May 14, 2008

Dog eats Majority Leader’s homework or I forgot it

LANSING – The rumors were running rampant in the Capitol on Tuesday on why the House did not take up the smoking ban bill, House Bill 4163, and subscription only Gongwer confirmed them.

On Thursday the Senate approved a tougher substitute of the bill that was previously passed in the House in December, and it was expected the bill would move to the House for concurrence on that very Thursday. That didn’t happen because of the late hour, but it was sure to happen on Tuesday when the House and Senate reconvened.

Tuesday was also the day hundreds of people from the American Cancer Society descended on the Capitol for their annual mini-Relay for Life that raises money for cancer research and victims. The rumors were that Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop, who blocked the House version since January and the Senate version since January 2007, failed to send the bill to the House. That was at least partially true in that it never made it the 100 or so feet, and the only thing that is in dispute is the reason.

To quote a famous Saturday Night Live character, “How convenient.”

The official alibi given was, “Senate Secretary Carol Viventi said it was the result of being unable to proofread the bill until Tuesday,” according to Gongwer. It also went on to say, “Viventi had previously planned a four-day weekend, so she was not available to review the bill on Friday or Monday. Then Tuesday she had car troubles trying to get into the Capitol.” Right. By the way, the Secretary of the Senate is appointed by the Majority Leader and is a member of the controlling party. The assistant is a member of the minority party, but Bishop is blocking that a replacement to that position, too.

Bishop, obviously, is opposed to the bill, but mounting public pressure forced him to allow a discharge vote Thursday, and his caucus apparently caught him by surprise when nine Republicans voted for the bill. He had planned to offer a sop substitute that would have allowed a bar or restaurant to opt out of the ban by just putting up a smoking allowed sign.

Passage in the House is no longer a slam dunk because the Senate version does not include exceptions for non-Native American casinos.

The fear is that lobbyists for the Detroit casinos, as well as the Michigan Restaurant Association, will be lobbying hard for a no vote. HB 4163 only passed by 10 votes in the House, and Detroit-area Representatives – under the mistaken belief Detroit casinos will lose business to places like Soaring Eagle – may vote no, either killing the bill or adding so-called “carve outs.” The bill would then have to go back to the Senate for either concurrence or a conference committee, but Bishop has said he committed to allowing one vote on the bill, not two. That would clear the way for him to introduce his watered down version.

If the House concurs with the substitute, it will be sent back to the Senate for enrollment and signature of the governor, and she has said she will sign the bill. The bill will take effect 90 days after the end of the current legislative session on December 31, so the effective date would be April 1, 2009. Traditionally, bills are given immediate effect after they are approved, meaning it would go into effect 90 days after the governor signed it. However, that takes a two-thirds vote or 26 votes in the Senate, and only 25 Senators voted for the bill.


Brett said...

Interesting. You write four different pieces on smoking bans. Never mind that smoking is a legal activity that you're trying to restrict. Never mind that there is not one documented case of second hand smoking death.

Yet you say nothing about the state being short $434 million and unable to give that to schools despite the tax increase that "balanced the budget".

Maybe the next round of tax increases, taking money from those that don't have it, will solve the problem that Granholm has created. Maybe that will end the four year recession in the state of Michigan that she has presided over.

Oh wait. That's right. You don't take responsibility for failed policy. You blame Engler, or Bush.

As for me, I'm happy there isn't the money to send to government schools. Why pay them more for their constant failure.


The truth said...

Wow, more lies.

Man you just can not tell the whole story can you?

Republican Senator Bishop allowed the vote: "But Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop, R-Rochester, who allowed a vote despite personally opposing the bill"

You know as well as everyone the a Democrat Senator would have sat on it if they controlled a committee and did not want to let a vote come to the floor. i.e. FISA

Read on:

UPDATED: Michigan Senate OKs ban on smoking in bars, restaurants

The Associated Press (

LANSING — The Michigan Senate today voted to prohibit smoking in all bars, restaurants and workplaces.

The 25-12 vote, a major development in efforts to enact a smoking ban in the state, came after a Democratic senator asked to discharge legislation from a committee where bills traditionally have gone to die.

Republicans who control the chamber allowed the request.

The bill passed the Democratic-led House in December. But it had been opposed by Senate leaders, who said it would put unnecessary government restrictions on private establishments.

