The Lies and Fallacies Behind the Wine Bill HR 1161
What lies and fallacies lie ahead in the effort to prevent America's beer wholesalers from passing HR 1161 and keeping craft beers, wines and a spirits out of consumer hands?
"the 21st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution created a state-based system of alcohol regulation that effectively balances local community control, tough consumer protections as well as choice and variety."
This particular lie is told by the National Beer Wholesalers Association in their press release applauding the introduction of HR 1161, a bill other wise know as last year's HR 5034 and even better known as "The Wholesaler protection act".
Between March 27 and March 30, beer wholesalers will descend upon Washington, DC for their annual Legislative Conference where they will, as always, spread out across the halls of Congress and attempt to persuade Washington lawmakers to support HR 1161.
While in the halls of Congress they will lie to lawmakers and tell them that the 21st Amendment created a state-based system of alcohol regulation. They'll call this system the "Three Tier System."
The 21st Amendment did no such thing and the National Beer Wholesalers Association President Craig Purser knows this for a fact. Yet, just like he was willing to say so publicly in a press release, he'll say the same thing to lawmakers.
The 21st Amendment repealed Prohibition. It further gave the states the right to remain dry or to go wet. And as court case after court case after court case has demonstrated, nothing in the 21st Amendment gave the states the right to interfere with Inter-state commerce the way wholesalers want the states to and as they have urged the states to at every turn.
In fact, the Supreme Court has said at various times of the states and the 21st Amendment:
"the [21st] Amendment does not license the States to ignore their obligations under other provisions of the Constitution."
The [21st] Amendment did not give States the authority to pass nonuniform laws in order to discriminate against out-of-state goods, a privilege they had not enjoyed at any earlier time."
And yet, beer wholesalers are preparing to march on Washington in a few days and try to convince lawmakers otherwise. Last year they were able to get a great number of Congress people to buy into their lies about the meaning of the 21st Amendment. Will they this year?
Keep Informed about HR 1161 here: The Stop HR 1161 Facebook Page
Tom, thank you for your continued advocacy and well thought out response to this terrible bill. Will the beer wholesalers be upset when they cannot get craft beers and boutique wines in DC? Or are they more of a Bud Light and Yellowtail crowd?
Come on Tom, you are as bad as the wholesalers. You know well that in Young’s, Seagrams and Sons, Mahoney, etc… the Supreme Court said the exact opposite that you are claiming.
The 3 tier system was never mentioned on the 21st amendment. It didn’t exist at the amendments creation. Yet this is the lie and fallacy the wholesalers are trying to foist in the media and congress.
Not to belabor this, but I agree… most of the what the wholesalers claim are self serving half truths.
I just don’t think the path to victory is retailers (who constantly lobby for and seek their own protections from state governments) also spouting their own “half true” version of past and present events.
The SWRA has a terrific advocate in you.
Everything about this screams restraint of trade & as a winery, I’m just fed up. I will once again offer up my own ‘modest proposal’ — I would gladly pay yet one more excise tax on every drop of wine I produce payable to the federal government to dole out as they see fit to the individual states so that consumers can order up and have delivered to their house in whatever state they want without restraint. This flat tax solution gives the feds & the states revenue, the consumers access to wines they want but can’t have, and wineries a level playing field. My 2 cents.
“And yet, beer wholesalers are preparing to march on Washington in a few days and try to convince lawmakers otherwise. Last year they were able to get a great number of Congress people to buy into their lies about the meaning of the 21st Amendment. Will they this year?”
If consumers will take the action, they will not succeed. The question is how we can oppose them?
As a consumer, I am in favor of defeating this. But you (the industry) are not going to gain widespread consumer support unless you can simplify the message into something that gets attention and generates passion.
Can someone explain in simple terms why HR 1161 favors the wholesalers? thanks WL