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Huckleberries Online

Nonini Is Last Capitol Cig Smoker

Rep. Bob Nonini, R-Coeur d'Alene, walks toward the Idaho Capitol in Boise on Monday. After another Republican representative quit smoking last year, Nonini is the lone open smoker in the Idaho Legislature. (AP photo)

Standing outside the Capitol on a brisk January afternoon, Rep. Bob Nonini cups his hand deftly to shelter a cigarette — not from the wind, but from a camera. The Coeur d'Alene Republican and House Education Committee chairman has the distinction of being the lone Idaho lawmaker who still regularly, if bashfully, steps outside for a smoke. “This is private,” Nonini says, declining further comment this week. His solo status in Idaho's Statehouse underscores a decadeslong transformation in American culture. But despite a near absence of smokers in the Republican-dominated Legislature, don't hold your breath in anticipation of new anti-cigarette laws, even with about a quarter of lawmakers belonging to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which forbids tobacco use/John Miller, AP. More here.

Question: Would you be more/less/same likely to vote for a candidate who smokes?


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About this blog

D.F. Oliveria is a columnist and blogger for The Spokesman-Review. Print Huckleberries is a past winner of the Herb Caen Memorial Column contest by the National Association of Newspaper Columnists. The Readership Institute of Northwestern University cited this blog as a good example of online community journalism.

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