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Congressman makes a stink about colleague's garlic remark

Michael M. Honda, who represents Gilroy, delivers a basket of garlic and a rebuttal ditty to John A. Boehner, who said a public option to private insurance would be as popular as a garlic milkshake.

October 03, 2009|Richard Simon

WASHINGTON — To the congressman who represents Gilroy -- the nation's self-proclaimed garlic capital -- Rep. John A. Boehner's declaration earlier this week that a government-run health insurance program would be about as popular as a garlic milkshake, well, it stinks.

Democratic Rep. Michael M. Honda on Friday delivered a basket of the stinking rose to the Ohio Republican's Capitol office, while praising the health benefits of garlic and citing public support for a public alternative to private insurance.

"Two things make for a strong healthy heart. Gilroy garlic, for one, a good start," Honda wrote Boehner in a ditty. "Public option? Also high, In the America eye, 65 percent n'er want it to part."

Called for comment, Brian M. Bowe, executive director of the Gilroy Garlic Festival Assn., added, "I don't know that you can get a garlic milkshake here in Gilroy, but I'd be happy to invite John Boehner to next year's Gilroy Garlic Festival and serve him some garlic ice cream. It's delicious, and I have no doubt that a little extra garlic would do wonders for his health."

"We like garlic," Boehner spokesman Michael Steel responded. "The point the House Republican leader made yesterday was simply that garlic milkshakes aren't popular, like the Democrats' government takeover of healthcare."

In Ohio, a group of public-option supporters said they planned to deliver a garlic milkshake to Boehner's district office.

"If garlic milkshakes are on par in popularity with the public option as John Boehner claims, then perhaps it's time to drop tomato juice as Ohio's official state beverage," said Brian Rothenberg, executive director of the liberal group ProgressOhio. "Fifty-seven percent of us are apparently enthusiastic fans of the garlic milkshake."



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