Speaking of the new prohibitionism, here's a quiz for you:
Some lawmakers in Connecticut want to repeal the state's ban on Sunday sales of liquor at retail stores. The Hartford Courant quotes a guy named Carroll J. Hughes:
"This is a frivolous attempt and a devious conspiracy." … [Hughes] said lifting the 70-year-old restriction on Sunday sales could lead to abuse, excess drinking, and more underage drinking. "Liquor is not a normal retail commodity and should not be treated as one."
Who does Carroll J. Hughes represent? MADD? Nope. The Connecticut Police Chief's Association? Wrong again.
While both of those groups oppose allowing Sunday sales, the stiffest opposition to lifting the ban comes from… of course… liquor retailers. Hughes runs the Connecticut Package Store Association, whose members apparently don't want to face the option of competing for each others' business during NASCAR races and NFL games.
This story was also covered by Gary Santaniello in the Connecticut section of last Sunday's New York Times (That section isn't online.) An excerpt from the article:
"The reality is, in the 21st century, it's an antiquated law," said David Wojnar, the eastern region vice president for the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, a trade group. "The shopping patterns of consumers have changed dramatically. If I'm having a cookout on a Sunday and people come over and I run out of beer, alcohol is not available. The same with holidays, and Super Bowl Sunday."
But while Mr. Wojnar talks about customer convenience, package-store owners and their supporters complain about the government's intrusion on free enterprise.
"These guys have the right to run their business the way they want without the government sticking their nose into it and telling them how late they have to stay open," said State Senator Thomas Colapietro, a Democrat from Bristol who is co-chairman of the General Law Committee, through which all legislation concerning alcohol sales must pass… Senator Colapietro and his co-chairman, Representative John Wayne Fox , a Democrat of Stamford, opposes Sunday liquor sales and leave no doubt that any bill liberalizing sales hours will have a tough time in their committee.
Bottoms up to the bizarro world of booze politics where liquor store owners team up with MADD to keep Sundays dry, and proponents of allowing retailers to serve customers whenever they want are considered enemies of free enterprise.