Big Liquor Infighting

TURF WARS, STRATEGIC DISAGREEMENTS HINDER SPECIAL INTEREST PUSH Furious over last year’s defeat in the S.C. General Assembly, “Big Liquor” is rethinking its strategy heading into the upcoming 2016 legislative session. We briefly addressed its latest machinations in a piece earlier this month, although the focus of our report was the…


Furious over last year’s defeat in the S.C. General Assembly, “Big Liquor” is rethinking its strategy heading into the upcoming 2016 legislative session.

We briefly addressed its latest machinations in a piece earlier this month, although the focus of our report was the extent to which these corporate cronies violate state law in an effort to game the system to their advantage (and get away with it).

Specifically, we noted how Total Wine and More – the Maryland-based company pushing a new liquor “reform” law – was “planning on taking its crony capitalist legislation to the State Senate in 2016, where its lobbyists believe it will receive a warmer welcome.”

Turns out that characterization wasn’t entirely accurate …

Total Wine is indeed taking its fight to the State Senate, but sources close to the debate tell us this strategic move came over the objections of its most “influential” supporter – lobbyist David Wilkins.

Wilkins and the other “Big Liquor” lobbyists reportedly advised that the company keep throwing money at the S.C. House of Representatives – which (wisely) declined to advance this special interest legislation in 2015.

“They believe they have more influence in the House,” one source told us. “They believe the House can be bought this time.”


Instead, Big Liquor is following the advice of lobbyist Lisa McGill Sweatman – daughter of former S.C. lieutenant governor (and longtime State Senator) Yancey McGill.  She’s recommending a full-frontal push in the State Senate – a chamber which is more liberal ideologically.

Sweatman was pregnant during most of the 2015 legislative session – and as a result did not play a daily role in the campaign to pass this bill.

She’s back now, though, and her influence appears to be on the rise.  That’s prompted plenty of bickering among other Big Liquor adherents who are questioning her legislative strategy.

“She’s sold them on the notion the Senate is more friendly to the bill and she can get it through the Senate,” a disgruntled Big Liquor lobbyist told us over the Christmas break.  “She’s also sold them on the notion it’s cheaper to do it that way.

Is she right?

“No,” the lobbyist said. “What she’s not telling them is one Senator can tie that chamber in knots just like Tom Davis did last year.”

The Big Liquor lobbyist is correct.  Thanks to the rules of the Senate, Davis successfully filibustered a proposed gasoline tax increase that had near-universal support within both “Republican” and Democratic caucuses.

Whoever is leading this fight – and whichever chamber they choose to advance the bill – the fact remains this is nothing but aa special interest sop benefitting some very bad actors.

As we’ve said from the beginning of this fight, we don’t support bending the rules for any liquor provider – big, medium or small.  This simply isn’t a business the state should regulate at all – a view that puts us at odds with literally everyone lobbying the legislature on this issue.

Our allegiance is to the consumer – and the free market.  Both of which would be served best by zero regulation.


Related posts


South Carolina Restructuring: House Approves Health Care Consolidation Bill

Dylan Nolan

University Of South Carolina Is Teaching ‘Squirting’

Will Folks

‘Carolina Crossroads’ Update: SCDOT Targets ‘Malfunction Junction’

Will Folks


The Colonel (R) December 29, 2015 at 1:59 pm

I’m all about lessening gubamint’s influence in our daily lives but come on: “…Our allegiance is to the consumer – and the free market. Both of which would be served best by zero regulation…”

The consumer is best served by some regulation – do you ever wonder how the banjo playing kid in got the way he was? (Shoot, the whole “local community” could have probably blown a .2 on the days of their births…) I suspect in addition to the inbreeding, his “ma and pa” were sampling some of their own “squeezins”

Maximum (and ruthlessly enforced minimum) speeds on the highway serve the best interest of the consumer. Clean food, drug and water rules… Oh Hell, you’re just swinging your “Libertarian hyperbole ax” anyway, never mind.

