Michigan Bars Take Away Lawmakers’ Booze to Protest New Law

  booze newz

NONE FOR YOU, MR. SENATOR!Remember that one time when the Minnesota government shutdown was ended by the threat of a statewide booze cutoff? That worked pretty well! You can take away everyone’s health care, unions, jobs, retirement, education, public roads, hope and the fillings in their teeth, BUT YOU CANNOT HAVE THE BOOZE. Michigan’s bar owners are pretty much hoping for a repeat victory with a slightly smaller target demographic: Michigan lawmakers. Bar owners are angry over a new indoor smoking ban that they say has dramatically cut business (true story: Budweiser tastes like stale refrigerator coolant fermented in a gas station toilet even with a cigarette, so…RLY, Michigan bar patrons?). In response, a group of 500 bar owners haS decided to impose their own ban and refuse to allow lawmakers into their establishments. Haha, we like where this is going!

Bar owners are also angry because the ban makes exceptions for gambling casinos.

From Michigan Capitol Confidential:

“We’re not smoking advocates or advocates for tobacco use,” PPPRM Executive Director Stephen Mace said. “We ‘re just people who believe in private property rights and are trying to speak out against this law that’s hurting us and our employees. It has already put some of us out of business.”

According to Mace, participating bars are being provided with photos of local lawmakers so they can identify them if they enter their establishments. However, the governor, lieutenant governor, House speaker and Senate majority leader will be exempt from the ban.

“We’ll let the top officials in to symbolize how the ban hurts the little guys but not big guys,” Mace explained. “That would be consistent with smoking ban. We’re trying to keep a sense of humor even though things are looking pretty grim. I think you’ll see a lot of creative approaches as this goes forward.”

Faster way: hire someone to block the Craigslist escort section next time. [Michigan Capitol Confidential]

Share This
 
Related video

Hola wonkerados.

To improve site performance, we did a thing. It could be up to three minutes before your comment appears. DON'T KEEP RETRYING, OKAY?

Also, if you are a new commenter, your comment may never appear. This is probably because we hate you.

133 comments

      1. imissopus

        I actually just realized what I wrote made no sense. How would allowing lawmakers into smoke-free bars increase their risk of cancer or pulmonary edema? Stupid penguin is stupid.

  1. nounverb911

    That's real smart! Ban the customers that make the rules about what to serve your customers.

    1. Angry_Marmot

      We'd better get back because it will be dark soon, and they mostly come at night. Mostly.

  2. SexySmurf

    We‘re just people who believe in private property rights and are trying to speak out against this law that’s hurting us and our employees.

    You know what else hurts your employees? Lung cancer caused by second-hand smoke.

    1. OneYieldRegular

      On top of that, we did this in California what, some 10 years ago? And it actually improved the financial health of bars (not to mention the physical health of their patrons).

      1. MichelesPantalones

        Yeah. That's why we're all living longer and needing more expensive medical care as we age. Thanks a lot for nothing, State of California.

      2. OH_Progressive

        We did it in Ohio too and the same tired objections were raised. No one seems to mind too much now and it's only been three years since implementation.

  3. hagajim

    I love it that you can't smoke in bars in Oregon….makes me much MORE likely to go get wasted.

    1. weejee

      'Zactly. Same thing here in C'Addle. The only places that seem to have taken any hit are the true dives and disease-of-the-month clubs. Lotsa folks are happy to go out and grab a drink, chat, throw some darts, listen to some music et al and not come home and have the dog come up, take a sniff, and with a slight retching reflex dash outside.

          1. horsedreamer_1

            That smoke-free restaurant and bar ordinance that the state put up, here, was top of Walker's shit-list… 'Til he met his constituents and realized, for once, the GOP's "freedom" agenda is not what the commoners want.

            It was on this reversal of a campaign promise — "overturn smoking ban" — and only this one that drew 'Full Flop' from the Journal Sentinel PolitiFaux Desk. Make of that what you will.

      1. SorosBot

        Here you are at least allowed to smoke in the true dives; basically a place that doesn't serve food can get an exemption from the ban.

        1. Lascauxcaveman

          The former libertarian in me laments the demise of the truly smoky dive in my state (Warshington), but the actual consumer of food and beverage in me admits that I haven't actually been going to those places since, like, college.

          1. MichelesPantalones

            I like the smell of those smoky dives. Reminds me of my misspent yoof. Nowadays at Narita airport, they have these smoking lounges. Ten minutes in there and your eyes just won't stop watering.

        2. Fuck Toad

          In Oregon, bars are legally required to serve food. Hell, some of the best food I've ever had was at shitty video crack dives.

