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Sunday, March 12, 2006

Oklahoma Restaurants who cater to Smokers 

Forces Oklahoma gives special thanks to the following Oklahoma restaurants for showing their appreciation and consideration of their customers who are Oklahoma Smokers.

Skyline Restaurant
Located on SE 15th Street just west of Eastern (AKA Martin Luther King Blvd) in Oklahoma City.
Open 24 hours 7 days a week.
A very popular restaurant with great food and very reasonable prices.

Macy's Pancake House and Restaurant
Located just West of SW 44th and Pennsylvania Avenue in Oklahoma City.
Macy's is open from 6 A.M. to 10 P.M. 7 days a week.

Cattlemen's Steakhouse
1309 So. Agnew
Oklahoma City
Great food but a bit pricey.

Ashley's Restaurant
74th & I-240
Oklahoma City

Ashley' Restaurant
4021 N.W. 39th Expressway
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Favorites Restaurant
63rd & S. Shields Blvd.
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Chelino's Mexican Restaurant
Reno & Sooner Road
Midwest City, Oklahoma

Chelinos Mexican Restaurant
427 SW 36th
Oklahoma City

Moe's Diner
50th and McArthur
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
has a smoking room

Lucy's Diner
Just East of I-35 on SE 44th on the North side of the street.
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Mamma Lou's R
1421 N. Moore Avenue
Moore, Oklahoma
799-5200

Sydney's Restaurant
4520 S. May Ave.
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73119
This is a great restaurant with good food and reasonable prices.

Sydney's Restaurant
3301 SW 29th St
Oklahoma City, Ok

KT's Cafe
5000 NW 10th ST
Oklahoma City, OK
943-2275

Has big smoking room
serves american food..... breakfast and lunch.
on weekends dinner too ....
50's cafe
2801 S. May ave.
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Good food.




The Snooty Fox in Tulsa (located at the Farm Shopping Center at 51st and Sheridan) cannot afford to rennovate the restaurant to accomodate smoking (it is a small privately owned restaurant), however, they have an absolutely beautiful courtyard behind the restaurant where smoking is permitted. The food is fantastic and the atmosphere is great. The owners lost a lot of business due to the smoking ban. There were many people who came to the Snooty Fox to enjoy quality food and sit at the bar afterwards for a few drinks and cigarettes. The bar is now almost empty every time we go in.

Cuisine: Italian (very unique flavors! unlike any other italian restaurant in town)

A new IHOP was opened recently in Broken Arrow, OK at 71st (Kenosha) and County Line Road (near Lowe's). We used to go to the IHOP at 71st and Garnett. However, when the smoking ban went into effect, we found this other IHOP who has a separate smoking room with separate heating/AC. The IHOP is brand new and was constructed like that when built. Sure wish they would convert all of the restaurants to accommodate their smoking customers.




Friday’s at 61st and Memorial in Tulsa has constructed a ventilated bar for customers who chose to smoke. It’s roomy and isolated from the family atmosphere of the restaurant…it’s a great place to go for happy hour!

They are also in the process of constructing a ventilated bar at the 41st and Yale location, however, they have not yet decided whether they will allow smoking. I, personally, think they are testing the market to see how 61st and Memorial fares. I encourage everyone who enjoys a pro-choice atmosphere to patronize Friday’s at 61st and Memorial, and maybe the 41st and Yale location will follow suit.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
If you know of any other Oklahoma restaurants who cater to smokers anywhere in Oklahoma please send the details to

bbauer1@netzero.net and they will be added to this list.

I would also recommend that you print out the list and take it to the restaurant so they can post it on their premises if they so desire.

You can also call your reports to me at 405-616-7901.

Also, if you know of any restaurants who have gone out of business as a result of having lost so much business by reason of their compliance with the smoking laws please let us know about that too and I will put up a special listing in memory of their being among the dearly departed.

1. Ma Kittle's Restaurant at S.E. 15th & I-35
Ma Kittle's closed their doors forever 3 days after the smoking ban went into effect.
This was a great restaurant and will be badly missed thanks to the infinite wisdom of our Smoke-a-Nazi lawmakers. Shame on them.

2. Woodbridge Restaurant at 36th & S. Western is in the process of putting in a smoker's area. How long it will take to finish is anybody's guess.

I was there today and whereas it is normally very busy at mealtimes it was totally dead at noon today. All there customers have gone elsewhere and they are really hurting for business because of the smoking ban. Let us hope they get their smoking room fixed before they do go broke.

Newsvine - OKLAHOMA CITY


Wednesday, August 03, 2005

The Chickens come home to roost! 

The chickens come home to roost.

The following is a good example of just how dumb our legislators really are.

They raised the taxes to an outrageous level and now they wonder why the people are voting not to give them the money they dreamed of. They should have known better than to raise the tobacco taxes like that. They should have known that high prices and high taxes are a sure way to kill the goose that lays their eggs.

CONTACT: Damon Gardenhire, press secretary
Speaker of the House Todd Hiett
Oklahoma House of Representatives
Capitol: (405) 962.7679
gardenhire@okhouse.gov

Speaker Calls on Governor Henry to Focus on Tobacco Tax Failure: New July Tax Collection Figures Show Significant Shortfall

OKLAHOMA CITY (August 2, 2005) – Concerned by more dismal tobacco tax collection numbers for July, Speaker Todd Hiett today called on Governor Henry to add the tobacco tax failure to his call for a special session. “If legislative leaders reach an agreement on prison funding and convene a special session, we should address the tobacco tax debacle while at the state capitol,” said Hiett (R-Kellyville).

New July tobacco tax figures released by the Oklahoma Tax Commission show the state collected only about $14 million – far short of projections for the new tax and below June figures. The Speaker said he will formally ask that Governor Henry amend the special session call when the two meet next week. “The mess created by the new tobacco tax and tribal compacts signed by Governor Henry is an urgent matter,” continued Hiett. “As tobacco tax collections continue to fail, vital health care programs are left without necessary funds.”

Hiett said at the same time there’s been a tremendous shift from non-tribal to tribal retailers – causing financial ruin for small business owners across Oklahoma. July figures continue to show a pattern of sales shifting to tribal retailers.

Oklahoma voters approved a dramatic 80-cents per-pack increase in cigarette taxes last fall, raising the tax from 23 cents to $1.03 per pack. The tax increase was supposed to generate an additional $200 million annually. Hiett said he remained open to the idea of a special session to address funding concerns for the Department of Corrections – though he emphasized that detailed discussions would need to take place before any legislative action could occur.

Hiett stepped forward last week with solutions to address immediate needs for both the Centennial Commission and Corrections. Hiett unveiled a plan that allows the Department of Corrections to offer $1,000 signing bonuses for guards to help with recruitment efforts. DOC currently has about 200 vacant and funded guard positions. And he suggested that about $3 million in dormant funds at the Commerce Department could be used to fund immediate centennial needs – an idea embraced by centennial officials.