The Buzzman December 29, 2015 at 2:51 pm

“Mighty mighty pleasin’,
Uncle Daddy’s corn squeezin’ —

shifty henry December 29, 2015 at 7:45 pm


Ever’ time the still gets struck by lightnin’
It makes me kinda wonder
And think about the way things are
In the land that’s over yonder

And I wonder if it’s anything like
Life here on this planet
Heaven knows there’s so much here
That we take too much for granite


Ever’ time the still gets struck by lightnin’
It makes me cherish each day
And reminds me that I’m just passin’ thru
Though I’d be right content to stay
(Uncle Handsome’s Redneck Poetry from
“The Road Less Graveled”)

TontoBubbaGoldstein December 30, 2015 at 5:54 am

It’s possum time!

Tazmaniac December 29, 2015 at 5:23 pm

Ever check out “The Wild and Wonderful Whites of West Virginia”? It is like watching chimps and their funny shenanigans and then you get sad at their total lack of self awareness. They need to be bleached out of the Gene Pool.

TontoBubbaGoldstein December 30, 2015 at 5:56 am

“Corn don’t grow at all on Rocky Top
Ground’s to rocky, by far
That’s why all the folks on Rocky Top
Get there corn from a jar!”

TBG knows how much you Sakerlina folks love that song….

The Colonel (R) December 30, 2015 at 8:52 am Reply
jimlewisowb December 29, 2015 at 2:06 pm

Speaking of Fucking Cockroach Lobbyist let me tell you a short story:

Spent most of Christmas in and out of Lexington Medical Center with heart problems

Most memorable event was laying on a bed for hours waiting for an Operating Theater to open up

One would think that an extended wait was because all “available” OT’s were maxed out, right

Wrong, LMC has a 4th Operating Theater ready to go on line. It was not up and running due to the Cockroaches at the State House, the Cockroaches at DHEC and the Cockroach Lobbyists who peddle influence at a level not seen since the times of the Roman Empire

Lexington Medical Center has the infrastructure, Lexington Medical Center has the Staff and Lexington Medical Center has the capability to run 4 Operating Theaters – what it does not have is a Certificate of Need from DHEC to bring on line its 4th Operating Theater – therefore if the demand is greater than supply one waits on their back for hours

So my New Year’s Wish for 2016 is very simple – I would like to see a Cockroach Legislator or a Cockroach DHEC Bean Counter or a Cockroach Lobbyist, preferably all three, to find themselves on a gurney at LMC waiting for an opening to an Operating Theater knowing full well that there one just down the hall sitting vacant, dusty, unused due to their actions or failure to act

Oh, almost forgot the last part of my wish – hope the son of bitch mother fucking Cockroach Bastard dies while waiting and his/her ashes are flushed into the most polluted river in the greater Columbia Area, which so happen to be all of them – yep, that would start 2016 off on a high note

Note: Before any sanctimonious goat head comments about one should not wish harm on anyone and such doings could guarantee a fast track ticket to hell – bite me

Tazmaniac December 29, 2015 at 2:16 pm

Well I hope your doing much better now.

shifty henry December 29, 2015 at 3:43 pm

very clearly stated —— here’s how one doctor handled things
A guy is recovering from major and delicate surgery. His doctor checks in with him. “Doc, how am I? Will everything now be ok for me?”

“Well, actually I have good news and bad news.”

“Can you give me the bad news first?”

“Sure. While you were in here your house burned down, your teenage son accidentally ran over your dog and then proceeded to total your new car, and your wife left you for another guy.”

“Holy mackerel — please tell me what the good news is!”

“The good news is — that there’s no more bad news!”

Squishy123 December 29, 2015 at 5:22 pm

And LMC has over the past decade gone from the top hospital in the Midlands to the shithole hospital where you go to to die or catch a staff infection. I know people who work there who have told friends and family if they’re ever sick or hurt to have them sent to Providence or Parkridge, anywhere but LMC.

Soft Sigh from Hell December 29, 2015 at 8:10 pm

Get better! We need you.

ethelcgage December 30, 2015 at 3:27 am

?my neighbor’s stride mother is making 98$ HOURLY on the internet?….

A few days ago new McLaren F1 subsequent after earning 18,512$,,,this was my previous month’s paycheck ,and-a little over, 17k$ Last month ..3-5 h/r of work a day ..with extra open doors & weekly paychecks.. it’s realy the easiest work I have ever Do.. I Joined This 7 months ago and now making over 87$, p/h.Learn More right Here
??? http://GlobalSuperEmploymentVacanciesReportsWorld/GetPaid/98$hourly?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?.?

