IS IT TRUE February 12, 2014 “The Prisoner’s Dilemma”



IS IT TRUE February 12, 2014

IS IT TRUE that the Supreme Court of the State of Indiana has struck down the entire smoking ordinance passed by the Evansville City Council in 2012 for having unequal laws for Evansville based businesses?…the SCOI was very specific and critical of the ordinance for singling out Casino Aztar as a business that could allow smoking but allowing no other place to have smoking areas?…this should have come as no surprise to anyone in Evansville and especially not the City Council who debated this very issue not once but twice?…when a comprehensive smoking ordinance failed to pass by a 5 – 4 vote during the Weinzapfel Administration that 5th vote from current City Council President John Friend was withheld on the basis of unequal treatment?…it was that night that Councilwoman Connie Robinson shocked the gallery by voting in favor of a smoking ban after giving here memorable “I am my brother’s keeper” speech?…had the second vote of the night with a full comprehensive ban been taken as was encouraged and opined by then City Council Attorney Hamilton, it would have withstood the constitutionality test and Evansville would be a fully non-smoking community today?…it seems as though the fallout from this impotent attempt to split the baby will be more than anyone bargained for?

IS IT TRUE there are many businesses in Evansville who believe that they were financially victimized by the willful violation of the constitution perpetrated upon them by the City of Evansville and they have already launched a lawsuit in federal court to recover these damages?…the SCOI basically just became a very powerful witness for this cast of plaintiffs?…the CCO predicts a series of settlements on the horizon?

IS IT TRUE the convention business that the City of Evansville, the County, and the Evansville Convention and Visitors Bureau has been betting their future on according to Indianapolis sources has just been handed a death blow?…multiple publications including the Indianapolis Star, World News, the Indianapolis Business Journal, and even the Evansville Courier have addressed the dire effect that failing to pass a COMPREHENSIVE SMOKING BAN have on the convention business?…this is a quote that is attributed the Indianapolis Convention and Visitors Bureau just after Indianapolis banned public smoking in 2012?

“Not so long ago, Indianapolis was passed over time and again for conventions and corporate meetings despite a massive expansion of the Indiana Convention Center and a new 1,005-room, four-star hotel, as well as a new airport terminal that was the talk of the aviation industry and a colossal, retractable-roof stadium that hosted the 2012 Super Bowl. Why? Air quality. That all changed June 1, 2012, when citywide restrictions against indoor public smoking were expanded to include bowling alleys, hotel rooms, taxi cabs and most bars.”

IS IT TRUE the CCO encourages our readership to burn that statement into their brains for future reference?…a new convention center, an arena, Lucas Oil Field, a 1,005 room 4-Star Marriott, and even a Super Bowl and Final Four did nothing to help Indianapolis attract conventions BUT A SMOKING BAN DID?…one free decision by local government did more for the convention business that over $3 Billion in bricks and mortar did?…this is ominous for the new hotel project?

IS IT TRUE that the Evansville City Council is faced with a classic PRISONER”S DILEMMA when it comes to what to do about a smoking ban?…behind door number one is the choice to do nothing and let the city revert to the 2006 law that provides exemptions for bars, restaurants, clubs, and casinos?…also behind door number one is a DOWNTOWN CONVENTION HOTEL project that is no longer needed because the convention business is toast?…that saves us $20 Million and returns the naming rights for The Centre back to the County?…the hopelessly addicted to boat money City of Evansville will not be blamed for any revenue disruptions to Tropicana if they choose door number one?

IS IT TRUE behind door number two is an expedient vote to approve a comprehensive smoking ban giving hope to the celebrated convention business and providing a perceived need for a downtown convention hotel?…also behind door number two is an angry management team from Tropicana that has seen revenues drop already during the Great Recession and wants nothing to do with further disruptions?

IS IT TRUE the drugs of choice for the addict known as Evansville in recent history have been “boat money” and “construction projects”?…it seems as though the SCOI has put this addict in a position where they will have to choose which drug they prefer?…this will be an interesting conundrum to observe from afar?…maybe the idea of giving the land that Tropicana sits on to the Cherokee and establishing a reservation was worthy of consideration after all?…that solution is the only one that avoids the PRISONER”S DILEMMA?


  1. I predict that it will be insurance actuaries, not spineless politicians, who put the final nail in the coffin of smoking, public or otherwise.


