Data Shows Economists Are Wrong—Wine Industry Doesn’t Support Trump

Quite recently the American Association of Wine Economists (AAWE) made headlines by publishing a dataset highlighting presidential campaign contributions originating from individuals in the wine industry. It created a bit of a stir, particularly the AAWE’s conclusion that The U.S. Wine Industry overwhelmingly supports President Trump”. Some thought this conclusion misrepresented the data and reality.

It does. On a number of levels. In fact, the AAWE’s data and calculations have serious flaws—in its dataset, its research and analysis.

Here is the original post from the AAWE’s twitter feed:

THE ECONOMISTS COMPARE APPLES AND ORANGES
Note the headline on the graph: “Wine Industry’s Contributions to 2020 Presidential Election”

President Trump is shown receiving $606,131 in campaign contributions from wine industry-related sources for the 2020 presidential election. (It should be noted that when you download and examine the AAWE’s spreadsheet of contributions taken from the Federal Election Commission, the total donations on that sheet add up to $601,372). However, in order to get to this $600K+ total wine industry-related donations to the Donald Trump Campaign for the 2020 election, the economists also include donations from the wine industry for the 2016 election. 

If the economists over at the AAWE want to compare wine-industry donations to the Trump Campaign from 2015 to 2020 with wine industry donations to other presidential campaigns during that same time frame, then you’d have something relatively similar to examine. But that’s not what they have done. The economists have compared Trump’s wine-industry donations for two elections against candidates who only ran in 2019/20 — and we are not even anywhere near the end of this campaign cycle when many more thousands of donations will come in for either Trump or Biden. That’s not a fair fight. And it is highly misleading.

In the above graph, the economists show Bernie Sander’s wine industry donations at $71,567—But that’s only for the years 2019 to 2020. Had they also included Bernie’s donations from 2015-2018, as they did for Mr. Trump, Bernie’s wine industry donations would amount to $168,950.

THE ECONOMISTS ERASURE OF HILLARY CLINTON
More important, if you want to gauge support for Mr. Trump from the wine industry and do so going back to 2015, to get an accurate picture of the degree to which the wine industry supports him versus other candidates, you really should include wine industry donations to all the people running for President in the 2016 election — not only those candidates running in 2020. Hillary Clinton ran in 2016. But she isn’t included in the AAWE’s dataset.

Searching the Federal Election Commission campaign contribution database, I found that wine-industry-related contributions to Hillary Clinton from 2015 to 2020 amount to $1,473,011. This is twice as much as Donald Trump attracted from the wine industry in the same time period. Clearly the wine industry overwhelmingly supports Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. That fact didn’t show up in economists’ analysis.

THE BIDEN ODDITY
The economists at the AAWE made a point of noting, as you can see from their graph above, that Vice President Joe Biden, according to their search of the Federal Election Committee campaign contribution database, has received only $10,000 in wine-industry campaign contributions: two $5,000 donations from the owner of Puma Springs Vineyard in California. That struck me as odd. And very unlikely. So I looked at the same database.

It took me all of 30 seconds to turn up 271 donations to Vice President Biden from wine industry-related individuals from 2019-2020, amounting to $69,851.

It’s unclear how the Economists could have missed these donations from the wine industry to Biden and it calls into question the remainder of their conclusions.

However, the economists’ primary conclusion is that the wine industry in the U.S. “overwhelmingly supports President Trump.”

In a June 8 VinePair article, the American Association of Wine Economists Journal editor in chief Karl Storchman doubled down on his assertion of wine industry support for Trump, telling writer Tim McKirdy, “What qualifies as support? I’m an economist — for me, you express your opinions with dollars.” He added that the AAWE aims to do this by sharing “the data, statistics, and facts.”

THE FACTS
If you really want to evaluate support within the wine industry for the current collection of presidential candidates, the first thing you have to do is settle on a time frame for doing so. You can’t look at Trump’s donations going all the way back to 2015 through 2020, while only looking at donations for the current set of 2020 democratic candidates from 2019-2020. You need to look at all the candidates’ wine industry support from just 2019-2020.

