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#360206 - 04-19-2010 16:44:58 Please splain this HR 5034 thing in English, please.
Roland Dumas Offline
Regular

Registered: 11-19-2003 08:00:00
Posts: 892
Loc: San Mateo, CA
I just noticed a lot of blogscreed on this piece of legislation that does something - not sure what - to the distribution of wine.

When I try to read the legislation, I feel like an Ambien tablet hit me upside the head, and when I read the blog posts, I think I need a fire extinguisher for my computer screen.

Is there a lawyer in the house?

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#360213 - 04-19-2010 21:41:28 Re: Please splain this HR 5034 thing in English, please. [Re: Roland Dumas]
R. Schiffman Offline

Chief bottle washer
Obsessed

Registered: 11-24-2004 17:08:53
Posts: 2963
Loc: Orem, UT
It's the brainchild of my local congressman (Jason Chaffetz). A man who made his money in multi-level marketing for herbal supplements. He won his race on his platform that we should round up all the illegal immigrants and place them in internment camps until we can ship them all home. We still have a couple nice locations in the desert used as Japanese internment camps during WWII we could use. So, the current brief thoughts of a Salt Lake Tribune political blog.

"Wine lovers are issuing a call to arms against a bill co-sponsored by Utah Congressman Jason Chaffetz. According to Chaffetz, HB5034 is a states' rights bill meant to maintain a status quo:

"I want to keep things the way they are. I want to preserve states' rights to decide the appropriate regulation of alcohol within their borders."

But the blog Vinography says the bill was authored by beer industry lobbyists for their own benefit, not the consumer's. Wine aficionados, for instance, complain that the law will limit where wine can be shipped, making it difficult for them to order their favorites. [Welcome to Utah.]

The bill would make it difficult, Vinography says impossible, to liberalize any state's out-of-state shipping laws because "as long as any state can prove that its laws produce tax revenues or prevent children from buying alcohol, those laws, no matter how discriminatory, anti-competitive, or anti-consumer cannot be overturned . . ."

Under their usual guise of trying to "protect the children" from an "epidemic of alcoholism" the liquor wholesalers lobby has introduced a bill that effectively keeps the alcohol laws of this country an affair to be settled by state legislators and their wholesaler lobbyist friends.

Chaffetz, by the way, has not accepted contributions from liquor lobbyists. But wine writer Tom Johnson at LouisvilleJuice.com predicts:

. . . but count on that to change. I’d bet right now that between today and November’s election, co-sponsorship of this legislation will net each of them something around $25,000. Just watch."

Dispatched from a place just outside reality named Utah County, Utah. It proudly proclaims itself to be the most Republican county in the most Republican State in the Country.
_________________________
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#360214 - 04-19-2010 22:01:58 Re: Please splain this HR 5034 thing in English, please. [Re: Roland Dumas]
Ken Zinns Online   content
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Registered: 12-15-2000 08:00:00
Posts: 2955
Loc: Oakland, CA
Not a lawyer, but there's a pretty good explanation on Wine Spectator's site here: An End to Wine Direct Shipping?

You may have already seen Tom Wark's "Fermentation" blog here: Stop H.R. 5034—The Anti-Consumer Wine Bill

Sounds like a pretty nasty piece of legislation that would really hurt a lot of wineries, particularly smaller ones.

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#360217 - 04-19-2010 22:54:31 Re: Please splain this HR 5034 thing in English, please. [Re: Ken Zinns]
R. Schiffman Offline

Chief bottle washer
Obsessed

Registered: 11-24-2004 17:08:53
Posts: 2963
Loc: Orem, UT
See, you guys thought our stupid liquor laws in Utah couldn't screw you up. There may not have been a "clamor to examine the state-based alcohol regulations" in 49 other States, butever since Granholm it's been a big deal here. So, my little moron of a congressman figures he has to take out the whole country to keep Utah safe. The local paper's political blogger does a follow up to the stuff I posted above.

