Publication Date: 2005-01-26
- Author:Erika Slife
- Publication:Chicago Tribune
State lawmakers long ago voted to restrict smoking in public places, but one of the few places the rules don't apply is under the Capitol dome--or at least under the Senate half of it.
"Some people say it's a tradition in the Senate, but so was spitting in spittoons 40 years ago," said Rep. Bob Molaro (D-Chicago), a former senator who tried unsuccessfully to get his colleagues to change their rules on smoking. "We're passing clean-air laws for everybody else, but then in the chamber we do whatever we want. It smells, literally, of hypocrisy."
Nowhere is the upper chamber's custom embodied more than in a painting overlooking the Senate gallery: former Senate President James "Pate" Philip, a Republican who prided himself on an aversion to political correctness, proudly clutching an oversize stogie.