Friday, August 27, 2010

Scoop: Private Liquor Monopoly Is 'Not Going to Happen'

Disturbed by reports in the Washington Post and repeated by Josh Eboch on the Tertium Quids blog that Governor Bob McDonnell's plan to privatize the state-owned liquor monopoly could include selling the whole system to a single high bidder, I decided to find out for myself if this was true.

First, here is what Anita Kumar said in the Post:

McDonnell is leaning toward auctioning off an undetermined number of licenses to the highest bidder.
Governor McDonnell held the sixth of his eight planned town-hall meetings on government reform last night in Harrisonburg, on the campus of James Madison University. Afterwards, he took questions from reporters and I fired off the first one.

This is a complete transcript of our exchange:
Q: I’ll ask you a question. The Washington Post reported yesterday or the day before that the ABC privatization could include selling the whole kit and caboodle to one high bidder. Is that off the table?

A: Absolutely. We’re not going create a private monopoly to replace a government monopoly. That’s not going to happen.

Q: So the Washington Post was wrong?

A: I didn’t read that, and so I’ve never heard that.
You can see that Q&A, plus Governor McDonnell's answers to questions posed about job creation and immigration, in this video on YouTube:
By the way, my latest piece on ABC privatization, an interview with John Taylor of the Virginia Institute for Public Policy, is available for reading on

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