Boehner: Big Tobacco’s Personal Western Union

John Boehner In Rep. John Boehner’s (R-OH) Power Point presentation for his bid as House Majority Leader — “John Boehner: For A Majority That Matters” — he paints himself as a reformer:

It might surprise those who entered the House over the last 10 years that I cut my teeth here as a reformer. … So when it comes to institutional ethics and reform, I’ve got some experience, and some thoughts I’d like to share with you.

Boehner’s characterization of himself as a “reformer” may surprise even some of his conservative colleagues.

In 1996 Bob Herbert wrote:

One day last summer Representative John A. Boehner of Ohio, chairman of the House Republican Conference, decided to play Santa Claus. … In any event, Mr. Boehner took it upon himself to begin handing out money from tobacco lobbyists to certain of his colleagues on the House floor.

Boehner stopped handing out the checks only “after being questioned about the practice by two freshmen who’d heard about the handoff on the House floor” [Charleston Gazette, 5/11/96]

Rep. Linda Smith (R-WA) said of Boehner’s actions, “[I]f it is not illegal, it should be.”

Looks like Boehner may not be the best person to “build trust” in the House.