Stars Speak, and D.C. Listens

You know something’s afoot in D.C. when you see:

A. House bigwig Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) planting a peck on the cheek of Morgan Fairchild or…

B. Ex-“Sopranos” regular Joe Pantoliano — a.k.a. Joey Pants — getting a bear hug from CNN Washington correspondent Bob Franken or…

C. Heather Graham chatting with policy wonks, or…

D. All of the above, and much more.

The Creative Coalition, the artists’ non-profit for public interest advocacy, threw a bash Wednesday night to welcome the 110th Congress. The Hollywood glitz brightened the darkening sky over the Capitol, with thesps like Fran Drescher, Alan Cumming, Giancarlo Esposito, Ernie Hudson, Wendie Malick, Rachel Shelley and Tim Daly joining their colleagues sipping wine and enjoying southern-style gnosh in a stylish restaurant at Union Station.

Led by elder statesman John Dingell (D-Mich.), who has been in the House since 1955, numerous pols were the honored guests.

Earlier in the day, members of the Creative Coalition met with members of Congress for a briefing on energy independence.

“We’re non partisan so we look for non partisan issues,” said Pantoliano, who took a bit of ribbing for his “Sopranos” persona. “This is also a very important issue for our children.”

Drescher was more blunt: “Five years ago, this wouldn’t have even been a topic among our elected officials. It’s great that people are finally waking up to the fact that if we screw up our planet, we screw ourselves.”

Drescher is a veteran when it comes to lobbying, having helped pass an educational bill last year on the subject of gynecological cancer, of which she is a survivor.

Asked if she felt the pols had taken the posse of celebs seriously on this visit, Malick said, “I listened more than I spoke, but yes, I think they took us seriously. People seem open to the possiblity of change.”

—By William Triplett in Washington.

Update: The Politico surveys the celebs and gets their 2008 picks.

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