Feingold For Governor: Scott Walker & WI GOP’s War On Good Beer

I don’t know what the fine Cheese and Brat heads up in Wisconsin did to piss off the political gods, but they have been blighted. It was bad enough to cause national outrage and solidarity when extreme right wing movement conservative Governor Scott Walker and the crazed GOP majorities in the state legislature started attacking the working men and women of Wisconsin’s unions, teachers, cops and firefighters. But now they have gone a bridge too damn far.

And that is why I am supporting Russ Feingold in a recall election against Walker, and you should too.

Scott Walker and the Wisconsin Republicans are declaring war on quality craft beer. From ThinkProgress:

Tucked into Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s (R) much-discussed budget was a little-noticed provision to overhaul the state’s regulation of the beer industry. In a state long associated with beer, the provision will make it much more difficult for the Wisconsin’s burgeoning craft breweries to operate and expand their business by barring them from selling directly to restaurants and liquor stores, and preventing them from selling their own product onsite.

The new provision treats craft brewers — the 60 of whom make up just 5 percent of the beer market in Wisconsin — like corporate mega-brewers, forcing them to use a wholesale distributor to market their product. Under the provision, it would be illegal, for instance, for a small brewer located near a restaurant to walk next door to deliver a case of beer. They’ll have to hire a middle man to do it instead.

And, so, what corporate moneyed hacks are Walker and the Wisconsin GOP blowing this time? From OpenMarket.Org:

The biggest backer of the bill is SABMiller, or as it is known in the US, MillerCoors. They have been pushing the measure, they say, in order to protect the vitality of Wisconsin beer in the face of a hostile invasion from their main national competitor, AB InBev, aka Anheuser-Busch. InBev has reportedly begun a nationwide campaign to purchase distributors in many states, something that MillerCoors says threatens all other brewers’ ability to get their beers in bars and on shelves. That’s the line that MillerCoors is peddling, but craft brewers in Wisconsin say they, and their ever increasing presence in the beer market, is the true target of the proposal.

So, the one thing we will not tolerate here is an attack on quality beer. Nawt gonna happen. there was some yammering here last night about whether so and so or no and no would or wouldn’t vote for Feingold – apparently for President, it was hard to tell. But here, Wheelies and Wheelers, is a real decision point. Would you trade Russ Feingold for Scott Walker? Because that decision is a real possibility for the Wisconsonites.

That is a deal that should be made all day, and all night, long.

As you know, our very own lovely and talented Marcy T. Wheeler introduced guest of honor Sen. Russell Feingold last night at the gala session of Netroots Nation 2011 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. As I am just arriving in Minneapolis as I post, and lord knows what trouble we may get into over the extended weekend (may even be beer drinking), be advised there will be substantive blogging here at Emptywheel, but the timing of the posts may be a bit, ahem, unusual. Hopefully Mary will also be supplying some coverage.

91 replies
  1. marksb says:

    Well that’s stupid–and predictable. In addition to ice and other industrial products, I retail beer. Kegs of beer. What could be better than rolling up to a WWII warehouse and buying a bunch of ice, a keg of Stone IPA or Sierra Nevada, or Firestone DBA, or maybe something from a NorCal craft brewery like Lagunitas or Lost Coast or…the list is long and lovely, and includes a couple of excellent local brews.

    Once upon a time the craft market in my ice house was small and specialized, but over the last few years the major breweries have had their sales seriously kicked in the teeth by the craft breweries (and the Mexican brews, especially Pacifico and Modelo.)

    I’m not surprised that a state government bought and run by major corporate interests would go after craft brews. Makes as much sense as anything else they’ve done. Yup. Go after quality jobs, quality people, and quality beer.

  2. PeasantParty says:

    Man! They just keep showing their free market, baby underpants!

    Who coulda knownit? Miller/Coors is afraid of some little guys making beer. Okay, is there anyway to convince beer drinkers to stop buying their brand? I’d hate to put more people in the US out of work, but seriously this tax payer support of corporations that don’t want us in their business has to stop. Either that, or put us little people on the board of directors!

    • mattcarmody says:

      The most obnoxious ads for Coors beer to me are the ones that feature Ice Cube. A black man, albeit a multimillionaire, shilling for the Coors family? I guarantee hardly anyone knows about the political affiliations of the Coors family.

