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Date: Friday, October 6, 2000 
Question/Topic: I heard that Florida has a commissioner of barbecues. Is that true? Where Can I get more information? 
Answer/Pointer: The News-Journal Online has a story about the Secretary of Barbeque that I have copied and pasted for you. Wednesday, March 15, 2000 Secretary of BBQ turns Florida politics to pork News-Journal Editorial What do you do if you're a legislator who's being term-limited out of office this year? You could scramble for another position, maybe a judgeship or a state agency. Or you could reset your term-limit clock by switching legislative chambers. With enough audacity, you could even create a special job for yourself -like Secretary of Barbecue. That's the burning aspiration of Rep. George Albright, an Ocala Republican who knows a thing or two about pork, political and otherwise. Albright is sponsoring a bill, with some collusion by Sen. Jim King, to create a commissioner of barbecue in the governor's office. Before the squealing over this bill even begins, it's important to remember this is not the worst idea Albright has ever had. That might have been his proposal to charge local officials with felonies if they sue gun manufacturers. And it probably won't be the worst idea he'll ever have. This registers a "medium" on the Albright idea scale. Albright insists he's serious about a Secretary of Barbecue. No one should doubt him. Albright, after all, is friends with a Sonny's Bar-B-Q franchiser and has a stake in a couple of franchises himself. This probably is a conflict of pork, but then many House members don't lose sleep over such minor ethical issues. As Albright envisions it, the Secretary of Barbecue (SOB) is like a combination platter - an ambassador of sauce and promoter for tourism. The SOB would travel around the state supporting state-sanctioned cook-offs and promoting the virtues of barbecues as social events, drawing people of all classes and cultures together in smoky harmony. It's a kind of "One Barbecue" idea that ought to appeal to Gov. Jeb Bush. For Albright, clearly a guy who can think outside the pit, this may be just the beginning. Florida could have a secretary for Texas-style barbecue, North Carolina style and Florida Cracker style. There's no reason to stop with barbecue. Boiled peanuts certainly deserve a secretary. So do buffalo wings. If buffalo wings have one, environmentalists naturally would demand a secretary for manatees -after all, they're endangered. Buffalo wings aren't. Once this idea takes off, Florida obviously would need a Czar of Secretaries, which may be what Albright really has his eye on. Or maybe Albright simply has spent too much time standing downwindfrom a barbecue pit. Stick a fork in him. 
Librarian: SLF 

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