Christmas party revelers looking to lift their “spirits” with a trip to state run ABC liquor store probably don’t have store privatization on their mind’s right now. During a special election around the busiest time of the year it is hard to get voters’ attention. The special election between Democrat Ginger Mumpower and Republican Greg Habeeb is January 11, 2011
A Friday e-mail from the Roanoke County Democratic Party chair Brian Lang claimed Republican candidate for the 8th district House of Delegates Greg flip-flopped on the liquor store privatization issue.
It was almost a holiday hallelujah moment for Democrat Ginger Mumpower who is challenging Habeeb. Mumpower on Thursday held a press conference where she denounced Governor Bob McDonnell’s plan to privatize the state’s ABC liquor stores. The e-mail went to all media and a host of other recipients.
On Wednesday the first ever facebook political debate was in the offing when Habeeb questioned Mumpower’s stances on several issues. Mumpower commented several times before the debate fizzled out. Mumpower and Habeeb are facebook “friends.” (See the banter at the end.)
The e-mail from Lang calls on Habeeb to explain his contridictions on the privatization of Virginia’s state liquor stores. The e-mail points to Habeeb’s January 15, 2009 http://roanokevalleyrepublicans.blogspot.com post titled “Private Liquor Sales In Virginia?”
Lang’s e-mail broke out parts of Habeeb’s post and read: “In the past, people have assume(d) DUIs, underage drinking, alcoholism, etc. go up with private liquor stores. Those assumptions are simply wrong …; While there are almost no cons, the pros to this move are huge…it’ll be a HUGE cash bonanza for the state. This will take the form of initial cash flows for asset sales and then the ongoing revenue that would be generated.”
The e-mail also pointed to Friday’s Roanoke Times article: Mr. Habeeb said he opposes the plan to privatize liquor stores because he does not believe it has “the controls in place to avoid the social ills that some other jurisdictions have had when they’ve privatized” and he does not believe “that the revenue stream is preserved to the point where we’re not going to do the kind of harm our budget can’t handle right now.”
Lang’s e-mail closed with: Ms. Mumpower has taken the lead on this important issue and Mr. Habeeb appears to be reformulating his position to match hers. We call upon Mr. Habeeb to explain immediately the contradiction between what he said last year and what he says now as a candidate.
In a call to David Lipes, Mumpower’s campaign manager Saturday Lipes said that both he and Mumpower had no knowledge of it prior to receiving a copy forwarded to them Friday.
Lipes said that “there is no evidence to support the idea that he flip-flopped yet. We have not seen the evidence supporting Lang’s press release and neither has Ginger. Though we did not produce it we’re obviously very interested in what the other side has to say.”
Habeeb Saturday reiterated that his position has not changed pointing to both the full context of his blog post (below), Friday’s Roanoke Times article and his response to a question at his announcement November 9.
Habeeb said he is for privitization “subject to protecting social ills, capturing revenue and protecting small businesses … what I am against is privitization to fund transportation.”
At his candidate announcement he said, “there are very few private type industries we should be playing in. Once we have played in that industry for so long you just don’t go out overnight to change it. Clearly Richmond has become dependent on the revenue stream.”
Full context fact check of Greg Habeeb’s blog post January 15, 2009:
Folks, this might be a first for me. I’m going to agree with the Roanoke Times Editorial Board.Actually, I’m going to agree with Republican State Senator Mark Obenshain with whom the Roanoke Times happens to agree. It’s time the Commonwealth of Virginia got out of the liquor business.
As I’m sure you all know, liquor sales are handled by the state ABC Board. While there has often been talk of privatizing, those talk have never gone anywhere. Well, now is the time for them to go somewhere and Mark Obenshain has introduced legislation to privatize the industry.
Let’s first start with the ASSUMED cons.In the past, people have assume DUIs, underage drinking, alcoholism, etc. go up with private liquor stores. Those assumptions are simply wrong. Every study has shown that when regulation is strict there is no increase in these “vices.” Ironically, it is often my party (the party of free enterprise) that fights free enterprise in this arena because of some Prohibition hangover.
While there are almost no cons, the pros to this move are huge. Assuming proper regulation, the consumer would be greatly benefited by opening the industry up to competition. Competition is what has made our Country great and introducing the American entrepreneurial spirit into this industry will only be a plus. Even more than that though, it’ll be a HUGE cash bonanza for the state. This will take the form of initial cash flows for asset sales and then the ongoing revenue that would be generated. As the Roanoke Times points out, this could be billions on the front end and hundreds of millions a year going forward.
For all you folks out there wondering how we balance our budget without raising taxes and without cutting necessary services, here’s a great first step. Kudos to Republican Mark Obenshain for pushing the idea and to the Roanoke Times for getting on board.
The “almost” facebook debate:
Habeeb: My opponent is touting her endorsement by a group that has been anti-gun, pro-abortion and anti-school choice. Wonder where she stands? Wednesday at 3:49 pm
Mumpower: Greg, my mom is a gun collector ~ and, mama knows best! I am pro-life and my children attended North Cross School Pre-K thru 8th. Please, let’s keep it clean! Wednesday at 3:56pm
Mumpower: Greg, we have enough laws on the books for guns … we don’t need more! I am pro-life and my children attended private school from pre-k thru 8thl I am happy to answer any question you may have. I’d like to have a christian and clean campaign.
Posted By Valerie Garner
Categories: Election 2011, Elections, Politics, State Politics
Tags: democrat, Election 2011, Elections, house_of_delegates, party_politics, republican