Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:
Show Me the Money
The city of Chicago has not yet been reimbursed for President Obama's victory celebration on November 4. The Chicago Sun-Times reports the city is still owed about $1,750. Chicago already has a budget shortfall in excess of $50 million. City spokesman, Peter Scales, from the Chicago Office of Budget & Management says: "The Democratic National Committee has not yet paid us. We're reaching out to them this week."
Mayor Richard Daley said before the event that the city would be reimbursed. Spokeswoman Stacie Paxton for the DNC explains the delay: "We are still looking at various costs and bills."
The global economic crisis has not stopped extravagant congressional fundraisers for the 2010 election. USA Today reports Texas Republican Congressman Jeb Hensarling is throwing a skiing fundraiser in Wyoming where the minimum donation is $2,500. Colorado Democrat Ed Perlmutter will host a similar event at $2,400/person. And if skiing isn't your thing, you could have joined Hawaii Democratic Senator Daniel Inouye at his Honolulu fundraiser last weekend. He pulled in about $100,000 just days after Congress passed the mammoth $787 billion stimulus bill.
Nancy Watzman, a spokeswoman at the watchdog group Sunlight Foundation says: "Everyone is tightening their belts, but lawmakers are doing what they have always done."
Leaving Nothing to Chance
We reported Wednesday that a White House spokesman said the administration will not try to revive the Fairness Doctrine. But the Business and Media Institute reports Republican Senator Jim DeMint wants to get his colleagues on the record. He will offer an amendment to the D.C. Voting Rights Bill next week that seeks to prevent the FCC from reinstating the requirement for balance on political issues: "I'm glad President Obama finally confirmed his opposition to the Fairness Doctrine... but many Democrats in Congress are still pushing it... now is the time for Congress to take a stand against this kind of censorship."
King of Queens?
And finally, George Mason University crowned its homecoming queen during the school's basketball game last Saturday.
But this year's tiara went to a male student. Ryan Allen, who is gay and performs as a popular drag queen at local clubs, received more votes than the two women who vied for the title. He says: "We're one of the most diverse campuses in the country... we celebrate that."
In the Washington Post, school spokesman Dan Walsch says the university is, "very comfortable with it. We're fine." One female student, Melissa Banjjani, says: "He deserves to be queen. He's already a queen for everybody."
But a male student, Grant Bollinger, counters: "It's really annoying. The game was on TV. Everyone was there. All eyes were on us. And we do something like this? It's just stupid."
— FOX News Channel's Zachary Kenworthy contributed to this report.
Bret Baier is the Chief Political Anchor of Fox News Channel, and the Anchor & Executive Editor of "Special Report with Bret Baier.” His book, "Three Days in January: Dwight Eisenhower’s Final Mission," (William Morrow) is on sale now.