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Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2017

Lobbyists: Too powerful in Tennessee

Posted Wednesday, March 26, 2008, at 2:01 PM

Should Tennesseans be able to buy wine in grocery stores? Not if the Wine or Spirits Wholesalers of Tennessee -- and, especially their lobbyists, have their way.

They say they're protecting small businesses (liquor stores) against national chain stores (Kroger seems to be the main one mentioned), and claim independent operators can better screen against drunks and underage buyers.

We also hear complaints of how lobbyists for the state's nursing home industry have allegedly been behind laws keeping adequate funding from home health agencies. Supposedly some nursing home patients could still be living semi-independently in their own homes if more state money was allocated in that direction.

Then there's the telephone companies' attempts to bypass state laws requiring local cable TV franchises in every locality, which if successful will allegedly allow "cherry-picking" of wealthier areas for broadband while excluding poorer and rural areas. I tend to side with the cable companies.

Seems like big business has way too much influence on Tennessee legislators. It's time for the people to have the loudest voice, not lobbyists.

Showing comments in chronological order
[Show most recent comments first]

Well, that is the #1 reason I have refused to become a politician... I can not stand PAC'S, special interest groups, etc. They should be banned from all legislation processes.

-- Posted by darrick_04 on Wed, Mar 26, 2008, at 2:06 PM

Maybe we should buy our wine and spirits in nursing homes.

We'd already have a bed,vitamins,oxygen and hydration for hangovers,blood screens to determine when we could get back on the road and the chance to meet people whose health was impaired by their (or others') drinking.

Of course,we'd also meet folks who avoided certain maladies by the judicious intake of wine and liquor.

Anyway,it would keep the nursing homes busy and remove the risk of someone purchasing a fifth of vodka along with their milk,eggs,bread and Weekly World News.

-- Posted by quantumcat on Wed, Mar 26, 2008, at 7:36 PM

With the wine in our grocery stores I do not see that it would be such a big deal to have it there. You said that if they keep it in the liquor stores they could screen it better. From the drunks and under age kid's. I do not understand that.They can not sell the beer from the grocery stores to drunks or under age kids.I cook with wine and have a special cake I make with blackberry wine and I hate having to go into a liquor store to get the wine. We do not drink and I always feel funny going into them.In North Carolina they sell wine in the grocery stores and I have never heard of a problem with it.** We the people should have a say so in alot of things. But I do not see that ever happening.

-- Posted by rebelrose on Wed, Mar 26, 2008, at 7:42 PM

Qcat... your post made me laugh hysterically.... That was the best way to put it!

-- Posted by darrick_04 on Wed, Mar 26, 2008, at 8:07 PM

If they sell beer in the grocery store, why not wine. I would rather a high class socialite driving in a BMW hit me from being drunk from wine than some mullet wearing redneck driving a junk car hit me after getting drunk off of beer. I figure the wine drinker is probably going to have better insurance. LOL!

But really, why does it matter. If you sell beer then go ahead and sell wine too; plus many people cook with wine. People are going to get drunk no matter what unless you ban all alcohol and liquor and even then they will do it illegally.

-- Posted by jaxspike on Thu, Mar 27, 2008, at 7:25 AM

Wine is sold in grocery stores in many states (outside the bible belt--not being blasphemous)and I wouldn't have even thought of it as being a problem. Wine does not have much more alchohol than some beers and a grocery store employee could refuse to sell and notify police if someone was obviously drunk just as a bartender does.

There are some politicians who do not succumb to the lobbyists but I wonder if they are the ones we the people vote out.

-- Posted by stardust on Thu, Mar 27, 2008, at 7:29 AM


LOL good point.

-- Posted by Evil Monkey on Thu, Mar 27, 2008, at 11:39 AM

I don't care where ya sell it, I ain't buyin it, so take it to Goodwill and set up a stand there if you'd like. =)

-- Posted by LauraSFT on Thu, Mar 27, 2008, at 12:09 PM

Big business has to much influence everywhere not just our fine state. I myself cant see the difference between selling beer or wine.

-- Posted by greasemonkey on Thu, Mar 27, 2008, at 10:51 PM

I agree with you greasemonkey... Even though I drink neither, I see no conflict of interest for grocery stores to sell wines...

Most grocery stores carry the hard liquors, beers, etc and it doesn't seem to put the locally owned stores out of business.

-- Posted by darrick_04 on Thu, Mar 27, 2008, at 11:43 PM

I don't see a big issue. If I want a good bottle of wine, I'm not going to Kroger to get it anyway. They sell wine at grocery stores in Alabama. The selection at grocery stores is limited, rarely anything over $15.00. A good bottle is too much overhead for a grocery store to carry.

-- Posted by Jacks4me on Fri, Mar 28, 2008, at 11:05 AM

My comment is that Lobbyists are too powerful in the entire country and we as citizens should start complaining and making our voices heard before we are a third world country!

-- Posted by grannyapple on Sat, Mar 29, 2008, at 12:20 AM


I like y'all's points as well.

I wouldn't mind powerful lobbyists if they were all on the up-and-up,had good sense and were tending to the interests of regular people.

Most of them probably do but the popular perception is that the big guys haven't figured out that they can increase their bank accounts and power bases better by serving the common man-and not as an appetizer!

-- Posted by quantumcat on Sat, Mar 29, 2008, at 8:08 PM

I don't see a big issue. If I want a good bottle of wine, I'm not going to Kroger to get it anyway. They sell wine at grocery stores in Alabama. The selection at grocery stores is limited, rarely anything over $15.00. A good bottle is too much overhead for a grocery store to carry.

-- Posted by Jacks4me on Fri, Mar 28, 2008, at 11:05 AM

Your right about that, they already sell Boones Farm at Food Lion, who wants that crap! When I do go to the liquor store I go to Thompsons, the elderly couple that owns it are very nice people.

jaxspike just because a person drinks beer, wine, or a mixed drink does not make them a drunk driving alcoholic. Nor does what they drink have anything to do with having a nice vehicle or better insurance. My husband drinks beer on a daily basis hes never had a DUI, has a very nice vehicle, good insurance, and he is also not a mullet wearing redneck either! Please explain that mentality to me.

-- Posted by Disgusted on Sun, Mar 30, 2008, at 5:11 PM

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David Melson is a copy editor and staff writer for the Times-Gazette.