Liquor Liberation in Washington State



Yesterday voters in Washington State smacked down the state liquor monopoly.

Thanks to a $22.7 million campaign headed up by Costco, grocery stores and other large retail establishments will soon be allowed to sell booze. What's particularly neat about the ballot measure was that it abolished not only the state's monopoly on retail, but on distribution as well. Liquor sellers will now be allowed to buy directly from distillers and warehouse their own inventory rather than going through the state.

And here's a little seen and unseen for you.


Beginning next June, liquor sales will shift from the state to grocery and warehouse stores, including Costco. It means more than 900 state employees will lose their jobs, most of them workers at state-run liquor stores.


The state budgeting office figures the number of outlets selling liquor will jump from 328 to 1,428. It also expects the change to generate an average of $80 million more in annual revenue for the state and local governments over the next six years….Some liquor prices are expected to drop.

Plus bonus hilarious overstatement from vested interests:

Tom Geiger, communication director for the union representing more than 700 workers in state-run liquor stores, said he thought the results raised questions about democracy itself.

More on ridiculous attempts to protect alcohol monopolies nationwide.

And take note, Virginia. This is how it's done:

NEXT: The Affordable Housing Scam

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  1. This must be a sign . . . of something when communist utopias vote for freedom.

    1. in which cops are allowed to beat, in true Rothbardian style, anyone who dares to exercise their rights to move freely about land. The agricultural city-STATE has been oppressing people for millenia.
      Officer, am I free to gambol about forest and plane?

      1. Officer, am I free to gambol about forest and plane[sic]?

        No. Before you gambol, you are required to file a flight plan, if flying under Instrument Flight Rules, and observe all FAA regulations concerning airspace.

      2. The 3 inch spear head embedded in my pelvis thought I should not be allowed to gambol about the forest plane.

      3. “in which cops are allowed to beat, in true Rothbardian style”

        bzzzzzzzzt, rothbard said move them, not beat them, you lie and get caught once again


    Finally. You should have seen the “and all the children will die!!!” commercials the distribution and union fucks were running; so absurd it was painful.

    Oh, fuck you so much, liquor store workers and distribution protectionists; fuck you so much. This is great.

    1. Well said, Epi.

      1. I cannot wait to see the liquor distribution center on 99 just south of SODO get shut down. Oh, go find a real job, scumbags. Go find a real job.

        1. You should spray paint “Eat Pussy” on it on its last day.

          1. We are going to be laughing our asses off when I get into work shortly.


            1. Surly, chronically late former state employee seeks job in retail for liquor department of local grocery store. Salary Requirements: 100,000 per year with 6 weeks vacation, 14 paid holidays and 14 annual sick days. Oh yes, I have a BA in Modern Dance.

            2. We are going to be laughing our asses off when I get into work shortlyHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

              Not that I’m a manic-depressive.

              1. Whoa, this is projection of literally epic proportion.

                Have you finally realized what you are, rectal?

                1. Were gunning for you, Epi.

        2. I can’t imagine that they’re any worse than the jerks at the 7th and Denny WSLB store.

          And I second your comments that the “ZOMG DA CHILDRENS!!!!11!!one” commercials were horrendously annoying. Worst of all, Google even served them up to me on the Internet.

    2. fuck you so much, liquor store workers

      Like they made the laws.
      Misplaced rage. So boring.

      1. What brand of adult diapers do you prefer, rectal? It must be an important choice, seeing how you can’t leave your computer to haunt H&R for even one second.

        Bathroom breaks are for people who aren’t insane obsessed stalkers.

        1. fuck you epi,

          Your paranoia epiranoia is beyond help

          1. So it’s Depends, then. That’s what I figured.

            1. are you on new medication? Stop buying it on the crappy side of town

      2. They were a bitch for the state, and used union clout to benefit from it. They might as well be considered on the same low level of all the people who supported the laws in the first place.

    3. All the children will die??
      What the fuck type commerical is that, are they arguing that children are going to die of alcohol intoxication at a Costco? I may have to youtube this.

