Ballot Measures a Mixed Bag for ABC Privatization

on 07/11/10 at 11:42 am

Industry

Though ABC privatization wasn’t on the ballot in Virginia this week, election results in two other states bring a mix of good and bad news to supporters of Gov. McDonnell’s plan to end the state’s archaic liquor monopoly.

First, the bad news from Washington State is that voters rejected two separate ballot measures that would have privatized the state’s liquor monopoly. Initiative 1100 (I-1100)—which would have privatized the Washington State Liquor Control board’s retail and wholesale operations, ended the state’s 51.9% alcohol markup, repealed a ban against volume discounts for alcohol and eliminated the mandatory use of wholesalers/distributors—was defeated by a narrow 52-48% margin after an unholy alliance of major brewers, various national beer and wine wholesaler associations and public employee unions outspent the Yes campaign by millions in a cynical attempt to scare voters that the sky would fall with privatization.

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