  3. bobschacht says:

    Bmaz, as a Cheesehead in Exile, I wholeheartedly endorse your proposal.
    But would Feingold ever consider such a run? Of course, a term as the state’s highest executive would make a nice complement to his service as one of the state’s Senators. But, if he loves the Senate, he is likely to want to run for the Senate seat of Wisconsin’s other senator, who is retiring. What are the prospects there?

    BTW, I am all green with envy. I was at NN last year, and loved it. This year, as I get snippets from NN in Minneapolis, I am experiencing separation anxiety, nostalgia, regrets, and depression. I will eagerly read your reports from Minnesota, while at the same time experiencing an acute attack of jealousy.

    Thanks (I think),
    Bob in AZ

    • phred says:

      I think Russ could kick Walker from the Capitol into the next decade if he ran against him.

      Russ f’ed up his re-election campaign for the Senate, in no small part by touting his vote for that cursed health care bill. I think he could have held on had he been willing to admit forced purchase of for-profit crappy insurance had been a big mistake that needed to be fixed, but he didn’t make that argument and Dems stayed home in droves.

      Dems will not be staying home in WI in the recalls, nor in 2012, starting with the Walker recall.

      In thinking about the possibility of him running for Gov v. the Senate (and no, I think a Pres run right now would be a huge mistake for him) I wonder whether he would find the prospect to be a single Governor far more attractive than a single Senator endlessly swimming against the current. I think he would have a real chance to make a huge difference in WI. In the Senate, unless he can get some real traction on campaign finance reform (unlikely with Billion Dollar Obama, the DLC, and the Rethugs), he’ll likely continue to be tilting at windmills. Were I in his shoes (and clearly I am not), this choice would be a no brainer. I would do my damnedest to hoist the flag of Wisconsin once again and bring down Fitzwalkerstan.

        • phred says:

          I hope so : ) I would absolutely love to see Feingold take down Walker. I would love it even more, if by doing so he acquires a platform (the Governorship) and the independence from DC he needs to keep blowing up his former colleagues in Versaille on the Potomac.

  4. WilliamOckham says:

    Ok, I have been off-line for 2 weeks (on vacation) and this is the first thing I see. I knew Walker was scum, but attacking good beer? That is just too much. Where do I sign up to fight this one?

  5. BayStateLibrul says:

    Feingold for Attorney General…

    Obama has a few brewskis and replaces Holder with Russ?

    I’m taking my grandsons to see the Bruins Parade… they expect 1 million

    blue collar fans…

    • phred says:

      Have a great time BSL!

      So last night I watched the Brewers pitching collapse (starter pulled in the 2nd and it went downhill from there) in Fenway as the Sox easily won the game. Throughout the night, as they showed crowd shots the biggest cheers went up every time they showed Bruins outfitted folks in the stands — the biggest for a guy kissing an inflatable Stanley Cup ; ) At any rate, at one point a cheer in my section started, “Bruins, Bruins”, except it also sounded like “Brewers, Brewers”. After a bit of confusion a lot of folks started laughing and joined in with it. It was a fun night : )

      • BayStateLibrul says:


        We took the choo-choo from West Concord and arrived at North Station

        just as the parade started. We got a bird’s eye view of the Cup.

        We moved up the street to the Common, and saw the parade again….

        I guess a lot of the Bruins live in the North End and Chara rode his

        bicycle to the festivities. They all shaved their beards and looked human.

        My favorite is Daniel Paille (PI-aye) who plays when short-handed…

  6. JohnLopresti says:

    For a review of HR 1161 in the context of Beer Wholesalers lobby politics, the reader might want to glance at an analyst*s opinion at a wine blog, there. After Repeal, a mosaic of three-tier state systems evolved (producer, distributor, retailer = 3 tiers). The politics, donations, and rhetoric often are conservative-bordering-on-reactionary. The referenced website mostly is concerned about the impact upon premium wine shipping rules as a collateral side-effect from the Beer Wholesalers lobbying of congress. The politics of the Wholesalers organization tends to fit multinational corporation economics rules. However, locally, the topic is colorfully discussed by many voices; even TX attorney K. Starr is involved in a petition for cert at Scotus regarding that state*s commerce protection rules for wine. The Wine producing people are agitated that the beer lobby (i.e., the beer companies who are the principal entities in the global market) is attempting to keep premium wine under the same topdown rules as have managed those industries since the 1930s. Another article by same public relations blog writer, regarding overflow effect upon wine shipping regs from beer wholesale supported draft law in House, there.