When you do this, you find that the wine industry overwhelming supports someone other than Donald Trump.

I did a comparison of campaign contributions to a select group of candidates running for the presidential nomination of their party for the 2020 presidential election. Recalling that the AAWE’s data for Joe Biden was so far off the mark, I did my own searches of the Federal Election Commission’s database of campaign contribution, rather than using the figures the AAWE provides in its spreadsheet of campaign contributions located on its website. I looked at donations from the wine industry for Donald Trump, Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Pete Buttigieg, Kamala Harris, and Elizabeth Warren. I looked for contributions only from the years 2019 and 2020.

What’s clear from this rendering of wine industry-related campaign contributions is that Donald Trump is not overwhelmingly supported by the wine industry. What’s clear is that the wine industry overwhelmingly supports someone other than Donald Trump — to the tune of 60%.

In a June 5th Facebook post, the AAWE commented on what it means to have support from the industry and how to gauge support. The comment came in response to a comment by Food & Wine Wine Editor Ray Isle:

“Ray Isle, I suppose you mean there are fewer “wine industry people” in favor of Trump than otherwise (if that is how you define “support”). We don’t have any data on that and all we know is anecdotal. And I am not even sure whether that is true or not. What qualifies to be “support”? — Aside from the sheer $-amount (more than 80% of all contribution $ go to Trump), Trump also has more unique contributors than Sanders (who is the next closest). Maybe there are differences within the “wine industry” (growers, winemakers, trade, media). In the file, you will see that many NYC wine stores supported (=contributed to) Sanders, Harris, or Warren. Maybe fine wine drinkers are more left-leaning than, e.g., growers, but that is speculation. The only way to tackle this is either looking at $ amounts or the number of unique contributors.”

Again the economists are fudging the numbers. As you can see from the graphic on the left, Trump receives 40% of the dollar value of contributions, not 80%…that is if you compare apples to apples and look at the 2020 Presidential campaign figures for all the candidates instead of counting Trump’s 2016 donations AND his 2020 campaign donations.

Moreover, if you gauge support from the wine industry based on the number of contributions and not the total dollar value, Trump finds himself in an even less enviable position among the wine set:

TOTAL CONTRIBUTIONS BY WINE INDUSTRY SOURCES
TO SELECTED CANDIDATES IN 2019/20

Trump: 1,284 (30%)
Sanders: 2,079 (49%)
Harris: 307 (7%)
Warren: 293 (7%)
Biden: 272 (6%)

Seventy Percent of wine industry related campaign contributions during this current political season go to someone other than Trump—one more indication that in no way whatsoever does the wine industry “overwhelmingly support President Trump”.

THE CASE OF MARVIN SHANKEN & THE WINE SPECTATOR
Let me just say right off the bat, Marvin Shanken, the publisher of The Wine Spectator, is the last person who needs defending by me. He’s more than capable. So I won’t defend him, nor condemn him. What I will note is that if you look at wine industry campaign contributions for the 2019/2020 season, Mr. Shanken has given none to the Trump campaign. Many people got very consternated to learn from the AAWE data that Mr. Shanken had donated to the Trump campaign in 2016 and 2018. I get that.

But here’s the interesting thing. In order for Mr. Shanken to show up at all in the AAWE dataset, the person who gathered and analyzed the data for the AAWE had to go out of their way looking specifically for Mr. Shanken. However, they did not go looking specifically for everyone else in the wine industry who showed up in their data of Trump campaign contributors. And the only way to go get and display Mr. Shanken’s contribution data was to include 2016, 2017, and 2018 contributions in their analysis, while at the same time not including campaign data from that time frame for any other candidate. That’s very very odd.

When you search the Federal Election Commission database of campaign contributions you can’t say to it…”Show me all contributions from people connected to the wine industry.”

The only indication a person who contributed to a campaign works in the wine industry has to be ferreted out by searching for wine-related terms in the “Occupation” or “Employer” search areas of the database.

