Friday, April 08, 2011

Standard-Examiner Editorial: OUR VIEW: Fix Liquor Stores Fiasco

Daily Utah Chronicle: Voting on autopilot hurt citizens’ rights
We have no doubt that it gives the overwhelmingly Republican Legislature a lot of satisfaction to include the Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control in its budget-trimming. But even the most "moral" budget cut needs to make sense. No matter how many times you figure it out, it is not thrifty to save $2 million and lose potentially $18 million.

Standard-Examiner Editorial
OUR VIEW: Fix liquor stores fiasco
April 8, 2011

I've referred to the political principles of the Utah Republican Party before as "Big Brother Republicanism." In light of this session, a better term fits—feudalistic Republicanism. The term captures the Utah Republican Party's disdain for public oversight, input, checks and balances of and to its government. It captures the spirit of expanding the power of the government and rich lobbyists (the noble families) and shrinks the power of the public (the serfs). It also captures the feudalistic spirit of contempt and condescension that the Utah Republican Party has for the voting public.

Stewart Thorpe, The Daily Utah Chronicle
Voting on autopilot hurt citizens’ rights
April 5, 2011

Top notch Standard-Examiner editorial this morning, exposing yet another legislative blunder which needs to be fixed, flowing from this year's wacked-out 2011 legislative session:
And over at the Utah Daily Chronicle, columnist Stewart Thorpe has another great idea. After the legislature gets done fixing this year's bad legislation, maybe it's time for knee-jerk GOP voters to help fix up the Utah legislature itself:
Seems our Utah legislature gets loonier with each passing year. Perhaps the time has come, even for GOP loyalists, to turn off the autopilot and "cull the herd."

Just a thought.

10 comments:

ozboy said...

The liquor dealers in all the surrounding border towns must be licking their chops over this year's annual Legislative assault on Utah's sinners, fornicators and (gasp) alcohol drinkers.

It would be interesting if some one came up with actual numbers of the amount of money the Utah treasury loses as a result of the out of state booze that will be coming in to the state via car trunks.

I know if I was a drinkin man that driving 90 miles to the nearest border (a whole lot closer in St. George) to save a grundle on my monthly supply of feel good would not be too big of a hurdle, especially if the weenies in the Legislature are going to make me drive across town any way.

Curmudgeon said...

Oz:

Well, I don't think I'd make a 180 mile round trip for hooch, not even once a month to load up. Gas and time would pretty much wipe out the price advantage unless we drank a whole lot more than we do.

But have to tell ya, we hear tell of people who, whenever they drive out of state for other reasons [getaways to the Tetons for example, or to visit friends in Durango perhaps or to visit Sin City in the desert down south], make a point of stopping at the last liquor store before the border coming back to stock up. [We would never do that of course, because it's not legal.] Why I even hear tell that newcomers the Fair State of Zion are briefed by friends on the location of the last liquor store over the border on damn near every highway leading into the state. Or so I've been told. I wouldn't know personally, of course, it being illegal to bring hooch not paying a tithe --- ooops, I meant a tax --- to the Gret Stet Of Utah back into the state.

Johnny Walker said...

Talked with a few of the State liquor employees, and they told me that most closures would be in the smaller towns and that the hours would be cut back in the larger cities. Wine will still be available, but a buyer may need to go do a different store than he's used to.

This move will cost the State about 18 mil in lost revenue. Unless the Leg raises the prices, how that's made up is anyone's guess. Usually, these things are left to the DABC, in my day it was called the ULCC (Utah Liquor Control Commission) and the commissioners, all appointed by the Governor, made these moves, not the Legislature.

Looking at Garn, the HB477, and the newly appointed president, it's no wonder that we are where we are and the voting booth is the only way out. Too many tee-totlers (sp?) make up this supposed august body and it seems that here, as well as on the hill in D.C., the thing of PRIMARY importance is re-election, NOT the people's business.

Jim Beam said...

You'ze guys talking about the closest liquor store to the border are apparently not out of state liquor buyers. It only takes one trip to these border stores to realize that they all jack their prices way up to close, but not quite, with the Utah state prices because they get so many people doing just what is mentioned. To really get the huge price savings from other states you have to go a little further away from the border. The best place for people in Northern Utah is the Blackfoot Indian reservation up by Pocatello. They don't have any state or federal tax on it there. I'm guessing booze there is at least half or less of what it is in Utah. The Utah gang puts a very big tax on booze here, and even the regular stores in surrounding states have it significantly cheaper than here (but not close to the border). So say a bottle of hooch costs $20 bucks here, you can get it for $10 or less at the reservation and maybe $12 or so at other out of Utah stores. It doesn't take too many bottle at that price saving to more than make up for the gas to go get it. Besides, it is a pretty nice drive to most nearby out of state towns. Just make sure you wait till you get home before you start cracking open those out of state jugs! Oh, and don't be speeding or driving around without license plates, or something else stupid, you don't want to let the Utah cops catch you with out of state booze!

Curmudgeon said...

JB:

I heard some that folks who look for deals on hooch when out of state --- not us of course --- checked out prices in New Orleans recently. They were very close to Utah State Liquor store prices on bourbon, scotch, etc. [Beer cheaper but who'd bring serious beer back as luggage on a plane?]

But your "not the first store" advice is interesting. Should we perchance meet any of those who may possibly have brought illegal hooch back from out of state, I'll ask them about that advice. We of course would have no possible use for it.

Monotreme said...

Welcome to the Republic of Gilead.

Been there said...

Curm

Another good reason to avoid liquor stores (and fire works during season) and one Jim Beam didn't mention is - the Utah cops are well known to stake out those out of state stores close to the border and radio in the license number of Utah cars that show up in the parking lot to their fellow cops on the Utah side who then of course pick them up, confiscate the booze or fireworks and issue an ass busting ticket - or worse.

Curmudgeon said...

Been:

They used to, but I think last year Wyoming complained about Utah state police monitoring parking lots in their state, and Utah agreed to stop the practice.

But I wouldn't want to be the one to discover the hard way that they've hired private snoops to do the monitoring.

curious 1 said...

I and my friends going to Las Vegas stop at Costco there, my liquor choice was $20 a bottle cheaper than Utah. A good LDS friend also would stop by and pick up for me. He opened the trunk and his daughter thought he had a drionking problem.

The clerk mentioned to me that I must be from Utah or Wash since those citizens seem to be stocking up there.

Jack "Firecracker" Daniels said...

I ran booze and fireworks for years and never got touched by the UHP. You just have to use your head when you go there. The last thing you want to do is drive across the border, stop at the first joint you see, load up and then turn around and head back into Utah. Shit man, go into Evanston, play the ponies, have some lunch, hang out, then ease back into good old Zion under the cover of time spent in Wyoming. Not rocket science, really, it isn't.

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