- The Washington Times - Friday, January 17, 2003

Dirty tricks
Rep. Ken Calvert, California Republican, is not a happy camper.
Until just a few days ago, the six-term lawmaker was hoping to become chairman of the House Resources Committee. Then a prankster struck.
An e-mail bearing Mr. Calvert's name rest assured, it wasn't from the congressman was recently sent to members of the House Steering Committee: "Welcome to the 108th Congress! As we prepare to go back to work, I thought you would enjoy knowing more about my record, including my work with law enforcement. The two links below demonstrate my work for California."
The work, the congressman's colleagues were shocked to read, surrounded Mr. Calvert's 1993 curbside encounter with a prostitute in Corona, Calif. That was the first link.
The second link presented an actual photocopy of the Corona Police Department report of the incident, during which Mr. Calvert was briefly detained but not arrested.
Police Officers Steve Sears and Fred Austin wrote in the report that Mr. Calvert was sitting in his parked car with a woman and when they arrived on the scene the congressman started up his vehicle and attempted to drive away.
"I ordered him three times to turn off the vehicle, and he finally stopped and complied," one officer wrote. "I asked [the woman] if she had ever been arrested for anything, and she said, 'Yes, for prostitution and under the influence of heroin.' [She] said she had last 'shot up' approximately one week prior and is currently on methadone."
A spokesman for Mr. Calvert said of the e-mail: "This office will have no comment."
One source tells this column that a very angry Mr. Calvert, who is divorced, is now considering stepping down altogether from the Resources Committee.

Saluting Lee
We're glad to see that American history, no matter how politically incorrect, isn't entirely erased from the hallowed halls of Congress.
In fact, they'll be celebrating Robert E. Lee's birthday tomorrow in the U.S. Capitol's Statuary Hall.
The Robert E. Lee Chapter and District of Columbia Division of the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC) will both commemorate the Confederate general's birthday Lee was born on Jan. 19, 1807, near Montross, Va., and grew up in Alexandria and mark the 100th anniversary of the chartering of the Lee chapter.
The ceremony begins at 11 a.m., according to Vicki Heilig, president of the UDC chapter.
Guest speaker is James I. Robertson, honorary associate member of the UDC and an alumni distinguished professor at Virginia Tech (one of only eight selected from the university's 2,200-member faculty).
Today, Mr. Robertson's "Civil War Era" class, with some 250 students each semester, is the largest of its kind in the nation.
Some background we obtained about the professor is most intriguing. His lifelong interest in the Civil War, it turns out, was kindled upon learning that his great-grandfather, as a Confederate soldier, had been a cook for Gen. Lee himself.
A native of Danville, Va., and recipient of every major award given in the field of Civil War history, Mr. Robertson is author of such award-winning books as "General A.P. Hill," "Soldiers Blue and Gray," and "Civil War! America Becomes One Nation."
His latest book, "Stonewall Jackson: The Man, The Soldier, The Legend," was a main selection of two major book clubs and has won eight national awards. Movie rights for the book have been sold.
Readers perhaps have seen the professor on the History Channel and the Arts & Entertainment network, where he appears regularly in Civil War programs.

Taking no chances
What was that burning odor on Capitol Hill this week?
Don't call the bomb squad.
Rep. Earl Blumenauer, Oregon Democrat, was just burning an American Indian herbal stick in his new Rayburn office a "cleansing ritual," he explained, to chase away any bad vibes left behind by his office's previous occupant, former Rep. James A. Traficant Jr., Ohio Democrat.
The outspoken Mr. Traficant is currently serving a prison sentence after being convicted in April of bribery, racketeering, tax evasion, obstruction of justice and fraud.

Saddle up the horses
"POTUS and FLOTUS [President of the United States and First Lady of the United States] got a hankerin' for some Tex-Mex grub Wednesday night so they formed a posse to put on the old feedbag at the Cactus Cantina. Yee-hah!"
White House pool report penned by Bill Straub, Scripps Howard News Service, of President and Mrs. Bush's night out on the town in Washington.

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