House leaders anticipate announcing details of a comprehensive plan for the Department of Corrections within the next few weeks. Several lawmakers are included in the team developing the plan: ? Rep Chris Benge (R-Tulsa) chair of the House Appropriations and Budget Committee ? Rep. Gus Blackwell (R-Goodwell) chair of the House Committee on Corrections and Criminal Justice ? Rep. John Trebilcock (R-Broken Arrow), chair of the House A&B Subcommittee on Public Safety and the Judiciary. “The prison plan that we’ll bring forward soon will be a first step in starting important discussions between Governor Henry, House and Senate leaders,” Hiett said.
-30-

Monday, March 21, 2005

Defiance: Judge Allows Smoking In Chambers
Posted on Wednesday, December 22 @ 12:37:35 EST by samantha

Oklahoma Judge Allows Smoking In Chambers

December 15, 2004

An Oklahoma County Judge appears to be ignoring a state law, which bans smoking in all public buildings.

This one could leave Oklahoma County Judge Virgil Black smoking. He's not commenting on the apparent disregard for the state law, which bans smoking in all public buildings, even though KTOK's Melissa Gandall walked into his smoke-filled chambers today and asked for an interview on the matter. Most people who frequent the County Courthouse will tell you that is the place to go to smoke inside the building and not get in trouble for it, but according to the anti-smoking law, which took effect in September 2003, smoking isn't allowed an ANY public building, unless it's in a private office, where no public business takes place. Getting Judge Black to obey the law might be difficult. No one at Oklahoma County seems willing to do it. Commission Chairman Stan Inman says the law is being enforced on an office by office basis, with each elected official responsible for making sure their staffers comply. The County Sheriff says he'll investigate if he gets a complaint, but hasn't received one. The State Health
Department is still crafting its rules for enforcement and in the meantime, is pushing compliance by sending letters and copies of the new law to those with complaints against them.
www.ktok.com

Tax increase hurts stores badly. 

Stores see drop in tobacco sales

By Bill Kramer
The Oklahoman

TULSA - An Oklahoma convenience store chain spokesman said the Sooner State's 80-cent-a-pack cigarette tax increase noticeably cut its tobacco sales.

Tax rebates disappoint some officials

Mike Thornbrugh, manager of QuikTrip's public and government affairs division, said his company suspects many smokers are buying their tobacco products at American Indian tribal smoke shops. QuikTrip, a Tulsa-based convenience store chain, operates 450 regional locations, company officials said.

"There's no question about it," Thornbrugh said. "Unfortunately, the way ... the contracts were drafted gives tribes a better advantage.

"We knew tobacco sales would shift from nontribal retailers to tribal retailers. Our tobacco sales are down 20 percent."

Janet Coles, financial forecast analyst for the city of Tulsa, said she thinks convenience stores are losing out on more than tobacco sales.

Sales of other items go down because customers who come in to buy tobacco also buy other taxable items, such as beverages and snacks, Coles said. When overall sales drop, so do sales tax revenues.

Thornbrugh said QuikTrip store operators have noticed.

But not everyone agrees smokers have shifted their business to the state's tribes.

Julian Fite, general counsel for the Tahlequah-based Cherokee Nation, said tribal smoke shops are not experiencing increased sales.

"A number of our stores have been complaining," Fite said. "Part of the problem -- first of all -- there's been a gigantic tax increase, which was figured to impact cigarette sales. There's some people who are likely shopping online or going across the state line, particularly to Missouri, which has by far the lowest tobacco tax around."

State health officials pushed the tax increase as a way to persuade people to quit or cut back on smoking, but they said they can't tell yet how much impact it is having.

Doug Matheny, chief of the state Health Department's tobacco use prevention service, said the general rule is that a 10 percent tax increase causes a 4 percent decline in smoking. Oklahoma's tax increase was 20 percent, so officials are expecting to see an 8 percent smoking decline.

Wayne Stull said tobacco product sales are stagnant at the four Cherokee and Osage smoke shops he operates in the Tulsa area.

Stull contends the tobacco tax increase has hurt all retailers.

"When they raised this tax to $10.30 (per carton), everybody that smokes immediately is going to start looking for cheaper cigarettes," Stull said.

The cheapest low-end cigarettes now sell for between $18 and $19 a carton at tribal smoke shops, Stull said. Name brands cost between $30 and $31.

Stull said the tax is an unfair burden on tribal shops.

"We don't sell gasoline and have no grocery products, and we're in hard-to-find locations," Stull said.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Here's what the Anti's are doing in your area.
Please use this list to write to your local politicians and media
exposing the Anti tactics and show that there are indeed two sides to
this issue. This anti-smoker movement is one that has been corrupt
from the start, oppresses a minority group, and is destructive to
personal rights/a free society. As these fascist factions banned
together to crush smokers, to insure Freedom we must once against
stand, fight, and unite, or submit to tyrannical rule. Fight Smoking
Bans. Be pro active instead of reactive.
Here's what the Anti's have in your town now to take your rights away.

· The following states have strong bills that include 100% smokefree
workplaces and/or restaurants and/or bars; OR repeals preemption:

Alabama: SB413 (restaurants and bars)
Arkansas: HB1883 (restaurants)—Passed by House Rules Committee
Connecticut: HB5067 (bingo)
District of Columbia: B16-0187 (workplaces, restaurants, and bars),
B16-0193 (workplaces, restaurants, and bars)
Georgia: HB426 (workplaces, restaurants, and bars)
Illinois: HB672 (repeals preemption)—Passed out of committee, SB254
(repeals preemption)—Passed Health and Human Services Committee
Iowa: HF71 (restaurants and bars); SF70 (repeals preemption); SSB1137
(repeals preemption)
Maine: LD160 (bingo/gambling/clubs), LD886 (workplaces)
Maryland: HB428 / SB332 (workplaces, restaurants, and bars)—SB332
Defeated in Committee
Minnesota: SF404 (workplaces, restaurants, and bars; HF412
(workplaces, restaurants, and bars)
Nebraska: LB480 (workplaces and restaurants)—Passed out of Committee,
Sponsor's priority bill
New Mexico: HB354 (workplaces and restaurants)—Sent to Senate,
amended and passed Judiciary Committee
North Carolina: H76 (restaurants)
North Dakota: SB2300 (workplaces, restaurants, and bars)—Passed out
of Senate and sent to House committee
Oregon: SB544 (repeals preemption and 100% restaurants); HB2496
(repeals preemption and 100% restaurants)
Rhode Island: HB659 (bars)
South Carolina: S374 (repeals preemption)
Vermont: HB91 (restaurants and bars); HB421 (restaurants and bars)
Washington: SB5592 / HB1714 (restaurants and bars)

· The following states have weak bills that include ventilation,
smoking rooms, or other key exemptions:

