Monday, July 06, 2009

It's official: Beltway Creeps have no shame (but a lot of convenient "scheduling conflicts")

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Sir Elton and the Piano Man face2face --
uh-oh, watch out for Beltway Creeps!

by Ken

Oh man, you just can't take your eyes off these Beltway Creeps, not for a second!

Okay, as you undoubtedly know, piano-rockers Sir Elton John and Billy Joel really enjoy performing together. They've had huge success with their Face2Face concert tours, and are currently in the midst of the first since 2003.

(No Beltway Creeps yet. Just wait, they're coming!)

One of the stops on the current tour, this coming Saturday, July 11, in fact, is in Washington, D.C., at Nationals Park.

(Uh-oh, did you feel that chill? I think that was the icy breath of Beltway Creeps creeping up on us.)

Now presumably anybody can buy tickets, and that applies to group sales as well. So if, say, a person wanted to hold a fund-raiser based on Saturday's event, and if that person puts up his/her cash, the tickets are turned over, and everybody's happy.

Now enter the Beltway Creeps. Presumably those rules we were just talking about -- all that applies to Beltway Creeps just like people. And among the foot-stomping fans at Nationals Park Saturday will be paying guests of Illinois Rep. John Shimkus and longtime DWT fave Ohio Rep. "Mean Jean" Schmidt. That's right, the Queen of Mean herself!

They'll both be squeezing moolah out of their fat-cat benefactors to see, um, Elton John? Wait, wait, that can't be right, can it? There must be some mistake.

Oh, but it is! We have it on the authority of The Party Blog, part of the Sunlight Foundation's Party Time project.

Frankly, neither did we. But somebody's got to keep an eye on these creeps, no? Party Time's "remit" (as they say in British spy shows):
Sunshine's Party Time is a project to track parties for members of Congress or congressional candidates that happen all year round in Washington, D.C. and beyond.

We also post information we receive about parties where members of Congress are expected to participate -- such as convention or inaugural parties.

Since we don't hear about all the parties, you can also tell us if you know where the party is and we don't.

At this point, let's turn the floor over to The Party Blog (I'm telling you, you're going to love this):

At least two members of the House of Representatives -- both of whom are on record opposing gay rights -- will be hosting fundraisers at the upcoming Billy Joel/Elton John “Face2Face” concert at Nationals Park on July 11.

In July 2006, Reps. John Shimkus (R-IL) [right] and Jean Schmidt (R-OH) both voted to define marriage in the Constitution as a one man-one woman affair, according to and the Human Rights Campaign.

In November 2007, both representatives voted against a measure aimed at prohibiting job discrimination based on sexual orientation. And in June 2008, they co-sponsored a bill to amend the Constitution to prevent same sex couples from marrying. Shimkus voted to ban gay adoptions in DC in July 1999. (Ontheissues records of these votes can be found here and here).

Sir Elton John has been a vocal advocate for HIV/AIDS prevention and for global gay rights (see his foundation here, and attempts to raise public awareness here).

This isn’t Shimkus’ first Elton fundraiser. In 2005 the Kentucky Democrat reported:

“A spokesman for Shimkus, Steve Tomaszewski, said his boss’s fund-raiser at the Elton John concert was neither an endorsement of the singer’s politics nor a betrayal of Shimkus’ stand on gay marriage. Shimkus won’t attend himself, however, because of a scheduling conflict, Tomaszewski said.”

Tomaszewski confirmed Thursday to Party Time that the congressman will most likely not be attending the fundraiser on July 11 either. Rep. Schmidt’s director of communications would only agree to answer questions by email, and has not yet responded to Party Time.

And speaking of the Piano Man, one wonders how those intrepid Defenders of Marriage, Schedule-Conflict Steve and Mean Jean, responded to last month's news, Billy Joel splits from third wife:
Billy Joel and his wife, Katie Lee Joel, are getting a divorce, according to The New Jersey Star-Ledger. The 60-year-old rock star and his 27-year-old wife have been married for five years.

The couple released a statement saying the decision to split "is a result of much thoughtful consideration."

The marriage was Joel's third. He previously was married to Christie Brinkley and, before that, to his business manager.

Katie Lee Joel was described by the Star-Ledger as a cookbook author, socialite and fashion show habitue who hosted the first season of Bravo's "Top Chef."

If you want to see which of the Creeps is partying, check here. And if you've got party tips, here's the Sunlight Foundation's contact page.

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