Gingrich tapes sitcom spot

| Saturday, Dec. 8, 2012, 9:01 p.m.

Expect to see a political presence on upcoming episodes of the NBC sitcom “Parks and Recreation.”

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich recently taped a guest appearance on the program after encountering cast and crew members at a restaurant in Indianapolis, where the show was shooting.

In Indiana for a meeting with Gov. Mitch Daniels, Gingrich agreed to a cameo after being approached by series co-creator Mike Schur. “It was a completely random chance, but you can't pass up an opportunity like that,“ Schur told the Indianapolis Star.

Gingrich isn't the only well-known pol who soon will be on the show. While shooting recently in Washington, “Parks and Recreation” taped cameos with Vice President Joe Biden and three U.S. senators — John McCain, R-Ariz.; Barbara Boxer, D-Calif.; and Olympia Snowe, R-Maine.

ROONEY-STYLE JOB FOR VOGUE BOSS?Considering the highly unfashionable throwback uniforms the Steelers often wear, you wouldn't think the team's chairman emeritus, DanRooney, would have much in common with the publisher of Vogue magazine.

But if Rooney and Vogue head honcho Anna Wintour ever meet, they might well have a common experience: essentially purchasing ambassadorships from Barack Obama.

Rooney was named U.S. ambassador to Ireland in 2009 after being a vocal and financial Obama supporter during the 2008 presidential campaign. Numerous news reports last week speculated that Wintour could be appointed ambassador to Great Britain or France.

She could be in line for one of those jobs because she helped raise more than $500,000 for Obama's re-election campaign. Rooney and his family might not have matched that amount, but they're no slouches when it comes to writing checks to Obama.

In 2008, Rooney donated $30,000 to a pro-Obama political action committee, according to CQ MoneyLine. In September, Rooney's wife, Patricia Rooney, gave $250,000 to another pro-Obama PAC, the American Priorities Joint Fundraising Committee.

Obama spokesman Jay Carney told reporters on Wednesday there's no requirement that ambassadors be foreign-policy professionals. He neglected to add the qualifier — “as long as they donate enough money to the president.”

SHOOTING HERSELF IN THE FOOT.Kathleen Kane, state attorney general-elect, hasn't even taken office yet, but already has run afoul of the National Rifle Association.

Kane, a Democrat, signed a letter along with nine other states' sitting Democrat attorneys general. The letter urges congressional leaders to reject bills mandating that states recognize all other states' concealed-carry permits.

That prompted an NRA email alert urging its Pennsylvania members to contact Kane and “respectfully request” she reconsider her position.

Kane “is wasting no time in demonstrating her hostility toward your Second Amendment rights even before she takes office,” the NRA message stated.

Pennsylvania reportedly has several hundred thousand NRA members, many of whom vote. Is Kane intent on sabotaging her re-election bid before her first term begins?

RENDELL ERA REDUX. It appears as though Eugene DePasquale, state auditor general-elect, has opened the casket and pulled the stake out of the heart of former Gov. Ed Rendell's administration.

DePasquale, grandson of former Pittsburgh City Council President Eugene “Jeep” DePasquale, announced his transition team on Tuesday — and it's rife with ex-Rendell cronies.

Some of the more well-known members of the team are former Rendell spokesmen Chuck Ardo and Abe Amoros, former Rendell administration officials Joe Powers and Dave Myers and former Rendell budget secretary Mary Soderberg.

He hasn't even been out of office for two years. Isn't it a bit early for Rendell nostalgia to kick in?

BIPARTISAN EFFORT?It seems two Westmoreland County commissioners, Republican Tyler Courtney and Democrat Ted Kopas, got together late last month to stymie an attempt by the third commissioner, Charles Anderson— who's also chairman of the Westmoreland County Republican Party — to hire a new chief clerk.

Anderson sought to replace outgoing clerk Jennifer Kemerer with Pam Neiderheiser, a law clerk for Westmoreland County Judge John Blahovec.

Courthouse wags said Anderson was prepared to meet Neiderheiser's salary demand of nearly $60,000 a year. Kemerer, who worked as chief clerk for 14 years, earned just $36,900 when she left her position.

Courtney and Kopas balked at the $60,000 salary demand and nixed the Neiderheiser hire. Instead, the commissioners unanimously hired Vera Spina from the county controller's office to fill the job. Spina is being paid $33,478.

— compiled by Tribune-Review staff

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