Dwight Drake, back in the lobby

Dwight Drake, lobbyist extraordinaire, in his element. That's Kathy Shannon, also of Nelson Mullins, at his side./Brad Warthen

Dwight Drake, lobbyist extraordinaire, in his element. That's Kathy Shannon, also of Nelson Mullins, at his side./Brad Warthen

Thursday, I took a break from the Tea Partiers (or Partyers? I don’t know, Burl) and ducked into the lobby of the State House. And who should I find but Dwight Drake, back in his accustomed milieu.

He seemed none the worse for wear for having taken that hiatus to run for governor. We briefly went over that ground — he discovered what Tony Mizzell has on a smaller scale: This is a really tough time to try to raise money for anything. And that’s what did him in (and I suspect will presently do in Jim Rex as well).

We talked some State House bidness as well. His assessment as an observer (and as lobbyist for Big Tobacco) is that lawmakers have arrived at a consensus on the cigarette tax: They want a 50-cent increase, but they can only override a veto on a 30-cent increase.

If you’re keeping score, our state is more than a dollar under the national average.

His belief is that something will pass, and likely survive a veto. Not because lawmakers don’t want it to be an issue on the hustings in the fall (where voters have indicated time and time again that 75 percent of them want the increase), but because they’re fed up with playing this game with a certain governor.

8 thoughts on “Dwight Drake, back in the lobby

  1. Kathryn Fenner

    re: Tea Party affiliates:

    My brother, Mr. Language-Person, ex-Philly Ink copy editor, says,

    “Ooo, that’s a good question. Without consulting resources, I’d be tempted to say Partyers, on the grounds that a partier is one who parties, not somebody who’s in a party. But Mr. Merriam and Ms. Webster may say something different.”

  2. Anne

    Goodness knows I shy away from posting cranky comments about political candidates (don’t want to be associated with the Tea Party peeps) but Tony Mizzell nearly ruined my Saturday. He decided to set up an enormous, impossible-for-a-three-year-old-to-miss jump castle at Owens Field. I will assume he has never had to take a three-year-old to an older child’s soccer game. Were it not for a kind cousin, I would have spent the entire game listening to him scream to be taken to the stupid castle and I would have missed my eight-year-old’s game. I also would have had to drag him, screaming, from the castle when the game was over.

    It may seem petty, but this is my only contact with Mr. Mizzell and – judging from that one thing, which I realize isn’t quite fair – he isn’t practical, doesn’t attempt to put himself in other people’s shoes and wastes money on things like jump castles. Grr. But I’m sure he’s a really nice person and he isn’t even in my district, so he doesn’t need to worry about me.

    Can’t believe I’m actually submitting this comment, which I feel sure will earn me more than a little derision.

  3. Anne

    Oh, and I avoid the -ier/-yer decision by referring tot hem as peeps. I would be inclined to agree with Kathryn’s brother. It’s also a proper name, right? A family with the last name “Wolf” doesn’t refer to themselves as “The Wolves.” Well, they might, but they would be wrong.

  4. Kathryn Fenner

    Anne– I think if you are going to go all language-person, you need to check out Dave Barry on the correct use of apostrophes and quotation marks in hand-lettered signs.

    Try “our” hot dog’s.

    I see, far too often, people with fancy signs outside their homes that proclaim this as, say, “The Warthen’s”–now, though he be a tad egotistical, Brad would certainly acknowledge the rest of his family. Seeing those signs puts me in mind of The Donald.

  5. Brad Warthen

    You mean, it puts “you” in mind of The Donald.

    Meaning that the person reminded of The Donald isn’t really YOU, or is only allegedly you, or is only you in an ironic sense…

  6. Kathryn Fenner

    No, I, myself, actually personally, ever so sincerely, think of The Donald when I see a house sign “The Smith’s”—l’etat c’est moi, except that it’s a very small state.

    Not, it puts “one” in mind of The Donald, unless I am in my snooty elitist persona.

    or, rather, one is in one’s snooty elitist persona.

  7. Kathryn Fenner

    @Anne– I just sent the “link” to my brother, Mr. Language-Person.

    Many laugh’s

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