So for example, to build my dataset of wine industry related campaign contributions while researching this article, I searched under the years 2019 and 2020, I asked for any contributors whose employer name included the words “wine”, “winery”, “vineyard”, “cellar”, “Vintner” and “Chateau”. Then, I indicated the candidate or the candidate’s political action committee (PAC) I wanted this query to look at.  Using this string of word queries under the “Occupation” search area doesn’t yield good results because someone working for, say, Joe’s Estate Winery might have the title of “Marketing Manager” while another employee of Joe’s might have the occupation of “Winemaker”. The winemaker’s campaign contributions will show up in my search, but campaign contributions from the “Marketing Manager” will not show up.

If you do the search my way, using the “Employer” search area and my string of wine-related terms, for every candidate who ran for president for the past 20 years, Marvin Shanken’s name will not come up because his employer is listed as M. Shanken Communications and that doesn’t include any of my search terms.  You have to go out of your way and specifically look for his name in the “contributor name” search box. That’s exactly what the folks at AAWE did.

What isn’t clear is which other names or employers the AAWE economists specifically sought out that didn’t include wine-related terms. As far as I can tell, every other wine industry-related Trump Campaign contributor going back to 2015 has the world “wine”, “vineyard” or “cellar” in its “Employer” entry. M.Shanken Communications is the only one that does not have one of these words in its employer identification area in the AAWE dataset.

Was the AAWE just trying to be thorough by specifically looking for Mr. Shanken’s donations? I don’t’ think so. They apparently couldn’t take the time to do a search on “Constellation Brands” to add to their dataset, which although it doesn’t include the words “wine”, “vineyard” or “cellar” in the employer entry area, would have turned up a number of folks in the wine industry making donations to presidential candidates. Nor did they take the time to do a separate search for ShipCompliant, National-Republic, Young’s Market, Wark Communications or any other entity not including “wine”, “vineyard” or “cellar” in the employer entry area. Just M. Shanken Communications.

I’m not surprised that in addition to highlighting the notion that the wine industry “overwhelmingly” supports Trump. the AAWE also highlighted Mr. Shanken being Trump’s largest supporter from within the wine industry. That gets headlines and serves other purposes.

THE BOTTOM LINE — THESE ARE DANGEROUS TIMES TO BE WRONG
The economists at AAWE knew that their conclusion and headlines (“Wine Industry Overwhelmingly Supports Trump”) were clickbait. I’m not willing to presume otherwise and in the process insult them and their intellect. Mr. Storchman went ahead and reiterated this point to the media in an interview besides it being noted on their Twitter and Facebook posts.

But the AAWE is wrong. The Wine Industry overwhelmingly supports someone other than Trump. The data shows this. The data also shows that the AAWE went out of its way to target Marvin Shanken. The AAWE data shows a very sloppy work product in overlooking 270 campaign contributions to Joe Biden and undercounting Biden’s wine industry contributions by more than $67,000. Not to mention undercounting Senator Harris’ campaign contributions by half. Finally, the AAWE went out of its way to count Trump campaign contributions going back to 2015, while only counting contributions to Biden, Harris, Sanders and Warren going back to 2019. That’s not how you play cricket.

In these times, many people believe supporting President Trump with a campaign contribution is akin to embracing “racism” or “fascism” or any number of other isms. Yet the AAWE purposefully gave the impression that the wine industry “overwhelmingly” embraces Donald Trump. It’s not true. The data shows the opposite.

Again, in these times, real, hard, honest, truthful data is more important than ever. Facts matter. Lots of things, lives, people, livelihoods and ideas are at stake. These are not the times for sloppiness or lies or innuendos.

Posted In: Uncategorized

Tags:


No Responses

  1. Jim Bernau - June 10, 2020

    Thank you Tom for detailing the facts. Have forgotten how much I contributed to Hillary Clinton’s campaign but it clearly wasn’t enough. If I had known, I would have used all my frequent flyer miles to get their staff tickets to Wisconsin. I know some in our industry are getting skewered for their campaign contributions but know there are many specific reasons that are related to defending our industry, so am careful not to jump to conclusions as to motive.

