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Tuesday, August 23rd, 2011

NO on I‑1183 campaign gets big boost from Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America

The effort to pro­tect Wash­ing­ton State from Cost­co’s newest liquor pri­va­ti­za­tion scheme (Ini­tia­tive 1183, which will be in the Novem­ber bal­lot) has just received a mas­sive resource boost from a pow­er­ful nation­al trade orga­ni­za­tion.

Last week, the Wine & Spir­its Whole­salers of Amer­i­ca wrote Pro­tect Our Com­mu­ni­ties (the cam­paign to defeat I‑1183) a series of checks total­ing $3.6 mil­lion. The con­tri­bu­tions rep­re­sent more than nine­ty-five per­cent of the total raised, with the remain­der com­ing from orga­nized labor and the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Par­ty.

The Wine & Spir­its Whole­salers of Amer­i­ca say they oppose Cost­co’s Ini­tia­tive 1183 because it “is designed to dis­able an effec­tive reg­u­la­to­ry struc­ture that bal­ances con­sumer demand with appro­pri­ate con­trol over the dis­tri­b­u­tion of alco­hol and the licensed play­ers in the Wash­ing­ton state mar­ket.”

The whole­salers’ state­ment also not­ed: “A sim­i­lar­ly ill-con­sid­ered dereg­u­la­to­ry ini­tia­tive backed by Cost­co was reject­ed just last year, but they have cho­sen to ignore the mes­sage deliv­ered by the cit­i­zens of that state and their elect­ed rep­re­sen­ta­tives who draft­ed leg­is­la­tion to allow for lim­it­ed pri­va­ti­za­tion while main­tain­ing strong reg­u­la­to­ry con­trol.”

In 2010, Pro­tect Our Com­mu­ni­ties suc­cess­ful­ly defeat­ed two liquor pri­va­ti­za­tion schemes with the help of the beer indus­try, which wrote mul­ti­ple sev­en-fig­ure checks to finance an extreme­ly effec­tive cam­paign that hit the air­waves ear­ly.

Cost­co and its alco­hol prof­i­teer allies can hard­ly com­plain about the con­tri­bu­tions. After all, their ini­tia­tive is no grass­roots upris­ing; they bought the sig­na­tures they need­ed (either with out­right cash or with in-kind labor) and they will doubt­less put up more mon­ey to fund their own adver­tis­ing cam­paign in the autumn.

NPI strong­ly oppos­es Ini­tia­tive 1183 and urges sup­port­ers and read­ers to stop greed by vot­ing NO on 1183 this Octo­ber or Novem­ber.

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21 Comments

  1. Talk about greed;what about the Wine &Spirits Whole­salers of Amer­i­ca fight­ing to pro­tect their on turf? Whats wrong with Cost­co receiv­ing prof­its from the sale of liquor as well as pro­vid­ing more con­ve­nience for the con­sumer. I thought we were a coun­try of pri­vate enter­prise. I sup­port Ini­tia­tive 1183.

    # by harry fox :: August 23rd, 2011 at 3:44 PM
    • Cost­co already sells beer and wine in their stores, Har­ry, but they want to be able to prof­it from sales of hard liquor. I‑1183 was specif­i­cal­ly writ­ten to ben­e­fit big box stores like Cost­co — it is a naked reg­u­la­to­ry pow­er grab on their part. They’re basi­cal­ly try­ing to rewrite the rules that restrict liquor sales to pro­tect pub­lic safe­ty in their favor.

      If that’s not greed, I don’t know what is.

      The Wash­ing­ton Food Indus­try Asso­ci­a­tion, which rep­re­sents the state’s inde­pen­dent gro­cery stores, has come out against I‑1183 for this rea­son.

      Final­ly, Har­ry, pub­lic safe­ty is much, much, much more impor­tant than con­ve­nient access to liquor. That is why we have a strong, proven reg­u­la­to­ry sys­tem. State liquor stores already pro­vide the peo­ple of the state with access to hard spir­its. Cost­co basi­cal­ly wants to can­ni­bal­ize these stores’ busi­ness so it can pad its own prof­its.

      Vot­ers said NO to Cost­co’s liquor pri­va­ti­za­tion scheme last year but they did­n’t lis­ten. What­ev­er hap­pened to respect­ing the will of the vot­ers?

      Vote NO on 1183.

      # by Andrew :: August 23rd, 2011 at 4:59 PM
  2. The pub­lic safe­ty issue is B.S. I have been all over the world where most liquor is sold trough the pri­vate sec­tor and have few prob­lems. Many stores have spe­cial caps that alert the store if some­one tries to sneek liquor out of the store. If the present sys­tem is so great why do peo­ple from the state of Wash­ing­ton buy their liquor in Cal­i­for­nia
    and Neva­da and bring back to this state.

