2011/2/15 KMOV TV: “Missouri lawmakers called ‘hypocritical’ for allowing smoking in House”

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:

KMOV anchors Vickie Newton & Larry Connors

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.

Rossie Judd being interviewed by reporter Maggie Crane

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.

Close-up of Rossie Judd's inhaler

         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.

Reporter Maggie Crane interviewing Rep. Darrell Pollack in his House office

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, chair of the Committee on Utilities, but not in the Republican leadership

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.

Reporter Maggie Crane outside door leading from House chamber to private Member's Lounge

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 being interviewed in Capitol

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:

4 responses to “2011/2/15 KMOV TV: “Missouri lawmakers called ‘hypocritical’ for allowing smoking in House”

  1. On Tuesday the Capital was supposed to respond to the Rossie’s lawsuit… right? Did they?

    I can’t imagine it will take long before they make the Capital smoke free. This seems like a no-brainer.

  2. So many folks involved with the smoke-free cause are in denial about the real health issues they face. They need to stop worrying about occasional puffs of smoke and make a real effort to lay off the groceries. If they did so, their overall health would soon greatly improve, including their ability to breathe in every environment.

  3. I agree that the lawmakers should be held to the same laws as everyone else, but, as MoGasp knows, I believe smoking bans in businesses/offices should be left up to the owners and occupiers of those businesses/offices.

    If someone were deathly allergic to roses or cats and a lawmaker wanted to have roses on his desk or his kitty in his office, should it be illegal? I think most reasonable people who wanted to see their congressperson would, simply ask to meet with them in a more allergen-free setting… not start pushing for a law forbidding roses and cats.

    I know MoGasp feels smoke sensitivities are more commonly severe, but if that were truly the case then why weren’t there thousands of juries ending their deliberations disastrously from the 1930s through the ‘80s when smoking was almost universally allowed in jury rooms? If someone tried to claim smoke allergy as a jury excuse in those years they might have ended up in jail.

    How many were jailed in those years for such a thing?


    mogasp character count = 993!

  4. Keep up the pressure until all nicotine addicts are held accountable for the poison they spread into the air we all need to breathe.

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