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I-1183: Passage will nullify bad legislation

Letter by M. Anthony Witecki, Tacoma on Oct. 17, 2011 at 3:18 pm with 23 Comments »
October 18, 2011 10:07 am

Liquor in Washington is already privatized. Most citizens don’t follow state politics very closely and probably didn’t realize that the 2011 Legislature voted to sanction a private sector monopoly of the liquor distribution center (SB 5942). It was passed with an emergency clause and signed by the governor. As such, no referendum is allowed by law.

While expected to raise tens of millions of dollars initially, this strategy locks in a fixed profit for the state for 10 to 20 years. It has been tried in other states, such as Maine, with disastrous results.

Maine legislators didn’t anticipate the upward trend in demand for spirituous alcohol, and the state lost out on hundreds of millions of dollars, while customers paid the highest liquor prices in the region. Last month, the state issued a Request For Proposal (RFP) for companies to bid on the private monopoly. Two organizations responded. One was the company that helped write the legislation. The other is currently unknown as it is not on file with the secretary of state.

Initiative 1183 specifically mentions SB 5942 and nullifies it. It is the only option we have to put Washington on the right track. Defeating I-1183 does not mean a return to status quo; it means a long-term contract between the state and a private sector monopoly that epitomizes crony capitalism.

Make retailers and distributors compete for our business. Vote Yyes on I-1183.

Leave a comment Comments → 23
  1. Smoke and mirrors.

    Easy stuff – the taxpayers are enjoying a profit on liquor sales and large retailers want it.

  2. SadujTogracse says:

    Easy stuff- The bottom line is that selling and distributing liquor is not an essential state service. It is especially important in times like these to streamline state government and get them out of areas where they aren’t needed. They also will not be losing money and according to the states own Office of Financial Management the state will be collecting $35 million to $42 million more than under the current system.

  3. No one said it’s essential….

    But it’s profitable….

    There is no reason to take away the profits and hand them over to a retailer.

    “They also will not be losing money and according to the states own Office of Financial Management the state will be collecting $35 million to $42 million more than under the current system.”

    Misrepresented statement. Someone left out the “6 years” window.

    This is the MO of the campaign….spread false information to low information voters.

    One of the TNT readers did some excellent math on another thread about this subject and demonstrated the possible loss of $1.4 billion in revenue by privatizing. Look a little further….

  4. SadujTogracse says:

    What part of the phrase “the state WILL BE collecting…” don’t you understand. Will be means it will be collected sometime in the future. Only false information for those who lack reading comprehension skills.

  5. Here is the post of which I spoke…

    AlabamaGeorge says:
    Oct. 17, 2011 at 6:13 pm

    Mr. Saduj Togracse –

    Since you persist in this message, I took the time to look up some things on the Liquor Board website. From their annual report:

    Gross Revenue – $877.77 million

    Markup – 28% this is the gross profit after purchase/from selling

    Gross Profit – $245.78 million, money that the state will not see if not in the sales business.

    Cost of retail operations – $86.61 million.

    Net profits lost, after deducting cost of retail – $159.16 million

    On Saturday, you claimed that the OFM said there could be an increase of up to $42 million in 6 years if privatization takes place. Did they explain how they will make up the loss of nearly $160,000,000 per year before increasing revenue by $42,000,000? The math just doesn’t seem to compute. It would seem that we taxpayers stand to lose $1,470,000,000, as opposed to gaining $42,000,000. This is providing that unit sales do not increase or decrease substantially.

  6. Since we are quoting campaigns:

    The big corporate backers of this measure say that it will end a state monopoly and increase funding for government programs. But this measure creates a brand new 27 percent tax on consumers—unfairly increasing the burden on regular Washingtonians. It’s time for the big corporations to start paying their fair share instead of forcing us to carry the load for them.

    In a recent radio interview backers of this initiative admitted that this plan would likely not lead to lower liquor prices and the OFM projected that there could be as much as a 72% mark-up on each bottle of liquor to meet revenue goals – an almost 50% increase over the current state mark-up per bottle.

  7. SadujTogracse says:

    Big corporations or big government? Hmmm I know which I choose!

