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YOUR OPINION: Smoking complaint deemed "frivolous'

YOUR OPINION: Smoking complaint deemed "frivolous'

January 30th, 2011 by Scott W. Bledsoe, Jefferson City in News

Dear Editor:

I couldn't believe the article in the Jan. 26 issue of the News Tribune. A woman is actually filing a complaint about House members smoking in their private offices.

The complaint alleges that it "denies her meaningful access" to the House of Representatives due to her debilitating COPD, asthma and chronic bronchitis. The complaint further alleges that it is "discriminatory against the breathing disabled." The first question that comes to my mind is has she ever even tried to go see her representative at the Capitol.

Ms. Judd is not even working through her own representative but with the representative who sponsored the amendment to House rules to ban smoking in offices. This sounds to me like it is more politically motivated than disability related. Also, prior to the complaint being filed, the House "had never received any information with a date, time or specifics of a request for an accommodation."

Out of courtesy I sent a copy of this letter to Representative Mott Oxford who sponsored the changes to the rules and found that Ms. Judd did want to visit her representative but felt at a disadvantage. Why, then, did she not first contact him and arrange for accommodations instead of filing a complaint.

While I feel for Ms. Judd's illnesses, in my opinion this type of frivolous action ranks right up there with inmates filing lawsuits because they can't get a certain flavor of Kool-Aid with their meals.

Lawmakers have more pressing matters before them to worry over than to take up time with this.