Smelly Fish in Wine Wholesaler Land
Competing wine shipping bills are set to be introduced into the Michigan legislature, the first battle ground in the post-Supreme Court Decision direct shipping controversy.
Wholesalers will seek to introduce a bill outlawing all shipping whether from Michigan wineries or out of state wineries. Michigan wineries are seeking support for a Bill that would allow direct shipment to consumers from in or out of state wineries.
The Michigan Governor has voiced support for a direct shipping bill allowing shipment to consumers. Meanwhile, Nida Samona, head of the Michigan Liquor Control Commission, has said not a word since originally proclaiming on the day of the Supreme Court decision that Michigan needs to ban all shipping. Samona was likely reminded by her superiors that she is not a policy maker, but a policy enforcer. Someone told Nida to "Shut up".
Wholesalers seem to be making the claim that the Supreme Court decision demands that all wineries, in-state or out-of-state, would have the right to sell and ship wine not only to consumers but to retailers and restaurants as well if Michigan wineries remain able to do this. This is a privilege Michigan wineries have had for some time and would devistate them if taken away. Nothing in the Supreme Court decision and no interpretation of it by anyone unconcerned with the losing business has suggested this interpretation holds water. Yet it appears this will be the smelly fish wholesalers in Michigan try to sell to legislators as they discuss with them what kind of campaign donation they will be receiving this year.
Another muggy Michigan day. And it’s REALLY getting thick in Lansing…
The distributors’ water-boy in the State House is Chris Ward, GOP floor leader. It so happens that the top donor to Chris Ward in last year’s election was — watta surprise! — the distributors’ PAC. Too bad the local media is so pussy-whipped they don’t get on that sort of thing.
Matter of fact, there’s lots of interesting reading on our Secretary of State web site, for anyone so inclined. Turns out that last year our buddies were the #1 Santa Claus in the entire state — beating out such perennial Michigan faves as the Auto Workers, Teachers Union, Realtors or Blue Cross. Guess they figured they were going to lose the court case and wanted to have their friends in place.
Some of us who are more cynically inclined note that every dime they give the legislators comes from the pockets of Michigan consumers, who pay some of the highest beverage prices in the nation — thanks to the laws those same legislators helpfully write to protect the monopoly giving them the money.