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Stogie News: Politicians Cross the Aisle for a Smoke

12 Mar 2007

Its been over two months since the draconian smoking ban went into effect in DC, and strange things are already happening. (Just two months in and its hard to remember that Washington was once a thriving cigar town.)

060208_boehner_vmed_10awidec.jpgAnd while average smokers are forced out of bars and restaurants and into the streets, the citys political elites are crossing party lines just to enjoy a smoke indoors. Most recently, House Republican Minority Leader John Boehner has even started hanging out at the National Democratic Club:

His own party’s club won’t let him light up, so House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) has been sneaking over to the National Democratic Club to smoke. Ironic, and a tad scandalous — considering Boehner sits on the board of the Capitol Hill Club, where Republican members of Congress do their boozing and schmoozing.

But the Capitol Hill Club, unlike the Democratic Club, never got an exemption to get around the District’s new smoking ban. And Boehner and other members are no longer allowed to smoke in the House Speaker’s Lobby, thanks to Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) new rules. So what else is a Republican to do when he’s jonesing for a smoke?

Boehner, who’s hooked on Barclays, has popped into the Democratic Club — a sad sack of a joint (compared to the tonier GOP club), which is frequented by union lobbyists — on several occasions. Most recently on Wednesday night, when he was puffing and chatting with Democratic Reps. Allen Boyd (Fla.), Dennis Cardoza (Calif.) and Jim Costa (Calif.).

The minority leader was a such a hit that one of Boyd’s constituents who was in the club grabbed a menu and asked Boehner to sign it. Boyd told the Sleuth that “while I worry about Mr. Boehner’s health, I’m always a fan of Democrats and Republicans being in the same room, even if it has to be a smoky one.” And he joked: “A Dem Club menu with the Minority Leader’s signature…now that’s probably rare enough to be really worth something!”

For those of us in the DC area who cant joke around in the exclusive smoke-filled clubs occupied by America’s pork-spending, log-rolling politicians, at least we can still have a cigar in Shelly’s Backroom, Ozio, or bars in Northern Virginia.

Patrick S

Tags: cigars

Drew Estate

2 Responses to “Stogie News: Politicians Cross the Aisle for a Smoke”

  1. Rodney Monday, March 12, 2007 at 10:06 am #

    This story shows once again that smoking bans are not merely Republican or Democrat regulations – they're freedom-hater regulations.

    Didn't the Stogie Guys publish a commentary to that affect some time ago?

  2. Patrick S Monday, March 12, 2007 at 12:03 pm #

    Good point Rodney. In an article titled The Truth About Anti-Smokers George dispelled the myth that anti-smoking zealots are from just one political party or persuasian.