Privatizing the Washington State Liquor Stores? Scene III.

[This post will be irrelevant to pretty much every human on the earth…but, I wrote it for something else and it was not used, so…here it will be buried.]

Remember last year’s Initiatives on the ballot concerning getting rid of our state-run liquor stores?  Well, this time, the legislature does not want to wait for another initiative that is surely on its way – they are taking the initiative this time before the voters will have the chance to have another say and there are a couple bills right now running through the legislature in Olympia to deal with this issue.

What’s their plan?  Oh, lordy – in a deal that only a state legislator could love, their plan is NOT to lease or sell the stores themselves, but…get this…to just sell the distribution system for $300 million as part of a 20 year lease deal.  Wait.  What?  Just the distribution system?  Seriously?  Same stores?  Same prices?  Same bottles, expenses and problems?  Is this really the best decision that they could make?

OK.  So, on December 5th, 1933, the magical day that Prohibition ended, our lovely state got into the liquor business leading us to today’s tragic state of affairs where we do not have a great selection for our liquor choices available to us in our stores – what we DO have is some of the highest prices in America, and that’s been the state of affairs for these previous 78 years. Then, going back to last year, Costco – after spending millions of dollars in an ill-conceived and fruitless effort in trying to sue the state into popping the cork on the WSLCB’s control of our liquor – paid to get on our ballot Initiative 1100, but again fell just a tad short on this second try.  Now?  Talking about initiative…Washington’s legislature; scared to death of losing all control of the state’s liquor sales and distribution, they are finally getting involved.

Are you one of those people that will read the last page of a book before you start the first page?  Well – you’ll like this then: Expect to see another initiative no matter what the state’s legislature does.  It’s impossible that the legislature will make the best decision, instead, the state’s legislature will be paying closer attention to their needs and not the needs of what constitutes what is best for our state’s liquor market.  So, expect Costco or another interested party pay for yet another initiative, and expect to have to buy liquor at the same store, for the same prices, with the same great service for years to come.

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