“The Legislature finds that establishing and operating a gift shop in the state Capitol would be financially beneficial,” states the bill. “Nearly every national park has a gift shop promoting various sites and the state Capitol’s distinct architectural features and monuments could be promoted in the same manner.”
Civil Beat reports that the state Department of Accounting and General Services opposes the bill (probably because the thought of selling Neil Abercrombie and/or Duke Aiona trinkets to tourists doesn’t exactly excite them), but reading the post brought back somewhat fond memories of the time back in 2010 when I was working for the nonprofit journalism center CalWatchdog and visited the gift shop in the California state Capitol on Black Friday:
“The shop is pretty small–it’s basically a large closet, next to the Capitol Publications Office–but the sheer quantity of California and Capitol-related items that are offered can be overwhelming. There are postcards—with and without California wildflower seeds—maps, key chains, Christmas ornaments, Smokey the Bear dolls, not-quite best-selling copies of James R. Mills’ 1987 book A Disorderly House, those fake parchment copies of old American documents and even some comically gaudy $20 Civil War neckties that my editor once bought because he needed a tie—any tie—to gain access to the Senate floor.”
Anyway, click here for the whole story of my adventures in the California state Capitol gift shop.
Photo of US Capitol gift shop: Wikimedia Commons