Thursday, May 11, 2006

Say it Ain't So, Joe - er, Walker, I Mean, Chuck!

With all the talk of earmark reform, it seems that even Walker, Texas Ranger, needs your taxpayer dollars (subscription required):

Heyee-Yah! It’s the day every celebrity lives for: meeting that biggest fan ever. Karate Champ Chuck Norris of “Walker, Texas Ranger” fame met his on Capitol Hill on Wednesday while lobbying Texas lawmakers to support his KICKSTART program for at-risk kids.

No, his biggest fan isn’t Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas), though she facilitated the meeting. Norris’ biggest fan ever is Jimmy, everybody’s favorite Senate elevator operator.

Hutchison remembered that Jimmy told her a few years ago that he loved Norris, one of Hutchison’s constituents. At that time, she got Jimmy an autographed photo of the actor. Knowing that Norris would be visiting her on Wednesday, the Senator had her staff arrange for Jimmy to come to her office to meet his hero.

They had pictures taken together, and Norris even pulled an action figure card out of his pocket and signed it for Jimmy, who has Down syndrome, to keep.

Hutchison, it should be added, is a big fan of Norris, too. In 1997, she did a cameo appearance on “Walker, Texas Ranger.” In that episode, she warned that Congress would pull funding for a fictional boot camp program for young offenders if any inmates escaped.

In real life Wednesday, a mellower Hutchison told Walker — er, Norris — that she would ask for $250,000 to $500,000 in the Labor-HHS appropriations bill for his Texas-based KICKSTART program.

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