Let’s see if we’ve got this right.
The people who make the rules for the rest of us in the state don’t have to abide by those same rules in their offices. Is that it?
It’s hard to interpret it any other way, based on votes in the Missouri House of Representatives last week that determined members can continue to smoke in their House offices.
A majority of Missouri House members, including those in the Joplin-area delegation, voted to reject a proposal to ban smoking in member offices. Another proposal to leave smoking policy to the decision of the caucuses passed.
The votes come despite a smoking ban in place in all state buildings, except for prisons, and all public areas of the Capitol.
So only prisoners and legislators can smoke. Draw your own conclusions.
The vote also means that legislators are thumbing their noses at restrictions in place in Jefferson City for two years after residents there voted in November 2010 to ban smoking in bars, restaurants and other indoor workplaces.
These are the same members who talk about the importance of decisions made at the local government level, and who say rules should prevail.
It’s not the first time in this short session that some members have sent the message that obeying the law can be selective — another member has proposed a bill that would exempt the state from any federal gun control regulations that are imposed by executive order or by Congress.
Pro-smoking arguments cited by the majority were that members worked long hours and erratic schedules and should be able to smoke in offices, and that productivity would be reduced when members who smoked had to leave their offices to light up. There are other staffers in the Capitol who also work long hours, but they don’t get a smoke break.
It reminds us of the Charlie Brown cartoon when the teacher or parents are talking and all that comes back is an unintelligible “WA WA WA.”
We hear what they’re saying.
But what it really sounds like is: “We make the rules. But they don’t apply to us.”
Let’s see if we’ve got this right.
Our View: Too many questions on No. 5
Even though the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees “the right of the people to keep and bear arms,” Missouri voters on Aug. 5 are being asked to consider an amendment that restates that freedom and then goes even further.
Your View: Beware the wolf
The wolf (the Humane Society of the United States, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and other radical animal rights organizations) has conned Little Red Riding Hood (the Missouri Rural Crisis Center, The Joplin Globe editorial staff and, as of last week, the local Democratic leadership).
Your View: Dally for Division 5
I have known Nate Dally almost my entire life. As we grew up, Nate always had a strong passion and desire to make sure everyone was treated fairly and equally.
Your View: Vote ‘no’ on 7
The Globe has been on my reading list for over 35 years, and during that time the Globe has frequently supported tax increases. Same thing again in the Sunday, July 27, editorial, “‘Yes’ on 7.”
Geoff Caldwell, columnist: An America transformed
On Oct. 30, 2008, Barack Obama boldly declared: “We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America.”
Other Views: Open the primaries
Missourians will go to the polls in the Aug. 5 primary.
Your View: ‘Right to Farm’ is wrong
On Aug. 5, voters will be asked to make a decision about Amendment 1.
Your View: No on Amendment 7
The Missouri Department of Transportation is wanting more money through a three-quarter-cent addition to the sales tax. Consider one example of how it spends your money.
Your View: Bad way to get revenue
I received two fliers through the mail today asking me to vote “yes” on Amendment 7, which would add a three-quarter-cent tax to Missouri’s sales tax to help maintain roads and bridges.
Our View: No need for No. 9
“Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended so that the people shall be secure in their electronic communications and data from unreasonable searches and seizures as they are now likewise secure in their persons, homes, papers and effects?”
- More Opinion Headlines
- Our View: Too many questions on No. 5