    • I Agree with you….those wanting to go back to smoking in their businesses better call their insurance agents first!

      • The figures for medical costs for tobacco users are misleading. We are led to believe that if everyone stopped smoking tomorrow that the costs you cited there would just disappear. That isn’t true. Those costs would simply be transferred onto whatever other disease ultimately claimed that life.

        For example, lets say a pack a day smoker dies of smoking-related emphysema at age 50… Of course that’s going to be expensive. But considering that same person might have lived another 25 years going through all the usual ailments of old age, probably racking up a stay in a nursing home, perhaps developing Alzheimer’s before finally dying of cancer, the costs may be less for the smoker who died of emphysema, especially if you consider inflation.

        Death is costly no matter the cause. As John Prine said: “If it weren’t so expensive I’d wish I were dead.

        • Brad, I apparently didn’t make myself clear. I wasn’t referring to individual smokers but rather to the businesses themselves. I would think they could see increased premiums,according to how their policies are currently written, if they go back to allowing smoking in their buildings.

  2. Would anyone really want to have a convention in Evansville anyway? I’d say the focus ought to be trying to bring decent paying manufacturing jobs to town than a convention center. The stranglehold Vectren has on utilities doesn’t help that cause.

    • That is exactly right and a question I have asked many people “What would be a compelling reason for you to choose Evansville over any other city to hold a convention”.

      #1 Answer was “None!”
      #2 Answer was “Our Company No Longer Does Conventions” (just too expensive)
      #3 Answer was “Why Are You Asking”
      #4 Answer was “We do monthly meetings via the internet (and constant communication via email), no need for a convention although we do go to trade shows every few years”


      This was a very unscientific poll I have been asking corporate customers if we have a casual conversation, it of course based only on my customers throughout the tri-state area, and in most cases gets a laugh before any type of serious answer.

      The consensus I’ve came away with is that Evansville doesn’t need a convention center per say but a multipurpose facility that could host trade shows and expos, everyone I’ve asked about “trade shows” do every few years travel to one somewhere in the USA or Canada to check out the latest equipment/gadget/innovations for their respected trades…they are content based and normally have nothing to do with location unless targeting a specific geographical area.

      A definition of convention…

      A definition of trade show…..

      As you can see they are very different from front to back.

      To that end…the perfect building and location was demolished, lot cleared, and the city has plan to build another useless park on.

      Of course this is my personal survey of my clients, and as always it is JMHO

      • Thanks Ghost, Brandon, Enoch, Brad L., and Blanger. Quite a diverse group to stand in agreement. Count me in. Evansville has to reassess itself, understand its strong points, and build on them. Beating a dead horse is sad, wrong , and gets you nowhere. Can we please let go of bad ideas already and go forward with a united front like was just exhibited here?

      • Hey,Crash,Ghost,I think I might have just heard my old Evansville Grandpa speak from the grave,”subliminal like”.
        Thinking,he says… +4… young fellas.
        There was a giving hint to cleaning the place up for the next generations on the horizon there ,as well.

        He once told me a waterfowling story about some delivery drivers he had there,it was about the tough times and the great depression those hardships on some folks,seems they didn’t like that federal waterfowl act so much,as that took food,and funds from them,as well. (Got a story about “Hoover quail,” thats related.)

        He was ,a sportsman and a outdoorsman,and thought the Limits to the daily game bags were probably needed to maintain the natural resource’s forward for the next generations.
        Grandpa did however,admire the delivery fellows solution to their personal funding shortages back then.

        You see, the duck hunting delivery driver didn’t “hunt” for “sport”,it was a “whole family provisional thing” for his family and friends,so he wasn’t a wing shooter. The guy never took a shot,unless, he had the “ducks in a row” so to speak. Filled his bag with one shell or two per “hunt”.
        Balanced his supply chain for,sustainable”hunts.”*

        Fixing the environment today is somewhat the same,with sustainable balances.* Take out multiple targets with one round or two. More game on the table,less “shells” outta the box.

        “Scis enim quod homines in terris,non sibi soli.”

        “You know,we as mankind,don’t own this earth,alone.”

        ( Evansville maximo pater senex)

        (Old Evansville Grand Father.)

