Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Tom Emmer strikes again!

Rep Emmer wrote a LTE in the SC Times defending the rights of smokers.

It's nice to see the Representative who is anti government interference when it comes to 3 inch, cancer causing, tobacco sticks. Yet...when it comes to same sex marriage or a woman's right to choose...he wants the government to intervene. Rights for some, but not for all.

Nice letter Tom.

Your turn: Statewide smoking ban is not a priority
By Rep. Tom Emmer, Delano

I don't smoke. I don't like smoke. But my distaste for the habit doesn't give me cause to have the state manage individual rights.

The new junta of Democratic legislative leaders has declared a statewide smoking ban as the top priority on their thin agenda for the upcoming legislative session.

That baffles me. How property taxes, education reform, health care reform and funding for roads and bridges do not top that list of priorities is, in a word, outrageous! Apparently promises made during recent campaigns can now be forgotten.

A statewide smoking ban in Minnesota is a dangerous constitutional precedent. If the new regime wants the ban to pass, it very likely will pass. But we should at least call it what it is as we plummet further into the nanny-state formerly known as Minnesota.

America was founded on principles of freedom and the right of the individual to self-determine. As a "free" society, the laws we enact must necessarily be directed toward protection of individual freedoms.

A tension exists, however, between the right to self-determine and our predisposition to control. Simply stated, we all want to make decisions about our personal liberties, but some also want to make decisions for fellow citizens.

Why? Is it because we believe only the uneducated would disagree with our enlightened position?

We are all concerned with health. In fact, we are all responsible for making healthful choices. The first law on the DFL legislative agenda is a statewide smoking ban.

The real issue is much larger. The real issue is how far we are willing to let government rules erode our freedom.

What will stop the regulatory engineers from focusing their sights on the freedom to consume certain foods they consider unhealthful foods? What will stop them from outlawing certain expressions, like no one should be forced to sit in a public place next to someone spouting profanity or praying aloud? What will stop them from determining who can own and hold certain property like a farmer's right to decide how and what to farm? What will stop them from legislating who we can associate with by restricting procreation based on genetics? What will stop them from legislating our religious freedoms?

I expect those who want to dictate our freedoms will cry out that the smoking ban is altogether different from the examples offered.

Secondhand smoke obviously affects workers in bars and restaurants. Of course no one wants to suggest that employment is voluntary. Evidence of the negative health impact of secondhand smoke has been presented as indisputable.

If this is such an indisputable truth, then why does the federal government rate secondhand smoke below cell phones as a carcinogen?

I realize this train may be out of the station and that it seems to be picking up steam. I only ask that before we set this course we consider the impact on not only the many businesses that will be hurt, but also the dangerous precedent we set for liberty.

This is the opinion of District 19B Rep. Tom Emmer, Delano. He can be reached at (651) 296-4336 or (800) 474-3425.

Emmer likes to call out DFLer's on campaign promises that they have failed to achieve. Let's talk about our legislative leaders across our district too.

Senator Dille's "top legislative priority" is to ensure that every Minnesotan is a happily married millionaire. His words, not mine. When has that happened? Did I miss something while I was on active duty?

He has been talking about health care issues for more than a decade, as evidenced by decade old local newspapers. He's been talking about education funding reforms...for more than a decade. No results. Come on Tom, hold everyone to the same standard. I am sure you promised your constituents that you would do everything you could to fight abortion. Where are your results?

You sponsor laws to safeguard Minnesotans and help us prosper. Should you rescind bans on asbestos, lead and other unsafe materials in order to allow businesses to remain profitable? Allow the consumer to take the risk of going to Jack and Jill's Bed and Breakfast just to save a few bucks?

What about making sure that those that serve food wash their hands? Is that not a personal choice? Establishments could compete based on cleanliness as well.

As a civilized society, we do not allow that. We do not allow that because we know the harm that is caused by these materials and practices.

Get off your high horse Tom, and serve the people.

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