  7. bmaz says:

    Hi folks!!! I am currently in a panel session where Dahlia Lithwick, Carl Pope and Sheldon Whitehouse are discussing corporate interest domination of the law. Good stuff.

    Have not seen Marcy since, well, early in the morning. We talked with a lot of really good people about some really important subjects – so much so that I am almost hoarse.

    There are a couple of topics we need to get to, but there are simply time constraints preventing me from doing in the manner I would like to. Yes, I am talking about the War Power issue exploding thanks to Charlie Savage’s truly stunning report on how Obama made his Libya decision and policy. Stunning is not strong enough.

    This will blow a few minds here, but go take a look at Jack Goldsmith’s take over at LawFare. When even Captain Jack is saying the kind of things you would expect from me, Glenn Dahlia or whoever, well you know there is a problem.

    • phred says:

      So you think we can get a bipartisan agreement to impeach the SOB-in-Chief? That would open up the Dem field to a bunch of challengers and maybe we could finally end the Cheney/Obomba nightmare…

      • bluedot12 says:

        I think we have to make it so fucking hot O has to listen to us. I think Netroots helps that. I loved to see Os henchmen get abused. Take back the message assholes. 9.1% and no jobs bill? You’re fucking kidding right? Start a fight.

          • bluedot12 says:

            phred, I get your anger. I am pissed at Obama for so many things, but I don’t think we should impeach him. At least, I see no crime as yet. Maybe Lybia violates the law but it does not seem to get there, at least not for me. I feel like I got locked into 8 years since there are nothing but assholes on the other side. What a fucking deal, eh?

            • phred says:

              It isn’t anger (well, yeah, but not in this instance), so much as a statement of fact. If impeachment really will no longer be used as a final check on the power of a President, then anyone holding that office gets a minimum of 4 years to commit crimes with abandon. I don’t think that is a good thing.

              I do think waging world-wide war solely on the whim of a single human being is not only illegal, but exceedingly dangerous, and absolutely warrants impeachment. Of course, Bush and Cheney warranted impeachment for a multitude of crimes and it was our great misfortune that Congress refused to do so. But just because Bush and Cheney got away with it, does not mean that I think every other Pres/VP should too, even if that means starting with Obomba.

              • bluedot12 says:

                Of course you are right but in this case I dont think it rises to an impeachable offense (yet) and I doubt congress has the will to push it in any case. I would think he could also just quit the war. So maybe the threat of it will cause him to get out.

                Oops this is response to bmaz. Sorry bout that

                • bmaz says:

                  It is absolutely an impeachable offense of the most fundamental kind; that said, I agree there is not a chance in hell such occurs.

                  • bluedot12 says:

                    Why would the republicans not want to use this as an opportunity to press to get Obama out of office and set themselves up for 2012? Even if they were not successful, they could stir up one hell of a fuss.

                  • phred says:

                    Ever the pragmatist bmaz ; ) Wish I was there to aid you and EW in an evening of sorrow-drowning ; ) Have a great time!

            • earlofhuntingdon says:

              As bmaz suggests, an outcome – almost certainly desired by both parties – of the impeach Clinton feeding frenzy is that impeachment is off the table for everyone. The president is only one of many beneficiaries of that under-the-table rewriting of the Constitution.

            • bmaz says:

              Actually a situation where the executive directly violates the law and refuses to adhere to it and steps wildly on the jurisdiction of a separate and coequal branch – here the Congressional power to declare and sanction war – is precisely what the Founders envisioned the impeachment power to address and precisely why they included it in the Constitution.

              • earlofhuntingdon says:

                I agree. The impeachment process is only “like” a judicial trial in that it has a trier of fact – the legislature – and there are legal consequences for being found guilty – removal from office. It is fundamentally a political act, however, in that it is a power, a process, belonging solely to the legislative branch. It operates in the foreseeable if once thought unusual circumstance where the executive or judicial branch is assumed to be incapable of policing itself.

                Executive branch violations of administrative or criminal laws would normally have been expected to be resolved administratively, that is, through appeals to higher management to follow the law and impose legal or employment sanctions on subordinates. Where the law that is being flouted involves the top executive, where it involves the executive or judicial branches acting outside the scope of their authority under the Constitution, it was unrealistic to expect the executive’s prosecutorial functions or the judiciary’s judicial functions to be adequately self-policing.