    • Agreed. Evansville politicians have had a decades plus whoredom love affair with convention centers and stadiums. Those things are all well and good but Evansville has much much larger issues needing dealt with.

    • Exactly! There isn’t much reason to want to come here for a convention. We have some nice attractions, but other cities have better climate, locations, and attractions. The “Convention City” con is a shoddy piece of merchandise that has been peddled for years by various and assorted charlatans, as a panacea for our dead downtown.
      Evansville needs to embrace the virtues it has, fix the weaknesses that make us less attractive to manufacturing, and attract good factory and tech jobs, instead of spending millions to get a few more retail and food service jobs.
      I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again; We need to stop imitating and start innovating.

      • Bingo! We need to define who we are and grow from there. Other cities have used convention business to get some dollars along the way but that is declining. Let this old idea go. Evansville seems to run about 20 years behind with its ideas and has for a really long time. Where are the leaders with an understanding of the present and two eyes to the future?

    • I agree with you. The lack of high pay manufacturing jobs is the root of the cause of Evansville drying on the vine. With a lot of good people here, empty / underused buildings and a central location between 4 major cities, I hope that we soon elect leadership that will make Evansville attractive to manufacturing. Hotels, dog parks and medical schools just don’t provide the large amount of jobs that we need.

      • Evansville’s unions and the mentality they breed ran off more than 40,000 good manufacturing jobs. 10,000 of them were Whirlpool alone. Others were Chrysler, Servel, a big castor company, etc. I saw an itemization once and the jobs that fled this city topped 40,000.

        • I’m not that familiar with the negotiations, but usually greed is more to blame on the corporate side. When Hostess shut down last year conservatives were quick to blame the union. They failed to realize the actual workers had taken cuts for five straight years while management got raises. You need to look at the whole story.

          • Greed happens on both sides and has no class foundries. Poor people can be just as greedy as rich people.

            Hostess failing has many reason, but the main on is a lack of sales in a more health concision market. They were loaded down with debt, much of to the union’s pensions, and could not carry that load when the market crashed.

            There are reason these companies will put high wage managers in place when they are about to fail, but it’s not pretty. Mostly it’s to net the most assets they can for the share holders. But then, you’re likely a share holder in some companies also and want a return on your investment.

          • Point well taken. There have been on the order of 10 very large employers leave Evansville and all blamed union issues as one of their reasons for heading elsewhere. The fact that all of them have attributed their departure to unions is pretty strong. Recently the departures have been blaming Vectren, but there are no more large employers left that are not public like the city and EVSC. Unions have clearly been a big problem with keeping and attracting business. They are not the only reason.

  3. The smoking ruling will give the local administration a plausible out for letting the hotel finish dying. It seems to be without financing anyway, unless you want to assign a monetary value to promises. I have not seen a more inept build attempt by a municipality, not even read about one in the literature.

    Throwing money away on the legal defense of bad decisions seems to be their longsuit.

    • It does seem that we have had more than a reasonable amount of unnecessary legal expenses. Councilman Lindsey needs the public’s help in “shining the light” on the problem.

      • @elkaybee,

        Why would a City Councilman need the public’s help in shining the light on the Legal Fees problem ? Al can request the copies of the legal billings from the City Controller’s office and start crunching numbers to try to draw conclusions.

        What role would “the public’s help” provide ?

        • Publicity. Word-of-mouth is the best advertising is the best and the cheapest. Evansville doesn’t have a very informed electorate, you know.

          • EKB: Obviously,and outside Evansville,that issue about the electorate is commonly observed,as well.

  4. Speaking of Vectren Isn’t that where the Regional Business Development group is located? Doesn’t it cost a whooping $10,000 per person or business to become a member of that group? Isn’t the Chairman of the ERC Ed Hafer the paid CEO of this secret organization? Does any body know for certain who are members of this group?

    • Marty,

      Where were we talking about Vectren or the Regional Business Development group ? This list of names was previously published by the CCO.

      • Thanks franklinmint. Can you direct me to the site in CCO so I can pull this information up? I heard of some names of people on this Committee but would like to verify them.

        • Marty,

          Yes, just go to top right hand corner of this page, in the ‘Search’ panel, and type in ‘ERBC’.

          The CCO published this list on 8-18-2013, not a nice visual of ‘Illuminati’.

          • Name of the organization:



            * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

            In other words they are the tax exempt shadow government of the region.