Arkansas: HB1390, SB1122
Georgia: SB90 (workplaces, restaurants, and bars)—Passed Senate,
Amended, and passed House Committee
Indiana: HB1202—Amended and passed out of committee
Iowa: SF1
Kansas: HB2495
Kentucky: HB104
New Jersey: S1926 / A3424—Amended and passed Senate Committee,
A3730/ A3975
Tennessee: SB44 / HB1693, SB46 / HB1692
Washington: HB1109, HB1253
West Virginia: SB113

· The following states have bills that weaken a current strong law:

Connecticut: HB5801, HB5138, HB6856
Florida: S1348, H1237
Idaho: S1001, S1023—Sent to Governor for approval; SCR109A—approved
by Senate, sent to House
Minnesota: SF0108
New York: S74, S1123, S1256, A5677, S2370
North Carolina: SB482 / HB628
Rhode Island: HB5020, HB5314

· The following states have preemptive bills:

Kentucky: HB81, SB88
Maryland: HB1419
Minnesota: HF564 / SF560
Montana: HB661—Passed House and sent to Senate, HB643—Reinstated,
amended, and passed House committee
Nebraska: LB730
Tennessee: SB45 / HB1686
Washington: HB1670 / SB5909—Heading to Senate Floor
West Virgina: SB46

· The following states have other provisions and should be watched:

Alabama: SB412
Arkansas: HB1193—Approved as Act 134, HB2056—Failed, HB2684
California: AB616
Connecticut: HB6186
Florida: S7034—Amended in committee; S1308—Passed Regulated
Industries Committee and sent to Commerce Committee
Hawaii: HB1394, SB1468—Passed Senate and sent to House
Illinois: HB1516, HB1518
Indiana: HB1428—Passed out of Committee
Kentucky: HB515
Nebraska: LB6—Placed on general file, LB305—Placed on general file,
LB613—Amended to include provisions of LB604
Nevada: AB118
New York: A420a
North Carolina: S1, H239
North Dakota: SB2307
Oregon: SB494
Rhode Island: SB937
South Carolina: S351
Washington: SB5114

Sunday, August 29, 2004

Ernie
Newbie
Newbie


Joined: May 09, 2004
Posts: 4
Location: Ohio, USA

PostPosted: Fri Jul 30, 2004 7:26 am Post subject: Are Bans Unconstitutional?? Reply with quote

Are smoking bans a violation of constitutional rights? The Declaration of Independence guarantees our pursuit of happiness...

"We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."

"PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS". And this Declaration of Independence is said to have been the blueprint for the U.S. constitution...

"The Founders believed the Declaration was the foundational document in our Constitutional form of government."

"PROOF of the Declaration being attached to the Constitution is found in Article VII. The Constitution attaches itself to the Declaration by dating itself as being signed in the twelfth year of the independence of the United States of America! Now that proves the founding fathers considered themselves to have been living in the USA for twelve years under the government document of the Declaration of Independence. Not only was the Constitution dated in recognition of the Declaration of Independence, also the later government acts were dated from the Independence of the United States of America."

If you enjoy smoking, then by definition, you are pursuing some form of happiness. Regardless of whether you feel it is "right" or "wrong", on an absolute basis, you are happy. A smoking ban infringes on this happiness, violating our rights.

So mickey mouse politicians in city council, in cities across America, are REWRITTING THE LAWS THAT ARE THE FOUNDATION OF THE UNITED STATES???

Anti-smokers will say "their 'rights' are being infringed on, due to: 1. Second hand smoke. There is an abundance of reports that prove there is no correlation. And antiis can not produce true science to support this claim. 2. "The increased cost in healthcare caused by smokers". It is reported that health costs related to alchohol are almost twice that of tobacco and the health costs of obesity are 4-5 times that of tobacco.

_________________
Ernie

"There is nothing like tobacco; it is the passion of all decent people; someone who lives without tobacco does not deserve to live." - Moliere, Don Juan
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Thursday, February 12, 2004

The Carol Arnold show on Radio KOMA Oklahoma City has contacted me about debating with an Oklahoma State Senator or Representative on the show about a certain new tax proposal that the State would love to foist off on us taxpayers of Oklahoma. Naturally I am vehemently opposed to any new taxes almost regardless of the reason for their proposal.

The show is supposed to air either Thursday or Friday morning and I'm betting that it will be on Friday morning due to the fact that the lawmakers are not in session on Fridays here in Oklahoma.

Quite frankly I fail to see what part of NO! it is that they don't understand. The reason I say that is that several years ago we voted in a constitutional amendment that says that no new taxes may be levied without a vote of the people and so far I have not heard any talk about presenting this one to the people for a vote.

That's just one of my arguments against the proposed new tax at the retail sales level.

The show will air at 10:30 A.M. today on KOMA radio 1540 A.M. and will feature myself debating Oklahoma State Representative and Speaker of the House of Reps, Larry Adair.

This will be a half hour show and so will also be a call in show. I will post the call in line number on this blog as soon as I have it. Keep watching this blog for the updates as I have them available.

The callin line number for KOMA's Carol Arnold show is 405-478-1520

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

Dear Bill,

I wish I could offer some sage advise, but I've found it's nearly impossible to get a truthful point across when dealing with these money hungry fanatics.

I just want you to know that there are thousands of us out here who offer every ounce of support and good wishes in your efforts! We are behind you 10000000%!!

Bob Fenske

FORCES - Rochester, MN


Actually you can help out Bob. So can anyone else who wants to do so.
And this blog as well as many others can get the job done. Here is how.

I need good articles and commentaries and I need a lot of them on a continual basis. This is the kind of thing I have been publicly presenting for a long time now despite the fact that you haven't seen a lot of me in the places all of you are accustomed to hanging out in. Various forums on the internet. But while they are extemely helpful and interesting forums will never be able to get the word out to the public where it will do some good. Your posts to various forums are merely posts preaching to the choir. Everybody agrees with these kinds of viewpoints. But you get zero mileage with it. I've needed the kinds of thoughts and materials you folks are giving me to use on the Carol Arnold show each and every day and if I can get them I can do far more good with it than any of you have ever imagined. That's because I use blogs to publish my various activities. Blogs get lots of visitors and lots of hits. Some of my blogs are getting upwards of 18,000 visitors per month and growing all the time. Some of my blogs are getting updated quite often and others sit there dormant until great material such as this is found. I'm running quite a few blogs such as
http://www.Forcesoklahoma.blogspot.com
http://www.smokersrightsok.blogspot.com
http://www.magnacartanews.blogspot.com
http://www.libertarianok.blogspot.com
http://www.creditwrench.blogspot.com
http://www.j-accuse.blogspot.com
and more.
These blogs all get high rankings in every search engine out there and the reason they do is that they have a lot of fresh content and links. That equates to spider food and getting the word out to the public and it equates to getting attention and publicity spots on such radio shows as the Carol Arnold show and many more. They are the key to getting info before the eyes of the public. And just to help you understand how much publicity my blogs generate, I get calls even at 3 & 4 A.M. from our soldiers in Iraq, Soudi Arabia and from all over the world asking me for my opinons and help solving problems they have back home.
And the more great articles like this one I can get from you folks the more publicity I can generate and the more good I can do for the smoker's rights movement all across the country. And if you send me articles you write and articles you find and links to your websites and blogs or message boards I'll be glad to link to them and give you the credits for them. And soon you too will have talk show hosts calling you for your viewpoints. And that's what it takes to beat the damned smoke-a-nazis. And I'll tell you another neat trick that will help you an awful lot. Go join a Toastmaster's club in your area and over time you will get a lot of learning and help with your public speaking and you will become a better person for it, a person well organized and trained to bring the smokers rights issues to the forefront. Toastmasters will teach you to become a powerful public speaker in very short order and its an awful lot of fun. In a short while you can go to a lot of different Toastmasters and other types of meetings and they will be glad to have you speak to their group on lots of various subjects of interest to them and every public speaking opportunity that you have gives you a chance to present yourself and your favorite topics as well as the topic you might actually be going to speak about. You never know who might be in your listening audience.

