Thursday, December 6, 2007

Supervisor Peggy West: Dim bulb, corrupt politician or both?

Milwaukee County Supervisor Peggy West is the latest Darwin award candidate for her bizarre comments to the Milwaukee County Board's Transportation Committee which is considering a proposal from County Executive Scott Walker (hardly a fan of big government) to ditch the smoking lounge at Mitchell Field.

According to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel: "Supervisor Peggy West, who is not a member of the committee, testified against the measure, saying that abolishing the airport smoking lounge would hurt Milwaukee's ability to attract business."

Where's the data to back that up? Virtually every study of communities and states that enacted smoke free dining shows no loss of business across the board and, in fact, increased business in some communities. That type of moronic comment is ignorant and corrupt.

Then there's another rocket scientist, Kelly Wirth, a Midwest Airlines employee, who presented supervisors with some 2,000 signatures she gathered at the airport lounge in opposition to eliminating the smoking room. She claims smokers would avoid flying through Mitchell if the smoking lounge was cut and try to sneak a smoke in restrooms and stairwells.

Hmmm. Apparently the best care in the air isn't good enough for her and the nicotine nitwits. Let's examine that claim a bit more carefully. Just where would these passengers go? Chicago? Nope. Airports there have been smoke free for years -- and it is enforced. Madison? Hardly. How about South Bend? Not inside the building (but there are two outdoor smoking huts for the truly addicted).

The interesting thing about the tobacco lobby and their surrogate smurfs is that their arguments resemble mirages. At first they might look like something but as you get closer to the facts their logic gets more fuzzy and, when you reach them, it disappears.

Listen up, crybabies. There is no constitutional right to smoke in a public facilility or premises held out to the public. Get over it. And if you want to gripe about it, at least tell the truth.

And, by the way, Supervisor West likes to tout that she's the first Latino elected to the county board (it's on her web page). Given that the tobacco companies target Latinos and other minorities, and minority youth in particular, you'd think she wouldn't be in bed with the tobacco lobby. Either this politician is plain stupid or is willing to sell out her own community.


Anonymous said...

How about neither? It is a sad day in the USA when someone is called a Dim Bulb for wanting people to have the right to choose. Corrupt Politician? - That is laughable. I was lobbied by HUNDREDS of "volunteers" for the American Cancer Society to vote in support of the No Smoking Ban. I did not receive ONE call, email or letter from any member of any Big Tobacco lobbying group. That's zero.

Every adult and most 3-year olds can tell you that smoking is bad for you. It's not about being bad for you. It’s about Milwaukee County having paid for the infrastructure to support people who wish to smoke and also about Milwaukee County having previously worked very hard to make sure that smokers and non-smokers alike were accommodated.

I don't smoke, but as an adult if I want to I am doing it in an environment that is not harming anyone but me and other people who put themselves in that situation (other people sitting in the smoking lounge are there voluntarily). So then, I should feel that elected officials have the right to tell me not to do it? - Especially when it is my tax dollars that built that infrastructure in the first place.

So dim bulb, maybe; corrupt never, and selling out my community? No way! Latinos have the same right to choose as anyone else. Does big tobacco target my community? Absolutely; they also target women, blacks, youth and everyone else in-between. The dozens of counties/states that have defeated smoking bans based on protecting people's right to choose are selling out? That's a really low blow, especially since none of us come next Spring will complain when we are enjoying new services paid for by the people in those communities who buy cigarettes (at a $1 a pack tax increase).

Furthermore, I am happy to share my research with you from the other airports that have gone "Smoke Free". Each of them has stories to tell about the people who break their ordinances to light up in the bathroom or stairwell. I also have an air quality study showing the St. Louis Airport --an airport that has 11 smoking lounges--which show no harmful effects of the smoking lounges to the public. Milwaukee County didn't even do an air quality study before throwing our tax dollars out the window; they just got lobbied by 100 people...which according to you, is corruption?

This ban will not affect business, but what about the next time we are trying to attract a major airline to Milwaukee ?

Smoking has become a political hot button issue, but definitely for some, Milwaukee can be a place where having the choice to smoke could be an option our airport affords to all people.

RAG said...

While the jury may still be out with regard to corruption, ignorance clearly has been established.

"Accomodation" is a buzz-word of the tobacco industry and it boils down to the silly idea of you can have a chlorine free area in a swimming pool. It just doesn't happen and the smoking lounges do not keep the smoke exclusively confined to that room. I've been at STL and I saw how bad it is there.

Dim bulb clearly fits.

Anonymous said...

Dim bulb is right!! She doesn't even know that Arizona borders Mexico!!

Anonymous said...

you were right! Peggy West is not only corrupt, she is just downright stupid.

you are one stupid person.
the people that elected you must be as stupid as you are.
no wonder this country has so many problems.
stay out of our business.

Anonymous said...

Dim bulb is appropriate. She was just caught on camera saying that Arizona is "far removed" from the border of Mexico. Uhhhh..that's pretty dim.

Anonymous said...

Dim bulb indeed! She recently commented that Arizona is "far removed" from the Mexican border. Her website listed Mexican history as one of her hobbies. Ouch! The bulb is out....not dim.