A Republican member of the House was left fumbling for words to defend smoking in House member’s offices when interviewed by reporter Maggie Crane in this recent KMOV News Channel 4 TV report.
Some good quotes by both asthmatic Rossie Judd and Rep. Jeanette Mott Oxford, also an asthmatic, have been bolded in the transcript below, which also includes screen shots.
Missouri lawmakers called ‘hypocritical’ for allowing smoking in House
Posted on February 15, 2011 at 9:24 PM
Updated Tuesday, Feb 15 at 10:36 PM
KMOV News Channel 4 – Anchor Larry Connners and co-anchor Vickie Newton in the studio:Larry Connners: In other news tonight, one woman taking on Big Government, and losing. Missouri lawmakers are firing back at a Fenton woman who wants the Capitol to go smoke-free.
Vickie Newton: We first told you about her complaint, filed under the Americans with Disabilities Act, two weeks ago. Well tonight, News 4’s Maggie Crane went to the Capitol to find out why lawmakers refuse to budge.
Rossie Judd (being interviewed by reporter Maggie Crane in a parking lot):
“Wherever I go it’s just the right to breathe. It’s just like somebody having the right to work.“
Maggie Crane (off camera): Wherever she goes, Rossie Judd carries an inhaler and says smoking allowed inside the state Capitol stops her from visiting because of chronic breathing problems.
She filed a complaint hoping to ban smoking in the statehouse once and for all.
But the House says there are plenty of nonsmoking areas, like hallways, rotundas, and meeting rooms.
But not inside lawmakers’ offices, and the House refuses to change.
Republican Rep. Darrell Pollack voted down the smoking ban. He doesn’t smoke, but says it’s a matter of personal choice.
Maggie Crane (interviewing Rep. Darrell Pollack in his Capitol office): “All Missouri state buildings are smoke-free. Why should the Capitol be different?“
Rep. Darrell Pollack: “Well, um, again, I think if you have individual offices they are, er, that Representative can be held accountable one way or the other. And I don’t have to tell him whether or not he can or cannot do in that office.”
Rossie Judd (being interviewed in parking lot): “They’re not private offices, they belong to the public. We put them in there; we pay them salaries.”
Maggie Crane: “For the first time in history Representatives voted as one — unanimously approving the House rules. With it came a change to not allow smoking in the House Lounge just behind the chamber. Still — not good enough for some.”
Rep. Jeanette Mott-Oxford: “There aren’t Republican lungs and Democrat lungs. There are only human lungs, and all of us are in danger from second-hand smoke.”
Maggie Crane (off-camera): St. Louis Democrat Jeanette Mott-Oxford says the air is shared, subjecting anyone in the Capitol to other lawmakers’ smoke.
Maggie Crane (interviewing Rep. Oxford in state Capitol): “Do you think this sends a message that lawmakers are above the law?”
Rep. Oxford: “Unfortunately, I do. I think it’s hypocritical of us to, um, have rules for others that we don’t put ourselves under.”
Maggie Crane: “She hopes for change, but knows that, like any law, it won’t happen overnight. In Jefferson City, Maggie Crane, News 4.”
Following goes to KMOV Channel 4 web page with story:
Following goes directly to KMOV Channel 4 video report: