SC

"Big Liquor" = Big Liberal

MEET THE MAN BEHIND THIS SPECIAL INTEREST “MOVEMENT”  We’ve written extensively about the battle between “Big Liquor” and, well … anything that gets in its way in South Carolina (including our state’s existing laws). (For the latest status report on this ongoing legislative battle, click here). This special interest effort…

MEET THE MAN BEHIND THIS SPECIAL INTEREST “MOVEMENT” 

We’ve written extensively about the battle between “Big Liquor” and, well … anything that gets in its way in South Carolina (including our state’s existing laws).

(For the latest status report on this ongoing legislative battle, click here).

This special interest effort has been backed by “conservative” lobbyists like former S.C. Speaker David Wilkins and former S.C. Speaker Pro Tempore Harry Cato.  It’s also been endorsed by the center-right advocacy group Americans for Prosperity, the group subsidized by billionaire industrialists Charles G. Koch and David H. Koch.

They’ve even bought the Baptists and their money-changer-in-chief, Bible-thumping consultant Bob McAlister.

The goal of this well-heeled assemblage of power brokers?  To give Big Liquor – a.k.a. Maryland-based Total Wine and More – a gift-wrapped competitive advantage at the expense of true competition, thus creating decreased selection and higher prices for South Carolina consumers.

Not to mention shuttering dozens of stores and doing away with hundreds of jobs …

Does that sound like “free market liquor reform?”  Of course not … but this is South Carolina, where anti-competitive, anti-jobs special interest handouts are routinely disguised using such labels.   Usually with “Republican” politicians and “conservative” organizations leading the charge to pass the harmful measures.

We’ve consistently opposed such charades.  We’ve also consistently opposed this special interest sop … arguing that if lawmakers are going to change the state’s liquor laws, they ought to do away with all regulations on production, sale and distribution.

“If a law on the books is being ignored in such a manner as to artificially raise prices on consumers – and if existing laws are being ‘reformed’ in such a way as to jack those prices even higher, then we’ve got a big problem with that,” we wrote last fall.

What hasn’t been discussed much over the course of this battle, though?  The man behind the movement to create an effective “liquor monopoly” in the Palmetto State.

He’s the answer to the question: Cui Bono?  Which is to say, “who benefits.”

His name?  David Trone.  His position?  Co-owner of Total Wine and More.

We probably wouldn’t have known much about Trone were it not for his recent decision to run for the U.S. Congress – Maryland’s eighth congressional district, to be precise.

Naturally Trone – who has co-opted the Palmetto State’s “Republican” establishment and has “conservative” activists advancing his crony capitalist handout – is running as a “Republican,” right?

Wrong …

He’s a raging liberal.

Trone’s campaign website includes a smorgasbord of far left ideology … including rabid anti-gun laws and amnesty for illegal immigrants.

“The only people we need to deport are politicians like Donald Trump,” he said.

Wow …

The last time we checked, Trump was the runaway favorite of GOP voters in the very state Trone is seeking to shove his special interest sop through a “Republican-controlled” legislature.

On education, Trone supports universal government-subsidized pre-Kindergarten, federal Common Core standards and massive new taxpayer investments.  On health care, he supports Obamacare.  In fact he wants to expand Medicaid spending – and is criticizing “Republican” politicians who refuse to do so.

“In too many states, Republican governors and legislators have chosen politics over people, and refused to expand Medicaid,” he said.

Yeah …

For those of you keeping score at home, Trone just attacked the S.C. General Assembly – which rejected this very expansion in 2013.

Last November, Trone hosted U.S. president Barack Obama at his home in Maryland for one of the largest Democratic National Committee fundraisers of the year.  The price of admission?  A whopping $20,000 per couple.

According to The Baltimore Sun, Trone is currently using footage of Obama’s remarks from this event in one of his campaign commercials – implying that he has Obama’s endorsement.   His liberal opponents are apoplectic, but Obama’s flattering words about Trone – including the remark “we could run him for something” – speak for themselves.

Pay attention, South Carolina lawmakers … is this really the sort of person our GOP legislature is going to allow to steamroll small and medium-sized liquor stores?  

Seriously … lawmakers shouldn’t erode competition, decrease choices, raise prices and eliminate jobs on behalf of anyone, no matter what they believe.  But they sure as hell shouldn’t do so on behalf of someone like David Trone.

***

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50 comments

The Colonel (R) February 11, 2016 at 9:53 am

…The goal of this well-heeled assemblage of power brokers? To give … Total Wine and More – a gift-wrapped competitive at the expense of true competition…”

A “…gift wrapped competitive…” what? Edge? Advantage?