          1. Thanks, although I’m dumber just for watching that.

            I wonder what vested interests doctor and nurses associations had in opposing the initiative?

            1. The Nanny is strong with doctors and nurses.

              1. And yet the Nanny blames us for all the problems that exists in medicine today.

                1. Surely that was a spoof. The dull, even-I-don’t-believe-the-shit-I’m-spouting monotone, the lifeless eyes, the vague unsupported assertions, this cannot have been a real political commercial. It seemed like a deadpan SNL skit.

              2. ^this. very much

                ime, dr’s (and nurses) are often some of the biggest nannies around

                granted, my buddy is a vegan libertarian atheist critical care nurse. so, there are exceptions.

                he lives in vegas, carries a gun, and is a solid libertarian.

                but he does tell me it’s surprising how many in his profession are very nannyish in their pproach to nearly everything

                1. That seems the opposite of what you would expect though. More sickness and mayhem is more business for them.

                  1. Yeah, but the mayhem you get in the ER consists of a morbidly obese person that smokes a pack a day and eats fried chicken, who has COPD, CHF, HTN, DM ect…

                    So why it can mean more business its really, really annoying.

                    1. yea, it’s either that or excited delirium! :l

          2. I watched almost all of them. I too feel dumber.

            At the end, I realized the overarching point: only the state should be able to sell liquor to minors and profit from alcohol sales despite the “fact” that alcohol use carries numerous “risks” and “costs” ‘to our communities’.

            If expansion should be opposed because the problem will get worse, what about the status quo where the controls the entire distribution chain? For moral and logical consistency, I would expect them to support near 100% prohibition.

            1. Should read:
              what about the status quo where the state controls the entire distribution chain?

    4. What was most annoying was how there were at least 10 commercials “against” to one “for”.

      Of course, that makes it’s passing even sweeter

    5. Truly, those commercial were annoying in the extreme.

    6. With 60% too! Congrats Washington!

      With that healthy a margin, maybe that MJ legalization prop actually has a chance.

  3. Let’s hope Connecticut gets on the train. They’re a little further up the tracks, but they can hop on when it passes.
    Unless it’s a newfangled high-speed train that…
    This… this metaphor got out of control.

    1. CT does not have state liquor distribution. At all.

      1. That’s what I was trying to convey with the idea that they were “further up the tracks.”
        They do have a lot of pointless regulations about grocery stores only selling beer. And no alcohol at all sold on Sundays or any day after 9PM.

        1. I’m fully aware of CT’s blue laws, and yes, they’re retarded. Guess who lobbies for them, though? The package store owners.

          1. There were ads all over last year, sponsored by the grocery stores of course, advocating for repeal.

            1. It’s important for everyone’s safety that liquor stores NOT sell alcohol on Sundays.

              That way people have to go to a bar to drink and then drive home drunk.

            2. Sounds like the situation in New York.

              1. It’s important for everyone’s safety that liquor stores NOT sell alcohol on Sundays.

                That way people have to go to a bar to drink and then drive home drunk

                Nobody would ever do that, silly!

        2. It’s funny that most of them still close at 8 PM (which was the law for decades).

          1. Not the good ones.

          2. You have to find the ones that immigrants own. They’re usually more interested in making money than going home early.

            1. That isn’t true either.

    2. Unless it’s a newfangled high-speed train that…
      This… this metaphor got out of control.

      Quick, call Denzel and (new) Captain Kirk

  4. Thanks to a $22.7 million campaign

    Brace for more free speech restrictions.

    1. “If a private company decides to spend tens of millions of dollars to pass a new law, to buy an election, can they do it?” Geiger asked. The results in this case, he said, suggest they can.

      I wonder how much his union spent to buy the election.

      1. They be strange in the way they use “buy an election.” Decades of school indoctrination, PSAs, PBS, NPR, and MSM did not work for them and they say a few 10 second spots that make more sense count as “buying an election.”