Health groups say secondhand smoke is harmful to workers and patrons in bars and restaurants.

Unlike the House version, the Senate version makes no special exceptions for casinos, bingo halls and other buildings.

The ball is back in the House’s court, which will decide whether to accept a full ban or try to carve out exemptions. Democratic Gov. Jennifer Granholm has said she will sign a smoking ban.

Sixteen Democrats and nine Republicans voted for the bill. Eleven Republicans and one Democrat voted against it.

Republicans control the Senate 21-17. One Republican was absent and didn’t vote.
More than 30 states ban smoking in public or workplaces, according to supporters.

Some bans don’t apply to restaurants and bars, though, or they make exceptions in casinos and other buildings.

The Michigan Restaurant Association and Michigan Licensed Beverage Association opposed the legislation, arguing that going smoke-free should be a market-driven business choice by individual bars and restaurants. But the American Cancer Society and other health groups cited a U.S. surgeon general report that breathing any amount of secondhand smoke harms nonsmokers.

“It’s not about the public’s choices. It’s about protecting the public’s health,” said Sen. Raymond Basham, a Taylor Democrat and a longtime proponent of the smoking ban. He said bartenders, waitresses and other workers need protections against smoke.

Some Republicans who voted for the legislation said their positions evolved as they saw more evidence from the surgeon general and others related to hazards of secondhand smoke.

But Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop, R-Rochester, who allowed a vote despite personally opposing the bill, called it a “blatant overreach” of government into private affairs.

“When will it stop? How much control do you want?” he said. “And when will people have to stop thinking for themselves entirely?”

The smoking ban is House Bill 4163.

Communications guru said...

What’s interesting about it? I am not nor have I ever advocated making a legal activity illegal. You can fire up a butt in your house anytime you want. I don’t know where you work, but is it OK if I fire up one in your office? You could not be more wrong, and the U.S. Surgeon General disagrees with you. I’ll give a link to a report just released last month that was the catalyst that finally got Bishop off his ass to allow a vote,

What’s your point about the alleged shortfall? This state has faced shortfalls every year since Engler's last year in office when he mortgaged the future to avid addressing the problem. By the way, where is Engler? Not in Michigan. Talk about cutting and running. More like destroying and running. You cannot possibly believe Bush – aka President Hoover - has done this country any good. We are in a recession. At least a “pale” recession.”

Well, you may hate public schools, but I strongly support public education. Education is the way out of poverty, and it is what will improve the economy of this state. Unlike, you, I don’t think just rich elites who can afford to go to private schools should be educated. Public schools are far from failing, and I’m sure you know many successful people who are products of public schools.

Communications guru said...

The Lie,
How can there be more lies when there have been none before? I challenge you to point out a lie. How did I not tell the whole story? This had overwhelming support, like the Detroit News survey that had it at 80 percent for the ban, but Bishop refused to even allow a vote. Am I lying there? You may be right that a Democratic Senator may block a bill, but how does that make me a liar or “not telling the whole story?” I know two things: The Senate has been an obstacle to many bills, even last session when the Republicans controlled the House, and no Democrat would block a bill that had that kind of support.

I don’t know much about how the FISA vote went, but there was a lot of opposition from Democrats and civil liberations.

Republican Michigander said...

""" but is it OK if I fire up one in your office"""

That's my decision to make in my private business, not the decision of a bunch of bureaucrats in Lansing.

Communications guru said...

As with everything else you write, you are wrong about that too.

Brett said...

Normally, I'd say yes. You are welcome to fire up a cigarette in my office. As I'm helping you plan for your retirement, I'd want you to be very comfortable and relaxed and if smoking relaxes you, then you'd be welcome to have a cigarette in my office. I'd even supply the ashtray for you.

Unfortunately, I don't think I'd do business with you because I just don't think you have any character. I disagree with liberals, but in most cases I do it on an intellectual level. I have no animonsity towards them at all. We disagree and that's fine. But in your case, you have no tolerance for differing opinions which shows me that you have no character whatsoever. That being the case, I suspect that the only way you'd be in my office was if hell froze over....which would work well because it would show that there truly is no such thing as man-made global warming.

I know, I know. You disagree. LOL


Communications guru said...