"Warchol points out that Rep. Chaffetz is on board with a bill to reaffirm that the states control their own alcohol sales. I swear I wrote that story, but I can't find it. I can find some notes from a Chaffetz interview, including this gem:
'As much as I love Costco, I don't think you should be selling Jack Daniels next to the lawn chairs.'"
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#360218 - 04-19-2010 23:12:08 Re: Please splain this HR 5034 thing in English, please. [Re: Roland Dumas]
Roland Dumas Offline
Regular

Registered: 11-19-2003 08:00:00
Posts: 892
Loc: San Mateo, CA
is there any chance that this will pass?

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#360219 - 04-19-2010 23:13:25 Re: Please splain this HR 5034 thing in English, please. [Re: Roland Dumas]
tomcwark Offline
Newbie

Registered: 12-15-2004 06:25:24
Posts: 33
Loc: Glen Ellen, CA
Basically, this legislation would amend federal alcohol laws (Web Kenyon Act) in such a way that states would be able to pass discriminatory direct shipping laws and not have to defend them if they are in challenged in court.

Another way of putting it is that it would repeal the Granholm v. Heald Supreme Court decision.

In that decision the SCOTUS explained that if there are less discriminatory ways of a state achieving its goals of temperance, tax collection and an orderly market, then the discriminatory law is unconstitutional. This is how the NY and MI laws at issue in the Granholm case got called unconstitutional and violations of the Commerce Clause: They ignored less discriminatory means of meeting their goals.

This legislation would allow states to pass discriminatory direct shipping laws without having to address the issue of whether there are less discriminatory means of achieving their goals of Temperance, Tax, Collection and an orderly market in alcohol distribution.

It's nasty. It's a matter of alcohol wholesalers swinging for the fences in an effort to take complete control of the alcohol market in America.

Tom Wark...

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#360222 - 04-20-2010 00:12:21 Re: Please splain this HR 5034 thing in English, please. [Re: tomcwark]
Roland Dumas Offline
Regular

Registered: 11-19-2003 08:00:00
Posts: 892
Loc: San Mateo, CA
thanks for the explanation. So, it's the "save our children" motto, again, though we have not a single real case of a minor mail-ordering a nice Sonoma zinfandel on-line, waiting the week for delivery, paying the premium price, and then quaffing to get a weekend buzz, right?

Thusly, it would not reduce the 0% rate of minors ordering wine on-line, but might incidentally benefit some large distributors ....

hmmmmm

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#360325 - 04-22-2010 20:45:23 An Email From Mike Officer re: Shipping Laws
David Andreozzi Offline
Crazed Wino

Registered: 12-14-2000 08:00:00
Posts: 7026
Loc: Bristol, Rhode Island
Dear David,

Generally I prefer not mix politics with wine but there’s something rotten brewing in Congress that I feel compelled to bring to your attention.

Do you value your right to purchase wine directly from wineries and have it shipped to your home or place of work? In what has been described as the most onerous piece of consumer wine legislation since the 18th Amendment (remember Prohibition?), HR 5034, written by the National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA), could effectively take that right away from you. The bill is currently in the House Judiciary committee, chaired by Representative John Conyers of Michigan. Not surprisingly, the NBWA has been one of John Conyers’ top five contributors in the last two election cycles. The NBWA has also contributed heavily to two of the four sponsors of HR 5034, Representatives Howard Coble of North Carolina and Jason Chaffetz of Utah. (The other two sponsors are Representatives Mike Quigley of Illinois and Bill Delahunt of Massachusetts.)

It’s hard to imagine that such an egregious piece of legislation, designed simply to protect the profits of big distributors, could pass but the threat is real. Please, if you enjoy receiving wines directly from wineries, we urge you to contact your Representative and encourage them to oppose HR 5034.

Freethegrapes.org has a convenient pre-written letter/tool to e-mail or fax your Representative. To access it, please click
here . Alternatively, you can click here to look up your Representative to e-mail directly. Finally, if you'd like further details on HR 5034, click here for a recent story by the Wine Spectator.
Best,
Mike Officer
_________________________
Don’t concern yourself with aesthetics, you’ll get a headache. "Mad Men"

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#360334 - 04-23-2010 12:55:58 Re: But where's the rub here? [Re: David Andreozzi]
JFO Online   content
Bastard Moderator
Elvis Has Entered the Building!

