A new Rhode Island state legislator was stunned by the “insane amount of drinking” that happens at the Capitol.
Rep. Moira Walsh, a Democrat, told WPRO-AM that she witnessed “file cabinets full of booze” and described how lawmakers took shots on the House floor to celebrate Dominican Republic Independence Day.
“It is the drinking that blows my mind,” she told host Matt Allen in an interview on Tuesday. “You cannot operate a motor vehicle when you’ve had two beers, but you can make laws that affect people’s lives forever when you’re half in the bag? That’s outrageous.”
She said she didn’t have any examples of lawmakers drinking before a vote but said the lifestyle of frequent drinking at fundraisers was something she doesn’t know how anyone handles.
“We have fundraisers every single night, and it is no wonder regular people don’t run for office, because what family could sustain that lifestyle of being out for four to five nights a week drinking,” Walsh told the Providence Journal. “I didn’t graduate from college that long ago, but I don’t know how anyone’s liver can handle four nights a week of fundraisers. My liver just can’t.”
House Majority Leader K. Joseph Shekarchi told the Journal that he never witnessed anyone intoxicated on the House floor.
“If there was anything wrong, I’m sure the [Providence] Journal, the radio people and the TV people would have reported it,” he said.
Allen quipped that they might have to install checkpoints outside of the state capitol because of Walsh’s comments.
“I’m going to be the person who ruined drinking at the State House. They’ll love me forever,” she quipped.
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