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Religious group lobbies against privatizing liquor sales

Posted January 4, 2011
Updated January 5, 2011

— The Christian Action League of North Carolina is urging lawmakers to block any attempt to privatize the state-run liquor distribution system.

The conservative group, which a group of churches created during the prohibition era to address alcohol policy, said dismantling the state Alcoholic Beverage Control system would hurt North Carolina more than help it.

Gov. Beverly Perdue has said she's looking at having a private entity manage the ABC system to cut state costs and boost revenue. Numerous lawmakers have said they also want to privatize the system after perks like high salaries by local ABC officials and lavish dinners paid for by distillers were exposed.

"No system of alcohol regulation is without its inefficiencies, corruptions, or failures," Rev. Mark Creech, the executive director of the Christian Action League, wrote in a Dec. 22 letter to lawmakers. "Alcohol regulation was never designed to stop all alcohol-oriented problems, but to provide the best system for order and decency."

Creech noted that North Carolina ranks 48th nationally in per capita alcohol consumption and third in the state revenue generated per gallon of liquor sold. In neighboring South Carolina, which has a private liquor distribution business, the state ranks 25th in per capita consumption and 39th in revenue generated.

"North Carolina’s current system of alcohol control effectively strikes a critical balance," he wrote.

Creech also cited a recent study by a California-based alcohol industry watchdog group, which found that privatizing liquor sales has led to increased alcohol consumption, including binge drinking by youths, and alcohol-related driving deaths, as well as suicide, assault and other violence.

"I urge you to reject the unfounded assertion that our state can do as good or better in protecting the interest of North Carolina’s most valuable asset, its people, by privatizing liquor sales," he wrote.

93 Comments

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  • boatrokr Jan 5, 1:49 p.m.

    Keeping It Real......liberals believe in the right to pursue our own lives. It's the conservatives - churches - who want to meddle in our business.

  • boatrokr Jan 5, 1:47 p.m.

    I'm sick of religious groups sticking their fingers into the personal lives of private citizens who don't share their beliefs in the first place. If you don't believe in liquor consumption - then don't, but leave the rest of us alone. MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS.

  • Nonewsisgoodnews Jan 5, 12:09 p.m.

    "Creech noted that North Carolina ranks 48th nationally in per capita alcohol consumption and third in the state revenue generated per gallon of liquor sold."

    Yep. Its too darn expensive. Search whatever you like on google shopping and see what a little competition does with the price of what you like.

  • Keepin_it_real_in_NC Jan 4, 7:16 p.m.

    "Actually, they can give up their tax exempt status and not suffer that restriction. It is a give and take"

    Wow, where is that found in the 1st Amendment?

  • Not_So_Dumb Jan 4, 6:55 p.m.

    "So, Freedom of Speech applies to everyone but preachers? Like I always say, liberals are all for free speech, as long as it is liberal speech."-Keepin-it-real

    Actually, they can give up their tax exempt status and not suffer that restriction. It is a give and take.

  • Keepin_it_real_in_NC Jan 4, 6:46 p.m.

    "Also a preacher needs to be teaching and preaching in Church and not in government."

    So, Freedom of Speech applies to everyone but preachers? Like I always say, liberals are all for free speech, as long as it is liberal speech.

  • kdavis23 Jan 4, 6:21 p.m.

    The government has there hands in too much now. privatizing it will be better. Also a preacher needs to be teaching and preaching in Church and not in government. Some of them are starting to get as bad as enviromentalist.

  • geosol Jan 4, 6:03 p.m.

    No news here; just more complete hypocrisy from the right wingers. Happens all the time. Boring!

  • Keepin_it_real_in_NC Jan 4, 5:46 p.m.

    I wonder if WRAL will start refering to the NAACP as "the Liberal Group."

  • brentf777 Jan 4, 5:22 p.m.

    As a true Constitutional conservative and long time practicing Christian I believe the ABC system should be abolished in its entirety and private business owners left with the decision of what legal products to sell or not to sell. The first paragraph of the article says it all: "group of churches created during the Prohibition era." I seem to remember Prohibition was overturned... These people are NOT Conservatives, they are statists. True Conservatives believe in the free market without undue interference from government, esp. not a government MONOPOLY as exists in liquor sales. These people just want the government to add force of law to their own personal agenda.

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