All-access pass for ‘Hill’

  • The Washington Examiner
  • |
  • October 18, 2005

by Karen Feld

Congressional watchers can’t wait to preview “The Hill,” a new documentary series for Robert Redford’s Sundance Channel with cameras aimed at the outspoken Rep. Robert Wexler, D-Fla. Filmmakers, we hear, will have “uninhibited access” to Wexler’s day-to-day schedule, as well as the professional and personal lives of his staff. Six episodes based on the fourth-term Palm Beach congressman, 44, have been ordered for next year. Wexler has been outspoken on Israeli issues as well as calling for the firing of FEMA chief Michael Brown. Ivy Meeropol, who made “Heir to an Execution,” which was shown at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival, will direct. “Heir” was a documentary about her grandparents, Ethel and Julius Rosenberg – who were executed as traitors for giving secrets of the atomic bomb to the Soviets – and how their story affected her family. Meeropol is no stranger to congressional life: She worked as a speechwriter and legislative aide for five years on Capitol Hill.

Forgiven? Let’s eat

Former Costa Rican Ambassador Jaime Daremblum and Mrs. Gina Daremblum surprised guests by attending Lubavitcher Rabbi Levi Shemtov’s Shul of the Nation’s Capital closing services for Yom Kippur, which featured a sumptuous array of smoked fish delicacies, bagels, cheeses, fruits and pastries including Jerusalem-style rugelach.

Learning to forgive

And who better to speak on the Jewish day of atonement than Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y.? The former first lady, addressing the Temple of the Arts in Beverly Hills, Calif., on forgiveness, said that a while back, learning forgiveness “took me some time.” She quoted the South African civil rights leader Nelson Mandela: “When you don’t forgive, you become a prisoner.”

Dad stuck on Barbie, too

WMAL morning radio host and actor-turned-congressman Fred Grandy was cajoled by co-workers into admitting he paid “a hundred and a half” for jeans for his daughter. But that seems like a bargain when you consider the projected price for Barbie Lux jeans, an adult clothing line for gals who are Barbie fans. Barbie jeans will have pink stitching and a $175 price tag. Grandy justified the money he shelled out for his daughter by saying more fabric was used “for the cuffs.”

Lasorda explains ‘Tony’

Former Dodgers Manager Tommy Lasorda stole the show at the National Italian American Foundation gala Saturday evening. Though he’s well-known as Mr. Dodgers he shows promise for a career in comedy. Lasorda told the audience – filled with Italian-American politicians and celebrities such as Connie Stevens, Danny Aiello and Yogi Berra – that he’d figured out where the name “Tony” came from: When they emigrated from Italy, “To NY” was stamped on their foreheads.

Sophia Loren, NIAF’s draw for the gala, was a no-show, which disappointed many of the guests. One Italian explained that the glamorous star was ill. A second said she had business in Rome. A third Italian said if her business wasn’t with the pope, then she should have been at the annual event. And a fourth Italian said, “What is the matter?” as he settled in to watch a black-and-white showing of an early Loren film.

Some bold and beautiful

Beautiful Argentinean actress Sandra Vidal, who did the Spanish-language version of “Charlie’s Angels” and whom you probably know from “The Bold and the Beautiful,” was a glam standout in a striking beaded orange Oriental- and Hindu-inspired gown Saturday evening at the 17th annual Best Buddies Ball at Sarge and Eunice Shriver’s Potomac home. She told me she got involved with Best Buddies through the soap and came in to support the international organization, founded by Anthony Shriver. She’s now working on two feature films, “Cattle Call” with Thomas Ian Nicholas from “American Pie,” and “Looking for Love in All The Wrong Places.”

Tony Shriver, dressed in black, asked Rep. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., who took over embattled Tom DeLay’s House leadership post and attended with his wife, Abigail, who works for Altria, the holding company for Philip Morris and Kraft Foods: “How does it feel to be the only Republican in the room?”

The Shriver clan all around

Tony’s mom, Eunice Shriver, worked the crowd, as did his brothers Bobby, who serves on the City Council in Santa Monica, Calif., and Mark, who is involved in Maryland politics. Guests roamed through the first floor of the magnificent manse gazing at Kennedy family photos and memorabilia including photos of California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, who is married to Tony’s famous sister, Maria. The well-organized event raised close to a half a million dollars from the auction alone to help provide friends and jobs to people with intellectual disabilities. Nine-time Olympic gold medal winner Carl Lewis had the winning $64,000 bid on the Volvo. Best Buddies from as far away as Hong Kong attended and shared their success stories. Guests danced the night away under the tent to Cyndi Lauper’s vocals.

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