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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Put a fee on it! Oregon GOP Governor candidate Chris Dudley posts his solution to privatizing OLCC!

By Sean Cruz

(Portland, Oregon)--"’Kent Craford, acting campaign manager for Dudley, concedes liquor is a moneymaker. ‘It's true that the OLCC and state monopoly of liquor distribution and retailing does make money for state coffers. But that doesn't mean it can't, if it were privatized. The way you do that under a private system is to put a fee on it.’"

Taking another page out of his playbook, “Just Wing It!”, the Dudley campaign has announced that it will make up for the shortage of thought that it put into the OLCC conversation by proposing a new fee to cover the loss of revenue that privatization will bring.

The reason that privatization hasn’t already taken place in Oregon is because every model put forth over the past couple of decades results in (a) loss of revenue to fund critical services, and (b) increased prices to consumers.

There has been no lack of desire from either Democratic or Republican officeholders to find a way to privatize the liquor industry. The legislature and the liquor industry have discussed privatization models for years, session after session, and have run into two insurmountable obstacles:

1. The only way to recover the lost revenue is to impose a fee or a tax.

2. With privatization, net prices to consumers go up. You learn this once you do the math….

In government, in legislative work, it is the Law of Unintended Consequences that bites most ideas in the ass. Those consequences are not always obvious, and the more complex the problem, the more likely you will run into the Law.

The argument for a new fee or tax or higher prices for consumers has been dead on arrival for years—and still is…but not knowing this, the Dudley campaign takes up the cudgel…Just Winging It!....

In every industry, in every line of work, experience counts, job readiness counts…except for in politics.

Only in politics can complete novices make the jump to the top job with no experience whatsoever, with only the skimpiest understanding of the requirements of the job itself, and with little chance of success in the job if they manage to win election.

Campaigns like Dudley’s depend upon an angry, impatient, uninformed and divided electorate, and name recognition from work in a completely unrelated field that draws a great deal of media and public attention.

That’s the formula.

That’s the playbook.

That’s the game.

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