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LIQUOR: Seriously scrutinize proposed scheme

Letter by Joyce Carl, Tacoma on April 12, 2011 at 4:44 pm with 3 Comments »
April 13, 2011 9:34 am

Re: “The $300M liquor plan” (TNT, 4-11).

How does a guy whose background is politics and government, who runs a business out of both a house and an apartment in Tacoma called Tom Luce Consulting since 2007, get so much attention for a scheme to make the state $300 million if it hands over operation of its statewide liquor-distribution warehouse to a private company?

According to the article, “If Luce’s idea penciled out, he or another investor could give the state cash up front and take a cut of the state’s $370 million a year in profits – in exchange for the rights to operate the state-controlled liquor distribution system.”

Luce is running his Washington Beverage Company out of his house in Tacoma. According to the state Public Disclosure Commission, Luce has hired three high-end lobbyists. According to a KUOW News article (8-20, 2010) Luce is a “30–year–old with a bachelor’s degree in English.”

I don’t believe an extra eight months give someone the superior business sense to construct a $300 million deal with the state of Washington.

Many of us would like to know who is involved with Luce’s company and who is involved in financing, it and I would hope our state legislators and governor would want to know as well.

Leave a comment Comments → 3
  1. tommy98466 says:

    Joyce… your comments are telling. Whats wrong with someone operating a business out of their home and has a bachelors degree in English? Would you feel better if he had a office in a high rise in Bellevue and had a degree from Harvard? I don’t see where he has done anything illegal. I can’t connect the dots of your comments. I would suppose if he had an image from Bellevue that you would say that he was a greedy capitalist. And if you knew anything about the liquor laws in the State of Washington, full disclosure is required by everyone involved. Get the State out of the Liquor business.

  2. Tommy, connect the political dots. I don’t see anything in the letter that says his actions are illegal, its politically driven. Luce’s mom is the Director of the Washington State Dept of License, his family gives big donations to people like the Gregoire. We are talking about a $300 million plus offer here by a guy that has his business listed out of his house? He has hired top end lobbyist to work his cause. Does that not raise a red flag? I dont know anything about Liquor laws but I know when I smell a political rat in the room trying to work around the laws.

  3. Tom Luce claims his group will give us greater efficiency. According to the Liquor Board’s own numbers, it currently costs them roughly $3.25 to warehouse and deliver a case of liquor. On the 4 million cases they currently sell, that’s about $13 million in total cost per year. Now the Luce team wants to perform essentially the same work for $49 million a year. Seems like a pretty high price to pay for $300 million.

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