UPDATE: At the suggestion of some organizations, we have added some links to the resources section below.
This is the last of it – we promise.
Over a month ago, I decided to walk away from the topic described above in the title. The subject has become a sour discussion topic amongst beer aficionados, brewers and others who peddle the precious grog we love so dearly. So, we took a step back.
I received my ballot in my mailbox yesterday and revisited the debate for a moment. I realized that I still have yet to decide what is best for Washington state and its incredibly important brewing industry. I am back on the academic trail.
Rather than raise a flag for either side, I simply wanted to take a moment and remind you all of the following 5 things:
- Vote. Nothing is worse than avoiding the polls. You have a voice; let it be heard.
- Know. There are people in the broad spectrum of the brewing industry that support both sides of the Initiatives. There is some moderate solidarity amongst brewers that both Initiatives should go down, and there is some fairly strong solidarity amongst consumers that the Initiative(s) should pass.
- Read. There are a bounty of resources on the web that can help you see the potential impact of a passed Initiative v. the continued state of what we have today. Take the time to check them out. (See below for some links)
- Ask. Ask your brewer, ask your beer bar owner, and ask your bottle shop seller. These people are directly impacted by the Initiatives. While consumers have an interest in this potential legislation, business owners are the ones who are most invested. See how they feel. Don’t worry it won’t take many attempts to find people on both sides.
- Review. If you get through all these steps and you still cannot make up your mind – read the proposed law. Many of the commentators are focusing their attention on particular portions of the Initiatives. You can get a better look at the forest versus the trees, by giving them a read.
If you want a brief recap of the information we have provided over the past few months, you can follow this link to find a collection of articles on the topic. Furthermore, check out these resources:
- The Secretary of State’s Voter Information on Initiatives 1100 & 1105
- Seattlest’s Mostly Middle of the Road Perspective
- Yes to 1100 – The Support for 1100
- Liquor Reform – The Support for 1105
- Modernize Washington – More Support for 1100
- No to 1100/1105 – The Opposition to all things Initiative
- Protect Washington – More Opposition
- Protect Our Communities – More Opposition Focusing on Safety Issues
With only two weeks left until the vote, we are signing off from the subject. Good luck to all sides. As always, please leave any comments below.
You might be sick of Initiative 1100 by now (and please tell me below, if you are), but here is more fodder for the fire. Initiative 1100 is getting more and more face time, every time I turn on the tube.
The ad campaigns used by both sides showcase many in the local alcohol industry – some who are for it; others who are not. Here is a look at what is out there, so far.
You probably have already seen the videos put out by the “No To Initiative 1100/1105” campaign. The two that are most often shown (and perhaps the only two out there) profile Washington winemaker, Darby English, and a Washington corner store owner.
Here is Darby English talking about why he believes the Initiative will harm his business:
Other ads showcase the safety hazards that many are pushing as the negative impact of the Initiative. This one is from a local firefighter:
Another video was put out by the Teamsters, who put 700-800 people to work in the alcohol distribution business. Take a look:
But, where are the supporters videos? Until recently, it appeared that the “Yes to 1100” campaign wouldn’t put as much money into ads. But a recent video shows that maybe they were just saving all their guns for one ad. Check out this video of many of Seattle’s most prominent restaurateurs:
Many will say that this video is merely a collection of bar/restaurant owners, looking for cheaper liquor. But, the Yes to 1100 campaign has been out in the community getting video testimonials from many people in the alcohol industry. You can see some of these videos below.
Wallace Wright of the Meridian Market:
Jackie Moffit, local bartender and author of DrinkGal.com
Alison Helfen of the Wine Alley:
What I really wanted to show are the real people out there that will be impacted by the Initiative. Most of us are merely beverage consumers who care about the bottom line. Through these people’s stories, I think you can get a better idea of the impact of this legislation. Hopefully, it will help you make your choice next month.
