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Update: Fenty signs St. Patrick's Day cigar bill in time for celebration

There will be cigars on Saint Patrick's Day. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty has signed legislation allowing a one-time exemption to the District's smoke-free laws for an annual March 17 gathering of Washington's government and business elite. The mayor's spokesperson Mafara Hobson was not immediately available for comment.

Time was of the essence for the bill by Council member Jack Evans (D-Ward 2), who is a member of the all-male Society of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick, which hosts the 640-person celebration of Irish-American culture at the Capital Hilton.

Evans had succeeded in passing legislation last week to keep tradition alive for the Friendly Sons and another group, Fight for Children, that hosts an annual professional boxing fundraiser.

The bill was transmitted to Fenty on March 8. The mayor had 10 business days to decide whether to sign or veto the measure, taking him to March 22.

If the mayor had not acted before March 17, the Friendly Sons would not have been able to light up at their big event next Wednesday.

As a member of the council, Fenty was among those who introduced and championed the workplace smoking ban in 2006. While Evans is a close ally of the mayor, the measure was opposed by Fenty's potential rival, Council Chairman Vincent Gray.

By Ann Marimow  |  March 10, 2010; 12:50 PM ET
Categories:  Ann E. Marimow , D.C. Council , Mayor Fenty  
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So you are trying to tell me that this same City Council that passed the smaking ban gave 'themselves' an exemption for 'their' benefit? More of the same.

Posted by: DoTheMickey | March 10, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse


Two significant victories for the 'haves' in DC today! The 'haves' can actually strongarm council men and women to justify the fact that one can pay to skirt the (smoking ban) law. AND, in Georgetown, the 'haves' "celebrate after pizza joint shuts down" This is a good day for the 'haves.' How do I become one?

Posted by: blackbrit | March 10, 2010 8:18 PM | Report abuse

What a joke!!! More of the same from Evans. He's as predictible as potholes in G-town getting fixed before those in Shaw. Fenty proves once again what a hypocrite he is. His impassioned rhetoric to ban smoking during the last election was just an attempt to sidle up up to rich white folks west of the park. He doesn't care about the health of resdients, only their campaign donations. Fenty is all about Fenty. Enjoy the smoke, Jacky Boy. No doubt you had to offer support on some issue, or maybe even a briefcase of cash to get it.

Posted by: thadude33 | March 11, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse

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