This post has been updated with details from the actual complaint I-1100's campaign filed with the Attorney General's office.



Sharon Gilpin, spokeswoman for Initiative 1100---the liquor-privatization initiative that is backed financially by Costco---has filed a formal challenge to the title and description of the other liquor-privatization ballot initiative, I-1105, with the state Attorney General's office.

Gilpin filed the challenge on the last possible day to do so, prompting the 1105 campaign to speculate that I-1100 proponents are trying to delay the competing I-1105.

"Honestly, I don’t know how they wrote [the challenge] with a straight face," said Charla Neuman, the spokeswoman for I-1105. "Baloney objections, none of them really matter, it's all just game play. Even so, that will get resolved and we factored in time for that."

Gilpin and the I-1100 campaign complain that the concise description created by the Attorney General's office does not clearly mention that I-1105 would, at least initially, repeal all taxes on liquor. Also, the fact that I-1105 would make a recommendation to the Legislature to create a new tax on liquor should be included in the ballot title.

Gilpin et al go on to complain that the initiative summary states that the initiative would direct the liquor control board to license "qualified private parties" to sell and distribute liquor but the initiative itself does not describe what "qualified" means. Instead, it directs the liquor control board to develop the criteria. I-1100's summary does not have the word "qualified" in it, so I-1105's should not either, the complaint reads.

But wait, there's more: Like the summary of I-1100, the summary of I-1105 should include the phrase "hard liquor" after the word "spirits." Gilpin thought the term "hard liquor" had negative connotations so the initiatives "should all be put on the same playing field, rather than only one (the initiative at issue here) not having reference to 'hard liquor'..."

I-1105 differs from I-1100 primarily in that it prices liquor licenses based on the volume of liquor sold, whereas 1100 includes no price controls, making it more palatable to massive wholesalers like Costco.

Neuman said her campaign is ready to start gathering signatures as soon as it deals with the competing campaign's challenge.