  5. Libertarians are STATISTS too. They want to use the power of government to chain land to individuals by means of land enTITLEment to individuals. This would never have happened without the agricultural city-STATE, which uses artificial lines of demarcation to restrict the free movements of peoples about the land.
    Officer, am I free to gambol?


    2. Make an actual point, respond to someone else’s question in a rational, coherent way, or SHUT THE FUCK UP, you boring fucking troll.

      1. Stop fucking responding to it, goddammit. (and that goes for kool ,too)

  6. Huh, deregulation increases choice for consumers and boost governemtn coffers. Who knew?

  7. I wish we could have some of that here in Michigan. We have retail liquor stores, but there’s a government-enforced cartel of wholesalers, and state-defined minimum prices, and it’s all in defense of the children, of course…

    1. The government-enforced land cartel restricts the free movements of people about the land. Artificial lines of demarcation arbitrarily assign a public good to private groups.
      Officer, am I free to gambol about forest and plane?

    2. Having moved from Michigan to Connecticut, let me say: cherish your Meijer liquor aisles.

      1. There are no Meijers on the East Side. Kroger doesn’t count.

        1. Kroger sucks. Fuck their jacked up spam card prices.

  8. Tom Geiger, communication director for the union representing more than 700 workers in state-run liquor stores, said he thought the results raised questions about democracy itself.

    I’m dumbfounded. I’d be pissed, except this jackass is the one getting screwed over, and deservedly so.

    1. “Dey tuk der own jerbs frm us”

    2. It raises questions about democracy itself, and the answer to them is “Hell, yeah!”

    3. Does he explain this, or is it just a dumb throw-away line he thinks makes it sound more catastrophic?

    4. If you only agree with a philosophy when it agrees with you, you’re not really a follower of it, you’re merely an opportunist. At best.

      If losing a democratic vote raises questions in his mind about the value of democracy, then he was never in favor of it to begin with.

  9. Straight to the not tiered system is impressive. Are there any catches- “such and such hours”, etc?

    “900 state employees will lose their jobs”

    I don’t care if the door hits them.

    1. using “people will lose jobs” as an effective argument…it sucks for real people to lose jobs, but ultimately, jobs aren’t something you’re entitled to. If you’re not providing a valuable service (enforcing a government cartel is not a valuable service), then you don’t deserve a job.

      1. Sure, sure. But how many new jobs will there be in all those new liquor outlets? Hmmm?

        Those won’t be union jobs, so I realize that in some precincts they aren’t real jobs at all, and possibly some kind of anti-job.

        1. Those are jobs people have to show up for. It’s fundamentally unfair.

          1. Fuck their mindsets. We now have North Carolina Democrats trying to bring in out-of-state union workers for the DNC convention next year.

            1. i recall this comedian had a great routine about he argued against double hulled oil tankers and better accountability after the exxon valdez spill

              “think of all those otter scrubbers who will lose their jobs!”

        2. I’m guessing at least 1,428, and more likely 1,428 / 328 * ~700 = ~3050.

  10. Heh, I’m thinking about moving to Wyoming for a job offer, and this was the first thing that gave me pause: state alcohol monopoly. Hopefully, my (maybe) future home will make a similar decision.

    1. Otoh, Wyoming has few gun laws, but if you factor in the wind chill, the average temperature is negative nine-thousand degrees Kelvin.

    2. Fewer states are as tax friendly as Wyoming.

  11. I’m a Costco member and I’m not even upset that my purchases contributed a little to this. Fuck state monopolies.

  12. If only… I hate TABC and our fucked up liquor laws with the fire of a thousand suns. The three tier model is such complete and utter protectionist rent-seeking bullshit.

    Of course, we have exceptions for the favored classes. I can go to a winery and buy direct! A distillery or a brewery? No!

    Of course, this means my breweries give out free (or nominally priced beer) beer if you go visit them. (Southern Star and No Label for the win!) That would go away if we got some sense in our liquor laws, but I’ll make the trade.

