California lawmakers, staff ‘recharge’ at Oscars-themed party

Jonathan Strong Jonathan Strong, 27, is a reporter for the Daily Caller covering Congress. Previously, he was a reporter for Inside EPA where he wrote about environmental regulation in great detail, and before that a staffer for Rep. Dan Lungren (R-CA). Strong graduated from Wheaton College (IL) with a degree in political science in 2006. He is a huge fan of and season ticket holder to the Washington Capitals hockey team. Strong and his wife reside in Arlington.
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Having slogged through scores of amendments in the past 24 hours in the House of Representatives, the tight-knit community of California lawmakers and their staffs found respite in an Oscar-themed party in Eastern Market late Wednesday.

“This is our chance to recharge,” said Rep. Ed Royce, a Golden State Republican, who said he’d be on his way back to his congressional office after a glass of wine or two at the party.

One of Royce’s staffers, Katherine Alpago, was posing in costume as Audrey Hepburn alongside the red carpet leading into the party.

“Anytime I can get together with Californians, it’s a party,” said Democratic Rep. Jim Costa. “We [Californians] stick together. We need to for a variety of reasons.”

Meanwhile, the House was scheduled to continue debating a spending measure until 4:00 a.m., a necessary measure if the chamber is to depart on schedule at the end of the (congressional) week.

At the party, Paul Cunningham, chief of staff to Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard, was igniting the dance floor.

Kurt Bardella, spokesman and “mini me” to top GOP oversight official Rep. Darrell Issa, appeared to be in a relaxed mood hours after his boss issued his first subpoena as chairman of the House oversight committee.

Reps. Zoe Lofgren and Dennis Cardoza, both Democrats, also made appearances.

The bevy of young, influential staffers present included Leslie Shedd, Rachel Khalili, Dominic Storelli, Chris Marklund, Michael O’Neill, Sean Trambley, Marissa Strickfaden, Scott Tranter, Spencer Freebairn, Alison Amor, Addie Maushardt, and Corinne Clark. Fan favorite Brian Kaveney was not there when this reporter left.