                The fail-safe devised for that eventuality was to allow the legislature to act as judge. That power is limited in that the consequence the legislature can impose is removal from office. The acts that led to that consequence can still be the subject of civil and criminal prosecution and trial. That becomes practicable, if unlikely, only after a powerful actor has been removed from office – and, hence, removed from the executive or judicial power that could have readily immunized them or corrupted the legal, judicial process.

                Congress’ unwillingness to use that police power makes executive excess more likely, indeed probable, just as the executive’s failure to enforce anti-monopoly, anti-securities fraud and worker protection laws make monopoly, securities fraud and workplace discrimination more likely.

                • bluedot12 says:

                  And so the fraudsters on Wall Street got away with it as did the torturers. And what about Supremes? This is just corruption and, indeed, if bmaz is correct and this is a material breach, one needs to rethink it. At least a warning shot needs to be fired — unless we think just a little corruption is ok,which we aparently do.

                  • earlofhuntingdon says:

                    A central theme of this blog, in my opinion, has been that a principal conflict in today’s American government is not between left and right, liberal and conservative, but between have and have not, insider and outsider.

                    That has bred systemic corruption, not just a little corruption. It’s rude to say so, ruder, in fact, than calling a Georgetown host a drunkard, a cuckold, or an incompetent. Which is one reason it’s not done. Another is that it’s the kind of corruption that gives immunity to the facilitators of corruption, which is immensely rewarding as well as self-perpetuating.

                    It requires a lot of cooperation, though, especially from the press and outlier politicians. Even more unseemly, it requires swinging the law like a shillelagh against those who expose it, such as credible whistleblowers – insiders who refuse to get with the program, but who have hard evidence on those who did – investigative reporters, and community activists.

                    That Mr. Obama’s first job as a newly minted graduate of Columbia University was as a community activist in Chicago is among the many ironies between his professed faith and his actual practice, something that Irish Catholics in New York, Boston, Chicago, and Portland have lived with for generations.

                    The quintessential expression of that conflict is disdain for the rule of law, including a failure to apply the law equally – without fear or favor, passion or prejudice – to the powerful and the powerless alike.

                    The existence of an illegal act that goes unredressed is common. There aren’t enough police or prosecutorial resources to catch every speeder, every brawler, every crook, every corrupt politician, banker and general. A system governed by the rule of law, however, works hard to catch the big ones, the most frequent and most dangerous ones, and to treat similar violations of the law similarly.

                    What we have here is not a failure to communicate, but a determination by the elite to flout the law and systematically to refuse to apply it to the politically and economically powerful.

                • john in sacramento says:

                  I agree. The impeachment process is only “like” a judicial trial in that it has a trier of fact – the legislature – and there are legal consequences for being found guilty – removal from office. It is fundamentally a political act, however, in that it is a power, a process, belonging solely to the legislative branch. It operates in the foreseeable if once thought unusual circumstance where the executive or judicial branch is assumed to be incapable of policing itself.

                  This sentence fragment is what I was going to say. This is what gets to me, and disappoints me. When you think about Watergate, it wasn’t about how Nixon prosecuted, and lied about the war in VN where millions died and lives were shattered; it wasn’t about his cointelpro program against American citizens (who for the longest time were known as the real sovereigns of this country); it wasn’t about the FBI running amok; it wasn’t about his persecution of Daniel Ellsberg

                  It was about a two-bit burglary of a political office and the coverup

                  And Clinton was about a BJ

                  That seems to be their standard

        • bobschacht says:

          No. I do not think impeachment will be placed back “on the table” in our lifetime.

          Why did Democrats let Republicans do that? The Republicans’ attempt to impeach Clinton managed to kill the whole impeachment thing, so that when a real need for impeachment loomed, they took it “off the table”? That whole class of feckless Democrats makes me sick.

          Bob in AZ

    • bluedot12 says:

      Well, there are no hostilities in Lybia. We are only in there for humanitarian reasons. Some folks told us that here at FDL.

  8. AirportCat says:

    In the names of Fritz Maytag, Michael Jackson (NO, not the pop star), and all that is holy, this must be stopped. Even before the years I spent working in this fine establishment while I was finishing graduate school, I refused to consume (as I still do) the products of the major brewing companies. The craft brewing movement that was revived when Fritz took over and saved the Anchor Brewing Company is one of the better things that has happened in this country in my lifetime. Corporatist @$$holes like Scott Walker need to be run out of town on a rail for threatening the craft brewers like this. Even Texas has brew pubs and some very fine craft brewers. The people I have met in this industry love what they do, and they provide good jobs doing it. Why do Scott Walker and the Wisconsin Republicans hate small businesses and workers so much?