I would never fire up a cigarette up in your office, if you had one, for three reasons: It’s illegal, I have too much respect to do it and I haven’t smoked for 12 years. How the hell do you think smoking pays for my retirement? We pay billons of tax dollars in extra Medicare and Medicaid costs because of the disease caused by smoking and secondhand smoke. We pay a lot more in extra medical costs than the money taken in from taxes on them.

I don’t have character? Why? Because I disagree with you, and I’m kicking your weak ass in this debate? Fine, but I have more character and I’m more of an American patriot than you can ever dream of being. I have no tolerance of differing opinions? What the hell does that mean? What it comes down to is I’m defending my positions, and I’m simply returning your attacks. If you have no animosity towards me then why are you constantly attacking me? Because you can’t defend your positions? That’s your fault. “LOL.”

Brett said...

First of all, smoking is not illegal in my office. Second, I wasn't clear in my post, so for that I apologize, but I do retirement planning for a living. So I'm going to give you a pass your question about how smoking pays for your retirement. You didn't have the proper context, so I can understand the confusion leading to that question.

There is not one documented case of second hand smoke killing someone in this country. There are 3,000 deaths that are suspected of being related to second hand smoke, but there is no proof of such.

As for your character, or lack thereof, my comment regarding that is based on your comments on your blog site. My first post on your blog was in response to something you said. It was a disagreement with your position. You made it person by coming back with personal attacks rather than substantive, factual responses. You received negative comments only in kind. I did not begin with personal attacks.

I do want to congratulate you however. You believe you're more of an American patriot than anyone that disagrees with you. It's nice to have confidence in oneself. I applaud you for that. You're wrong, in my opinion, but at least you think you're patriotic.

I'm surprised that you don't understand what "you have no tolerance of differing opinions" means. But you claim to be a writer, so I'm sure with some intense study and research, you'll come up with the meaning of my statement...eventually.


Communications guru said...

Yes, smoking is illegal in your office unless it’s in your home, and I’ll pass on hiring you. I thought you were a student based on your writing. Are you saying smoking and secondhand smoke do not costs millions of dollars in Medicare and Medicaid costs?

You are wrong about the deaths because of secondhand smoke. I provided you a link to a report that changed the minds of some the more conservative members of the Senate. Did you read it? The U.S. Surgeon General disagrees with your position on secondhand smoke. Now, there may be no deaths that have the cause of death on the death certificate as secondhand smoke, but secondhand smoke is the cause of the disease. Are you denying secondhand smoke is harmful?

Sorry, I believe you are wrong again. If I am not mistaken, your first comment was, “So much more in your initial blog is faulty, it would take forever to set straight all of the "errors".” Basically, you called me a liar with no proof, and you have still have not shown any proof or pointed out a lie. I took that as a personal attack, and I responded as such.
No, I do not think I’m “..more of an American patriot than anyone that disagrees with me,” just you who questioned my character because I disagreed with you. I stand by that position. When I take a position, I defend it with facts, like I have with you; if you think defending your position means I have “no tolerance of differing opinions: then fine. But, if that were true I would ban you and people like you from commenting on this blog like the loser over at and dan over at Michigan republicander.

Brett said...

The link you provided was to sign up for some petition to have smoking banned from restaurants and other public places. That doesn't make your argument factual. The only thing it does is give one the opportunity to join others in taking away freedoms from someone that is using a legal substance.

If you were intellectually honest in your argument on banning smoking, you'd be pushing for tobacco to be illegal. But the fact is that the government only wants to make smoking sound bad enough to tax it, but not bad enough to ban it completely.

People may believe that second hand smoke is dangerous and they MAY be correct, but there are no facts to back up their position. Just as there are no facts to back up the man-made global warming farce. There are those that believe that there is man-made global warming, but there are no facts to back up their position.

Liberals like to act out on emotion rather than deal with reality.


Communications guru said...

The link was to the report from a neutral third party, Public Sector Consultants. It was that report that changed many conservative Republican's minds. You throw that stupid statement out about” “intellectually honest,” but it doesn’t mean anything because the facts are undisputed, for people with an open mind that is. If I argued for a complete ban on smoking then your ridiculous argument that I’m “…taking away freedoms from someone that is using a legal substance” may be valid.

Smoking is bad for your health. That is also undisputed. Have you ever read the side of a pack of cigarettes? That tax argument also makes no sense. There’s a tax on gasoline, too.