            BTW, when I first posted their form 990 information there was a lot more information available, and for more prior years.

            Not so when you search now. There is less information available and for fewer years. I wonder how that happened? I always thought that more information (transparency) was the goal in reporting organizations that are granted tax exemption.

            Did someone fell a little embarrassed by the first post? We will probably never know.


    • Here is a repost of Brad’s article on the subject that appeared in CCO a few months back, Marty:

      The Evansville Regional Business Committee: River City Illuminati or Just Good Ol’ Boys?

      by: Brad Linzy

      There has been a lot of talk lately in CCO comments about an organization called the Evansville Regional Business Committee (ERBC). I must admit, before these comments began to proliferate I had not heard of this organization. Intrigued, I decided to do a little research. Wow! What an amazing coalition of talented, successful, and wealthy individuals! I’m sure with all these people working together under one roof, Evansville – her elections, construction projects, and long term fiscal situation – is in great hands!

      So little seems to be known about this group, and since they don’t have a website or any other compiled information other than the odd business listing, I decided to compile profiles on each member and an overview of their mission statement. Where applicable, profiles have been copied from reputable business websites like Bloomberg, Wall Street Journal, and Forbes. These are the “movers and shakers” of Evansville. Meet your ERBC (current as of 2011).

      Primary Stated Purpose:
      “The EBRC Inc. has been formed to improve and promote the business and commercial climate and conditions in the Evansville, Indiana Regional Area. “[1]

      Program Service Accomplishments:
      “The company engages business leaders in a collaborative effort to improve the economic vitality and quality of life in the regional area by advocating policy direction and encouraging appropriate projects and investment. “[1]

      Ed Hafer, President
      Appointed by Winnecke as President of the Evansville Redevelopment Commission. Former head of Hafer Associates, an Evansville architecture and design firm responsible for the design of, among other projects, The Ford Center, Swonder, Evansville Regional Airport, CMOE, The Victory Theatre Renovation, Vectren Building, Berry Plastics, Casino Aztar Hotel Renovation, Holly’s House, Deaconess Gateway Hospital, Welborn Clinic, and much of the USI campus. In 2011, Hafer was the only EBRC officer to receive a salary. It was $83,000.[1][2]

      Andrew E. Goebel, Vice President and Treasurer
      Director of South Central Communications Corp. Director of Indiana Gas Co. Inc. Director at Old National BanCorp. Member of Board of Trustees at UE. Director of SIGCORP, Inc. Director of SIGECO. [3]

      Susan Albertson, Secretary
      Employee of Vectren. Resident of Newburgh. Was a Community Impact Volunteer with the United Way of Southwest Indiana in 2009.

      Alan Braun, Chairman
      Independent Director at Old National Bancorp, VP at Tri-State Refractories Corp., President at Industrial Equipment, Inc., and President at Burch & Lamb, Inc. Director at Old National Bancorp, Koch Enterprises, Inc., Old National Bank and Industrial Contractors Skanska, Inc. [4]

      Robert L. Koch II, Director
      Director of SIGECO, SIGCORP. President and Chief Executive Officer of Koch Enterprises, Inc. Previously a director of Fifth Third Bancorp. Retired in 2011. [5]

      John N. Daniel Jr., Director
      President and CEO of Fifth Third Bank. Serves on several Boards including the Chamber of Commerce of Southwestern Indiana, University of Evansville, and Holly’s House. [6]

      Frederick W. Geissinger, Director
      CEO and President of American General Finance Inc., at SunAmerica Financial Group Inc., since 1995. Also Chief Executive Officer of Springleaf REIT Inc. [7]

      Robert G. Jones, Director
      CEO and President of Old National BanCorp.. Director at Vectren, Director at Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. Former Executive VP of KeyCorp and CEO of KeyBanc Capital Markets Inc. [8]

      Mark L. Lemond, Director
      Shoe Carnival President and Chief Executive Officer. [9]

      Jack D. Pate, Director
      President and Publisher at Evansville Courier & Press. [10]

      John C. Schroeder, Director
      President and CEO of Wabash Plastics, Inc. and Crescent Plastics, Inc. Board of Trustees at UE. [11]

      Michael Walsh, Director
      VP of Manufacturing & Engineering at SABIC, Innovative Plastics Business Unit. [12]