  2. Meg Murray - June 10, 2020

    Thank you for your work on this.

  3. Tom Wark - June 10, 2020

    Jim, I’m pretty sure Clinton’s loss can’t be pinned on you. So no worries there. I too am inclined not to judge folks on their campaign contribution. People can have principled disagreements without condemnations.

    Tom…

  4. Christian Miller - June 10, 2020

    Thank you, Tom. At the time, I thought this looked weird (really -https://twitter.com/CMMwine/status/1269419380703555584); but I just didn’t have the bandwidth to research it. Thank goodness someone did!

    P.S. you forgot to list “cretinism”.

  5. Peter Ricci - June 11, 2020

    As Trump, the illegitimate President of the United States moves toward his second landslide defeat. His failures mount up.

    Underachieving in the pandemic his incompetent handling of it was supposed to achieve 1.5 to 2 million deaths, only to reach less than a 10th of the goal.

    The great depression of 2020 is a complete failure, as the economy will not stop. Though most Democratic Governors continue to lock down businesses under alleged social distancing guidelines. While some riot and burn American cities using excellent social distancing skills with their mob mentality. Hopefully, allowing people to gather on the streets can spark another round of virus outbreak to turn around the disaster of stopping the virus.

    Then of course there is the Russian Collusion. The facts point to collusion but on the part of the FBI not Trump. The FBI needed a better cover up of its fabrication of the story. Gee, does CNN and MSNBC have to do everything?

    The only hope is that President Biden will be allowed in the White House after his landslide victory, unlike President Hillary Clinton. Really, she won, I saw all the polls, it was not even close. Nobody like Trump, everyone on the left coast knows that!
    Sorry Bernie, you cannot play with the Dems. See want happens when you come out of your basement.

    Thank heavens the Movie Industry is back open in California; we must get the liberals back to work. Since the wineries they own are not allowed to operate in the state.

    The Finger Lakes in New York are closed just in case the wine industry might grow the economy in rural western New York.

    Look forward to November and four more illegitimate years!

  6. Jim Morris - June 11, 2020

    Cannot remember a time where I was so mesmerized by a review of clearly faulty and erroneous data. Brilliant follow up to a truly specious bit of skewed data. My question is, what is the agenda of the folks at AAWE?

  7. Tom Wark - June 11, 2020

    Jim,
    Thanks very much. Perhaps Mr. Storchman will explain the odd use of the data. When I saw that Biden was supposed to have only garnered 2 donations from wine industry sources I knew something was wrong. Luckily it’s very easy to examine the data. To their credit, the economists put their work online. On the other hand, these claims came under the banner of a very credible and respected organization. That was problematic.

    Here’s hoping things get back to normal in your neck of the woods real soon….

    Tom…

  8. RH Drexel - June 11, 2020

    How about Tom Barrack? No mention of him. Not only did he donate to Trump, he chaired his inauguration, for which he is being investigated, (for bringing in foreign monies to pay for it) among other things, by the New York state Attorney General, and he introduced Trump to Manafort. Barrack is mentioned in the Mueller report, partied with Trump and Epstein in the 80’s and 90’s, said some awful things about the murder of the journalist Khashoggi, and his own Colony Capital is trying to oust him. Owns Happy Canyon Vineyards in Santa Barbara and has a tasting room downtown SB. He supported Trump all the way…even knowing about Trump’s perpetuation of that lie that is the birther movement. He bailed Jared Kushner out of bankruptcy and tried to save Mirimax by buying it when Weinstein was being investigated. I have been boycotting Happy Canyon Vineyards and Winery since 2016. If you have issues with supporting someone who helped put a know racist in office, I ask that you do the same. Vote and also vote with your dollars.

