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Friday, November 26, 2010

Man-Up: Lacking Courage of Convictions

With each passing day, Speaker-elect Kris Steele is showing his true colors as a moderate at best, liberal in Republican clothing at worst.  He has already become wickedly adept at parsing words, putting forth an agenda that would make even President Obama blush under the guise of "economic development." 

In today's Oklahoman, Steele talks about another social policy that he calls "local control," when in actuality, it is nothing short of Nanny State rhetoric.  Steele and others desire a ban on smoking, saying that he simply wants to give municipalities control - something that sounds very conservative but his words betray him and show him to be a liberal.

From the story:
House Speaker-elect Kris Steele, R-Shawnee, said he plans to file legislation allowing cities to decide whether to ban smoking in public places, such as bars.
“I am a proponent of local control,” Steele said. “We have a high prevalence of tobacco use in the state of Oklahoma, and it causes many health issues.”
Sounds good, doesn't it?  But, he continues:

This is the same argument anti-gun lobbyists like the Brady Campaign use to push for bans on firearms, regardless of what the Constitution says and the Supreme Court rules.

As a former smoker myself, I find smoking to be a horrible habit that does cause serious health problems, but we live in a country where freedom is supposed to be the battle cry.  Republicans like myself often tell those who oppose one particular television show over another to simply vote with their remote and turn the channel.  The same applies here.  If a business allows smoking, non-smokers can take their dollars elsewhere and simply let the free market determine their success or failure.

Under Steele's Nanny State push, establishments such as Maker's Cigar Lounge down in Bricktown would have to close.  Is that what Steele desires?  To see businesses close?

Here is what I propose:  If they are going to follow their logic to fruition, they would have the "stones" to author legislation to ban tobacco in Oklahoma completely.  IF they believe this to be a severe health problem, wouldn't it make sense to just ban it? 

No.  Why?

Former State Representative and current County Commissioner Ray Vaughn summed it up laughingly in a conversation I had with him a few years ago.  He said that they couldn't ban tobacco because the state needs the tax revenue.

Ladies and gentlemen of the the Oklahoma voter pool...we have been bamboozled.  I rest my case.