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Friday, 16 July 2010

Are you listening Mr. Clegg & Co?

Smoking bans, any smoking bans, are not wanted nor asked for and the American city of  Waukesha in Wisconsin has politicians lining up to get rid of the newly introduced smoking ban there. Are you listening Clegg and Co?

Transcript of video:

The statewide workplace smoking ban that went into effect last week is starting to spark debate among candidates for Wisconsin Governor.

Republican candidate, Mark Neumann of Waukesha, calls it a "classic example" of government overstepping its bounds. He says the smoking ban is not in his top-25 priorities if elected, but says he would sign a repeal if it made it to his desk.

"Last Friday night when we went out for a beer and a fish fry the place was smoke-free," said Neumann. "On a personal level, I very much enjoyed that. But as Governor it's a different kind of decision. I believe it's an issue that should come down to local control."

His opponent in the Republican primary, Milwaukee County Executive, Scott Walker, has since taken a similar stance publicly.

"I've said for the past year-and-a-half during the debate that I don't think the government should be involved in telling small businesses what they should or shouldn't do in a variety of issues," said Walker.

Democratic candidate Tom Barrett, who has spoken out in favor of the ban, has criticized Walker's approach.

"When I read Mark Neumann's comments on the smoking ban, I wondered to myself how long it would take Scott Walker to flip flop," said Barrett in a statement. "It's clear Walker will say and do anything in this campaign, even if it means blatantly contradicting himself within just a few days or hours."

Walker denies changing his views. He says he was focused on officially entering the race last week.

"Because I said at the time, it was premature for me to be talking about it when I was filing 15,000 signatures, I wanted to talk about that -- in no way constitutes a position change."

The ban would have to be repealed by the state legislature before it could be signed by whoever is elected Governor. Which party will control the Statehouse will also be decided by November elections.

All three candidates say job creation remains their top priority.

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