Legislatin' and all-purpose politickin' is hard work, which is why liquor can sometimes become a valuable tool in a stressed-out lawmaker's relaxation repertoire. They understand this in Ohio, where people are boozing more than ever—and where the state Capitol building will soon feature a full-scale bar.
Ohio legislators will no longer have to fraternize with plebes at some run-of-the-mill tavern. At their brand-new state capitol bar, they'll be able to partake of beer, wine, and liquor together, watch their favorite soft-core news talk shows together, and break into partisan fist-fights with each other/together. The public will be allowed in, but only on occasion. No guns, though! That could be dangerous, if gin-soaked tempers started to flare.
Do Ohio politicians love alcohol a whole lot, like the voters supposedly do? Let's see:
- In April, Republican state Rep. Robert Mecklenborg was arrested for allegedly driving drunk with a "young female passenger"—aka a "personal matter"—in his car.
- The state attorney general is office-jumping Mike DeWine, whose professional wrestling nickname is allegedly "De Wino."
- In June, a state legislator proposed a bill that would have raised the allowable alcohol content in beer produced in-state from 12 percent to 18 percent. The bill was dropped, but still—18 percent!
- Governor John Kasich's job generation strategy is booze-centric.
None of this suggests that Ohio has "a problem," however.