WISCONSINREPORT.COM (01/04/08) - Veteran Senator Roger Breske (D-Eland) has come under attack for his opposition to a unilateral, state-wide smoking ban. The Northwoods Democrat has successfully fought a ban to date because he fears hundreds of small taverns will be forced to close their doors if not given ample time to prepare to any statewide law prohibiting smoking. Breske believes his real world experience running a family owned tavern/restaurant for over 20 years gives him some insights on what government regulations and mandates can do to small business.
“I think it should be a requirement for every politician to have had a real job before running for elected office,” Breske said. “The laws we pass impact real people and too many in politics and government are far removed to what those impacts are on working families."
"I am proud that I got up every day and worked my butt off to provide for my family. Northwoods residents do that every day – so if we are going to pass laws that hurt their businesses, we should take a step back first and make reasonable compromises," Senator Breske said.”
Breske has fought for an amendment to delay the smoking ban for 3 years so business owners can decide to sell, close or make other changes to deal with the pending law. “The bottom line is that reasonable people can forge a compromise,” the Eland Democrat noted.
A few of Breske’s more liberal colleagues and some in the media have chastised the 12th District legislator for his position, but Breske notes that the folks back home tell him to keep up the fight.
“Even folks who support a smoking ban don’t like how this is happening,” he added. “They come up to me and tell me they respect how much I am fighting for my principles.”
Others have pointed out that Breske shows the same passion to individual freedom when fighting for our right to keep and bear arms or making sure roads in the north are not forgotten during state budget time.
“I have not ever and will not now toe the party line,” Breske said. “As always, I will work with Democrats and Republicans who want a law that is fair and takes into consideration the hardworking people who pay our wages."
"Sometimes I get into trouble with my colleagues,” Breske concluded, “but I wouldn’t want it any other way. That means I am sticking up for the little guy against do-gooders who have never had a real job.”