House rules : a freshman Congressman's initiation to the backslapping, backpedaling, and backstabbing ways of Washington



Transcription of Annotations

Annotations and underlinings: Front right endpaper: Swicklick. Verso of front free endpaper: Hamiltonian media vs. National media; unicameral legislation; Press-- S&L's 158; call from TT to woman who's son was undressed. On half-title: Jefferson/Hamilton; Special interests/Senate/House; 14 of 51 27% showed at Banking com; Cocaine/Wash., DC; Power Game--H. Smith; Courtesy call to V. Smith; Vietnam--63-65 wartime; Parents--didn't tell about being a Democrat; Office allowance 431,00 & 146,000; Salary--$400,00 home; Larry King; Money--DCCC make calls--83; 858,000 campaign cost; Festival of flattery--93/154; Prins-89; Messengers-lobbyist seats for $30, p. 109; Yanney amend--Fauntroy's prayer. Served for two years in the Army during Vietnam. If Hoagland won, lobbyists would attend fundraisers, retire debt. Omahans, ordinary of speech; plainsong variety politics. Cece Zorinsky, caring vs. Hoagland, no warmer than neutral. High School ROTC, honors at Stanford, student government, Army enlistee, captain of Yale Law moot court team; member, national board of Common Cause. Hoagland=special relationship with Omaha World-Herald, where father was once a vice president. Zorinsky not above debating, but afraid of it. Jesse Jackson, old-time Nebraska populist. Populists--issuance of paper money; direct election of US senators. Quotidian blue suit, blue shirt, red tie. Hoagland trounced Zorinsky's last name by eight points. Republicans didn't lose Omaha's congressional seat very often. Kerrey's emotional song coaxed many to tears--local newswoman blubbered through live TV wrap-up. Kerrey joked at Hoagland's expense. 537--house/senate. Jalopy-like running style of government, not caused by democracy, but antidemocratic/anti-majoritarian mechanisms built into the design. Jefferson--Alexander Hamilton. One hand founders saw necessity for government to derive authority from people; on other hand, common people as a political force scared them. James Madison. Bicameral Congress makes it easier to block rather than pass legislation. America today is more a reflection of Hamilton; what we aspire to is a vision of Jefferson. S&L crisis--government refused to face problems squarely. Banking largest committee with 51 members. 14 members out of 51, 27% regularly attended hearings. Members of Congress notorious for shameless flattery. Hearings seemed only about the creation of an official record. Hoagland was frugal. After college, Hoagland spent a summer interning for Nebraska Senator Roman Hruska. 1963-1965 in Army--wartime. Of the 535 in the 101st Congress, 48 attended Harvard, 22 Yale and 5 have degrees from both. Liberal bleeders. Rode motorcycle to work, ran river in kayak on weekends. Peter and wife moved back to Omaha; volunteer for Democratic congressional candidate, but kept party from his parents. Hoagland cautious in early congressional days, learned from time in state legislature. Of $431,760 allocated for staff, none spent on those with Washington policy or legislative expertise. John Mack summoned House Speaker Jim Wright from bathroom to break tie vote that got Hoagland onto the banking committee. Is anyone listening? C-Span drones like Muzak in congressional offices. S&L bailout amendment require annual audits. Franklin gone years without one. Gary Caruso, communications director, wrote speeches/press releases for Hoagland--disgusted by doubletalk over pay raise. Do laws passed by Congress improve the nation/make things worse? Desire for campaign funds is why Washington reluctant to solve long-term problems. DCCC used to make calls to PACs--against the law for Hoagland/ staff to perform campaign work in congressional office. Lawmakers prefer status quo--special interests seeking influence do not waste money on lost causes. Hearings=well intentioned talks; mark-ups, the language of law. Hill staffers, lobbyists = slime. Yanney amendment On C-Span, moderator notes that congressman only a freshman. Politicians control of press--if politicians stop discussing an issue, press also stop. Press follows lead rather than getting in front of an issue. Hoagland voted for LaFalce amendment wit 15 min. on clock. At last moment amendment to remove special interest amendments. Hoagland votes with majority. Media coverage of S&L issues often wrong/incomplete--almost no TV coverage. Didn't come to Congress to help Mike Yanney. Barney Frank compared strength of Senate character to Jell-O. In speech on floor of the house, Hoagland reverses problem and solution--saying: "I was elected to be part of the problem, not part of the solution." Dennis Eckart suggests Barney Frank offer his apology to General Foods--maker of Jell-O.


Cwiklik, Robert, “House rules : a freshman Congressman's initiation to the backslapping, backpedaling, and backstabbing ways of Washington,” One Book. One Author. One Hour., accessed November 29, 2022,


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House rules : a freshman Congressman's initiation to the backslapping, backpedaling, and backstabbing ways of Washington


Cwiklik, Robert


Program air date: February 2, 1992.


Robert Cwiklik's account of a first-year member of Congress.


"Hoagland, Peter."
"United States. Congress. House--Biography."
"Legislators--United States--Biography."


Brian Lamb Booknotes Collection
Gift of Brian Lamb, 2011.


Villard Books
George Mason University. Libraries. Special Collections & Archives


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1st ed.