There are a lot of other tricks I use to get the publicity I do and of course they are all time consuming. So I need lots of help finding all sorts of articles to publish about smoker's rights so I can help you fight the good fight. So after the show is over how about if you all keep the articles and opinions coming? I'll be glad to publish them and get them before the public where it will help us become the powerful voice we need to be to win. So please keep them coming.




The Carol Arnold show on Radio KOMA Oklahoma City has contacted me about debating with an Oklahoma State Senator or Representative on the show about a certain new tax proposal that the State would love to foist off on us taxpayers of Oklahoma. Naturally I am vehemently opposed to any new taxes almost regardless of the reason for their proposal.

The show is supposed to air either Thursday or Friday morning and I'm betting that it will be on Friday morning due to the fact that the lawmakers are not in session on Fridays here in Oklahoma.

Quite frankly I fail to see what part of NO! it is that they don't understand. The reason I say that is that several years ago we voted in a constitutional amendment that says that no new taxes may be levied without a vote of the people and so far I have not heard any talk about presenting this one to the people for a vote.

That's just one of my arguments against the proposed new tax at the retail sales level.

They haven't made it official yet and the show's program director said she would be callling me back to confirm time and date so we will see what happens.


Tuesday, February 10, 2004

CIGARETTES DON’T PAY TAXES – OKLAHOMA SMOKERS DO!!
In 2001, Oklahoma smokers comprised only 28.7% (1) of the adult population in the state. Here is what they already pay because they choose to buy a legal product:

Smokers Pay Excise Taxes (2) $ 59,280,703

Smokers Pay Sales Taxes (2) $ 49,395,080

Smokers Pay Tobacco Settlement Payments (3) $ 74,062,843

$182,738,626

Smokers’ Economic/Tax Profile 2001

Income (1)

Oklahoma smokers’ median household income $29,530

Oklahoma nonsmokers’ median household income $35,733

Working families pay more (1)

43.6% of Oklahoma smokers had household incomes LESS THAN $25,000.

7.4% of Oklahoma smokers had household incomes EQUAL TO or GREATER THAN $75,000.

The impact of smoker payments on the incomes of working families was more than THREE TIMES the impact on higher income smokers. Those who can afford it least pay a disproportionate percentage of their hard-earned income in smoker payments.


Smoker excise tax/sales tax/tobacco settlement payments liability in 2002 (4)

Total avg. paid per Oklahoma smoker in excise and sales taxes $148

Cost per Oklahoma smoker for settlement payments to Oklahoma $101

Total annual payments to Oklahoma per smoker $249

Total annual payments to Oklahoma per nonsmoker $ 0

Oklahoma Smoker Facts (5)

Total smokers’ payments to Oklahoma in FY2002 were:

Nearly thee times as large as FY2001 state excise taxes on alcoholic beverages ($62 million).

Larger than FY2001 corporate net income tax revenues ($167.2 million).

Smokers taxed to death

Anyone who works for their wages by the hour knows how hard you have to work to earn a few dollars and cents. The State of Oklahoma earns15.2 million a month from smokers' excise and sales tax revenues, with the tobacco settlement money thrown in just for fun.

Shocked? That's chicken feed compared with the $3,352,320 every HOUR all government taxing authorities take from smokers nationwide.

Why is Oklahoma back with its hand out again, asking for even more? It is now to the point that some of our political leaders are acting no better than street thugs who sell illegal drugs. "They are hooked so now let's exploit them," is the prevailing attitude.
Between 1999 and 2001, Congress and the states have collected $88 billion (that's billion with a "B") from taxes and the Master Settlement Agreement. There is no doubt that state and federal governments now have a virtual monopoly on tobacco industry revenue. On average, government makes 15 times what tobacco companies do on a pack of cigarettes. Even the Mafia never had it this good.

No one should have to endure this kind of tax burden, and many smokers have said no and gone elsewhere. For instance, the state of Washington in 2001 estimated it lost almost $63 million to smokers who bought cigarettes on the Internet, from Indian smoke shops or brought them in from other states. The state still made $244.5 million.

What other group of consumers would tolerate a loaf of bread, an automobile or a toy taxed at the rate of tobacco? They wouldn't. There would be a tax revolt.

There have been several very good things proposed that tobacco tax increases would go toward that would make things better for a large number of people-smokers and non-smokers alike. The question that should be asked is why smokers alone should shoulder the burden? Fifty-eight percent of adult smokers are at low or moderate income, earning $35,000 a year or less. Why are the least able to pay called on the most to pay the bills of others?

Many states think that raising excise taxes will cut the rate of underage smokers. The problem is that underage smokers make up only about 2 percent of the market. When you do this you punish 98 people to influence two. Even this is questionable when recent studies state that the biggest influence on children smoking is parents, not government action.

Millions have been spent recently on prevention programs to keep kids from smoking with virtually no change in smoking rates. When $3,352,320 an hour off the backs of smokers is still not enough to satisfy the tax man, it is time to take a hard look at who we are really dealing with here. Government greed and attempts at population control through taxation is out of control in a major way. It is just plain financial rape.

Newspapers who printed a version of this letter:

Houston Chronicle, Atlanta Journal & Constitution, Chicago Sun-Times, Charlotte NC Observer, Grand Island Ne Independent, Huntington WV Herald-Dispatch

Sunday, November 09, 2003

The Hazards of a Smoke-Free Environment
By Robert W. Tracinski
CNSNews.com Commentary
May 26, 2003

The bandwagon of local smoking bans now steamrolling across the nation - from New York City to San Antonio - has nothing to do with protecting people from the supposed threat of "second-hand" smoke.

Indeed, the bans themselves are symptoms of a far more grievous threat; a cancer that has been spreading for decades and has now metastasized throughout the body politic, spreading even to the tiniest organs of local government. This cancer is the only real hazard involved - the cancer of unlimited government power.

