celebrities

Russia Portfolio Comes in Handy for Senate Staffer
Shaheen aide Naz Durakoglu comes via Atlantic Council, State Dept., House

Naz Durakoglu is a senior foreign policy adviser to New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen. (Screenshot, Middle East Institute)

Naz Durakoglu started her new job working for Sen. Jeanne Shaheen in early June, shortly after the New Hampshire Democrat had pushed to add Russia sanctions to an Iran sanctions bill as it moved through the Foreign Relations Committee.

But after Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker of Tennessee said he would move ahead with a bipartisan effort to tighten sanctions against Moscow, Shaheen withdrew her amendments. The timing, though, put Durakoglu, as a senior foreign policy adviser to Shaheen, in the middle of discussions about how to respond to Russia’s efforts to meddle in the 2016 election.

‘Kid Rock’ May Be Ineligible for Michigan Ballot
Elections bureau would decide whether Robert Ritchie can use stage name

A truck with a Kid Rock for Senate decal was seen on a Virginia highway earlier this month. (Bridget Bowman/CQ Roll Call)

Robert Ritchie may end up challenging Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow in Michigan next year, but his stage name, Kid Rock, may not be allowed to appear on the ballot.

Kid Rock is a household name to Americans under the age of 50, and voters might be attracted to vote for him, as a middle finger to the political establishment. But it’s not immediately clear whether his famous stage name would appear on the ballot or if he’d be required to run under his less-known given name. 

Opinion: Trump’s Ratings Hold Steady, but Is He Losing Key Groups He Needs to Stay on Top?
Military, law enforcement and GOP stalwarts now questioning the star

Leaders of groups President Donald Trump depends on — from the military to law enforcement to an increasing number of Republicans — are breaking ranks, Curtis writes. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

“You’re fired!” was the reality show refrain of the now president of the United States, Donald Trump. So when, on the campaign trail, candidate Trump said, “I alone can fix it,” with “it” meaning whatever was ailing the country and each one of its citizens, it was easy to for someone looking for answers to transfer his my-way-or-the-highway TV decisiveness to Oval Office success.

Could “The Apprentice” boss have bought into his own hype on the way to the White House, forgetting the behind-the-scenes writers and producers, and the reality of life after the director yells, “Cut”?

App Challenge Brings Congress, Young Coders Closer
162 members now sponsor district winners in annual competition

Melissa Medina, left, and Arkansas Rep. Bruce Westerman listen to a student demo her winning app in the 2016 Congressional App Challenge. (Courtesy Melissa Medina)

The third annual Congressional App Challenge, in which members feature their young constituents’ entrepreneurial work in the technology field, launches Wednesday.

Student coders have until Nov. 1 to submit entries to their participating members of Congress. 

The True and Bonkers Story About When Kid Rock Met Mitt Romney
Former deputy campaign manager disputes accounts of policy discussion

Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney greets musician Kid Rock during a campaign rally in Michigan in 2012. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images file photo)

As Detroit singer and rapper Kid Rock continues to tease a run for the Senate, a former Mitt Romney campaign aide told the story about how the man known as the American Bad Ass met with the man who could have been the first Mormon President.

Katie Packer Beeson served as Romney's deputy campaign manager in 2012 and is a native of Michigan, where Romney grew up and Kid Rock calls home.

GOP Pre-empts Democratic Messaging With New Digital Ad
Ad is running in Pelosi’s district and 12 Democratic districts Trump carried

Republicans target House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and 12 other Democrats in districts that Donald Trump won in last year’s presidential election. (Screenshot from Congressional Leadership Fund ad)

A Republican super PAC aligned with House leadership is pre-empting the new Democratic messaging point with its own digital ad.

Democrats are expected to unveil their new slogan “A Better Deal” on Monday. And the Congressional Leadership Fund is launching a digital ad in House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s district and in 12 others that President Donald Trump won in November. 

Wait — Now Caitlyn Jenner Is Running For Senate?
Transgender Republican says she's considering running in California

Caitlyn Jenner attends the Moschino Spring/Summer 17 Menswear and Women's Resort Collection during MADE LA at L.A. Live Event Deck on June 10, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Caitlyn Jenner, Olympic gold medalist and one of the highest-profile transgender Americans, is mulling a run for the Senate in California, she told a New York radio interviewer.

Jenner has made a name as virtually the only prominent transgender Republican. She has opposed some Republican initiatives against transgender rights, like President Donald Trump's rescinding of the right of transgender students to access the correct bathrooms at schools. She called that change “a disaster,” “from one Republican to another.”

Warren on Kid Rock: ‘We All Thought Trump Was Joking’
Massachusetts Democrat warns that Senate bid might not be a publicity stunt

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., is telling Democrats to take singer Kid Rock's potential Senate bid seriously. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Sen. Elizabeth Warren is warning Democrats to take singer Kid Rock's potential Senate bid seriously.

The Massachusetts Democrat sent an email blast with the headline “Senator Kid Rock (R-MI)” the Boston Herald reported.

Word on the Hill: Celebrity Chef in Hart
Bus tour and a hand chain for health care

Food Network chef Robert Irvine is bringing dessert to the Hill. (Gustavo Caballero/Getty Images file photo)

Desserts prepared by a celebrity chef are making their way to Capitol Hill this afternoon.

Chef Robert Irvine, best known for the Food Network’s “Dinner: Impossible” and “Worst Cooks in America” will join Hire Heroes USA and Walmart for an event to support veterans. He’s planning to man three dessert stations and serve as emcee.

Word on the Hill: Last Week Before Recess
Your social calendar for the week

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich was spotted making his way to the Capitol office of House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy on Thursday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

It’s the last week before the July Fourth recess, when Congress takes a break to celebrate the national holiday.

On Thursday, we’ll tell you what some members do for the Fourth.