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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.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

To Vote Or Not To Vote

  To Vote Or Not To Vote
       There appear to be some mixed signals out of the senate on what that body would do to a smoking ban that did not include Detroit casinos.  Statements last week from the Majority Leader's office suggested the measure, with that exclusion, would be dead, but now comes Sen. Mike Bishop with a different take.
     "I don't know what we will do," he says based on the premise that the House Speaker Andy Dillon does not favor a ban in the three Detroit casinos.
     "We'll have to talk to my caucus and see what they want to do.  The members of the legislature are the ones who make those decisions.  We'll have to see where we want to go."
       The Oakland County lawmaker continues to oppose the legislation but if there is going to be a bill he does support a total ban on smoking and does not want to create "smoking islands" which he says "would not be fair to all."
       Bishop concedes that he made a "chess move" when he did not grant an exemption to the Detroit casinos when the bill cleared the senate several weeks ago.  He clearly felt the house would not go along with that because it included the exemption in his own version.
       Some feel that "chess move" was designed to scrap the ban altogether but Bishop denies that saying he was not looking for an excuse to kill the bill.
       He says his office has been inundated with phone calls, letters, and emails and he is "amazed at how many hits" he has received on the smoking ban.
      "A growing majority of people favor this. It is about health," he observes even though he is "old school" in opposing the government reaching into the private sector to regulate the use of tobacco in bars, restaurants, casinos, VFW halls and the like.


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