Mom December 29, 2015 at 2:07 pm

Government Regs on Liquor – what about regulation barring children from purchasing liquor?

Sic Semper Tyrannis December 29, 2015 at 2:22 pm

Nothing to see here folks, We have a new baseball stadium in Columbia ! That’s news.

Squishy123 December 29, 2015 at 2:22 pm

So which legislator or Senator is the father of her child? Because you know that’s what lobbyist do.

Sic Semper Tyrannis December 29, 2015 at 2:25 pm

Used to be one, problem was I couldn’t get’em knocked up and had to go. Where is Shifty ?

This guy takes the cake December 29, 2015 at 3:14 pm

You are a sexist asshole who couldn’t get a girl if you tried.

Squishy123 December 29, 2015 at 5:18 pm

Why thank you, now go make me a sandwich.

Or maybe December 29, 2015 at 9:17 pm

I wonder if you hide behind a screen name because you are too scared of what your woman (if one was that desperate to be with you) would do to you if she saw what you wrote. Or maybe you are hiding something else, as in you like men but to ashamed of it and think if you talk bad about women no one will know. I hope you choke on your sandwich (or something else).

Squishy123 December 29, 2015 at 9:25 pm

Yeah, something like that. Now that laundry isn’t going to do itself.

Speaking of screen name, is your name really “Or maybe” or is it “This guy takes a cake”? Either way you need to punch your parents in the mouth.

We have a winner December 30, 2015 at 8:05 am

Wow look at all these guys hiding in their parents basements acting big and bad talking this way at a computer. Do you wet your pants when girls talk to you? Did you get no hits on your Eharmony page and this is actually the first “conversation” y’all have had with the opposite sex? Any way your parents say its time to do your chores, you cant stay there for free you know, so go cut the grass!

Squishy123 December 30, 2015 at 9:55 am

Is that what you tell your cats?

TontoBubbaGoldstein December 30, 2015 at 5:51 am

I hope you choke on your sandwich…

The “Mama Cass Special” on toasted whole wheat?

china town December 30, 2015 at 6:29 am

better douche that cunt too its smellin like lowtide

Tazmaniac December 29, 2015 at 2:26 pm

This all seems like a long winded excuse to post an attractive woman’s picture. six weeks they say Will, six weeks.

The Buzzman December 29, 2015 at 2:48 pm

Don’t tease us with a pic of a hot lady and the words “full frontal”, without delivering the goods, Will.

Superfly December 29, 2015 at 3:13 pm

Sounds more like one scumbag lobbyist is upset that he got taken to the woodshed by Ms. McGill, and had those dollars already spent on a July after-session vacation. Pointing out that to a major trade group that one SC Senator can tie up the Senate, is akin to “water takes the path of least resistance”, or maybe that’s what she told the trade group. Then stick it in the budget, and win in Conference. Sounds like a winning strategy to me, for whatever that’s worth. Must be worth something to at least one butt-hurt lobbyist who wined to FIts about it.

Rocky Verdad December 29, 2015 at 5:49 pm

Nice smile, Can we get a full length photo Will? I’ll drink to that.

Lone Ranger December 29, 2015 at 7:06 pm

So little Lisa McGill gets her thrill buying the House on Capital Hill because she knows how they ripped the flag WITHOUT letting you vote

So let them all pay and play but in 2016 voters WILL have their say and we’ll take the Tea Train to the barbeque where they ALL will be the goat !!!

TankMcNamara December 29, 2015 at 10:09 pm

i’d hit it. . . . .

TontoBubbaGoldstein December 30, 2015 at 5:48 am

“Liquor up front.
Poker in the rear.”

Just. Couldn’t. Resist.

TankMcNamara January 1, 2016 at 12:18 am

That’s what i do, TBG: serve ’em up so you, Shifty Henry can hit ’em out!

Elfego December 30, 2015 at 9:37 am

Politics are a Cancer in America. It also spreads like Cancer!


Leave a Comment