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McDonnell Opposes Smoking Ban

Tim Craig

Attorney General Robert F. McDonnell, the soon-to-be GOP nominee for governor, will not be supporting the proposed smoking ban floating through the General Assembly, according to his staff.

J. Tucker Martin, a McDonnell spokesman, said the attorney general is happy that House Speaker William J. Howell (R-Stafford) and Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D) tried to work out a compromise but believes 'the free market" should decide if smoking is banned in bars and restaurants.

"He generally believes this is an issue that should be solved by the free market and not government," Martin said.

McDonnell's stance could embolden some House and Senate Republicans to vote against the proposal. It also keeps McDonnell in good standing with his party's conservative base, many of whom are outraged that Howell brokered a deal with Kaine.

By Tim Craig  |  February 6, 2009; 9:58 AM ET
Categories:  2009 Governor's Race , Robert F. McDonnell , Tim Craig  
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Next: Anti-Smoking Groups Had Been Targeting Howell

Comments

It is so reassuring to know that we Virginians have an attorney general who doesn't cave in to the facts regarding the health dangers of smoking and second-hand smoke, but takes a stand based on the financial support of the powerful tobacco lobby in Richmond. Forget principles, go for the bucks! What a freakin' guy!

I know he'll be buying a carton of smokes for his kids just as soon as they are old enough to smoke!

When can I cast my vote for this guy? I can't wait!

Posted by: rb-freedom-for-all | February 6, 2009 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Wow, I am really surprised he did this.

And Bob, you think NoVA voters are going to flock to you? Think again!

Thanks for giving us Gov McAuliffe, Gov Moran, or Gov Deeds!

Posted by: DouginMountVernon | February 6, 2009 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Typical rant from another helpless half-wit who needs the government to make all the decisions in his life for him... or for us I guess.

Worried about your health? Don't smoke. Worried about MY health? Then control my every decision. Then let me do the same, I'll look through your cabinets and take away all the sugar, fat, alcohol... hey, too much salt is bad too, that's gotta go!

How about this - don't like smoke? Then avoid places that have smoke, much like some people avoid places that have small, crying children, or bingo. Only 90% of the places out there are smoke-free, and if you don't like any of them, you are free to start your own.

Posted by: res_ipsa | February 6, 2009 2:02 PM | Report abuse

"How about this - don't like smoke? Then avoid places that have smoke, much like some people avoid places that have small, crying children, or bingo. Only 90% of the places out there are smoke-free, and if you don't like any of them, you are free to start your own." Why should I have to breathe your filth when I want to go watch my team at the local sports bar? Why should the bartender who is just happy to have a job these days have to breathe your filth? Ban smoking in all public places. You then can choose to stay home and pollute your lungs in private.

Posted by: stuckintheeast | February 6, 2009 4:49 PM | Report abuse

For those of you who want Virginia to become the next People's Republic...Why don't you move to DC or Maryland (or go back to NY or Cali.)? .McDonnell is right to oppose an intrusion into individual choice and property rights; 70% of establishments in Va. have voluntarily gone smoke-free without a government mandate and Virginia has a smoking rate slightly below the national average despite this and one of the lowest cigarette taxes in the U.S...Besides, how many of you smoker-hating liberals favor pot legalization and wouldn't mind it if a Dutch-style coffee house opened up on your block but can't stand the idea of a veteran being able to enjoy a Marlboro at the VFW hall?

Posted by: gouZgounis | February 6, 2009 10:48 PM | Report abuse

Tobacco is an important part of Virginia's present and past.

Posted by: Simon23p | February 6, 2009 11:43 PM | Report abuse

The real issue is ANTI-SMOKER SCIENTIFIC FRAUD, not "freedom versus health." More than 50 studies show that human papillomaviruses cause over ten times more lung cancers than they pretend are caused by secondhand smoke. Passive smokers are more likely to have been exposed to this virus, so the anti-smokers' studies, which are all based on nothing but lifestyle questionnaires, have been cynically DESIGNED to falsely blame passive smoking for all those extra lung cancers that are really caused by HPV.

http://www.smokershistory.com/hpvlungc.htm

The anti-smokers have committed the same type of fraud with every disease they blame on smoking and passive smoking, as well as ignoring other types of evidence that proves they are lying, such as the fact that the death rates from asthma have more than doubled since their movement began.

http://www.smokershistory.com/newviews.htm

The anti-smokers lied that smoking bans supposedly cause "immediate, dramatic" declines in the number of heart attack admissions in the Pueblo study. What they didn’t tell you is that the death rates from acute myocardial infarction actually increased in the year after the ban, the same time they were boasting that the number of admissions declined! That suggests to any intelligent person that people were dying because they weren’t admitted to hospitals when they should have been! And in the Indiana study, they exploited an anomalous spike in acute MIs during the "before" section of the study, to make the "after" part look better!

http://www.smokershistory.com/etsheart.html

The government has no right to restrict peoples' liberty without a compelling justification. The anti-smokers have no such justification, so THEY COMMITTED SCIENTIFIC FRAUD TO DECEIVE THE PUBLIC.

Posted by: CarolT1 | February 7, 2009 7:42 AM | Report abuse

It saddens me that the Attorney General does not support a ban on smoking in public places, such as bars and restaurants. His claim is that the owners of these establishments should be able to dictate what kind of clientele they will cater to. I suppose that under the Attorney General's twisted logic, a racist restaurant operator has the right to deny service to all African-Americans (including our new President) since it is the owner's prerogative to run his or her restaurant the way he or she wants to. Come on, Virginia, we have been down that road before and the U.S. Supreme Court told us where we can go with that argument. Wake up and come into the 21st Century!

Posted by: hoya91 | February 11, 2009 11:47 AM | Report abuse

"It saddens me that the Attorney General does not support a ban on smoking in public places, such as bars and restaurants. His claim is that the owners of these establishments should be able to dictate what kind of clientele they will cater to. I suppose that under the Attorney General's twisted logic, a racist restaurant operator has the right to deny service to all African-Americans (including our new President) since it is the owner's prerogative to run his or her restaurant the way he or she wants to. Come on, Virginia, we have been down that road before and the U.S. Supreme Court told us where we can go with that argument. Wake up and come into the 21st Century!"

This is disturbing, you cannot compare racism to a smoking ban. Your liberal facist idealogy is distracting you from the real issue, that this is just another freedom that we the people are losing. Government has no place in the free market-place. This is just another step towards 1940 Germany. First the smokers, whos next "the jews"? You are the one being racist towards smokers. Goto the 9/10 restaurants that are smoke free. Good day!

Posted by: pal2 | February 11, 2009 4:14 PM | Report abuse

It looks like Mr. McDonnell is showing he is not prejudiced or one-sided like the democratic party or liberal party have a history of being. Smokers also have RIGHTs. If non-smokers don't like being around smoke, then patronize a business that doesn't allow it (and there are many). You know the old saying; "No 2 people are alike". You can't favor one and ignore the other just because the one has a squeaker wheel. Constitutional rights are for everyone. And if you want to make a health issue out of it, then ban the serving of alcohol because alcohol not only causes liver damage, etc.., it also causes death via vehicular accidents.

Posted by: rmurray1 | February 12, 2009 8:09 AM | Report abuse

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