Letters to the Editor

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ELECTION: Say no to liquor privatization

Letter by Kevin I. Danby, Ephrata on Sep. 21, 2010 at 11:50 am with 21 Comments »
September 21, 2010 11:50 am

I would like to point out a few reasons why voters should oppose Initiatives 1100 and 1105.

In addition to harming the $4 billion Washington wine industry, the Washington state craft brewers also know the consequences of these initiatives and have joined the opposition.

There are significant social consequences if 1100 and 1105 pass. The number of hard liquor outlets will go from 315 to as many as 5,000. Because corporations that sell liquor wrote the initiatives, Washington would become the least-regulated state in the nation for hard liquor sales.

The odds of a minor making an illegal purchase will go from 1 in 20 to 1 in 4. Alcohol-related traffic problems such as drunk driving will increase significantly.

Current revenue now paid to cities and counties will flow into the pockets of big box stores and out-of-state distillers. Washington state liquor prices are high due to state and federal taxes. These will not change under the proposed Initiatives. Prices will likely be higher due to distribution costs and possible tax increases to offset revenue loss.

There are too many reasons to reject 1100 and 1105, so I urge you to vote no.

Leave a comment Comments → 21
  1. wadsbrau says:

    This is the most ignorant, useless and unfact based letter I’ve ever seen. Prices will likely go lower due to the competition. Many other states do this. Why shouldnt we be free to buy legal goods anywhere we want. The regulated liquor store was a bad idea in the first place. You can’t just say don’t vote for this because “I said so”. Gives some references and facts to back up your claims. Maybe more will pay attention. I’m voting for it. The state needs to cut the fat. They get enough money from us.

  2. FreeAmerica says:

    “The odds of a minor making an illegal purchase will go from 1 in 20 to 1 in 4″

    Can u show proof to this statistic?
    If a minor goes to four stores one will sell them alcohol?

    If the price of liquor goes up it is because the taxpayers have been subsidized in order to offset pricing… We the people are not supposed to be in the liquor business…regulations are in place to curtail sales to minors.

    Once again a baseless argument by unionized labor to preserve state jobs at taxpayer expense.
    Try again with better facts…maybe I will listen.

  3. reformedliberal says:

    “Because corporations that sell liquor wrote the initiatives, Washington would become the least-regulated state in the nation for hard liquor sales.”

    The Legislature could have fixed the problem more to the letter writer’s liking, but did not do so, even though it is well known that voters would likely end the current system at the first opportunity.

    Sometimes I wonder why we still have a Legislature.

  4. jimkingjr says:

    Those of you who wish to ignore the facts, and live in your fantasy land of cheap booze available on every street corner, ought to be willing to pick up the costs of fire and police that will be dumped on property owners while Costco reaps its enormous profits. As usual, the Legislature showed more sense than many voters will.

  5. Where are the facts? Nothing has been presented to prove their claim. State is afraid of loosing control. Voting YES!

  6. CrazyLibertarian says:

    My fantasy land of cheap booze? All of the revenue that state will lose when Costco starts selling liquor? Fire and police costs dumped on homeowners?

    Whiskey Tango Fox?

    First, booze isnt cheap, whether the state sells it, or ..”Costco”?

    Second, how will the state lose revenue, when … “CostCo” starts selling the millions of cases of Absolut they will surely sell? Have you heard of a little thing in WA state called a sales tax?

    Fire and police costs dumped on homeowners? Exactly how much more booze do you think will be sold when you can buy it in more then one place? Do you think that more people will drink then? Is it not more likely that people who drink to excess, or who act the fool while drinking really dont care about having to drive five more minutes to get a drink?

    Finally, …”Costco”? Really, who is going to go buy a case of booze – hard liquor (since we can already buy beer and wine at Costco) except for other businesses? Do you really think “Joe Homeowner” is going to be investing 400-600$ on a case of Glenlivet? Isnt it more likely a bar or restaurant will buy the case of booze at.. “CostCo”, pay taxes on it, then re-sell it by the glass, and collect double taxes on the same glass?

    This is laughable people.

  7. Sumner401 says:

    Well I hadn’t made up my mind on this issue until I saw just who here is in favor of it, if certain posters are in favor of something then it has to be very bad indeed.
    Count me as a no vote.