The issue is not whether second-hand smoke is a real danger or a phantom menace, as a study published recently in the British Medical Journal indicates. The issue is: if it were harmful, what would be the proper reaction? Should anti-tobacco activists satisfy themselves with educating people about the potential danger and allowing them to make
their own decisions, or should they seize the power of government and force people to make the "right" decision?

Supporters of local tobacco bans have made their choice. Rather than attempting to protect people from an unwanted intrusion on their health, the tobacco bans are the unwanted intrusion.

Loudly billed as measures that only affect "public places," they have actually targeted private places: restaurants, bars, nightclubs, shops, and offices - places whose owners are free to set anti-smoking rules or whose customers are free to go elsewhere if they don't like the smoke. Some local bans even harass smokers in places where their effect on others is obviously negligible, such as outdoor public parks.

The decision to smoke, or to avoid "second-hand" smoke, is a question to be answered by each individual based on his own values and his own assessment of the risks. This is the same kind of decision free people make regarding every aspect of their lives: how much to spend or invest, whom to befriend or sleep with, whether to go to college or get a job, whether to get married or divorced, and so on.

All of these decisions involve risks; some have demonstrably harmful consequences; most are controversial and invite disapproval from the neighbors. But the individual must be free to make these decisions. He must be free, because his life belongs to him, not to his neighbors, and only his own judgment can guide him through it.

Yet when it comes to smoking, this freedom is under attack. Cigarette smokers are a numerical minority, practicing a habit considered annoying and unpleasant to the majority. So the majority has simply commandeered the power of government and used it to dictate their behavior.

That is why these bans are far more threatening than the prospect of inhaling a few stray whiffs of tobacco while waiting for a table at your favorite restaurant. The anti-tobacco crusaders point in exaggerated alarm at those wisps of smoke while they unleash the systematic and unlimited intrusion of government into our lives.

The tobacco bans are just part of one prong of this assault. Traditionally, the political Right has attempted to override the individual's judgment on spiritual matters: outlawing certain sexual practices, trying to ban sex and violence in entertainment, discouraging divorce.

While the political Left is nominally opposed to this trend - denouncing attempts to "legislate morality" and crusading for the toleration of "alternative lifestyles," - they seek to override the individual's judgment on material matters: imposing controls on business and profit-making, regulating advertising and campaign finance, and now legislating healthy behavior.

But the difference is only one of emphasis; the underlying premise is still anti-freedom and anti-individual-judgment. The tobacco bans bulldoze all the barriers to intrusive regulation, establishing the precedent that the rights of the individual can be violated whenever the local city council decides that the "public good" demands it.

Ayn Rand described the effect of this two-pronged assault on liberty: "The conservatives see man as a body freely roaming the earth, building sand piles or factories--with an electronic computer inside his skull, controlled from Washington.

The liberals see man as a soul free-wheeling to the farthest reaches of the universe but wearing chains from nose to toes when he crosses the street to buy a loaf of bread," or, today, when he crosses the street to buy a cigarette.

It doesn't take a new statistical study to show that such an attack on freedom is inimical to human life. No crusade to purge our air of any whiff of tobacco smoke can take precedence over a much more important human requirement: the need for the unbreached protection of individual rights.

Robert Tracinski is a senior editor at the Ayn Rand Institute in Irvine, California.

Send a Letter to the Editor about this commentary.


Friday, October 17, 2003

Don't expand smoking ban, says Indiana LP



The New York Times may think every city in Indiana should follow Bloomington's lead and ban smoking in all public places -- but Libertarians disagree.

"The last thing Indiana cities should do is to copy Bloomington's lead," said Indiana LP Executive Director Brad Klopfenstein. "It's not the government's job to set cultural norms."

His comments came after a September 30 article in the New York Times quoted a health official who said, "One way to start changing cultural norms on smoking is to institute new [smoking] policies."

The official also applauded Bloomington's comprehensive ban, which made it a crime to smoke in all public areas and workplaces, including restaurants, retail stores, and offices. That ban went into effect on August 1, 2003.

But Klopfenstein said it shouldn't be the government's business to ban things just because they are "maligned" by a certain percentage of the population.

"Maybe these cities ought to ban coffee," he said, tongue-in-cheek. "It stains teeth a nasty shade, the smell will not stay confined to the cup, it causes bad breath, and caffeine is a health menace."

Rather than relying on more laws, said Klopfenstein, individual businesses should be allowed to decide if they will permit smoking on their premises.

"Libertarians have no problem with businesses that decide that they will not allow smoking," he said. "[Then], smokers and nonsmokers can decide for themselves whether businesses' specific smoking policies matter enough to patronize one business and avoid another."


Libertarian Party on Smoking bans


FORCES OKLAHOMA BLOG



Creditwrench website


Creditwrench blog


Creditwrench Discussion Forum


Sunday, August 17, 2003

Forces Oklahoma


AND

Smoker's Rights of Oklahoma's


monthly meetings
are now being held at
Al's BBQ
44 S.W. 44th St
Oklahoma City, Ok.

Meetings start at 7:00 P.M. but most of us are there by around 6:30 so we can enjoy a great supper from Al's BBQ menus.
Click here for a complete set of street maps to Al's BBQ Restaurant.

Our Smoker's Rights Picnic will be held in the North pavillon at Will Roger's park at 36th & North Portland in Oklahoma. The festivities will start at 1:00 P.M. and will last until 4:00 P.M. Won't you join us there?

And here is the map to our Smoker's Rights Picnic.


Smoker's Rights Picnic Map


Saturday, August 16, 2003

htt

Monday, June 30, 2003

Hello to all Does anyone know when the senate bill S. 1177 will
be voted on ?

Richard Faller Smokes for &9.95 a carton http://www.lowcostsmokes.com




From: RAYNAGEOTTE DelphiPlusMember Icon Jun-19 11:14 am To: TITAN112
DelphiPlusMember Icon (2 of 11) 791.2 in reply to 791.1 You may want
to read about this proposed federal ban on internet sales of cigarettes
by going to the New York city website called C.L.A.S.H. (Citizens
Lobbying Against Smokers Harassment). Click on to www.nycclash.com



Read the ACTION ALERT articles also about the internet sale of cigarettes
in NY and how the governor himself (a rumor? )would rather be relieved
of this law and wants you to call his office and object to this legislation.
Call 518-474-8390 and say "I object to public health law 1399-11."


However, I did not find when this new bill S.1177. will be voted
on. We must act now before S1177 is considered by the full Judiciary
Committee!

Ray Nageotte Referral Member # 1941



From: RUSSRAMAN DelphiPlusMember Icon Jun-19 3:19 pm To: RAYNAGEOTTE
DelphiPlusMember Icon (3 of 11) 791.3 in reply to 791.2 Anyone opposed
to the passage of S. 1177 should write their Senators and express
their opinions. Here's a sample letter you could use:

Tell your Senator:



"I am an adult smoker and I vote. A bill has been introduced in the
Senate, S. 1177, which would end my ability to purchase the cigarette
brand of my choice over the Internet. I urge you to vote against
S. 1177. This bill interferes with my rights as a consumer to purchase
legal products on the Internet. I'll be watching how you vote, so
I can decide how I will vote."



