Sunday, August 13, 2017

From the Archives: Fifth District congressional candidate Jeffrey Clark endorses idea of liquor sale privatization

Fifth District congressional candidate Jeffrey Clark endorses idea of liquor sale privatization
August 13, 2010 7:07 PM MST

Jeffrey Clark Tom Perriello Bob McDonnell Charlottesville ABC privatization liquor regulation
Just prior to his debate with incumbent Representative Tom Perriello (D-Ivy) at Charlottesville’s Senior Center on August 11, independent congressional candidate Jeffrey Clark gave his opinion on a current statewide issue.

When asked by the Charlottesville Libertarian Examiner what he thinks of Governor Bob McDonnell’s proposals to privatize the state’s monopoly on wholesale and retail sales of distilled spirits, Clark readily replied, “I like it.” It is, he said, “a win for everybody.”

‘A great model’
Pointing out that in “many places” elsewhere in the United States, liquor is sold through private outlets, Clark asked, “If it’s working effectively in other areas of the country and it’s a great model, why not move in that direction here as well?”

Clark explained that he doesn’t see “any reason that would prevent us from” privatizing ABC sales.

“We can get away from the bureaucracy,” he added, noting that “small businesses like restaurants and things like that would welcome the idea of the privatization of the ABC stores.”

Drawing on his own business experience, Clark remarked: “Trust me, I’ve been in restaurant-hotel management for a very long time, and I understand the red tape that can go along with that.

End the red tape
“Listen,” he continued, “just trying to get an opportunity to be able to have the privilege of selling alcohol in your business can be a huge issue of red tape and then you’ve got to go deal with this government bureaucracy that is the ABC stores of Virginia.”

McDonnell’s idea is “a way overdue proposal,” Clark said, wondering “why so long here?” when 32 other states have had private systems for decades.

Like the governor, Clark suggested that ABC privatization is part of a broad-based approach to government reform.

“We really need to look at every program, no matter what it is, even if it seems small, even if it seems like” people are dismissing the idea by saying things like “Oh, the ABC stores, it’s just alcohol, no big deal, we’ll leave it” the way it is, Clark argued.

‘Save a dollar, save a billion’
“Any area where we can look, where we can focus on the small things” the state should consider a change. “If it’s saving [just] a dollar, who cares? If we look to save a dollar, we can eventually save a million, two million, a billion.”

By looking for savings and efficiencies, Clark asserted, “we can start to bring these things back into some type of financial control and better serve the people.”

Clark, who lives in Danville in Southside Virginia, where it is believed much of the opposition to McDonnell’s proposals originates, does not see a downside.

“I don’t think anybody believes that somehow the ABC stores won’t be able to serve the public as well if they’re somehow not under government control,” he said.

“As a matter of fact, I think that most independent businesspeople probably act more responsible in their day to day lives than do government bureaucracies.”

Add Jeffrey Clark’s name to the list of supporters of Bob McDonnell’s ABC privatization efforts.

Publisher's note: This article was originally published on on August 13, 2010. The publishing platform was discontinued July 1, 2016, and its web site went dark on or about July 10, 2016.  I am republishing this piece in an effort to preserve it and all my other contributions to since April 6, 2010. It is reposted here without most of the internal links that were in the original.

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