Refusing to believe it's last call, Costco is now going the legislative route. Costco's lobbyist in Olympia, Greg Hanon, confirmed to PubliCola this afternoon that the company is cueing up a bill in another attempt to privatize booze. Hanon forwarded us to Costco for the specifics on the bill, and we have a call in.
Although voters rejected liquor privatization last year, the dire budget situation may play to Costco's favor if they can convince legislators that selling off the state-owned liquor infrastructure and taxing a more lucrative, private industry will be a net financial gain for the state.
In addition to privatizing sales, last year's Costco initiative (they spent $1.2 million campaigning for it) did away with the three-tiered regulatory system that currently prevents retailers from getting into the distribution game. (It also allowed volume discounts for retailers which helped opponents spin the initiative as a blueprint for a Costco monopoly.)
Last week, conservative blogger Stefan Sharkansky, who helped write I-1100, filed a similar liquor privatization initiative.