Rep. Anna Blodgett, D-Augusta, has proposed L.D. 1230 to Sen. Earl McCormick, R-West Gardiner, chairman of the Health and Human Services committee, which will prohibit smoking inside private clubs unless they construct a special hermetically sealed room.

Without substantial budgets, these clubs will be forced to go non-smoking. This will diminish the number of contributing members (the majority of whom smoke) who run the organizations, coordinate fundraisers, promote Americanism and personally donate considerable time, money and resources to many charities.

Private organizations such as the Eagles, Elks, Kiwanis, Knights, American Legion, Masons and others contributes hundreds of thousands of dollars and man-hours each year to the veterans programs, food banks, medical research, youth programs and more. We assume obligations and pay annual dues to be members of a private organization.

Each of these organizations have multiple locations; some voted to allow smoking, others voted to prohibit it. But the choice is ours. A confidential vote is held every three years, and if a single person disagrees with the organization allowing smoking, it goes non-smoking. During public functions, the entire building goes non-smoking.

The government taxed smokers to the tune of $137.8 million last year, but apparently that isn’t enough for them. This proposal takes away self-governance in our private lives. Fabricating laws like this denies us our democratic process and effectively creates a fascist mandate.

We are all adults. We don’t need Big Brother arrogantly declaring what is best for us. Dictating our behavior in private without allowing us to be part of the decision-making is radical, authoritarian nationalist politics — in short, fascism.

When the rights and freedoms of law-abiding, community-supporting members are trampled in this manner, it begs the question: Where will they invade next?

Sophia Truman


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