Fearing that suburban municipalities would duplicate the recently passed Indianapolis smoking ban, opponents are organizing in advance of any solid proposals. Yesterday's meeting at Claude & Annie's was front page news on today's Noblesville Daily Times, placed above the fold.
In attendance were two members of the Hamilton County Libertarian Party, the
president of the Restaurant & Hospitality Association of Indiana, executive director of the Indiana Licensed Beverage Association, the ILBA attorney and two others associated with area bars.
One of those was Mark Imgrassia, owner of the Sandpiper in Noblesville. A smoking ban would affect his business "very negatively," he said, which is why he decided to
attend the gathering.
"If we want to live in a free society, at some point we need to allow people to make their own decisions for themselves," (Restaurant & Hospitality Association of Indiana President John Livengood) said.
Libertarians Brad Klopfenstein and Mike Kole agree, which is why they are lending their support to the group."
We believe it's the right of the property owner," Kole said.
Bill Smythe from Claude & Annie's is a property owner who was burned in his Marion County establishments by the approval of a smoking ban there. Together with the Libertarian Party, Bill was one of the most outspoken opponents to the ban as it was being discussed.
He lamented that it was tough taking the defensive position, reacting to a proposed law. He believed it would be easier to stake out a position in Hamilton County in advance of any proposals to ban smoking than to repeat the defensive position again.
The only political interests present were the Libertarians. The other two parties are the ones diminishing property rights in this country, after all. We'd love it if Republicans or Democrats were in favor of property rights, personal choices, individual liberty, and individual responsibility, but if we have to be the only ones to make the case, so be it. We're proud to be taking the high road.