Sussex County Delaware

Guest Commentary:
Smoking Ban Bill
 
Guest Opinion ...

Republicans Betrayed
State on Smoking Ban

By ALAN R. BRADLEY
Guest Commentary

Editor's Note: Alan R. Bradley is a Laurel resident and businessman.

Republicans are supposed to be known for defending the rights of the individual and the private business owner against the constant surge of government to control every aspect of our lives.

Here in Delaware, however, with our Republican-controlled House of Representatives, we have very different Republicans who have no problem with government intruding into our lives.

These Liberal Republicans seem to be constantly striving for finding new ways for our state government to take away what few unaltered rights our citizens have remaining.

With the radical smoking prohibition legislation, Senate Bill 9, Liberal Republicans like Representative Ben Ewing have told us that government knows best regardless of what our private citizens and businesses may choose.

Gov. Ruth Ann Minner intends to sign the bill into law on Friday, May 31, 2002.

Now, thanks to intrusive Liberal Republicans like Mr. Ewing, who overwhelmingly passed this extreme legislation, I, as a business owner, will not have the right to even consider lighting an occasional after hours cigar inside either of the two businesses I have worked hard to build.

Maybe if government was the one taking the risks with the money, time and effort needed to build our businesses, I would not have such a difficult time with government working to control every aspect of our businesses, but private citizens are the ones taking these risks and we should be allowed as much freedom as possible in running our businesses.

Smoking in privately owned public places is something best decided by our marketplace, as it has been before this radical feel-good legislation passed by Liberal Republicans like Mr. Ewing serving in our State House of Representatives.

Designated smoking areas have been successful in givign the reasonable choice to avid smokers if you want to and if everyone wanted the total elimination of the current designated smoking areas, businesses would do so to please their customers.

Despite the millions of tax dollars wasted on smoking prevention education, many Americans continue to choose to smoke.

One of the most disturbing aspects of this extreme smoking ban was that our knee-jerk Liberal House Republicans did not even take the time to consider the economic impact this drastic measure will have on the businesses of our state.

Unlike California, where an almost as extreme smoking prohibition was put into place, Delaware is a small state and it is not difficult for smokers to take their business out of state.

In neighboring Maryland, their government still allows most of their businesses to provide about 40 percent of their facilities as designated smoking areas. By contrast, in Delaware, thanks to our Liberal House Republican members, even if a smoker wanted to run a bar, restaurant or business only for those who would choose to smoke, they will now be denied the right to do so.

Our state goverment should be in the process of working to rebuild our weakened state finances instead of devastating our state's businesses by experimenting with radical social behavior control measures.

Instead of protecting our citizens from such extreme measures, the Liberal House Republican majority has hampered our economy, businesses and citizens with this outrageously irrational feel-good mandate.

The very Liberal Hillary Rodham Clinton would have no problem fittig in with the Delaware State House Republicans and would probably end up being elected their Speaker of the House.


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