I cannot believe you don’t think secondhand smoke is dangerous. Talk about “intellectually dishonest.” It is dangerous and that is not in dispute. In two reports the U.S. Surgeon General said it was. I thought you were some kind of retirement planner, not a doctor or a scientist. Global warming is a separate argument, but your heroes George Bush and Grampy McSame believe it. What’s it like not to believe in science? What’s really funny is you have the audacity to say liberals “act out on emotion rather than deal with reality.”

Anonymous said...

Thank you. You proved my point exactly. I didn't say that I think second hand smoke isn't dangerous. What I said was there is no deaths documented that have been attributed to second hand smoke.

There MAY be some deaths that were caused by second hand smoke, but there is no proof, scientific or otherwise.

I see that you can't correlate two ideas with the same argument. There is not one documented case that the second hand smoke has caused a death. There is no documented proof that there is man-made global warming. Two topics both with no scientific proof of either.

In fact, there is not even any global warming any longer. The temperature hasn't risen since 1998.

Lastly, I don't care that President Bush has decided to believe it. I don't follow in lockstop with the Republicans as you do with the liberal bs. Bush is not my hero, but that's a nice attempt to divert your lack of understanding. I don't know the other guy you mentioned.

I have a mind and form my opinions based no the facts.


Brett said...

Oh, by the way, feel free to have the last word. I have no hope for you to ever consider another position unless the liberals stand up and tell you to be more tolerant of others.

So by all means, feel free to launch another personal attack on me since you have no facts to back up your rambling. Enjoy!!


Anonymous said...

Did that same dog eat Matt Evans' petitions??

Communications guru said...

I really don’t know much about the situation with Matt Evans. What I understand is that allegedly some of the signatures he turned in were duplicates. I’m assuming it was a mistake, and I’m also assuming the Republican clerk is correct in his ruling. But in the end, the only person this hurts is Matt Evans, and he actually turned it in. So, no, who-ever-you-are, the dog didn’t eat it. Bishop’s failure to get a bill 26 Senators approved down the hall in the Capitol effects 80 percent of the Michigan population, not just one person.

Communications guru said...

I really don’t know much about the situation with Matt Evans. What I understand is that allegedly some of the signatures he turned in were duplicates. I’m assuming it was a mistake, and I’m also assuming the Republican clerk is correct in his ruling. But in the end, the only person this hurts is Matt Evans, and he actually turned it in. So, no, who-ever-you-are, the dog didn’t eat it. Bishop’s failure to get a bill 26 Senators approved down the hall in the Capitol effects 80 percent of the Michigan population, not just one person.

Communications guru said...

Wow. What a cop out. I guess when you can’t counter facts and you just got your ass kicked this is your way of saving face. That’s fine with me.

The so-called personal attacks are mutual, and you are the one who started them. That’s funny someone like you accusing liberals of being intolerant of others. That’s a really diverse party you have. I do admit I am intolerant of some things. I am intolerant of things like ignorance and intolerance.
When you have some facts to back up your arguments and you get some thicker skin I will still he here.


Communications guru said...

Again, you are wrong. You either can’t read well, can’t write well or are dishonest. There is no may, it’s a scientific fact, and I gave you a link to the latest study that summarizes the two Surgeon General reports that says secondhand smoke is a leading cause of death.

What point did I prove? You certainly did say secondhand smoke is not dangerous. You said, “People may believe that second hand smoke is dangerous and they MAY be correct” Of course they are correct, and the Surgeon General says it is. Again, there is no may about it. If you believe secondhand smoke is harmful, then the debate is over.

Yes, secondhand smoke has caused 3,000 deaths. Like smoking cigarettes, it has caused lung caner and other diseases that have killed people and continues to kill people. But, like secondhand smoke, you will never see smoking listed on a death certificate as the cause of death.

Man-made global warming is an accepted fact. The debate now is how to address it. Well, last summer Arctic sea ice fell below all previous records for the lowest absolute minimum extent ever measured by satellite, and I believe that is more recent than 1998. You can believe what you want.

You don’t follow lockstep with the Republics Party; well good for you. The Democratic Party reflects my values for the most part. However, it is such a big tent that I don’t agree 100 percent with every Democrat. Again, we are such as large tent party that not all Democrats are Liberals like me. I will never vote for a Republican.

The other guy, Grampy McSame, is your candidate for president,

Anonymous said...

CG - Has the Suburban Voice disappeared?