Registered: 12-13-2000 08:00:00
Posts: 13027
Loc: America - Free and Proud!
Dave,

Some flaws in Mike's letter...

"written by the National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA)"

Organizations can't write laws and submit them to congress. Only legislators can. He names a few that have "sponsored" the law - and sure, I'm sure the NBWA has lobbied for it - but what's the reason that the congressmen he refers to would submit this for a vote?

Even if it's just - we're donating to you, we want you to do this, they still need a "real" reason to submit a bill for discussion/vote.

So what's the rub? Is it the same old red herring about minors ordering alcohol?

J
_________________________
Ladies and Gentlemen, take my advice. Pull down your pants, and slide on the ice.

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#360339 - 04-23-2010 16:13:35 Re: But where's the rub here? [Re: JFO]
MRO Offline
Newbie

Registered: 01-31-2006 16:16:36
Posts: 11
Unbelievable John... Okay, perhaps I should have said "crafted" instead of "written". I'm doing my best to keep wine flowing and you want to pick nits. Whatever.

Mike

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#360340 - 04-23-2010 16:26:37 Re: But where's the rub here? [Re: MRO]
Roland Dumas Offline
Regular

Registered: 11-19-2003 08:00:00
Posts: 892
Loc: San Mateo, CA
It is necessary that facts be absolutely solid and terms correct when circulating a letter or petition. Otherwise, the other side will unravel it and make you look ... um ... disingenuous ...

A critical (nit picky) read of something is helpful.

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#360341 - 04-23-2010 17:28:31 Re: But where's the rub here? [Re: MRO]
JFO Online   content
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Elvis Has Entered the Building!

Registered: 12-13-2000 08:00:00
Posts: 13027
Loc: America - Free and Proud!
Originally Posted By: MRO
Unbelievable John... Okay, perhaps I should have said "crafted" instead of "written". I'm doing my best to keep wine flowing and you want to pick nits. Whatever.

Mike


Mike,

I wasn't even meaning to be critical, though my point is valid and my question simple. WHY are the legislators doing this? And is there a new issue here?

J
_________________________
Ladies and Gentlemen, take my advice. Pull down your pants, and slide on the ice.

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#360343 - 04-23-2010 17:40:41 Re: Here's some more info on this [Re: David Andreozzi]
JFO Online   content
Bastard Moderator
Elvis Has Entered the Building!

Registered: 12-13-2000 08:00:00
Posts: 13027
Loc: America - Free and Proud!
With a few other links. I haven't checked them all.

http://www.drvino.com/2010/04/20/hr-5034-wine-direct-shipping/

The irony of all this, is that here in NJ, where NO ONE used to ship (ask Dave Dyroff what I used to go through to get Snowden) now almost every winery I approach is willing to ship to me.

Dry Creek - Sequoia Grove - Snowden - Ottimino - Ghost Block

I know this is scary for small winery owners who rely predominantly on direct sales to make the most profit, but this proposed piece of legislation sounds like it's hung up in committee; where the politicians can do nothing with it, and all the while, say they are doing something.

And the wheels go round and round.......
_________________________
Ladies and Gentlemen, take my advice. Pull down your pants, and slide on the ice.

http://www.tuscanvines.blogspot.com/ Twitter: @TuscanVines

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#360344 - 04-23-2010 17:50:58 Re: But where's the rub here? [Re: JFO]
Roland Dumas Offline
Regular

Registered: 11-19-2003 08:00:00
Posts: 892
Loc: San Mateo, CA
Originally Posted By: JFO
WHY are the legislators doing this? And is there a new issue here?

J


I think it's safe to assume that a random legislator is motivated by:
- Money
- Pandering to a vocal constituency
- Principle

with "principle" being a relatively rare exception.

The "follow the money" dictum would likely reveal the real drivers, and the pandering to the "save our children" would be the cover spin.

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#360345 - 04-23-2010 17:54:14 Re: But where's the rub here? [Re: Roland Dumas]
JFO Online   content
Bastard Moderator
Elvis Has Entered the Building!

