I’ve met nearly everyone I’ve ever interviewed in person. However, this week’s interviewee I’ve only really seen once. And he was in disguise. Last month, Rep. Steve LaTourette (allegedly) made an appearance on “A View from the Capitol” on News Channel 8 with Rep. Thaddeus McCotter.
Rep. LaTourette is from the 14th district of Ohio and describes himself as “a fiscally conservative, moderate Republican.” Prior to his election in 1994 with the “Contract with America” class, he was a prosecutor where he led the case against mass-murderer and cult leader, Jeffrey Lundgren.
Some Ohio newspapers have praised him as “independent” and “works well across party lines.” In our current political climate, these once-complimentary descriptions could mean career death for a moderate Republican. However, Rep. LaTourette’s remains a well-respected House member and close colleague to Speaker Boehner. He presided over the Speaker’s swearing-in ceremony, sits on the House Appropriations Committee, and serves on the Board of Regents for the Smithsonian Institution. Recently, he received the “Spirit of Enterprise Award” from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in recognition of his pro-business views.
The Hill newspaper noted that Rep. LaTourette has a sense of humor, which is no surprise since Rep. McCotter recommended him for the Dozen interview. In 1995, Rep. LaTourette invited humor writer Dave Barry to work in his office for a week. When members were asked to give floor speeches on frivolous lawsuits, Barry wrote Rep. LaTourette’s speech and was shocked when he actually read it on the floor. His speech, which is also in the congressional record, began, “As a lawyer, I am the last person to suggest that everybody in my profession is a money-grubbing, scum-sucking toad. The actual figure is only about 73 percent.”
I’ve always thought that a little self-awareness can help smooth over any disagreement.
Each week the De Pasquale's Dozen asks political figures and free market-minded writers and entertainers to take a break from politics and talk about their pop culture obsessions.
1. If there were a television channel that showed only one movie over and over, what movie should it be?
It’s a Wonderful Life
2. What’s one of your favorite movie quotes?
“I think we’re going to need a bigger boat.” – Jaws
3. In A Clockwork Orange, Malcolm McDowell is strapped in with his eyes propped open and forced to watch images until he was "cured." If you could give President Obama, Rep. Nancy Pelosi and Leader Harry Reid the "Clockwork Orange treatment," what movie would you make them watch?
Soylent Green, because that’s what the world will look like if they’re not cured
4. What pop culture souvenir do you own that people would be surprised to learn that you cherish?
I have an old Nehru jacket that was very cool 40 years ago.
5. What's your current “guilty pleasure” non-news television show?
6. What’s the best present you ever received as a child?
My first bicycle
7. What was the first rock concert you ever attended and where did you sit and who went with you?
Bruce Springsteen, nose bleed section, my wife
8. What advice do you remember your mother or father giving you? Did you take it?
Always wear clean underwear, in case you’re in an accident. Yes.
9. If Republicans and Democrats had theme songs for 2012 what would they be?
Republicans: “Happy Days Are Here Again”; Democrats: “The Party’s Over”
10. What’s the coolest thing you’ve been able to do because of your role in the political arena?
Ride on Air Force One and eat pizza with President Bush
11. What books are on your summer reading list?
I was given 3 copies of President Bush’s book, Decision Points, for Christmas, so I better read one of them before I get asked about it.
12. Tell me about the moment you decided to enter the political arena.
I had a Nixon/Lodge sticker on my red wagon and helped my mom deliver flyers when I was 5.