  9. ThingsComeUndone says:

    Craft beer better taste, less of a hangover, better buzz. Crap beer cheaper but the cheaper you get the worse the hangover beers that use chemicals to speed aging and boost liquor content are the worse I tried a 40 of Magnum I think it was once smoked a whole pack of smokes trying to kill the taste a puff then a sip and I still could not finish the 40.
    I threw it away I guess I just wasn’t Poor enough or an Alcoholic. to want to finish that beer. Oregon and Washington state will love that Wisconsin is taking itself out of the competition.

  10. tambershall says:

    First of all this is not meant as offense. Hopefully you will consider it as it is meant – an analytical view at who the best choice is to REPRESENT THE PEOPLE.

    So why Feingold???
    Seriously why RF? What’s his voting record? Is he a corporatist? Did he vote for the Insurance parasite industry bailout bill, aka AHA, which not affordable and not about healthcare?
    Does he rub noses with the royalty? Does he take bribes, ie. like very other politician?

    And why would I believe anything he says. O says a lot of things. And then proceeds to act 180 in the other direction once the rubes/peons are appeased by the useless rhetoric.

    Aren’t these the questions we should be asking of any candidate? What’s the point of having RF win, only to turn around and stab us in the back?
    What’s the point if he continues business as usual?
    What’s the point if he does NOT actively reverse the tide of corporate control in that state?
    If we vote for the lesser of two evils, then how does that help us? Is that our only standard now – he’s not as bad as the other guy? Isn’t that just a slower race to the bottom?

    So these are the questions I would ask.

    • Cujo359 says:

      The one thing that would bother me about a potential Gov. Feingold, if I lived in Wisconsin, is that he’s something of a fiscal conservative. Would he be able to increase taxes to balance the state budget? If not, look for more budget cuts.

      As for the rest, I think that link on “trade Walker for Feingold” is a pretty accurate read of Feingold. He’s never struck me as the least bit corrupt, and these days I expect politicians to be corrupt.

      • ThingsComeUndone says:

        Good question a real Progressive has budget plans that we can look at the numbers on. If Feingold is false then the first sign is no real budget plans will be presented.

          • ThingsComeUndone says:

            Your welcome another sign of a real Progressive is he supports rights for all people Gays, Women Dark People even illegal immigrants.
            That and unlike Obama there is no I did not sign a pledge on Gay Rights during my campaign for President my staff did bullshit.
            Once a pol does that we need to stop calling them Progressive and they need to stop asking us for votes.
            After what Obama did on the Dream Act for immigrants then he sent me an e mail asking for cash to enter a lottery to have diner with him.
            I feel like a Racist just asked me out, wants me to pay for the Date and expects to Score…my vote that is.
            I am offended, confused, does Obama think the Left is Easy? Are we the girl he thinks he can make booty calls on but won’t take out in public or introduce to his friends? Is Obama the White Guy trying to score with an African American girl he is ashamed of?
            I have never been put in this position before I’m not sure how I feel but I don’t like it and no he’s not getting anything from me.

      • tambershall says:

        See that’s my problem too.
        What do we know about him?
        How will he actually act? What has he done in the past that would give us indications of what he would do in the future?
        If he’s a deficit hawk, then we get … more austerity? More “shared” sacrifice, that the people, who didn’t cause this mess, bear the burden ALONE, while those that did cause the mess get more and more and more.

        It’s like Reid. http://motherjones.com/environment/2009/02/harry-reid-gold-member. The guy is as dirty or worse than all the other thieves and liars. Willfully and actively supporting the theft of PUBLIC RESOURCES to benefit the few.

        So I would want to know more about RF.

    • bmaz says:

      Well the answers to all those “questions” are a hell of a lot more satisfying with Feingold than most politicians. The only actual “vote” you mention is on ACA. It is manifestly unclear what or who you have in mind; however it is crystal clear that what ever purity test survivor you are contemplating neither exist nor is even remotely electable. Feingold is electable, and would be one hell of a lot better that Scott Walker. It will take a candidate that is trong and has already substantial name recognition for a short process event like a recall special election. That would be Feingold if he will run. You don’t even have a name, much less a hope with your dogmatic demands.

      • tambershall says:

        Is it considered a “purity test” to expect them to serve the people over corporations?
        And you have the “answers” to these questions? Then please share this info.
        I would love to read it.

