In bed with Big Tobacco

In bed with Big Tobacco September 22, 2003

Altriiiiia — I just met a girl named Altria …

Rep. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), the House majority whip, is getting married next month.

The wedding is planned for mid-October, Taylor said. This will be the second marriage for Blunt, 53, who got divorced last year, and the first for [Abigail] Perlman, 41.

Perlman is a lobbyist — the head of government affairs for Altria, the parent company of Philip Morris:

Their relationship became controversial in June, after The Washington Post reported that Blunt tried to slip language aiding Philip Morris into a homeland security bill last year.

Isn't that romantic? I mean, anybody can send flowers, but nothing says "I love you" like diverting homeland security funding to Big Tobacco.

Theirs has been a classic, whirlwind Beltway love story. Rep. Blunt finished up the paperwork on his divorce. Altria finished up the paperwork on a new policy recusing Perlman from lobbying House leadership.

The soon-to-be Mrs. Majority Whip will still be allowed to lobby rank and file members of the House. Those representatives will, of course, feel no pressure to grant her undue access or influence just because she's married to the No. 3 man in the House leadership.

Rumor has it the couple is registered with Pottery Barn, Crate & Barrel and several appropriations committees.


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