This editorial will appear in tomorrow’s print edition.
Ballot measures account for most of the action in this off-year election, including gargantuan media battles over a couple of them.
Voters beware: All three initiatives on the state ballot have something in common – each got nearly all of its funding from a single source. A summary of our past recommendations:
Commercial fortunes are at stake with I-1183, which would privatize the sale of hard liquor in Washington. It promises immense profits to Costco, which has broken state spending records promoting it.
On the other side, the Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of America – representing business profiting from the status quo – is funding a ferocious opposition.
Also in the mix are unions out to protect the employees of state liquor stores who could lose their jobs if Costco has its way with the electorate.
Amid the flurry of confusing ads, it’s easy to overlook the fundamental issue: Should the sale of liquor be tightly controlled or greatly expanded under a profit-driven model? We’re swayed by the U.S. Centers of Disease Control, which has concluded that privatization increases the abuse of alcohol and the social problems it fuels.
This measure is the handiwork of a single union, the Service Employees International Union, which is again exploiting the plight of elderly and disabled to advance its interests.
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