A problem with Line Item Vito’s “ripped from the headlines” approach to humor: over time nobody remembers the headlines anymore. Will this comic make any sense 5 years from now when Washington is done bailing out companies?
UPDATE 2016: It’s now 7 years later. Michael Jackson’s estate is worth more now than when he was alive.
Presented here is the cast of Line Item Vito. We’re proud to provide a venue for such distinguished and talented actors in the ongoing comedy that is Politics.
Vito, our hero
Congressman Vito (Independent) was elected in November, 2004. His district has since been gerrymandered into a long narrow strip 200 miles long and 150 feet wide, with 20 voters in it. Congressman Vito is the 436th member of the House of Representatives (out of 435); his office is in the Cannon office building, 6th floor (out of 5); but DOES have a seat on the floor of the House… if somebody else is absent. Congressman Vito proudly serves on the Sub-Sub-Sub-Committee of Agriculture dealing with issues related to pig’s knuckles and the Sub-Sub-Sub-Sub-Sub-Committee of Transportation handling traffic cones and those little round reflector things on highways.
Vito and his wife Iris have been married for more years than Vito can remember. They have one daughter, Dot.
Iris, Congressman Vito’s wife
Iris is a freelance writer, producing articles for prominent magazines. Since Vito’s election she has focused on assignments covering inside-the-Beltway politics. Her article, Rep House to Jail House – concerning various convicted ex-politicians – appeared in Playboy. It was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, but only for the pictures.
Iris knows precisely how long she and Congressman Vito have been married. She and Vito have one daughter, Dot.
Dot, Vito’s and Iris’ daughter
At 8-years-old, Dot has integrated herself into the Washington scene with ease. She is a strong campaigner and is well known as an “up and coming” force in politics. Her reputation is unblemished and, not old enough to vote or serve, she has no voting record that can be attacked. Dot has her father’s eyes, but lately she has been wearing “a bit” of mascara to emphasize her femininity. Her motto: “I’m a girl. Get over it.” She has recently developed a crush on Erasmus (Raz), Mrs. Kapoor’s assistant.
Mrs. Kapoor, Vito’s Chief of Staff and Campaign Manager
Mrs. Kapoor had worked on Capitol Hill for over 15 years before Congressman Vito hired her as his Chief of Staff. She is an astute political wonk who knows the ins and outs of Congress and Washington as well as anybody. She knows where the bodies are buried, so don’t ask her about that shovel in her office. Now that Mrs. Kapoor is Vito’s campaign manager, we can expect the Congressman to stay in office as long as he wants.
Mrs. Kapoor hasn’t revealed much about her private life, but the only picture on her desk is of her Harley-Davidson “Fat Boy” motorcycle custom painted in “Mamie Eisenhower Pink.”
Fred, Senior Congressman from Vito’s state
Fred has been in Congress since he was 25 years old and is currently serving his 22nd term. Amazingly well-preserved, there have been some murmurings about his excessive interest in issues related to Human Cloning and Cryogenic Hibernation. Fred insists – curiously, since nobody asked – that he is in fact the “same individual, for all intents and purposes, as the Congressman first elected from my district. I’m my own man, so to speak.”
Although Vito is an Independent and not a member of Fred’s political party, Fred has taken Vito under his wing and is helping Vito steer through the maze of Washington politics.
Annie May, Dot’s friend and schoolmate
Raz, Mrs. Kapoor’s Assistant
Raz liked what Congressman Vito had to say on the campaign trail, and when Vito was elected Raz showed up on the Congressman’s doorstep looking for a job. Eventually Mrs. Kapoor hired Raz, after seeing his enthusiasm, intelligence, internet blogging skills, and skateboarding. Under her expert tutelage Raz may very well gain the skills necessary for a long and distinguished career in Washington – as long as it doesn’t conflict with the X-Games.
Congressman Vito’s daughter, Dot, has developed a crush on the much-older Raz (he’s 22). He’s flattered and kind to Dot, but knows that little dudette is off limits for another 10 years or so.
The Reporter and Wannabe Speech Writer
The Reporter is an occasional member of the Line Item Vito cast. He was embedded in Vito’s first campaign, traveling with the Congressman’s entourage and eating their sandwiches. The reporter has tried to get himself hired as Vito’s speech writer, which would have made him a unique member of the Washington revolving-door club.
“Rainmaker” Ralph: Lobbyist, Fundraiser, and Finance Director
“Rainmaker” Ralph has shown up occasionally to put his 2-cents-worth in. Well, actually, Ralph is always able to put in far more than 2-cents. He’s a modern day “Rainmaker”: somebody who can make it rain MONEY. He’s a smooth lobbyist, fundraiser, and money man. He was Jack Abramoff’s connection to an Indian tribe, and one of the very few who got the legislation passed that he paid for AND got his money returned to him after Abramoff was convicted. Mrs. Kapoor was so impressed she hired him to manage the money for Congressman Vito’s campaign.