Tag Archives: Media

Dental Sleep Practice Article Published

Former Congressman Marty Russo adds his voice to Dental Sleep Practice on ‘How To Make A Difference In Washington.”

Dental Sleep Practice Magazine

Dental Sleep Practice Magazine article published by Former Congressman Marty Russo


It has been a privilege to get involved in helping out the “Sleep Community” — a group of dental, medical, and other practitioners who care about the dangers of sleep disorders and their negative impact on health and safety.

In conjunction with several speaking engagements, this companion article appeared in an issue of Dental Sleep Magazine.  Here’s an excerpt:

“I’ve spent my career in politics and government with eighteen years in the U.S. House of Representatives and twenty-two years as a top lobbyist. My message to you is that what happens in Washington matters. The best way to impact federal policy making is to get involved. You can make a difference.”

“There is a lot of activity in Washington these days around legislating and regulating sleep apnea and transportation safety.   I can tell you that there are large gaps in understanding among federal policy makers regarding the latest advances in dental sleep medicine. There is no consensus among all the federal players as to how to best approach the issue of sleep apnea…The good news is that this lack of consensus gives you an opportunity to have your voice heard.”

One of the most wonderful things about speaking to groups is that I get to hear about issues that are important to people.  Getting involved with the Sleep Community to help them be heard in Washington has been particularly gratifying.



Chicago Columbus Day Parade

Former Congressman Marty Russo talks about the Chicago Columbus Day Parade in 1986 when Vice President George H. W. Bush and Barbara Bush joined in the fun.

George Bush, Marty Russo and Barbara Bush

Vice President George H. W. Bush, Congressman Marty Russo and Barbara Bush march in the 1986 Chicago Columbus Day Parade

As an Italian-American in Chicago, one of the iconic experiences is the yearly Columbus Day Parade put on by the Joint Civic Committee of Italian Americans.

Each year, it was an honor to march in the parade along with such dignataries as the mayor, the governor, state senators and representatives, local officials and other community leaders.

In 1986, it was an especially rewarding experience as my good friend, then Vice President George H. W. Bush agreed to join us along with his wife, Barbara Bush.

This photo with the Bushes is very special to me as it shows the close friendship and camaraderie we felt.

I have to admit there were a few raised eyebrows when the Republican Vice President walked the entire parade alongside a Democratic Congressman.  Indeed, later that day, the VP went on to several fundraisers for Republicans.It was the magic of sports that made us become close friends — first as the paddle-ball partner for the VP (and later President) as well as being golf buddies.

VP George H. W. Bush, Marty Russo and Barbara Bush

VP George H. W. Bush hoists 5 year old Rafael Thompson in the 1986 Columbus Day Parade in Chicago alongside Mayor Harold Washington, Congressman Marty Russo and First Lady Barbara Bush

It’s a reflection on the goodness and kindness of GHWB that when a small child ran out from the crowd toward the Vice President, he scooped him up without hesitation into a welcoming embrace.  It was totally spontaneous and the crowd loved it.  Mayor Harold Washington was marching with us and this photo by The Chicago Tribune showing VP Bush and young Rafael Thompson was front page news.

Its a good feeling to view this photo almost 30 years ago and remember the warmth on that (probably) cold Chicago day.


Alpha House on Amazon.com

Original Alpha House Roommates: Marty Russo, George Miller, Leon Panetta, and Chuck Schumer

Original Alpha House Roommates: Marty Russo, George Miller, Leon Panetta, and Chuck Schumer

Former Congressman Marty Russo makes a cameo appearance on Alpha House.

It’s not often you have a chance to take a trip down memory lane while hanging out at a fake wedding on an all day TV show shoot.

The hit show “Alpha House” on Amazon.com is very (very) loosely based on the house in Washington DC which I shared with three other Democratic Members of Congress: George Miller, Leon Panetta, and Chuck Schumer.  The new Alpha House is nothing like our house — they are four Republican Senators and have all sorts of strange escapades.

The original Alpha House was very focused on good politics and, as noted in this 1986 Wall Street Journal article, we used our camaraderie to build coalitions to get legislation passed.

But I have to admit it was fun to go to Long Island and make a cameo appearance in the season finale episode.  Also appearing was a good friend — Former Congressman Sam Gejdenson who actually replaced me in the house when I left Congress.  Both Sam and I had a one line cameo in the spotlight.

Joining us on the set and appearing in a separate cameo shot were MSNBC Anchor Alex Witt (as smart as she is lovely!) and Norm Ornstein (who is a master of one-liners).

It was impressive to see the chaos of what goes into filming a big scene with 300 extras and a handful of Washington types.  John Goodman and his co-stars were gracious and seemed to get a kick out of meeting some of the original Alpha House roommates.  I’ll keep you posted if my Hollywood lines make the final cut!

Alpha House Cameo

Former Congressman Marty Russo joins the cast of Alpha House for filming of the season's final episode.

