Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Protecting their beer sales to help Washington families? Huh?

In addition to its $94,000 in-kind contribution to the "Protect Our Communities" campaign, the WA Beer & Wine Wholesalers Association PAC has raised $984,000 cash in the last month alone. That's many times more than they've ever raised in any single year.  It looks like they're ready to invest a lot more money to protect their communities beer sales.

It's ironic that the Wholesalers Association is the biggest investor in the campaign claiming outrage that I-1100 would cause the state to "lose revenue that helps Washington families" (when they say "lose", the only thing that's lost is the foregone opportunity for the state stores to artifically inflate liquor prices to raise money, instead of letting the Legislature transparently tax the stuff).  Ironic because the Beer Wholesaler Assocation's John Guadnola was also outraged last April when the Legislature increased the beer tax to raise another $58 million a year. Even more ironic because $58 million is just what the surplus from the state stores' artificially inflated mark up delivers to other government programs in a typical year.

Adding irony to irony here, in April Guadnola honestly expressed his main concern that the new beer tax would lead to "higher prices". But yesterday he expressed concern that 1100 would cause beer to become cheaper.

Outraged against a lawful tax on his own products, but more outraged at a "loss" of hidden fees on his competitors' products; Outraged at different times about both higher and lower beer prices. These inconsistent messages indicate a desperate campaign for a self-serving, the-heck-with-the-consumer agenda that can't possibly appeal to the voters' sense of fairness.

The Yes on 1100 initiative is for consumer choice, fair prices and honest taxes. Our opponents' campaign isn't.

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