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News Summary

Flap over cigar tent: Alleging health risk, Assembly votes to stub out governor's negotiation canopy

Publication Date: 2005-06-03
  • Author:Dan Smith
  • Publication:Sacramento Bee
Sure, the governor and the Democrat-controlled Legislature are locked in the political battle of the ages, what with long-term school funding and the ability of labor unions to be political players at stake.

But take away the chief executive's right to a good cigar on the job? Those were indeed fighting words Thursday as the Assembly voted 41-32, with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's fellow Republicans opposed, to dismantle the famed cigar-smoking tent in the courtyard outside the governor's Capitol office.

Supporters said Assembly Bill 616 by Assemblyman Juan Vargas, D-San Diego, would eliminate wafting smoke from the tent, which they say seeps into office windows in the upper floors of the office building surrounding the courtyard. In some cases, supporters said, children visiting the Capitol are exposed to smoke - and the sight of a governor smoking.

"I think this is a good bill because it endeavors to set a good example for our children," said Assemblyman Paul Koretz, D-West Hollywood.