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Heard on the Hill: Kinzinger’s Pocket-Dial Purgatory

The pocket dial is a fixture of wireless life. And no one knows the sweet sounds of ambient noise quite like Rep. Adam Kinzinger.

The Illinois Republican gets dozens of unintended calls every week from his fellow freshman Members. The reason: Kinzinger had the misfortune of being first in an alphabetical (by first name) list pre-programmed into the BlackBerrys that freshmen received during orientation in November.

Since then, he says he has become the class’s most popular Member — at least if you measure popularity by call volume.

“I’d say I get pocket- or butt-dialed no less than eight times a day,” he tells HOH. “Sometimes it’s more. I went for a run yesterday and when I got back I had six messages from people — the kind where you’re listening to what’s going on in the background.”

On the House floor, he says, colleagues are constantly coming up to him and apologizing for their errant calls.

He has considered changing his number but worried that it would cause more problems than it would solve. His solution is simply to rarely, if ever, answer calls.

Asked whether he wanted to out any prime offenders in print in the hope of shaming them into being more careful with their dialing, Kinzinger declined.

“You know who you are,” he joked in an ominous tone.

Our suggestion: He could just change his name to Zachary or Zebadiah. 

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