Baltimore City Ban's Smoking in Bars, Restaurants

Finally. As a smoker and sometimes libertarian, I have had many long, unresolved arguments over this legislation, and I am glad to finally see it pass if only to end those arguments. Furthermore, from a public health standpoint, the ban really was necessary, and I support it's passage despite my earlier reservations.

While I will miss my after lunch cigarette at the Charles Village Pub on weekends, I will find some way to cope.

What I did find interesting about the bill was the deadlock over it's passage and the apparent work that Mayor Dixon had to put in to end it.
In addition to the maneuvering, the ban also received an important last-minute push by Dixon. Though she had been publicly supportive of the ban for months, several observers said the new mayor -- who often lists health as a major priority of her administration -- made a series of phone calls to members who had abstained on past votes.

"She definitely demonstrated her power," said Frank D. Boston, a lobbyist for the Baltimore Licensed Beverage Association, who said he believed early Monday that he still had a chance of killing the measure. "Before today, I had the votes."
For a Mayor who has such a short tenure before facing an election battle, Dixon made a good move flexing her muscle here. I am still ambivalent about the candidates in the upcoming Mayor's race (besides than my profound distaste for Councilman Mitchell) but Sheila Dixon just scored some points.

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