    1. Real Ale gives out free beer at their brewery too.

      1. Had their brown ale over the weekend while visiting friends in Lubbock. It was quite tasty. Just too bad that after visiting three liquor stores I was only able to find beer from four Texas craft breweries (Real Ale, St. Arnold, Shiner (yeah, you can debate the “craft” part of that one) and Southern Star).

        1. thank goodness there is a beer store/bar across the street from me in atx that has over 60 texas brews on tap…. southern star, real ale, franconia, austin beerworks, jester king, twisted x, ranger creek, 512, st. arnold….

          1. There are multiple bars in Houston like that as well. The thing is that most of those aren’t sold at liquor stores/grocery stores as CMS said. There is a new brewery here in Houston that is on tap and is planning to go the Southern Star can route.

            You missed Live Oak, perhaps the best Austin brewery. 512 Pecan Porter is probably my favorite individual Texan microbrew (but I don’t really like any of there other stuff). Close second is Devil’s Backbone at Real Ale.

    2. You have no idea how confused I was when I showed up at the Salt Lick after a six year hiatus and found that not only could they sell beer, but they have a winery. Dry county no longer? Good on ’em, but I still got nostalgic.

  13. Liquor sellers will now be allowed to buy directly from distillers and warehouse thier own inventory rather than going through the state.

    Fuck 3 tier laws.

    I have no idea on Washington’s beer distribution laws, have they eliminated the middle tier for them too? (I think WA allowed at least some self-distribution)

    1. Fuck 3 tier laws.


  14. Now, time to get the legislators to fix the stupid law and get rid of the 10,000 square foot requirement for the size of stores. What we need are provisions to allow for niche stores to foster and grow…ones that might carry the products that the big stores will carry such as fine cognacs, liqueurs, whiskeys and such.

    1. again, there ALREADY IS AN Exception to the sq ft rule. a couple, actually

  15. …and here’s the bullshit part:

    “I-1183 allows stores measuring at least 10,000 square feet to sell liquor”

    1. It’s bullshit, but the first and most important thing was getting the state out of the business and getting rid of the liquor store union fucks. Now we can have a battle between the large stores and small stores, I guess, but it’s still progress.

      1. exactly. pragmatism was what got THIS bill passed vs. last version that lost

    2. So, I suppose that means Right-Thinking Libertarians were obligated to oppose it.

    3. Ahah, Costco was buying protection for itself.

      1. Surely you didn’t expect them to be doing this out the goodness of their cold shriveled capitalist hearts?

      2. It’s bullshit, but surprisingly it isn’t Costco’s fault. They supported a nearly identical bill with no size restriction in 2010, and it went down hard. All the Washington voters were shakin’ in their boots over the prospect of beer sold in small liquor stores and *gas stations.*

        1. Its sad when KY isnt the backwards thinkings ones.

          IN allows gas station sales, but the beer cant be cooled. We cant figure out what the fuck they are thinking. But, then again, Hoosiers, so probably not much thinking involved at all.

          1. Really? I’ve never bought beer at an Indiana gas station (which beggars belief as I think back) so I never knew that.

            Is there an explanation why the selection of hard liquor is so uniformly terrible? (To be fair, I’m only basing this on 6 or 7 samples.)

          2. California, of all places, has cold beer (including tall boys and 40s!) at gas stations. Small convenience stores, like 711s, sell hard alcohol as well.

          3. It’s the equivalent of a waiting period for firearms. You rush the beer home and stick it in an ice bath. You sit, knee bouncing and fingers twitching, just waiting for the fuel that will enable you to go on terrorizing white wimmin into the wee hours.

            But your buzz fades while you wait. So instead you read the Bible. And society wins.

          4. Hey we Hoosiers are tough. Cold beer is for pussies. Ah memories of warm Red White and Blue….

          5. I couldn’t imagine going into a gas station at any hour of any day or night and not be able to buy a cold beer. Sucks for you guys!

            Of course, here in MS we can’t buy liquor on Sunday or after 10p.m. any other day. What’s a pain in the ass is when you forget that bottle of vodka for your Sunday football gathering. Fortunately, I’m only 20 minutes from LA so I can drive over there and buy anything I want at a grocery store any day of the week!