    # by harry fox :: August 28th, 2011 at 5:29 PM
  3. I was won­der­ing if you had any­one who would be will­ing to speak for 5 min­utes or so on the ini­tia­tive 1183 at the Thurston Coun­ty Women’s Repub­li­can Club meet­ing, Sep­tem­ber 13th at 1130? We meet at the Hawkes Prairie Inn in Lacey.

    Please let me know. Yes has been invit­ed as well.

    # by Darcy Eggeman :: August 29th, 2011 at 3:38 PM
  4. This is absurd. All you are try­ing to do is con­tin­ue to cost the tax­pay­ers of Wash­ing­ton. By open­ing this busi­ness to com­pa­nies like cost­co and oth­ers, the price of liquor will dra­mat­i­cal­ly be reduced. Evi­dence — a bot­tle of 1792 whiskey in CA costs around 28 at BEVMO. Here is THIS GREAT (HORRIBLE) pro­hi­bi­tion STATE — it is almost $50. How is this “fair”? It has noth­ing to do with chil­dren drink­ing. It is in fact a rouse to con­tin­ue BIG GOVERNMENT prac­tice in the state of Wash­ing­ton. I love the trend word spin used to incite peo­ple to fear this propo­si­tion. My advice — VOTE YES!

    # by James :: September 8th, 2011 at 10:00 AM
  5. Why does the gov­ern­ment have to con­trol this busi­ness? It should be reg­u­lat­ed, sure–but left to the pri­vate indus­try.

    # by Johnny :: September 8th, 2011 at 12:42 PM
    • Because there are pub­lic safe­ty impli­ca­tions. Ask any fire chief or police chief.

      When peo­ple con­sume alco­hol, they are con­sum­ing a depres­sant. A depres­sant is a sub­stance that slows down the cen­tral ner­vous sys­tem. Obvi­ous­ly, when you slow down your ner­vous sys­tem, that has all kinds of con­se­quences. A per­son who is intox­i­cat­ed can­not safe­ly oper­ate a motor vehi­cle, a boat, or an air­craft, for exam­ple. We know this because we’ve done the research.

      This coun­try tried ban­ning alco­hol decades ago, and Pro­hi­bi­tion did­n’t work. So instead of Pro­hi­bi­tion, what we have now is a sys­tem where it is legal to con­sume alco­holic bev­er­ages, but their dis­tri­b­u­tion and sale is restrict­ed.

      Cost­co wants to get the state out of the way so it can fat­ten its prof­its. That’s a pret­ty poor rea­son to dis­man­tle the cur­rent sys­tem that we have, which has served Wash­ing­ton well.

      # by Andrew :: September 9th, 2011 at 5:12 PM
  6. I’m a pro­gres­sive and I’m vot­ing yes on 1183. Since when did ‘prof­it’ become such a nasty word? Don’t for­get that we are a repub­lic with cap­i­tal­ism at its core (and is our strength). Cost­co, by most accounts, is a mod­el com­pa­ny. They pay a live­able wage to unskilled/underskilled work­ers and rou­tine­ly thumb their nose at Wall Street for the bet­ter good of their com­pa­ny and their work­ers. All this chat­ter I see on the Inter­net about how evil Cost­co is is absurd. They are a busi­ness. Get over it.

    As a con­sumer I want more choic­es. Our cur­rent sys­tem has not served us well. It is expen­sive and sti­fles com­pe­ti­tion. But the real bot­tom line here is liquor is not a vital ser­vice and gov­ern­ment real­ly does­n’t belong in the busi­ness of sell­ing booze.

    # by Pat Beemer :: September 10th, 2011 at 6:17 AM
  7. As an own­er of a small restau­rant I like the fact that we pay the same price for booze as the big boys down the street. I will nev­er be able to com­pete with them on price if they are allowed to pur­chase in bulk.
    I like the fact that I only have one com­pa­ny to deal with to pur­chase my alco­hol. I do not have the time to call Cost­co and Wal­mart to see who has the best deal this week on every item.
    If I pur­chase wine or beer at Cost­co now, they charge me sales tax even though it is for resale. There is no men­tion that this will not con­tin­ue with alco­hol.
    If this is such a great deal for us, why do they not tell us how much we are going to save on a bot­tle? I have nev­er signed a con­tract with­out know­ing what the price is going to be, and I will not now.
    Vote No!

    # by Steve :: September 10th, 2011 at 6:03 PM
  8. One aspect that I have not seen men­tioned in this argu­ment is the elim­i­na­tion of decent jobs, with a liv­able wage and ben­e­fits. While Cost­co is a respon­si­ble employ­er, I do not see Wal­mart and many oth­ers who would ben­e­fit from pas­sage of the bill to be such. I say keep the liquor stores open so that more employ­ees and their fam­i­lies in this state don’t become new vic­tims in the cor­po­rate bat­tle to enlarge the under­class of work­ers.

