CW Guest Commentary CRA on South Dakota
Taking a Stand
Some places may accept such government action as a ‘done deal.' Not in South Dakota . A coalition was formed under the banner Citizens for Individual Freedom.
Cornerstone members of the group included the Video Lottery Establishments of South Dakota, Deadwood Gaming Association, Licensed Beverage Dealers of South Dakota, DeVitt Gaming Association, and the Music and Vending Association of South Dakota.
To address the action of the Governor and South Dakota legislature, the coalition needed 16,776 signatures to take the matter to a public vote, with bars, taverns, gaming establishments, concerned citizens about property rights and business interests joined in to gather signatures. Volunteers were assembled, and a mission was launched. They stand against 54 allied groups that supported the smoking ban legislation.
The effort is a great example to others. On June 22 they presented over 25,000 signatures to Secretary of State Chris Nelson for verification and placement on the November 2010 statewide ballot. More importantly, however, is that it delays the implementation of the policy passed by the legislature and signed by a Governor. Now that's democracy in action.
Something tells me that Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt and Lincoln are peering down from Mount Rushmore with smiles on their faces. After all, Jefferson said, “The government is best which governs the least.”
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J. Glynn Loope is the Executive Director of the Cigar Rights of America. An avid cigar enthusiast, Glynn brings over twenty years of government relations and public arena involvement to CRA. Although Glynn had carved out a niche in raising government funds for worthwhile public and private sector projects, it was working for the Cigar Association of Virginia that brought him to the world of “the politics of cigars.” Since 2006, Glynn has represented the Cigar Association of Virginia, working with the state’s professional tobacconists in amassing a pro-business coalition to fight intrusive smoking ban legislation.
Glynn also worked as a Legislative Assistant to former members of the Virginia House and Senate, for the University of Virginia’s Center for Public Service, as well as, local and regional government organizations.