But in Scott Walker's Wisconsin, I'll take what I can get. You won't believe this special interest deal. Oh, didn't Walker brag to the nation how he's been successfully fighting special interests? Just not the conservative kind:
RightWisconsin: WisPolitics’ PM report confirmed that the Republican co-chairs of the Joint Finance Committee, State Sen Alberta Darling and State Rep John Nygren are considering allowing a special interest provision that would benefit liquor wholesalers to be slipped into the “wrap-up motion” for the state budget.Check out this incredibly uncompetitive setup for liquor distribution:
In Wisconsin, we have a three-tier system of producers, wholesalers and retailers. This is supposedly to make it easier to collect the liquor taxes. It also is a protectionist measure as the wholesalers must be Wisconsin companies … producers cannot terminate their contracts with the wholesalers without “just cause.”Remember, this is RightWisconsin freaking out about this stuff. This is what Scott Walker and his band of legislative plundering pirates are all about. It's cronyism, big government and corporate welfare that even Charlie Sykes can't stomach. Oh, it's hardly a "budget item" is it:
Such a privileged place in the liquor supply chain is not enough apparently for some wholesalers. The proposed sop to the liquor wholesalers would allow them to pass to their heirs the contractual agreements with the liquor producers. It would also allow the wholesalers to sell the contracts to other wholesalers. The producers would then be bound to honor the contract to the new wholesaler even if the liquor producer had no interest in doing business with that company. Such a change in the law would, in effect, give the wholesaler ownership rights in a product they did not create … When a similar change in the law was made in Illinois, alcohol prices went up as much as 20%. Illinois repealed the law but now Wisconsin is ready to make the same mistake.Oh but it does mean selling out to contributors.
If Nygren and Darling allow this, they will be responsible for everyone else paying more for alcohol. The retailers will pay more, putting a squeeze on the state’s family-owned taverns and convenience stores. The cost will be passed down to the consumer, of course. Prince and pauper alike will pay more for the privilege of having a drink without any benefit to Wisconsin or the taxpayers.
Special interest favors like this that put the “crony” in Wisconsin capitalism. Republicans on the Joint Finance Committee need to rediscover their free market principles. That does not mean selling out for campaign contributions.