Reply
stumpknocker February 11, 2016 at 10:10 am

seems like fits thinks his being a democrat should be the deciding factor and could care less about the merits of the bill.

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tomstickler February 11, 2016 at 9:54 am

But, but, but…. What about the unfettered free market?

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Flip February 11, 2016 at 10:01 am

Deport Donald Trump? Sounds like a good idea to me!

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Torch February 11, 2016 at 10:21 am

He can take Al Sharpton with him.

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Rocky February 11, 2016 at 10:32 am

Faggot.We need to deport American hating low life losers like you.

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Flip February 11, 2016 at 11:29 am

That is very hateful language, not the kind of tone a follower of Christ would have.

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df February 11, 2016 at 12:53 pm

Do you want to identify yourself before this petition is filed today in Lexington County?

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Flip February 11, 2016 at 3:19 pm

I hope you are petitioning to find out who this hateful person is that uses such rude language on me and Boz and Rocky and mamatiger and The Colonel and all the other fine folks who comment here that don’t deserve to be harassed. If so good luck sir.

pogo February 11, 2016 at 12:01 pm

I’m the top faggot here, girl. Don’t steal my spotlight.

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Flip February 11, 2016 at 12:35 pm

LMAO!!!

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shifty henry February 11, 2016 at 10:09 am

“is this really the sort of person our GOP legislature is going to allow to steamroll small and medium-sized liquor stores? ”

He may have been sampling too much of his inventory — probably some really cheap hooch ….

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Just Curious February 11, 2016 at 10:32 am

How much does placement of one of these “articles” cost? Asking for a friend.

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Rocky February 11, 2016 at 10:34 am

Call Flip at Fits HQ .

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Rocky Verdad February 11, 2016 at 11:25 am

Cut that out!!!!

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Flip February 11, 2016 at 11:33 am

Just to clarify he means to call the other Flip, the racist homophobic one. He’s a homeless guy that was trying to get a job with FITS last I heard.

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The Colonel (R) February 11, 2016 at 10:57 am

Okay, Will corrected his grammar now, can someone explain what this whole issue is about without the hyperbole?

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The dude February 11, 2016 at 11:19 am

Total wine wants to truck its own liquor in from its own distribution network to its stores, rather than being forced to use a sc distributor as a middle man as current law requires.

Seems to me that Will and his free market rant is on the wrong side of this issue. Appears he is trying to protect the stranglehold current distributors have, the question is…why?

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HD February 11, 2016 at 11:28 am

You’re close, but not quite right on the issue. Be that as it may, the answer to your “why” question is obvious – $.

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The Colonel (R) February 11, 2016 at 11:35 am

Where is he wrong? Again looking for a straight forward explanation.

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HD February 11, 2016 at 11:43 am

Total isn’t seeking a change in the law, the wholesalers are. Current law requires SC retailers to purchase from SC wholesalers. Current law requires producers to sell to SC wholesalers. Buying from out of state wholesalers isn’t lawful now, and no one is trying to change that.

The Colonel (R) February 11, 2016 at 11:47 am

I see that now that I’ve actually read the proposed law – this makes no sense at all…

The Colonel (R) February 11, 2016 at 11:35 am

Thanks – that’s sort of what I was getting.

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Rocky Verdad February 11, 2016 at 11:25 am

Wil’s sticking up for mom and pop booze stores? Geesh!!! I don’t go to the big booze stores, my local booze store is just fine. I don’t need to drive for a deal on wine and tequilla, just give the the damned bottle.

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HD February 11, 2016 at 11:25 am

Folks can’t seem to distinguish between two bills, one of which is actually being considered (H 3450) and one that isn’t (H 3375). H 3450 is a bill being pushed by the big three wholesalers (privately held with annual revenue ranging from from $12 billion to $6 billion per year). It would require all non-beer alcohol shipped into SC to be unloaded at a warehouse and stored for a minimum of 24 hours. They don’t like small wholesalers using a business model that doesn’t include this process. H 3375 is the bill that would repeal the limitation on the number of licenses a retailer can hold. This bill hasn’t budged since it was introduced last January. Folks either doesn’t know the difference, or his paymasters prefer that he continue to conflate them.

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The Colonel (R) February 11, 2016 at 11:48 am

H 3375 is about Fairness in Civil Justice Act – got another bill?

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The Colonel (R) February 11, 2016 at 12:12 pm

This is what came up in my initial search: http://www.scstatehouse.gov/sess119_2011-2012/bills/3375.htm Then I tried searching the state house records for “beer” and got a bunch of pictures of drunk legislators…

shifty henry February 11, 2016 at 12:18 pm

—- check your spelling, you may have typed “bier” instead of “beer”

The Colonel (R) February 11, 2016 at 12:25 pm
shifty henry February 11, 2016 at 1:23 pm

good one! actually, when I referenced “bier” I was thinking that you got a photo of Leatherman asleep in his chair!

