- The Plate
The Food Trade on Capitol Hill
The best offices for free tobacco belonged to the districts with big tobacco presence, where interns doled out smokes as legitimate free samples of their home state’s native products. Cigarette companies crated them into Congressional offices as promotional items to publicize the economy.
Staffers and interns make little or no money and need free stuff to make ends meet while trying to change the world. (Hence 1,000 pounds of free tomatoes given away last month at the Congressional United Fresh Produce Association reception.) So the front desk workers of big tobacco states became the most popular kids on the block, Hill connectors who knew everything from the direction of votes to who was dating whom.
Twenty years later, food has taken cigarettes’