Curious Case of Congressman Wu

And now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

Causing Concern

Staffers for Oregon Democratic Congressman David Wu were so concerned over his erratic behavior before last fall's election that they tried to stage interventions.

The Oregonian newspaper reports employees confronted him numerous times with concern for his mental state. It describes anonymous accounts given by staffers, who say Wu displayed a violent temper and became unpredictable and -- quote -- "loopy."

He reportedly sent odd e-mails to staffers -- some under his children's names -- including a photo of himself dressed as a tiger for Halloween. At least a half-dozen of Wu's staff resigned after he won re-election.

Wu admits he was -- quote -- "not always at my best with staff or constituents" and that he has sought "professional medical care."

Heckled Hero

A Purple Heart recipient who was shot 11 times in Iraq was not given a hero's welcome at Columbia University.

The New York Post reports former Army Staff Sergeant Anthony Maschek -- who is enrolled at Columbia -- was booed, heckled and even called a racist by some students. It happened during a town-hall discussion about whether ROTC should be allowed back on campus.

Pay Up

And finally, Ohio Democratic Congressman Dennis Kucinich has to pony up. The Federal Election Commission says Kucinich improperly used public matching funds to pay for campaign expenses. He must repay $52,000 to the Treasury within 30 days.

Kucinich's campaign says it disagrees with the decision, but will pay up.

We told you last month, Kucinich settled after suing congressional cafeteria operators over a rogue olive pit in a sandwich that he said caused extensive dental damage. We don't know if the settlement was more or less than his new FEC tab, but the congressman was seeking $150,000 from the cafeteria for his -- quote -- "pain, suffering and loss of enjoyment."