This is interesting, and I’ve never heard of anything quite like this before. Health officials in St. Louis County, Missouri, are using $2 million in federal stimulus dollars to implement a public relations campaign to lobby the county council to impose a more strict smoking ban in the county.
It’s a county agency contacting with a PR firm, using federal money, to lobby its own county council.
That’s gotta drive libertarians insane. And it’s a lot of money — $2 million. I guess I wouldn’t find it so weird if it were a lot smaller dollar amount. What are they really going to spend $2 million on?
St. Louis County currently has a restaurant smoking ban, with exemptions for standalone bars and casinos. The county health agency will lobby for a comprehensive ban.
I see my old friend Bill Hannegan quoted in this story. He is a noted (and very busy) activist from the St. Louis area against smoking bans — one of the sane ones, though I rarely come remotely close to agreeing with him. I grudgingly have to agree with him on this one, though, this is really kind of an odd story.