Letters to the Editor

Your views in 200 words or less

Tag: liquor privatization


I-1183: Costco trying to deregulate liquor industry

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

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I-1183: State control doesn’t equal safety

Re: “We’re better off without I-1183’s liquor privatization” (Our View, 10-23).

Based on statistics published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, for the years 1998 and 2008, Washington State ranked 42 out of 51 (including D.C.) for the highest percent of alcohol related traffic fatalities.

Out of those 41 states with a lower percentage of alcohol related traffic fatalities, 15 have state controlled liquor and 26 don’t. There is no evidence whatsoever that state control equals lower alcohol related fatalities, nor any evidence that it reduces availability to minors.

The fact that Costco was the largest contributor to I-1183

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I-1183: Privatization poses no threat to safety

After reading numerous studies about the privatization of alcohol sales vs. state control, the data suggest public safety is better served by privatization.

Despite the Canadian findings of an increase in alcohol-related fatalities due to alcohol privatization, American researchers found numerous problems with the Canadian research. For example, the demographics of the newly privatized stores were not considered.

The Commonwealth Foundation’s study for the Pennsylvania Senate debate showed an actual increase in alcohol-related fatalities among those states with the greatest control over alcohol sales. One possible explanation for this is that those states with the greatest controls over liquor sales

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I-1183: Passage will nullify bad legislation

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

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ELECTION: Liquor sales just part of the problem

Re: “Get state out of liquor sales” (editorial, 10-17).

I have a dog in this fight, actually a pack. I have been a liquor store clerk since 1998. Everyone is addressing underage sales. No one is bringing up theft.

Liquor is a drug. It is stolen, sold and bartered as such. Is the clerk at your corner store going to gently confront everyone and ask for ID when groups of four and six come through the door? Will he/she ask for the bottle back that just went down the front of the pants, in the purse, into the pocket?


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ELECTION: Reason why state is in ‘businesses’

Should the state get out of the workers’ compensation business and out of the liquor business? Initiative proponents are arguing the private sector should be offering these services and the state should not be involved.

This argument raises the question as to why the state got into these “businesses” in the first place.

Simply, the state is in these businesses because in years past business failed at providing these services in a reasonable manner. The state is involved in workers’ compensation because, left to their own devices, employers have abandoned injured workers. The state is involved in the liquor business

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ELECTION: Say no to liquor privatization

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

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