        3. Terry

          In Maryland, they banned smoking in bars but private clubs like Legion halls were exempted. Then there was an awesome law passed that specifically said that private clubs like the American Legion were NOT exempted. I can go have a drink or a meal anywhere now in the State and not end up stinking or worrying about the smoke I'm breathing in.

          Speaking of smoke, a Maryland town a few years ago tried to ban smoking on the sidewalk, too. lol Didn't work.

          1. SorosBot

            Um, isn't that actually just banning smoking, period? Or do they expect people to stand in the middle of traffic?

          2. Terry

            The privacy of one's own home, or out in the middle of a field away from everyone else, I guess.

    2. Monsieur_Grumpe

      I love a good beer, not that lite crap, and a good beer has many characteristics to enjoy. One of them is the smell. I’m sorry but I’m not very sympathetic to the smokers that make my beer smell like an ashtray.
      Steve Martin has a joke…
      Smoker: Mind if I smoke?
      Person next to smoker: Mind if I fart?

      And what the hell is with throwing cigarette butts out of your car window? The world is not your ashtray. And get the hell off my lawn!!! I need a beer.
      Harumph!

      1. MichelesPantalones

        I regret to admit being in a relationship with someone who would fart whenever I lit up.

        I've quit smoking.

          1. MichelesPantalones

            I don't know about the "tough" part, but I can certainly vouch for teh stinky. I didn't think I'd ever quit. I'm not sure whether to be grateful, mortified, or furious. But definitely abstinent, at least in the tobacco department.

      2. manythousands

        One of my habits! Y'know, I tried to quit once, for a year…but I, uh, gained a lot of weight. It's hard to quit…! After sex, I really have the urge to light one up…..

    3. emmelemm

      Yeah, I love it here in Seattle. It's my understanding that smoking bans in bars and restaurants in general actually increase business. Mayyybe in Michigan, if there are a lot more smokers, and it's a lot more unpleasant to go outside for a lot of the year, it creates a big problem.

      1. Lascauxcaveman

        It really does depend on the type of establishment. In the kind of places that you'd actually want to go to (not just go to 'ironically'), business is generally better after the smoking ban kicks in.

  4. slithytoves

    Idiots. I've lived in several states where the ban was implemented years ago. The need for alcohol by the majority of the population always trumps the need for nicotine by the rest. If anything, business increased because you didn't have to throw your stinky clothes away when you got home at night.

  5. SorosBot

    It's nice to see someone retaliate against one of those ridiculous smoking bans. And it's Michigan – having to go outside in January is bad enough around here, but it gets really fucking cold in the Midwest.

    1. Fuck Toad

      Funny how many liberals stop caring about workplace safety when it comes to cigarette smoke.

  6. johnnyzhivago

    Since pubs WERE around when the Constitution was written, this is clearly a blatant example of Nazism – they should all be shot, the bars turned over to Goldman Sachs and free booze added to everyone's franking priviledges.

  7. SayItWithWookies

    Oh pooh — if Virginia can survive an indoor smoking ban, why are those nice Michiganders getting all up in arms over this? Not that I disapprove of banning lawmakers from fine social establishments, but that's just for the safety of the underage patrons.

    1. Radiotherapy®

      I just thought the same thing — and — isn't it a Repub legislature??!? Aren't anti-smoking laws kind of Libural?

      1. Negropolis

        It's actually gone beyond partisanship. Hell, the law passed here with a Republican-controlled senate.

  8. Mumbletypeg

    Budweiser tastes like stale refrigerator coolant …etc.

    Whereas in Mexico it's said Corona beer is served in delectably pure, unadulterated form and flavor, unlike the imitation coronas served in the States. Can you corroborate this story as a former Mexizen, KBJ? No?… Good, I still wasn't gonna touch one of those skank-brews anyways.

      1. Rotundo_

        Praise doG for microbrews. Mass produced lagers in the states are little more than carbonated piss in a can. It has to be served at just above freezing so you aren't able to taste or smell the stuff.

  9. CrunchyKnee

    Cigarettes are the evilest evil in America!!!!!!1111!!!1 I bet Bin Laden smoked. Barry smokes as well. Just saying.

    Actually, I would be more afraid of second-hand stupidity and greed coming from elected officials.

  10. johnnyzhivago

    "NY Governor Cuomo orders NYC bridges to shut down if winds exceed 60 MPH, including the George Washington and Tappan Zee bridges"

    I hope Gov. Christie is sending the NJ Militia to keep OUR GW Bridge Open. Just because NY pussies don't like to drive in a mild breeze, doesn't mean we can't!!!!