  8. I’ll choose big government. I have a say in who runs it.

  9. stetsonwalker says:

    When did you last vote on members of the WSLCB? I missed that part of my ballot, strange too as I am careful to look at both the front and back!

  10. SadujTogracse says:

    LMAO, nice one stetson! Kard gets schooled again!

  11. Stetson…I enjoyed meeting the Governor at a fundraiser and had personal conversation with her. My choices of the WSLCB executives wasn’t one of our topics, but we certainly discussed other business of the State.

    I have a vote in state government. I have nothing to say in Costco’s management, as I’m seeing $10,000,000 later.

    I guess for all the hullabaloo you spout about the TEA Party, you really don’t believe in the voters having a say in things, do you?

  12. Oh..and stetson…I don’t have a problem with the WSLCB. It’s working just fine in my eyes.

    $425 million in the state revenue bank is wonderful.

  13. SadujTogracse says:

    Kard, did you give her helpful hints on where she can take her next junket overseas and waste even more of our money? Perhaps you should have introduced her to the idea of video conferencing.

    But there is no waste in government.

  14. Saduj…..you obviously missed the news story about the business in Spokane that reaped a huge contract because of the Governor’s junket. The business owner was quoted as saying “you can’t do that sort of business over the phone”

    Yeah…they don’t have that stuff on Conservative blogs

  15. stetson…the other avenue a voter has is to show up at the legislature and lobby. I’ve done it and been successful in being a part of a half million dollar budget item for children’s causes.

    The best I’ve gotten from Costco was some hot dogs and buns.

  16. I’m so enthused about the Legislature that I’m considering spending some of my retirement time working as an aide, to become closer to the solution system.

  17. I like how Saduj jumps from accepting the OFM’s PROJECTION on Liquor sales profits to saying how much waste there is in government.

    It’s nice to get to pick and choose when government is right and wrong….when they do what you want.

  18. OKLAHOMA CITY – As Oklahoma wrapped up a fiscal year that saw deep budget cuts, four state officials were sent to the Paris Air Show for a week this summer to promote Oklahoma’s aviation industry – and it cost taxpayers $84,000, records show.

    Oklahoma taxpayers footed the bill for $400-a-night hotel rooms at a luxury Paris hotel, $188 daily meal per diems and more than $3,000 in air fare, according to a review of receipts obtained by The Associated Press through an open records request. Oklahoma was one of at least 14 states represented at the show, which was promoted as the world’s premier event for the aerospace industry.

    Gov. Mary Fallin did not attend the show but defended Oklahoma’s participation, calling it a “legitimate investment” because of the state’s burgeoning aerospace industry and the associated potential for economic development.

    Read more from this Tulsa World article at http://www.tulsaworld.com/news/article.aspx?subjectid=12&articleid=20111006_12_A1_CUTLIN210271&allcom=1

    I guess when you are a red state….it’s OK to go to Paris and the Right Wing Media Sound Machine doesn’t go ape….oh…nevermind

  19. stetsonwalker says:

    Glad to see you are actively involved, please let me know how your involvement has steered the WSLCB… or ant government agency for that matter?

  20. SadujTogracse says:

    Kard, I gave the OFM numbers for people like yourself that trust in those sort of things. That’s not the main issue for me, the main issue is getting government out of something that isn’t an essential service.

    And I actually think you should run for state office. You would actually be an improvement over some of our elected officials (that should tell you how bad of shape we are in!) Besides it would be fun critiquing your performance from these forums!

  21. stetson…try reading the comments….

    Here’s a hint…”half million dollars”….

    As to the WSLCB….I have no problems with that part of the government. They are making money and paying for programs for taxpayers….on and providing jobs. All things that the Conservatives claim we need…but are unwilling to do anything about.

    The only people that I’ve seen who really have a problem with WSLCB are those who need a lower price on booze. Since I don’t drink, that’s not an issue in my house.

    Can someone explain why we need cheap booze in Washington State when we are already enjoying $425 million a year in revenues for programs?

  22. stetsonwalker says:

    Same reason we need gas to cost less, lower prices on beans, cheaper tires for the car. we should be entitled to buy any legal product at the best price available!

  23. “we should be entitled to buy any legal product at the best price available!”


    Tell you what….control those gas prices and then get back to me about booze. Sorry, but gas is a bit more important.

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