Ron Barber’s Past Has Him Fired Up About the Future

Barber speaks to supporters during a campaign rally with educators at Sam Hughes Elementary School in Tucson on Saturday, Aug. 9, 2014. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

“Victimized” is not how former Rep. Ron Barber has chosen to carry on his advocacy-oriented career. “Energized” would be a much better characterization of his life after Congress.  

“This chasm that’s developed between the two parties does not help the country,” the former lawmaker said of the current state of congressional affairs. “We need to break through that barrier.”  

100 Years on the Front Lines of History

Former Sens. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., right, and Harris Wofford, D-Pa., prepare to testify before a Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee hearing entitled "The Peace Corps, The Next Fifty Years" in 2011. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

If the filmmaker putting the finishing touches on a biopic about former Sen. Harris L. Wofford had waited for the lifelong activist to hang it up before rolling tape, the forthcoming documentary might never have gotten made.  

The Pennsylvania Democrat, who is poised to join the nonagenarian set in a few weeks (April 9, to be exact), shows no signs of slowing down, doggedly championing progressive policies — like he did in 1936 while distributing campaign materials for President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s first re-election push — same as he has for going on a century.  

Steve Driehaus: 2016 Rhetoric Alienating Entire World

Then-Rep. Driehaus makes a point during a House Financial Services mark up. (Scott J. Ferrell/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Veteran Peace Corps volunteer Steve Driehaus has rededicated himself to fulfilling President John F. Kennedy’s vision of bringing the world together via international service — a goodwill mission he worries is being seriously undermined by all the vitriol spewed by the presidential contenders.  

“The apparent hostility toward foreigners that now seems to be so common on the campaign trail is confusing to our friends abroad,” the single-term lawmaker, who is currently serving as country director in Morocco, told Roll Call of the way the incessant sound bites trumpeting impossibly high walls and punitive anti-immigrant policies are playing overseas.  

Lynn Woolsey Doesn’t Find UFO Talk Totally Spacey

(Scott J. Ferrell/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Mankind being completely alone in the universe makes far less sense to former Rep. Lynn Woolsey than contemplating the possibility that someone (something?) else might be cruising around the infinite vastness surrounding our home planet.  

And while she never imagined the dizzying tales launched her way in early 2013 during a self-styled “hearing” on extraterrestrial affairs would ever crop up in a presidential race — as White House hopeful Hillary Clinton discovered earlier this winter during a swing through New Hampshire — the California Democrat urged prospective leaders to open up about exopolitics.  

Trey Radel Sticks His Nose Back Into Politics

Radel addresses a Hispanic Heritage Month event in the U.S. Capitol in September 2013. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Now clear-headed after treatment for a substance abuse problem that cost him his job in the House, Florida Republican Trey Radel is back on the political scene with unwanted advice for current pols and a forthcoming tell-all.

The first-time lawmaker stood out from his colleagues on Capitol Hill because of a fascination with rap music and an aptitude for social media. He became infamous less than a year into his inaugural term after he was arrested for buying cocaine from an undercover officer.  

'Courting Des Moines' the Night Before the Iowa Caucuses


The feature film is "a fake story about the real Iowa caucuses" and is the brainchild of writer/director and Roll Call contributor Brent Roske. The movie, a sequel to Roske's "Chasing the Hill" series, follows the fictional presidential campaign of Rep. Samantha Clemons, played by Melissa Fitzgerald, as well as real-life candidates as Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton and other public officials who traipse through the Hawkeye State in the lead-up to the first-in-the-nation caucuses.  

The show starts at Des Moines' Varsity Theater at 9 p.m., and will be followed by a question and answer session with Roske, former Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, and the film's co-star Catherine Urbanek. Invitation follows the jump: Roll Call, former Sen. Tom Harkin and Brent Roske invite you to the premiere of the new political feature film "Courting Des Moines" on Sunday, Jan. 31st - the night before the Iowa caucuses - at the Varsity Theater in Des Moines at 9 p.m. Harkin and writer/ director Roske will be at the Q&A following the film, moderated by Roll Call's own Jason Dick and actress Catherine Urbanek. The Wrap premiered the movie's trailer last week featuring cameos from Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Jeb Bush and more.  

Lieberman, Kyl Don't Recognize Their Parties

Lieberman and Kyl had harsh words for their former political parties. (CQ Roll Call File Photo).

According to former Sens. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., and Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., the Democratic and Republican parties are not the same parties they originally joined.  

After watching former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernard Sanders, I-Vt., debate for the primary, Lieberman says he fears for his party’s future. “Obviously I worry and I got interested in public service and politics when President John F. Kennedy was in office; that’s a long time ago,” he told HOH. “And the Democratic Party that I joined was a party that really believed in America’s global leadership, principled leadership. In other words, we’re all about the spread of freedom.”  

Charlie Gonzalez Determined to Save Congress From Itself

Gonzalez, second from right, listens with Sen. Richard J. Durbin, left, and Rep. Xavier Becerra as Sen. Edward M. Kennedy explains why they're opposing the nomination of Miguel Estrada to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals in 2003. (Scott J. Ferrell/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

On the one hand, former Rep. Charlie Gonzalez is delighted his generation has helped usher in an era in which gay marriage — he presided over one such union just a few months back — is now the law of the land.  

Too bad some of his contemporaries, he maintains, also orchestrated the devolution of politics into bloodsport.  

Lieberman and Kyl Contribute to New Political Journal

Lieberman and Kyl are featured in the first edition of The Catalyst (Roll Call File Photo)

The George W. Bush Institute is launching a new medium for politicians to get involved.  

Former Sens. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz., and Joseph I. Lieberman, I-Conn., are contributing writers in the inaugural edition of The Catalyst: A Journal of Ideas from the Bush Institute, which will be compiled of essays surrounding a new theme in every edition. The first edition’s topic is leadership and Kyl and Lieberman’s piece is on American internationalism.  

The Continuing Education of Elton Gallegly

Gallegly walks down the Capitol steps after a series of votes in 2012, his last year in Congress. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

A college dropout who learned the hard way that cutting ties with Congress is sometimes easier said than done, former Rep. Elton Gallegly is currently contemplating how to best prepare the next generation of public servants.  

“How many people really know what public service is?” the 13-term California Republican, who has since lent his name and lifetime of experience to the eponymous Elton and Janice Gallegly Center for Public Service and Civic Engagement at California Lutheran University , posited Tuesday.