            1. We can’t buy booze on Sunday either, but Michigan is close enough for those weekend emergencies.

        2. It’s amazing to me that some states don’t allow the private sale of alcohol. Absolutely amazing. Texas has a few weird restrictions (no liquor stores open on Sunday, no beer/wine sales before noon on Sunday, liquor stores must close at 9 PM) but it’s mostly pretty open. You’d think the bible belt would be more restrictive than a liberal utopia like Washington.

          1. Florida isn’t too bad–some restrictions on liquor and no Sunday morning booze sales–but none of the government crap.

          2. Yeah and LA. you guy buy liquor at gas stations, which is awesome. I didn’t know there were states that you couldn’t even buy beer in gas stations, how absurd. The problem in Texas is we have the retarded 3tier system that jacks up prices but it is certainly better than state control.

            1. Yes, that a major problem. I keep hoping the breweries will get the same changes that the wineries did a while back, where they can sell directly to the consumer. I know Brock from St. Arnold has been lobbying for that for years.

            2. The funny thing is that the 2nd tier—distribution—would probably continue on just fine. You think a large retail account wants the hassle of dealing with each producer individually? Much easier to have a distributor offer you a decent selection at a lower price than you can get buying direct. Similar things occur from the producers’ side. Let the distributor worry about the patchwork of local and state laws. We’ll sell to them, at X price, gain some consistency in our cash flow, and let them worry about warehousing and moving the product on further.

              Of course, then the distributor would actually have to compete for business, on price, selection, service. Much easier to have the state carve out a nearly invulnerable fiefdom for you. (Google for some horror stories about IL and GA distributors.)

          3. In Ohio, only the liquor is really restricted. You can buy beer and wine anywhere: gas stations, convenience stores, supermarkets, etc.

            Across the border in Pennsylvania, beer can only be bought in cases from distributors and in six-packs from bars at obscene mark-ups. Wine and liquor can only be bought through the state-owned and -operated monopoly stores.

            It’s crazy.

          4. My parents own a liquor store in SC. Not only are the hours restricted, they can’t sell anything that doesn’t contain alcohol. No corkscrews, glasses, soft drinks. They have mixers like Margarita or Tom Collins mix that contains a tiny amount of alcohol just so it can be sold there.

          5. i wouldn’t . because i live IN that liberal utopia where

            1) it is illegal (technically) to smoke a cigarette on a sidewalk in downtown seattle (based on the proximity rule)
            2) strip club regulations are super prudey- no touching the customers (lap dances), and strippers can only be nude while on an elevated stage several feet from customers
            3) online poker a C felony


            we have a libertarian constitution. we have a leftwing nannystate legislature

          6. You should see the restrictions in the Nordic countries. (Since reason only allows two links, look up Alko for Finland, Systembolaget for Sweden, and Vinmonopolet for Norway.) Look also at the prices.

            1. fuck, anywhere that cold what else would you do in the winter BUT drink?

              the worst are the little towns in alaska, though where it’s a crime to possess or import any liquor.

  16. Wait does this mean that I will be able to but 55 gallon drums of Wild Turkey at Costco?


    1. That’ll make you barf if you try to drink it all at once.

    2. Party at Barfman’s!

  17. I don’t vote. Voting is for suckers!
    Hooray for…the voters!

    1. Would you say that you are obsessed, rectal, or just intensely interested in everything I do? It’s a fine line, but you’re going to need to define that line for yourself, and I’m here to not help at all.

      1. You’re a hypocrite.

        1. More projection? This is getting ridiculous, rectal.

          1. Episiarch|8.15.11 @ 7:05PM
            Voting is merely participating in a rigged, bullshit game where you have no statistical effect but when you participate you give it legitimacy. Fuck that.

            Yesterday voters in Washington State smacked down the state liquor monopoly

            Episiarch|11.9.11 @ 11:09AM
            FUCK YEAH…This is great.

            1. In which I didn’t vote.

              God damn, you’re stupid. I mean mongoloid stupid.