        • bmaz says:

          This is nuts. Feingold has been an elected politician for three decades. He was for well over a decade about the ONLY friend the 4th Amendment had in the US Congress. Use teh Google dude.

  11. ThingsComeUndone says:

    Craft brewers currently provide an estimated 100,000 jobs in the U.S., including serving staff in brewpubs.
    Growth of the craft brewing industry in 2010 was 11% by volume and 12% by dollars compared to growth in 2009 of 7.2% by volume and 10.3% by dollars.
    Overall, U.S. beer sales were down an estimated 1.0% by volume in 2010.

    Craft brewers sold an estimated 9,951,956 barrels* of beer in 2010, up from 8,934,446 in 2009.
    Overall, US beer sales were down 2.2% in 2009.
    Imported beer sales were down 10% in 2009 and up 5% in 2010.

    The craft brewing sales share in 2010 was 4.9% by volume and 7.6% by dollars.


    My bold Craft Brew pubs are upscale and provide better jobs and tips according to my observation of various bars in Washington and Oregon Walker just killed higher paying jobs than regular bar and beer making jobs.
    At a time when domestic beer sales are down and imported beer sales are down imported beers are distributed by the big beer corporations beer distributing networks Walker just killed the future of beer making in Wisconsin.
    Illinois can expect some of those beer makers to cross the border! Snoopy Dance time!

  12. ThingsComeUndone says:

    In Wausau, each brewery has enjoyed growth in the local market since opening. Bull Falls expects to produce more than 700 barrels this year, up from 680 in 2010, Zamzow said. Great Dane, producing the most beer of the three breweries, made 1,200 barrels in 2010, the brewery’s first full year of operation. Meanwhile, Red Eye brewmaster Kevin Eichelberger said Red Eye had a 20 percent bump in beer sales the first two months of this year.


    All those jobs will likely be coming to Illinois now Cool Go Walker keep doing what you are doing! Your state’s misfortune is my state’s gain!

  13. T Allen says:

    I’d love to see Russ Feingold become the governor of Wisconsin. Why, however, does anyone think Wisconsin voters would be smart enough to recall Walker and elect Feingold if they voted for Ron Johnson, the Koch-fueled Randroid and corporate welfare queen, over Feingold in the first place? If I remember correctly Johnson’s business has received millions in tax credits from the government, yet WI. idiots still voted this hypocritical sociopath into office.

    On Ron Johnson as welfare queen,

    “Ron Johnson, who claims ‘government doesn’t create jobs,’ and who’s hoping to unseat Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI), has perhaps the longest record of benefiting from government largesse. In 1979 a company called Wisconsin Industrial Shipping Supplies, owned by Johnson’s brother-in-law, received a $75,000 development grant from the city of Oshkosh to build a rail spur to a plant it was building. One of the conditions of the grant required WISS to hire 11 people in exchange for the funds. Just a few months later, WISS became Pacur — the company Johnson owns today — and the factory was opened. The factory itself was also built with the help of a $1 million government-issued development bond. Years later, as president of the board of the Grand Opera House in Oshkosh, Johnson would investigate the possibility of obtaining stimulus money to help pay for theater renovations.”


    Ron Johnson supports welfare for Big Oil, May 18, 2011

    “Senator Ron Johnson yesterday voted against a Democratic bill that would have stripped big oil companies of multi-billion dollar annual tax subsidies.”


  14. ThingsComeUndone says:

    Under the provision, it would be illegal, for instance, for a small brewer located near a restaurant to walk next door to deliver a case of beer. They’ll have to hire a middle man to do it instead.

    This bill forces the Craft Brewers to use the Big Brewers beer distribution networks that will raise the cost of their beer. This is government regulation interfering with small business! This is corporate welfare. This is so great for Illinois!

  15. NorskeFlamethrower says:


    Citizen bmaz:

    I don’t know who you are talkin’ to but as a grunt poundin’ the ground out here on the recall trail and tryin’ to rebuild the Democratic Party that has been systematically dismantled in this state since the Clintons, I don’t know that Russ has decided and I think that there is some heavy duty political infightin’ between the ObamaRahma White House who basically controls the party aparatus and the Feingold camp. The party wants to wait to recall Walker until the Fall of 2012 of course to leverage off the nationbal campaign and give Obama help here…they also seem to be tryin to push Russ to throw in to the Senate race. As you are probably well aware, there is absolutley NO love lost between ObamaRahma and Feingold or between the national elected Democratic leadership and Feingold. Personally, I hope Russ decides to push the progressive activists who have taken over the recall movement to recall Walker in January for a March election and decides to run for Governor from where he can control the state party goin’ into the primaries in the Spring. In my opinion, if Feingold serves a term as governor he would be a shoo-in for the Democratic nomination or a third party bid in 2016.


