Skip to comments.Talky? You Bet! - Sheila Jackson Lee's verbosity leads to a jackpot
Posted on 02/12/2004 11:50:17 AM PST by weegee
Best-selling author Brad Meltzer's latest Washington thriller, The Zero Game, involves congressional staffers running betting pools on upcoming votes (naturally, things go awry, and the next vote is for danger!). Since its publication, he's heard from lots of Capitol Hill folks regaling him with descriptions of real betting games that go on. One of which involves the loquaciousness of Houston's own (very loquacious) U.S. Representative Sheila Jackson Lee. (Actually, Meltzer wouldn't identify the specific congressperson in question; one current Hill worker, though, says, "Lee is the only member I've heard of the game being played with.")
How does it work? There's a jar that starts out in one representative's office. Every day the House is in full, formal session, staffers there (either all of them or just one) put in a "unit" (that could be a quarter, a dollar or even more) every time Lee gets up to speak. At the end of the day, the jar goes to the staff in another office, which repeats the process.
This continues until that rare day when Lee actually does not speak. Whoever has the jar at that point keeps the cash.
"I've known at least a dozen offices, from coast to coast, who have played at one time or another," says the staffer, who wants anonymity.
Rules can vary -- sometimes the "special order" speeches given after legislative business is done are counted; sometimes not. Sometimes written statements inserted into the record are enough; other times it qualifies only if Lee decides America is so in need of her views that she simply must get up and speak.
Winning pots can vary too, obviously, but they've been known to get over $100 before a Lee-less day occurs.
Lee aide Ravi Sawhney says he's never heard of the game. "We're excited about her being up there talking," he says. "A lot of people have been calling for Democrats to be more outspoken on the issues, but you can't say that about her."
***** knows you certainly can't. And somewhere in D.C., beer money is being earned because of it.
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I read that a while back in the Wall Street Journal: she is so obnoxious, so rude to the crews, and makes such an @ss of herself that Continental has requested she take her "bizness" elsewhere.
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