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Shopping for a Cause Several lobbyists and Capitol Hill staffers are going to be all about fancy purses, jewelry, and shoes this weekend as they, along with some 30 Junior League of Washington members, put the finishing touches on a holiday shopping event in support of the group’s local literacy-outreach programs. A Capital Collection of Holiday Shops is being organized by several lobbyists and current and former Hill staffers, including Stephanie Leger Short, ex-staffer to former Sen. John Breaux (D-La.); and Cameron Gilreath, former staffer to Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas). The Junior League has more than 2,200 members who work to improve adult, child, and cultural literacy, says President Betsy Hannah. Now in its 48th year, the group raised $280,000 last year and is hoping to meet a goal of $300,000 this year. “We hope to provide more grants for literacy initiatives,” Hannah says. The Junior League plans to gather merchants from around the country to create a one-stop shopping experience at the Ronald Reagan Building & International Trade Center Nov. 17 through Nov. 19. About 3,000 shoppers are expected to attend, and 15 percent of the proceeds from all sales will go to the league, which in turn will distribute grants within the local community. The group is touting the shopping bonanza as a bipartisan effort, with Laura Bush serving as the event’s honorary host, and likely incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) as a member of its congressional host committee. — Osita Iroegbu
Hard Promises Can conservatives be roused to the polls over the issue of judicial nominations anymore? The Committee for Justice, a conservative group that supports President George W. Bush’s judicial nominations, along with other groups concerned about the shaping of the judiciary, including the Third Branch Conference and the Family Research Council, have been arguing all year long that in order to energize the conservative vote, Republicans must strongly outline a platform against activist judges. This election cycle the groups joined forces to form the Fair Judiciary Oath Coalition in an effort to get candidates to sign an oath pledging that they would “work to see that everyone duly nominated to serve on the federal judiciary gets a fair confirmation process.” All the Republican Senate candidates who publicly signed the oath — Mike Bouchard (Mich.), Jim Talent (Mo.), and Rick Santorum (Penn.) — were defeated in the midterm elections. Manny Miranda of Third Branch, a former aide to Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) who was forced out in 2004 after a scandal involving GOP staffers obtaining Democratic strategy memos on judicial nominations, says the oath was rolled out at the right time but candidates failed to “humanize the issue.” — Joe Crea
Money Girl Celebrities often give handsomely to Democrats, and the notoriously liberal Barbra Streisand was no exception this year. Seeking to give Democrats their best shot in years of taking control of the House and/or the Senate, the singer/actress/director/activist shelled out a total of $80,000-plus to the Democratic Party and various House and Senate candidates, according to Federal Election Commission reports. Recipients included Senate Democratic challengers Sherrod Brown (Ohio) and Ned Lamont (Conn.) and incumbent Sen. Maria Cantwell (Wash.). While Brown and Cantwell won their races last week, Lamont lost to independent Joe Lieberman. — Joe Crea
• AFTER DARK • Take the Cannoli The competition for Italian restaurants in Washington, D.C., is getting intense. Move over Cafe Milano and i Ricchi. D’Acqua, a new Italian seafood restaurant, will open at the end of the year at 801 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W. in the old Signatures space, and coming in late December or early 2007 is Il Mulino New York, the 20-year-old West Village restaurant. Consistently rated the No. 1 Italian restaurant by the often-reliable Zagat’s Restaurant Guide, the restaurant will open a location in the District at 1110 Vermont Ave. N.W. The owners, Fernando and Gino Masci, have restaurants in New York, Tokyo, Dallas, Las Vegas, and Chicago. — Joe Crea
• HEARD ON THE STREET • • “What a day for Democrats. They’ve won the House of Representatives, they are poised to take the Senate as well, Donald Rumsfeld has resigned, and this just in, Dick Cheney came out as gay.” — comedian Jon Stewart • “Hillary Clinton’s opponent in the U.S. Senate race, the Republican she’s going to be running against, has been married three times, had an affair with his chief of staff, had two kids with her while still married to his second wife. This is the first time in history that a Clinton is the �family values’ candidate.” — comedian Jay Leno • “The Republican leadership has allowed Bob Ney to receive his paycheck and benefits for seven weeks after his admission of guilt to criminal conspiracy charges — it is an embarrassment to this institution and an insult to the American taxpayer.” — House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) on Ohio Republican Robert Ney’s resignation

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