              1. Tip: When your hand gets stuck in the cookie jar, all you have to do is let go.

                You’re welcome.

  18. Tom Geiger, communication director for the union representing more than 700 workers in state-run liquor stores, said he thought the results raised questions about democracy itself.

    “Stupid fucking taxpayers. How dare they overthrow my fiefdom?”

    1. he needs to get a clue. WA state has a VERY strong citizen initiative system. under our system, citizen initiative is the HIGHEST form of law. when it conflicts with legislation, initiative takes precedence


  19. Virginia it looks like the State Senate results (which look mildly gerrymandered, considering how all the incumbent Rs won by fairly large margins, and all the squeakers won by incumbent Ds) will keep alcohol freedom a difficult stretch.

    1. The gerrymandering in VA is off the chain. If the districts were even, the GOP would have probably 23 or 24 of the 40 Senate seats. As it is they’re tied, which is an improvement.

      It really pisses me off, because the State house is big for the GOP right now, and I want the ABC privatization plan passed and the one gun a month law repealed.

    2. Well at least now we’ll have a recent case study to rub their noses in and shout, “See! A Dem utopia just passed it and revenue increased!”

  20. It also expects the change to generate an average of $80 million more in annual revenue for the state and local governments over the next six years…

    Well, I guess there’s always a trade-off…

  21. I constantly read and hear about Costco outspending 1183’s opponents 2 to 1, yet I was relentlessly bombarded with ads against the measure this past month. My wife even got a call on her cell from a stranger “reminding” her to vote against the initiative. That guy’s ear is still ringing (I hope).

    And their ads were beyond the pale. Most featured an army of firefighters (?!?) lecturing us relentlessly about The Children — and last week they unleashed a doozy, where a “regular couple” start ranting hysterically while imagining all the car crashes that are sure to result!

    1. I wonder who chooses to run certain commercials sometimes. 2 or 4 years ago, some IN politician ran a commercial that basically consisted of angry old people ranting.

      It had to drive off 5 voters for every 1 it gained. It made me want to move across the river and register just to vote against the guy.

    2. Friday Funnies or GTFO, Bagge. 😉

    3. Most featured an army of firefighters (?!?) lecturing us relentlessly about The Children

      I’ve been bombarded for the past two months with ads featuring heroic soot-stained firemen who are very, very sad that those fiendish Republicans were going to take away their ability to save children from house fires. After The Children and Our Troops, there’s no more loathsome political prop than firemen.

      1. Its a little puzzling to me how cutting the benefits of retired firefighters (you know, the ones who aren’t out saving puppies and kiddies from raging infernos) puts puppoes and kiddies at risk.

        1. Without the carrot of good retirement benefits tied onto the stick of… working as a firefighter, they won’t get quality candidates… or something.

          1. i think that is their argument

            fwiw, ceteris paribus ime the better the benefits, etc. an agency offers, the better candidates it gets. market forces work – even with (prospective govt. employees)

            if agency A gives a benefit package worth say 110 k (when you include stuff like take home cruiser, medical, etc. it could easily reach that level of benefits) and another gives one worth 80k, which agency do you think gets better set of (and larger # of ) candidates.

            contrarily, if an agency offers shit poor pay and benefits, there is probably a reason an officer is working for them – like he couldn’t get hired by an agency offering better benefits OR he is using that agency as stepping stone to pay for his training, and he will lateral later

            when i worked hawaii, hawaii was able to set pay/benefits artificially low because there were only 4 agencies in the state, and one union – thus one pay rate.

            iow, there was NO market competition amongst agencies for officers.

            eventually, the incentive was strong enough for officers (such as yours truly) to seek employment on the mainland. that’s a major cultural change/sacrifice for “island boyz” but when you can move to the mainland and get a 25% pay raise, treated better as an employee AND work in an area where the cost of living is 25% LESS, what would you do?

            that’s almost the equivalent of a functional 50% raise.