[img src=http://russocapitolstrategies.com/wp-content/flagallery/alpha-house-cameo/thumbs/thumbs_rcs_alpha-house-3.jpg]Former Congressman Marty Russo and Alpha House star John Goodman
[img src=http://russocapitolstrategies.com/wp-content/flagallery/alpha-house-cameo/thumbs/thumbs_rcs_alpha-house-4.jpg]Former Congressman Marty Russo and Alpha House star Clark Johnson
[img src=http://russocapitolstrategies.com/wp-content/flagallery/alpha-house-cameo/thumbs/thumbs_img_1895.jpg]Russo at Alpha House wedding
[img src=http://russocapitolstrategies.com/wp-content/flagallery/alpha-house-cameo/thumbs/thumbs_img_1901.jpg]Cameos at Alpha House filming
[img src=http://russocapitolstrategies.com/wp-content/flagallery/alpha-house-cameo/thumbs/thumbs_img_1906.jpg]Former Congressman Sam Gejdenson and Marty Russo
[img src=http://russocapitolstrategies.com/wp-content/flagallery/alpha-house-cameo/thumbs/thumbs_img_1897.jpg]
Former Congressmen Marty Russo and Sam Gejdenson and Alpha House star Matt Malloy
[img src=http://russocapitolstrategies.com/wp-content/flagallery/alpha-house-cameo/thumbs/thumbs_rcs_alpha-house-1.jpg]
Former Congressman Sam Gejdenson, Alpha House Producer Jonathan Alter and Former Congressman Marty Russo
[img src=http://russocapitolstrategies.com/wp-content/flagallery/alpha-house-cameo/thumbs/thumbs_rcs_alpha-house-2.jpg]Former Congressman Marty Russo and MSNBC Anchor Alex Witt on the set of Alpha House
[img src=http://russocapitolstrategies.com/wp-content/flagallery/alpha-house-cameo/thumbs/thumbs_img_1899.jpg]
Former Congressman Marty Russo and Alpha House Star William Thomas Evans
[img src=http://russocapitolstrategies.com/wp-content/flagallery/alpha-house-cameo/thumbs/thumbs_img_1904.jpg]Alpha House Set
[img src=http://russocapitolstrategies.com/wp-content/flagallery/alpha-house-cameo/thumbs/thumbs_img_1902.jpg]Alpha House Set
[img src=http://russocapitolstrategies.com/wp-content/flagallery/alpha-house-cameo/thumbs/thumbs_img_1903.jpg]Alpha House Set

The Declaration of Independence and The Pursuit of Happiness

The Declaration of Independence and the pursuit of happiness are a good combination to celebrate on this Fourth of July holiday.

Former Congressman Marty Russo joins Harvesting Happiness Talk Radio to discuss.

It was fun to join Lisa Cypers Kamen on her Harvesting Happiness Talk Radio show for a half hour discussion of how our founders saw happiness.  I met Lisa in Scottsdale, AZ when she moderated interviews at the American Sleep and Breathing Academy conference.

Check out the podcast here or on iTunes.

Original Declaration of Independence

Original Declaration of Independence

The Declaration of Independence is considered the most influential document in American history.  If you are ever in Washington DC it’s worth a trip to the National Archives to see it in person.

The second sentence in the Declaration reads:  “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”  This idea was based on the ideas of English philosopher John Locke who wrote that people have a “natural right to life, liberty and property.”

However, in the initial draft Thomas Jefferson changed “property” to “pursuit of happiness.” Although Jefferson’s first draft was highly edited,  the phrase “pursuit of happiness” stayed in the final version.  So it must have been important.

What is the pursuit of happiness?



What’s interesting is that in 1776 happiness was defined differently than today.  The minds of the great political thinkers of the 18th century tied the concept of happiness to civic responsibility.  In the context of the Declaration, happiness was more about an individual’s contribution to society rather than pursuits of self-gratification.   Our country was founded on the concept of liberty and freedom and the responsibility to contribute to society.  In fact, the purpose of the Constitution is to provide the framework of government to protect our right to pursue happiness.

The Fourth of July is a good reminder to us all that the Declaration of Independence is about pursuing the kind of happiness that comes from making our country and the world a better place.  That’s showing true leadership.

Whatever you are interested in, find a way to get involved and have your voice heard.   My observation over the years is that people who get involved in civic interests and helping other in the community are happier.   There’s a number of ways you can get involved –here’s a few:

  • Work with neighbors on a community issue.
  • Go to a public meeting on an issue that’s important to you
  • Volunteer to help other in need
  • Register voters
  • Volunteer for a campaign for someone who is running for public office
  • Find an organization that is active on issues that are important to you and volunteer your time and money

The Fourth of July is a good time to get re-energized on making the world a better place.


Shootout In Scottsdale

Check out this “Shootout in Scottsdale” between legendary retired wide receiver, Roy Green of the Arizona Cardinals and a certain retired Congressman from Illinois.