***This post was originally posted on BreweryLaw.com, perhaps the nation’s only blog devoted to beer law! The blog is published by Reiser Legal, LLC, a Seattle, Washington law office. Reiser Legal’s Douglas Reiser is our regular legal columnist.***
Recently, the Liquor Control Board (LCB) has been vocal about its disdain for the proposed Initiative. The Washington Wine Institute hosted Washington Liquor Control Board Deputy Director, Rick Garza, at a panel meeting in Woodinville, last month. The purpose of the panel was to show the public why most of the local beverage industry opposes the Initiative. The Washington Brewers Guild was also present, echoing the Wine Institute’s call. (You can listen to Garza’s presentation by following this link over at SoundPolitics.com)
Apparently, one concerned citizen is upset about the LCB’s public presence. A local Seattle man (and writer for SoundPolitics.com) has filed a Complaint with the State of Washington Executive Ethics Board against Garza, alleging that the LCB executive is illegally using public resources and misleading the public with false information.
If you are interested in the Complaint, you can find a brief summary by clicking on this link, and you can read the entire Complaint by following this link. The LCB’s position has been laid out in a series of slides that can be read by following this link.
This blog takes no position with regard to the Complaint. Furthermore, we have no supporting information which makes us believe that the LCB is misleading the public.
It is, however, apparent that the LCB is openly involved in the “Vote No” movement. Recent materials illustrate that they believe the passing of Initiative 1100 will cost millions, necessitating a dip into the State’s general fund to meet LCB budget requirements.
Of course, the war of words will only gain steam as we approach November. Feel free to leave comments below if you have something to add to the discussion.
Well, its getting even more interesting. The battle over Washington State Initiatives 1100 & 1105 is heating up, more and more, each and every day.
In case you don’t know, Initiative 1100 was introduced back in June 2010 to privatize liquor sales in Washington and to deregulate much of the industry, allowing alcohol to be sold more freely. Initiative 1105 is very similar, but institutes price controls for liquor permits based upon the volume sold. There is much more on these initiatives here on Wikipedia, here on Beer Blotter, and here on Washington Beer Blog.
But recently, the government stuck its head in to the fight – providing a bounty of scary statistics. The Office of Financial Management purportedly performed a study, finding that the State stands to lose between $277 – 730 Million (depending on the measure that passes) if the Initiatives become law.
Opponents of the statistics say that the State is failing to run the numbers on the increase in alcohol taxes that will be raised by private sales of liquor. Furthermore, the State failed to measure the expected increase in alcohol sales in general, due to deregulation of the distribution and sales system.
But now, we have a purported beverage industry blogger bringing a fresh perspective to the Initiatives. Yes 1100–No 1105 is a blog written by an anonymous source, urging consumer to say Yes to 1100 and No to 1105. According to the blogger, the problem with 1105 is that its backed by enormous out of state distributors, hoping to gain a monopoly on the sale of alcohol.
The blogger has even pointed out that Young’s Columbia (one of the great beer distributors we have here in Washington) has contributed a hefty sum to the NO to 1100/1105 campaign put on by Washington Beer & Wine Wholesales PAC. This comes just after Young’s committed $1 Million to the campaign to pass 1105.
Apparently, its 1105 or nothing at all for the distributor. The blogger also has a sneaking suspicion that 1105 was a smokescreen to drag down 1100, all with the intention of supporting a NO campaign in the end. We will never know, and we aren’t speculating either way.
Here is the blogger’s short statement:
Washington State will vote on two liquor privatization initiatives this November– Initiative 1100 and Initiative 1105. I-1100 will provide a fair marketplace for consumers, while improving the Liquor Control Board’s ability to enforce important alcohol safety laws. I-1105 would only guarantee monopoly privileges to the large out-of-state wholesalers who put 1105 on the ballot, with no benefits for consumers and no improvements in public health and safety.
Anyways, we at Beer Blotter have vowed to stay out of the fight and reserve our opinions for vote day. But, we are committed to providing readers with all the resources they can grab, so that you can make an informed decision – come vote day.
Check out the Yes 1100 — No 1105 blog, as well as the vast assortment of other resources and make your own call. Leave comments below if you have something to say.