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Ear to the Ground

Gov. Walker Targets Wisconsin’s Craft Breweries

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Posted on Jun 11, 2011
Flickr / tvol

Gov. Scott Walker’s budget includes yet another (previously overlooked) way in which he’s willing to serve big business at the expense of the little guy: He’s taking aim at craft breweries by making it more difficult for them to distribute their products. Of course, beverage giant MillerCoors supports the provision, which would regulate smaller operations as though they too were multinational corporations. With a long legacy of brewing that descends back to its early German immigrants, Wisconsin makes craft beer that’s often spectacularly good. It’s a damned shame Walker is getting his hooks into a state treasure.  —KDG

ThinkProgress:

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.

But more noteworthy than the provision itself is how it was enacted. The provision was quietly slipped in the massive budget legislation without any consultation from independent craft brewers, who are justifiably outraged by it. One group that clearly did have input, however, is one of the world’s largest beer makers—MillerCoors.

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By Jim Yell, June 13, 2011 at 7:19 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The sad thing about corporations are that they behave like the chicks of a Cow Bird. They hatch in others nests and then are ungrateful enough to kill all the chicks belonging to their adopted parents.

Corporations move into an area and then try their best to kill off even vestigial competition. Thanks to the complete corruption of our political system here is another example from Gov. Walker a man who has been blindly elected to office by an electorate that did not think it thru. He is out to destroy labor and to enrich the filthy rich. He should be removed from office before he creates a collapse of civilized society.

Of course, he isn’t the first to do this sort of crime. In my state they drove out the small dairies for the benifit of the huge corporate diaries. We need regulation, but not to be used by the strong to destroy the weak.

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By Inherit The Wind, June 12, 2011 at 7:19 pm Link to this comment

Well put, PH. He can’t even PRETEND to be in favor of free enterprise when he’s helping Miller Coors and AHB kill the craft breweries.

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By entropy2, June 12, 2011 at 7:09 pm Link to this comment

What can one say?

This is where progressives should grab the term FREE MARKET and shove it sideways up Walker’s and the right wing’s collective a**.

But the establishment left has bought into the corporatist (false) definition of the free market as total state support of big business.

The left could take ownership of the term, become champions of the free market with the little guy and hoist the big boys with their own petards…not just with breweries, but farms, retailers, manufacturing, etc.

But they won’t.

They can’t conceive of anything but their knee-jerk opposition to the term. And, ultimately, it would take a level of trust and respect for the working class that the liberal establishment just can’t muster.

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By PatrickHenry, June 12, 2011 at 11:47 am Link to this comment

This guy has no shame.

He better beware.  It’s the little things like tea, which can set off a revolution.

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By Inherit The Wind, June 12, 2011 at 9:04 am Link to this comment

His recall election cannot come soon enough…..

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By bluesman, June 11, 2011 at 6:55 pm Link to this comment

This guy is just too much to believe. The shame is that he as well as Ron Johnson and the rest of the Republicans who won election this past season somehow fooled the voters of WI into thinking they were going to do things to help and improve the state. Boy you folks in WI were duped really big time. Please don’t make that mistake again.

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By Bill, June 11, 2011 at 12:54 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Is there any cleared sign that the Wisconsin Groveling Gubenator and his party are a bunch of lying frauds and whores for the global corporate oligarch’s cash.

The governing work for the oligarchs, not for people not for the rights of the electorate, not for democracy, not for business competition, not for quality
local products made with care.

And of course this kind of move is not against the law as usual.

But I think the arse kissing wimp gubenator is doing his best to cut his throat with the Wisconsin citizens and the throat of his party.  Too many Americans love high quality locally
crafted brew.  This move cuts right to the heart of the matter. 

The goal is so crystal clear in this move.  The corporate theocratic one party right-think right is out to crush individuality and free expression every chance it gets and is always at the job

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By gstoddard, June 11, 2011 at 12:18 pm Link to this comment

The Republican rhetorical concern for small businesses is the epitome of
hypocrisy. Scott Walker along with Paul Ryan are defining the Republican vision for
the future of our nation.

Everything for the large corporations and the wealthy and crumbs for the middle
class and the poor.

Will the voters care?

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By MnIce, June 11, 2011 at 11:54 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I have attended the Great Taste of the Midwest festival in Madison for the last five years
and plan to attend this year as well. It’s a wonderful opportunity to sample craft brews
from the midwest region. It’s also a positive influence on the local economy and the
quite good craft brew scene in Wisconsin. Govenor Walker seems determined to
sqaunder the boost to Wisconsin’s coffers offered by such events and the vacations and
lodging dollars associated with them. I love visiting the state, but it seems as if now I’ll
be spending more of my time and energies attending protests there, or going to states
that are not wholely owned corporate entities!
It’s sad really that we now are living as vassals of bondholders and professional looters
with voting having sank to choosing death by a thousand paper cuts or corporate organ
removal….

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By Inherit The Wind, June 11, 2011 at 10:47 am Link to this comment

No! NO! NOT THE CRAFT BREWERIES!!!!

(Sure glad these Republicans in Wisconsin are getting the government out of regulating business!)

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By charles, June 11, 2011 at 10:09 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Sad thing is I bet many of the people running these breweries voted for Gov. Walker buying the “good for business” schtick.

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