(A bill has been introduced in the U.S. Senate that will prevent
you from purchasing the cigarette brand of your choice over the Internet.
If you live in the states of Arizona, Utah, Iowa, Pennsylvania, Ohio,
Alabama, South Carolina, Idaho, Georgia, Texas, Vermont, Massachusetts,
Delaware, Wisconsin, California, New York, Illinois or North Carolina,
it is vitally important that you write, call, e-mail or fax your
Senator or Senators, urging them to vote against S. 1177.

Tell these Senators you are an adult consumer, and should be able
to purchase the brand of your choice, the same way you can purchase
other legal products over the Internet.)



From: Ron Robinson (AFE1199) DelphiPlusMember Icon Jun-20 1:10 am
To: RUSSRAMAN DelphiPlusMember Icon unread (4 of 11) 791.4 in reply
to 791.3 I really wish I could believe that petitioning the traitors
running this little horse and pony show ensconced on Pennsylvania
Avenue would do a lick of good. But I will tell you that from personal
experience, I know better. I trust criminals more than I trust this
government. Sometimes criminals will give you a fighting chance and
play fair. Sometimes they have consciences.



I would like to think that if their actions are unconstitutional
we could do something about it. But some haven’t noticed that the
Constitution has been thrown out the window, and the Republic shoved
aside; aided by an incestuously corrupt judicial system with Captain
Hatchet at the helm of this sinking ship. May prosperity forget he
was every one of our countrymen. The thing is, most people remain
unaware that this is so because they simply do not know the truth
- what lies beyond the myths. Your democratic elected servants are
not going to tell you either.



If we want to restore our freedom, it is vital that We The People
join together, with union, and develop effective strategies to deal
with the forced backed authority that threatens our republic. The
nation, as a whole, is running away from the constitution. If we
want to restore our republic, and re-establish our freedom, then
we must eliminate the parasitical elite's financial power base.

|

Out of respect for the private property of the owners of this discussion
board, and respect for this business, I will bite my tongue; which
is not an easy thing for me to do right now!



"But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably
the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism,
it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government,
and to provide new Guards for their future security." The Declaration
of Independence In Congress, July 4, 1776.

If there are any here wishing to strike the root, please feel free
to drop me a line and I would be happy to share the knowledge I have
gained. In fact, I consider it to be my duty. If you were upset about
the usurpation on your tobacco purchases, you are probably going
to go ballistic!



The cat is out of the bag, the excrement has struck the air-propulsion
unit, and I WILL NOT sit on my hands waiting to be hit by the fallout!


Ron Robinson #9747 americanfree44@hotmail.com



From: Ron Robinson (AFE1199) DelphiPlusMember Icon Jun-20 3:51 am
To: Ron Robinson (AFE1199) DelphiPlusMember Icon (5 of 11) 791.5
in reply to 791.4 By Leander Kahney

1:56 AM Jun. 19, 2003 PT



Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) suggested Tuesday that people who download
copyright materials from the Internet should have their computers
automatically destroyed.

But Hatch himself is using unlicensed software on his official website,
which presumably would qualify his computer to be smoked by the system
he proposes.

The senator's site makes extensive use of a JavaScript menu system
developed by Milonic Solutions, a software company based in the United
Kingdom. The

copyright-protected code has not been licensed for use on Hatch's
website.



"It's an unlicensed copy," said Andy Woolley, who runs Milonic. "It's
very unfortunate for him because of those comments he made." Hatch
on Tuesday surprised a Senate hearing on copyright issues with the
suggestion that technology should be developed to remotely destroy
the computers of people who illegally download music from the Net.
|



Hatch said damaging someone's computer "may be the only way you can
teach somebody about copyrights," the Associated Press reported.
He then suggested the technology would twice warn a computer user
about illegal online behavior, "then destroy their computer."



Any such technology would be in violation of federal antihacking
laws. The senator, who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, suggested
Congress would have to make copyright holders exempt from current
laws for them to legally destroy people's computers.



On Wednesday, Hatch clarified his comments, but stuck by the original
idea. "I do not favor extreme remedies -- unless no moderate remedies
can be found," he said in a statement. "I asked the interested industries
to help us find those moderate remedies."

Just as well. Because if Hatch's terminator system embraced software
as well as music, his servers would be targeted for destruction.


Milonic Solutions' JavaScript code used on Hatch's website costs
$900 for a site-wide license. It is free for personal or nonprofit
use, which the senator likely qualifies for.

However, the software's license stipulates that the user must register
the software to receive a licensing code, and provide a link in the
source code to Milonic's website.

On Wednesday, the senator's site met none of Milonic's licensing
terms. The site's source code (which can be seen by selecting Source
under the View menu in Internet Explorer) had neither a link to Milonic's
site nor a registration code.

However, by Thursday afternoon Hatch's site had been updated to contain
some of the requisite copyright information. An old version of the
page can be seen by viewing Google's cache of the site.



"They're using our code," Woolley said Wednesday. "We've had no contact
with them. They are in breach of our licensing terms." When contacted
Thursday, Woolley said the company that maintains the senator's site
had e-mailed Milonic to begin the registration process. Woolley said
the code added to Hatch's site after the issue came to light met
some -- but not all -- of Milonic's licensing requirements. Before
the site was updated, the source code on Hatch's site contained the
line: "* i am the license for the menu (duh) *"



Woolley said he had no idea where the line came from -- it has nothing
to do with him, and he hadn't seen it on other websites that use
his menu system.

"It looks like it's trying to cover something up, as though they
got a license," he said.



A spokesman in Hatch's office on Wednesday responded, "That's ironic"
before declining to put Wired News in contact with the site's webmaster.
He deferred comment on the senator's statement to the Senate Judiciary
Committee, which did not return calls.

The apparent violation was discovered by Laurence Simon, an unemployed
system administrator from Houston, who was poking around Hatch's
site after becoming outraged by his comments.



Milonic's Woolley said the senator's unlicensed use of his software
was just "the tip of the iceberg." He said he knows of at least two
other senators using unlicensed copies of his software, and many
big companies.

Continental Airlines, for example, one of the largest airlines in
the United States, uses Woolley's system throughout its Continental.com
website. Woolley said the airline has not paid for the software.
Worse, the copyright notices in the source code have been removed.


"That really pisses me off," he said. A spokesman for Continental
said the airline would look into the matter.

Woolley makes his living from his software. Like a lot of independent
programmers, he struggles to get people to conform to his licensing
terms, let alone pay for his software.



"We don't want blood," he said. "We just want payment for the hard
work we do. We work very, very hard. If they're not prepared to pay,
they're software pirates."