  8. truthbusterguy says:

    State worker unions hear this message. The liquor stores are only the first thing to be privatized. Once this passes it’s an open door for more contracting out of over priced state services. There is nothing the state does that private companies can’t do better for less cost.

    It time to swing to smaller government. Start with the liquor stores. Yes on 1100. Follow the advice of the Lakewood Chamber of Comm.


  9. slasmith says:

    Thank you for your letter Kevin. It just gave me another reason to vote yes. Why should my tax dollars be subsidizing a 4 billion dollar industry like WA wineries? If they are doing that well they can survive in the free market.

  10. blakeshouse says:

    One in four minors will be able to buy booze? Are 1 in 4 able to buy beer and wine? The only thing that scares the opponents is the loss of the union jobs the state now bankrupts itself to pay an unsustainable pension and pay package on. Revenues will rise substantially without the outlay. Prices will fall without the state being able to set them overly high. Stores will be paying not only the taxes collected from the booze but also on the POS extras most if not all customers will make. Local beer and wine producers will up their sales not lose. The arguemants are spurious at best out and out lies at worst

  11. One point on the topic of 1100 and 1105 that I think is being missed. If the state liquor sale system is a state asset, which I think it is then why would we let corporations just have this state asset for free? Well I think that’s just what will happen if 1100 or 1105 passes. Sounds like corporate welfare to me.

    Vote No on 1100 and 1105

  12. One reason to vote yes, that overrides all others:

    cheaper Scotch.

    Thank you.

  13. OldLefty says:

    At least bugme was honest.

    Want to avoid taxes on booze? Don’t drink. My last drink was September of 1988 so I haven’t paid taxes on booze since that date (with exception of a few gifts I’ve purchased)

    This is about profits for private enterprise (who is sponsoring the bill, voters?)

    Frankly, I’m surprised they didn’t hire Tim Eyman to run the campaign except Tim might pull a Christine O’Donnell with the campaign funds.

    State run liquor stores return substantial funding to the communites in Washington state (www.liq.wa.gov). Educate yourselves beyond the emotion of a cheap drunk.

  14. OldLefty says:

    As to minors buying booze, when was the last time you saw a State store get ticketed during a local police sting?

    NEVER, if I’m correct.

    As one that lost his hair early in life, I bought beer and wine for the boys at the age of 20, but didn’t even consider walking into a state store until my 21st birthday, when I was promptly carded.

    I won’t list the covenience stores and taverns I purchased from in Pierce County in 1970.

  15. OldLefty says:

    Oh…and “fear of loss of union jobs”?????

    Yeah…we can’t have those dog goned decent paying jobs getting in the way of Walmart beating the living daylights out of their minimum wage workers, can we?

    Lock them in the workplace, I say!!! Remind them of the good old days of labor chronicled in “The Jungle” by Upton Sinclair.

  16. Sumner401 says:

    How does everything come down to the rightwings fear and hatred of unions?
    They must really be beating that drum over on fox propaganda.

    Good paying jobs are just that….good.
    They are good for everyone, even the nonunion workers, they bring UP the wages for everyone!
    I will never understand why the right has been fooled into voting and acting against their own best interests.

  17. Bettering yourself and your financial position is acceptable unless you happen to be a member of a labor union, then it’s wrong.

    Pooling your efforts with like minded people in similar situations makes perfect sense unless you happen to be a member of a labor union, then it’s wrong.

  18. If 1100 and or 1105 were to pass it will certainly be a disaster. 1in 4 teenagers will be drunk on illegally bought $30.00 a 5th hard liquor bought with money from their allowance. You won’t be able to get into a costco as the parking lot will be filled with booz buyers lugging casses of scotch out of the store. The real disaster will be from the influx of cheap wine from China. It will deffinately bankrupt all of Washington states whineries. The other big problem will be the loss of jobs as state stores will close and there employees will never be able to find another job as liquor sales will now be handle by mail order. WOW glad I don’t drink go to costco and all my children are adult alcoholics.

  19. It’s suppose to be against the law for monopolies and that is what this state has.

  20. OldLefty says:

    The Sherman Anti-Trust Act (monopolies) is federal and applies to monopolies controlling a business interest in the entire United States.

    If you want cheap booze, move to Nevada.

    See there is no monopoly.

  21. FreeAmerica says:

    Those “good paying” jobs are subsidized by the taxpayer due to the fact the state loses money on the liquor sales.

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