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Fraternal Order of Police endorses McDonnell liquor privatization

Rosalind Helderman

The Virginia Fraternal Order of Police announced Tuesday that the organization supports Gov. Bob McDonnell's proposal to privatize state-run liquor stores.

The endorsement is a key vote of support from the law enforcement community, which had earlier expressed some concerns about the possible impact of privatization. A spokeswoman from the Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police had said that the group would probably remain neutral on the issue but had been meeting with McDonnell's staff to express a series of concerns about raising the number of spirits outlets.

The FOP called the proposal "a rational approach of alternative funding" that "will provide much-needed funds to help solve the state's transportation problems."

"These transportation problems include making the state safer through better roads, safer bridges and improved traffic control, all resulting in less accidents and better living for all of the citizens of the our state. We recognize that a good transportation system, just like a well paid and well trained law enforcement community, are the necessary elements to promote a peaceful and productive society. We applaud the Governor and support this effort to make Virginia a better place to live and work," the organization's statement continued.

The nod marks the second endorsement of the day for the governor, who is working to build a coalition to support his plan, which he says would raise $458 million in a cash windfall for transportation improvements by selling licenses to private liquor wholesalers and auctioning licenses to 1,000 retailers. Earlier, Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr. announced that he backs the plan too, potentially blunting criticism from some social conservatives. Road construction trade groups, the Northern Virginia Transportation Alliance, the Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce and the Virginia Retail Merchants Association have also said they're on board.

By Rosalind Helderman  | September 21, 2010; 3:24 PM ET
Categories:  Rosalind Helderman  
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Comments

Ah, politics, politics. Take a look also at Marin Institute's new report "Control State Politics; Big Alcohol's Attempt to Dismantle Regulation State by State." Get to the report via Ms. Helderman's blog entry on Sept. 21, available in the Virginia Politics blog archive, or I imagine it must be at MarinInstitute.org. Their findings: privatization results in increased alcohol-related harm, millions less state revenue. Some quotes from the report: "Higher outlet density is strongly associated with suicide, assault and other violence." "Control states have significantly lower rates of youth drinking and binge drinking, as well as lower rates of alcohol-impaired driving deaths than license states."

There's also a federal study of 4 states that shows that underage drinkers prefer liquor over wine and beer. They can get smashed faster and they can conceal the booze in sweet drinks they prefer like cola... Hard liquor becomes much more accessible under Virginia's privatization proposal.

Posted by: anonymousid | September 22, 2010 10:45 AM | Report abuse

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