After the defeat of Initiative 1100, also backed by Costco, Senate Bill 5942 privatizing the state liquor business was signed by our governor in June. SB 5942 estimates revenues of $300 million next year in fees paid by private parties for the 20-year lease of distribution rights along with 15 percent of liquor sales revenues annually. Why did Costco then spend $22 million pushing Initiative 1183? Hidden in I-1183 are the terms “central warehousing,” “uniform pricing” and “volume discounts.” These terms seem innocent, perhaps meaningless to the public. Don’t be fooled. These are critical components of the federal regulatory three-tier system, which Costco desperately wants dismantled to increase profits.
Costco first failed to deregulate the liquor industry via our legislative system. Our state elected officials said “no.” In 2008, Costco failed via the judicial system. The federal court ruled against Costco’s desire to deregulate “central warehousing,” “uniform pricing” and “volume discounts” (Costco vs. Hoen, 9th Circuit Court). Costco’s recent failure was I-1100 when voters said “no.”
Costco wants only what is best for Costco — higher profits with disregard to societal costs. Elected officials, our judicial system and voters have all said “no.” Vote smart. “No” on I-1183.
Linn Dee Kangas