Liquor stores go on the attack against alcohol sales amendment | Arkansas Blog

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Liquor stores go on the attack against alcohol sales amendment

Posted By on Thu, Sep 25, 2014 at 1:15 AM

click to enlarge decide.png
Liquor stores, particularly county line liquor stores that profit from neighboring dry counties, hope to kill a statewide alcohol sales initiative in a challenge before the Arkansas Supreme Court. But they are already at work, too, with a campaign to persuade voters to oppose the constitutional amendment to end local option dry areas.

The liquor stores have bankrolled the Citizens for Local Rights campaign and have already paid at least $828,000 to Heathcott and Associates for PR and advertising advice.

One product is a letter aimed at raising money from liquor stores outlining the supposed ills of the voter initiative. Some of the letter is accurate. It is also the message being promulgated in every public forum they can find. Some of it is, at a minimum, debatable.

* TRUE: All 75 counties will be "wet," and local option elections to change that would not be allowed.

* DEBATABLE: It would open the door for large corporations to own multiple retail liquor permits. Law changes would be required first. There's some argument that a broader territory for sales might encourage more pressure for chaining, but that pressure exists today and has been resisted. Plus, a number of families have figured out ways to control multiple stores under different, but related, ownerships. There's no consumer argument against the benefits of chaining by the way (see Walmart). It's protectionist legislation, like most Arkansas alcohol law.

* FALSE: It would put liquor and wine in all grocery and convenience stores. Not without a change in existing law.

* FALSE: It would eliminate existing buffer zones on alcohol sales near churches and schools. Again, supporters of the measure say the amendment wouldn't disturb existing limitations on hours, days, locations, numbers of permit, chaining and all the rest. Presumably, somebody could attempt a lawsuit to argue that the amendment removed all restrictions on alcohol sales anywhere, anytime, any place, but I doubt it would succeed. The amendment clearly leaves regulation to the legislature, but doesn't allow prohibition.

Facts won't matter much when this campaign gets revved up.

Let Arkansas Decide, backed by grocery and convenience store groups, is working to get the amendment approved.

Tags: , , , ,


Comments (11)

Showing 1-11 of 11

Add a comment

Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-11 of 11

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • Is Arkansas in or out on Kobach voter data effort?

    The Washington Post has published a map that counts Arkansas as among states that will "partially comply" with a sweeping request for voter data by the so-called election integrity commission set up by Donald Trump in an effort to cast doubt on Hillary Clinton's 3 million-vote popular defeat of him in 2016.
    • Jul 2, 2017
  • Greenbrier's paddling of student protester goes worldwide

    The paddling of Greenbrier High School students who joined in te national school walkout Wednesday has produced headlines worldwide.
    • Mar 17, 2018
  • Rep. Mary Bentley's website now supports gay rights

    Somebody has cybersquatted on Republican Rep. Mary Bentley's website, replacing her messaging with a call for equal rights for LGBTQ people.
    • Jul 18, 2017


Most Recent Comments


© 2019 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation