Senate Surprise

Now some fresh pickings from the Political Grapevine:

Senate Surprise

Montana Democrat Max Baucus surprised the Senate Tuesday morning when he unexpectedly voted for the confirmation of Supreme Court Nominee Samuel Alito before he voted against it. So what happened? Baucus tells FOX News he was discussing upcoming legislation with Democratic leader Harry Reid when his name was called on the Senate floor and was so distracted that he "accidentally" voted yes. Baucus changed his vote after colleagues alerted him to the mistake calling it "a slip of the tongue."

Monday, Delaware Democrat Joe Biden — who had indicated he would not support a filibuster of Alito, despite opposing his nomination — voted to sustain the filibuster effort. Biden voted against Alito Tuesday.

Compared to Klink

Minnesota Democratic congressional candidate Coleen Rowley is taking heat from state Republicans after depicting her opponent as the bumbling Nazi TV character Colonel Klink. Rowley, a former FBI whistleblower who campaigns on her "ethical decision making," featured a doctored photo of Representative John Kline on her Web site, replacing the Marine Corps veteran's military uniform with Nazi garb. Kline called the comparison "an outrageous and disgusting insult," and demanded that Rowley apologize to every veteran.

Rowley's campaign manager says she's apologized to her opponent and blamed the incident on a volunteer Web designer, who "didn't understand the implications of using the Colonel Klink image."

Vandals on Capitol Hill?

Online user-edited encyclopedia Wikipedia has discovered more than 1,000 changes to the biographies of senators and representatives made by Capitol Hill staffers and its founder calls the extensive editing "vandalism." Staffers for Massachusetts Democrat Marty Meehan and Minnesota Republican Senator Norm Coleman admit deleting unflattering, but accurate details from items on their bosses.

And anonymous Hill staffers, presumably not from his office, modified an article on Virginia Republican Eric Cantor, adding the statement, "smells of cow dung." Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales says such massive tampering is unacceptable and he's temporarily banned the entire House from making further changes.

Footing the Bill?

An Ohio sheriff has billed the Department of Homeland Security $125,000 — the cost of jailing illegal immigrants who committed crimes in his district, and who he says the department should never have let into the country. Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones says he arrested 900 foreign born criminals last year and while he admits that DHS may not be legally obligated to pay, he says the bills will keep coming until the border is secured.

Jones tells the Washington Times, "It's time the federal government should at least pay for the criminals they let stay here."

— FOX News' Aaron Bruns contributed to this report