      James Jeffrey Jobe, Director
      Senior VP-Global Supply Chain at Mead Johnson Nutrition Co. Director at Evansville Industrial Foundation, Inc. [13]

      Ronald D. Romain, Director
      President, Owner, and CEO of United Companies. CEO and President at Romain Buick Inc., United Leasing, Inc. and Professional Transportation, Inc. Treasurer of St. Mary’s Medical Center, Inc. Director of American Community Bancorp, Inc., St. Mary’s Medical Center, Inc., Welborn Baptist Foundation, Signature School Foundation, and Bank of Evansville. [14]

      Linda White, Director
      Director Old National Bank. President and CEO for Deaconess Health System, Inc. Director at Deaconess Hospital, Deaconess Health System, Indiana Hospital Association, VHA Central, and Boys & Girls Club. Board of Trustees at UE. [15]

      Timothy A. Flesch, Director
      CEO and President of St. Mary’s Medical Center, Inc. CFO and Executive VP of St. Mary’s Health System. Former VP of Finance at Ascension Health and Daughters of Charity Health. Director of First Bancorp of Indiana Inc. and First Federal Savings Bank. Director of St. Mary’s Medical Center, Inc. [16]

      Ed Hemmersbach, Director
      VP at Alcoa. Director at Indiana Chamber of Commerce. Advisory Board at UE. [17]

      Daniel S. Hermann, Director
      President and CEO of Ameriqual Packaging. Director of Boys & Girls Club. Served on Vanderburgh Airport Authority Board. Formerly President and COO Black Beauty Coal. [18]
      Norman Bafunno III, Director
      President Toyota Motor Manufacturing Indiana, Inc. [19]

      Carl L. Chapman, Director
      President, Chairman and CEO at Vectren Corporation. CEO and President of Vectren Utility Holdings, Inc. He worked for Arthur Andersen & Company and IEI Investments. Chairman of ProLiance. Since 1996, he served as Chairman of the Board Citizens Gas and Coke Utility that is the largest transporter of natural gas on the Panhandle and Texas Gas pipelines. He holds Vice Chair of Reliant Services. Director of Utilicom Networks, LLC and Vectren Energy Services Corporation. [20]

      Dr. Jonathan D. Rich, Director
      Chairman and CEO at Berry Plastics Corporation and Berry Plastics Group Inc. President of Eliokem SAS. Director of Berry Plastics Corporation and Berry Plastics Group Inc. Director at Members Trust Company, an investment management firm. [21]


      • All fantastic, productive, successful people.

        But when combined in a group powerful enough to sway elections, and according to Pressanykey now wanting to stay in the shadows, is it not too much to wonder if they have the power to dictate where the tax payers money is spent.

        I’ll see if my brother Jesse wants to check this out if Visitor doesn’t beat him to it.

        Can’t remember if he’ll be on A&E or Discovery, but if Visitor beats him to it, he definitely will be on here.

      • Why wouldn’t those who have made such significant investments in the community deserve the opportunity to participate in the design and future development of economic growth?

        • They absolutely do Winston.

          As long as they do not try to hide their collective participation.

          I repeat, these are irreplaceable God-sends to our community but when they want to remain secretive or anonymous in what they are trying to accomplish, it makes me wonder if they’ve forgotten to have the community at heart.

          Maybe they haven’t forgotten.

          Good deal

          • Regulator, I can agree with you on that point. However, I have some knowledge of similar economic development organizations, and I doubt that any of the members are actively trying to hide their participation. Rather, because of sensitive and confidential nature of much of the information that these groups handle, they tend not to agaggressively publicize their activities or membership.

          • Never think I’m against these people, it’s just that too much power without not enough transparency always corrupts.

            I honestly hope you are right and I am wrong.


  5. The most fair answer?

    Revert to the prior law and let the businesses decide. If the the hoopla over smoking and those saying it will hamper a convention center isn’t just a bunch of smoke and mirrors drummed up by anal retentive belly button gazers.

    Then those wanting the convention make a pledge, pact, promise or otherwise note a non-smoking clause in whatever legal documents are required to build it.

    To coin a commercial; Its not complicated.

  6. Behind Door # 2 (new Ordinance, smoking ban including Casino) also lies the trap that the State’s smoking ban exempts Casinos. How does that play ?

