The Mirror

THANK HIM FOR SMOKING: Ex-House Speaker John Boehner Joins Board Of Tobacco Company


Betsy Rothstein Gossip blogger
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Some ex-politicians go on to do great things when they leave Congress.

Former House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) just joined the board of a tobacco company.

Not all politicians are meant to do such meaningful endeavors when they leave public life.

Former Rep. Gary Condit (D-Calif.) opened a Baskin-Robbins with his son, Chad, and couldn’t even do that right — he failed to honor franchise agreements and it cost him $44K. Former Rep. Mark Foley (R-Fla.) somehow wound up behind GOP presidential contender Donald Trump at one of his rallies where Trump ragged on Hillary Clinton for the company she unknowingly kept — the father of the Orlando nightclub terrorist — at a campaign event. Trump, meanwhile, had no idea that Foley — who left Congress after making sexual advances toward pages — was in his backdrop. Ex-Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-Schlongsville) hardly needs to be mentioned here. But what the hell? He, too, has not gone on to greatness after Congress. Which, unfortunately and terribly, his young son will find out one day.

Guess it could be worse — Boehner didn’t go the ex-House Speaker Denny Hastert (R-Ill.) route.

But let’s get back to the big news.

Straight out of Winston-Salem, N.C. comes a release from Reynolds American Inc. that describes the adamant smoker’s new role with the company.

“Reynolds American Inc. (NYSE: RAI) announced today that John Boehner, former speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, and Jean-Marc Levy, executive-in-residence at the IMD Business School in Lausanne, Switzerland, have been elected to serve on RAI’s board of directors as Class II directors, effective immediately. Boehner will serve on the board’s corporate governance, nominating and sustainability committee, and Levy will serve on the compensation and leadership development committee.”

The company does have a “transforming tobacco” section on its website, which includes “youth tobacco prevention” and “tobacco harm reduction.”

Their operating companies include R.J. Reynolds, whose brands include Newport, Camel and Pall Mall. They also own Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company, which includes those Natural American Spirit cigs. There’s also American Snuff Company, Niconovum USA, and just to keep up with the times, R.J. Reynolds Vapor Company.

In 2011, Boehner, who smokes Camel Extra Lights, told NBC’s Brian Williams that he prays all day long. He also lamented his smoking habit. “You know, it’s a bad habit. I wish I didn’t have it. But I have it.”

Two years later in 2013, apparently sick of being asked, he addressed his smoking habit on Fox News Sunday.

“It’s a legal product. I choose to smoke it. Leave me alone.”