Legislative Power Grab By New York Liquor Middlemen Condemned by Wine Consumer Group

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American Wine Consumer Coalition Releases Statement on Anti-Consumer New York Wine Bill S3849 and Urges Lawmakers to Reject Pay-To-Play Politics

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“The American Wine Consumer Coalition urges New York lawmakers to reject S3849 and the cynical politics that have driven it to the surface.

The American Wine Consumer Coalition, a national organization of wine consumers, released the following statement today from its Executive Director Tom Wark condemning the attempted power grab by politically connected liquor middlemen that will harm New York wine lovers and diminish the selection of wine available in the state.

“If the huge, politically connected liquor middlemen in New York get their way and convince New York lawmakers to support Senate Bill 3849, it will be wine consumers who suffer as a result of increased prices for wine as well as a diminished selection of fine wine on store shelves and in restaurants. However, the liquor distributors pushing the bill will reap millions of dollars in benefits. This effort to game New York’s wine distribution system to the advantage of just two large liquor distributors is wholly condemned by the American Wine Consumer Coalition, its New York members and New York lawmakers are urged to reject this harmful, anti-consumer legislation.

“The bill introduced by Senator Jeffrey Stein, a recipient of more than $80,000 in campaign contributions from liquor middlemen since 2010, would require New York wine wholesalers with warehouses in New Jersey to relocate their warehouses to New York, forcing them to spend millions of dollars to relocate, to pay increased costs for leases and in some case to simply shut down their operations due to the increased expense. This means less competition for the politically connected middlemen pushing the bill, less selection for consumers and higher prices on wines.

“This kind of pay-to-play politics has too long been part of the New York alcohol regulatory scene and whenever it rises to the surface in such a blatant fashion, it’s the consumers who are harmed. To-date, there is no indication that Senator Klein, nor any of the other supporters of S3849, have elicited comment from the consumers the bill will impact.

“The American Wine Consumer Coalition urges New York lawmakers to reject S3849 and the cynical politics that have driven it to the surface. And AWCC urges all New York wine lovers to contact their state representatives and tell them to oppose a bill that will increase prices, reduce selection and reward only the huge campaign contributors.”

About the American Wine Consumer Coalition
The American Wine Consumer Coalition (AWCC) is the only national advocacy group that works to advance the interests of America's wine consumers. Member funded, the AWCC provides a voice for wine consumers, representing them in front of lawmakers, the media and the trade. The AWCC also provides its members with benefits to help them pursue their love of wine. For more information, visit http:// http://www.wineconsumers.org.

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