  9. Lisa Mattson - June 11, 2020

    Hi Tom,
    Thank you for digging into the details and presenting the facts. The issues with the AAWE Trump chart run even deeper. There are flaws in how they calculated donations, and there is zero context provided about each person’s donation. It took me less than five minutes inside the FEC individual contributions database to find a wine company owner missing who donated about $100,000 more than the no. 1 person on the AAWE list. These are people that donated under business names other than their wine companies. Secondly, they incorrectly listed my employer as no. 2. Since 2016, John Jordan has not made any monetary donation to an individual politician. His contract as an economist and national security analyst on television prohibits him from doing so.

    Like many successful business owners, John supports the Republican values of fiscal conservatism, smaller government and less taxes. His parents were big Ronald Reagan fans, and Jordan was poured several times at the White House in the 1980s. John attends the Republic National Convention every four years to lobby for two areas that he is very passionate about: inequality of opportunity for all human beings and national security issues with regards to China and Russia. In either party, if you want access to politicians or any influence to shape policy, you have to be in the room, which means you attend the national convention. Attendees are expected to make a donation to the national committee for the convention. Donating to the national convention gives them access to lobby and moderate about issues they care about.
    Last June, John made a monetary donation of $70,000 for his 2020 convention participation. According to the FEC individual contributions database, that donation was recorded under a fundraising umbrella that the RNC uses called Trump Victory. The RNC divides up that money as it sees fit. On the very same day, June 28, 2019, $64,400 ($28,900 and $35,500) was transferred from Trump Victory to the Republican National Committee under John’s name, and $5,600 ($2,800 and $2,800) was transferred to another account that the RNC manages called Donald J. Trump For President, Inc. John made his donation for the convention, and he has no control over where the RNC transferred it. John made the donation to the RNC to the account they requested; he doesn’t know why they transferred most of the $70,000 to the RNC but not all; $5,600 went into an account with Trump’s name on it. So if AAWE’s chart data was true and accurate to its headline of top Trump donors, then it should have said that John donated $5,600, regardless of his intent of where the money was going—not $75,600 as the AAWF chart states. Most of us trust the organizations that we follow—and the content they publish. We expect that their graphics, photographs or self-published articles are vetted and true, especially with a respected 501C3 non-profit in the wine industry like the American Association of Wine Economists. The problem is that AAWE is an institution of economics—not journalism. I’ve been emailing AAWE since the report came out, and I asked them to revise their chart, which is incomplete and inaccurate. A major daily newspaper and a digital wine magazine will soon publish articles about these flaws.

  10. Andy - June 11, 2020

    Thank you for doing this! I looked at their data and knew immediately it was poor, but didn’t have the capacity to investigate. This is not the firs time they put out findings that defied common sense based on what seems like incorrect or limited data. Sometimes I wonder if they are publishing student homework assignments.

  11. Gabriel Froymovich - June 11, 2020

    Tom, this was great work. I think you should start a wine industry fact-checking podcast called “Wark’d.” It’ll be like that Ashton Kutcher show Punk’d, but far more exciting to wine data nerds. And at the end you can pour out some glasses of wine for everyone.

  12. Tom Wark - June 11, 2020

    Gabriel,

    Thanks. As for the podcast, great idea….A podcast for those seven wine data nerds. And if I enlist you as the co-host, we’ll have a potential audience of 5. 🙂

  13. Suzanne - June 11, 2020

    Bravo Tom!!!

  14. Lee - June 11, 2020

    No one seems to be contesting the raw data that clearly indicates Shanken, Jordan & Jackson Family et al. donated (and in some cases still donating) large sums to Trump, thru various mechanisms. That is their right, as it mine to not buy their products, and to encourage others not to do so either.
    The indefatigable Jordan PR person, seems to think she can wipe away Jordan’s shame (IMHO) , but it will persist, especially in the small town and business world we live in.

  15. Deborah Steinthal - June 11, 2020

    Thanks so much Tom for the brilliant research and commentary. Like so many, I was horrified, somewhat fearful, and then indignent and angry – when these names and stats were published; and was just digging into the source databases you mention above, when your blog email showed up in my inbox. Too much shaming going on during a time when industries, companies and people need to be kinder and more supportive of each other. I would add to Christian’s point about cretinism: whereas cretinism is forgivable (eg. born as such); ‘McCarthyism’ is more intentional and dangerous.

