Letters to the Editor

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I-1183: Costco trying to deregulate liquor industry

Letter by Linn D. Kangas, Vancouver on Oct. 27, 2011 at 10:27 am | 16 Comments »
October 27, 2011 10:27 am

After the defeat of Costco’s I-1100, Senate Bill 5942 privatizing the state liquor business was signed into law by our Governor in June. SB5942 estimates revenues of $300 million next year in fees paid by private parties for the 20-year lease of distribution rights along with 15 percent of liquor sales revenues annually.

Why did Costco create I-1183 to repeal SB5942, and then spend $22 million pushing I-1183?

Hidden in I-1183 are “central warehousing,” “uniform pricing” and “volume discounts.” These terms seem innocent, perhaps meaningless, to the general public. Don’t be fooled! These are critical components of the federal regulatory (3 tier) system, which Costco desperately wants dismantled to increase their profits.

Costco first failed to deregulate the liquor industry via our legislative system – our state elected officials said no.  In 2008, Costco failed via the judicial system – the Federal Court ruled against Costco’s desire to deregulate “central warehousing,” “uniform pricing” and “volume discounts” (Costco v. Hoen, 9th Circuit Court). Most recently, Costco failed via I-1100 – voters said no.

Costco wants only what is best for Costco – higher profits with disregard to societal costs. Elected officials, our judicial system and voters have all said “No!” Vote smart. Vote no on I-1183.

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