Editors Note: Over the next couple of weeks, I am going to start posting more stories on what has been happening in Washington State since they privatized their liquor stores last June.
In the fall of 2011, Costco dumped a record breaking $22.5 million into Washington’s Ballot Imitative 1183 – the plan to privatize the state’s liquor stores. Like Governor Corbett, the company’s massive disinformation campaign made the argument that the big bad state government isn’t competent enough and has no business controlling the liquor market. Costco’s massive disinformation campaign included television ads and editorials in media outlets all around the state. Their massive propaganda campaign ran commercials claiming that voting Yes on I- 1183 would: improve and strengthen public safety, increase education funds, create more choice, lower prices and most importantly get the government out of selling liquor. For this brief article on what has happened since the state’s liquor system was turned over to the open market, I would like to look at the public safety troubles retailers across Washington are facing.
Public Safety Issues
Since liquor privatization took effect in Washington on June 1, 2012, liquor thefts have become so rampant around the state state legislators now have to consider passing legislation that regulates the reporting system. Here are some examples:
- In Bellevue WA.: there were 18 incidents of liquor theft totaling around $2,000 in the 7 months prior to the system change. In the 5 months since the change there were 88 reported incidents totaling $20,400.
- In the Renton area: there were 25 incidents of theft totaling $1,800 in the 7 months prior to privatization In the 5 months since then, there were 109 reports of theft totaling $12,400.
- In Longview WA: there have been 41 reported incidents of liquor theft from June – December. 15 of those thefts came from the same Safeway supermarket. In one case at the Safeway supermarket, a lady walked out with $500 worth liquor
- In Seattle WA: From June to November, when the story was written, one supermarket lost $150,000 in liquor due to theft. At the time of the report, the store was losing $1,000 a day in liquor.
- It’s been reported that liquor theft among teens has been on the rise during this time period as well.
- Here is what happened when $10,000 worth of liquor was stolen from a single store in Seattle Washington.
- Teen shoplifting, liquor a bad mix: Since passage of I-1183, would-be thieves can find booze across aisle from soda, corn chip
- In Port Orchard Washington, 3 women aged 23 and 21 stole $600 worth of Crown Royal.
To tackle what is becoming an epidemic in Washington State, state lawmakers are starting to go through the motions of coming up with regulations and r mandatory reporting of all liquor thefts in stores around the state. Of course there is opposition to this move. Some believe that it will burden the stores who have already lost enough money, and they think that government shouldn’t be involved in this debacle.
So remember folks if you want free booze, you shoul support Governor Corbett’s imitative to sell off the state stores in Pennsylvania, and then it will be as simple as grab and go! If you want to watch a video of Costco claiming that public safety will be enhanced with the selling off of Washington’s liquor stores, please watch the video below.