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Congress is gearing up for the 2008 presidential elections by introducing the Deceptive Practices and Voter Intimidation Prevention Act, which seeks to “prevent voter suppression.”

Committee on House Administration Chairman Rep. Robert A. Brady, the Pennsylvania Democrat who oversees jurisdiction on matters relating to federal elections, warns that “any attempt to prevent an eligible American from exercising this fundamental right” to vote would likely be met with “fines and/or imprisonment.”

“During the last [2006] election cycle, just north of this House in Maryland, fliers were distributed in African-American communities which falsely stated that candidates had been endorsed by their opponent’s party and by prominent African-American leaders,” recalls Mr. Brady, who says “intimidating voters through nefarious tactics are direct threats to our democracy that must not be tolerated.”

Actually, one week before Election Day in November, a coalition of black Democratic political leaders, led by former Prince George’s County Executive Wayne K. Curry, did call a press conference to endorse Republican Michael S. Steele for the U.S. Senate.

Pages to canvas

Who knew that Michael Clements, managing editor of Washington Life magazine, is a talented artist to boot?

His solo exhibit, “ART in DEPENDence,” opens with a food-and-wine reception tonight and runs through Aug. 4 at Piola on Wilson Boulevard in Arlington.

“I’ll be showing 38 pieces ranging from my time in Washington — both now and in graduate school way back in the day — Los Angeles, Hong Kong and Japan,” Mr. Clements says.

Lucky 7s

Ever since the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock, America’s brides and grooms have carefully chosen their wedding dates.

This year, one date tops them all: July 7, 2007, or 7-7-7. And that presents a problem for Washington-area couples getting hitched this Saturday.

Couples “are contending with hotels booked with tourists … and have to compete with the Fourth of July,” explains Jenny Nemiroff, president of Washington wedding planning company A Touch of Sass. “Add that to an unusually hot and humid July and you have the recipe for stressed-out brides and stretched-out budgets.”

Many Washington hotels are offering special 7-7-7 wedding packages. All told, nearly 40,000 couples nationwide are expected to tie the knot Saturday, four times as many as were married on the same weekend last year.

John McCaslin can be reached at 202/636-3284 or jmccaslin@washingtontimes .com.