Case in Point- The Tavern League: Gov. Tony Evers and AG Josh Kaul don't think wedding barns need liquor licenses because the renters of the barns bring their own stuff.
But the "don's" at the powerful lobbying group Tavern League of Wisconsin don't like spirits to flow free without first funneling cash into their organization.
In a unexpected juvenile-like tantrum, the Tavern League gave marching orders to bars and restaurants to find someone who would have the wedding event of their lifetime in a "vacant storefront" or just some empty "room or hall" someplace. Yea, that'll happen:
The Tavern League of Wisconsin is providing advice to its members on ways to avoid regulation after Evers' decision — including hosting events in vacant storefronts.You gotta laugh. Whine, whine, whine....
"This will provide licensed establishments with an unlicensed (area) an opportunity to be a one-stop shop ...that do not have to comply with the laws of a licensed business. Simply amend your liquor license to exempt a room or hall from your license ... you can offer private events with no regulations. The provision would also apply to a vacant storefront in your community."You can't make this stuff up.
Remember, this all stems from a supposed legal opinion from former AG doofus Brad Schimel who shaped law around the requests of special interests. Who can forget the time he declared high capacity wells off limits to DNR oversight, to any oversight at all. Not kidding:
The decision came after the Tavern League for years pushed former Gov. Scott Walker and now Evers to require such venues to obtain licenses ... "We are not going to sit back and watch business walk out the door," Tavern League lobbyist Scott Stenger said about the new advice. "We are going to evolve and compete on a level playing field."Evers, unlike Walker, is not a special interest patsy...
Stenger said Evers' decision marks a "sea change" that will "provide a whole new type of business and will provide value" to his members.Even "free market" (they aren't really) conservatives were a little surprised:
The conservative law firm Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty (WILL) President and Chief Counsel Rick Esenberg said, "The status quo has not changed in any way. The law ... remain the same. While it is disappointing that the Tavern League continues to ratchet up their rhetoric on this issue, it is not surprising." Esenberg said bars and restaurants "can certainly own spaces for private events but doing so will not allow them to operate those places as a public facility or to sell liquor without a license.”But despite the law...
The Tavern League's memo to bars and restaurants says bars and restaurants could provide alcohol and food for the private event because they cannot directly sell the alcohol, the memo reads.But if that doesn't work, the Tavern League threw in everything but the kitchen sink:
The memo also outlines rules that apply to licensed venues but not to private events, including having closing hours, adhering to the state's smoking ban and following fire code safety regulations.