Registered: 12-13-2000 08:00:00
Posts: 13027
Loc: America - Free and Proud!
Originally Posted By: Roland Dumas
Originally Posted By: JFO
WHY are the legislators doing this? And is there a new issue here?

J


I think it's safe to assume that a random legislator is motivated by:
- Money
- Pandering to a vocal constituency
- Principle

with "principle" being a relatively rare exception.

The "follow the money" dictum would likely reveal the real drivers, and the pandering to the "save our children" would be the cover spin.


I guess you're right. But you forgot the one that comes before money.

- Getting re-elected!
_________________________
Ladies and Gentlemen, take my advice. Pull down your pants, and slide on the ice.

http://www.tuscanvines.blogspot.com/ Twitter: @TuscanVines

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#360346 - 04-23-2010 17:59:32 Re: But where's the rub here? [Re: JFO]
Roland Dumas Offline
Regular

Registered: 11-19-2003 08:00:00
Posts: 892
Loc: San Mateo, CA
money = getting re-elected.

Imagine the conversation that goes like:
Big Distributor: Yo congressperson! How about I give you a real fat campaign contribution and also give you the perfect platform to appeal to the 'save our children' constituency?

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#360376 - 04-24-2010 18:59:30 Re: But where's the rub here? [Re: Roland Dumas]
Dave Cuneo Online   content
Local

Registered: 03-12-2004 15:59:19
Posts: 1321
Loc: Delaware
MO: "I'm doing my best to keep wine flowing and you want to pick nits."

Appreciate your efforts, Mike, but remember the legislators are doing their best to keep the Benjamins flowing so they can get re-elected. 90% of legislation is designed to restrict potential competition for entrenched interests/businesses. What's astonishing to me is the brazenness of their case: saving the children from underage drinking temptation through the mail. Absolutely preposterous, but it goes to show how deep and total the corruption is in the system. The Congress people are like vampires that are panicked at the thought that their blood supply may be cut off, thus are willing to go to ridiculous (and criminal at times), lengths to ensure it is not interrupted. They are bought lock stock and barrel.

FWIW, the wine distributors in this country have done a lot of consolidating in the past few years. Their assertion that their presence in the distribution system "encourages competition" is ludicrous - it kills competition. Just my 2 cents.dc.


Edited by Dave Cuneo (04-24-2010 18:59:47)
_________________________
"When laws become the enemy of men, then men become the enemies of laws".

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#361075 - 05-14-2010 18:18:12 Re: But where's the rub here? [Re: JFO]
MRO Offline
Newbie

Registered: 01-31-2006 16:16:36
Posts: 11
By the way John... From a recent AP article regarding HR 5034:

Paul Pisano, general counsel for the National Beer Wholesalers Association, conceded his group drafted the original measure before Congress and its members would benefit by strengthening long-standing liquor laws.

So hate to burst your bubble but yes, lobbying groups do write bills to be handed off to legislators. In fact, I have spoken with several lobbyist who have said it's common for them to employ the services of attorneys to draft legislation they desire. Do you think legislators actually have a grasp on these kind of industry-specific issues? No chance.

By the way, the bill has gained 81 more sponsors since the original 4 in mid-March. If you like less choice and potentially higher prices when it comes to wine, do nothing. Otherwise, your representatives need to hear from you.

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#361545 - 05-29-2010 12:07:31 Care for CARE? (H.R. 5034)
BEB Online   content
True Southern Exposure
Obsessed

Registered: 01-02-2001 08:00:00
Posts: 4525
Loc: Somewhere in the Great Valley ...
Jon Bonné has an excellent article discussing H.R. 5034 in yesterday's San Francisco Chronicle That he bothered to give voice to the wholesaler's side of things lends an air of balance to the piece. Yes, Bonné has a clear bias as to the measure, but he takes a long view by acknowledging Granholm is neither the last word nor the solution.
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BEB

"I've wrestled with reality for 35 years and I'm happy to state I finally won out over it." Elwood P. Dowd

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#361546 - 05-29-2010 12:54:04 Re: Care for CARE? (H.R. 5034) [Re: BEB]
John Tomasso Offline

a kinder, gentler mod
Obsessed

Registered: 08-19-2003 07:00:00
Posts: 2814
Loc: Buellton, CA
My biggest problem is that my employer is an Anheuser Busch distributor, and so I find myself on the opposite side of the company for which I work.

