Update III: A third update on a story about — gasp — beer and liquor possibly being served in the statehouse? Yep. The AP chimes in this time with a lengthy piece as debate continues over whether a bar will open in the statehouse basement. Citing hype-filled stories and a media blitz, the caterer in charge of the current cafe says the whole topic has gotten out of hand, as evidenced by a commission which is now weighing the merits and drawbacks of letting lawmakers, who drink in their office anyway, buy a rum and coke down the hall.
Sen. Bill Seitz, a Cincinnati Republican, makes the most sense. Speaking to the AP, he said: "My point of view is Prohibition ended in the 1930s, so what's the big deal? We're not talking about putting George Jones and Willie Nelson on the jukebox and having people spending all their waking hours in the Capitol Cafe, drowning their sorrows. But the idea that there's alcohol in the Statehouse should be completely unsurprising to anyone."
Update II: The AP is now reporting that Ohio Senate President Tom Niehaus says everyone should take a deep breath, think about the Statehouse bar more deeply, and get their booze elsewhere in the meantime. A committee has been formed to study the issue, because that's politics. We've formed a committee here, too, and in just one minute and a few seconds we decided we will drink a beer later this afternoon.
Update: According to the AP, Republican Rep. Rex Damschroder from Fremont is upset about the new bar coming to the Ohio state Capitol building. It "sends a very negative message," he said in a letter to the Ohio Statehouse managers. If by "negative message" he means "supremely awesome," then he's right.
A couple of clarifications have emerged about the boozing post after Damschroder's letter: Statehouse spokesman Gregg Dodd said liquor will only be for private groups and that "Joe Schmo Public" won't be allowed to sidle up to the bar and order a bottle of their favorite light domestic lager.
Also, someone should tell Dodd that it's simply "John Public," but whatever, he can mix his references how he pleases. "Joe Schmo Representative" and company will be able to purchase libations, though, according to Gregg Schmo Dodd. (AP)
From last week...
Via the AP, news comes that Ohio's Statehouse, which boasts a cafe where the finest danishes and lukewarm coffee can be bought, will be adding bar service. The bar will open next month and offer booze, beer, and Red Bull bombs to keep lawmakers grueling through boring legislative sessions where lots of numbers and charts are discussed.
The Ohio agency that oversees the Statehouse says the bar will have flat-screen televisions and will be open to the public at certain times. It also will host special events and what are described as "private happy hours."
Man, if you thought the pickings were slim at your neighborhood watering hole at closing time, just imagine the scene at the Statehouse when the bartender hollers last call. Not to mention the cheesy pickup lines for all the single congressmen on the prowl. "So, come here a lot? Want to see my caucus?"