Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Conservatives in North Carolina Just Cannot Stop – Now They Want to Increase Smoking

Public Health Be Damned – This is About Freedom to Get and Give Lung Cancer

When the good citizens of North Carolina turned control of the state over the ultra right wing Republicans they probably felt they would get all of that “local government control” that many people want.  By electing Conservatives they must have felt that finally the state would let localities operate more freely.  After all, that is the Conservative way.

Of course, it is not.  Conservatives don’t object to centralized governmental control, they just object when it doesn’t suit their purposes.  And now apparently their purposes are to increase smoking, so they want to override any local ordinances or laws that restrict smoking in public places.

The very picture of freedom
Senate Bill 703, which passed the Senate Agriculture, Environment, Natural Resources Committee, prohibits local governments and community colleges from regulating outdoor smoking in a manner that’s more restrictive than state law. It is just the latest way state lawmakers are taking action to overturn or limit local policies they oppose.
Because state law doesn’t impose restrictions on smoking outdoors, the measure would nullify other anti-smoking laws for publicly owned open spaces such as parks, beaches and community college campuses.

Oh and here is the reasoning.

“Around the state, a number of localities and other institutions are trying to take this legal product and say you can’t consume it outdoors,” said Sen. Buck Newton, a Wilson Republican, the bill sponsor. “I just personally find that objectionable.”

Well Mr. Newton, folks like us, folks in the majority find it objectionable that you want more people to be exposed to second hand smoke, and more young people to see other people smoking and think it is ok and we certainly find it objectionable that you would use the power of state government to override what local folks want to do, when that is exactly the opposite of your so-called Conservatism.

Oh and just in case anyone thinks this is an isolated case of hypocrisy, there is this.

Republican legislative leaders pushed to approve measures to void the city of Raleigh’s lease on the Dix property, transfer control of the Charlotte airport to a regional authority, redraw Wake County school board districts, give the state all environmental regulatory power and limit local governments’ ability to impose design standards on homes.
House lawmakers continued the effort this week, giving final approval Tuesday to a measure that limits the ability of cities and counties to ensure the safety of low-income housing and crack down on neighborhoods with high crime rates.

A day earlier, the House passed legislation 73-41 to prevent local governments from automatically deducting union dues from employees’ paychecks, a move that would affect firefighters and police officers.

Another provision in the bill restricts a locality from requiring a business to assume any liability for its carbon footprint. If approved, it would end Durham County’s commuter ordinance that requires businesses to implement plans to manage its employees’ transportation needs.

But this might turn out good in the end.  As we said, North Carolina voters are not getting what they thought they got, and given the moribund Democratic Party in the state getting Republicans to defeat themselves may be the state’s only hope.  The Dems certainly are not going to do it.

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