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Club for Growth Dumb Laws

The only thing standing between you and a dumb law is a politican.
Do you know of a dumb law in your state? Please send us evidence.

Most Recently Added Dumb Laws

Mar. 8, 2010 | State: California

New Dumb Health Tax on Restaurants in San Francisco

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Mar. 8, 2010 | State: Federal

Big Government Wants Big French Fries

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The U.K.'s government wants to more regulation on french fries.  From the Daily Mail:
They have been a staple of British cuisine for more than a century.

But traditional chips are the latest target in the Government's war on obesity.

Chip shop owners are being encouraged to produce thicker versions because they contain fewer calories and less fat.

[...]The traditional British chip is already thicker - and therefore healthier - than the French fries served by big fast-food chains.

Despite this, officials from the Food Standards Agency watchdog are encouraging chip shop owners to produce even thicker versions, much like potato wedges.

Feb. 19, 2010 | State: Federal

Nanny State: Healthy Girl is "Overweight and Unhealthy."

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From the U.K.'s Daily Mail:

Sports mad, always full of energy and certainly not fat, five-year-old Lucy Davies' parents had no concern about her health.

But when she was examined at school as part of a Government initiative to turn the rising tide of obesity, they were shocked to be told that she was 'overweight and unhealthy.'

They said Lucy may have an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and cancer as her body mass index (BMI) was outside recommended guidelines by just one per cent.

Read the rest here.
Jan. 29, 2010 | State: Maryland

Controversial Maryland Fast Food Ban

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Sep. 15, 2009 | State: Texas

Dumb Regulations on Male Grooming

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From the Austin Statesman in Texas:

Joe Grondin has been a barber for more than 30 years. But there are some questions that, until very recently, he had never really pondered.

For example: "At what point on a man's sideburn does hair end and the beard begin?"

Or: "When does a trim become a shave?"

"It's crazy to be thinking about this," he admitted.

It might even be splitting hairs. But to Texas' 13,000 or so barbers, matters of shaving are worth fighting over. While state law permits both cosmetologists and barbers to groom hair, state regulators have consistently ruled that only barbers may scrape a man's cheeks.

Read the whole thing. It gets worse. Mind-numbingly worse.

Aug. 31, 2009 | State: all

Dumb Law Makes Coffee Illegal in NYC

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From the New York Post:

The owner of a Financial District tobacco shop was amazed to learn he was violating the law by offering his customers a free cup of joe while they legally puffed away on his cigars.

Vince Nastri III, the third-generation owner of Barclay Rex -- where bankers, City Hall staffers, lawyers and detectives smoke while sitting in plush leather chairs or browsing in the walk-in humidor -- complained that the city is "trying to take away my livelihood over a cop of coffee."

[...] Nastri first got into hot water on June 10, when Health Department inspectors arrived at his shop, at 75 Broad St., to check out a complaint that cigar odor was wafting to the building's upper floors.

The inspectors decided the complaint was unfounded. But one inspector pointed out the coffee machine, which customers used gratis to make themselves espressos, lattes and cappuccinos.

"That's illegal," the inspector pronounced -- and issued Nastri a citation, which can lead to fines ranging from $200 to $2,000.

Nastri found himself in a classic Catch-22 situation.

To serve coffee -- even free coffee -- he needs a permit to operate a food-service establishment. But smoking is banned in food-service establishments.

Aug. 27, 2009 | State: all

Dumb Proposal 30,000 Feet in the Air

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If something is annoying, make it illegal! From USA Today:

Tired of overhead bins stuffed to the point of bursting, some frequent fliers say they would welcome a strictly enforced limit on the size of carry-ons that is being proposed in Congress. Legislation proposed by Rep. Dan Lipinski, D-Ill., would set a federal standard for the maximum size of bags a passenger can carry on board ƒ_" a decision currently left to each airline.

"It's clear if anything is going to be done, it's going to take an act of Congress to do it," says Lipinski, whose district includes Chicago's Midway Airport. "The airlines are not enforcing their own restrictions that they have on the books right now ƒ_Ý and that causes problems."

UPDATE: Ryan Young at the American Spectator writes me, "Rep. Lipinskiƒ_Ts checked bag bill may be the result of rent-seeking. The main luggage handler union, along with multiple airlines gave money to Rep. Lipinskiƒ_Ts campaign last year. If the bill passes, they should easily recoup their investment. I wrote an article on it last month.

Aug. 19, 2009 | State: all

Illinois Passes a Dumb Food Law

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My good friend Kristina Rasmussen from the Illinois Policy Institute points out this dumb law that Gov. Pat Quinn just signed today. It's chock full of protectionism, bad economics, and it hurts those who are less fortunate.
Aug. 19, 2009 | State: all

Seattleites Say 'No' to Dumb Proposal

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From the Seattle Post Intelligencer:

Seattle voters think a couple of bucks a week added to their grocery bill is too much green to spend on a "green" initiative.

Referendum No. 1, the disposable grocery bag tax, was soundly defeated, according to early election returns Tuesday night. The measure, which was failing 58 percent to 42 percent, would've charged shoppers 20-cents per paper and plastic grocery bag.

Aug. 18, 2009 | State: all

Restaurant Fights a Dumb Law

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I'm a BIG FAN of Houston's Restaurant. They have one on the "plaza" in Kansas City that serves the best baby back ribs in the world. They also have one close to DC - in Bethesda under the name "Woodmont Grill" - so I don't have to travel to far to enjoy their amazing food. So I was naturally joyful when I read this article:

California-based restaurant chain Houstonƒ_Ts doesnƒ_Tt like New York Cityƒ_Ts calorie labeling law, and it has refused to submit to it, setting the stage for a battle with city health officials.

[...]The cityƒ_Ts Department of Health and Mental Hygiene disagrees. Charged with enforcing the calorie rule, the agency fined the two Houstonƒ_Ts for noncompliance in December. The chain has no intention of complying and will defend its position in court before an administrative law judge on Sept. 1.

It is likely the only challenge of its kind to the cityƒ_Ts 14-month-old rule that has resulted in national fast-food companies like McDonaldƒ_Ts and pricey chop houses like Capital Grille posting calorie information on their menus. Moreover, as copycat legislation spreads across the country like wildfire, and a national proposal is mulled in Congress, it is a case that will surely be watched.

Show your support. Eat at Houston's.

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