a stalker who videotaped her through hotel peepholes and posted the footage to the Internet. The man is now in prison, and Andrews said she wants to use her ordeal to help other stalking victims.

Klobuchar praised Andrews for bringing stalking “out of the shadows and onto the agenda” and noted that she’s also a trailblazer in the sports arena.

The Senator recalled when she was young, her father reported on the Minnesota Vikings and sometimes would take her along to games with him. “I don’t think there were a lot of women reporters back then, so we are all proud of Erin,” Klobuchar said.

It’s Called Burying the Lede

It’s not uncommon for ex-Congressional aides to offer their Capitol Hill expertise to journalists; it’s how half this town stays employed, after all. But when a New York-based public relations firm touted former Hill aide Chris Krueger as a political strategist who can “offer insight” into the ongoing ethics scandal surrounding Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.), it caught HOH’s eye.

Beth Leri of the public relations firm Spring O’Brien sent an e-mail to various news outlets pitching Krueger, who works for think tank Concept Capital, as an expert on ethics violations. But Leri failed to mention that Krueger’s expertise likely comes, at least in part, from his experience working for former Rep. Bob Ney, who found himself dealing with his own ethics scandal a few years back.

According to LegiStorm, Krueger spent several years as the Ohio Republican’s personal assistant on the House Administration Committee.

Ney would go on to resign from the House in 2006 after pleading guilty to charges of conspiracy and making false statements relating to the Jack Abramoff scandal.

But Krueger’s time working for Ney isn’t mentioned in the e-mail offering him for an interview, nor is it listed in his company bio on Concept Capital’s website.

Krueger and Spring O’Brien declined to comment to HOH.

Hank Aaron Hits a Home Run for Rep. John Lewis

Legendary slugger Hank Aaron is hosting a campaign fundraiser for longtime friend Rep. John Lewis tonight at Nationals Park.

The Georgia Democrat will join the former home run record holder to watch the Atlanta Braves face the Washington Nationals. Along with being proud Atlantans — Lewis’ district is situated in the city and Aaron played for the Braves for most of his record-breaking career — the pair are close friends whose relationship goes back decades. And while Lewis probably can’t hit a baseball as far as Hammerin’ Hank, the duo share a deep love of the national pastime, HOH hears.

Tickets to mingle with the Congressman and Hall of Famer are listed at $1,500 for individual donors, $2,500 for sponsors and $5,000 to be named a host.

A Win for the Disabled Community

Capitol Hill wasn’t the only place to rejoice when Rep. James Langevin presided over the House floor on Monday, making the Rhode Island Democrat the first person in a wheelchair ever to do so. Across the country in Portland, Ore., “Little People, Big World” star Amy Roloff was cheering him on.

“To have him back in the limelight and realizing that it just recently became accessible for him to actually preside where he did and give his statement, to me it was significant,” Roloff tells HOH. “Those are the stories we need to have come out more.”

Roloff, a mother of four who was born with dwarfism, said now that her kids are getting older, she plans to take a more active roll in advocating for disability rights and may even make an appearance in D.C. to lobby Congress.

Rockefeller Is on the Mend

An HOH spy eyed Sen. Jay Rockefeller on Tuesday wearing a foot boot and walking with a cane, but his office says the West Virginia Democrat is going to be fine. A Rockefeller spokesman told HOH that the Senator is dealing with a “small minor foot injury — no biggie” but didn’t elaborate on how exactly Rockefeller got hurt.

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.