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The PJ Tatler

by
Bryan Preston

Bio

April 30, 2014 - 11:27 am

Wouldn’t it be nice if our legislators, those who write the laws that we live under but they often don’t, would know what those laws will do before they write and pass them? Liberal Democrat David Bonior spent 26 years in Washington “serving” Michigan as the media tells it, which means he spent those decades there passing laws telling the rest of us what to do.

Now that he has left government, he has finally started to learn that government can be more of a problem than a solution.

He has invested at least $1 million, by my estimate, building two family-owned Washington restaurants, the second of which, Agua 301, is near Nationals Park and only a line drive from the Anacostia River. His first eatery, Zest Bistro, opened on Capitol Hill four years ago.

“It’s the American Dream,” he said of his new career.

Over tasty Caesar salad and tacos at Agua 301, the mild-mannered, thoughtful Bonior — chastened by local regulators and fickle weather — sounds more born-again capitalist than fire-breathing lefty.

“Small-business people work very hard,” said the 68-year-old, who has spent most of his life in government. “If you are a small-business guy, you are out there and not as protected as a government employee. They struggle every day. A snow day, a government worker is off. A restaurant person takes a hit from that snow day. This winter was very, very tough on the [restaurant] industry.”

Instead of fires, he spends most of his time worrying about the weather, the availability of limes or the price of avocados as he chases after those elusive profits.

“There are always going to be problems, and we’ve had our share.”

Bonior said if he had the power, he would lighten up on pesky regulations.

“It took us a ridiculous amount of time to get our permits. I understand regulations and . . .the necessity for it. But we lost six months of business because of that. It’s very frustrating.”

“The biggest surprise is how you have to hustle,” he said. “It was an eye-opener. I always heard this when I was in Congress. ‘You should try and own a business someday, Bonior.’ So I own two small businesses with my stepson and daughter-in-law. It’s tough to make it, in terms of profit margins. But somehow you get by and you figure it out.”

The 68-year-old is surprised that he has to “hustle” — to work hard and think creatively — now that he is out of government?

That’s just sad.

And wait until he gets a full load of Obamacare.

Bryan Preston has been a leading conservative blogger and opinionator since founding his first blog in 2001. Bryan is a military veteran, worked for NASA, was a founding blogger and producer at Hot Air, was producer of the Laura Ingraham Show and, most recently before joining PJM, was Communications Director of the Republican Party of Texas.

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All Comments   (3)
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AND if you worked a government job long enough, you, too, can open up a private enterprise near your old stomping grounds with as much free advertising as you many need.
29 weeks ago
29 weeks ago Link To Comment
Three words Bonior failed to say: "I was wrong".

And honestly, if he suddenly decided to return to congress (and successfully got re-elected), do any of you think he'd suddenly start voting free-market?
29 weeks ago
29 weeks ago Link To Comment
No. Our progs just don't learn.
29 weeks ago
29 weeks ago Link To Comment
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