By John ~ October 22nd, 2010.
A month ago, I wrote a post analyzing Washington Ballot Initiatives I-1100 and I-1105 and concluded by saying that I was leaning toward a “yes” vote on I-1100 and a “no” vote on I-1105. Since then, I have been continuing to study the issues and have engaged in discussion with a number of knowledgeable persons about the pros and cons of each. Now that I have received my ballot, it’s time to make a decision. Today, I am recommending that all Washington wine lovers vote “Yes” on I-1100. And, vote “No” on I-1105.
While I am not a big fan of the initiatives process, and I certainly don’t want to do anything to hurt the wine business, the politicians here in Washington State have had almost 80 years to straighten out our terrible, dysfunctional, intellectually dishonest, state-controlled liquor monopoly through legislation and have done nothing meaningful. That’s why we have these initiatives, and that’s why I-1100 deserves your vote. It’s not perfect, but it’s the best chance we’ve ever had to correct this mess. It can always be tweaked after we see how it works.
What disappoints me the most about the campaign against I-1100 (and I-1105, for that matter) is the disingenuous rhetoric about health and public safety. California has private liquor sales rather than a state-controlled system, and yet California has fewer drunk-driving deaths per-capita than we have in Washington State. The beer and wine wholesalers who are funding the negative ads don’t want us to stop drinking or to drink less. They simply want to ensure that they continue to get their cut of virtually every bottle sold in Washington.
The bottom line: I-1100 is pro-consumer. Since Wine Peeps is a consumer-focused wine blog, I am encouraging you, the consumer, to support I-1100. Sure, Costco is the main corporate supporter of I-1100, and no one is hiding that fact. Costco wants to buy wine without a government-mandated middleman and price controls, so they can offer wine at lower prices to you and me. That, my friends, is the free enterprise system. Join me in voting “Yes” on I-1100.
Filed under: American Wine, Miscellaneous, Washington State Wine