A group’s been formed to try to unseat legislators who backed a statewide smoking ban. Members in the Iowa Bar Owners Coalition are upset with the state law that goes into effect tomorrow which prohibits smoking in public places, including bars.
Brian Froehlich says the Iowa Bar Owners Coalition is backing candidates who oppose the smoking ban, hoping once elected those candidates will repeal the law. “This battle’s going to go on,” Froehlich says. “Now, is it unfortunate that I could not get my brothers and sisters out there to get to the capitol and lobby against this (this past spring when the law passed)? Yes. Is it more difficult now that it is a law? Yes, but I don’t think it’s impossible.”
At least three Democrats in the House who voted for the smoking ban have Republican opponents in the fall election who are running solely on this issue. Froehlich, who is spearheading the effort to unseat Democrats and Republicans who voted for the smoking ban, owns a bar in Wilton. “I am the social hub of this little town,” Froehlich says, “and I’ve had my people who are dedicated and loyal say if they can’t smoke, they’ll stay home.”
Froehlich’s establishment is called “Fro’s Pub and Grub” and he’s estimating a dip in profits once the smoking ban goes into effect. “Is that fair to me to take a 12 to 16 percent hit on my business?…I’m very new so, I mean, I still owe a lot of money, ” Froehlich says, “so for me to take that kind of hit, I won’t last.”
The man in charge of keeping Democrats in control of the Iowa House says he’s not worried the smoking ban will hurt Democrats at the polls. House Speaker Pat Murphy, a Democrat from Dubuque, says smokers may be angry at first, but he expects them to adjust within a few months. “I think this is one of those laws that will be very similar to the Seatbelt Law back in the 1980s when everybody said, ‘This is ridiculous. Government’s going to tell us that we have to wear a seatbelt in a car?'” Murphy says. “Now, it’s generally accepted that most people — not all — but most people wear their seatbelts.”
The Republican leaders in both the House and Senate voted against the smoking ban. You can find a list of how legislators voted on the smoking ban below.
When the final version of the bill passed the House, the following 45 Democrats voted for it: Abdul-Samad, Bell, Berry, Bukta, Cohoon, Dandekar, Davitt, Foege, Ford, Frevert, Gaskill, Gayman, Heddens, Hunter, Jacoby, Jochum, Kelley, Kressig, Kuhn, Lensing, Mascher, McCarthy, H. Miller, Murphy, Oldson, D. Olson, R. Olson, T. Olson, Palmer, Petersen, Reasoner, Reichert, Shomshor, Smith, Staed, Swaim, D. Taylor, T. Taylor, Wendt, Wessel-Kroeschell, Whitaker, Whitead, Winckler, Wise, Zirkelbach.
The following nine House Republicans voted yes: Anderson, Baudler, Clute, Jacobs, May, Rayhons, Schickel, Tomenga, Wiencek.
As for House members who voted no, eight were the following Democrats: Bailey, Huser, Lykam, Mertz, Quirk, Schueller, Thomas, Wenthe and 37 no votes came from the following Republicans: Alons, Arnold, Boal, Chambers, De Boef, Deyoe, Dolecheck, Drake, Forristall, Gipp, Granzow, Grassley, Greiner, Heaton, Hoffman, Horbach, Huseman, Kaufmann, Lukan, L. Miller, S. Olson, Paulsen, Pettengill, Raecker, Rants, Rasmussen, Roberts, Sands, Soderberg, Struyk, Tjepkes, Tymeson, Van Engelenhoven, Van Fossen, Watts, Windschitl, and Worthan.
When the bill passed the Senate, the following 25 Democrats voted for it: Appel, Beall, Bolkcom, Connolly, Courtney, Danielson, Dearden, Dvorsky, Fraise, Gronstal, Hatch, Hogg, Horn, Kibbie, McCoy, Olive, Quirmbach, Ragan, Rielly, Schmitz, Schoenjahn, Seng, Stewart, Warnstadt, Wood.
The following three Republicans voted yes: Lundby, Noble, Ward.
As for Senators who voted no, five were the following Democrats: Black, Dotzler, Hancock, Heckroth, Kreiman and 17 no votes came from the following Republicans: Angelo, Behn, Boettger, Gaskill, Hahn, Hartsuch, Houser, Johnson, Kettering, McKibben, McKinley, Mulder, Putney, Seymour, Wieck, Zaun, Zieman.