The strip-club regulation law will be going to the polls this fall.

In the battle for popular support, strip-club owners and dancers claimed an edge yesterday.

They turned in 120 boxes of petitions — 382,508 signatures total — to Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner’s office. Citizens for Community Values, the Cincinnati-based group behind tougher rules, submitted more than 220,000 signatures to get the legislative ball rolling early this year.

Funny that the party of “smaller government, out of your lives” feels the need to micro-regulate this. I don’t think this should be the province of state government, and instead should be a local issue. Unfortunately, I doubt voters will be able to separate their personal feelings about strip clubs from the policy issue of statewide regulation.

A poll commissioned by [Citizens for Community Values] in May showed 60 percent of Ohioans support a law making strip clubs close at midnight. About 68 percent said physical contact should be banned between dancers and patrons.

Acknowledging the typical skepticism based on the poll sponsor, I have little doubt that this law is, in fact, publicly popular. Doesn’t make it good policy.

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  • How should we distinguish between things the state government should regulate and things they shouldn’t regulate?

    What I’m looking for is the foundation of your worldview or philosophical/moral system … the “yardstick” you use to decide what’s a local issue, what’s a state issue, and what’s a federal issue. Please explain if there’s more to your thinking here than “anything I like shouldn’t be regulated, and anything I dislike should be regulated.”

  • Well, this is a community standards issue. Strip clubs being open past midnight is not an issue that concerns, say, public safety. In some cases it might, and communities should be able to deal appropriately. But at a state, or federal, level it’s just not an important issue.

    Yes, that’s a bit fuzzy. But the world’s fuzzy.

  • Should a community have the power to allow or forbid anything, as long as it’s justified as being a community standards issue and not a public safety issue?

  • Anything? I dunno ’bout that. Should local communities be able to shape themselves as they wish, within the bounds of federal/state laws? Generally speaking, yes, I think so.

    If I can allow myself to stay in the realm of the fuzzy, I think you have to weigh the inconvenience such community standards might have. That’s part of why I don’t think “community standards” should be a state-wide (or higher) guideline. It becomes very very difficult for people who disagree with that standard to meet their needs/desires. OTOH, if Westerville is dry and Worthington not, it’s pretty easy for Westerville residents to adjust appropriately (and Worthington residents, for that matter).

    In the case of public safety concerns, my “default” is that regulation makes sense in that situation. I can be convinced otherwise, but you’re going to have to work hard at it.

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