Friday, February 23, 2007

Fort Wayne Mayoral Candidate Nelson Peters No Longer Supports his own Smoking Ban

Cross-Posted at Left of Centrist:

As many probably remember I was very critical (here and here) of Fort Wayne mayoral candidate and Allen County commissioner Nelson Peters for his compromise on the county smoking ban. The gist of my argument was that Peters did not do enough to push the comprehensive ban he originally supported because it became politically inconvenient to do so after becoming a GOP mayoral candidate.

Also remember that Peters contacted me and wanted a chance to set the record straight. He felt that I had mischaracterized his position:
I think you will find that I actually made a motion to approve a complete and total ban in the county. It failed for lack of a second, however. I settled for the compromise on the basis of getting something rather than nothing.

So Peters wanted us to know that he was ALL FOR the comprehensive ban but just couldn't get it done and so he compromised only because something was better than nothing. Of course yesterday he changed his tune:

Republican candidate and current County Commissioner Nelson Peters said he would consider amending the ban so it is more like the county's new smoking ordinance. That one allows smoking in places that are 21 and over, private clubs, and bowling allies during league hours. He feels the city and county should have the same ordinance.

First let me state the obvious - I was right (sorry I couldn't resist). Second, we would've had the same ordinance had he been able to push through the original comprehensive ban that HE proposed. Next, let's call this for what it is - political cowardice. He's afraid that Kelty is going to hammer away at this issue and use it to win the nomination. If you are truly the servant of public health you led us all to believe then why wouldn't you use your power to push for the comprehensive ban at the county level and not roll back the city ordinance?

Peters also told me:

I don't mind one's criticism of my position as long as they actually understand where I stand on the issues

So tell us sir - where DO you stand on this issue? Let me guess - you were for the ban before you were against it?

Anyway, let me just ask - who do we want to lead the city? Do we really want someone that will push an important issue one day and then turn around and undercut it the next purely for political gain? If you're against the ban then come out and say so (like Kelty) but don't (allegedly) support a plan and then abandon it when it's politically inconvenient.

That is not leadership...

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