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Monday, July 14, 2008

Iowa Politics Alert: Smoke ban hits council chambers over parks, golf courses and liquor licenses

Excerpted from this post at Iowa Politics Alert

Any small town Iowa city hall reporter knows that when council members
get to the routine liquor license renewals it is the rubber stamp of
all rubber stamps. All "aye" and on to the next item. Not so in
Clinton -- which seems to be something of a front line in a brewing
war over the Iowa smoking ban, with a local bar organization joining a
lawsuit to challenge the new law and several bars reportedly violating
it to keep angry customers from walking out the doors after half a
beer. At a recent city council meeting in Clinton one councilman used
a liquor-license renewal request for a bar, Paul's Tap, to report the
establishment for an alleged violation of the smoking ban the
councilman said he witnessed. The liquor license was approved but the
debate highlighted confusion over the ban and local government's role
in enforcing it.

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Mike Schramm
Andy Szal

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