    Also, do individual bars & taverns now have a cause of action for lost revenue due to the imposition of the now-defeated ban ?

    • I know a lot of bars said that they would experience financial hardships when the ban was being discussed. I have not heard much about how they were affected after the ban went into effect. The exception to this was Indiana Downs. It seems like I remember them saying repeatedly that the lost revenue attributed to the smoking ban caused them to close their doors.

      • Phylllip
        You don’t hear much about the businesses any more because they lost a lot of revenues , in other words they closed down .
        You still don’t get it my friend do you ?
        It’s all about us being Americans , we have the right to choose whether or not we go into an establishment that allows smoking or not , simply if you don’t want to smell smoke don’t go there , and if I want to burn one I go to a bar or restaraunt that allows it and you have the freedom to make the choice
        Had the city council decided to make it no smoking anywhere (including casino) I don’t think bar owners would have been so pissed off
        And I’m a non smoker ,equality is the key word.

        • Who said that I support a ban on cigarettes? You’re still drawing incorrect conclusions, my friend. I believe that each establishment should be able to make their own choice in regards to smoke and their patrons can choose whether they want to go there or not.

  7. I can hardly fault City Council for this debacle. It seems like their counsel would have studied this further to determine the legality of the exception. I’m sure that there was a precedent that would have shown that the exception for Aztar could come to this.

    • According to the article, they were advised against passing a non-comprehensive ban. “…had the second vote of the night with a full comprehensive ban been taken as was encouraged and opined by then City Council Attorney Hamilton, it would have withstood the constitutionality test and Evansville would be a fully non-smoking community today?”

      • Then my question is why do we have an attorney for Common Council? If Council will disregard the legal advice given by the person that the taxpayers pay to keep us out of these situation, then there’s no point in wasting the money. I can’t wrap my brain around Council going against the advice from their attorney. I know this happened around the same time that Hamilton stepped down. Were all of these things related? I don’t know what Hamilton made, but Danks has a base of $60,000 plus another $25,000 for a secretary. I hope that Council is using the people’s money responsibly and following the advice given to them from their legal counsel.

        • I don’t know you, but I notice you have a habit of redirecting when you are caught posting wrong info such as you did in your 9:38 post.

          • My second post is not a redirection at all. It still addresses the issue with Common Council and their relationship with their taxpayer-paid counsel on this issue. Enoch pointed out that Council proceeded against Hamilton’s professional advice. So ultimately we need to question the need for counsel if their opinion doesn’t carry enough weight to make the correct legal move.

            Furthermore if you’re going to post, add to the conversation. We can’t get anywhere with people jumping into the conversation to point fingers and yell “Gotcha!”.

        • It’s easy Phyllip, the city council is omnipotent and doesn’t need the advice of their legal council….or maybe they were confused by the word “council” as in city council or legal council?


        • Phyllip,

          Bullshit, you are spinning this to curry points with your handlers at City Hall. Toady, Toady, Toady. Maybe Danks will include you in his law suit

          • Danks was not their attorney then. If you want to be taken serious, learn the facts and stop with the name-calling.

      • Enoch,

        When you say “the second vote of the night” and “as opined by then City Council Attorney Hamilton” . . . what is the DATE this occurred ?

        If not Enoch, anyone else know ? I want to read the Minutes of that meeting.



        • It was in 2007 or 2008. I was there and remember the meeting but can’t put a date on it.

          • March 15, 2010


            The minutes completely ignored the fact that the room was full of angry people and the fireworks that followed. Better look for some news coverage to get a grip on the reality of the evening that resulted in a 4 – 4 vote. Curt John was out of town on business.

            I recall John Friend being the deciding vote and going with “no” over his conviction that all businesses should be treated equally. I also recall that the four who voted yes asked the City Attorney Mr. Hamilton if they could strike the exemption for Aztar and hold a vote. They were told yes but that vote never happened. Evansville missed an opportunity that night to have passed a constitutionally sound smoking ban. Friend of course did not commit to voting for the resolution if it was comprehensive but that was the only objection he stated. Would it have passed 5 – 3 or would Friend have flip flopped and kept it 4 – 4? We will never know.

            It was widely known that Mayor Weinzapfel did not want the ban to pass so it would have been interesting to see whether or not he would have signed the resolution had it passed.

