Drugs, Guns, Smokes and Wine
The Wine & Spirit Wholesalers Association (WSWA) has spruced up and augmented its team of people who will fight to keep wine lovers having access only to wines wholesalers get a cut of and fight to put wineries at the mercy of wholesalers.
Among the new additions to the national association that represents wine wholesalers is Dawson Hobbs, who has been hired as Vice President of State Affairs. According to WSWA Hobbs will "educate state officials about issues surrounding the deregulation of alcohol sales, as
well as other state specific legislative issues." Undoubtedly some of that "education" will be letting state legislators know that wholesalers will pay nicely for their support when issues of direct shipping are raised.
Hobbs spent the last eight years with the National Riffle Association (NRA), most recently as its "hunting policy manager."
Among the initiatives he undertook while with the gun lobby was attempting to get the miniumum age requirements for hunting removed in various states. Additionally, Hobbs worked on removing the requirment that hunting safety courses be mandated before minors could go out in the field and hunt with their parents. According to Hobbs, removing the hunting training requirments on minors was a good idea because then "they won`t face having to invest 10 or
more hours in a training program before they even know whether
hunting is for them. Ten hours can seem forever to a kid."
Still leading the WSWA is Juanita Duggan, who previously helped promote the interests of the smoking industry and before that Big Pharmaceuticals. Now that the WSWA has a former Gun Guy on staff they can claim to have hit the Trifecta +1: Guns, Booze, Cigarettes and Drugs.
WSWA is closely involved in the effort to keep wholesalers and politicians tied together via money and campaign donations. They are extraordinarily well funded.
The one thing that has been satisfying to see is that the WSWA seems to have backed off from it’s former devotion to the uncannily dumb argument that direct sales of wines to consumers would lead to terrible consequences for minors. They had been roundly criticized for this obviously pandering contention. And with Dawson "Guns Don’t Kill People, People Kill People" Hobbs on board, perhaps we’ll be hearing the WSWA tell us, "Direct wine sales don’t hurt minors, Minors hurt minors".