Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Are Initiative 1105's backers pivoting to simply oppose Initiative 1100?

We noticed two odd things today.

First -- As of this writing the Initiative 1105 campaign ("Washington Citizens Out-of-state Wholesalers for Liquor Reform Monopoly") has not updated its Facebook page or its Twitter feed in nearly a month.

Second -- Young's Columbia, the northwest subsidiary of L.A.-based Young's Market, one of 1105's two funders, has just donated $306,000 to the WA Beer and Wine Wholesalers' Assn. PAC.  As noted below, the WBWWA PAC, with its $1+ million investment, is the largest shareholder in the NO on 1100/1105 campaign.

Some have long suspected that the 1105 effort might merely be a ploy to confuse voters in order to obstruct 1100. 1105's backers, who also sell lots of beer and wine, have an interest in protecting their existing beer and wine revenues. At the same time they also have steady, easy work brokering spirits to the state store system. Why bother to change a sweetheart state-protected monopoly?

The recent OFM report, which, for all its other flaws, conclusively exposed 1105's promises to increase state revenue as bogus. 1105 has now lost the only selling point relative to 1100 that it ever pretended to have. Since Young's and Southern apparently believe that the status quo is better than losing their monopoly (and certainly better than letting Washington voters dismantle the "Three Tier System" and set a precedent for other states), perhaps they're letting the air out of 1105 and joining the "Protect Our Communities Unnatural Profits" NO on 1100&1105 campaign.

We're speculating here, but why else would the 1105 campaign have gone dark, and why on earth would the 50% funder of 1105 also provide, in effect, 13% of the No On 1105 campaign's $2.7 million war chest?

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