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From: Cozette (COZETTE3) DelphiPlusMember Icon Jun-20 11:12 am To:
RAYNAGEOTTE DelphiPlusMember Icon (6 of 11) 791.6 in reply to 791.2
I agree with Ron that our petitions will probably not do any good.
Especially with just an email. Mail, fax and telephone calls are
much more effective. However there are many of us that can't do it
that way for one reason or the other. May I suggest that those of
us that aren't from the states mentioned in our alert use the following
method to write these dumb bunnies? That will at least alert them
that people in other states are also interested in the outcome of
this outrage. And as a former Texican, I'd like to apologize for
the stupidity of Senator Comyn.



Dear Senator ------:



I am writing you to urge you to vote against a bill currently pending
in the Senate, S.1177. This bill, once again, singles out smokers
and imposes what are clearly unconstitutional restrictions on our
freedom as consumers to purchase legal products in the same way we
can purchase any other legal product.

For too long we have allowed the government to impose clearly unfair
legal burdens on us. I, for one, am tired of it, and intend to watch
how you vote, so I can urge all my friends in {state} to vote accordingly.


Sincerely, Cozette # 329



From: RAYNAGEOTTE DelphiPlusMember Icon Jun-23 8:21 am To: Cozette
(COZETTE3) DelphiPlusMember Icon unread (7 of 11) 791.7 in reply
to 791.6



I agree that by telephone, fax machine, or by hand writing a letter
of protest about S1177 and sending direct using a 37 cent stamp is
more personal and effective than an E-Mail in this case. I have collected
many letters from my bowling league and bingo and bar friends who
I gave a pre-printed letter to fill in their name and adresse and
sign who oppose this bill. I mail several of their letters at one
time to my Senator so I know they will get to him.



Remember, it does not matter if your state is mentioned in this proposed
federal bill or not, for once this bill passes and becomes FEDERAL
it will automatically apply to ALL the states in the U.S.

Correct me if I am wrong, but OT-Direct customers everywhere and
other freedom loving internet shoppers should be aware of this bill
number S1177 and take action to stop it by contacting their own state
Senator and by telling their friends even if they DO NOT use the
internet for smokes!

Sincerly; Ray Nageotte #1941



From: William O. Walls Jr (HD8980) DelphiPlusMember Icon Jun-23 6:33
pm To: RAYNAGEOTTE DelphiPlusMember Icon (8 of 11) 791.8 in reply
to 791.7 that's right first smokes then everything else. If the government
can make money on it they will go after it tooth and nail and drain
every internet entripeneur out there no matter what they sell!!

Bill Walls www.otdirect.com?17701 www.billsonlinegifts.itctv.com
http://ld.net?hd8980



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From: smokes4u DelphiPlusMember Icon Jun-24 1:41 pm To: William O.
Walls Jr (HD8980) DelphiPlusMember Icon (9 of 11) 791.9 in reply
to 791.8 Hi All,

Here is a great letter written by one of my downline.

Art Broecker ***************



Dear Senator:

I am writing you to urge you to vote against a bill currently pending
in the Senate, S.1177. This bill, once again, singles out smokers
like me and imposes what are clearly unconstitutional restrictions
on my freedom as a consumer to purchase legal products in the same
way I can purchase any other legal product. I'm also handicapped!!!
I don't drive!!! Life is so hard and now it's going to be nearly
impossible to continue the one habit I have which brings any sense
of normality to my extremely complicated existence.

For too long we smokers have allowed the government to impose clearly
unfair legal burdens on us. I, for one, am tired of it, and intend
to watch how you vote, so I can vote accordingly. After all, what
country do we live in may I ask??? I bring to this society, not take!!!
Jennifer Colledge (631)344-7300 Brookhaven National Laboratory Collider-Accelerator
Department Communications and Electronic Systems CADCES Building
923



From: RAYNAGEOTTE DelphiPlusMember Icon Jun-26 1:04 pm To: smokes4u
DelphiPlusMember Icon (10 of 11) 791.10 in reply to 791.9 Anyone
can read the actual bill #S1177 by clicking on http://www.theorator.com/bills108/s1177.html
Also, check out www.freedomofchoice.org The Advocacy For Smokers
Rights website operated by smokers for smokers.

Ray Nageotte #1941



From: JeanFL (JEANFFL) DelphiPlusMember Icon Jun-28 8:20 pm To: Cozette
(COZETTE3) DelphiPlusMember Icon unread (11 of 11) 791.11 in reply
to 791.6 Cozette,

I like your idea.

I think every smoker from every state should be alerted on this.
It will effect them all sooner or later. I would suggest sending
the information below to every member in your downline and ask them
to do the same. Also, if you have your own website, you could make
a page with this information on it and blast it to every FFA and
Classified you can find. Search Engines would take too long.



The letter below let's them know that you have friends in their state
that vote also. If this passes it will effect everyone. It won't
matter that your state was not mentioned. Remember when it come to
losing your freedom "Do not ask for Whom the Bell Tolls". "It tolls
for thee".

From Cozettes suggestion: Dear Senator ------: I am writing you to
urge you to vote against a bill currently pending in the Senate,
S.1177. This bill, once again, singles out smokers and imposes what
are clearly unconstitutional restrictions on our freedom as consumers
to purchase legal products in the same way we can purchase any other
legal product. For too long we have allowed the government to impose
clearly unfair legal burdens on us. I, for one, am tired of it, and
intend to watch how you vote, so I can urge all my friends in {state}
to vote accordingly.



Sincerely,

Your Name



Scroll down to Action Allert # 4 for list of Senators and Congressmen
contact info. I think faxing would be preferred. It is a paper record
and much cheaper than mail. http://www.nycclash.com/alerts.html#FedSalesety


Jean Foster Referring Member # 19 www.cigarette-discounts.com http://www.netprofitleads.com/members/jeanffl


"They that give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary
safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." Benjamin Franklin 1759


Edited 6/28/2003 11:25:18 PM ET by JeanFL (JEANFFL)



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Friday, June 20, 2003



A bill has been introduced in the U.S. Senate that will prevent you from purchasing the cigarette brand of your choice over the Internet. If you live in the states of Arizona, Utah, Iowa, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Alabama, South Carolina, Idaho, Georgia, Texas, Vermont, Massachusetts, Delaware, Wisconsin, California, New York, Illinois or North Carolina, it is vitally important that you write, call, e-mail or fax your Senator or Senators, urging them to vote against S. 1177.


Tell these Senators you are an adult consumer, and should be able to purchase the brand of your choice, the same way you can purchase other legal products over the Internet.


A suggested letter would read:



Dear Senator:


I am writing you to urge you to vote against a bill currently pending in the Senate, S.1177. This bill, once again, singles out smokers like me and imposes what are clearly unconstitutional restrictions on my freedom as a consumer to purchase legal products in the same way I can purchase any other legal product.


For too long we smokers have allowed the government to impose clearly unfair legal burdens on us. I, for one, am tired of it, and intend to watch how you vote, so I can vote accordingly.

Sincerely,



Click Here to download a pdf of this letter.



