May 12, 2008

Industry lobbyists take aim at smoking ban

The workplace smoking ban, including bars and restaurants, is expected to be taken up in the House this week, and the usual suspects are pulling out all the stops to try and kill it.

The lobbyist for the Michigan Restaurant Association is quoted in subscription only MIRS as saying “he was aware there was some talk in the Senate but he had no idea they would go so far as to pass a total ban.” He must not be a very good lobbyist because it was pretty clear a vote was coming a few days before the vote was going to take place. The Michigan Distributors and Vendors Association also denounced the bill, with their lobbyist using the age old argument that the Senate is “imposing big government on the free marketplace.” That statement is ignoring, of course, that the government regulates other public health issues in bars and restaurants.

Anyone who has ever read a restaurant inspection report from their local health department knows that is true, and establishments have been cited for things like improper hair restraints, food containers improperly labeled and improper lighting. There are 44 possible violations that are considered critical, and it seems ridiculous that something as deadly as second hand smoke should not be regulated. There is no amount of safe secondhand smoke.

Last week the Senate approved House Bill 4163 with a bipartisan vote of 25-12 with nine Republicans voting for the bill, including some of the more conservative Senators, including Senators Cameron Brown, Nancy Cassis, John Pappageorge and Bruce Patterson. The Senate substitute was a tougher version because it banned smoking in casinos where the House version did not.

Last December, the Democratic-controlled House approved the bill by a close vote of 56-46. The bill was referred to the Republican-controlled Senate where Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop bottled it up and vowed he would not even allow it a committee hearing. But public pressure and a report by a leading Lansing public policy and lobbying firm that said there is no economic loss when bars goes smoke free and it is a public health hazard changed his mind and he allowed a vote.

The House has to concur with the Senate version, but it remains to be seen if the new evidence in the new report will increase the 10-vote margin, or if the intense lobbying effort of the MRA backed up with tobacco money will cut into the vote margin or even defeat it. They will be joined by the Detroit casinos in that lobbying effort under the mistaken belief that they will lose business to the Native American run casinos where the state does not have jurisdiction. That ignores the report that says a smoking ban does not have an effect on business. It also ignores the fact that just 21 percent of the state’s population smokes.

Why we are so worried about such a small majority I have no idea. It’s been 12 years since I bought a pack of cigarettes, but they were like $5 a pack then. If they are spending that much on smokes what makes people think they have more money to spend on other things than the non-smokers?

The Detroit News is currently running a pole on the ban, and so far 80 percent support the smoking ban. What more proof do lawmakers need to vote for the ban? I suggest you contact your representative and tell them to vote for the ban.


Anonymous said...

Public Research Consultants' report only dealt with bars and restaurants; it didn't delve into casinos. The House's own nonpartisan legislative analysis noted gambling revenue would likely decline if smoking were banned at the casinos. It did not attach a figure.

Casinos in Ontario, Atlantic City, Colorado and Illinois have all imposed smoking bans, and revenue has dropped in the months since, up to 30% in some cases.

It can't be proven that the bans solely caused the declines, but they certainly aren't helping.

It will be interesting to see if the casino lobby succeeds. It has been reported that exempting the casinos was critical to the ban passing the House last December.

Communications guru said...

You may be correct. I only read the summary. However, I don’t believe gambling revenue would decline any more than bar and restaurant revenue would decline. Only 21 percent of the population in Michigan smokes. Why do we believe that small segment of the population controls so much money?

Yes, it will be interesting to see how much effect the casino lobby has. The people certainly want it. The Detroit News survey is at 80-20 for banning it.

The truth said...


Under a different lie of yours you write:

"When I found out where you stole it from"

Yet you "steal" article material apparently often.


Communications guru said...

Here’s the big difference: I use the proper attribution and I give them credit. You know where it came from. If it’s from the Wall Street Journal, it will say so; if it’s from the Associated Press, it says so. You, at least in this case, do not do that. I had to search to find out where you got it. That will never happen on this blog from me.

Perhaps you can prove the accusation you made.

The truth said...

Boy that must have taken you 20 seconds to find it.

I had the page number and exact name of the article.

What does it matter were it came from as long as the content is correct and it is not from an opinion page like many of your post data.

Also you said nothing about were it came from and only said stole.

Like 90% of you material

The truth said...

Here you go, this perfectly describes you and your ilk:


Conservatives Happier Than LiberalsBy Jeanna Bryner, Senior Writer

posted: 07 May 2008 08:20 am ET

Individuals with conservative ideologies are happier than liberal-leaners, and new research pinpoints the reason: Conservatives rationalize social and economic inequalities.

Regardless of marital status, income or church attendance, right-wing individuals reported greater life satisfaction and well-being than left-wingers, the new study found. Conservatives also scored highest on measures of rationalization, which gauge a person's tendency to justify, or explain away, inequalities.

The rationalization measure included statements such as: "It is not really that big a problem if some people have more of a chance in life than others," and "This country would be better off if we worried less about how equal people are."

To justify economic inequalities, a person could support the idea of meritocracy, in which people supposedly move up their economic status in society based on hard work and good performance. In that way, one's social class attainment, whether upper, middle or lower, would be perceived as totally fair and justified.

If your beliefs don't justify gaps in status, you could be left frustrated and disheartened, according to the researchers, Jaime Napier and John Jost of New York University. They conducted a U.S.-centric survey and a more internationally focused one to arrive at the findings.

"Our research suggests that inequality takes a greater psychological toll on liberals than on conservatives," the researchers write in the June issue of the journal Psychological Science, "apparently because liberals lack ideological rationalizations that would help them frame inequality in a positive (or at least neutral) light."

The results support and further explain a Pew Research Center survey from 2006, in which 47 percent of conservative Republicans in the U.S. described themselves as "very happy," while only 28 percent of liberal Democrats indicated such cheer.

The same rationalizing phenomena could apply to personal situations as well.

"There is no reason to think that the effects we have identified here are unique to economic forms of inequality," the researchers write. "Research suggests that highly egalitarian women are less happy in their marriages compared with their more traditional counterparts, apparently because they are more troubled by disparities in domestic labor."

The current study was funded by the National Science Foundation

Communications guru said...

The Lie,
Are you this stupid, or are you just playing dumb? Yes, you had the page number and I guess the title, but of what publication? I guess if I had the right issue of the WSJ in front of me it would have been easy to turn to. What difference does it make how long it took me to find it? The fact remains you never once attributed it or said where it came from. In other words you stole it.
You think that’s not an opinion piece?
If you can find any material I stole or does not have any attribution I welcome you to point it out. No, I challenge you. There are more than 500 posts on this blog, so you have a lot to choose from. If you find I will admit it and correct it.
The next time you, post try to stay on the same thread. You posted that ridiculous WJS opinion piece on another thread. By the way, what does any of this have to do with the smoking ban?
I didn’t read that other nonsense you posted, but it is nice to see I got through to you and you attributed it. Here’s a suggestion, why don’t you post that garbage on your own blog. I’m sure your “ilk” will enjoy it.