Weekend Poll and Comment Forum: Merchants’ bans on politicians

Reason‘s Nanny of the Month for August 2011 features something different this month: a ban Reason supports. In Michigan, private tavern owners are banning public legislators over an anti-smoking law they say is killing their businesses. Patronage has plummeted, and the barkeeps have decided to strike back by excluding those who have hurt their taverns’ profits.

Michigan Bar Owners Ban Lawmakers for Banning Smoking! (Nanny of the Month, Aug 2011)

They’re banning pet pigs in St, Charles, Missouri (even small, hypoallergenic ones like Pepper!) and Nice Cream in Illinois (even though it’s packed with natural ingredients and the owner says its bacterial levels are well below state-approved levels!), but neither of those could claim the top slot because – well, this time Nanny of the Month is doing something different…

For the first time ever Nanny of the Month is cheering a ban.

That’s right, starting September 1, more than 500 Michigan restaurant and bar owners are banning state lawmakers from their establishments. State Senator So-and-so wants a brew? Too bad. Politicians won’t be served until they revisit the state’s 2010 smoking ban, which, owners say, has devastated business, and left bars like Sporty O’Tooles on the verge of collapse.

What do you think? Do you support a merchant action like this? Merchants may lawfully prohibit certain potential customers, so long as they do not run afoul of anti-discrimination statutes (this ban on anti-smoking legislators would be legal).

Although efforts like this can backfire, I’d support a tavern-owners’ ban on anti-smoking politicians (even though I don’t smoke). It’s a good idea, now and gain, to remind legislators’ that their actions have consequences for common people, and that as politicians they aren’t immune from diverse consequences of their legislation, either.

Comments will be moderated against profanity and trolls; otherwise have at it. This post will be open until Sunday morning.

5 thoughts on “Weekend Poll and Comment Forum: Merchants’ bans on politicians

  1. I have no problem with this, as I boycott businesses in both Whitewater, and throughout the State, that supported Walker: no more local Citgo gas, Johnsonville brats, Blain’s, et al.

  2. This was a big topic in Madison, when people thought that a restaurant had turned Scott Walker away during the union-busting battle. (It really hadn’t.) Any restaurant should be allowed to refuse a politician with whom they disagree.

    I’m ‘yes’ on this, even though I support the smoking ban we have in Wisconsin.

  3. This is a bad idea. What if everyone starts banning customers? Imagine trying to figure out which stores allowed you in and which wouldn’t It would be chaos. People would need a check list just to know where it was safe to shop.

  4. this won’t happen very much since it’s not like most stores care enough to ban people they probably don’t know anyway

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