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McDonnell embarks on statewide tour to sell ABC privatization plan

Anita Kumar

Gov. Bob McDonnell will hit the road next month to sell his plan to privatize the state's 332 liquor stores.

McDonnell (R) will hold eight town hall meetings across the state starting Wednesday. Stops will be in Roanoke, Norfolk, Chester, Fredericksburg, Fairfax, Harrisonburg, Danville and Bristol.

The governor formed a commission to consider closing some of the state's 130 agencies, putting more forms online, eliminating annual reports and selling the state's liquor stores.

McDonnell's staff recently unveiled four options for privatizing the state's liquor stores: selling all of the state's alcohol assets to a single company; having firms take over the state's existing stores; offering licenses to the 3,000 businesses that sell beer and wine; and auctioning an undetermined number of licenses to the highest bidder.

Thursday his staff announced the commission has postponed its final full meeting from Aug. 26 to Sept. 13 to allow more time before members vote on its recommendations to the governor.

"In a tough economy, why should we miss out on hundreds of millions of dollars for roads just so the state government can retain a monopoly on the sale of bourbon and vodka?'' McDonnell said in a statement. "We need to get roads built, and we need to refocus government on its core responsibilities. Privatizing ABC will accomplish both goals, and I'm going to talk about this proposal at each one of our town halls. I know Virginians will be able to help us privatize ABC the right way by sharing their experiences and good ideas."

See the full list of town hall meetings below:

Aug. 4: 7-8:30.p.m.
Roanoke County Administration Center
Board of Supervisors Board Room
5204 Bernard Dr.

Aug. 9:7-8:30 p.m.
Old Dominion University
Webb University Center - Hampton/Newport News Room
4201 Hampton Blvd.

Aug. 19: 7-8:30 p.m.
Cultural Center of India
6641 Ironbridge Parkway

Aug. 24: 7-8:30 p,m,
University of Mary Washington
Lee Hall - Room 412
1301 College Ave.

Northern Virginia Technology Council Auditorium
2214 Rock Hill Road, Suite 300

Aug. 26:7-8:30p.m.
James Madison University
East Campus Dining Hall - Montpelier Room
800 S. Main Street

Aug. 30: 7-8:30pm
Institute for Advanced Learning and Research
Great Hall
150 Slayton Ave.

Aug. 31: 7-8:30p.m.
Bristol Public Library
J. Henry Kegley Meeting Room
701 Goode Street

By Anita Kumar  |  July 29, 2010; 4:00 PM ET
Categories:  Anita Kumar , Robert F. McDonnell  
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So when those 3,000 businesses get their liquor liscenses don't expect those 332 ABC stores to have any kind of resale value.
Those ABC stores rake in the cash because of the monopoly they hold. If people can just pick up a bottle of what they want in a grocery store or some place closer to home, those former ABC stores are going to be desperate for business.
Considering the current real estate market, Virginia is going to lose money by selling the ABC stores now, and then won't get the income from the stores ever again.

3,000 new liquor liscenses is just insane.

Posted by: MarilynManson | July 30, 2010 8:42 AM | Report abuse

A one-time windfall is not the answer to fiscal problems. And, how will corruption be kept out of this entire process? This will be a legal nightmare.

Posted by: jckdoors | July 30, 2010 11:22 AM | Report abuse

I for one like hours and control / and make it hard to obtain hard liquor.

when liquor goes private you get all kinds of mob influence and distributor blackmail.

Certain areas of VA are going to become havens for a liquor store on every corner crap.

Keep it private, keep it regulated, buck up and raise taxes to support roads. If you want to live in a society that has a certain way of life and convenience - newsflash you have to pay for it.

the privatization of Virginia is disgusting

Posted by: totallynext | July 30, 2010 2:04 PM | Report abuse

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