Nobody likes being told they can’t do what they want, but perennial West Virginia Republican Senate candidate John Raese had a particularly strong reaction to smoking bans, comparing the required signage to Hitler’s requirement that Jews wear a gold star.
Politico’s Charles Mahtesian first posted the video of Raese at a Lincoln Day Dinner in Putnam County on April 9.
“I don’t want government telling me what I can do and what I can’t do – because I’m an American,” Raese said in his remarks. “But in Monongalia County you can’t smoke a cigarette, you can’t smoke a cigar, you can’t do anything. And I oppose that because I believe in everybody’s individual freedoms and everybody’s individual rights to do what they want to do. And I’m a conservative and that’s the way that goes.”
“But in Monongalia County now, I need to put a huge sticker on my buildings to say that is a ‘Smoke Free Environment.’ This is brought to you by the Government of Monongalia County,” Raese went on.
“Remember, Hitler used to put a Star of David on everybody’s lapel. Remember that?” he asked. “Same thing.”
The Monongalia County smoking ban went into effect on March 9 of this year, prohibiting smoking in bars, restaurants and workplaces. Business owners and individuals who violate the ban will be fined.