"Free Casper" is the name of the political action committee formed in opposition to a city-wide public indoor smoking ban. The PAC collected the first 2000 signatures, in advance of a July 17th deadline, calling for a referendum of the ordinance recently passed by Casper city council.

"And it's all about trying to get the smoking ban to a vote of the people." Local businessman and PAC spokesman, Pat Sweeney, handed off the packet of signatures to City Manager, John Paterson Monday. Paterson says the city verifies the eligibility of signatures, which must come from registered city of Casper voters.

For the referendum to be successful the opposition needs about 1900 valid signatures. Sweeney anticipates as many as 50 percent of signatures may not meet eligibility.

Sweeney insists there is no big money behind the political action committee, but rather says it's a grass roots effort to address questions of personal freedom, property rights and the individual's right to choose.