Help Fight…For the Love of Wine

fightIf you live in Michigan or know someone who lives in Michigan, if you love wine, if you believe wine lovers and wine retailers deserve fairness in commerce, if you hate when special interests screw the rest of us and if you want to help preserve all that is fine, good and beautiful in the world then continue reading:

Last night the Michigan Legislature, at the behest of the state’s beer and wine wholesalers passed SB 1088. It’s a simple bill: BAN MICHIGAN CONSUMERS FROM BUYING WINE FROM OUT-OF-STATE WINE STORES, INTERNET WINE RETAILERS, WINE CLUBS AND AUCTION HOUSES, WHILE ONLY ALLOWING MICHIGAN CONSUMERS TO BUY WINE FROM IN-STATE WINE STORES.

Believe it or not Michigan used to have this same law on the books and it was ruled unconstitutional in a Michigan Federal court in 2008. The judge in the case said the discriminatory law clearly violated the Constitution. SO YEAH, WHY NOT PASS AN IDENTICAL LAW…JUST TO SCREW RETAILERS AND CONSUMERS AND GIVE WHOLESALERS PROTECTION FROM HAVING TO COMPETE FOR A LIVING.

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder is not predisposed to sign the bill. So, what needs to happy is for him to hear from Michigan residents. That’s why I’m asking you to do the following:

  1. If you are a resident of Michigan, pick up the phone and call the governor and ask him to veto SB 1088
  2. If you have family or friends in Michigan, contact them and ask them to call the governor and tell him to veto SB 1088
  3. Spread this request as far and wide as you can.

The Michigan Governor’s Constituent Services Phone number is: 517-335-7858

Tell the person who answers the phone the following:

1. You oppose the bill and urge the Governor to veto SB 1088 – The Wine Shipping Bill.

2. You oppose a bill that bans you from buying wine from licensed out-of-state retailers.

3. The bill is unconstitutional and interferes with interstate commerce.

4. SB 1088 only aids special interests while reducing my choices of wine.

5. It has already been announced that if passed the law would face a costly lawsuit.

In my role as Executive Director of the National Association of Wine Retailers, I worked to help kill another bill just like this in Michigan this year. Then the new one popped up and we’ve been working to kill this bill too. It’s not quite as easy to influence legislation when you don’t have hundreds of thousands to feed the legislatures. But the principled argument has worked in the past and it could work now if the governor hears from his constituents. I’ll certainly be speaking with his office.

It’s remarkable that this kind of legislation continues to be introduced and passed. It speaks to the power of the three-tier system to corrupt. It speaks to the power of money in politics. It speaks to the allure of rent seeking.

Any help you can give would be appreciated. The Governor has until the end of the year to sign or veto SB 1088.


2 Responses

  1. Truman Reynolds - December 16, 2016

    Tom; might we suggest to the CA legislature that we only allow automobiles manufactured in CA to be sold in this state. Detroit can go pound sand while enjoying some swill they acquired from an in-state retailer !

  2. Matthew Ford - December 18, 2016

    As a wine lover this is pretty bad. I will definitely call tomorrow. Thanks, Tom!


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