    # by Chris C :: September 11th, 2011 at 9:24 AM
  9. The aver­age Joe, that does­n’t do his home­work, would read this blog and assume this is all the infor­ma­tion he needs. The only prob­lem is, this has so many neg­a­tive clich­es (“Cost­co and its alco­hol prof­i­teer allies”), you can’t help but think that it’s the less edu­cat­ed peo­ple that do not favor this bill. Is this not how the Tea Par­ty start­ed? A rumor mill that churns out lies. Each per­son embell­ish­ing a bit more. Final­ly, the lie is believed by every igno­rant per­son that does not choose to inves­ti­gate whether the state­ment they heard was true or false.
    Please, Think for your­selves! Read the ini­tia­tive your­self. Don’t lis­ten to some­one else para­phrase it. Do you need oth­ers to “dumb it down” for you? I think not!

    # by Bill :: September 16th, 2011 at 7:43 PM
  10. I think its one of the most destruc­tive peo­ples’ (cost­co) ini­tia­tives I have ever seen. I have suf­fered great hard­ship because of drunk dri­ving. I do not wish any­one else the same hard­ships that myself, my fam­i­ly, my friend and his fam­i­ly, and the young drunk dri­ver and his fam­i­ly had to go through. That young drunk man had great ambi­tion and edu­ca­tion. Now he is a moth in the eaves soci­ety try­ing to get his rights back. Har­ry I have been all over too, I drank before the acci­dent, but after you have been crip­pled and suf­fered from a blood dis­ease from a poor­ly reg­u­lat­ed body part from New Jer­sey being trans­plant­ed into you you stop drink­ing and you grow up. Grow the fuck up bud­dy buy your liquor before 9 or go to an indi­an reser­va­tion or bar. In fact see if you can whole­sale a pal­let of liquor into your ass­hole you self­ish prick.

    # by Eric :: September 16th, 2011 at 9:17 PM
  11. Do we real­ly want to put the mon­ey from the mark up in Cost­co or the oth­er big box stores or the state. Our State is hurt­ing right now it is not the right time. Besides the state and local com­mu­ni­ties los­ing out on mon­ey how about the over 1000 employed by the LCB how about all the build­ing own­ers with leas­es or the 100’s of truck dri­vers or the small busi­ness like the con­tract store own­ers they will nev­er be able to make it. VOTE NO on 1183

    # by Deanna Riley :: September 17th, 2011 at 7:14 PM
  12. How is this NOT a win-win for the state. You fail to address the fact that the state itself — bad­ly hurt­ing for mon­ey — makes MORE mon­ey under 1183 than now. Fur­ther most of that mon­ey is DEDICATED to local pub­lic safe­ty. It DOUBLES the fines and penal­ties for sell­ing to minors, and no decent busi­ness is going to risk a prof­it cen­ter for ille­gal activ­i­ty. And it gives con­sumers greater choice and con­ve­nience, and gets the state out of a busi­ness it has no busi­ness being in. Should the state also be sell­ing smokes? Cars? Drugs? things that can be “bad” for us. As to the jobs issue, liquor store work­ers are UFCW mem­bers, as are most of the union­ized gro­cery store work­ers in this state — SAME UNION SAME LOCAL. I ful­ly expect stores to have to staff up and those union­ized stores will like­ly absorb the good union­ized work­ers at state stores. Stop being a knee-jerk no-think lib­er­al — read the damn ini­tia­tive your­self, see the increased fund­ing, see the increased penal­ties, and see the ben­e­fits.

    # by GRGardner :: September 18th, 2011 at 12:27 PM
  13. A slight major­i­ty of vot­ers did vote to reject last years ini­tia­tive to move the state out of the liquor busi­ness, but you have to keep in mind that when that hap­pens it usu­al­ly not the over­all idea, but the details and it was the details that did­n’t look good, so we vot­ed it down and now a bet­ter solu­tion has availed itself this year. Vot­ing Yes On 1183.

    Sim­i­lar­ly, vot­ers vot­ed against a water­front tun­nel to replace the viaduct in Seat­tle. You have to be care­ful of what you read into those votes. I vot­ed against that because of the financ­ing mech­a­nism, not because it was a tun­nel.

    # by Will S :: September 19th, 2011 at 11:01 AM
  14. The only rea­son why the wine and spir­its whole­salers of Amer­i­ca have donat­ed 3.6 mil­lion dol­lars is so that they can use our states archa­ic sys­tem of monop­o­liza­tion to fill up their bank accounts. Do you real­ly think that they are con­cerned about our com­mu­ni­ties? The answer is that they are doing exact­ly what Cost­co is doing. The dif­fer­ence is with their sys­tem, you have to pay more and have to dri­ve all over the place to find a liquor store. Does that make any sense?

