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Molinari gets pinup calendar of hunky congressmen

July 30, 1997

WASHINGTON (AP) _ All work and no play makes a congressman a dull centerfold.

But the hunks of the House gave it a shot anyway, displaying a bare chest here and a wet look there for a pinup calendar for Rep. Susan Molinari, R-N.Y., who is leaving her seat Friday to anchor a television news show.

``This is the clean-cut Congress version of what a Playgirl calendar would be like,″ joked Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., who came up with the idea for the going-away present.

Ros-Lehtinen said Wednesday the idea for the ``Susan Molinari’s Hunks of the House 1998″ calendar was inspired by late-night chit-chat between the two women as they whiled away the hours waiting for the next vote.

``Sue would look around the House and say, `Oooh, that would make a good Mr. January or a good Mr. July,″ said Ros-Lehtinen. ``So I made notes of the ones she’s been mentioning through the years and ... asked them for their nicest-looking photo, preferably an action shot.″

The congressmen may glower and holler before handing over their votes, but when it came to handing over their photos, many of them blushed.

Mr. May, John Kasich, R-Ohio, who got married four months ago, wanted Ros-Lehtinen to call his wife to get the ``good seal of acceptance.″

Ros-Lehtinen kept Molinari’s husband, Bill Paxon, R-N.Y., updated on the project so he wouldn’t get jealous. Paxon was chosen the pinup for July, the picture showing him kissing Molinari on the lips when they announced their engagement in her office.

What Ros-Lehtinen got in the end were pictures of two Democrats and 10 Republicans like you’ve never seen them before.

A photo from his college days shows Rep. John Thune, R-S.D., bare-chested with grey cotton shorts riding low on his hips as he looks coyly at the camera.

Rep. Steve Largent, R-Okla., looked relaxed with his hands behind his head, a dreamy look in his eyes and lots of gel on his hair.

In the campaign photo he sent, Rep. Gary Condit, D-Calif., resembles a Calvin Klein model in his blue jeans, polo shirt, dark jacket and brown moccasins.

Rep. Scott Klug, R-Wis., let out a loud laugh when asked about the calendar. He said he was flattered to be on Molinari’s list, though he has always wanted ``to be known for my mind rather than my legs.″

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