However, flawed legislation is flawed legislation, and I am free to have an opinion. Right? RIGHT?
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Don't overcook it. You overcook it, it's no good. It defeats its own purpose.
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#361547 - 05-29-2010 14:39:59 Re: Care for CARE? (H.R. 5034) [Re: John Tomasso]
Ken Zinns Online   content
Obsessed

Registered: 12-15-2000 08:00:00
Posts: 2955
Loc: Oakland, CA
Originally Posted By: John Tomasso
I am free to have an opinion. Right? RIGHT?

As Joe Strummer said many years ago, "You have the right to free speech (as long as you're not dumb enough to actually try it)."
"Know Your Rights"

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#361548 - 05-29-2010 18:10:14 Re: Care for CARE? (H.R. 5034) [Re: BEB]
Alan Rath Offline
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Registered: 02-15-2004 19:48:18
Posts: 3376
Loc: Fremont, Ca
If you want to cut to the chase, here's the money quote:
Quote:
"Craig Wolf, president and CEO of the Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America, the distributors' main trade group, suggested to me that his real priority is to make sure direct shipping - a step toward deregulation, as wholesalers see it - remains the task of state legislators alone.

"You just want the courts out of it?" I ask him.

"Yes. Exactly."

Ask yourself why that is? It's an easy answer: so Craig Wolf and his Mafia-like organization can put state legislators in their back pockets and buy state laws and regulations that protect their already protected businesses even more - without fear of that legislation being challenged and turned over by Federal and Supreme Courts.

I met Mr. Wolf at a legislative hearing in Sacramento a couple years ago, on this exact topic - lobbying for laws to restrict shipping wines into California from out of state. Believe me, he has zero interest in the end consumer, our freedoms, our choices, only in protecting the interests of the wholesalers.
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#361549 - 05-29-2010 18:24:19 Re: Care for CARE? (H.R. 5034) [Re: John Tomasso]
BEB Online   content
True Southern Exposure
Obsessed

Registered: 01-02-2001 08:00:00
Posts: 4525
Loc: Somewhere in the Great Valley ...
Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

You work for a food distributor, food, damnit, food. Don't tell me you work for a beer wholesaler!!
_________________________
BEB

"I've wrestled with reality for 35 years and I'm happy to state I finally won out over it." Elwood P. Dowd

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#361550 - 05-29-2010 18:25:53 Re: Care for CARE? (H.R. 5034) [Re: Alan Rath]
BEB Online   content
True Southern Exposure
Obsessed

Registered: 01-02-2001 08:00:00
Posts: 4525
Loc: Somewhere in the Great Valley ...
Originally Posted By: Alan Rath
If you want to cut to the chase, here's the money quote:
Quote:
"Craig Wolf, president and CEO of the Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America, the distributors' main trade group, suggested to me that his real priority is to make sure direct shipping - a step toward deregulation, as wholesalers see it - remains the task of state legislators alone.

"You just want the courts out of it?" I ask him.

"Yes. Exactly."

Ask yourself why that is? It's an easy answer: so Craig Wolf and his Mafia-like organization can put state legislators in their back pockets and buy state laws and regulations that protect their already protected businesses even more - without fear of that legislation being challenged and turned over by Federal and Supreme Courts.
Ding, Ding, Ding, Ding!!
_________________________
BEB

"I've wrestled with reality for 35 years and I'm happy to state I finally won out over it." Elwood P. Dowd

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#361878 - 06-09-2010 14:10:40 Re: Care for CARE? (H.R. 5034) [Re: BEB]
Steve_Felten Offline
Member

Registered: 05-17-2004 14:41:35
Posts: 248
Loc: Paso Robles
If this passes, better develop a taste for plonk.
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Steve Felten

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