    # by Henry Mah :: September 19th, 2011 at 1:58 PM
  15. To all of the peo­ple that say that they don’t want to sup­port this ini­tia­tive because it will put more drunks on the street. I say your argu­ment holds no water! Peo­ple can already drink alco­hol (beer and wine in stores, and spir­its in bars) How will this make peo­ple drink more? Peo­ple will drink, whether it is spir­its or beer or wine. This will not increase the num­ber of DUI or the amount of alco­hol relat­ed injuries. Do you know why? Because alco­hol is not ille­gal! That is why. Since it is not ille­gal, I don’t want to pay more for it, nor do I want to dri­ve all over the city to find a liquor store. Let’s get real folks.…YES on 1183!

    # by Henry Mah :: September 19th, 2011 at 2:04 PM
  16. I vot­ed No on both ini­tia­tives last year. This year I believe I am going to vote Yes. I did not like the idea of liquor being sold in con­ve­nience stores, etc. but as Hen­ry Mah stat­ed peo­ple are going to drink and dri­ve no mat­ter what. I don’t know why peo­ple keep bring­ing up Cost­co, that is not the only place they will be sell­ing liquor!!! Peo­ple will be able to have a choice and not have to go out of their way to dri­ve across town to a liquor store and waste GAS (which is expen­sive itself).

    # by Keri :: September 19th, 2011 at 11:52 PM
  17. NO ON 1183.

    For all those that say approve 1183:

    You say that this ini­tia­tive is not about greed, but is about easy access. You also say that this ini­tia­tive is not about Cost­co, but is about low­er prices. And you also say that this ini­tia­tive is not about safe­ty, but about high­er prof­its.

    Hmm…easy access, low­er cost, high­er profits…don’t we already have those things?

    Let’s address each point.

    Easy access — Why is this even an issue? You hon­est­ly can’t dri­ve fur­ther for what you want, or is it that you don’t want to? If you live too far from alco­hol, then stock up or move if its that impor­tant to you.

    Low­er cost — Are you cer­tain this ini­tia­tive will lead to low­er costs? And these low­er costs are for whom? Con­sumers may end up pay­ing less at the store, but our safe­ty infra­struc­ture will need more fund­ing to curb ille­gal acts as a result of low­er prices and eas­i­er access.

    Prof­its? — Who’s going to prof­it here oth­er than busi­ness? Last I heard, the cur­rent sys­tem has funds flow­ing into law enforce­ment which help to keep our cities safe.

    Your response to all of this may be, “…but oth­er areas are doing it”. Well, if oth­er areas allow their chil­dren eas­i­er access to alco­hol, then that’s their busi­ness. And if they prof­it from it too, well, then those par­ents don’t deserve to be par­ents.

    It’s easy enough to get alco­hol with the cur­rent sys­tem, so it can’t be about free­dom or lib­er­ty either, because yes, we have access, and yes, pric­ing is rea­son­able. If you want even eas­i­er access and even low­er prices, then move to anoth­er state.

    # by Dorado :: September 20th, 2011 at 9:16 AM
  18. Why trade state (pub­lic mon­ey) monop­oly for big busi­ness (pri­vate prof­its) monop­oly when there is lit­tle advatage to the con­sumer?

    The state liquor stores have over 1,000 SKUs. Do sup­port­ers of I‑1185 real­ly think this exten­sive selec­tion will con­tin­ue when Cost­co, Safe­way, Wal­mart and oth­er big box retail­ers take over? Do you real­ly want to wait for big box alco­hol stores like Bev­Mo to pop up in our state to get your selec­tion?

    Sure, our liquor prices are high now, but at least the prof­its are help­ing the pub­lic (for the most part).

    Trad­ing one monop­oly for anoth­er does­n’t make sense.

    If you’re seri­ous about get­ting the state out of the liquor busi­ness, why not vote this down and cre­ate an ini­tia­tive that actu­al­ly ben­e­fits the peo­ple?!

    # by Tiffany :: September 20th, 2011 at 4:17 PM
  19. It is real­ly iron­ic that many pro­fes­sion­als com­ing out against 1183 are show­ing how igno­rant they are. They talk about how 7–11 sells to 25% of minors. Maybe they sell to 25% of the adults under 21 that actu­al­ly try to buy. And 95% of con­ve­nience stores are not big enough to qual­i­fy. They also talk about how dan­ger­ous alco­hol is. Well than ban it, don’t just fight a change where it is sold.

    # by Dennis :: September 21st, 2011 at 6:39 PM