            • Indeed he did. He voted against it before he voted for it to paraphrase John Kerry in reverse.

      • IE, I’ve thought about this further and if Council proceeded to vote on this against the legal advice given to them from their attorney, the blame should be put on the shoulders of Council’s President. The president should have taken the lead and tabled the matter before allowing Council the opportunity to vote for an ordinance that they were advised was unconstitutional.

    • No, your post pointedly blamed their “counsel”. There is no “gotcha” in my post. Without you obviously not reading the full article, your agenda appears to be more an exercise in finger pointing than any “adding to the conversation”.

  8. It’s not about smoking on private property, it’s about government control of private property.

    When are citizens going to finally get it?

    • Ultimately, yes. You are 100% correct. The control comes one regulation at a time.

  9. I read that Lamasco Bar will remain smoke-free for the health of their employees and patrons. I commend this decision by their ownership/management and hope that many more establishments follow suit.

    • Big Pappa,

      The guy who owns PeepHole, Steve Alsop (?), was the staunchest bar owner opposed to the Ordinance. When Lamasco and another bar announced they would stay smoke-free (despite Supreme Court ruling), PeepHole’s response was that they would “get comments from our customers”.

      Gosh, does that mean that PeepHole picked up NEW customers after smoking was banned; and they fear losing them if they switch back ???

  10. I for one will only be a patron of businesses who remain smoke free. I hope that some of the bars and clubs will have their employees and non-smoking customers best interests in mind and will remain smoke free.

  11. I challenge the assertion that a comprehensive smoking ban will save the Evansville convention biz. That sector has been on the decline for 20 years.

    I’m hearing most bars in Evansville WILL NOT return to smoking. If smoking is a real concern for convention planners, the news that most Evansville bars are voluntarily smoke free should be the same news as if the Council passed a comprehensive ban.

    Lets believe, for once, in the power of free markets over the heavy hand of government coercion and cronyism. The Cherokee thing was a novel idea, but ultimately, it was the very thing the CCO usually stands against: SNEAGAL.

  12. EDITOR:

    I agree some clarity is needed on the smoking policy going forward, i.e.; “everybody can smoke in bars again” OR “ok, no smoking at the casino.”


    But the talk of “let’s all invest in law firms and funds taking cases against the City and suing for damages cause we couldn’t smoke in the bars!!”

    Are you SURE this is slam dunk like that?

    It seems to me there are two issues when it comes to be able to SUE FOR DAMAGES (cause you can’t sue for damages if there weren’t damages):

    1. “I suffered X damages because the smoking ban hurt my business.”


    2. “I suffered X damages cause all of my Patrons who smoke left and went to the casino.”

    In other words…

    #2 might be a ludicrous claim for 99% of the City, but to WIN DAMAGES….you’re gonna have to prove THE CASINO’s EXEMPTION hurt your business.

    The smoking ban? Time and again, smoking bans have held up to Constitutional scrutiny. That is not at issue here.

    These “slam dunk” court cases being referred to here seem to be based on the claim shown here in #1.

    But the Court ruling has to do with #2, the exemption. What huge damages are there because of that?


    • Any business owner to sue for damages has the burden of proving the damages. That will not be as easy as saying, “I used to make $100 a day and now I make $90”. They will have to show evidence to prove that the $10 loss was because of the smoking law and not because of their nasty attitude or dirty floors. This is why we predicted “settlements” in today’s IIT instead of “judgments”.

      Comprehensive smoking bans have never to my knowledge been overturned due to the constitution. It is that unequal treatment that causes things like what just happened to Evansville to happen.

      • They will, indeed have to prove the damages, but the standard of proof will not be the same as in criminal cases. They could find former regular patrons who stopped coming after the ban to sign affidavits giving their stories. In sufficient numbers, coupled with the evidence of falling revenues year on year could be sufficient evidence of a judgment.

        • I think the term is preponderance of evidence in such cases. Litigation is expensive for both the plaintiffs and the city. I still predict a settlement will happen with of course no admission of wrong doing.

          • I agree, and I suspect the attorney’s fees will exceed the actual amount of settlement given the difficulty in proving damages.

          • You guys could be right. Regardless, I think we can agree the Council’s imprudence in this matter had put the City at risk.

            No one on that body seems to be operating from a position of consistency or principle.

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