Friday, April 13, 2007

Smoking Out Candidates' Positions

When I heard the campaign ads for Springfield Ward 6 candidate Tina Jannazzao, I wondered if she was related to the owners of the Track Shack. (By the way, I don’t now live in Ward 6 but I used to.) The reason I was curious about her relation to the Track Shack owners is they have been vocal opponents of the city’s smoking ban. Well, a look at Jannazzo’s web site confirms she is the daughter of the owners and, surprise!, is opposed to the smoking ban.
The smoking ban is a three-part issue.

#1 Health issue – I do not dispute the smoking ban on this issue.
#2 Individual choice – I do not choose to smoke or let people smoke in my home.
#3 Government involvement – This is where I disagree with the ban.

Tobacco is a legal product. The ladies and gentlemen operating businesses in Springfield, IL - Land of Lincoln – are being forced to send their own customers out
into the elements to use a legal product. If a business owner wants to make a smoke-free establishment, they have that right. If they want to service smokers, they cannot. But most egregiously, private clubs are included in the comprehensive smoking ban.
I only bring this up because I think we need to be aware of where the candidates stand on this. I would really hate to see anyone mess with the ban as it exists. We need to hold on until the statewide ban is passes and goes into effect. Jannazzo’s opponent, incumbant Mark Mahoney, favors the ban.

In my own ward, Ward 9, Steve Dove has an incomprehensible position (see here item #2) but I get the feeling, reading between the lines of obvious facts -but no opinion, that Dove would not support the ban if pressed. He seems to want to run out the clock on the statewide ban so he doesn’t have to take a stand.

Dove’s incumbent opponent, Larry Selinger, I think voted in favor of the ban in the end (I can’t find the final vote tally nor can I find any Selinger websites or position papers) but I know he offered some rather lame “compromises” along the way so I’m not sure his heart is really in it either.

I haven’t checked on the positions of the candidates from the other wards, perhaps I will, but everyone who now enjoys the smoke-free environments that now exist in Springfield better find out who will uphold the ban.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Ms. Jannaappaazzaaoo doesn't have much of a chance does she?

At the St Pat's Parade I think she had her family walking with her, and that was about it.

That doesn't mean people shouldn't take her seriously, but I doubt she'll win.