Two bidders want to take over the state’s liquor warehousing and distribution system.
The pair filed bids ahead of Friday’s deadline. One of them is the Washington Beverage Co., spearheaded by Tacoma’s Tom Luce. Luce’s outfit lobbied lawmakers to contract out distribution of liquor.
The second bidder is unknown.
Gov. Chris Gregoire’s budget office isn’t giving the identity. But the office does provide one clue: a list of attendees at a conference that was mandatory for anyone who wanted to apply:
Those who signed in are as follows: Mark Basile, Dennis Hamann, Bob Richardson–Young’s Market; Tom Luce, Carl Martignetti, Ryan Miller, D. Dean Williams—Washington Beverage Company; Dick Barkett, Bobby Burg, Randy Halter, Phil Morsing, Shawn Youmans–Odom Southern; Robert Stevens—Gallatin Consultants; Greg Hanon—Communico; Mitch Sullivan—United Warehouse
The list includes representatives from two major national alcohol distributors (Young’s and Southern-Odom) and a Northwest warehouse company. I have calls in to all three.
Rounding out the list are a consultant, representatives for Washington Beverage and Hanon, a lobbyist for Costco, which is bound to be watching the bid process closely as it pushes a measure that would cancel it, Initiative 1183.
The state could announce a recommended winning bidder Nov. 2 — although state officials could decide no one meets the qualifications. In any case, the decision won’t be final until after the Nov. 8 election, when voters decide whether to go for the full privatization of I-1183.