      1. Lionel[redacted]Esq

        Live just a few miles from that. Of course, there are two now, and they are not supposed to fall, but it is cool when people ask me where I live that almost everyone has seen that film.

    1. Angry_Marmot

      This just in: "NY Governor Cuomo orders NYC bridges to shut down if Gov. Christie tries crossing at peak hours."

    2. MichelesPantalones

      What's the deal with 60mph winds on the bridges? We deal with that all the time. I can't recall when the last high wind advisory was, but I do recall driving over the Dumbarton bridge when it was flooded and 80mph winds were trying to rip the steering wheel right out of my hands in one of the worst winters we ever experienced.

    1. spinozasgod

      actuallly Wisconsin(pre-walker)…..they had the same "your going to killl business" fears being flung around, but it ended up not affecting business at all.

  11. Steverino247

    Amazing to me that the Surgeon General needs to warn you that inhaling smoke is bad for you. Michigan bar owners will face a lot of whining over this, as happened here in California, but it benefitted them all in the long run. Yes, the casino exception is bullshit, which is why I almost never go to one here. (That, and the fact that I can do the math well enough to know I'm only going to lose money…)

    1. comrad_darkness

      Sadly, the mob can also do math and the resulting money laundering through the casino is the real threat of the casino.

    2. LesPaultard

      A buddy who owns two bar&grills saw his family business increase dramatically, and his lowlife clientele decrease equally. WINNING!

  12. kissawookiee

    The indoor smoking ban is one of the few perks of living in Arizona. The bar owners howled when it was enacted, but in that time I've seen clothing stores, bookstores, and even freaking gas stations go out of business, but the bars are churning merrily along.

    1. not that Dewey

      Sure, but you have hookah bars in your pizza restaurants (or vice-versa, I can't tell). Either way, it's weird.

  13. x111e7thst

    First they came for the drugs, but I said nothing cause I still had a stash. Then they came for the cigarettes but I said nothing cause I don't care about Michigan’s bar owners..

  14. ThundercatHo

    Don't give 'em any booze! They fuck up enough when they're sober. Plus, here in Ohio, the Republican reps are always getting busted for DUI. Which is great and all but eventually somebody is going to get hurt and it probably won't be them.

  15. comrad_darkness

    I totally forget that smoking bans aren't universal when I travel. When the hostess says, smoking or non? I just stare at her, then say, "I'd also like to swim in the non-peeing end of the pool, too, but amazing how poorly that works out."

    1. Steverino247

      "As far away from that stench as possible," is my standard response. There's a great little German place in PA I like to go to in the summer (when I'm being paid my regular salary) and when they changed the rules, I went three times as often while in the area.

  16. ifthethunderdontgetya

    NYC banned smoking in bars over a decade ago.

    I was pretty happy about it. Hey, my clothes and hair didn't stink after a night of too much drinking at Sophies!

    However, I think this ban on lawmakers is a good thing. How about keeping them out of grocery stores and off airplanes, too?
    ~

    1. mumbly_joe

      Honestly, the greatest night of my life was the one when I realized "do you wanna grab a smoke" is the single greatest pretext for chatting up/making out with a lady out in front of the bar ever invented. It's basically a less sleazy/dated "Do you want to go someplace more quiet".

      Now I'm sharing this story, because I'm all about making smoking bans work for YOU!

  17. baconzgood

    We have rules like that in PA. You can't smoke in a bar if they do more than 40% of thier buisness serving food. It pisses me the fuck off that I have to go out side of the eatery to have my manditory smoke. Even Al fresco.

    1. SorosBot

      This time of year it's OK, but it's horrible in the winter; I'd be OK with the smoking ban if it only applied if the temperature were over say 45 degrees.

      1. MichelesPantalones

        As a smoker of long standing (also sitting and lying), I have to admit to not liking the smell of stale smoke. I don't permit smoking indoors, and never have because I don't care for the smell. So it's really not fair to the poor yoicks who can't even light up to defend themselves to go all stinky-boo on them. Knowutaimsain?

    2. ProudLibunatic

      I'd suggest quitting to you guys, but my brother used to smoke, and he said quitting HEROIN was easier than quitting smoking! (And he would know!)

      But do it anyway.

      1. SorosBot

        I tried quitting several times, and found that when a lot of your friends smoke it serves to turn you into a mooch and piss them all off. Also gained a LOT of weight; finally put it back off a few months ago.

        1. ProudLibunatic

          Reminds me of when my Uncle quit.
          He's a crusty WWII vet and ex corrections officer with a will of iron, and was able to stop smoking entirely. However, he became so cantankerous and hard to live with, that his family actually begged him to resume smoking (and damn the consequences).
          I think he still smokes, but has lightened up considerably.

