In and outs of the political campaigns, focusing on Michigan and Lansing, Tim Skubick will report regularly throughout the primary and then general election campaigns.
Thursday, May 15, 2008
Euphoria Turns To Apprehension
Euphoria Turns to Apprehension Hackneyed as it is, what a difference a week makes, is true when it comes to the total ban on smoking in bars, restaurants, VFW halls, casinos, and cigar bars. Last week the anti smoking lobbying was overjoyed by the out of nowhere senate vote to ban tobacco all over the state. That was quickly replaced this week with fears that the ban would be nibbled to death by the casinos, the cigar bars, and others who seek exemptions from the total ban. "We are upset," laments Katherine Knoll from the American Heart Association. She tells FOX2 News that the house should not be considering any carve outs for special interests. Tell that to the special interests. They won round one in the House where the anti-smokers had their fingers crossed the house will merely rubber stamp what the senate did and send it merrily along to the governor for her signature. Instead the vote was scrubbed giving the casinos et.al. more time to work their magic on lawmakers to get what they want. They have even found a sympathetic ear with one of the major sponsors of the total ban. Flint democrat Rep. Brenda Clack does not want to ban smoking in cigar bars and while she says she wants a total ban everywhere else, she concedes she may have to compromise and grant even more exemptions. Casinos continue to beat the drum that 15-25% of the Detroit casino workers will be out of work if smokers can't puff away thus driving them to Tribal casinos where the ban would not apply. The anti smokers contend if those same workers are exposed to second hand smoke, they won't be out of work, they'll be out of life. Stay tuned as all this comes to a head next week where a total ban on smoking, celebrated by many one week ago, is now on life support.