    • phred says:

      Amen to that Norske. While I don’t doubt Obomba wants to hold off on Walker’s recall, my long distance impression is that Wisconsinites want Walker recalled the first day he is eligible. I sincerely hope the citizens of my home state choose to act in their own best interests not those of our criminally inclined President.

    • workingclass says:

      Thanks Norske. Sounds like a knowledgeable assessment. Do you like Feingold’s chances in a recall election against Walker? Seems like there are plenty of Fascist voters in Wisconsin.

  16. bluedot12 says:

    Feingold for Governor. Imagine the thugs don’t even like free enterprise, if it bothers them.

    Adam Green and Dan Choi were on LOD. Both great. I like the idea that O has to fight, I mean start a freakin fight already.

  17. ThingsComeUndone says:

    I expect when the Koch brothers buy Wisconsin’s power companies that Walker will do the same thing to green power in his state that means green power projects will get moved to illinois! Cheaper less polluting and after Japan very likely non nuclear power is in are future!
    Less pollution higher housing prices after all just how many people with asthma want to live anywhere near a coal plant.
    Is the Illinois Democratic Party behind Walker’s election? Long term Walker is great for my State!

    • bluedot12 says:

      I think selling assets comes close to criminal. Indians sold its toll road. How did that turn out?

  18. earlofhuntingdon says:

    This is, of course, about Walker & Co., fronting for the oligopolistic positions enjoyed by the big national brewers and the often generous cash support poured out by their in-state beer distributors. The micro-brewer whose beer beats theirs in taste and quality, if not price, hasn’t a smidgeon of their political clout. And in a deep recession, the beer distributor and funeral parlor owner are likely to remain among the few millionaires in many small towns, the car guy often having gone out of business.

    It is still hard to imagine them picking a worse commodity to piss in than good beer. Even teetotalers can get exercised about the cultural heritage of beer in Wisconsin and across the Midwest. It’s a commodity that would form a bond across the country as well as across unions and working people in Wisconsin, from beat cops to the fire service staff to teachers’ unions to college students to picnickers to seminarians.

    Mind you, wood cutters and farmers and garage hands can get pretty snippy and conservative-Joeish about paying more than a buck a beer, and some of these beers can cost a lot more. But good beer is a thing of beauty and truth as much as any poem by Keats, and a lot more popular in middle America.

    • phred says:

      This is, of course, about Walker & Co., fronting for the olig[archs]

      Exactly. It also quite conveniently provides yet another shining example of Republicans lying about their devotion to the “free market”. Bullshit. They are staunch defenders of predatory monopolies, crafting public policies that prevent competition that threatens the profitably of those monopolies.

      I also agree with your point about Wisconsin’s pride in their brewery history. Nothing Walker has done has been popular. This is just another offensive item to add to the list.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Yes. “Free market” advocates would self-evidently argue for opening market access, as well as ensuring that government rules are either non-existent or affect similar participants similarly. Differential impacts are anathema to them.

        Manipulating the regulatory process, however, to stifle or destroy competition is one of things that “free market” advocates in big business love to do, even when they claim to be doing no such thing.

  19. earlofhuntingdon says:

    The only “purity test” that ought to apply to the question of beer is whether it includes just water, barley malt, yeast and hops. On that question, out-of-state mega-brewers fail every time.

    This isn’t about losing out in a big way, it’s about losing out in a small one: a fractional percentage of the market, a few cents off the margin on a single beer, a monopoly on draft beer sold in pubs and restaurants. From such things come huge or small bonuses or none at all. The real monopoly these guys don’t want to lose is having the sole influence over the legislature and state house.

  20. MrSippi says:

    Until the good people of Wisconsin can consign Koch Poodle Walker and his crew to the shit heap of history, the craft breweries should set up their own co-op owned distributorship. Done properly they can bypass a bad law and gain some business clout as well.

  21. JohnLopresti says:

    [email protected], There is a 3-tier statusquo part of the new half exemption in Illinois for craft beers: May 2011 billsigned into law by gov Ryan there. Relevant to which, the final paragraph in that summary.