Contact information for these Senators is provided below:



Arizona:


Senator Jon L. Kyl
SH-730 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510-0304
Tel: 202-224-4521
Fax: 202-224-2207
http://kyl.senate.gov/con_form.htm



Wisconsin:


Senator Herb Kohl
SH-330 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510-4903
Tel: 202-224-5653
Fax: 202-224-9787
senator_kohl@kohl.senate.gov


Senator Russell D. Feingold
SH-506 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510-4904
Tel: 202-224-5323
Fax: 202-224-2725
russ_feingold@feingold.senate.gov



Iowa:


Senator Charles E. Grassley
SH-135 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510-1501
Tel: 202-224-3744
Fax: 202-224-6020
http://grassley.senate.gov/webform.htm



Utah:


Senator Orrin Hatch
SH-104 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510-4402
Tel: 202-224-5251
Fax: 202-224-6331
http://www.senate.gov/~hatch/index.cfm?FuseAction=Offices.Contact



South Carolina:


Senator Lindsey Graham
Senate Russell Courtyard 1
Washington, DC 20510
Tel: 202-224-5972
Fax: 202-224-3808
http://lgraham.senate.gov/email/email.htm



New York:


Senator Charles E. Schumer
SH-313 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Tel: 202-224-6542
Fax: 202-228-3027
http://schumer.senate.gov/webform.html



Alabama:


Senator Jeff Sessions
SR-493 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510-0104
Tel: 202-224-4124
Fax: 202-224-3149
senator@sessions.senate.gov



Pennsylvania:


Senator Arlen Specter
SH-711 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510-3802
Tel: 202-224-4254
Fax: 202-228-1229
arlen_specter@specter.senate.gov



Vermont:


Senator Patrick J. Leahy
SR-4333 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510-4502
Tel: 202-224-4242
Fax: 202-224-3479
senator_leahy@leahy.senate.gov



Massachusetts:


Senator Edward M. Kennedy
SR-317 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510-2101
Tel: 202-224-4543
Fax: 202-224-2417
senator@kennedy.senate.gov



Illinois:


Senator Richard J. Durbin
SD-332 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510-1304
Tel: 202-224-2152
Fax: 202-228-0400
dick@durbin.senate.gov



North Carolina:


Senator John Edwards
SD-225 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510-3306
Tel: 202-224-3154
Fax: 202-228-1374
http://edwards.senate.gov/mailform.html



Texas:


Senator John Cornyn
Senate Russell Courtyard 5
Washington, DC 20510
Tel: 202-224-2934
Fax: 202-228-2856
Senator John Cornyn


Idaho:


Senator Larry E. Craig
SH-520 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510-1203
Tel: 202-224-2752
Fax: 202-228-1067
http://craig.senate.gov/webform.html


Georgia:


Senator Saxby Chambliss
Senate Russell Courtyard 2
Washington, DC 20510
Tel: 202-224-3521
Fax: 202-224-0072
saxby_chambliss@chambliss.senate.gov


Ohio:


Senator Mike DeWine
SR-140 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510-3503
Tel: 202-224-2315
Fax: 202-224-6519
http://dewine.senate.gov/request_form.htm


California:


Senator Dianne Feinstein
SH-331 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510-0504
Tel: 202-224-3841
Fax: 202-228-3954
http://feinstein.senate.gov/email.html


Delaware:


Senator Joseph R. Biden, Jr.
SR-221 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510-0802
Tel: 202-224-5042
Fax: 202-224-0139
senator@biden.senate.gov



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Monday, June 02, 2003

NJ Becoming Smokers' Home Away From Home

Jun 2, 2003 6:42 am US/Eastern
(1010 WINS) NEW YORK The citywide smoking ban has not driven people who enjoyed a smoke in local bars to quit smoking it's just driven them across the Hudson River.

Here is the link to the story



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Thursday, May 22, 2003

Feds seize smokes at tribal shops



Privacy By Jonathan Martin
Seattle Times staff reporter
May 23, 2003


Federal agents raided tribal smoke shops across Washington and Idaho yesterday, reopening a lingering dispute over the taxation of cigarettes sold on Indian reservations.



The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, with help from state investigators, descended on three stores licensed by the Puyallup Tribe of Indians simultaneously with raids on Eastern Washington and North Idaho reservations. Agents used sealed search warrants that were issued by a U.S. District judge in Spokane, according to tribal officials.



Agents seized boxes of cigarettes from one smoke shop on the Puyallup reservation but made no arrests there, said tribal spokesman John Weymer.



The U.S. Attorney in Spokane, James McDevitt, would say only that 12 search warrants were served at locations in Washington and Idaho. "We don't talk about ongoing investigations. It's not fair to the people involved," he said. It was unclear how many cigarette cartons were seized in the coordinated raids...



Most tribal smoke shops don't charge state taxes ??$1.42 per pack, plus an 8 percent sales tax ??claiming they are exempt and citing their tribes' sovereign rights as independent nations. Washington officials say the cut-rate cigarettes give tribal businesses an unfair advantage over nontribal businesses, and cost the state tens of millions of dollars a year in lost tax revenue.



State and federal agents similarly raided Puyallup tribal smoke shops four years ago and last year seized 3,200 cartons from a United Parcel Service terminal that were destined for area reservations.



At least one tribe, the Squaxin Island Tribe, collects the taxes but keeps the revenue for tribal services. Several tribes, including the Puyallups, have been negotiating with Gov. Gary Locke for compacts that would end the tax dispute.



The raids yesterday won't affect those negotiations, the tribal council said in a news release.



"The tribe regrets that the federal and state governments find it necessary to resort to confrontation and conflict in their dealings with these issues," the council's statement said.



Agents from the Washington State Liquor Control Board helped with the raids, said agency spokeswoman Trisha Currier. The agency teamed up with the ATF three years ago to crack down on cigarette smuggling.



The Puyallup smoke shops are independent businesses licensed by the tribe, and the owners of The Indian Smoke Shop and Lyle's Smoke Shop, which saw two loc ations raided, are cooperating with federal authorities, Weymer said.



The Puyallups are frustrated that the raids occurred despite promising negotiations with the state, he said.



"It's a fine line here that is being crossed," said Weymer. "Our tribal council will probably step up their efforts to resolve these issues, working government to government."



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Monday, May 19, 2003

This is the new home of FORCES OKLAHOMA bringing smoker's rights issues to blogging.



Tabcorp shares fell 16¢ yesterday to $10.35 as the market continued to digest the news that the company expected a full-year profit fall of 1-3 per cent because of a 12.8 per cent slump in gaming revenue resulting from the smoking ban.

An analyst said Thursday's announcement of the weaker profit outlook was worrying to the extent that results had not improved in recent months.

He said that in February, at the half-year announcement, gaming was down but was expected to improve, and it had not.

Tabcorp is fighting the smoking ban by establishing smoking rooms so that gaming patrons do not have to go outside the building, with the cost borne by venue owners.


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