  16. jack Jelenko - June 11, 2020

    Tom,

    Thank you for the work to get to the truth. Frankly, when I first reviewed AAWE database spreadsheets, I was extremely disheartened to the point of challenging a good friend who writes for Shanken. He started to clear an informational path for me which you have now fully laid out exceptionally well. Thanks again for exposing real facts and drying my Biden tears. Poor Joe…2 donations?

  17. Mary Rocca - June 11, 2020

    Great work Tom – thanks for taking the time to dig into this. Hard to imagine the motives behind the AAWE’s choice of data to look at and publish. I see some unsubscribes coming their way.

  18. Mike Dunne - June 11, 2020

    Thanks for the deep dig, Tom. I sensed something was awry in the small amount given Joe Biden but had no inkling the overall calculations were so misleading. The next chapter in this saga could be why Marvin Shanken’s enthusiasm for President Trump apparently has cooled.

  19. Judy Parker - June 11, 2020

    Tom, great analysis and deep-dive. The click-bait ‘journalism’ posing as political rhetoric is distressing. I’m grateful for your time and attention to point out the flaws with the study. And the flaws aren’t just errors – they are designed to bolster those weak facts to sway folks who aren’t going to think about things critically. You’re an amazing contribution to our industry.

  20. Jim Ruxin - June 11, 2020

    Tom–

    Thanks for being the voice of reason again, wherever the chips fall. We all need facts more than we need wine. Like Thomas Jefferson said, “Both are an essential of life for me,” or would have if he were alive today.

  21. MICHAEL MORA - June 11, 2020

    The “data” is a list of contributors to the trump campaign. Now you see the light or if you don’t it’s clear you helped elect one of the most lawless corrupt regimes and individual in the history of American politics. The ensuing chaotic mess we’ve lived in for the past three and a half years, well that’s on you and your contribution to this scumbag.
    ’nuff said.

  22. jack Jelenko - June 11, 2020

    Michael,

    Perhaps we can elevate the level of discourse to be sure we’re not mistaken for the bad guys?

  23. Tom Wark - June 11, 2020

    Michael,

    I’m not going to argue with you…just the conclusions based on the data. That’s what I was aiming at.

    Tom…

  24. Mingo R - June 11, 2020

    Tom, excellent work! Thanks for the jin-depth research and great response to an incendiary piece from AAWE. Current times are extremely challenging for everybody. Shame on AAWE to exploit the current sociopolitical situation for their own gain, at the cost of all of us who make up the wine community. M

  25. Gordon Rappole - June 11, 2020

    There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics. – Mark Twain –

  26. Tom Wark - June 11, 2020

    Mingo,

    AAWE has and continues to produce a lot of extremely useful, academic and often actionable studies and research. This is undeniable. I thinks, however, that this particular effort, particularly given the conclusion, would have been better published under an economists own, personal publishing format.

  27. Blake Gray - June 11, 2020

    Thank you very much, Tom. Seriously. I am grateful for this.

    I beat myself against this wall so hard, and against a couple of AAWE defenders in the European wine media, that I got frustrated and blocked one of them and am giving myself a week’s respite from Twitter (which is delightful, btw.)

    People hate Trump so much that it distorts their reasoning. But that crap line is inexcusable, and everyone in the wine industry who supports somebody other than Trump should be offended.

