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Wine

Who’da Thunk It? But, Honestly, It’s Been a Long Time Coming… Illinois Wine Consumers Unite

United States Supreme Court
Image by NCinDC via Flickr

First, the Healds (Ray and Eleanor) went head-to-head with their Michigan state government, telling it that interstate shipping laws (or lack thereof) were totally illegal and changes needed to happen. That case went to the US Supreme Court, and won its battle.

Granholm v. Heald

Deep inside of me, I thought, “I wonder what it will take to have consumers finally band together, because – really – consumers vote so their interests will be taken into account.”

For the last 75 years, since the repeal of prohibition, that’s not really been the case, though. Wholesalers have had years and years of “having it (everything) their way.”

Recently, while on the Open Wine Consortium home page, I noticed, “Melissa A. Dobson started a discussion called ‘Watch here and on the IWCC site for more details’ In Support of Illinois Wine Consumer Coalition.”

I clicked through and found the most amazing Web site. People have finally banded together, and will make changes happen, because – like Obama’s election – the use of Internet connectivity is the future way for powerful changes.

I’d hate to be a Washington lobbyist at this time, without a backup career in the offing. It will take some time, but I don’t think that it will take forever, anymore.

Check this out! Illinois Wine Consumers

The home page states: “You have been stripped of your right to access thousands of fine wines. You had no voice to express your desire to retain this long held right to out-of-state wine shipments from retailers. The IWCC has been formed solely to put the wine consumer first and to help restore your access to the wines you want! Join the IWCC and help put the wine consumer first.”

This is your prototype, ladies and gentlemen. Get busy!

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3 Responses to “Who’da Thunk It? But, Honestly, It’s Been a Long Time Coming… Illinois Wine Consumers Unite”

  1. Jo,
    Thank you so much for your enthusiastic words of encouragement. As a member of the IWCC Steering Committee, I am very excited to raise awareness and enact new legislation that will bring back choice and fairness to Illinois wine consumers. Who would have thought that the Granholm v. Heald Supreme Court ruling to create interstate commerce fairness would have had the opposite result in Illinois? We ask everyone to check out our website and, especially if you live in Illinois, hit the “Join Now” button to show your support. We won’t solicit money nor give out your email address.

  2. Jo says:

    Matt,

    This has been such a long time coming that I’m honestly relieved to see it now moving forward with consumers banding together. I have so many other wine related tasks to do, that this one wasn’t my cross to bear. Surely, though, it’s been needing people like you to finally get fed up enough to begin fighting for what’s rightfully yours… Freedome to choose.

    And, yes, who would have thought that as other state open up, yours would shut down?

    I still think it’s just a matter of time, and a matter of enough voices saying, “Hey, knock it off!” to make this all shake down to a final even playing field for all states for all people.

    Best wishes on your journey!

  3. Mike says:

    Jo is right – some states open up and some shut down. Some raise their fees to discourage interstate shipments. We are a small California producer with a smattering of interstate customers. Because we are located along a major freeway artery, the amount of wines we ship to other states will continue to grow. But, the cost of compliance, taxes, fees, bonds, etc is outrageous. Our current thought is to ask the California State Legislature (who needs to find $$ in a big way, fast) to impose the same fees and reporting on any incoming alcohol shipments that these obstructionist states impose on our outgoing shipments. Isn’t Illinois where the distributor for Corona beer is located?

    Case in point – Texas changed their import fees to $470 for two years from $150. Plus, you have to pay to get a bond for $1,000. Our excise taxes in Texas will not be $1,000 in $20 years. But you cannot directly pay them, say $300, and have them credit your account as you file the labrynthian monthly returns. How silly! Wouldn’t the State of Texas benefit from having $300 from each of the 2,000 wineries that currently ship wine to that state?

    I applaud these folks in Illinois who are banding together consumers to battle the special interests and money-grubbing governmental forces.

    Mike

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