We used to believe selling wine and liquor in grocery stores was bad news bears for independent retailers. More honestly, we gave independent retailers a couple years to prove to us that selling wine and liquor in grocery stores was going to harm independent retailers seriously.
Guess what? It’s a bunch of malarky and the bill’s sponsors are bought and paid for by the industry.
Take a look at this story:
House Bill 310’s supporters say its aimed at keeping high-alcohol content drinks away from children. Its opponents, though, say it would end up hurting the consumer.
The bill would prohibit minors from going into any store selling malt beverages, distilled spirits, or wine unless they had a parent or guardian with them.
“It boils down to protecting the children and that’s all it’s about,” said Representative Dennis Keene. The Democrat from Kentucky’s 67th District said it’s meant for convenience stores and gas stations where a low level of supervision could lead to kids stealing the liquor and getting hurt.
“When we see these overdoses of children with alcohol it’s usually hard liquor where they have more drinks than just a couple of beers and they don’t realize it,” said Keene.
Ted Mason is the executive director of the Kentucky Grocers Association. They oppose the bill.
“We think that it is primarily a response from the liquor store industry to protect their virtual monopoly of packaged alcohol sales,” he said.
That’s all about House Bill 310.
Can you believe that mess? Using children to protect a lobbying group. Using children. Shameful.
Let’s take a look at the bill’s sponsors and the contributions they’ve received from grocers, trade groups, alcohol wholesalers and such…
- Dennis Keene: $9,850
- Sal Santoro: $2,600
- Regina Bunch: None
- Denver Butler: $7,800
- Larry Clark: $11,050
- Jeffery Donohue: $400
- Richard Henderson: $700
- Dennis Horlander: $4,500
- Joni Jenkins: $4,700
- Reggie Meeks: $2,100
- Charlie Miller: $6,900
- Terry Mills: $1,300
- Darryl Owens: $3,125
- Wilson Stone: None
Taking money from either side of the issue is ridiculous. Some of those folks may be our friends but let’s get real.
There’s no reason Kentuckians shouldn’t be able to buy wine at Kroger. That’s the way the world works in most other states and there’s been no harm to independent retailers who actually try to run a business. Anything pushing an alternate talking point is just that – a talking point. A talking point clearly funded by campaign contributions.