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Monday, February 18, 2013

Beware of Republicans who don't like alcohol

Posted By on Mon, Feb 18, 2013 at 10:56 AM

Here's another one to watch. The "drys" thought they'd preserved their no-alcohol zones through Lu Hardin's effort to put a ridiculously high requirement to petition for alcohol sales election. Two things happened: 1) Legislators found a way to loosen the private club law, opening the door to restaurant sales in dry precincts through the old "private club" ruse, all in the name of economic development, of course. You CAN get a legal drink in Conway now, not to mention far less exciting burgs. 2) Determined folks in several localities (powered by Walton money in Benton County) figured out a way to get petitions approved for the ballot. I'm not aware of a "wet" proposal that has been defeated at the polls yet.

So now the "drys" have another angle. Nearly two dozen legislators — all Republicans and mostly from "dry" areas — have introduced legislation to require city and county approval of new private club permits, along with a lengthy list of conditions, before a state permit could be issued.

This, de facto, takes approval of private club permits out of the hands of the state and puts it first in the hands of local authorities. Is that constitutional? The state Alcoholic Beverage Control agency says it is studying the question.

Legal or not, it is one more example of "small-government" Republicans trying mightily to inject more government into your life so that you live according to THEIR desires. Under the rules of the Stepford Republican Caucus, it will pass. They vote lockstep on everything and with a majority, they could mail in the desired outcomes and save us all a lot of time and per diem.

PS: Government that's good for you? Government that provides health care to nearly all U.S. citizens? Republicans DON'T WANT THAT. In the name of continuing their delay/obfuscate/defeat strategy against Medicaid expansion, Republicans promise to bring in a consultant — at public expense — to evaluate the program. I bet ALEC or the Kochs have some good people to hire for this purpose. Bet you now: The bottom line won't be providing more medical coverage to more working poor Arkansans.

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