Interview with Live Free Springfield chairman Dave Myers

By Kory Mitchell

In the debate over Springfield’s smoking ban, Live Free Springfield has risen as a voice of opposition.

“We want to give people as much information as we can to make their own decision,” the group’s chairman, Dave Myers, told SGFNews in an interview this week. “We are not a pro-smoking group; we are pro-rights.”

Springfield voters will decide the proposed smoking ban on April 5. The measure was put on the ballot after Clean Air Springfield, a coalition in favor of smoke-free workplaces and public spaces, collected more than 1,200 signatures.

A public debate on the measure takes place at 7 p.m. March 15 in Lincoln Hall on the Ozarks Technical Community College campus.

Myers, who lives outside of Springfield city limits, said his group wants to make sure citizens make their decision on the ballot question based on information from sources beyond traditional news outlets. Besides its Web site, Live Free Springfield will be handing out fliers and informational index cards. It has also created a Facebook page.

The group had a fund-raising event last month at Fox and Hound in Springfield that raised about $2,100 in cash donations, Myers said. “We have been getting donations from local citizens and local businesses,” he added.

Another issue on the April ballot deals with allowing alcohol sales at movie theaters. Myers sees the issue as similar to the smoking ban: “If people vote ‘no’ for one thing, they will vote ‘no’ for both, and see this as an attack against freedom and property rights.”

Myers emphasized the focus on personal freedom: “We are not a pro-smoking group. We do not want to take money from the smoking lobby because that’s not what this is about. This isn’t about smoking. It’s about rights.”


We’ve included the full interview about the organization and its stance.


2 Responses

  1. It’s not only about rights, it’s about money. AND we’re all losing it. Bars, and the like, and every business we deal with, AND city, state, and county. So, don’t surprised if we see taxes going up to make up the difference. I know the state, minimum, is getting $400 less a month in sales tax from us. And we’re just one bar, times that by however many are in the city limits per month…. that’s a lot of money. Plus, we’ve stopped buying cigs for the bar in city limits. SO, thank all of you “health” worried people saying we’ll get all this new non-smoking business. You’ve just put a lot of people out of business and on unemployment (if the state approves it)., We’ve lost almost 50% of our business to gain 1% of the non-smoking. Thank you very much. You must not have to worry about paying you bills, but we do. I’m going to have to let people go. Bars have already closed, and many more are going to by the 1st of the year. I hope mine can make it that long, I pray it will. Not only are we losing thousand of dollars a month, we are forced to make a smoking patio. Currently, we’ve spent $2,000 and that doesn’t enclude the propane we will have to buy this whole winter. $20 per refill and each tank lasts us 4 days. SO, 4 tanks… $150/week x 4 mo = $2560 (liberally, conservatively $2400). I am disgusted. IN THIS CRISIS ECONOMY, I would think we would be concerned on keeping the jobs we have and cultivating new ones. Not passing a law that is sure to close businesses. And now they’re talking about legalizing marijuana, but we can’t smoke in a bar????? We are adults who make adult decisions. I know, walking in the bar or being employed at one, that there will be smoking. That is my choice, why is that an issue.

  2. Also, I failed to mention that my business partner and I were unable to vote on this issue because we live outside city limits. How is that even right??? It’s as right as a person who does not patronize bars being able to vote on an issue that has nothing to do with them.

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