Home Virginia Politics Exclusive: Draft of Key McDonnell Commission reform proposal left at ABC store

Exclusive: Draft of Key McDonnell Commission reform proposal left at ABC store


Thanks to Paul Goldman for this “scoop.” 🙂

Poor Governor Bob, he can’t catch a break. First, his hyped ABC “privatization” proposal turns out to blow a $20,000,000 hole in the state budget. Now, a hush-hush potential recommendation by his Reform Commission, intended to save his floundering ABC proposal, shows up on three sheets of paper, pages 19-21, accidentally dropped by someone with access to the deliberations of one of the group’s subcommittees.

Amazingly, it was found last Thursday next to a bottle of Wild Turkey at the ABC store in the Carytown section of Richmond, Virginia. True, it’s not quite the same thing as the discovery of the “Zimmerman Telegram” that pushed the United States into World War I, or the letter from Confederacy President Jefferson Davis uncovered last year describing a treasure trove of gold bullion hid under the Bell Tower in Capitol Square and used by Governor McDonnell to balance the state budget [just kidding…about the letter].

Yet consider this: there is a good chance these three sheets of paper would normally have been thrown in the trash was it not for the McDonnell ABC plan. But the store employee who found it realized this was the same Reform Commission out to take her job. Yes, she could have “cooked-up” the whole thing in hopes of discrediting the Commission.

You be the judge: copied below are the pertinent excerpts of what was allegedly found:


” ….and finally, as regards the communication from Attorney General Cuccinelli’s office, their analysis is that the proposed Commonwealth Consolidation Act is both legal and feasible… The office of Secretary of Finance Rick Brown ran the numbers again for an update…it would save $ 325.1 million a year…or roughly an amount equal to the revenue budgeted by the state for FY 2011 “from alcohol-related taxes and ABC profits” according to another document presented by Mr. Brown’s office to the Commission this past Wednesday…

These new numbers give the Commission an amazing opportunity to help the Governor. Fiscally speaking ….a new state law requiring all stores – selling guns, ammunition, wine, beer, spirits, along with establishments offering xxx-rated porn videos, “pole workers”, lap dances, medical services and other devices related to sexual conduct, body tattoos, nose-rings, indeed anatomical piercing of any kind – to be located in the same two block designated area in a locality will save the state an amount…ROUGHLY EQUAL… to all the new money contributed by the ABC system to the state budget….State enforcement agents will be able to save huge on fuel, expenses, stakeout overtime… meaning the increased productivity will allow us to significantly downsize enforcement staff sizes, better utilize informants, and outsource undercover work to locals who can be trained to multi-task instead of just concentrating in one area.

These savings… would allow the Governor to announce a bold new ABC privatization plan, one this Commission could strongly support. The Governor could totally eliminate all state imposed taxes on bottles of beer, wine and spirits. Tax-free booze! This would give us the lowest booze prices in America! He would be a huge hero to every real American, even liberals from DC and Maryland would drive to Virginia to buy booze, this would give us a whole new stream of income.

In these tough economic circumstances, Virginia would be seen as stepping up to lower booze prices for the average American. FDR became a hero for getting rid of Prohibition during the Great Depression, people were thirsty, they didn’t worry about all the taxes. Now, Americans are looking for someone who is willing to give them a new Prohibition: a Prohibition against state taxes making your favorite whiskey too expensive to afford.

Plus, there would still be enough savings left over from the $325.1 million to allow the Governor, on the revenue neutral basis insisted by the Democrats, to propose the phased elimination of all state taxes on the other small businesses reference above. We know “Virginia is for lovers” risks giving people the wrong idea about the Commonwealth with the courts striking down gay marriage bans everywhere.

Instead, we could switch to this new one: “Come to Virginia, where your booze, broads, bullets and body piercing are tax-free.” True, it doesn’t quite fit on a bumper strip. But we would become a tourist Mecca…okay, bad analogy right now, but you get the point…Imagine if in a few years, we could then eliminate the tax on smokes…that would really be the full Monte…this would cement Virginia’s image as being business-friendly….I bet we could get the producers of FX’s Sons of Anarchy TV series to relocate to Virginia.  

Next, the suggestion that we endorse allowing casino gambling on those deepwater oil drilling platforms the Governor wants to allow off the Virginia coastline… someone else has suggested that we also designate those as tax-free zones for the use of medical marijuana, this synergy would greatly enhance their revenue potential and we could designate all such funds to transportation…”


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