Friday, March 9, 2018

GOP Hates Weddings!!! What's next, Wisconsinites required to purchase a $100,000 license to buy beer and wine and the store?

Let me start the same way I did for my last post: After combing through The Wheeler report this morning, a few job-killing GOP sponsored ideas stood out. The irony? Since deep-pocketed business interests now control state government, they've decided to use their power to protect themselves and their bottom lines, by killing off other rising business opportunities and development. I did not see this one coming.

The Tavern League of Wisconsin Owns Wisconsin: Let's start with this gem from the summer of 2017:
A proposal in a memo obtained by a conservative group could force brewers and wineries to work with distributors to sell their products instead of selling directly to customers. Opponents say the Wisconsin Tavern League and alcohol distributors are pushing the plan.
...fast forward to now, where a simple bill to extend winery hours till midnight completely blew up, thanks to the Tavern League:
As the state Senate convenes, it may consider (an amendment to a) bill that would require event and wedding venues such as barns and galleries to obtain alcohol licenses. For events that want to serve liquor, they will be after the same hard-to-find licenses in Door County valued by some municipalities at $100,000. Due to Door County’s low permanent population relative to the influx of tourists, many municipalities have given out all of their liquor licenses and have none remaining for these event venues to purchase.

Wedding and event planner Carrie Baldwin Smith said,“If this really passes the way it’s sounding, this is going to be traumatic to any place up here.” Baldwin Smith said her clients purchase all of the beer, wine and liquor themselves for the events she manages. While the Tavern League believes the new law will promote fairness, the current system is not much different from going to the grocery store and buying alcohol for a party.
And the bully in the rooms says...
Scott Stenger, lobbyist for the Tavern League of Wisconsin, said the bill will level the playing field for all businesses that want to sell liquor. “That is the whole purpose behind licensure. When there is alcohol being dispensed they require you to be licensed.”
No Representation? No Special Elections Bites Scott Walker in Ass:  Well, this didn't take long:

The current version of the bill before the Senate is limited to the extension of winery hours, but the Senate can consider adding the Assembly’s amendment to the bill.

However, anyone in Door County or throughout the 1st Senate district will have a hard time being heard on the issue. The Senate seat representing Door County is vacant after Frank Lasee left the position in December. Governor Walker has not called a special election for the seat, citing unnecessary cost at the end of the legislature’s session, opting to fill it with the election in November.
This is what happens when you try to game the system. And voters will have nothing to say, no representation. And I'll bet they still vote Republican. Amazing:
Event venues in the county who want to serve liquor may be out of luck should the bill pass. Liberty Grove, Baileys Harbor and the Town of Egg Harbor, all of which harbor popular barn wedding and event venues, do not have any liquor licenses remaining. The same goes for the Village of Sister Bay, which is expecting construction of a 40-acre wedding barn and campus in the village to begin later this year.