HD February 11, 2016 at 12:25 pm

Don’t know why you’d have come up with a bill from two sessions ago – but you’ve got it now.

The Colonel (R) February 11, 2016 at 12:27 pm

Danke schon!

HD February 11, 2016 at 12:27 pm

The issue there isn’t limiting the total number of licenses, but rather, the number that can be owned by an one individual/company.

erneba February 11, 2016 at 11:06 am

Trone is the kind guy that SC conservatives have nightmares about.
Run his sorry ass back to Maryland. We can fuck up this deal all by ourselves.

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euwe max February 11, 2016 at 11:20 am

Republicans are scum.

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Rocky Verdad February 11, 2016 at 11:26 am

Big Liquor – wasn’t that a Rush song in the 80s?

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Pogo February 11, 2016 at 11:44 am

In Rock Hill heading toward Columbia. Where we doing lunch boys?

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the 'boys' February 11, 2016 at 12:03 pm

Help! This man won’t stop trying to touch us!

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The Colonel (R) February 11, 2016 at 11:46 am

Okay – Here’s the language in H3450:
“To amend the code of laws of South Carolina, 1976, by adding section 61-4-360 so as to prohibit a beer wholesaler from delivering beer to a retail beer and wine permit holder unless the beer has been received, unloaded, and stored or warehoused at its licensed premises, and to provide penalties; by adding section 61-4-370 so as to prohibit a wine wholesaler from delivering wine to a retail beer and wine permit holder unless the wine has been received, unloaded, and stored or warehoused at its licensed premises for a period of not less than twenty-four hours, and to provide penalties; and by adding section 61-6-1325 so as to prohibit a liquor wholesaler from delivering alcoholic liquors to a retail liquor license holder unless the alcoholic liquors have been received, unloaded, and stored or warehoused at its licensed premises for a period of not less than twenty-four hours, and to provide penalties.” http://www.scstatehouse.gov/sess121_2015-2016/bills/3450.htm

I’ve read it. I don’t get it. All I see is that a “mom and pop” or a “jumbo chain” has to “…receive, unload, and store or warehouse at its licensed premises for a period of not less than twenty-four hours…” any alcohol that it sells. I don’t get why it’s necessary and I don’t get why it’s a big deal.

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HD February 11, 2016 at 11:52 am

It requires the wholesaler (not retailer) to unload and store the product for 24 hours, whether or not there is any business reason to do it. It is designed to force small wholesalers to conduct their business according to the same model used by the big three wholesalers. It would stunt potential innovation and efficiencies that small competitors might utilize to the detriment of the large wholesalers.

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The Colonel (R) February 11, 2016 at 11:53 am

So it prohibits JITD (Just In Time Delivery) for the small guys – how does this help Total Wine?

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HD February 11, 2016 at 11:58 am

Their argument is that Total uses a “paper” wholesaler with no facility in SC and, along with a couple of other large retailers (Whole Foods and Trader Joes have been named), will ship product from NC wholesalers direct to SC retailers. This bill is designed to prevent that. The problem with that argument is that it is already unlawful to do what the proponents say this bill is designed to stop.

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The Colonel (R) February 11, 2016 at 12:08 pm

In other words – “…much ado about nothing…”

Seems to me all the gubamint should be worried about is getting their cut out of the tax.

shifty henry February 11, 2016 at 11:56 am

A young man is sent to the state pen and is put in a cell with an old man. The young guy asks, “Hey, old man, what are you in for?”
The old geezer says, “Moonshine, boy.”
“Huh, old man, was it any good?”
“Hell yes, son – I got one year to the gallon!”

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Bible Thumper February 11, 2016 at 12:23 pm

Thought you might like picture, but feel free to read the article, also.
http://mockpaperscissors.com/2016/02/11/sc-seething-hotbed-of-unbridled-lust-and-dirty-tricks/

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shifty henry February 11, 2016 at 1:21 pm

— is that the photo of Nikki Will used to carry in his wallet?

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Bible Thumper February 11, 2016 at 9:39 pm

No. It’s the photo he kept under his mattress with a sock.

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Jamey February 11, 2016 at 3:32 pm

Bob McAlister is Leatherman’s bag man. He appears, shakes people down for the Senator, then goes to church for a cleansing. How they split the profits I am not sure, but no doubt the little digger gets most of it!

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