      2. MichelesPantalones

        Reformed smokers are obnoxiously annoying in their newfound purity, so I generally try not to chip in on anti-smoking jags, but I will say, after 40+ years of walking around with a cigarette in my hand, my body (especially my lungs) really appreciates not smoking.

  18. Lionel[redacted]Esq

    But, if Republican lawmakers can't drink, what excuse will they have for their gay hookups.

  19. Schmannnity

    Where does Sarah stand on this, and what does she think of those cut-rate smokes named Maverick?

  20. DashboardBuddha

    With apologies to any smoking wonkettes…

    Dear bar owners – stfu. You may have a dip in crowds, but soon the bar will be filled with drunk assholes again. When the banned restaurant/bar smoking in my state, the owners all cried that the end of the world was nigh. Uh oh…the bars and restaurants are filled again…whua happened?

  21. Ducksworthy

    Budweiser tastes like stale refrigerator coolant fermented in a gas station toilet even with a cigarette will now replace in my mind the Canukian slur against Amurikkan beer as being like making love in a canoe.

  22. SideshowSlob

    Dudes, is this the only thing we done right here in TN? No smoking in bars or restaurants, unless you only allow 21+ at all times, at which point the choice is yours. Plenty of choices for all.

      1. SideshowSlob

        I hear ya, but meh. Compromise is compromise. The fact that a vast majority of places have gone smokeless gives the average anti-smoking bartender enough choices in my book.

      1. SideshowSlob

        Only by a strict definition of "bar" I guess. There are plenty of places that serve alcohol yet still cater to families/underage college kids for food money. But yeah, I guess the real effect is to eliminate smoking from restaurants, but not bars. Though plenty of places I'd consider "bars" have found it wise not to cater to the smokers. This leaves us with only the dives, which is where we probably belong.

  23. zhubajie

    I wish smokers would take up tobacco suppositories. Stick your cancer sticks up your butts and don't annoy the rest of us;

    1. Graham Cracker

      Most Casinos are owned by indian tribes, which are sovereign nations. They are inflicting a subtle form of revenge on the whites by taking all their money and letting them die from tobacco. Seems to be working.

    2. Rotundo_

      Have you ever seen the inside of one of those joints? Filled to the rafters with retirees in hoverrounds (or just wheelchairs for those who can't work joysticks anymore) and almost to a one, the little green oxygen tanks and the plastic tubes in their noses (or tracheotomy tubes if they're already larynx free) plugging quarters in slots and hitting the buttons 'cause they don't have the upper body strength to pull the fucking levers. If they took smoking away, they would just 'splode on the spot. It's the reason I won't set foot in the place, besides understanding basic statistics.

  24. TalkieToaster2

    When California proposed to ban smoking in bars and restaurants, the bar owners said the exact same things, about how it would destroy their businesses. Of course, nothing of the sort happened.

  25. Negropolis

    Fuck the bars. They've been bitching about the ban ever since it went into place, and like just about every other state that's enacted, it's found not to comprehensively cut into business. Get the fuck over it, already. You lost; even this Republican state legislature isn't stupid enough to allow bars to allow smoking again. I'm so tired of hearing about this from them. The ban has been on since May 2010. You lost.

  26. Negropolis

    Kind of off topic, but the conservative Michigan Court of Appeals ruled that our dispensaries (of which there are now hundreds) were unconstitutional, so folks can't even smoke in the shops, anymore. lol The guy that lead the opposition to the amendment is now the AG, so he finally got his way, the prig.

  27. freddymcmurray

    In Illinois, we have this ban already. And guess what's happened… three quarters (at least) of the bar patrons stand outside the place smoking. Even in the dead of winter. Or burning hell of summer. So, businesses have started building outdoor shelter for the smokers. That includes heating in the winter. And some places even have a bartender in that smoking section. And waitresses. And televisions. It's just like you're inside the bar, but your in a heated tent with a fully stocked bar and table service. And the nice bar inside? It's largely empty. I'm not joking (for once). It's an utterly stupid law. FAIL

    In our neighboring state, MO, the laws are even more stupid. It's done on a city or county level, not the state level. This has resulted in a patchwork of smoking and no-smoking laws. You can smoke in one place, then cross the street, and not smoke there. It's insanity. They further screw this up by having weird regulations where if you establishment receives more than 20% of their income from food sales, then you can't permit smoking. (to permit beer food, but restrict smoking in "restaurants". This has resulted in some very bizarre rules for patrons to follow. Another FAIL.

Comments are closed.