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Salt Lake Crawler
Glen Warchol
I've been a newspaperman for nearly three decades and have done hard time at United Press International; small dailies and nasty alternative newspapers, including the Observer in Dallas. In some bizarre convulsion of fate, I joined a few other twisted gentiles at the Deseret News for a few years. Along the way, I reproduced twice. I live in Salt Lake's historic refinery district with my current wife Mary Brown Malouf, another journalist. Now, I'm on a new adventure on the Internet-where the best things in life are (mostly) free.

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Where's the Booze Party activists?
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Wine lovers are issuing a call to arms against a bill co-sponsored by Utah Congressman Jason Chaffetz. According to Chaffetz, HB5034 is a states' rights bill meant to maintain a status quo:"I want to keep things the way they are. I want to preserve states' rights to decide the appropriate regulation of alcohol within their borders." But the blog Vinography says the bill was authored by beer industry lobbyists for their own benefit, not the consumer's. Wine aficionados, for instance, complain that the law will limit where wine can be shipped, making it difficult for them to order their favorites. [Welcome to Utah.]The bill would make it difficult, Vinography says impossible, to liberalize any state's out-of-state shipping laws because "as long as any state can prove that its laws produce tax revenues or prevent children from buying alcohol, those laws, no matter how discriminatory, anti-competitive, or anti-consumer cannot be overturned . . ."Under their usual guise of trying to "protect the children" from an "epidemic of alcoholism" the liquor wholesalers lobby has introduced a bill that effectively keeps the alcohol laws of this country an affair to be settled by state legislators and their wholesaler lobbyist friends.Chaffetz, by the way, has not accepted contributions from liquor lobbyists. But wine writer Tom Johnson at LouisvilleJuice.com predicts:. . . but count on that to change. I’d bet right now that between today and November’s election, co-sponsorship of this legislation will net each of them something around $25,000. Just watch.


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