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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