Monday, November 21, 2005

Clark and Floyd County Libertarian Parties Fighting Jeffersonville Smoking Ban

Greg Hertzsch, Ninth District Representative on the Central Committee of the Libertarian Party of Indiana, called me tonight and reported on the efforts of the Clark and Floyd County Libertarian Parties to fight the proposed smoking ban in Jeffersonville. The city council's final vote on the smoking ban is tomorrow night. If it passes tomorrow, it will become local law.

Louisville, Kentucky, which is immediately across the Ohio River from Jeffersonville, enacted a similar ban which took effect last Tuesday. As Greg puts it "(i)ts passage led to Jeffersonville jumping on the "ban"wagon."

In early November local Libertarians went to work to lead the efforts against the ban. Clark County LP Chairman Kirk Singh, his wife Pat, Floyd County LP Chairman Mike Martin, and Hertzsch spent Thursday evening November 3 and Saturday afternoon November 5 visiting bars, taverns, and restaurants in Jeffersonville. They passed out flyers urging people to attend the November 7 City Council meeting to speak out against the ban. 100% of the people they talked to were against the ban, including people in a couple of smoke-free coffee shops and restaurants.

Several Libertarians spoke to the crowd that gathered at the November 7 Jeffersonville City Council meeting. Local Libertarians passed out "No Ban!" signs. As expected, prohibitionists and statists with the American Cancer Society and other such groups spoke in favor of the ban. They made it into a health issue, claiming that saving lives trumps private property rights and made various claims about secondhand smoke.

Clark County LP Chair Kirk Singh pointed out studies which show that the so-called dangers of secondhand smoke are overblown.

Local Libertarians are working with the local Young Republicans who are also opposed to the proposed ban. They are gathering together for a freedom rally outside the courthouse starting at 5:00 PM tomorrow. The courthouse building is located on Court Avenue in downtown Jeffersonville.

Lastly Greg reports that the President of the Clarksville City Council has announced that he does not support a smoking ban for Clarksville. Clarksville is the city due west of Jeffersonville. Perhaps Jeffersonville will lose all of its taverns and restaurants to Clarksville. Now that would be justice.

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