While our opponents often are bigger and better-funded, by anticipating their next move and focusing our efforts on exposing their half-truths and attempts at distracting Kentuckians from the important issues, we can continue to win important policy battles.
An important part of playing good defense is knowing the weakness of your opposition’s best offensive plays. Take, for example, the strategy of the bureaucrats and mini-collectivists who wish to deny Anheuser-Busch the right to enter into a private agreement to purchase a beer distributorship owned by the Hand Family in Owensboro. This is an amicable, voluntary transaction – one wants to buy and one wants to sell. (Read this clear, concise yet thorough explanation of the Owensboro developments in this recent Bluegrass Beacon column.)
The beer bureaucrats in Frankfort and their buds among Anheuser-Busch’s competition have failed in their various attempts to stop this transaction. Their attempt to get it stopped at the local level was stymied when the transaction was approved. They also failed to derail it in the courts, which ordered Frankfort’s regulators to grant the transaction – which they did while couching the order in sarcastic disdain for Anheuser-Busch, which purchased a fledgling distributorship in Louisville in 1978 and turned it into a successful operation that employs 175 people and is a good local business partner.
Now, they are going to try and use the force of the state government in Frankfort in the form of House Bill 168 — not only to stop a private and voluntary agreement in the marketplace but also to force Anheuser-Busch to relinquish that Louisville operation that has contributed so much to the community.
It’s made worse by the fact that Democrats in the House are no doubt being pressured by Lexington distributor Ann McBrayer – a big contributor to their political campaigns – to not only stop this transaction by Anheuser-Busch but also to prevent the company from even having the opportunity to purchase distributorships in the future.
No one, of course, has been a bigger beneficiary of McBrayer’s financial contribution to the Democrats than House Speaker Greg Stumbo, D-Prestonsburg, who was able to hold on to the speakership when his party retained control of the Kentucky House of Representatives during past fall’s election. (Oh, and guess who the sole sponsor of HB 168 is?)
The Bluegrass Institute plans on mounting a strong defense to stop this and other hairbraned ideas coming primarily from Stumbo’s office – such as statewide, government-dictated smoking bans, minimum-wage upsurges, tax hikes and spending increases.