Monday, February 9, 2009

The RPV Stands up for the Free Market and Opposes HB1703

Here is the text of an e-mail sent out by the RPV this afternoon.  It articulates the RPV's opposition to HB 1703.

To Our Republican Members of the General Assembly,

As members of the Executive Committee of the Republican Party of
Virginia, we wish to remind you of the following core tenet of our
Party’s creed: We Believe: That the free enterprise system is the
most productive supplier of human needs and economic justice. We write
to remind you of this key element of our Republican Creed because we
understand that HB 1703 is moving on a fast track to a vote on
Tuesday, and as our duly elected Representatives we urge you to vote
NO. The passage of such legislation is completely antithetical to our
Party’s core free market principles. This not about smoking. This is
about unnecessary government intrusion into the private sector. This
unconscionable encroachment will cost those affected their ability to
operate a free enterprise and further alienate our Republican base.

Because the proponents of the smoking ban cite huge public support
for this type of legislation, we understand one’s inclination to
support it. But you will find the owners and patrons of smoking
establishments will disagree. This legislation will make it difficult,
if not impossible, for many small businesses to operate in Virginia.
As you must know, bar or restaurant owners will be forced to make
expensive renovations to meet the requirements of HB 1703 in order to
offer their patrons a choice. This is another unfunded mandate that
will cut into businesses’ profits. How will you explain the loss of
revenues from successful businesses that fail from their loss of
smoking patrons? Who will enforce this legislation? Where will the
money be found to add the needed bureaucracy? In a struggling economy,
to increase government enforcement and decrease revenue is completely
flawed logic, particularly in an election year.

Consumers already have the ability to decide if they wish to frequent
an establishment based upon whether that establishment does or does
not allow smoking. We urge you to allow the marketplace to influence
private sector activity instead of relying upon heavy-handed,
intrusive government regulation. As members of the General Assembly,
we believe you should be particularly concerned about passing this
bill in an election year. Supporting HB 1703 will discourage and
demoralize the Republican base and confuse those that view us as the
Party of free market principles. Our Gubernatorial nominee understands
our principles and position in regard to the smoking ban, and we
believe you should take heed of his position. Every member should
reconsider their support of this bill, and we are proud of all members
who have already voted no. To allow this legislation to pass will
compromise the integrity of members who have stayed true to Republican
principles and faithfully worked against this legislation.

As a Party we do not need to create a divide between members and the
Republican base by supporting legislation that is inconsistent with
our Party’s core principles. It is our greatest hope that this
legislation will be voted down as to avoid intra-party conflict. Our
goal is a Republican Party united on principles and vision, standing
ready to win in 2009.

Respectfully submitted,

Jeff Fredrick, RPV Chairman

Mike Thomas, 1st Vice- Chair

Kathy Hayden Terry, National Commiteewoman

Kevin Gentry, Eastern Vice Chairman

Juanita Balenger, Eastern Vice Chairwoman

Trixie Averill, Western Vice Chairwoman

Tom Foley, 1st District Chairman

Gary Byler, 2nd District Chairman

Mike Wade, 3rd District Chairman

Jack Wilson, 4th District Chairman

Tucker Watson, 5th District Chairman

Fred Anderson, 6th District Chairman

Lynwood Cobb, 7th District Chairman

Mike Ginsberg, 8th District Chairman

Michelle Jenkins, 9th District Chairman

Becky Steckel, 11th District Chairman

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