      2. Agreed. PWND

    4. i found it interesting that several major firefighting groups opposed 1183. As for law enforcement, it was much more mixed. I didn’t see any major police org’s opposed or in favor of the bill. We remained non-committed as a group. various individual cops were referenced as supporting or opposing it, but to my knowledge, police unions didn’t take a stand on it.

      not saying firefighters are stupider and.or more statist than cops, but i found the dichotomy interesting.

    5. And their ads were beyond the pale. Most featured an army of firefighters (?!?) lecturing us relentlessly about The Children — and last week they unleashed a doozy, where a “regular couple” start ranting hysterically while imagining all the car crashes that are sure to result!

      The ads I saw were teenagers walking out of liquor stores in broad daylight carrying bottles in little brown bags. My first reaction: Fucking cool, I can finally send my daughter to the store to buy me another fifth of vodka!

  22. While I’m glad this passed, it’s too bad it didn’t pass in last year’s form, when there was no ridiculous 10,000 sq ft or more requirement for getting a new liquor license. I happen to like tiny independent corner stores.

    1. there is no 10,000 ft requirement IN areas that are not served by such large establishments. For better or worse, the initiative was changed for the better (as far as public perception) so that it would pass.

      pragmatism: it’s what’s for dinner… and drinks

  23. Speaking of money in politics, I wonder how much the unions spent in Ohio?

    But, of course their motives are pure, and they just want the streets to be safe.

  24. I cheered when Paul Ryan pushed that old lady in the wheelchair off the cliff.

  25. I think the question on everyone’s mind is this: “Will Peter Bagge be able to ride the monorail to his favorite liquor store?”

  26. Speaking of money in politics, I wonder how much the unions spent in Ohio?

    But, of course their motives are pure, and they just want the streets to be safe.

    After all, SB5 was going to prevent firemen and nurses from negotiating safe staffing levels. That’s all they wanted, safe staffing levels, or so their ads relentlessly told me.

    1. Seems to me that overpaying for each FTE is likely to result in lower staffing levels, not higher ones.

      1. safe, RC. And safe for who was probably never mentioned. Safe for current employees is my guess.

  27. i am happy to have voted for it, and happy it passed. The idea of the state being involved in the sale of liquor is odious, all other factors aside. The fact that the state loses 80 million a year doing so is … ridiculous.

    Congrats to Costco, and the voters of my state for being sensible.

  28. Reposting to this thread:

    I’m cautiously optimistic. These initiatives have been put forth in various flavors for a couple of decades and every one of them has failed. I can’t quite figure out why washington voters said yes on this one– alas, I did not study the exact initiative text closely. I mainly went by the ads: Saying Yes on 1183 gives our children access to liquor! Vote NO!

    That was enough to sell me on a “yes” vote right there.

    The other half is that by virtue of this becoming legal, we just “laid off” 900 state liquor store employees. Someone’s going to fight that.

    1. under the WA constitution (a quite libertarian document vis a vis privacy, right to carry, and citizen legislation), citizen intiative is the HIGHEST form of law. iow, initiative TRUMPS legislative action

      so, they can fight it all they want. i doubt they will succeed

      1. Not sure how long you’ve lived in Washington, but you may recall (or may not) that a number of initiatives have been overturned later in court because they violated some technical provision– or another way of saying it– the initiative was too big a bomb for the state to stomach– so they terminated them through government-friendly courts.

        I’m waiting for the court challenge.

        1. that much is true. however, those WERE very poorly written initiatives. Granted, the legislature frequently writes poorly written (and overly vague unconstitutional law e.g. our cyberstalking law) and that can’t be challenged until somebody is actually charged etc. with it. Standing and all that.

          Granted, i don’t share your concern because of the deep pockets, etc. of Costco, I am reasonably confident they put the effort in to write a bulletproof law.

  29. we just “laid off” 900 state liquor store employees.

    Something tells me they’ll find a nice soft feather bed to land in.

  30. In which I didn’t vote

    Anarcho-Individualists: Having it both ways since 1998?.