  28. Rick Jones - June 11, 2020

    Thank you for this. After reading your expose of AAWE, I was shocked to see how blatantly their “economists” twisted the data…but not surprised. When you have an agenda and a voice/platform to be heard, misuse of that priviledge, even once, is unforgivable. I’ll look forward to hear what AAWE has to say now. Great job. Thank you and looking forward to read more from you. Rick

  29. Scott Harbison - June 12, 2020

    Tom,

    As a conservative, I’m damn glad to know there are people in the wine industry that support the conservative view. This country has become so politically sensitive that they are now chastised and belittled for their beliefs. I have friends on both sides of the spectrum and we all get along very well and can have civil discussions about how we think. Too bad more people can’t do that.
    I buy a lot of wine and I for one am glad to know which wineries/owners are conservative. Before (and I still will) I just bought what I enjoyed. Now though, I’ll also support these more conservative owners. Thanks for bringing this to my attention. I’m going to pass these names on to my friends as well.
    I hope this country can turn it around where everyone is allowed to have their own political views without being vilified and condemned because you disagree.

  30. Tom Wark - June 12, 2020

    Scott,
    You may be surprised to learn that I’m a longtime lefty where politics are concerned. My primary concern is the health of the wine industry. Characterizing the industry as conservative or liberal or supporting this or that candidate is not prudent, nor accurate.

  31. Jim Ruxin - June 12, 2020

    Scott–

    I appreciate your passion for conservatism which dominates your passion for wine. I too have friends and wine buddies on both sides of the aisle and we can talk, sometimes about politics, and more often about wine. You should join any of our groups rather than feel like an unheard outsider.

    At the same time, yours is not a very nuanced discussion but a line in the sand. I think you are more determined to make this a two sided argument than a nationwide discussion of many different points of view.

    Even lefty wineries are working hard to make this a better world with more sustainable practices and smaller carbon footprints. Surely that is in your interest as a conservative, unless you are a climate change denier.

    Many wineries also practice rigorous gender and racial diversity practices, pay above minimum wages, do charitable work, have conscientious labor and housing standards for migrant workers, and more.

    Surely these efforts are worthy of your support. Time to cross that line in the sand and learn who your true friends really are. Your grandchildren will thank you.

  32. Paul Gregutt - June 12, 2020

    Tom, I too appreciate the hard work you’ve done here. As for the note from Scott, I have no problem with conservatives who accurately defend their beliefs. My question is – what exactly are their beliefs? Fiscal restraint? That seems to be several trillion debt dollars off the table. Defending the Constitution? Only those parts they choose to endorse, like gun rights. As for other freedoms, not so much. What else makes a conservative? Anti-abortion? Anti-gay? Love the Bible? Again, only those parts that they use to bolster some specific agenda. Where’s William Buckley when we need him? Or Ronald Reagan for that matter. They were conservatives who actually had principles. Now we’re left with George Will and Mitt Romney, voices in the wilderness. Sorry if I’ve strayed off-topic but it’s a valid question. What exactly is a conservative today?

  33. Scott Harbison - June 15, 2020

    Jim, I think maybe you missed this part of my post..”.Before (and I still will) I just bought what I enjoyed.”….I will continue to buy wine I enjoy, regardless of which side of the aisle the owner is on. The rest of my post simply says I will also support the wineries that are owned by conservatives, maybe more than before since I know who they are now. I never cared before, and still will drink what I like. Shit man, I sat in Bonny Doon and had wine poured with Randall Grahm chatting us up! I left with a case of wine and I knew his politics.NEVER did I insinuate my conservative political views dominates my love of wine. You simply made that up.
    I’m glad wineries are practicing sustainable farming, paying good wages and provide housing standards etc. As for Climate Change, yeah it’s real. It’d actually been going on for millions and millions of years. We can debate the human impact at some other point.
    As for Paul’s post, you can ask, “what are their beliefs” of every single person who claims a party affiliation and you will get different answers, so I don’t think you can pigeon hole a party to a perfect set of beliefs. For clarification though…I’m a Reagan man. My first ever vote for president was cast for Reagan. As I mentioned in my original post, I would love for civility to return to politics. Even as poorly as Reagan was treated in the media and the Bush’s after him, they for the most part, stayed away from the fray. Something Trump can’t or won’t seem to do. So while I am a conservative, I have issues with much of Trump’s persona.
    Cheers for allowing me to have an opinion here.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*