    [email protected], one hour north of Lagunitas, add: Red Tail, named after the indigenous raptor.

    [email protected], re: *farmers* inter alia; there is a preference shift occurring in some quarters. You know you*re in the vicinity when the corner convenience retail emporium stocks both the bulk produced and the craft product. See also, note to [email protected], above.

    I think one of the difficult parts of Russ* recent term was the bland silence as he pursued the source of the communications gap between the president and congress. It takes a lot of discernment to look at structural problems in times of uncertainty. In his early 2nd term WBush led a Republican effort to hype restructuring social security to reliance upon the then putatively still robust stockmarket. Perspicacious observers knew his claims to be specious and economic crunchtime near. A juxtaposition of images in a midsize middleclass city selected by the Republicans as a venue to boost the hype in March 2005 still is a remarkable contrast, there. The traces of war rhetoric appear patently visible in the president*s expression.

    • marksb says:

      Red Tail Ale goes back to the Mendocino back-to-the-land/grow-your-own movement in the 70’s and early 80’s. My (then future) wife and I used to travel up there in maybe ’84 and stop in at the Hopland Brewery back when it was the first or second licensed microbrewery in CA. Great food, great beer, great music.

      Now it’s moved up to Ukiah after being purchased by a (relatively small) company and becoming the Mendocino Brewing Company, and it’s popularity has declined. I think that’s because the sales group sucks, but perhaps that’s just my view as a retailer.

      Great beer, great memories.

  22. veritas2011 says:

    I thought the REPUBS were in favor of small business…..and don’t want small business to be regulated? Obviously Walker didn’t get that memo!!!

  23. TimWhite says:

    I’m a registered R. A Paulista at heart. And I come from CT, home of Lamont v. Lieberman.

    Considering Libya, the “falsified” 1996 questionnaire and (best I remember) his virtual absence from the Wisconsin union rallies…

    Is it still a crazy idea to think that a Kucinich or Feingold could successfully primary Obomba? It seems to me that, depending on the usual events-on-the-ground, a liberal may be able to beat the incumbent.

      • TimWhite says:

        haha… yeah, would be fun… and while I wouldn’t be thrilled with a split of the pro-peace, pro-rule of law, pro-civil liberties vote… I do love the debate of ideas, so the more the merrier!

        I think Dennis said his drop dead date on running for Congress is September (when Ohio finishes redistricting). It would make it fun… and heck, Reagan challenged the incumbent in 1976… and rode that name recognition to his 1980 primary win. Maybe Dennis will see other benefits besides being elected POTUS in 2012? It would be great to see Obomba in a debate explaining how Libya is not a war… Dennis would clobber him.

  24. TimWhite says:

    It’s always the coverup. Weiner should have told the truth from the get-go. The lying (the coverup) compounded his problem.

  25. maa8722 says:

    The brass ring is a trifecta to take back the Senate and Assembly as well. Otherwise, what’s on the books is likely to stay put, Feingold or not.

    Not another Kloppenburg / Prosser fiasco, please. The recalls simply have to succeed.

  26. rosalind says:

    totally, completely, frivolously OT: I went to see Debbie Reynold’s movie costume collection at the Paley Center for Media in Beverly Hills the other day, and was astounded at the collection that she is putting up for auction. The highlight, rotating in its own display case, was Marilyn Monroe’s famous “Subway” dress from “7 Year Itch”.

    The auction is taking place right now. The Marilyn dress just sold for $4.6 million, + tax & commission, bringing it to a nice $5.658 million.

    Audrey Hepburn’s iconic black & white dress from the Racetrack scene in “My Fair Lady” is coming up later tonight.

    • rosalind says:

      Audrey Hepburn’s iconic black & white dress from the Racetrack scene in “My Fair Lady” is coming up later tonight.

      …and just went for $3.7 million + commission/tax for $4.55 million total.

    • bobschacht says:

      But where will we find someone who gives a fig about civil rights and other important parts of the Constitution, not to mention habeas corpus? I used to have hopes for Sheldon Whitehouse, but he seems to have fallen silent. In the Senate, at least, Ron Wyden seems to have inherited Feingold’s mantel.

      Bob in AZ

  27. Kathryn in MA says:

    That we have a free market is such BS. The game has always been to make the competitor’s product illegal. Just ask cannabis consumers.

  28. Lonn says:

    Feingold over Walker. Not even a contest. Think the folks that voted for Walker were forced to take their heads out of where the sun never shines.

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