  31. Question for Washingtonians (that is, people who live in Washington, not THESE Washingtonians):

    How many employees at these state-run liquor stores were actually knowledgeable about their product? Just curious.

    1. What do you mean? Do you mean, if I asked the man behind the Plexi if the wine was dry, and if it would go well with a smoked brie? I have no idea. When Paul walks into a liquor store, he already knows what he wants.

      1. It almost seems like a conflict of interest in a sense.

        Iow, a private storekeep should be free to recommend one liquor product over another (e.g. X tastes better than Y).

        A state employee, otoh, would seem to create ethical concerns when they favor one retail product over another.

        Granted, that’s part of the problem of a system where the state is engaged in retail sales.

        I don’t think it’s a MAJOR ethical concern, but there is a problem when a state employee tells a prospective customer “This brand of vodka tastes like shit” that does not apply when a private person says it.

        I know that as an on-duty cop, i cannot technically recommend any private product over another, and that includes tow companies, etc. It’s not like if I’m AT a restaurant and somebody asks me “is the pho good here” I am going to say “I can’t answer that”, but you know what I mean. It’s unethical for a govt. employee to recommend the product of a particular company OVER another product, when on duty, or in their role as a representative of that govt. body.

        The obvious solution is to get the state OUT OF RETAILING LIQUOR IN THE FIRST PLACE which is what this bill does

      2. I was just thinking basic stuff like, “Can you recommend a good craft beer for me to try? I’m looking for something kind of like Guinness.” Dunphy brings up a good point, though. Yet another reason state ownership of stores is a horrible idea.

        1. The lamentations of The 900 has begun.

          “We are, of course, deeply disappointed by the election result on Initiative 1183,” the liquor board said in a news release. “Weighing most heavily on our hearts and minds are the more than 900 Liquor Control Board employees who will lose their jobs.”

          Those people have worked “under the cloud of initiatives for nearly two years,” it said. “Despite operating under a microscope, they have carried out their responsibilities with dignity and professionalism.”


  32. I wonder how long it will be until HuffPo publishes their editorial decrying the evil corporation buying this election?

  33. Can’t find any Heffalump editorials, but some of the comments on this article are delicious.

  34. Will the WA spirits tax remain an incredible $26.45/gallon, the highest in the nation?

    1. Undoubtedly. That way the 1183 detractors can say, “See? The prices are still high! I TOLD YOU SO!”

      1. Yes, then?
        $60 for a 1.75 litre of decent Scotch?

  35. Now if we can just chip away at the WSLCB’s self-appointed role as guardian of public morals, which they enforce by the liquor license. Maybe we’d be able to do something really radical and decadent like… have a drink in a strip club! MWUUUAAAAHAHAHA.

    1. not in liberal WA nannystate

      where you can’t play online poker for a $2 online game or risk a C felony

      but you can buy lottery tickets FROM THE STATE

      where you can’t have a drink in a strip club

      and where the prudes are even cracking down on bikini baristas.

      nannystate liberal prudery. it’s what they live here

  36. I am very much looking forward to Liquor Freedom Day. I plan to hit up the QFC in Wallingford and buy as much liquor as my arms can carry.

    Thanks, fellow Washingtonians, for helping me get my drink on cheaper and more easily!

  37. Up here in the great state of New Hampshire, the state government controls the liquor sales (for the most part) and beer and wine are available pretty much everywhere else. I know I should be against the state controlling liquor sales but I really, really like cheap booze.

  38. As a Washington firefighter I was disgusted with the lies and use of firefighters in the “No on 1183” ads. I for one will be gettin’ my drink on. And a lot cheaper.

  39. ‘Tom Geiger, communication hyperbole director for the union…’

  40. thank you a lotsssssssssssssssssss

  41. Awesome. Open markets here we come. Now if we can only legalize and allow Costco to sell pot, heroin and crack cocaine. Imagine a world where we can fill up a tank of gas, buy a “handle” and a Hash chaser. In one place.

  42. I am very much looking forward to Liquor Freedom Day. I plan to hit up the QFC in Wallingford and buy as much liquor as my arms can carry.

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