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HOH’s One-Minute Recess: Grayson’s Greatest Hits

Rep. Alan Grayson, not exactly the most media-shy Member of Congress, is promoting his most famous (and sometimes controversial) media appearances in a new DVD that he has sent to tens of thousands of his constituents. But Republicans aren’t exactly applauding the effort, calling it a publicity stunt done at taxpayer expense.

The Orlando Sentinel reported Thursday that the Florida Democrat recently mailed the DVD to 100,000 homes in his district. Labeled with slogans such as “He works hard. He pays attention. He gets things done,” the DVD includes footage of Grayson grilling Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and preaching to schoolchildren about the Constitution, the newspaper reports.

Florida Republicans point out that while it looks like a campaign effort, it’s not. The effort cost $73,000, paid for using Grayson’s franking privileges.

But Grayson told the Sentinel that he’s just trying to show his constituents what he does.

“Unless you glom onto C-SPAN, you don’t have sense of what Congressmen do on a day-to-day basis,” Grayson told the paper. “I told people in my district that I would try to be a watchdog, and I think they have a right to know whether I have kept that promise.”

In the Kitchen

Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) and Rep. Aaron Schock (R-Ill.) certainly can stand the heat — the duo appeared as guest judges on Wednesday night’s episode of “Top Chef.”

Quick recap: Schock showed up at the start of the show for the “Quickfire Challenge,” judging the contestants on their ability to craft a dish that abides by Congressional ethics rules. (As most hungry Capitol Hill staffers know, meals served to Members and their aides mustn’t be lavish but can still be tasty. If unsure, put the food on a toothpick.)

Schock appeared impressed with several dishes, including a pork kebab prepared by Kevin Sbraga and a scallop and beef item cooked up by Stephen Hopcraft that was hearty enough to be a meal (“Wow, there’s a lot on this stick,” Schock noted). But ultimately, Schock deemed “Top Chef” frontrunner Angelo Sosa the winner for his cucumber cup with shrimp and cashews.

Later in the episode, Warner joined MSNBC personalities Joe Scarborough, Mika Brzezinski and Luke Russert at the Palm, where the chefs crafted a power lunch. Chef Art Smith from Capitol Hill hot spot Art and Soul also served as a guest judge.

Ultimately, Andrea Curto-Randazzo was sent packing, while Alex Reznik nabbed the win in a victory surrounded by controversy — fellow contestant Ed Cotton had whipped up a pea puree that Reznik stole and used in his dish. Drama!

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