Washington Grape Growers Witness the Farthest Reaches of “Stupid”
As executive director of the National Association of Wine Retailers, I get to read lots of legislation. And I’ve gotten pretty good at it. I also get to lay my eyes on some pretty poorly written bills as well as some really crazy stuff. This, however, must be the craziest thing I’ve seen in years:
“Washington dairy farmers and fruit growers (grapes are “fruit”) would have to report to retailers whether they use slaves under a bill endorsed Thursday by Democrats on the Senate Labor and Commerce Committee.”
For those who need a history lesson, slavery has been illegal in the U.S. since 1865 when the 13th Amendment was ratified. It reads: “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.”
Nevertheless, this unique piece of legislation in Washington would require grape farmers to report to retailers that they are using slaves in their vineyards. The bill goes on to add that once retailers are informed by the grape growers that they are using slaves, retailers are required to note on their website what action they’ve taken in response to this information. Now, I’m just a lowly PR guy and I’m just spitballing here, but wouldn’t the bill be a bit more impactful if it required retailers to ALERT THE AUTHORITIES to the use of slaves in vineyards??
“It’s still an attack on farmers. It impugns the character of an entire industry.”
Every now and then you see lawmakers do something absurd and you think to yourself, “well, here it is, here is the limit…here is the final line, here is the stupidest thing a lawmaker could possibly do.” Then, you watch that lawmaker be outdone by something even more stupid. It appears the “stupid line” has been extended just a bit further. This is in fact so dumb, I’ve actually had to create a different category of post that in 15 years of blogging I’ve refrained from adding: “Category—STUPID”