Last week the Louisville Metro City Council voted to ban smoking in all public buildings, including bars; effective July 1, 2007.
Oh, did I say all buildings? I meant 'All buildings except Churchill Downs.' Yes, the racetrack has an exemption. The only exemption.
I'm no lawyer, but in my opinion that exemption will ensure that this city ordinance will NEVER go into effect. If you own a bar in Louisville and you think this ban will hurt your business, you're going to sue to get it repealed. I don't see how this ban can hold up in court if Churchill Downs doesn't have to play by the same rules as a neighborhood bar.
There is already a ban on smoking in restaurants, and I totally support it. However, I think smoking should be allowed in bars and bowling alleys. Smoking and eating don't go together; smoking and drinking do. Some whiny citizens have been quoted in the newspaper saying "We can't go to bars because of the smoke." Come on, in most bars on a Saturday night at 3am, smoke is the least of your worries.
This city is notorious for passing ordinances that are quickly overturned by judges who *gasp* actually know the law. Every few years they try to shut down all of the strip clubs by passing some crazy ass new "rules", like the dancers have to wear arctic expedition parkas or they can only serve fifty dollar diet Shasta or any patron who gets an erection is subject to the death penalty; stuff that is so asinine it usually earns the city's lawyer a public lecture from a jaded judge.
Of course, it's all horseshit. These ordinances aren't passed to actually change anything. They're passed so city councilmen can say "Hey, we tried to ban smoking and titty bars, but those wacky judges threw it out." They'll always vote for a titty bar ban, because who wants to run for reelection as a champion of adult entertainment?
I'm glad these dog and pony shows and empty posturing are fully funded by the taxpayers. That makes me feel a lot better.