Here is your Morning Brief for the morning of March 12, 2013. Give Chad your feedback below and tune in to The Chad Hasty Show for these and many more topics from 8:30 to 11am.

Rob Snyder,
Rob Snyder,

1. Karen Gibson & Big Government (link)

Yesterday I discussed the actions of Councilwoman Karen Gibson and the latest news on synthetic drugs in Lubbock. Over the weekend, KCBD had a report where Gibson is commenting on the business Nothin' Butt Smokes and their decision to keep selling some products they say don't violate the ban, but Gibson says does violate the ban. At one point during the interview, Gibson calls the business and ownership drug dealers.

Gibson says although she cannot stop Ross from selling these products, it does not mean that what he is doing is right.

"You kind of wonder why he's selling potpourri at a smoke shop. And why in the world he would have it right next to pipes or papers or paraphernalia to smoke it with. Drug dealers will tell you they're not selling drugs," Gibson said.

Gina Johnson, the Lubbock mother who began the fight, wrote in an email in response to Ross' decision, "This is a prime example of drug dealers staying ahead of the laws. It shows how the owner of this store puts profits ahead of lives and a complete lack or morality and civic responsibility."

If you watch the video, KCBD says that Ross was offended that he was called a drug dealer. He should be offended, and Councilwoman Karen Gibson should be ashamed.

No elected official should accuse a local business of dealing drugs. Gibson chose her words along with advocate Gina Johnson to get people fired up and angry at Nothin' Butt Smokes. In my opinion, Gibson has left the door open for a huge lawsuit against the City of Lubbock in this case with Nothin' Butt Smokes and possibly other businesses as well. Gibson is letting an emotional issue get the better of her. She is being reckless and her words could come back to hurt the taxpayers of Lubbock.

How much is Gibson and the rest of the City Council willing to pay for lawsuits that come against the City Council for this and future laws regarding synthetic pot? What happened to personal responsibility? As I've said before, I have no problems with the City of Lubbock protecting kids, but do we really want the City of Lubbock becoming a nanny-state?

Karen Gibson has become the Michael Bloomberg of Lubbock. I think citizens should be very wary of Gibson going forward.

2. Judge Strikes Down Bloomberg (link)

Michael Bloomberg was not happy yesterday. A state judge Monday blocked Mayor Michael Bloomberg's stupid law against sugary drinks. If the law were to go into effect today, NYC restaurants & venues would be barred from selling sugary drinks larger than 16 ounces.

The city is "enjoined and permanently restrained from implementing or enforcing the new regulations," wrote New York Supreme Court Judge Milton Tingling, blocking the rules one day before they would have taken effect. The city's chief counsel, Michael Cardozo, pledged to quickly appeal the ruling.

In halting the drink rules, Judge Tingling noted that the incoming sugary drink regulations were "fraught with arbitrary and capricious consequences" that would be difficult to enforce with consistency "even within a particular city block, much less the city as a whole."

"The loopholes in this rule effectively defeat the stated purpose of the rule," the judge wrote.

Under a first-of-its-kind prohibition approved by the city Board of Health last year, establishments from restaurants to mobile food carts would have been prohibited from selling sugary drinks larger than 16 oz. After a three-month grace period, the city would have started fining violators $200 per sale.

The city rules, set to take effect on March 12, didn't include convenience stores, such as 7-Elevens, and supermarkets, both of which are regulated by the state government.

In his ruling, Judge Tingling found the Board of Health's mission is to protect New Yorkers by providing regulations that protect against diseases. Those powers, he argued, don't include the authority to "limit or ban a legal item under the guise of 'controlling chronic disease.' "

The board may supervise and regulate the city's food supply when it affects public health, but the City Charter clearly outlines when such steps may be taken: According to Judge Tingling, the city must face imminent danger due to disease.

"That has not been demonstrated," he wrote.

Judge Tingling also suggested that Mr. Bloomberg overstepped his powers by bringing the sugary drink rules before the Board of Health, which is solely appointed by him. The City Council, he wrote, is the legislative body "and it alone has the authority to legislate as the board seeks to do here."

City health officials, he wrote, aren't assigned the "sweeping and unbridled authority to define, create, authorize, mandate and enforce" the health code.

It's not over but this is exactly what Bloomberg and the nanny-state deserve. People have to take responsibility for their own actions. Besides, the ban on large drinks would hardly put a dent into the obesity problem.

3. 83rd Legislative Session Bills (link)

There are some out there that can't stand the Texas Tribune because they can sometimes lean to the left. However, they are pretty good about getting information out there to people who want to know what is going on down in Austin. Yesterday, the Tribune launched their 83rd Legislative Session Bill Finder. You can see what bills have been filed and what your Representative filed in this session. It's a great tool and I encourage you to use it. You can find it by clicking on the link above.

Today on the show, David Guenthner with the Texas Public Policy Foundation will join me to discuss just some of the bills filed last week.

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