Bob McDonnell proves daily he’s hornswoggled by the “free market.” Let me help. What the ABC Privitization Coalition wants is abolishment of the liquor distribution restrictions, not the stores. That diminishes the value of the state stores to the storefronts themselves. If everyone sells liquor, the stores are virtually worthless.
“Right now, it’s totally dead in the Senate. We’re not going to give up $100 to $200 million a year for a one time shot at $150 million. We’d have to be some kind of idiots to do that.” – Senator Dick Saslaw (D-35th)
Saslaw’s estimated value is $350 million less than the Governor’s sale advocates’ and must now be further discounted with the creation of the coalition. This effort looks like support for the Governor’s idea and on the face it is. But it also is a veiled attempt to change the retail liquor landscape in a way that diminishes the value of the monopoly to almost nothing. Look at the reported members of the coalition: Wal-Mart, Costco, Kroger, Safeway and Food Lion. Think they are looking to help someone else grab the monopoly? Or that they need those storefronts at an average of $1 million each?
“For 70 years, we’ve distributed beer and wine in every 7-Eleven, every Food Lion. But we’ve controlled the distribution of spirits. From a free market stand point, it doesn’t make sense to continue to control only one part of the distribution.” – Governor McDonnell
Moving beyond the fact there were neither 7-Elevens nor Food Lions 70 years ago, is the Governor suggesting, then, that controlling all of the distribution makes sense? And if we are going to license everyone, who needs to buy the stores? Babbling Bob Purkey, meet babbling Bob McDonnell. This state has a surplus, but it’s not a budget surplus. It’s a free market hoax surplus. And either it has the Governor bamboozled or he’s playing us.