Washington privatizes liquor sales

| Print |  Email
The Latest
Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Washington voters approved a plan to privatize liquor sales, ending state rules that have been in place since Prohibition. It was the costliest initiative campaign in state history.

Unofficial results Tuesday night showed the measure with 60 percent support in early returns. Costco Wholesale Corp. had committed $22 million to supporting the measure — $6 for every registered voter — as executives portrayed the Issaquah-based company as a crusader for consumers and said that it could take years to make up the investment in the initiative.
The company also harnessed support from restaurants, groceries and other retailers.
"We are very grateful to all of our coalition partners across the state," said Joel Benoliel, senior vice president and chief legal officer at Costco. "The voters overwhelmingly demonstrated that facts trump scare tactics."
Wholesalers provided much of the opposition funding, as retailers will now be able to bypass them and buy product directly from producers. The new rules go into effect in June, and about 1,000 people who currently operate the state's system will lose their jobs.
Costco had backed another privatization measure that failed last year with 47 percent of the vote. Acknowledging that the 2010 proposal wasn't ideal, supporters returned this year with a plan that includes more revenue for state and local governments, as well as stricter controls on which stores can sell liquor.
The measure will end Washington's state-run liquor system, which was formed in the 1930s in the aftermath of Prohibition, and allow stores larger than 10,000 square feet to sell liquor. Opponents pointed to an exemption in the law that could allow smaller stores to sell liquor if there are no other outlets in a trade area.

Read more at CBSnews.com.

 

More Articles

Stemming the tide of money in politics

Linda Baker
Wednesday, June 10, 2015
 jeff-lang-2012-thumbBY LINDA BAKER

Jeff Lang and his wife Rae used to dole out campaign checks like candy.  “We were like alcoholics,” Lang says. ”We couldn’t just give a little.”


Read more...

Balancing Act

July/August 2015
Friday, July 10, 2015
BY DAN COOK

The Affordable Care Act has triggered a rush on health care plan redesign, a process fraught with hidden costs and consequences.


Read more...

Marijuana law ushers in new business age

The Latest
Tuesday, June 23, 2015
062315panelthumbBY KIM MOORE | RESEARCH EDITOR

Oregon’s new marijuana law is expected to lead to a bevy of new business opportunities for the state. And not just for growers. Law firms, HR consultants, energy efficiency companies and many others are expected to benefit from the decriminalization of pot, according to panelists at an Oregon Business breakfast meeting on Tuesday.


Read more...

Reader Input: Energy Overload

June 2015
Wednesday, July 15, 2015

We asked readers to weigh in on the fossil fuel-green energy equation.


Read more...

House of Clarity

July/August 2015
Monday, July 13, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER

Holding a Power Lunch at Veritable Quandary in downtown Portland.


Read more...

Photo Log: Waterfront Blues Festival

The Latest
Thursday, July 09, 2015
bluesfestthumbBY JASON E. KAPLAN | STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

The sweltering weather didn't keep the crowds away. Although the numbers were down slightly from last year, the Oregon Food Bank raised $850,636 to fight hunger.  About 80,000 people attended despite temperatures in the upper 90s.


Read more...

Preserving the Legacy

July/August 2015
Monday, July 13, 2015
BY KIM MOORE | PHOTOS BY JASON E. KAPLAN

A New York floral and gift business takes on the iconic Harry & David brand.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS